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MAR
14
2 YEARS

The Power Rankings! Rumblings At the Top, Chaos At the Bottom!

Expansion to the Elite Eleven can't stop the ripples and it gets worse next week

The Walking Dead Strick Main Image - H 2011
David Strick

Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending March 11. Finally, we have some movement in the upper echelon. And in a week where we expand back to the Elite Eleven, there's quite a bit of jostling and flux and punches to the face in the lower region. That's what we like in The Power Rankings! A good scrum. Beyond that, lots of great shows are coming. Tell your god to ready for blood.

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

Justified

1

I like when Raylan gets in trouble and he gets surly. And when Art starts to get agitated. And when Harlan looks like a place where "the winning side" will be the last person standing. Oh, you can tell it's on. Justified is going to get more strange and bloody as we go. That Quarles fellow? He might be coming unhinged. Oh, and yep, still No. 1 after all these weeks.

2

The Walking Dead

4

First off, that's how you jump up two slots in a hard fought battle. You take risks. You kill off characters. You tighten up the focus and unleash the zombies. And if you want to get a little odd, you give a kid a gun and he puts on his dad's cowboy hat and -- bang! -- he saves a life and takes a zombie down with one pull of the trigger. Now, time to run like hell!

3

Luck

2

It's not like taking an ashtray and bashing its head in, people. Luck just fell victim to a really great episode of The Walking Dead. Don't sleep on the Power Rankings! It'll get you every time. But hell, this was also an exceptional episode of Luck, which just continues to pay off in each episode. How great is Michael Gambon? He's very great, that's how much. But I don't think Ace's plan for revenge has come completely unraveled yet. It's getting good. Now the show has to solve the problem of horses dying during production. That's just not acceptable. 

4

Southland

3

I love Southland even when some of the cases seem too easy to solve. So it was nice to see that the main death of the nanny falling from the parking structure was random and not the more obvious husband. Hand claps. Better. OK, now for something that truly needs to be addressed: How about the writers send Lydia out on a call that doesn't involve a baby or mothering issues? We get it. She's pregnant. She's in a situation. Having her work cases that only involve kids and parenting to illustrate how difficult the road ahead could be, well, that's just getting a little exhausting. Otherwise, still love to watch. And love how it's shot.

5

Archer

5

Archer doesn't want to let go of the No. 5 slot. And at this point, Archer gets what it wants. Because it's insanely funny. And no other comedy could top it this week.

6

30 Rock

8

It's never tiring to see Jack (Alec Baldwin) square off against his dreaded nemesis, Kaylie (Chloe Moretz), because the thought of Jack being duped by an evil 14-year-old girl always makes me laugh. As does 30 Rock, which keeps roaming the Power Rankings! with no intention of leaving. So much cleverness in "Standards and Practices." Plus America's Got Kidz Singing! But here's a favorite from Jack: "Once again, Lemon, I leave your office more confused than when I entered, but having glimpsed another tile in the rich mosaic that is your menstrual history." Also, Moretz is awesome. She really is.

7

Life's Too Short

7

Some stability here for a series that has yet to let down. The Steve Carell cameo was predictably funny and Warwick Davis' ability to make this show increasingly uncomfortable is a joy to witness.

8

Raising Hope

N/A

After a week off, the best comedy you're not watching returned to its normal chaos and craziness, with a drunk mayor, a riff on the 99 percent and protestors with no spine, Katy Perry with facial hair and Burt Chance being Burt Chance. Oh, and maybe the best bra joke of the last 10 years. Welcome back!

9

Parks and Recreation

6

Bit of a drop here, but the Nick Offerman scripted episode had plenty of laughs, as usual. Other comedies this week just had more. That's all. Nobody said this was fair. Or easy. However, "That's a maybe" qualifies as one to remember. And every time Lady Place is mentioned, I still laugh out loud.

10

House of Lies

N/A

A little of this show goes a long way and it's true that it can feel a bit one-note from week to week, which is precisely why it dropped off recently. But here's the thing: Don Cheadle is still killing it. He's still the clear front-runner for the Emmy. And now that the show is staying true to expanding -- meaning there's drama and sympathy and other emotions involved -- it needs to be reckoned with.

11

Bob's Burgers

N/A

Welcome to the Power Rankings! Bob and family! This episode was so good it had to expand the entire rankings to fit. But that's fine. We do that when it's merited. It's not like we got a "fun-cussion" while doing it. And with random one-offs like "I taste the Korean War!" tossed in, well, it felt as weirdly hilarious as 30 Rock. Sure, there's still too many fart and boner jokes in this show (too easy, people, way too easy), but there's a lot to like here.

Out: Well, Modern Family had the week off. Might be more than oneweek  as well. Awake had a strong episode, but not enough to hold on to that last slot.

In peril: Something has to give soon. Community is coming back this week. Mad Men is around the corner. So is Game of Thrones. And -- don't laugh -- The Killing. And I'm already on record as saying Girls is going to do some serious damage to this list. Plus: Frozen Planet, people! Stakes are raised.

In the mix: Community, Shameless, Suburgatory, New Girl, The Middle, Frozen Planet.