20 Best TV Shows of 2015 So Far

From hip-hop soap operas to stoner comedies and spy dramas, it's been a great half-year

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'Mad Men' (AMC)
Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC4/20

4. 'Mad Men' (AMC)

The final mini-season held some of Mad Men's greatest moments: Don Draper drives into the desert, Bowie's "Space Oddity" blasting on the radio. Peggy learns some important life lessons during her Vermouth-and-roller-skates picnic with Roger. The Borges-like construction of the final yoga scene. And most of all, Peggy strutting down the hallway with her shades and cigarette, mastering the art of the glamorously trashed entrance. Which, admittedly, is the only life lesson Roger would be qualified to teach. (The final season also had some of the series' most disastrous gaffes — isn't it already weird to remember that godawful "Don gives Megan a check for a million dollars" episode? Well, as he once told Peggy, "I guess when you try to forget something, you have to forget everything.")

The aftermath: Don goes back to NYC and does the Coke ad. Sally hitch-hikes to the West Coast but falls on hard times. Then fate takes a hand: after a tragic 1981 explosion at a Portland strip club, the hospital staff gets her mixed up with one of the other victims, a young dancer named Courtney "Love" Harrison. Sally adopts the dead girl's identity and pursues a new career path, just like her dad. In the photo for her 1994 album Live Through This, she poses with a Coke can, giving a hidden shout-out to her old man.

Someday you will ache like she aches.

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