Summer’s Must-See TV Shows

Bill Gray / HBO

Five can’t-miss shows to watch now.

Mad Men giveth, and Mad Men taketh away. Thirteen episodes is all we get—after waiting 17 months between seasons—meaning that by the time the next issue of Departures arrives, the show will be over again. What are fans of sharply written, astutely observed TV to do? Here are five ideas.

Girls: This new comedy from Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) focuses on four twentysomething women struggling to make meaningful lives for themselves in New York. HBO; premièred April 15.

NYC 22: Six NYPD rookies from diverse backgrounds—one is an Afghan immigrant, another is a female ex-Marine—patrol Manhattan. From executive producer Robert De Niro. CBS; premièred April 15.

VEEP: As election season shifts into high gear, Julia Louis-Dreyfus takes on the role of a former U.S. senator who’s tapped to become vice president. HBO; premièred April 22.

The Newsroom: Aaron Sorkin’s latest stars Jeff Daniels as a news anchor trying to maintain his integrity and fight against the race to the bottom that is today’s cable news. HBO; premières June.

Political Animals: In this six-hour drama, Sigourney Weaver stars as a newly divorced former first lady serving as secretary of state. USA; premières July.