by Matthew Thompson
I’m back with another set of TV Power Rankings where I check in with what I believe are the five best shows going at the moment. These are very much a “what have you done for me lately” kind of thing, so they put the emphasis on the past month or so while still looking at the season as a whole. A bad week or short hiatus is enough to drop you a few spots while one spectacular episode can give you a boost. With that said here are my latest rankings (Note: The number in parentheses is their rank in the previous rankings. If they were not ranked, I put NR for Not Ranked. If you’d like to see my previous TV Power Rankings they are compiled here. I’ve also added a “Dropped Out” feature at the bottom to explain why some shows from last time didn’t stay in).
1. (2) Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Before the start of the new network season, I expected Brooklyn Nine-Nine to deliver. The talent involved just seemed too good for it not to. But I didn’t expect it to be this amazing so early in its life. Every character works here and while some episodes weren’t as good as others, I can’t remember a dud in the bunch which is quite the accomplishment for a 22 episode season. The finale ended things perfectly with an episode that had me laughing throughout, but also put the characters in a good spot going into next season (I particularly liked Jake’s admission to Santiago before heading off to his stint undercover). The end result is one of the best first seasons ever for a comedy joining great company like Scrubs, Sports Night, Frasier, Party Down and Arrested Development.
2. (NR) Person of Interest: POI might have been the best drama of the fall. If these power rankings had been a thing back then, it would have found itself near the top for about three months. But after wrapping up the main arc there, it has been a little up and down. I’m happy to say things seem to be back on track. “/” where we get a heavy dose of Root being awesome was also probably the best episode on TV in March and the flashback episode about Finch’s partner pre-Reese wasn’t too shabby itself.
3. (NR) Rick and Morty: After a few months of hearing praise for Rick and Morty, I finally jumped in and caught up this month. I couldn’t believe just how hilarious it was. Rick’s various inventions and dimension hopping make for such creative story ideas. Along with a host of laughs, I was surprised how well it handled some darker moments which could have easily felt out of place. While this show may be getting a bit of the “I just watched all the episodes this month” bump, recently we had great episodes that included Rick tangling with the devil and the improvised absurdity of the family watching other dimensions’ television shows. Even if you don’t normally watch cartoons, you should give this one a try. It’s too good to miss.
4. (1) True Detective: I still think True Detective is the best show of the year, but the finale left me a little unsatisfied. I think the final act of the show, that takes place solely in 2012, couldn’t quite match the early parts that had more mystery surrounding the characters and events as well as the unique framing device of the detective interviews. For those reasons and since it hasn’t been on for a couple weeks which again is a factor in these rankings for me, it drops this month. There was still a lot to love though. The scene of Rust chasing the villain of the piece through Carcosa is a sequence that will stick with me in particular. McConaughey’s performance has been one of my all-time favorites on the small screen as well.
5. (NR) Black Sails: Over the course of its last few episodes, Black Sails became the show I wanted it to be from the beginning. Flint and his crew finally got out to sea for the type of pirate-y adventures that I tuned in for in the first place. The way their search for the Urca turned out managed to be both surprising and satisfying. They also finally took Vane’s character in an interesting direction. The finale was exactly how you want to finish off a season and has me excited to see how they build on this momentum in Season 2.
Dropped Out: Parenthood (Previously Ranked: 3, Dropped out because: The writers are making me hate Julia and Joel), The Americans (Previously Ranked: 4, Dropped out because: No good reason, probably would have been 6th, kind of wanted to include Black Sails since it ended so well), Arrow (Previously Ranked: 5, Dropped out because: Laurel was killing me last episode and the Roy/Thea thing was kind of stupid).
That will do it for my latest TV Power Rankings. I’ll be back with a new set in four weeks which should see them shaken up quite a bit with B99 and True Detective over (the only two shows to be on all three sets of rankings so far) and new premieres for favorites of mine like Game of Thrones and Orphan Black. Feel free to let me know what tops your list these days in the comments. Thanks for reading!