1:49pm PT by Tim Goodman
The Power Rankings! A Titan Goes Out Strong! A Shocker! Flux! A Guy in a Dog Suit!
The best thing about the Great 8 is that in days of short supply, those in the running to be feted by The Power Rankings! really punch one another in the face with ferocity. That's not to say our standard Elite 11 doesn't also have the requisite blood on the floor we enjoy so much in our weekly battle of greatness, but there's a desperation when those in the Great 8 all have excellent episodes. As they did this week. Behold: The Power Rankings! for the week ending June 23. 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.
Well, this should surprise no one. It was the best Mad Men episode of the season and, combined with a flurry of strong second half episodes, truly saved the season. May have saved Don as well, as I wrote in my weekly Mad Men deconstruction. It's saying something that Mad Men's weakest season was a lot better than the best seasons of, say, 90 percent of shows. Something to keep in mind when you harp on it (as I have).
That's quite a jump, yes? Answer: Hell yes. This creeptastic, unexpectedly excellent NBC series goes out in grand style. You could make an argument that Hannibal is, on broadcast television, a viable candidate for any best-three-shows scenario you care to dream up and debate. Better still, it can handle its own in a battle with the stronger crop of cable dramas. Along with CBS' Elementary, I haven't been this impressed with a freshman network series in ages. Bravo.
A simple suggestion that no doubt a lot of fans are already doing: Go back and rewatch. There's a lot you might have missed. (For the purposes of The Power Rankings! this is the fifth episode). The more I watch, the more appreciation I have for the actors. Really hope the Emmy people are paying attention. This episode was indeed one of the ones sent to voters.
This season of Veep has been hilarious and wonderful. The finale didn't disappoint at all. There's barely a muffler on anyone in this show, but even if there are tiny ones we can't see, they came off here. I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets an Emmy nomination for sure, but others on Veep shouldn't be overlooked. Anyone who has HBO should fire up HBO GO and watch both seasons immediately. Everybody else, play catch up as you can. One of TV's comic gems.
Welcome back to The Power Rankings! my beloved gigantic, scruffy Australian guy in a dog suit! How I've missed you. I heart Wilfred. (And, you know, that Jason Gann guy ain't so bad himself.) The FX show is fearless and hilarious and ridiculous and the only one I know that can incorporate philosophy with sick, twisted humor. I want to hug them for that. This was a two-fer episode outing, which I'm not a fan of because it races through the season too quickly, especially in dog years. But I'm assuming this is to fill the hole left by Louie being off. In any case, double your fun.
This drop has nothing to do with quality, since I'm already so clearly leading the bandwagon race on HBO's Family Tree from week to week. With Hannibal and Wilfred coming on strong (or just coming on, in the latter's case), the Elite 8 proves yet again it can be a real bitch to master. Then again, 789 other shows are on the sidelines. So there's that.
Same rule of thumb here -- not a drop in quality so much as a very strong and competitive week all around in the Elite 8. Atmospherically hip and mesmerizing, life at the Miramar Playa continues to entrance. As we are wont to do here at The Power Rankings!, we proudly prod those of you not in the know to get with it and start watching these quality shows. Ahem, like this one. Starz has a creative winner here. Now people need to find it.
Dear IFC: What's the hold up? Where's the season two renewal of Maron? Seriously, this is one of those rare series that began life as something else (well, Marc Maron, for starters, then his podcast) and has impressively materialized as a fully realized television show. You know what you do when that happens? You reward it. Waiting. (In the meantime, excellent episode. I just needed to point out the fact that I want something to look forward to in the future.)
Out: Mad Men, Hannibal and Veep all ended this week. Those are huge losses.
In peril: On the bright side, next week Ray Donovan, Dexter and Under the Dome will all be eligible. So pretty much everybody else needs to bring the strong stuff.
In the mix: Longmire, Copper, The Killing, Graceland, etc. ...