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The Pajiba Power Rankings

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 31, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 31, 2011 |

10. Castle: Neither HBO nor Showtime is offering up much right now (“Episodes” has been terrible) AMC has nothing, “Modern Family,” “Top Chef,” “The Good Wife,” and “Parenthood” weren’t on this week, and the cablers aren’t providing much in the way of quality entertainment. What am I missing? Is there a great show on right now that I’m not watching? I’m open to suggestion. Hell, I’m still watching “Harry’s Law,” that’s how bad the season is right now. I didn’t like the second episode, but it is demonstrating just how ridiculous my loyalty is to David E. Kelly. As for “Castle,” I’ve actually noticed that a few weeks after I wrote the piece about “Castle” opening with the same six scenes each week that they’ve broken it up a little, focusing more on the personal lives of the characters. You might even call what happened this week — with more investigation into the homicide of Beckett’s mother — actual plot advancement.

9. The Office: With the exception of Kevin’s sprint around the conference room for Andy’s seminar, I didn’t much care for this week’s episode. I thought Michael and Holly’s shtick was painful and terribly unfunny. I actually miss Jim’s presence on the show.

8. Community: Eighth place. On a bad week. That’s how crummy this week’s “Community” was. This may have been the worst of the show’s run, or at least close to it (Abed as Jesus may cling to that title). I’m sure it was just an off week. Even “Community” is allowed that every once in a while.

7. Chuck: The week was so bad that “Chuck” actually made it into the top ten for the first time. Not that it wasn’t entirely undeserving. There was lots of Yvonne in black leather, and any episode of “Chuck” that features a lot of Timothy Dalton is guaranteed to be at least a decent episode of “Chuck.”

6. Lights Out: I like “Lights Out,” well enough, but it’s no “Terriers,” and it’s no “Justified.” The ratings have been fairly dismal, suggesting a one-season show, which is fine. I don’t know how you tell a comeback story more than once with an ageing boxer anyway. Pablo Schreiber and Catherine McCormack are holding this show together.

5. Cougar Town: Man, I want to live in a cul de sac with all my friends and while away my hours playing penny can and drinking wine out of giant glasses. These people seriously never work. They spend all afternoon playing hide and seek and drinking. I kind of love them.

4. 30 Rock: Again, “30 Rock’s” placement here has more to do with the off week than the quality of this week’s episode, which was only OK. Now that Liz and Jack have actually been married, I wonder how much further they can take their relationship without becoming repetitive. I love the show, but they need to shift the dynamics around a little.

3. Fringe: The move to Friday has neither hurt the quality of “Fringe” or its ratings (it’s doing solid in Fridays). And Joshua Jackson (R.I.P.) is going to a dark place here of late. I wonder if the writers sense that it could be the final season so they’re working toward a resolution? There’s been a lot of mythology episodes recently, and I have no complaints. Anytime the bald dude in the black hat shows up, I know it’s going to be a good episode.

2. Friday Night Lights: With only two episodes left to go, this goddamn show is pulling us in about 12 different directions and every single one of them suggests a painful bittersweet ending. It wouldn’t be “FNL” without the bittersweet.

1. Parks and Recreation: The best episode of the week, and one of the best — if not the best — of “P and A’s” run so far. Ron Swanson gets funnier every week, and Rob Lowe is exactly what this show needed to go from really funny to outrageously funny. “Stop. Pooping.”

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.