One of the more amusing ironies of the entertainment industry is that it’s always the shows which don’t really deserve spinoffs that get them: The Walking Dead, for example, started seriously bleeding viewers after its seventh season, but AMC just can’t stop launching spinoffs in the hopes of capturing the old magic.
In our opinion, it would have been smarter for the network to spin off its much smarter show (and one that never really fell off), Mad Men. Without further ado, here is a brief list of the Mad Men spinoff ideas we’d like to see transformed into a reality.
Sterling Cooper West Coast
A very down-to-earth element of Mad Men is that we often see the inner workings of corporate machinery. Things like bonuses, contracts, and mergers all became the stuff of high drama on the show. And with that in mind, we’d love a series focusing on Sterling Cooper as they try to expand their brand away from New York and into Los Angeles.
The series did make a push out into California during the final couple of seasons with Vincent Kartheiser’s Pete Campbell working to set up an office out there. It doesn’t all go according to plan and Pete wasn’t exactly the right man for that job, but the setting was perfect.
Plus, the advertising industry had so many quirks as it evolved throughout the 1970s, and we’d love to discover those quirks through the eyes of our favorite characters.
Peggy Olson: Rising Star
Speaking of favorite characters, probably the only Mad Men character as popular (if not more so) than Don Draper is Peggy Olson (Elizabeth Moss). Throughout the original show, we watched her evolve from a simple secretary to an ad expert sharper than almost all of the men around her. This culminated in a final episode that made it clear that Peggy had a bright future in advertisements and marketing ahead of her.
Therefore, it’s a no-brainer to create a Mad Men spinoff show that follows the misadventures of Peggy as she rises through the ranks of an industry that continues to underestimate her skills and her proven history of success.
We could follow up on her relationship with Stan and discover if Peggy, like Don Draper before her, is too married to her work to enjoy a long-term relationship. And since the finale of Mad Men showed Joan starting her own business, we’d kill to have these ladies team up and show the advertising world how it’s done.
Sally Draper: A Coming of Age
Mad Men was full of great actors who brought to life amazing characters, and we were often taken by surprise at how dynamic and refreshing those characters really are.
A great example of this is Sally Draper, who begins the show as a precocious five-year-old and ends it as a brooding teenager. Along the way, she had to grow up fast as she witnessed everything from her parents’ divorce to Roger Sterling receiving a bit of flagrante delicto (with an emphasis on “lick”) from her stepmom’s mother.
By the end of the show, Sally is preparing to deal with her mother’s death and an uncertain future, and we’d love to explore that future in a Sally Draper spinoff of Mad Men.
It would be frankly awesome to see a rebel like Sally find her groove in the swinging seventies. And considering the high quality of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, we know that Kiernan Shipka is more than capable of headlining a hit series.
Joan Holloway: The Power Moves
While all of these Mad Men spinoff ideas are ones we’d love to see happen, the truth is that the show finale doesn’t organically set all of them up (not perfectly, at least).
However, the finale does give a cheer-worthy ending to Joan Holloway, who finally bids farewell to the patriarchal professional world she has worked in most of her life to create her own advertising agency. And that, of course, is the perfect setup for a spinoff.
As with our dream Mad Men spinoff featuring Peggy Olson, it would be very cool to see a capable gal like Joan triumph in the face of the sexism rampant in the old boys’ club of advertising in the ‘70s or ‘80s.
It would also be quite natural to bring in supporting characters from the original show since Joan’s business is similarly located in New York. Finally, as with the original Mad Men show, we’d love to see which iconic real-world ads this spinoff would make Joan the creator of.