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This round of the Power Rankings! was supposed to go to comedies but that just wasn't possible. Why? Because dramas, as they are wont to do, got on a very big roll with some very strong premieres, plus there's the continued magnetic engagement of those shows already out there in the ether.
So, we stay with what's hot.
What I'm liking about the current iteration of the Power Rankings!, for which every drama that has aired within a year of the latest list is eligible (because, you know, Peak TV), is that it combines a kind of hybrid formula that serves two purposes rather well. First and foremost, it's a tally (in order, as all good lists should be) of the best dramas currently out there in the endlessly vast and streamable TV universe. But secondly, the new nature of the list and the world we live in allows for interest-based fluctuations. And that seems as realistic as anything we do here. Meaning, while the upper echelons of the rankings hew very sternly to the notions that A) these are the best shows on television, no matter when they came out and B) the top five positions are particularly bloody, there's also room in the rankings to let series rise and fall (and even drop off) based on how much interest they can maintain over a year; how they are affected by the vagaries of mood and moment (and even weather — some shows are clearly of the snuggle-up-and-deep-dive variety).
I really have come to embrace this element and it's particularly clear in this current iteration, as several series dropped off for no other reason than I've been more interested in revisiting something else instead. In a world where series are available to stream on the major platforms of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, plus on their origin sites, there's never a need to wait and thus mood is a major player. If I'm constantly referring friends and strangers alike to something like Counterpart on Starz, because it's the best show currently on television, then that's its own driver. But if I'm also constantly trying to get people to discover The A Word or Detectorists or Get Shorty — series most people haven't seen but need to — that's a testament to their value.
In a few instances, some of my favorite series — Fargo, for example — fell off the list because they haven't been top of mind, or feel like something that's passed or merely shows that fall victim to the whims of touting shiny new things (like the new season of Legion, for example). It doesn't make them less great. It makes the Power Rankings! more reflective, to some degree, of how people actually choose to watch series (mood of the moment, constant touting/badgering, availability, etc.).
OK, let's do this. A quick reminder: It's impossible to watch every show every week, and there will be some that I just haven't gotten around to watching yet (for example: Top of the Lake: China Girl, The Alienist, The Crown Season 2, etc.) Of course, lots of dramas won't appear here that I have watched because they're not good enough to crack the list yet, which is the point of the whole thing in the first place.
All hail the series that can hold the No. 1 ranking the longest. Below, you'll see two numbers. The number on the left is the current ranking, the one on the right was its previous ranking.
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William Jackson Harper
Friends: The Reunion