The Power Rankings! A Killing, End Of An Empire And Two Newbies!

Just because you've been No. 2 for a long time, doesn't mean you're safe from the ax.
"Game of Thrones"

Welcome to The Power Rankings! for the week ending June 19. I decided to stick with the Magnificent Seven theme again this week because it effectively keeps the rankings a difficult entry. In fact, you may notice that a major player has been barred. There was just no way to include it and keep my dignity. Next week, I'll expand The Power Rankings! because some very good shows are coming out. A short hiatus will crop up soon after, but I'm not going to miss the return of Breaking Bad, so no worries. 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 (free beer and ponies to those who like and follow).



Game of Thrones


What an incredible run for Game of Thrones, a legitimately great series in its freshman season. It had a stranglehold on The Power Rankings! for most of its run and we might not see that kind of domination again until Breaking Bad comes back. The finale to Game of Thrones not only set up Season 2 cleverly, it concluded a number of story arcs (particularly Daenerys') in a satisfying way. Well, satisfying only because we can't have more until next spring. And I think my new favorite character is Lord Commander Mormont. Dude rules. Anyway, HBO has a new franchise series. Long may it reign.


Men Of A Certain Age


Bottom of the 9th. Two out. Men needs to rally. So put your rally caps on. As much as I'd love for TNT to get a number it can live with, I'm not so certain that if the show falls short, it will be saved merely because it's great. Kinda sad, that. But television is a business, mostly -- not a funder of the arts. So, rally caps, everybody. And how about an Emmy nomination or two?




Remember that thing I just said, above? You know, about art and business? Well, pay cable may be the exception. One of the most baffling things I hear -- almost everywhere -- is that people are not watching Treme. I get that if you're not an HBO subscriber. But if you are? Well, again, here's a great drama on American television that needs as much love and support as possible to tell these amazing stories - stories that creep up and surprise you with their impact days after you've seen them. The silver lining here is that HBO seems intent on keeping Treme going, no matter what. So for that, someone play an uptempo number right now.


Friday Night Lights


Fresh off a pre-empting, FNL returns just in time to remind us why we keep watching even when it would be a lot easier to watch a sitcom. Losses are hard. That's the moral of the story this week. That and something along the lines of, "Hey, Vince, stop being a dick." Hope all of those who professed a love for FNL have been keeping up (or did you all just by the DVD?). In any event, here's the rare situation where a TV show doesn't need to worry about ratings at all.


Falling Skies


Aliens have destroyed the world and a small band of people with limited communications and weapons have to rally together to stay alive? Hells yes! There's a reason that some concepts keep popping up again and again. TNT's Falling Skies is a bit like The Walking Dead in that it's a classic tale of survival in dire situations. But something tells me that even with Steven Spielberg's name attached, Falling Skies doesn't have a big budget. And that's a good thing. Like the reimagined Battlestar Galactica before it, Falling Skies has that scrappy look to it that hints it will rely more on story than action going forward. Call this series what you will - guilty pleasure or surprisingly good genre series - but what it really is is wonderfully entertaining. Welcome to the Top 5, Falling Skies. Oh, and Moon Bloodgood. Still getting it done.


The InBetweeners


I haven't had a chance to apologize for not reviewing one of my favorite comedies (which totally killed other sitcoms in The Power Rankings! back in Season 2). I'll probably get to a mini-review soon enough, but if I don't there's always The Power Rankings! to fall back on. It's so great to see that the boys haven't really matured all that much and remain funny as hell. BBC America is airing this last Season 3. Go find it. Go find all of it.


Children's Hospital


I'm not even sure where to start about the last episode. Part of me wondered if I wasn't sleeping and that some crazy mix of happy pills and Xanax and red wine had created this really funny but loosely bizarre series I couldn't look away from. What about the clowns, people? Who will help the clowns?

In Peril: Everything. I'm feeling cranky.

In the Mix: Well, Louie and Wilfred will air next week. There are some BBC series (other than The InBetweeners) that I haven't found time for. They could rally.

Out: In case you didn't notice, The Killing, which had its finale on Sunday, is not on this list. The less that's said about that, the better. In far sadder news, Game of Thrones has ended. And both South Park and Camelot from last week have finished their series.

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