Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hulu’s Best In Show moves on to the Elite Eight; Emily VanDerWerff's choices are still wrong

The second round of voting in Hulu’s Best In Show tournament for the year went live just a few short hours ago, and you can head over to the tournament page to see who won, vote for your favorites, and read my reasoning for voting for each choice. Some of last week’s matches came down to the wire, and I would expect nothing less from this week’s matches.

Here are some more detailed thoughts on why I voted the way I did.

Hannibal vs. Sherlock: I am aware that there are people who prefer Sherlock to Hannibal. I am also aware they may be genuinely good people who love their families, make sure their pets are properly fed and watered, and put on their pants one leg at a time just like the rest of us. I just don’t really believe that. To my mind, Hannibal is so self-evidently one of the four or five best shows airing on TV right now, while Sherlock just completed what was easily its weakest season. And yet I fear deeply Sherlock’s ability to summon the Tumblr masses with the click of a button. Still, if there’s another show that can call forth the dread spirits of Tumblr with remarkable ease, it’s the one where a huge number of people ‘ship the troubled crime-solver and the cannibal psychiatrist who’s luring him ever deeper into an ocean of madness. Go, Hannibal, go! My pick: Hannibal.


Community vs. New Girl: This one was closer than it should have any right to be, given the state of both programs’ current seasons. Then you have to remember that I’m thinking back all the way to April of last year and, thus, including a bunch of really bad Community episodes and a bunch of really good New Girl episodes. Still, I gave Community the edge here, because I decided the two came out to roughly a tie, and I’ve been tossing ties to my favorite show overall. Though I really like New Girl, when we consider all of Community, it still has my heart. My pick: Community.

Game Of Thrones vs. Arrow: I expected Game Of Thrones to beat True Detective. I did not expect it to trounce True Detective, though I suppose the fanbase for that show is still young and getting its feet under it. Regardless, it made me wonder if I’ve underestimated Game Of Thrones in my whole “Sherlock is probably going to win this thing” hypothesis. Clearly, the show commands the love of the Internets, and it’s in the weaker bracket by far than Sherlock, which would have to get past Hannibal and two-time winner Community for a shot at the Lannisters and company. Still, maybe Arrow will put up more of a fight than True Detective did. It certainly deserves to, but I suspect I will have to let go of my dreams of The CW show becoming the Gonzaga or even the Villanova of the Hulu Sweet 16. Scrappy underdogs forever! My pick: Game Of Thrones.

Scandal vs. Orphan Black: The race between Orphan Black and The Americans was so close (with under 100 votes separating them for quite a while) that I actually wrote blurbs for both shows, because no matter which one went on, it deserved to win over the increasingly flaccid Scandal handily. (I still like Scandal; it’s just sort of trapped itself in a narrative cul-de-sac of its own design. Then again, every time I underestimate Shonda Rhimes, she starts blowing up everything standing in her characters’ path, so clearly, things are about to start getting bonkers.) Since, to my mind, Orphan Black is the easy winner here, I’ll share with you, instead, the blurb I wrote for The Americans. R.I.P., The Americans.

Todd’s pick (in an alternate universe): The Americans: Now that you guys have seen episodes three and four of season two, you see what I’m talking about, right? This show is on a serious roll right now, and both the danger and the stakes for Philip and Elizabeth Jennings skyrocket with every new episode. The show has taken the number one complaint about it from season one—that it could be a little slow moving—and kicked it in the face, with a second season that’s gotten off to a surprisingly brisk start.


My pick: Orphan Black.

Vote all week! We’ll be back here next week around this time for the Final Four.


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