Hulu’s Best in Show returns – with a bit of What’s Alan Watching? flavor

March is a month for contests, it seems. College basketball is a short time away from the start of March Madness with the men’s basketball tournament, HitFix is running an “American Idol” fantasy league, and for the second year in a row, Hulu is running its own form of March Madness with its Best in Show contest, in which fans get to vote on 32 shows in the same bracket style as the NCAA tournament. 32 shows; 1 winner.

In the contest’s inaugural year, Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly played the role of the special guest critic, offering his assessment of each series and casting his own weighted vote for each match-up, which can nudge a close contest one way or the other. This year, I’ve been asked to do that job. Though Hulu obviously had final say on the 32 shows, I was able to offer my input and nudge a couple of shows I enjoy into contention. There are also several shows on there that I either don’t like (“True Blood”) or don’t watch (“Supernatural”), but this isn’t just about my individual taste, or else it would be something hosted right here on this blog.

In addition to my blurbs and votes, I’m also going to be answering a few questions each week on the match-ups at Hulu’s blog, and the first entry – including talk of tough cuts and possible sleepers – was posted this morning.

Last year went roughly as you’d expect it to, with online juggernaut “Lost” beating out “The Simpsons” in the final match-up. I’ll be curious to see how things go this year. A lot of the first round match-ups this time involve shows that are similar in some way (“True Blood” vs. “Vampire Diaries,” “The Office” vs. “Parks and Recreation”), so in theory the later match-ups should have a lot of diversity. We’ll see.

So go vote for your favorites, and I’ll have another reminder post like this when the second round starts.