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JUN
4
1 years

The Power Rankings! Comedies Invade! Newbies! Clones! And Blood Everywhere!

Anybody up for a wedding? Have you ever seen someone play 31 roles in the same show? Got Netflix yet?

Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 29 - H 2013
HBO
What? Wha? No, stop! Carnage in "Game of Thrones," your new No. 1.

Three of last week's four absent shows have returned, but the overall quality wasn't quite there to ratchet back up to the Elite 11, so welcome back the Great 8 for a second week. On the plus side, there are a lot of series about to come back on --keep an eye out for Magic City and, at the end of the month, Ray Donovan -- so there should be no real issues about filling the list. In fact, it ought to get back to its bloody best as the summer gets hotter. Behold: The Power Rankings! for the week ending June 2. 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 has its own Facebook Page. You can find links there. And Tim Goodman snarks a lot on Twitter.

 

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1

Game of Thrones

N/A

What the hell did you think was going to land here? This episode poured gas on the interwebs and lit them on fire. Red Wedding indeed, as blood flowed everywhere in HBO's addictive epic. First and foremost, a heartfelt thank you to all of the people who have read George R.R. Martin's books and knew what was coming. Once again you showed admirable restraint in not ruining things for those of us who don't read books. And those of us who are constantly on social media. The opportunities were there and you didn't take them. That means you love the series too much to be a total jackass and ruin it for everyone. Well played. Onward: Whuck? You killed … and you killed and … Oh, God, make it stop! You're killing characters I like. Wait, not the direwolves! Wow, that's messed up. But it was also thrilling. I guess the notion that viewers shouldn't get close to any characters is true, but still we do. Even pros who should know better. That means a series is going above and beyond its job of setting the hook. Great work, GoT.

2

Orphan Black

3

Let the record reflect that we have adored Orphan Black not only since its first episode -- giving it raves -- but when we first glimpsed it during a BBC America sizzle reel. (And yes, if you're new here, the royal "we" gets used a lot, and there is no consistency. Just go with it.) Anyway, what a tremendous freshman season for Orphan Black. This series was easily the biggest surprise on television in 2013. Add to that the fact that Tatiana Maslany has given the performance of her career in a breakout role that puts her firmly on Emmy ground. It would be hard to find a better performance from an actress this season. Exceptionally entertaining, well written, wonderfully acted. It's a shame that there aren't more episodes to soak in. For those of you who have missed it, play catch up by any means necessary so you're ready for season two.

3

Mad Men

1

This is why The Power Rankings! exists. You can be No. 1 for a week and then come back with another very solid episode only to find yourself ass over teakettle and ending up at No. 3. True, it's not a huge drop and it's not even directly related to content. Perhaps it's a testament to the strength of television, where a series that wasn't even on the week before rallies to No. 1 and a series too few people are watching closes out its run in the No. 2 slot. Life is good on television. As viewers, you are blessed, even if you have a secret weakness for reality crap. Listen: AMC's Mad Men has had some ups and downs, but I'm still very much on board with season six. The strengths outweigh any weaknesses at this point. By far.

4

Family Tree

N/A

Holy shit, this show is funny. Does that get the point across well enough? Off for a week and then back with a bang, this Christopher Guest comedy is a true gem on HBO. I loved this episode start to finish. Get on the horse, people.

5

Arrested Development

4

Having watched all 15 episodes -- something a tad bit important before you say the Internet murdered the show -- I know how much better and more complete the series gets in the next episode or two. And yet, even this one -- having rewatched it -- is a sweet little half hour. I think after you're done with season four, what you should do is go back, selectively, and feel what that experience is like. I'm enjoying that experiment. Cliche as it may sound, this season AD really was made to be on Netflix and utilize the unique structure. But anyway, Arrested Development is back and the world is a better place for it.

6

Veep

N/A

What started as a full-on Dramas Only Hootenanny at The Power Rankings! has now evolved into a comedy-dominant thing. That's right -- it's a thing. I love how Veep has stretched its legs a bit in Season 2, how more comfortable it is in its own skin. All of the actors are more sure of their nuances and Armando Iannucci and company have been able to riff with more ease. Again, this shouldn't have to be said, but if you aren't watching Veep then go rent or stream or buy the first season and then get on the bandwagon. We won't hold it against you. (See, there it is -- first person replaced by the royal "we." It's done only to kill off annoying grammarians.)

7

The Borgias

6

I've sort of given up trying to convince people to watch The Borgias every week. When you realize you've missed out on some solid television, you can always find it on DVD or somewhere in the ether later on. But just remember that when you do, if I overhear you saying how much you love it, I'm going to turn to you in a restaurant and say, "Did you also just finish The Sopranos? Are you now a fan of sliced bread and insanely great free apps and funny GIFs?" Whatever. You owe Showtime an apology.

8

Longmire

N/A

Well hello, Longmire. We had a feeling you'd eventually show up here. After some relatively unflattering comparisons to Justified, lots of people (ahem) have calmed down to appreciate what's going on here. A&E was right to renew it. Season one was a success, and it's hard to not like something that Katee Sackhoff graces. We promise to pay a lot more attention now to what's going on in this modern-Western procedural and not just because Katee Sackhoff is in it. But is it too late to call it Katee Sackhoff's Longmire? (Kidding, because Robert Taylor is excellent in the lead.)

Out: Orphan Black. We shall miss you dearly.

In peril: New shows are coming. And not just that "blue sky" nonsense.

In the mix: Maron, The Killing, etc.