March 4, 2010

My Best In Show

March is known for a few things: St. Patrick's Day, Spring Break, and the NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness). Many sports fans believe that March Madness is by far the best time of the sporting calendar, and while I don't really agree with that (college football is way better), waiting for the brackets to come out, and predicting which teams will win has become a past-time that rivals fantasy football.

It seems like the last couple of years the idea of tournaments and their brackets have caught on in the pop culture world as well, especially when it comes to television. Personally, I think some of it has to do with the How I Met Your Mother episode, "The Bracket". Either way, E! has been doing an Alpha Male and Girl on Top tourney with 64-character brackets, and it looks like EW and Hulu are getting in on the fun too with their "Best in Show" Tournament.

At first sight, the BiS Tourney is a fun idea, but after looking at the brackets closely, it's obvious that whomever put this idea together doesn't know the first thing about March Madness. First, 16 shows is way too short of a list. I know that a 64-show bracket would take too much time to put together (and I'm sure the pool was limited to shows that are actually available on Hulu, which is why zero CBS shows are listed), but 32 would've been manageable. It'd be easy to have the four regions: Comedy, Reality, Drama, & Animation. With a 32-show bracket, they would have only needed 8 per genre, which would have been simple to put together.

Secondly, they have the worst seeds ever. Family Guy vs. The Cleveland Show, and Chuck vs. Dollhouse in Round 1? Seriously? I know you really don't get too many powerhouse vs. underdog matchups with only a 16-show field, but they could have made things more interesting by having different matchups.

For me, the toughest bracket in the BiS Tourney is Detective Drama since all four shows are essentially the same, with White Collar being a standout since it does not rely on unresolved sexual tension between two of its leads (although Neal and Peter do have some neat bromance moments). WC is the underdog though by going up against Bones, but I wouldn't be surprised if the con-man procedural is the Cinderella of the tournament. As for the second match, Castle easily beats out Psych in my mind although I'm sure once the votes are counted the latter will be victorious. Psych has just become stale, and even Gus cannot save the show for me.

The Animation regional has to be the weakest mostly due to the fact that Seth MacFarlane's shows are dominating the bracket, and I'm not a fan of his work. It's a pretty safe bet to say that Family Guy will square off against The Simpsons for the Animation Title, which would be appropriate since a rivalry between the two shows already exists. Obviously, I'd like to see the Simpsons beat out the Griffins, but that's doubtful.

I also think the bracket maker is a huge cult TV geek just because he or she put Chuck up against Dollhouse, which ensures that one of the lower rated shows would face off against one of the top dogs in the Action finals. I'm confident that Chuck will prevail with little to no help from Subway.

I kinda wish the Workplace Comedy bracket looked more like Action because putting up the far superior (yet lower rated) Better Off Ted against the powerhouse The Office is just unfair. Also, I would have liked to see more variety instead of the entire NBC Thursday Night Comedy Block getting spots. It would have been nice to see Scrubs get a spot just on nostalgia alone. The Office has this one in the bag, but it may get some competition from its Thursday Night PIC, 30 Rock (just like the Emmys).

The Best in Show Tournament is a fun idea despite its bad pairings and limited options, and it's inspired me to put together my own TV Tournament for kicks. I'll try to have my brackets put together sometime this weekend.


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