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3 YEARS

The Power Rankings! Uh-oh. Revolution at the Top! Panic Everywhere!

Another new king? Who can hold down No. 1 in this chaos?

Davos Seaworth
Helen Sloan

Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending April 1.

I pity the fools. I really do. And by fools, I mean comedies. How are they supposed to compete with this onslaught of great dramas? It's almost not fair. But then again, The Power Rankings! don't care about fair. We care about greatness! Sorry, carried away there.

Anyway, brutal week. Tons of brilliance. Blood at the top. Instability. Flux. All the things we enjoy because it means there's a lot of great TV on right now.

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.

 

RANK  SHOW  PREVIOUS  TREND  COMMENT
1

Game of Thrones

N/A

Down goes Frazier! If you're going to take out Mad Men, you'd better bring it. And the sprawling, epic and excellent Game of Thrones did just that. Even with a handful of genre series walking around with legit gravitas, I can't remember any one of them as good and as reliably great as Game of Thrones. The Power Rankings! just became a weekly battle of episodes. Don't bring the weak stuff, or blood will be everywhere! All hail the new king!

2

Mad Men

1

Well, that was a quick reign. But the brilliant Mad Men should not look at this dip as a reflection of its episode. Everybody pretty much loved the whole Beefy Draper-Francis plotline. And the new kid is weird. And 1966 is kicking it (Rolling Stones, Harry getting stoned, etc.). It was indeed a strong and very different episode of Mad Men, but Game of Thrones was better. That's all. And that's enough.

3

Justified

2

Well, hell, this is what happens when some show takes over the top slot in its first outing. There's flux. Shows move down. But "Measures," too, was an excellent episode of Justified. It just keeps getting more intense (and weirder) every week. And you know things are heading for a boil. Someone, or more likely more than one, will get put down. It's just life in Harlan and with Raylan being so good on the draw.

4

Magic City

N/A

It's not supposed to premiere until April 6, but the network did a sneak of Magic City on March 30, then made the first three episode available online. I have no idea what to do next week, when they simply replay the pilot, but I liked it enough to include it twice if need be. Yes, it's a mix of Mad Men and The Sopranos and is trying for something unique to itself. I'm not sure it's there yet, but I'm more than willing to let Magic City find its way, at least until or if it gets hopelessly lost. As of now, I liked the first three I saw, so it'll be around these rankings for at least that long. Man, it's getting crowded up in here.

5

30 Rock

6

Holy dramatic onslaught, Batman! Which comedy will step up each week and beat back the dramas? Well, you can probably put a lot of money on Liz Lemon. She never changes. Always steady, always funny. Just like 30 Rock. And by the way, if you're complaining because you want this show to be something else, you're missing the joke(s).

6

Raising Hope

8

You know what other show could fend off a high-end drama? This one. Do you know why? Virginia and Burt Chance. Do you think they fear the White Walkers? Of course not. Do you think they're afraid of Raylan Givens? Hell no. They're probably related. I'll put my money on Raising Hope to fight as hard as any comedy will or can.

7

The Killing

N/A

Oh, you thought I was going to ignore this one, didn't you? I can't blame you, especially if you've been following my tweets. But listen, my anger and frustration over The Killing has everything to do with last year. Every show deserves a fresh start, and I actually liked this one, mostly for the acting. There are plenty of episodes left for The Killing to mess up and get bounced down and then off The Power Rankings! But it hasn't happened yet.

8

Community

7

For the record, I don't care what Dan Harmon is like in person. I don't care about Chevy Chase and his issues, either, so whatever you've heard about their feud, it doesn't apply at all critically to the show. That said, one less character -- who often felt shoehorned into the show -- frees up a lot more lines for the others. That works. And do you know what else works? Harmon's vision. It's unique and original, and he kept pounding it out the way he wanted to no matter what. It's nice that the core audience is helping keep the show afloat. Now, don't fight amongst yourselves and ruin it, dammit. Otherwise you'll find a CBS drama in this slot come next week.

9

Shameless

N/A

OK, some explanation is in order for a show I truly loved last season and liked quite a bit this season. True, it's making its first appearance in The Power Rankings! after its season finale (excellent), but there's a reason. Actually, two: Last season, Shameless was creatively erratic but never less than riveting because it was super-gritty, and it was fresh. The missteps in tone -- Frank, Frank, Sheila, Frank -- were offset by the ambition and what worked. This season, many of the uneven parts remained, and that lessened my interest in watching it, which led to falling behind (just like real viewers in real life) and being too lazy to catch up (ditto). But when I did, the last few were definitely worth it. Looking for more consistency next season.

10

New Girl

10

More than one person said touting New Girl the past two weeks was like begging. Well, yeah, exactly. Nobody knows what it's like to give up on a show early and then come back later to find it's massively improved like a critic (who waits until all the early adopters wade through the crappy episodes until the improvement shows). So anyway, it's fine to beg. You should watch.

11

Bob's Burgers

11

Let's continue this theme. The one about dramas invading this space? Well, The Borgias is coming. And Girls after that. And Veep -- well, that's a comedy. But still. Space is at a premium here. It makes me worried about Bob and his kids. Let's keep it funny, people. I want to see you here. But there are no guarantees. There never are.

Out: Southland, Luck and Archer are over. Life's Too Short had the week off, as did Parks and Recreation and Modern Family.

In peril: You're kidding right? The bottom half?!

In the mix: We take all comers.