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MAY
9
2 YEARS

The Power Rankings! The Crying of Lot 11! Flux! PBS! Sitcom Shockers!

Two big comedies go down. A mystery appears. And the great remain solid.

Sherlock Homes BBC Press Still - H 2012
Sherlock, PBS.

Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending May 6. April showers (of blood, naturally) bring May, um, stability? Well, it doesn't roll off the tongue but it's mostly true. The only big entry this week and for a few more to come is Sherlock on PBS. More important, we haven't had quite the episodic quality fluctuations of the past, so things at the top are relatively solid. Of course, that just tightens up the race for the mid to lower rankings, so our friend flux is here (and the competition has pushed out two of my favorite comedies). This iron and steel battle in the Elite Eleven is fun to behold. And by behold I mean to watch. It's a good time to have a TV set. OK, let's do this. 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

Mad Men

1

Wait, you mean you're going to give us an episode based on a Sylvia Plath poem about suicide, show Pete reading Thomas Pynchon's "The Crying Of Lot 49" and then wrap the whole thing up with Don trying to figure out what The Beatles are up to with Tomorrow Never Knows? Count me in. Besides, this episode was just an exclamation point on how it looks when it looks inside.

2

Game of Thrones

2

The difference between No. 1 and No. 2 is a lot narrower than the numbers would imply. Game of Thrones is the real deal as a heavyweight dramatic series and I truly doubt that Mad Men will be able to fend it off the rest of the way to the end of their respective seasons. Certainly not every week. This time around, Game of Thrones was setting up the future while Mad Men was mulling it over brilliantly, so the edge was clear. Next week, maybe not.

3

Girls

3

There are a number of reasons why you shouldn't send pictures of your dick via smart phone camera. One of them is you may be forced to tell the person you're sleeping with that it was actually meant for someone else. Also a bad idea: Diaries. Girls, however, is a great idea that plays out triumphantly each week. No missed steps yet. Oh, and as yet another reminder: Lena Dunham is fearless.

4

Veep

4

I am getting great joy from this series. Please make more. And soon. There's an election approaching and we're all gonna need a good laugh about how the game is played.

5

Sherlock

N/A

Season 2 of this fantastic modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes delivers the same brilliance as Season 1. But hell, talk about needing to make more episodes. Sherlock is essentially three movies or large chunks of a miniseries, so it will only be able to dominate (see what I did there) these rankings for the next three weeks. Shame.

6

Don't Trust the B-- In Apartment 23

10

Now that's a nice jump up. And well deserved. The characters all grew. James Van Der Beek continues to be awesome. Krysten Ritter proves yet again that she's an incredible combination of sexy and scary. And funny. Plus, Kevin Sorbo is a good sport. And there's a brilliant Peri Gilpin joke. This show continues to surprise. You should be watching.

7

New Girl

N/A

Can you be the Comeback Show of the Year in your freshman season? If so, this is it. New Girl may have suffocated on its own adorableness early on, but now it's just a really funny show. Sometimes re-proving your hype is harder than making a comeback in your third or fourth season. Nice job, New Girl.

8

The Killing

8

I don't care if Linden is the worst mother in the world and also perhaps the least likable person in a lead role on television. I just like watching her work. And Holder -- wait for it -- holds everything together. (Booooo!) But really, Joel Kinnaman is killing it again this year. (Ooops, did it again. By accident - too lazy to fix it, partly because it works…).

9

The Borgias

9

When people say they're not watching The Borgias, they never have a very good reason when you ask why not. So, to them I'd reiterate the fact that Season 2 is pretty damned impressive. And they should be on the bandwagon.

10

Parks and Recreation

7

Little bit of a dip here, but no big worries. The week prior was solid, the competition increased and this one was a touch more slap-sticky than usual. Still, one of the top-tier comedies on television.

11

Magic City

11

No crime in being No. 11. Everybody's elite. I think Magic City is doing enough to remain in the conversation and to keep tantalizing us with potential, but it could use a breakout episode soon. Just firmer footing, that's all.

Out: 30 Rock takes the biggest dive -- from No. 5 to off the board ("Queen of Jordan" being the least great spoof idea they've had). Community drops off as well -- from No. 6 to nowhere. You can't use contrived as a negative with this series (because it has found the genius in that many times over), but this episode simply didn't work as well as the other comedies that made it this week. Even Modern Family missed out.

In peril: Next week is the last New Girl.

In the mix: 30 Rock, Community, Modern Family and maybe one or two that desire to be elite.