June 11, 2013 3:42pm PT by Tim Goodman
The Power Rankings! A Two-Week Ruler! Comedy Creeps Up! Shows Bow Out!
Indeed, we're kind of limping into the summer and keeping things tight with the Great 8, but there's a chance -- a very good one -- that things will expand by the end of the month, getting us back to the Elite 11.
One huge series bows out this week, as well as a more minor one. The comedies are still in rescue mode, and despite the fact that I'll be heading into vacation mode next week, The Power Rankings! will return, well, because the TV gods demand it.
Behold: The Power Rankings! for the week ending June 9. 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.
Game of Thrones
It's always good to see consistency at the top because, damn, has it been missing this go-round in The Power Rankings! Despite the fact that this was more of a wrap-up episode than, say, a kill-everybody-at-the-wedding episode, Game of Thrones closes out another riveting season at No. 1. It's hard to complain about this series because I wouldn't want to miss a second of it -- a real rarity -- but against its own greatness, season three suffered from carrying so much plot. I'm sure season four, which will cover the last part of the third book, will be more nimble and explosive thanks in large part to this season doing all the heavy lifting. It's only a slight caveat to an otherwise incredible season of dense storytelling, super characters and smart writing.
As I noted with a degree of annoyance in my deconstruction of the "Favors" episode, I don't buy Don being in love with Sylvia at all, or Bob Benson's knee. But I do believe that swinging the show back around to Don and having his world implode when Sally catches him sleeping with Sylvia was an important and painful story. Just the last five minutes of this episode, with Jon Hamm and Kiernan Shipka, was worth triple every other scene. Both played it great -- Sally being crushed that her father isn't the man she thought he was and Don, also crushed, is barely able to think or breathe, and tries to gather himself for one last lie that even he knows won't be believable. Excellent.
A nice jump up for this revived classic which, in this third episode, begins to make more sense structurally, with the genius of Mitch Hurwitz and his writers beginning to really slay the jokes. From here on out, AD takes off and you can expect to see it on TPR! weekly, unless there's a groundswell of greatness out there that I don't know about. Even then, hell, there are 11 slots. Come on.
I hate looking at the calendar and knowing that Veep is coming to an end. This season has been such a joy, with all the characters coming into their own -- the crossfire of jokes whizzing by with glee. This show is never boring. I guess I'll just have to re-watch it when it's all done ... If you're not watching, stop being a drag on the country and get with it.
Speaking of brilliant comedies, have you been introduced to Family Tree? Of course you have, because I reviewed it. Don't make me get the monkey to slander you. Kill, Monk, kill! (OK, that might have been a little too aggro.) But still, here's a show that's ridiculously subtle and when it's not, it's like a punch to your face. All the while, it's actually endearing. Next week brings a big shift to the series, so play catch up if you haven't already.
Well, the weekly pleas are over. After next week, there are no more episodes of The Borgias, ever. The series comes to an end because, well, because of you. No, that's not true. It's because of a lot of things -- mostly because Showtime said so. But I will say this -- it's still underrated. Now, since you had to listen to all my whining, maybe you should rent it at some point and see what it's all about. (It's about corruption and sex and power and religion, for starters.)
Last week there was a promise to pay more attention to Longmire on A&E this season. And look what happened? Up a notch. The Lannister's always … wait, wrong show. But we did keep our promise. And, as a bonus reminder about this atmospheric contemporary "western," let me remind you of this: Katee Sackhoff. Enough said.
NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Well, OK, this was a crazy end to a fun little series that didn't feel the need to adhere closely to history -- particularly when this part of Leonardo DaVinci's life was basically absent from history books, allowing the writers (and series creator David S. Goyer), to have a little fun with historical fiction, even with the first true Renaissance Man. This was the season finale and, no, it wasn't quite as important as Game of Thrones nor last week's ender to Orphan Black, but not all television has to carry that burden. Sometimes there's an element of entertainment that we all need. And even when it gets a little absurd, we keep watching. Until the end.
Out: Game of Thrones.
In peril: Well, Magic City is eligible next week. Then Copper and Under the Dome and Ray Donovan and Dexter a week later. So, yeah, things will tighten up.
In the mix: Maron, The Killing, Graceland, etc.