The Power 5 on TV For This Week:
You’ve seen them in sports so why not television? Premiering this week are the Going Geek News Power Rankings. Each week will bring you the top 5 shows based on that particular week alone and not the season as a whole. This week contained two highly anticipated series premieres and the start of season 2 for another. Starting next week though, the competition will truly start to pick up.
1) The Blacklist—“Pilot”
And it wasn’t even close.
It had me hooked within the first 15 minutes, not only introducing Spader’s Reddington with style but throwing in a serious volley of action whose intensity put many movies to shame. We have a deliciously interesting villain (or anti-hero) with a repertoire of witty one-liners and a history as deep and mysterious as one would think, given the premise. Keen, the female protagonist played brilliantly by Megan Boone, harbors her own questions and contains a strength hidden behind her a quirky exterior. Adding an extremely powerful supporting cast, The Blacklist does what a good premiere should do: introducing the major players and creating an awful lot of questions without too many answers.
2) Revolution—“Born in the USA”
This one is a major surprise. It took Revolution a good month to hit its stride last year but the first episode of the sophomore campaign, to use a clichéd term, hit the ground running. It re-introduced our primary cast six months after the power turned on for a few minutes and Colm Fiore’s Randall Flynn (interesting initials, Stephen King fans?) fired missiles towards Atlanta and Philadelphia. Whereas there was a pervading hopelessness throughout the States when we first delved into the world without power, things are a bit more hopeful now, at least for those on the outside of our merry band. The principal players—Charlie, Aaron, Miles, Neville and Son, Rachel and even Monroe—do not share the hope everyone else does. In fact, their depression lies in the knowledge that the power will never be coming back on. Of course there are new players; the “true” US government shows its face and a new, enigmatic leader is introduced to the captured Miles looks to be the new heavy weights duking it out. To top it off, even more questions surrounding the nano-machines and their abilities are raised after a surprise resurrection. A good start to a show that, while underrated, was somewhat inconsistent during its first year.
3) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—“Pilot”
I had this penciled in at number two before taking a few days and contemplating its place in my power rankings. Make no mistake, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did its job. It introduced our team of non-powered super agents with gusto in a similar fashion to The Blacklist though with a bit more levity. The cast is fun and they just ‘work’, playing off one another with an organic flow that’s very tough to create in a first episode. The most poignant aspect of the pilot was the connection they made with the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only is the ground set by how the world is dealing with the fallout from The Avengers, but the more recent events of Iron Man 3 and the Extremis technology is brought into the fold and, as a trifecta, mention of the super soldier serum and gamma rays is also a big factor. Smulder’s surprise cameo as Maria Hill solidifies the connection and shows us just how far ahead of the curve Marvel and company are. DC, please take notes.
4) Sons of Anarchy—“Poenitentia”
Thankfully, there is more joy in Charming after the nihilistic and brutal season premiere two weeks ago. Of course, joyful when it comes to this show is relative. Logue’s captivating and driven retired Marshall shows just how unhinged he truly is while Jax and Barasky (Peter Weller) bond after an Iranian drive-by. Clay saves his own skin after getting locked up, Bobby’s finalizing the numbers for his Nomad status, Tig is betrayed by Jax and we find that Wendy has some devious plans of her own. More death is ahead for SAMCRO and it won’t be surprising to see future episodes higher up on this list.
5) Sleepy Hollow—“Blood Moon”
If only the series premiere had the direction and pacing of Sleepy Hollow’s sophomore episode. As it stands, we see more humor as Ichabod Crane continues to get used to the 21st century, Lt. Mills tries coping with the death of her mentor, Sheriff Corbin, and the once-dead Andy Dunn (John Cho) is resurrected by the force behind the apocalypse. Based on the small sample size, it does appear that Sleepy Hollow will borrow from the formula perfected by Eric Kripke and Supernatural; a well-conceived primary story arc with ‘monster of the week’ episodes sprinkled in. I still find it a shame how much the series premiere threw at us; hopefully it doesn’t adversely affect the show going forward.
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