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JUN
20
1 years

The Power Rankings! Depression Rules! Comedy Kills! And Begging Ends!

Two things almost guaranteed to land you in The Power Rankings! - a man curled into the fetal position in total depression and a woman sending a picture of her vagina via cell phone. Quite a week!

Mad Men Season 6 Episode 12 - H 2013
AMC
"Mad Men" makes it look easy this week.

Plenty of excellence to fill the Great 8 again this week, but we're about two weeks away from critical mass and the bloodbath of a well-stocked Elite 11. But you can't rush greatness, so we'll let it flow as nature and the TV scheduling gods intended. This is not only a vacation-version of The Power Rankings!, but a pretty damned sad one as well, given the death of James Gandolfini on Wednesday. Tony never liked to cry in public so we're going to stay strong and do this. Behold: The Power Rankings! for the week ending June 16. On my command, unleash hell!

STORY: 'Mad Men' Deconstruction Episode 12: 'The Quality of Mercy'

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.

 

 

RANK  SHOW  PREVIOUS  TREND  COMMENT
1

Mad Men

2

As I said in my Mad Men deconstruction of "The Quality of Mercy," forget Bob Benson. This is Don Draper's show and the more the series stops its sideways glances and focuses on its core, the better it gets. This penultimate episode of Season 6 was great because it left us with a nearly destroyed version of Don, curled up in the fetal position, having lost every person who he really cares about (or at least did once). He's alone, as he should be.

2

Arrested Development

3

This fourth episode let the synchronicity shine, but the faithful were laughing well before this. Still the industry standard, people. You want to make an all-time great sitcom? Then you try to top Arrested Development. Good luck with that.

3

Family Tree

5

Look, I would watch Monk talk on a video call across the Atlantic for two or three entire episodes. I love Monk. In fact, I love everything about this excellent new Christopher Guest comedy for HBO. And in this episode, we leap to the States to follow the bloodline. Ah, those Americans. We're at the halfway point, people. Jump on the bandwagon and catch up. Season 1 is looking to be one for the books.

4

Veep

4

Dearest Emmy voters: You're paying attention, right? Three excellent sitcoms dominating this little stretch of the rankings. And here's some high praise for Veep: When the episode is finished, normally what I do is watch it again. Like, immediately. The only delay comes from pausing it to pour some more wine. Every line is gold. Watch for yourself and you'll see. Another HBO winner.

5

Magic City

N/A

Welcome back to The Power Rankings! for one of TV's most under-watched gems. As I said in the Season 2 review for THR, this Starz series really surprised last season with its unfurling storyline and the way it met early promise. Luscious to look at and still invitingly easy for newbies to get into, it would be particularly nice if Magic City found a little magic among increased viewers. You see the trend here, right? The Power Rankings! displaying excellent series and prodding everybody to start watching. Nobody said excellence was a right! Don't be that person who says, "Man, you kept talking about all of these shows I wasn't watching and now, five years later, I'm so into them! Thank you!" No, thank you, for starting earlier.

6

Maron

N/A

A hearty welcome back to Marc Maron, whose series has been one of the biggest (and most pleasant) surprises of the season, effectively crossing over his personal life and podcast to a loosely-based-on screen adaption. It works extremely well - better than expected, clearly, or I wouldn't be making such an issue of it. Maron is one of those first season series where you hope for a level that you're not, jadedness on display, really expecting it to achieve. In his case, the show has surpassed it. And it's the first one to check the previously unused box for automatic entry to The Power Rankings!: sending pictures of your vagina via phone. Well played, Maron.

7

The Borgias

6

I suppose (heavy sigh, the dropping of both shoulders, the sound of Charlie Brown music in the background) this is what it looks like when you spend three seasons telling people to watch a show and then it ends for good. Thanks for listening!

8

Hannibal

N/A

I'll be honest here -- Hannibal creeps me out. Yes, I've heard all of your complaints about where the hell is it on The Power Rankings! after popping up here in the early episodes. Well, you know what? In my defense, there was some insane competition in certain weeks. Less of an effective argument is that sometimes I just couldn't bring myself to watch, since, you know, you have to be ready for the gross factor. But hell, it's been renewed and it's completing a (trend alert!) surprisingly good first season, so it was time to suck it up and watch someone get burned alive. I could probably do without the mental tricks where there's a death by gore and then you realize it didn't happen and then another something gruesome happens and, whoops, someone's losing his mind and that was fake, too. Yeah, it's hard enough when the carnage is not a dream. But hey, Hannibal is a seriously good show. Way to wake up to it, NBC. Proud of you. Like that guy who doesn't see the home run ball coming at him, gets plunked in the neck and the ball lands in his beer and he raises it up proudly for the cameras, like it was all planned? That's you, NBC. But at least you held up Hannibal.

Out: Game of Thrones, DaVinci's Demons ended the week prior and The Borgias goes out - for good - this week.

In peril: Well, Copper and Wilfred are in the running next week. Could something lose out? Sure. It's the nature of the rankings.

In the mix: Longmire, The Killing, Graceland, etc...