Monday, November 15, 2010

Ranking Fall 2010's New TV Series UPDATE

I said about a month back when I first ranked this season's new TV shows that I would, quote, "go back and edit this post to insert the new shows in my rankings." But I've done like the Republican Party's fictional version of John Kerry and flip-flopped, deciding that editing my original rankings would border on dishonest. No, I must reap what I've sown and allow my original rankings to remain online until the internet finally crashes forever, so I will instead do brand new (but mostly similar) rankings and explain any shifts I've made.

First off, The Walking Dead has been inserted into the good tier, because it's a good show. Little explanation needed there. But I will say that FX's Terriers has developed into a truly wonderful season of television, one that everyone should watch, and I went back and forth a million times on whether or not to switch it to #1 and move Boardwalk Empire down to #2. I eventually decided to stick with Boardwalk as my top pick because its gorgeous production values and epic sociopolitical scope are hard to beat, but there's no character or performance on Boardwalk that I love as much as Donal Logue as ex-cop private investigator Hank Dolworth on Terriers. Easily my favorite new TV character this year, brought to life by a performance that deserves awards recognition. Consider the two shows for all practical purposes tied.

You may notice that I've notched ABC's No Ordinary Family, which I originally shit on and declared worse than season four of Heroes, up into the watchable tier alongside Running Wilde and The Event. And yes, I'm still watching it. I'm not taking back the spirit of what I originally said, as I still think the family drama subplots are overwritten after school specials, but the main story of the superpowers can be fun and it has fine comedic supporting performances from Autumn Reeser and Romany Malco. I also read an interview with the actress who plays the daughter where she named Friday Night Lights as one of her favorite shows, which brutally twists my arm and demands I keep an open mind. So I take back any claims of No Ordinary Family being horrible — it's merely ordinary.

The biggest change other than No Ordinary Family's meteoric rise is me dropping Greg Garcia's white trash family sitcom Raising Hope from #7 all the way down to #12 and the poor tier, the result of me attempting to watch a few more episodes and finding that the humor and tone isn't particularly far removed from Garcia's last white trash sitcom My Name Is Earl (that, and I loathe the grandma character). The pilot tricked me into thinking the show was more subversive than it really is with the bizarre visual of a man vomiting on his baby daughter, but subsequent episodes quickly settled into a boring groove, and I'm done.

And to the shock of TV critics everywhere who decided they wanted to take down a show this season and that show would be Outsourced, I've notched Outsourced up a rank into the inoffensive tier. It's still the worst of NBC's Thursday night comedy lineup by a million miles and has a frightfully bland protagonist, but if I had to pick a place to spend 22 comedic minutes a week I'd rather it be Mumbai than white trash America (and yes, I'm aware that both Outsourced and Raising Hope are shot in Los Angeles, probably mere miles apart, but it's the spirit of the thing).

Other than that, I bumped Hawaii Five-0 down to the poor tier when I tried to watch a second episode and couldn't get past the fifteen-minute mark when I realized it's just another cop procedural beyond its Hawaiian location shooting. It's still the best new CBS show and better than ABC's cop procedural Detroit 1-8-7, but only by a hair. And I switched Better With You and Chase in the awful tier as while they're both moronic and terrible thinking back on Chase makes me feel just a little bit more ill and exhausted. The apocalypse tier is unaltered.

Day 1: Outlaw, Boardwalk Empire, Chase, The Event, Lone Star
Day 2: Detroit 1-8-7, Raising Hope, Running Wilde, Better With You, Undercovers
Day 3: My Generation, Outsourced, No Ordinary Family, Law & Order: Los Angeles
Day 4: Blue Bloods, The Defenders, Hawaii Five-0, Mike & Molly, $#*! My Dad Says
Day 5: Hellcats, Terriers, Nikita, The Whole Truth
Day 6: The Walking Dead

Beyond the jump, the rankings!

== Good Tier ==




#4 - LONE STAR (canceled)

== Watchable Tier ==




== Inoffensive Tier ==



#10 - UNDERCOVERS (canceled)


== Poor Tier ==



#14 - DETROIT 1-8-7

#15 - MY GENERATION (canceled)

#16 - OUTLAW (canceled)

== Awful Tier ==



#19 - CHASE


== Apocalypse Tier ==

#21 - THE WHOLE TRUTH (canceled)

#22 - $#*! MY DAD SAYS


#24 - MIKE & MOLLY

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