4:01pm PT by Tim Goodman
The Power Rankings! Fire-Breathing Dragons Light Everyone Up! Pushing and Jostling! A New No. 1 - Again!
Game of Thrones is one of my favorite series. I look forward to it every week. It's like having a gigantic meal. A lot of meat on those bones. But that doesn't mean it wins every week. There's stiff competition in the Elite 11 and I would argue that three consecutive weeks of some other show being just a bit greater was starting to annoy fans. I know this because they've let me know. A lot. But here it is, so all hail the new king! But can it stay there?
Shockingly, since restarting the rankings, no series has held the No. 1 slot for two consecutive weeks. So let's go, GoT. Also, let it be known that I'm writing this on my staycation, so all complaints must be left to a minimum. Now then, welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending April 21. On my command, unleash hell.
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.
Game of Thrones
We've got a dragon and we know how to use it. (Oh, and now we've also got an army. Game changer, anyone?)
If that's the very last episode of Southland, it went out just right by me. However, if the show does come back, it will be weaker by the - apparent - loss of Cooper (Michael Cudlitz). Otherwise, fitting. Downbeat, with faint glimpses of hope. For the record, Cudlitz - yet again - gave an Emmy-worthy performance. The Last Great Cop Show was undervalued across the board. A shame, that. Superb series.
Top of the Lake
Just a thing of beauty, all the way around. Also a visual gut-punch and a keenly observed and written miniseries. If you missed it, track it down. Wow.
People, people, people. You have the DVR - use it for good. There's no way this series should be so under the radar. Oh. and BBC America, you can send the rest of the episodes now. Let's do this.
I know what you're thinking. "Where's 'Mad Men.' Come on!" Listen, nobody gets handed anything here. There are so many great series going on right now I fear all the early buzz for the greatness and ambition of The Americans is starting to cool. That would be ill-advised. How can anyone not look forward to seeing this every week? And do you need reminding again that in a television world with plentiful options, keen use of the DVR is a must? But listen, on this one, watch it live. It deserves that.
Well, this show is trending in the wrong direction since the two hour premiere, isn't it? I have a lot of theories. Most of them good ones. But let's go with this kind of nebulous but not dismissible notion, since I'm on my staycation: The loss of glamour is hurting the allure. Those 1968 suits are killing me. And Pete's hair. Somehow getting away with bad behavior was easier to do when everyone was dashing and their lines cut just so. I've never been a big believer in the legacy of Mad Men having anything to do with the clothes or the culture, but damn if all the drinking and whining and unlikable things are less tolerable with bad clothes, bad hair, and a full eight TV years of not learning a damned lesson.
House of Cards
If you're not watching a show at the same speed as other people, is a jump in the rankings just a tree falling in the forest?
For a show doing well enough in the Nielsen ratings to get renewed, I almost never hear anyone talking about this show. Was it streamed on Netflix without my knowledge? Seriously, there's some impressive, though at times incremental, forward movement for this series. I would think there'd be more chatter about it.
Welcome, newbie! It's been a long time since I've been at least initially invested in a Syfy series, so this is a nice change. Could it be more and better? Sure. But I liked that opening volley. I like the premise. I'm eager to see more. Seems like sci-fi needs a little creative boost to the genre until Falling Skies comes back, so I'm not going to nit-pick just yet. Congrats on the Top 10 entry.
Da Vinci's Demons
Already this series improved in the second episode (though the spot-drop has more to do with the flux of others being good as well). The series has been renewed so maybe those wary about investing their time will jump on board and let it grow. As I've said before, it's about Leonardo Da Vinci. Come on! The dude was interesting. No way around it. Give the show a chance.
Do you see what happened here? These Vikings beat up on Hannibal! They weren't afraid. They don't creep around behind police lines. They just go destroy stuff. And you thought they'd give up their status in the Elite 11 so easily? You've got to want it, people. You've got to deliver.
Out: Hannibal falls off, hopefully temporarily. And now Southland is over, hopefully not forever. Also ended: Top of the Lake.
In peril: Rectify is eligible next week. Let me tell you something - Rectify will be on this list. It will need to be seriously reckoned with. And yes, I do know this is another All Drama Week. How can it not be?
In the mix: Borgias, Hannibal, Hemlock Grove, Call the Midwife, Elementary, Grimm, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, Veep, Rogue, etc.