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. These do contain some spoilers for the shows in question, so if you are not caught up on one of them it is best to skip the description).
1. (NR) Orphan Black: Orphan Black hasn’t missed a beat in Season 2. Picking right up where last season left off, this is the same twisty, non-stop thrill ride I fell in love with and I can’t get enough of it. Helena’s survival, some surprising events involving Mrs. S., and the introduction of Kira’s father mean that revelations are coming fast and furious this season, but the show is still at its best just watching these clones try and work through various predicaments. Sarah is on the run trying to keep Kira safe. Cosima is trying to figure out why the clones, herself included, are falling prey to a particular illness. And Alison is trying to cope with Ainsley’s death, her monitor situation, and her growing paranoia. On top of all that, Tatiana Maslany’s performance is more mesmerizing than ever this season. Orphan Black is firing on all cylinders right now.
2. (NR) Game of Thrones: This and Orphan Black were a bit of a toss-up for me, but I gave Orphan Black the edge since there was that one thing I really didn’t like in this season of Game of Thrones. This is still just a world I love diving into each week and it has been largely excellent so far. The Royal Wedding means this has been a particularly eventful first four episodes for the series which typically ramps up to the big moments towards the end each year. I think through four episodes, I might put it a step behind Season 3 though which had my favorite episode and moment in its fourth outing and nothing particularly problematic during those first four hours. There is so much good material left in Season 4 I expect it to be my favorite season of Game of Thrones by the time the tenth ep finishes up. We’ll have to see if that is true as things continue to unfold.
3. (2) Person of Interest: After the excellent arc that played out back in the Fall, I thought Person of Interest took a little bit to find its footing again. But once it did, it has been fantastic. I particularly love how they’ve been utilizing Root who had been known to fade into the background even early on in this season as a series regular. And Samaritan has thrown a nice wrench into the proceedings. Finch’s disappearance and ensuing drama involving Grace made for some great television in the most recent episode and bonus points are given for how cool Samaritan looks. I would gladly swap out my current Windows for something similar even if it would be an inefficient interface for my typical internet roaming and writing.
4. (3) Rick and Morty: It has been a few weeks since Rick and Morty wrapped up its first season, but there was so much fun to be had in its last couple episodes, I definitely needed to include it one more time in the Power Rankings. April saw two very different episodes. “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind” was very large in scope and included a Trans-Dimensional Council of Ricks and an Evil Morty (both very, very good things). The finale felt a little more low-key as Morty frets over parties being thrown by Summer and Rick. Even though I enjoyed the former a bit more, they were both a lot of fun. And as far as comedies this past season, I’d rank it behind only Brooklyn Nine-Nine which puts it ahead of a slew of returning favorites of mine. Not a bad first outing at all.
5. (NR) Fargo: I’ve never actually seen the movie (something I hope to remedy one day), but due to hearing that the TV series was its own thing, the positive reviews, and FX’s recent track record with original programming, I decided to give this new anthology series a chance. And I’m so glad I did because it has become one of the highlights of my TV week. Fargo features an excellent dark sense of humor and I can’t get enough of watching Billy-Bob Thornton’s trouble-making Lorne Malvo operate. Fargo is off to a great start and is definitely worth a try if you haven’t already jumped in.
Dropped Out: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Previously Ranked: 1, Dropped out because: The season finished up last month), True Detective (Previously Ranked: 4, Dropped out because: It also ended last month), Black Sails (Previously Ranked: 5, Same as the other two).
That will do it for my latest TV Power Rankings. The plan is to do the next two sets every two weeks. This will give me a chance to do a couple more of these before things slow down in the summer. Then I may just take a break until Fall. Feel free to let me know what tops your list these days or even give me a top five of your own in the comments below. Thanks for reading!