12:31pm PT by Tim Goodman
The Power Rankings! Are Here! Return of the King! Flux! Tears! Laughter!
I know what you're thinking and yes, as a matter of fact, it's annoying. "Hey, the Power Rankings! are supposed to be out on Monday, not Tuesday. You suck!"
Why do you lash out? Why do you hate? Let me tell you something: the Power Rankings! answer to no god. They appear as they wish or as the world allows them. And the world is often full of time-sucking distractions, like Drinko de Mayo and deadlines. And appointments that can't be skipped. I forgot to pay my rent as well. Happy now?
All that really matters is that the Power Rankings! are here right now and they reflect -- wait for it, because this is the only important part -- the week ending May 4. If that box full of wires of yours can't suss it out, here's a hint: That means that both Louie and 24: Live Another Day are ineligible. They'll be on here next week. Well, one of them will.
In the meantime, this is your Elite 11, charging into the next week. On my command, unleash hell! (Wait, as a reminder, these are for the week ending May 4. OK, got it?)
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.
You could call it a comeback, but it's really more a return to form. Mad Men was great again on Sunday and meshed the 1969 Mets and their miracle season with Don Draper getting down to doing the work and refusing to let SC&P kill him. One man is changing in a positive way on this show, and that man is Don. Look out, world.
Look, you can take nothing away from a one-slot dip when you've got, what, five really great shows battling each other? This is why the Power Rankings! exist. Sure, we've seen some solid runs -- weeks on end at No. 1 -- in the past, but when everybody in the top tier is on their game, things get fun. The audience is the ultimate winner.
Same idea applies here, and I will add this important reminder: Fargo could easily have been No. 1 right out of the gate, every week, and probably would have at any other time. I love this show so much. Don't sleep on it for a move upward.
Well, will you look at this? It's a genre show face-off and the clones just took it to the, um, fantasy people. I'm trying to not go on and on every week about how utterly fantastic Tatiana Maslany is, but she's making it really difficult. This show is fun, has moved its world forward in season two and expanded the roles of the supporting cast. It's not making mistakes; it just rewards the viewer each week without fail. Color me impressed.
Game of Thrones
I've been a devoted fan of Game of Thrones and would never miss an episode, but never have I wanted there to be 13 episodes instead of 10 so much as I do now. There are so many stories to keep afloat that the series lacks forward momentum and, simultaneously, rewarding storytelling. I'm getting frustrated. If there were three extra hours per season, each episode could be less cramped.
Watching television has become -- and this is no complaint, mind you -- much more difficult in that one must carve out a ton of time if one is to stay current. And since this one is getting paid to watch, well, yeah, it has to be done no matter what the clock says. I will admit to a bias in wanting to watch dramas first and saving comedies on the DVR until I have time. But a few comedies never, ever lose their luster and Silicon Valley is one of those. Right out of the box this has been one of TV's funniest comedies. It is nothing short of hilarious each week. A rare feat.
A one-spot slip means nothing in these competitive times, as I see fit to remind you all the time. So this takes nothing away from Moone Boy. There is something to be said for a show that makes you happy. This show makes me happy every time I watch it. What more reasoning do you need?
Have I mentioned that HBO has one hell of a comedy block now? I have? Well, now I've reiterated the point. Both shows have stuck together on the Power Rankings! and that's probably no fluke. Exceptionally funny. Jonah everything.
Hello New Beavertown! Portlandia goes out this season with one of its best episodes and proves once again that it can mine the comedy in ever more creative ways. As I've said in the past, the show has kept the bar pretty high and it's easy to take it for granted. But the work done here almost every week is pretty fantastic and quite the accomplishment. To more seasons. To angry beavers. To weirdness.
Uh-oh. Norman is self-aware. That can't end well. And I would be remiss if I didn't say that nobody puts Norman in a box. (It just had to be done).
Inside Amy Schumer
This might be a good argument to make on a cocktail napkin over drinks: Name one person who has done more this season, in the comedy world, to raise their profile to such impressive heights from, relatively speaking, below the radar? I'd say Amy Schumer, hands down. Though Billy Eichner might be a good bet as well. Well done, Amy.
Out: Archer is over and at least for this week's Power Rankings! the Blacklist fell off. Portlandia has finished so it won't be here next week.
In peril: Louie is coming. It will be here. With authority. We'll have to see about 24. And hello, Penny Dreadful. Yep, there's gonna be carnage and flux.
In the mix: Hannibal (I have to admit, I appreciate the series but no longer feel compelled to stomach it; that's just a personal taste thing). Elementary, The Goldbergs, Legit, Vikings (season finale is over, but it stayed in the hunt a long time). Salem. A reminder that I tried and can't on Turn.