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MAY
20
4 MOS

The Power Rankings! Too Much Greatness! Elite 11 Goes Hardcore! Also: Flux!

Louie Episodic 5/5 - H 2014
K.C. Bailey/FX
Welcome, "Louie." Good to see you again.

Can I say it one more time for emphasis? OK, here goes: We're living in amazing times. This is a damned solid Elite 11 and it basically leaves no room for hackery (unless it's my own). So many great shows, so little room to allow someone to sneak in on appeal. Of course, we're heading into finale territory for some of these shows, so no doubt the coming weeks will have more flux, But right now, top to bottom, this is muscle on bone, people. Every show here is getting it done. Now for the important issue: Despite the fact we're a day late (again), these Power Rankings! are for the week ending May 18. That means that nothing from Monday counted. Here's to the continued amazing times of television. On my command, unleash hell! (Wait, as a reminder, these are for the week ending May 18. 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.

 

RANK  SHOW  PREVIOUS  TREND  COMMENT
1

Mad Men

1

"The Strategy" was one of those Mad Men episodes that ambitiously attempts a number of backflips and then lands them when you think the time has run out. A beautiful final scene in Burger Chef brought it all home. Well done.

2

The Americans

2

Another great episode -- they are stacking up now -- left this one of the most difficult decisions of the modern day era of The Power Rankings! The Americans ends Wednesday night and that could very well upset (yet again) the Mad Men run. Can't wait to see what's in store. A superb series that really grew into all of its promise this season.

3

Orphan Black

4

Another series that just got better in its second season - because it needed to branch out and did with aplomb -- Oprhan Black has been proving that it's more than just the genius of Tatiana Maslany. The rest of the cast has truly stepped up, the writing is solid and the directing sharp and creative. And yes, I'm worried about Mrs. S. A lot. But I do love Helena.

4

Game of Thrones

5

Things are getting really good. I guess that could be said most weeks. But I've had less to complain about the last two weeks and I'm looking forward to a very epic battle. You don't give up on Tyrion like you don't give up on the gravy, people. Good gravy is like a very thin sword to the heart when it's made perfectly.

5

Fargo

3

Don't get mad at me -- something must come down if other things go up. It's science. Not that Fargo has yet delivered a bad episode. We're just living in those amazing times as mentioned above. Each week, one great show can supplant another. And that's what happened. Don't kill the messenger. Or the maker. And don't tell Lorne Malvo. He seems to be aware of pretty much everything, though. I'd rather spend a night in jail with Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench.

6

Louie

N/A

Perhaps this is a good spot to reiterate that this week's Power Rankings! are focused on the week ending May 18, which means that we're talking about Louie episodes "So Did the Fat Lady" and "Elevator 1" -- got it? Also, since the onslaught of upfronts destroyed our ability to even have a Power Rankings! last week, then this is the first official introduction to Louie. Hi, Louie. You are spectacularly great (and I said so here, before your season started). I wish FX wasn't running double-episodes so that you could stay in the rankings longer, but no matter. I still smell dominance.

7

Penny Dreadful

N/A

I like it. And I said so, early on. Keep the weird coming. And keep the writing top notch.

8

Moone Boy

7

Nothing to worry about here. The drop was competition, not quality. Where's me jumper?

9

Veep

8

Flux is a bitch but Veep has been as strong as ever this season. Actually, it's always been strong. I know some people think it was "finding itself" in Season 1. But go back and watch it and you'll realize it was mostly there. These last two seasons have just hammered that home. And this season may be my favorite.

10

Silicon Valley

6

Again, the flux capacitor strikes again (well, sort of). Still, the Rookie of the Year comedy candidate just keeps up the funny. And the searing. There is joy in mocking. And I love the joy here.

11

The Blacklist

N/A

I quite enjoyed the two-episode "Berlin" finale, but the last one in particular parlayed the show's strengths into a fun episode. James Spader single-handedly made me watch every single episode of this season and I don't regret a minute. I often think that cable has -- with ease -- the best dramatic performances in all categories, but it wouldn't bother me one bit to see Spader get a rightful Emmy nomination for his work here. I think the writers can stop the delay in the father-daughter conceit, but otherwise I quite enjoyed this show.

Out: Well, Portlandia and Bates Motel ended, plus Inside Amy Schumer dropped off, but with two episodes left to contend with, I full expect her back.

In peril: There's always peril, but I think next week will be quiet. It's not like Gang Related or Rosemary's Baby is going to jump in here.

In the mix: OK, some have complained that I haven't listed The Good Wife as "in the mix." Done. But yes, the season is over. And no, not everything is in the mix. There' always peril, true. But not everything is in the mix. Let's just leave it at that for this week.