10. Top Chef: Every week I find myself in amazement without how entertaining a reality show about cooking can be. We can’t even taste the food, and yet the competition is compelling, even on weeks — like this one — that no one is eliminated.
9. Raising Hope: As good as “Raising Hope” is on a week-to-week basis, it feels like it’s in something of a rut, headed down the same path as “My Name is Earl,” which is to say: A funny show, but one where the characters never really grow and the relationship-dynamics rarely change. I’d like to see a shake-up.
8. Survivor: Fuck you, Russell. Fuck you. It’s about goddamn time.
7. Castle: A few months ago, I wrote about how the first six scenes of “Castle” each week follow the same predictable path. About a month later, they started altering the opening sequence of events considerably. There’s still plenty of procedural formula in the show, but it feels less worn, newer. More fun, too. The second part of a two-parter last week was one of its best episodes in a few months.
6. Justified: It’s good to see them flesh out Rachel’s character, but this was certainly not the best episode of “Justified” this season. I am, however, starting to get more invested in the serial arc with the Dixie Mafia, so more of that, please.
5. The Good Wife: It was fun to see Will and Diane pull off the removal of Derrick, with a nice twist from Julius. It was also fun to see District Attorney Childs ousted from the DA race, although I think they got rid of the wrong person, as Childs was a good villain. I can start to see where “The Good Wife” might be heading next season, though: Does Peter win the race? And do Alicia and Peter get a divorce? Will Alicia’s firm and the Peter-led D.A.’s office square off? There could be a lot of tension there, but where will Cary land?
4. Modern Family: This week’s episode, particularly the subplot between Cam and Mitchell, demonstrates exactly why this show is so good. That was a cheesy (but sweet) subplot in the end with the children’s storybook, but it worked because of how much we’ve grown to care about the characters in this show.
3. How I Met Your Mother: News came over the weekend that “HIMYM” had been picked up for two more seasons, which is both good and bad. This season has been its best in a few seasons, but that also pushes the reveal back another two years. Lately, they’ve really amped up with poignancy, and to see Barney legitimately heartbroken this week was a welcome sight.
2. Chicago Code: Alderman Gibbons is one mean motherfucker. He’s moving into Stringer Bell territory here.
1. Parenthood: It’s second week at the top of the power rankings, “Parenthood” is killing it, and I think it’s starting to pick up new viewers. I’m not sure when new episodes are due back (not this week), so Crosby has been left to hang out to dry — he’s been given a very similar arc to what Katims has done for several characters on “Friday Night Lights”: Screw-ups that rise, have a major setback, then (hopefully) redeem themselves, as Riggins did, as Smash did, and as Vince did. And, once again, Katims nailed another autism subplot.