Thanks -- or no thanks -- to the TV industry's upfront dog and pony show about next fall's shows, there just wasn't any time to get The Power Rankings! up either on a Monday, as I prefer, or at least by Wednesday. So, behold, the latest (but the greatest?) Power Rankings! ever. We'll all live. But it's important to remember that this represents the week ending May 12.
Yours is not to wonder -- and by that, I mean poke around about where The Power Rankings! have been. These are not the answers you're looking for. Move along. Let's just celebrate the return of the Elite 11, Drama-Only Version by saying, yeah, we missed some damned good shows of late.
Welcome to The Fab Five version of The Power Rankings!, for the week ending June 10. We're getting to that uncomfortable and awkward point of this year-round season where there's still a handful of truly great series out there but not enough to make a very long list. On the one hand, that makes it easier to separate brilliance from enjoyable mediocrity. On the other, it begins to look a little like giving out awards to five really nice kids who participate in a sack race.
Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending June 3.
This is the second week in a row of The Magnificent Seven, as we keep the standards high and the pretenders at bay. In fact, here's a hint, we might be scaling back again next week. But here's the other thing -- lots of great episodes got rewarded this past week, which means there's plenty of fantastic television for you to watch. Now, let's see who the king is this week.
Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending May 27. A lot of great shows had their season finales in the previous version of The Power Rankings! so we're scaling back for this version of The Magnificent Seven. Why seven? Because that's all that we thought were truly great this week. No padding! This isn't some sympathy card to shows that try hard. Be great or get out. We trim the number based on quality, not available quantity.
Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending May 6. April showers (of blood, naturally) bring May, um, stability? Well, it doesn't roll off the tongue but it's mostly true. The only big entry this week and for a few more to come is Sherlock on PBS. More important, we haven't had quite the episodic quality fluctuations of the past, so things at the top are relatively solid.
Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending April 29. So, what have we learned so far? If you answered, "We are in a time of great shows that do no take kindly to other great shows trying to out rank them, so there's blood," then yes, you guessed correctly. And if you wondered out loud who could possibly upset this Elite Eleven, then I'll tell you straight up that it's no one. We have the same Elite Eleven this week that we had last week, but they're in a new order.
Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending April 22. And if you think the bloodshed ends here, you're as insane as King Joffrey. Look, last week might have been the most competitive version of The Power Rankings! ever, and while we lost Justified to its season finale, one great sitcom retuned and the makings of another great one premiered. So, yeah, if you want blood, you've got it. Television is pretty competitively great right now. On my command, unleash hell!
Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending April 8 -- yes, April 8. I was on vacation! Cut me some slack. And not to be a broken record about it, but The Power Rankings! are crazy competitive now and extremely difficult to crack. Also hard? Staying on top. Additionally difficult? Not sliding down a few slots. We're still at the Elite Eleven -- because how could we not be? -- but there's no easy generosity here. You earn it by not bringing the weak stuff.
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.
Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending Feb. 19. Thanks to the glory of television, we expand to the Elite Eleven this week (and some weeks we shrink back to the Great Eight - and then when television is not so glorious, I just go on vacation and don't do the rankings). But hell, lots of blood on the ground this time around. We've got three new entries, two apologies and good shows left wanting. Not long from now, it's going to get even more brutal. But let's assess the change at hand.
Welcome to return of The Power Rankings! Yes, it's been a while. But hell, if the networks can pull shows off for weeks on end and the cable channels can let a year (or more, in Mad Men's case) go by without much comment, so too can I. A lot of great series have come and gone -- and a lot of crappy series have come and stayed -- but we're living in a 52 week television season, so we'll have plenty of time to root out brilliance in the coming weeks and months.