March 3, 2011

Hulu's Best in Show Tournament 2011

Last year, Hulu got bit by the March Madness bug, and they put together their Best in Show Tournament. Apparently, the gimmick was a hit because the video streaming site has recently released the brackets for a 2011 edition.

The 2010 BiS tourney had flaws, such as not enough contestants which were selected from shows that the site had permission to stream. The 2011 version opened up field to include shows that cannot be found on One of the highlights of last year's match-ups was the regions the site came up with like Workplace Comedy, Detective Drama, Newcomers, etc. Unfortunately, they did away the categories, which has led to some really odd seedings.

Last year also had some odd match-ups during the first round, but this year's are really bad. For example, NBC staples 30 Rock, Community, The Office, and Parks and Recreation are all facing off against one another while The Simpsons takes on Family Guy, and ABC's Modern Family and Cougar Town fight it out. It just doesn't make sense to have all of the shows from the same network meeting this early on in the game. It's like having Duke vs. North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Despite the piss poor seeds, I thought I'd share my initial picks:

30 Rock vs. Community
It still baffles me that Hulu would have viewers pick between two of NBC's best shows right off the bat. While I'm a fan of both shows, 30 Rock makes me laugh harder and more often than Community. Plus, the latter is too smug and it's starting to get annoying. That being said, Community has a massive online presences which is why it was last year's runner-up and why Jeff and Annie are in the finals of E!'s shipper tournament.

Family Guy vs. The Simpsons
Probably the easiest pick for me since I cannot stand Family Guy. Yes, The Simpsons hasn't been very good over the last couple of seasons, but it's so woven into American TV culture that it should win on nostalgia alone.

The Vampire Diaries vs. True Blood
I haven't watched True Blood since Season 1, and The Vampire Diaries was one of the few shows that surprised me last season when it became must watch TV. The CW's version of angsty, vampire love triangles is by far better than HBO's. Winner: The Vampire Diaries.

The Office vs. Parks and Recreation
I just started watching Parks and Recreation this season, but it's easy to see that it's by far the better of the two mockumentary workplace comedies on NBC. The Office has been show its age as of late, and Parks and Rec should be taking the torch sooner than later, although I'd much rather see 30 Rock become the Thursday night flagship.

Fringe vs. Supernatural
Between FOX execs pissing off the SPN fandom, the fact that these two shows face off on Friday nights, it feels like Hulu just wants to stir the pot. While the Supernatural fans are by far more annoying, and the show's become stale, it's still slightly more entertaining than Fringe.

Chuck vs. The Big Bang Theory
Two of the few shows that survived the WGA strike have had two very different fates. Big Bang has become CBS' No. 2 (soon to be No. 1?) comedy while Chuck's had to claw its way back season after season. Chuck's third and fourth seasons have not been the show's best, but they were better than TBBT's respective seasons, so I'm going with Chuck this time around.

Modern Family vs. Cougar Town
Why does Hulu have to pit ABC's two most talked about comedies up against one another? Last year, Modern Family was the clear favorite, but it's in the midst of a sophomore slump this season while Cougar Town has become the funnier of the two. Even though I HATE Jules Cobb, CT easily wins this round.

Archer vs. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
I'm going to have to skip this face off because I don't watch either FX comedy.

Grey's Anatomy vs. House
I haven't watched House in almost two years, but at least I was a fan of the show which is something I cannot say about Grey's Anatomy. House wins hands down.

Sons of Anarchy vs. Breaking Bad
Despite the fact that it's critically acclaimed, I have yet to watch an episode of Breaking Bad. I'm sure it's a great show, but since I've actually watched a season of Sons of Anarchy, I'm going to have to go with SAMRCO.

Boardwalk Empire vs. Mad Men
This match-up might end up being the a preview of the Outstanding Drama Emmy race. I was late to the Mad Men game, but it's clearly better than the overrated Boardwalk Empire. I'll definitely pick Don Draper over Nucky any day of the week.

Justified vs. Burn Notice
Even though I've never seen Justified, Burn Notice annoys me so it's an easy choice. Winner: Justified.

Glee vs. Friday Night Lights
The first tough decision of the Best in Show Tournament. FNL was by far one of the best shows on TV, and Glee is a hot mess. That being said, I'm usually more entertained by the kids from McKinley High than the by the ones from Dillion/East Dillion High. Glee barely nudges past FNL.

Dexter vs. The Walking Dead
Showtime's veteran drama up against AMC's upstart zombie epic. I quickly got bored with Dexter's formulaic story telling, and I was impressed by the fact that AMC went outside of its comfort zone by greenlighting The Walking Dead. While Dead still has growing up to do, it's still a better show right now.

The Good Wife vs. Parenthood
Much like the FX comedy face-off, I don't watch these shows so I cannot comment.

Louie vs. How I Met Your Mother
I've heard nothing but good things about Louie, and the last couple of seasons of HIMYM have been wildly uneven, but I still regularly watch the CBS comedy and it's still worth a few laughs. Winner: How I Met Your Mother.


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