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The Power Rankings! Punched Faces, Agony, Shock, Flux! (Vacation Edition!)

The games are over. The throne is at stake. Nobody flinch.

The Borgias Season 2 Key Art
Showtime

Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending April 8 -- yes, April 8. I was on vacation! Cut me some slack. And not to be a broken record about it, but The Power Rankings! are crazy competitive now and extremely difficult to crack. Also hard? Staying on top. Additionally difficult? Not sliding down a few slots. We're still at the Elite Eleven -- because how could we not be? -- but there's no easy generosity here. You earn it by not bringing the weak stuff. FYI: The Power Rankings! are where television series are ranked on a weekly basis according to their most recent episodes and the ever-changing-moods of yours truly. If you want to learn how The Power Rankings! started and the methodology behind them, check out the link to the Bastard Machine post on those issues of great import. Also: The Bastard Machine is on Facebook. And Twitter.

 

RANK  SHOW  PREVIOUS  TREND  COMMENT
1

Game of Thrones

1

Last week Game of Thrones took down Mad Men. This week it keeps the top spot (both difficult feats given the competition). Listen, this is a great series. Period. It can be knocked down by another great series, but it will always be an episode-vs.-episode showdown.

2

Justified

3

This was not the finale, people. It's the penultimate episode. I told you I was late. Anyway, this was still a fantastic episode in what has already been a superb season of Justified. Lots of apparent double-crosses and surprise allegiances here. Car bombs, killings, craziness. Well done, Justified.

3

Mad Men

2

Hey look, Mad Men is having an excellent early season of its own. But it's a testament to the competition here that the series has gone from No. 1 to No. 3 without having an obviously weak episode. That's no black mark on Mad Men. (Of course, next week's Power Rankings! is another matter.)

4

Magic City

4

Here's a series not getting a ton of love but one that's both intriguing and getting better each week. Starz sometimes gets itself in trouble with an excess of nudity and sex, which can make people think that's a crutch for a lack of creative content. In this series, it's just a bonus, nothing more. The more you watch, the more you'll see a strong concept emerging.

5

The Borgias

N/A

Here's another series that didn't get the respect it deserved last season but is now back and better than ever. Seriously, you should be watching The Borgias. It's that simple. On the other hand, I'm banned in the house from using the accent of the French king to say, "I will kill your Borgia pope!"

6

Community

8

Pillow fights. Forts made of blankets. A spoof of Ken Burns that Ken Burns would love. I completely and utterly loved this episode. Bravo, Community.

7

The Killing

7

Don't mock. The sins of last year were last year. I'm still on board two episodes in. Let's see what it can do. The acting is there, plus I like that they've resolved Holder as a sneak. We'll take this week by week, but so far it's worthy of this list.

8

Raising Hope

6

Sure, it takes a slight drop, but this is more than just my back-up show, even though I like to keep one close for comfort. Everybody should have a back-up girlfriend/boyfriend. (This only makes sense if you watch the show, which you should.)

9

New Girl

10

Tired of begging, folks. If you're not watching this show, you're missing out. It's not about being adorable. Or adorkable. It's about being funny.

10

30 Rock

5

Yes, that's one hell of a drop, but two things to consider: 1. Lots of great dramas on top this week; 2. Think of how many comedies are not here. Oh, and lastly: "Popo popped Dukie down by the vacant."

11

Life's Too Short

N/A

Farewell to a funny series that proved if you separate the material from the maker, you get a better sense of its worthiness. Loved it all.

Out: Shameless is over (as is House of Lies). Bob's Burgers was off, as were Parks and Recreation and Modern Family.

In peril: Every show. Even the best. As this week proved.

In the mix: Next time, HBO's Girls is eligible, as is ABC's Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23. Look for Modern Family to make its return as well. Wow -- next week is just pain. Plain and simple.