TV Power Rankings: 'Thrones' Up, 'Mad Men' Down

Two more season finales and two returnees to the big leagues.
HBO/Paul Schiraldi
'Game of Thrones.' More, please.

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.

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.



Game of Thrones


When you start yelling at the television, "No, no, no, please don't end!" then you've got something to talk about. Brilliant series. More - that is all.


Mad Men


Lane, we hardly knew ya. And that was kind of the problem. From uppity British deed-doer to canning victim to partner, lover of Playboy Bunnies, cheap drunk, brawler, embezzler and then suicide guy, Lane was all over the map. It often felt like his stories were the last to be told and tacked on wherever. And yet, griping about the character is not entirely like griping about the episode. In this case, still excellent enough to grab a low number.




In the spirit of keeping things concise this week, you have to wonder if Emmy voters are getting this series at all. Is it just too young, weird and insular for them or will they bestow upon Girls the nominations the show so richly deserves? Something to think about, especially after an ep-pee-sode like that.


Magic City


This is a show you'll want to rent, if you're one of the countless people who missed it. There's style galore, sure, and there's sex and violence and a lot of visual candy. But what happens here is that a show with a lot of potential reaches it by the end. And that's a feel-good story for television (and for Starz).


The Killing


Don't read too much into the drop. Magic City was off for a bit and came back for its season finale and deserved that slot. Just remember that The Magnificent Seven is a grand place to be and there's no shame at all in any of those numbers. Besides, The Killing is having a fine year. At least the actors are for sure.




There are moments when Veep drops its punchline attack and goes in for more character development -- which is a good thing, even when you want more swearing and anger. It happened this week and worked out fine because Veep has the horsepower under the hood to race back to the funny when it strays too far. And while some people don't like or get the humor, it's always funny to me.


The Borgias


Welcome back, you nasty papal family! We now find The Borgias in the home stretch of a very successful second season, qualitatively.

Out: It was the season finale of Magic City and Game of Thrones, so that dramatically reduces the field.

In peril: Pretty much anyone who had to go is gone.

In the mix: We scanned the horizon. Doesn't look like it.

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