Good questions indeed. And yes Tim is exactly right. I am currently doing a weekly podcast to cover Season 2 of Breaking Bad so the remaining reviews will appear each Wednesday.
I will take a brief pause at the end of Season 2 and then continue with Season 3 once "The Walking Dead" season is done. So we should all be done by the time Breaking Bad returns for its final 8 eps.
To answer your questions:
1) How do you feel about ranking TV shows?
I think it is hard ranking the best TV shows against one another. "The Wire" is the most complete show I have seen. To compare "Lost" which was by comparison a sprawling mess would be hard.
While "The Wire" makes you reflect on the society we live in, "Lost" has the ability to ask more esoteric questions. As you say seasons 3 and 4 of "The Wire" present the most beautifully constructed arcs that tell a compelling story. But many seasons of "Lost" were fascinating and "Lost" has a score, a beautiful cast, stunning scenery, tremendous individual episodes and an emotional range that maybe "The Wire" doesn't have.
The reason I use all those examples is to underline the point about how difficult it is to compare different shows. Now if you forced me to choose then yes I would pick "The Wire" over "Breaking Bad" (although perhaps I should wait till the final 8 eps). But that says more about how much I value the "Completeness" of "The Wire."
"The Wire" is the show which impressed me more than any other and said something so profound about human nature and human societies that it would be hard for other shows to touch. I certainly wouldn't criticise "Breaking Bad" for being less amazing than "The Wire."
Like "Lost", "Breaking Bad" has qualities that "The Wire" doesn't have. However I've never felt that "Breaking Bad" presented anything quite as compelling as "The Wire" even though I think very highly of BB.
The problem with my scoring system is that it is subjective and dependent on where I was (emotionally or chronologically) when I saw it. The final seasons of Lost received very high scores based on my assumption that certain things were going to pay off. BB also has less episodes to produce which is an advantage when you have a rating system which takes into account each episode.
2) Speaking of subjectivity. I haven't seen "The Sopranos" yet and it is definitely on my list right after I finish the final season of "Deadwood." I have good reason to believe that I will really enjoy The Sopranos. But a question I will now need to bare in mind is whether I would have been even more impressed with it if I hadn't already watched "The Wire"
To Tim's question
1a) The season scores, as you guessed, are just the website making an average of all the episodes within it.
I think it works as a rough guide to a season's quality but no I don't think it functions the same way that my individual scores do. As you say a season can definitely be greater than the sum of its parts. Buffy season 2 and Lost season 2 each have some less good episodes while overall telling a good story. For me the latest Game of Thrones season was excellent because I got to know and care about the characters but the overall narrative was not as strong as Season ones.
Thanks for posting guys