TV Power Rankings: Week Of 8/1
Quick note about the power rankings: This is a quick glance at what I consider to be the twenty best shows that have aired in the calendar year 2011 thus far. Also? I just really like lists. I’m only one man and, while I watch an obscene amount of television, I haven’t watched everything (yet). I may burn through a month’s worth of a particular show in one week and the results can fluctuate as a result. These ratings are dynamic, thus, subpar episodes of a show on the list may cause it to drop the rankings just as an exceptional episode can boost it. I’ll post these on a semi-weekly basis (except when I don’t) and you can find last time’s rankings in parentheses.
- (2) Friday Night Lights (NBC) – Season 5
- (NR) Breaking Bad (AMC) – Season 4
- (1) Justified (FX) – Season 2
- (4) Louie (FX) – Season 2
- (3) Parks And Recreation (NBC) – Season 3
- (5) Game Of Thrones (HBO) – Season 1
- (6) The Vampire Diaries (CW) – Season 2 (2nd Half)
- (7) Community (NBC) – Season 2 (2nd Half)
- (8) Archer (FX) – Season 2
- (9) Treme (HBO) – Season 2
- (10) The Chicago Code (FOX) – Season 1
- (11) Cougar Town (ABC) – Season 2 (2nd Half)
- (12) Bob’s Burgers (FOX) – Season 1
- (13) Childrens Hospital (ADULT SWIM) – Season 3
- (14) Parenthood (NBC) – Season 1 (2nd Half)
- (15) The Good Wife (CBS) – Season 2 (2nd Half)
- (17) Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) – Season 8
- (18) Lights Out (FX) – Season 1
- (16) Torchwood: Miracle Day (STARZ) – Season 4
- (20) Teen Wolf (MTV) – Season 1
Dropped Out: Falling Skies
- After holding the top spot since the inception of our rankings, Justified drops from the top spot really through no fault of its own as it’s leapfrogged by both Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad. I’ll admit to a large measure of sentimentality in the placement of Friday Night Lights as it aired its note-perfect series finale since the last time I did these rankings and, since I count it as my favorite television show ever, it deserves its place atop this rankings for no other reason than I’ll never be able to put it on top again. Doesn’t hurt that this final season was arguably one of its strongest, either. Keep your eyes peeled for some more FNL content on the site soon. And Breaking Bad? It’s just a masterful series and, for as great as Justified was this season, Breaking Bad’s best is just better than Justified‘s best. It’s really as simple as that.
- Louie is art at this point, and there’s really no higher compliment that can be paid than that. One of the things that I admired most about its debut season was that Louis CK wasn’t scared to take risks and sometimes those risks paid off and sometimes they didn’t, but he always tried. He hasn’t toned down that adventurous nature one bit in the show’s second season but this time? Everything is hitting. From spending over half of an episode in a car engaging only in conversation with his two elementary-school age daughters and shamelessly rocking out to The Who’s “Who Are You” on the car stereo to this week’s unrequited, soul-baring declaration of love to friend/companion Pamela (played by his Lucky Louie co-star Pamela Adlon, with whom CK has amazing chemistry), Louie has taken a giant leap forward from an already wildly successful debut year. If you’re not watching, you’re truly missing out on some historically good television.
- Two shows that have been reviewed here on the site, Torchwood: Miracle Day and Falling Skies, have been varying degrees of frustrating thus far but at this point I think I have more faith in Torchwood being able to right itself than Falling Skies. Perhaps that’s because Torchwood, on the basis of still having seven episodes to air, has more time than Falling Skies (which airs its two-hour first season finale on Sunday night) to course-correct, but for critics who seem to be bemoaning the saccharine nature of Falling Skies‘ tone… I’m starting to agree. Look, it’s a fun show to watch with my five-year-old son, but a series that had the potential to be discussed among some of TV’s best seems to willing to settle for bland when it could have been more bold. And that’s kind of disappointing.
- Finally, it’s not reflected in these ratings but a show that I’m keeping an eye on is MTV’s new comedy, Awkward. I can’t believe that I’m currently watching two series on MTV (Teen Wolf being the other) but the wife and I ended up watching Awkward‘s first three episodes late the other night after really only intending to check out the pilot simply because we enjoyed it so damn much. It’s got a bawdy tone that’s more reminiscent of the American Pie franchise than anything that’s usually seen on television but has a “be true to yourself” type of message that’s important for teenagers in this day and age to hear. Plus it’s actually quite funny and Ashley Rickards is a find in the lead role. Count me as very interested in seeing how this one fares as its season progresses.
- As always, feel free to chime in on the comments with your thoughts on what may be too high or too low in the rankings.