Pop Culture Bracketology: Television, Elite 8 discussion and results
By Cory Barker
Cory Barker: TV, Elite 8. Let's get debatin'.
Max McCombs: Frankly, I think the top seeds all advance this week and it's not really even that close. I'm guessing others will argue for Parks and Rec and FNL, though.
Chad Quandt: Parks and Rec over 30 Rock
Gonna go with Parks and Rec. If Community can't win, Parks and Rec deserves it. The writers have been able to take characters seemingly made to annoy from season one (April and Andy namely) and turned them into a wealth of great sub-plots. Leslie Knope is her own woman, no longer a Michael Scott clone. And it's even about our own state, people. There has to be a little regional loyalty.
Meanwhile, 30 Rock has been struggling to find its footing this season. We should be comparing the current state of these shows, not how good or bad they used to be.
Supernatural over Lost
As I just said about Parks and Rec, we have to look at the current state of shows. That being said, Lost has treading water since they introduced the time-skips. We have a plot that has been stalling for two seasons. If you really think about it, we spent nearly 2 years learning how our heroes got off the island, only to head right back. It's like Prison Break's second season: "Now the OTHER brother has to bust the main character out of jail!"
Daily Show over Amazing Race
Stewart and Crew have done more to make us both laugh and also educate us this decade than NBC's Thursday night lineup and cable news combined.
John Barnett: Yes Chad, Supernatural over Lost... Isn't that kind of like arguing for White Castle over St. Elmo's Steakhouse?
CB: As someone who loves Supernatural nearly as much as I love LOST and usually think it's my second favorite show, it's still no contest. I'm not sure how in the world S5 of LOST was treading water in any way, and despite the general disappointment and frustration with S6, I'm guessing that starting about...next week, people are going to see the season and the series in a whole new light. I'm not a LOST fan that's unwilling to accept criticism, because I give my fair share to it on a weekly basis, but in my opinion, those are not fair criticisms.
I do, however, agree with Parks and Rec over 30 Rock for all the reasons you mentioned, Chad.
Brian Marks: I also agree with Parks and Rec over 30 Rock. Other than the boost the show got after the writer's strike, each season of 30 Rock has probably been worse than the last (although maybe it's getting a little better). It's still a funny show, but they whore themselves out too often to get a cheap laugh. Parks and Rec's second season is so much better than season one, maybe even on par with The Office's second season. The characters just feel a little more like real people on Parks and Rec.
MM: As I said in the meeting, I cannot bring myself to vote for FNL to go any further. I don't watch Mad Men, so I can't speak for that, but I know what it is like to live in Texas, and FNL is not it. It presents a twisted, overly dramatized version of the Texas football culture, and thus annoys, and perhaps even mildly offends me.
Brian Welk: I am stunned at anyone who feels Parks is a better show than 30 Rock. If you ask me, I probably couldn't point out a "bad" episode of 30 Rock. There are certainly some lesser ones from seasons 3 and 4 in comparison to the slew of masterpieces from 1 and 2, and I would say there are still some episodes that are just as good and still in form.
But I know there isn't one of you who would claim that Parks was a good show in Season 1. A few episodes that are drastically different from the norm does not make a Final Four worthy show. 30 Rock is still culturally relevant and very much aware of the real world climate that surrounds it in both pop culture and even politics. Parks is random, absurd, deadpan, monotone humor that is probably only funny to people because it is so glaringly different, and Aziz Ansari for one simply stands out from this cavalcade of boring, Indiana people.
Wait, that isn't why it made it so far is it? Because of the Indiana jokes? I saw that one where the guy had a summer home in Muncie or something. It was one of those fill in the blank jokes that would be funny no matter where you said.
Austin Morris: I'm with Brian on every count.
CB: A FEW episodes? Parks and Rec was mostly a mess with a few moments of sunshine, but all 19 or 20 episodes this season have been near-classic levels. Like S2 Office good. And I think that your underestimating the lackluster last season 30 Rock had and how uneven it was THIS season until the last 6-7 episodes. If we're talking what series is better RIGHT NOW, it's Parks and Rec. For sure.
1. Mad Men -- 77 percent of the vote
10. Friday Night Lights
1. 30 Rock -- 66 percent of vote
10. Parks and Recreation
1. LOST -- 89 percent of vote
4. The Amazing Race
3. The Daily Show -- 100 percent of vote
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