It’s week 2 for Hulu’s Best in Show tournament, and while many of my favorites advanced, not all did. “Parks and Recreation” lost a squeaker to “The Office,” “Glee” pretty convincingly beat “Friday Night Lights,” and “Cougar Town” and “Louie” were both crushed by, respectively, “Modern Family” and “How I Met Your Mother.”
I know there was concern over how much influence my vote had in things, given what happened last year with Ken Tucker. But my vote is much less powerful than his, and the only contest it wound up swaying this time was nudging “Vampire Diaries” over “True Blood.” (And check out how the “VD” fans rallied after their show as being blown out by “True Blood” in the first couple of days. That show and “Supernatural” were both getting thumped and wound up winning – and “Supernatural” didn’t even need my vote to do so.)
I also know some of you weren’t crazy about how I set up the initial match-ups (I chose those, and then Hulu set up how the rest of the bracket works), but I think every approach in a contest like this is going to leave fans of some shows unhappy. My philosophy was to pit similar shows against each other, both to see how fans of those genres did (like the vampire-on-vampire contest) but also to create greater diversity going forward. (I could have easily seen a situation where the vampire shows, “Supernatural” and “Fringe” were the final four if things had been set up differently, for instance.) As I implied in my answers on the new Hulu blog entry, I imagine that whoever is the guest critic next year will have their own unique approach with its ups and downs. It’s a contest about the size and passion of fanbases, so certain shows are always going to be at a disadvantage.
In terms of round 2 match-ups, I’ll be most curious to see if “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” can beat, respectively, the more popular “Burn Notice” and “House,” which would lead to an epic round 3 showdown between TV’s two best dramas.
So go vote for your favorites, and we’ll be back next week for the Elite Eight.