Out of the many period pieces on TV, PBS' Mercy Street manages to mix romance and a medical drama with a look at a little-known detail of the Civil War hospital. After two seasons, the series has found a voice that makes room for all of these elements. Will Mercy Street return for Season 3? PBS has yet to cancel or renew the medical period piece, but no news doesn't necessarily mean bad news. The second season was greenlit in early March, so keep an eye out for any announcements coming from the network in the month or so after the finale. The next season, if its on its way, should appear in early 2018, if it follows the same pattern of the last two. The first and second season premiered almost exactly a year apart.
In its second season, Mercy Street changed its focus slightly. Jed and Mary's romance went from slowly-blooming to icy after she realized his prejudices. And, after developing typhoid, the two were separated when Mary had to be quarantined, shifting the focus to the management of the hospital and Frank's desertion from the Confederacy. By doing so, Mercy Street maximized its use of the period setting. So while waiting to find out whether or not the PBS series will return to explore those themes further, here are a few other similar shows that you can watch in the meantime.
If you've been watching this FX drama, then you should be excited for the Feb. 28 finale episode. But, if not, now's a good time to fire up your On Demand and marathon the whole season. Although... this colonial period piece has a unique feel and tone that might make it better to space out over a few weeks.
The life and times of young Queen Victoria are featured in another series from PBS. Traveling back in time and documenting different time periods are always mainstays for the network.
Z: The Beginning Of Everything
Amazon's original series explores the complicated and superficially charming life of Zelda Fitzgerald, who was a Lost Generation icon for both her writing and her marriage, and a Jazz Age party fixture who used the guise of having a great time to disguise her vulnerabilities.
This Netflix drama about a different English queen, the current monarch Elizabeth II, did very well during awards season. Claire Foy's performance as Elizabeth, John Lithgow's as Winston Churchill, and the series as a whole really stood out.
Time After Time
This series premieres the day that Mercy Street Season 2 ends, and it looks like it could be the latest time-manipulating drama hit. Jack the Ripper travels through a rip in time to come to the modern era, where he still has the desire to kill.
The lives of recently escaped slaves would be more than compelling enough to warrant two drama seasons, but adding depictions of notable figures like Harriet Tubman make the second season premiere even more exciting.
So, even while waiting through the rest of the year for more episodes, there should be more than enough TV to make up for the absence of Mercy Street.