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Ah, flux. Such a good thing for the Power Rankings! And it's back in a big way as we swing around to the category that kicked off the latest reboot of these lists — essential dramas.
After introducing a cluster of various topics for the Power Rankings!, it was time to go back and see which new shows were going to slay the older shows and, conversely, which older shows were not going to give any ground to the newbies. And, as expected, there's been a surge of new content across many platforms.
Just a mental refresher, the main rule for the Power Rankings! is that a show has to have had its last episode within a calendar year of the latest list. That's to allow for our Peak TV lifestyles wherein some of you haven't even watched The Wire yet, much less Mindhunter, which just came out on Netflix.
And while a full calendar year is a nod to everyone's limited time and the avalanche of incredibly great programming out there, it's also a welcome and fair parameter that could, in theory, allow a show to be No. 1 for a year. I'm not saying that will happen, but — spoiler alert — somebody has a really firm grasp on the top slot right now.
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), so they won't appear here. 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. Also, some series are new — or newish — and they will rise or fall with the whims of further viewing. In addition, some series that have completed their seasons can rise (or fall) even farther because of the constant re-evaluation of everything that marks the human condition of a critic.
OK, let's do this.
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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