Saturday, October 05, 2013

Best TV Shows

This is an update to an earlier post on the Best TV Shows because two seasons of Game of Thrones & the conclusion of Breaking Bad resulted in a rankings change.

The updated shows are in red with the following 9 eligible for judging.

24, Season 1 and 8
Boardwalk Empire, Season 1
Breaking Bad, Seasons 1-5 
Game of Thrones, S1-2
Homeland, S1
House of Cards (USA), S1
Justified, S1-S3
Mad Men, S1-S6
The Walking Dead, S1-S2, S3 Episodes 1-3

Previously, Game of Thrones was not eligible as an entire season was not watched. But it can now compete after completion of Seasons 1-2.

Judging Criteria for best show 

As established in the previous post, two categories will be used to rate the shows:
Excellence Per Minute (+EPM) & Soap Opera Moment (-SOM).

1. EPM measures the dramatic high points of the show.

Every minute of a show is not excellent, no matter what some TV critics say, but one can often pick out those great jaw dropping moments which involve a great piece of acting, repeatable dialogue or a memorable event. A rough tally of all these EPMs is used to determine which show has the best content per minute.

2. SOM is a negative indicator which will to be used to subtract from a show’s EPM.

Best show: Season 1 comparison 

Top shows in order of EPM/SOM:

1. Mad Men
2. Justified
3. House of Cards
4. Game of Thrones
5. Homeland
6. Breaking Bad
7. The Walking Dead
8. 24
9. Boardwalk Empire  

Game of Thrones manages to edge out Homeland for the 4th spot.

The opening minutes of Game of Thrones S1 are visually stunning, evoke a sense of dread and certainly capture one’s attention, something which appears to be a driving force in the first few episodes of S1 where characters are killed frequently and sex/nudity are on ample display. The sex adds nothing to the overall story but appears to be a method to grow viewers. However, once the sex is tuned down around Episode 5, the fascinating political aspects of the show start to shine through and mesh nicely with the fantasy elements. The show eventually does catch fire and ends on a high when the character of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has to undergo a trial by fire (“Agni Pariksha”) similar to what Sita does in the Ramayana to prove her virtue.

Best Show: Seasons 1-2

1. Mad Men
2. Justified
3. Breaking Bad
4. House of Cards
5. Game of Thrones

Breaking Bad starts its climb upwards while Season 2 of Game of Thrones is firing on all cylinders and does not have many throw away aspects found in S1. Games of Thrones S2 ends on an impressive chilling note and makes for a jaw-dropping cliff hanger.

Best Show: All Seasons

1. Breaking Bad, Seasons 1-5

2. Justified, Seasons 1-3

3. Mad Men, Seasons 1-6

The excellence of Breaking Bad’s S5 part II ensures that the show rightfully takes over the #1 spot as the overall best tv show. Episode 9 of S5 does start off disappointedly but the final 10 minutes set the stage for a showdown which will lead to the show’s incredible finale. Episodes 10-12 take their time to set up events and allow one to catch their breath before the relentless pace and tension of Episodes 13-16 leaves one breathless and in awe of the best show in TV.


Sam Juliano said...

Another splendid television ranking, and I am delighted at the upgrade of BREAKING BAD in particular. I haven't seen JUSTIFIED and am intrigued. GAME OF THRONES of course is great stuff!

Sachin said...

I can't watch to start watching S3 of GAME OF THRONES. If you get a chance, you have to try watching a few episodes of JUSTIFIED. I found it one of the most enjoyable shows on TV with very few wasteful episodes or moments.