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134 Posts in 27 Topics by 26 members

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  • thedisciple
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    Rankings Link to this post

    A few question I have. I enjoy your reviews because you seem not to let your emotional attachment to a show affect your analysis of its quality.

    1) How do you feel about ranking TV shows? Many feel it is a pointless endeavor but fans seem to love it. I noticed you have Breaking Bad as your highest rated show with a 69. Do you feel it is the best show you've seen?

    I ask because you have a very similar view of "The Wire" as I do, which is often described as the "best ever". Seasons 3 and 4 of "The Wire" may be the best two seasons (series in the UK) I've ever seen, but the rest is mostly build up and/or resolution. Overall, do you feel BB is better than the Wire? Don't answer if you're not sure.

    2) One glaring omission in your reviews is "The Sopranos", the show that started this so called "Golden Age" of American TV. Have you seen it? what do you think.

    3) Finally, I sent you a personal email regarding this, but where are your full reviews/scores of Season 3 breaking bad? Would love to see the scores you give to such classic episodes as "One Minute", "Sunset", "Fly", and "Half Measures". Same goes for the last 1/4 of season 2. Where are the scores for "Phoenix", "ABQ" and "4 days Out" among others????

    Sorry if you have addressed these issues/concerns elsewhere

    Anyway, thanks for your effort in reviewing these shows. Keep up the good work.

  • Tim
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    Re: Rankings Link to this post

    Interesting topic! I'd like to add a question to thedisciple's first:

    1a) The scores for seasons and shows as a whole are averages as opposed to individual scores. Is this merely a feature of the site ("Here's how strong the average episode of this season is") or does a season score have the same weight (?) as an episode score, but for a season. I guess I'm asking whether or not a season can be greater or lesser than the sum of its parts?

    @thedisciple: I think I can answer question 3), Robin is currently reviewing seasons 1-3, after having reviewed 4 and 5.1 when they originally aired. Provided that he has the time, I would think/hope that reviews for those episodes are coming.

  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: Rankings Link to this post

    Hey guys,

    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

  • thedisciple
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    Re: Rankings Link to this post

    Robin,
    thanks for the reply.

    1) I agree in regards to the great Breaking Bad/Wire debate. The wire must be viewed as a whole because for about 60 % of the time watching, I was thinking "this is very interesting and original but best ever??" than seasons 3 and 4 come along and everything comes together and your mind is blown. On an episode to episode basis however, Breaking Bad is more enthralling.

    2) I've read many of your reviews and am glad you are not as enamored of "Deadwood" as most. Thought I was the only one.

    3) Glad to see "Grilled" as the top episode of Breaking Bad. A stunning and original piece of film making. Will be interesting to see if such classics as "One Minute", "Half Measures" or "Phoenix" can top it.

    4) A 63 for "Better Call Saul?" come on. I know it was a change of tone but that open with Badger and the introduction of Saul?? Classic

    5) It's too bad you can't enjoy Homeland anymore. I agree it veers into 24 territory too often to be considered a classic, but its still quality entertainment.

    6) The Sopranos is great, and has very compelling characters. What made the Sopranos so great however was that nothing like it had been on TV before. I feel it would not be as enjoyable watching it after seeing for BB, the The Wire etc. etc.

    7) Any desire to see "The Shield"? Haven't seen but have heard its just a notch below the all time greats.

    Thanks again for responding. Have a nice day

  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: Rankings Link to this post

    By all means defend "Better Call Saul" and other episodes in the comments and it will go on the podcast

    I enjoyed "Deadwood" season one a lot but was bored by season two so am less hopeful for the final season.

    "The Shield" is a tricky one. I saw the first couple of episodes and I understand that for a long time it is essentially a police procedural. Apparently the ending is amazing and ties everything together so I suppose one day I will have to try and get through it.

  • RomitComet
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    Re: Rankings Link to this post

    You could always rank "Best shows about vampires". I think that one would be easy.

  • TheTVCritic
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    172 Posts

    Re: Rankings Link to this post

    That would be very quick

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