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MAR
2
3 YEARS

The Power Rankings! Two Shows Ousted and Flux Shakes Up The Ranks

All hail the power of the people. And of guilt. Two shows break into the rankings because of both.

Modern Family
Michael Desmond/ABC

Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending Feb. 27. You can blame the Oscars and Charlie Sheen for delaying this post, but neither really listen so save yourself the time. 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 this post on those issues of great import. In the meantime, forget movies and focus on the small screen, where real stories are told. Besides, we have the Elite Eleven instead of the Twee Ten. Let's do this:

 

 

RANK SHOW PREVIOUS TREND COMMENT
1

Justified

1

No show gave Justified a serious run this week. The question is, will any of them? Moving on, it's always good to have more Boyd Crowder involved. Here's a man that ostensibly is trying to change. Or is he? Well, let's assume he is. What you don't want to do in that situation is try to test him. To tempt him back to the dark side. Because he just might take you for a ride. And you won't like it. Here's something to like: Walton Goggins doing the slow, interior thing. It's like watching a package that you think might be a bomb.

2

Lights Out

6

Part of it could be a sadness inside that this show looks for all the world like a one-and-done failed shot at brilliance. But it could also be that the series is getting really, really good. It always has been, but there's a richness here that's important to savor.

3

30 Rock

2

It's just the nature of the Power Rankings! and the crazy world of episodic television that you can have a fantastic episode and slip down a notch. Liz can never win. She strikes a blow for women and, well, everything goes sideways. The period joke always works, by the way. Ten buck says Lutz wrote those.

4

Raising Hope

3

Nothing to worry about here. Sometimes a slight downward shift has more to do with flux than anything else, and you'll see soon enough that two new series entered the Power Rankings! this week. But it says something about Raising Hope that it's now the only freshman comedy in the rankings. It's been funny week to week and surprising that run. Let's give this series a kiss on the neck and wish it continued success. (Although some other freshman comedies are knocking on the door, it's unlikely that they'll make the Top 5.)

5

Southland

N/A

The people have spoken. Hey, that's why the Power Rankings! takes into consideration the viewer's vote. I had watched a couple of episodes and then put Southland aside this season (loved Season 1, hoped for survival and then never got re-hooked when it came over to TNT). But the din for inclusion was loud and repetitive, so I went back to watch a few episodes and ended up watching more, willingly. With the sheer glut of new shows, excellent returning series, personal faces and a horde of unscripted stuff that never even gets considered here, it's hard to make time for everything. That's just the brutal truth. Thanks to Southland fans for rallying behind the show, I'm re-hooked and even though the current season is rapidly fading, it merits a debut in the Top 5.

6

Parks and Recreation

11

Who doesn't love a big jump? Pipe down about the previous episode being better and just live in the glory that is a spike. Between Ron's hunger for meat and Tom's awful smell of success, there was enough to cover up a thin plot. As long as I get my Jerry bash, I'm good. (Although I prefer it to be sustained). And I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for dumping Leslie that way in the past.

7

Community

4

Again, nothing to worry about here. Blame the rankings flux, don't blame the content. Although it might be nice if Abed could get a little closer to people without it all going sideways. And this was a fine episode for pausing (proving once again that sometimes the jokes fly fast and furious and get lost). Lastly, don't underestimate the power of George Michael to crush a man.

8

Fringe

N/A

In this case, it wasn't the fans who needed to speak up. It was regret. I've got a certain kind of love for Fringe. It may never have lived up to its initial, Season 1 hype, but it has become a reliable, entertaining, intriguing and sometimes compelling series. In the tough cuts of last week - hey, winnowing down to the Elite Eleven (yes, this seek still counts as Elite) isn't easy -- I shouldn't have left Fringe out. The series gives that same kind of "X-Files" satisfaction pretty much from week to week. Consistency is important. Apologies for the exclusion. Let us all hug it out.

9

Modern Family

8

Very few times has this series let me down. I always laugh. The ideal is a belly laugh, long and hard, but sometimes sustained humor perfectly parsed by the writers and actors will do just fine. Modern Family is as reliable as they come in that arena. Sad part is, when it came to crunch time, had to toss Archer to the side this week. And that hurts. Maybe Claire and Gloria will give me a hug to get over it.

10

Parenthood

10

Tough call this week. The drama is ratcheting up and frankly, sometimes that relationship stress and parenting comparison/doubt thing really takes a toll on a viewer. Ahem. (Yes, yes, Archer would have solved that problem, but still). The point is, Parenthood is doing great work this season. It's just hard to ignore (even though lots of people apparently are…). It's demanding to be noticed. You can't drop the series off the rankings over a mood swing. Besides, any show below 7 is ostensibly there for the taking. If your show is not here, it didn't step up to the challenge (or I hate it/ignore it).

11

Shameless

5

Congratulations to Shameless (and Episodes) for securing a second season. As a reward, you drop six slots. (Kidding.) Blame Southland and Fringe, two dramas that came in bold and brash. This takes nothing away from Shameless, though. Still worth your time -- and now that it will get a Season 2, you doubters should add it to your NetFlix list and play catch up. Same goes for Southland. At least that's what I'm planning. In the meantime, remember that the 11th spot is the easiest to overtake. Any number of shows that didn't make the cut this week could be here next time. But my guess is Emmy Rossum is not going to make that very easy.

In Peril: It would take more than one bad episode to drop any of the comedies, so they look safe. And nothing on the premiere front looks at all threatening. So something from below will have to really demand attention.

In the Mix: Any show that slides off must automatically be considered a front-runner for a return, so Archer should prepare itself. After that, the field is open: Chicago Code, Glee, The Good Wife, Traffic Light (yes, Traffic Light), The Middle, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Mad Love, Mr. Sunshine and The Office.

Out: Episodes ended its run. Archer got the short stick. No larger mysteries or conspiracies there.