Favorite 35 TV Shows of 2016

The Golden Age of Television lives on, even after Walter White and Don Draper. Storytellers and innovators are finding new and exciting ways to keep us at the edge of our seats, wanting more after the closing credits of every episode. Sometimes we have to wait a week. Sometimes we just hit “next episode” until we’re met with the disappointment of the season being over.

I listed out every TV show I watched in the last year and it came out to being upwards of 50 (yes I watch a lot of television). It wasn’t easy cutting the list to only 35. I also say “Favorite” instead of “Top” because I’m just not that full of myself…I

t also may come as a surprise, but I haven’t watched EVERY TV show that aired this past year. So recommendations are more than welcome on the Facebooks or Twitters.

35. The OA

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Netflix – Brit Marling, Emory Cohen and Jason Isaacs

The OA is a very weird show. It’s complicated, hard to follow, strange, and sometimes fights you when you want to keep spending time on it. Somehow, someway though, every episode gives you a reason to continue binge-watching. The last 5 minutes of the first season make it all worth it, on an emotional level. Emory Cohen also gives a performance that makes you wonder why he wasn’t chosen to be “Young Han Solo”, with an excellent follow up to his part in Brooklyn.

34. Banshee

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Cinemax – Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic and Ulrich Thomsen

I have to admit, I was pretty late to Banshee but I did binge watch the entire series in nearly a month’s time. I wouldn’t call it a “good show” but it’s so absurd that you can’t look away. Banshee is like a lovechild of True Blood and Into The Badlands, and it’s supremely more fun than both.

33. Orange is the New Black

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Netflix – Uzo Aduba, Kate Mulgrew and Taylor Schilling

So far I’ve felt that OITNB’s best season was their 2nd, but their latest certainly knew how to throw the haymakers to your emotions. Some of your favorite characters became easy to turn on. Others became more important than the original stars, including Piper. And then there was the one that completely tore your heart out…

32. Ash vs. Evil Dead

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STARZ – Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless and Ray Santiago

This show is gross, cheesy, and kinda REALLY dumb…but that’s also why it’s so much fun. It’s hard to deny that when Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi team up on either big or small screen. Warning: There is blood…LOTS OF BLOOD (That’s for the kids who didn’t like how gory The Walking Dead premiere was).

31. Supergirl

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The CW – Melissa Benoist, David Harewood and Mehcad Brooks

If there was a Most Improved Player category for TV shows, Supergirl could be at the top of the list. The move from CBS to CW was more than necessary for its tone and overall quality.  The show hasn’t held back on it’s commentary of topical social issues and it did something that the DC films have failed to as of late…make Superman likable.

30. Vice Principals

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HBO – Danny McBride, Walton Goggins and Kimberly Hebert Gregory

It should be noted that our two stars play absolutely terrible people on this show. Danny McBride is an expert at making bad guys almost worth rooting for (i.e. Kenny Powers) and Walton Goggins is simply one of the best actors in television today (watch Justified, if you don’t believe me). The under-the-radar sweetness of Shea Whigham, which is a complete opposite of McBride’s character, is reason enough alone to watch this show.

29. House of Cards

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Netflix – Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and Michael Kelly

House of Cards lost a bit of mojo once Frank Underwood made it to the oval office. Once he became president, he was no longer hunter but rather playing survivor instead. Robin Wright carries the 4th season much more than her male counterpart and Joel Kinnaman makes for an awesome heel as the adversary candidate in their race for reelection. What makes me hopeful for the 5th season is how scary both Francis and Claire are by the end of 4th.

28. Preacher

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AMC – Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga and Jackie Earle Haley

Preacher had of the best pilots of the year, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It matched the crazy and action that’s packed in the comic series, and set the tone for what should be a wild ride of a series. The season itself had its ups and downs, sometimes standing in place and other times with the pedal to metal. It never lacked suspense or humor though, due to the unpredictable nature and writing of the characters.

27. The Crown

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Netflix – Claire Foy, Matt Smith and John Lithgow

The Crown is absolutely stunning. The cinematography, the costumes, the pageantry, and the acting are all top notch. The real life story of Queen Elizabeth and her royal family are fascinating too but there was a disconnect for me…It’s hard to be emotionally invested and sympathetic in the problems of British Hierarchy. But Lithgow as Winston Churchill is inspiring.

26. Black Mirror

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Netflix – Bryce Dallas Howard and Michael Kelly

This British anthology series is the modern Twilight Zone, with technology, and it’s terrifying. Excellent and recognizable actors in each story/episode and themes that make you question your own behavior when it comes to, well, everything…

25. The Flash

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The CW – Grant Gustin, Candice Patton and Tom Cavanaugh

Everyday I wonder why Warner Bros. doesn’t just let the TV DC universe carry over to their film universe…Grant Gustin belongs there and they are making a big mistake by not capitalizing on the charm, fun and popularity he has brought with Barry Allen.

24. Insecure

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HBO – Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji and Jay Ellis

Issa Rae is awesome. The show is comfortable and honest. It doesn’t try hard to speak on behalf of its audience yet is still relatable. It was also refreshing after every half hour following Westworld episode trying to blow your mind.

23. Grace and Frankie

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Netflix – Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterson and Martin Sheen

I love Grace and Frankie. Ever since Sam Waterson and Martin Sheen chose to come out to their wives (Fonda and Tomlin) in the show’s first episode, it’s been an absolute delight. Can’t wait for the third season.

22. Veep

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HBO – Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky

It shouldn’t be news to anyone at this point that Veep is really good, and will probably be especially relevant in the next couple years. When you have Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Diedrich Bader and HUGH LAURIE as recurring supporting characters, what’s not to love?

21. BoJack Horseman

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Netflix – Will Arnett, Alison Brie and Aaron Paul

BoJack is Netflix’s best comedy and that’s really saying a lot. All I have to do is point to the episode that was set in 2007 (WOW, TEN YEARS AGO NOW) and how effective every episode specific to that year was.

20. Last Chance U

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Netflix

It’s the one docu-series that I have listed here but it’s a great one. Following a junior college school of student athletes trying to overcome their personal and academic issues and catch the eye of D1 programs (while also dealing with their egotistical head coach) is some of the most compelling television you’ll find in the last year.

19. Bosch

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Amazon – Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector and Lance Reddick

Related to the Lincoln Lawyer universe of novels, Bosch is an adapted Michael Connelly detective series that plays like a modern noir. Titus Welliver has always been “that guy” on TV shows, usually a supporting or guest villain, but shines when given the spotlight as the title character. If you were a fan of The Wire, then you are going to LOVE all the alums who star and appear on the show.

18. Mozart in the Jungle

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Amazon – Gael Garcia Bernal, Malcolm McDowell and Lola Kirke

How this series hasn’t received love from the Emmys is beyond me (at least on thing the Golden Globes gets right). One of the easiest binge watches you could ask for, with great writing and soul-searching music. Bernal is also one of the best actors you’ll find on television today and makes you feel as romantic the maestro he portrays.

17. Ray Donovan

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Showtime – Liev Schreiber, John Voight and Steven Bauer

Now that we’re moved on from Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Jon Hamm’s Don Draper, it’s time to start recognizing Liev Schreiber’s Ray Donovan as one of the most complex and well-acted characters on current running series. It took a few years, but the show is now hitting its stride in writing, acting, and casting…while the soundtrack to Season 4 could be pound-for-pound as good as any.

16. Billions

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Showtime – Damian Lewis, Paul Giamati and Maggie Siff

Maggie Siff is the x-factor to a show that already features two heavyweight lead actors. Don’t get me wrong, Lewis and Giamati definitely fit the bill. But Siff goes well beyond what we remember from her character, Tara, on Sons of Anarchy, and deserves as many nominations as she can get. The show itself is like if The Big Short didn’t treat its audience like a bunch of idiots and faster paced. Great Metallica appearance too.

15. The Americans

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FX – Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich

I’ll be honest, I’m still catching up on The Americans. It’s well-regarded as being one of the best shows today, if not THEE BEST, but it took me a while to get interested enough to check it out. I’m sure by next year it will be significantly higher on the list.

14. Silicon Valley

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HBO – Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani

I don’t know if there is a show that has a better sense of humor than Silicon Valley. Every episode oozes with Mike Judge’s cynicism, nature and experience in the industry and it’s fantastic. Is it a little exhausting that guys of Pied Piper continue to get crapped on after they find success? Yes…but that’s the heart of its story: overcoming the continuous struggle.

13. The People vs. OJ Simpson

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FX – Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta and Courtney B. Vance 

The very first episode of American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson reminded us how great Ryan Murphy can be as a director and storyteller. You knew what was going to happen, but the suspense was absolutely killer and he let the evidence tell the story. The acting was superb by a great cast, but then Murphy couldn’t get out of his own way. Yes, Robert Kardashian’s friendship was significant to Simpson, but did they have to be so gratuitous with the attention to his ex wife and daughters? And why was every extra or background actor more annoying and awful than the next? Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta made the miniseries every bit as compelling as it was though.

12. Daredevil

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Netflix – Charlie Cox, Jon Bernthal and Deborah Ann Woll

Season 1 of Daredevil was an absolute adrenaline rush that was capable of doing what the Marvel Cinematic Universe hadn’t accomplished yet: like give us a memorable and even sympathetic villain (Vincent D’onofrio). This time, it was an antihero that took The Defenders series to the next level…Jon Bernthal’s variation of The Punisher is dark, brooding, heartbreaking, badass, and even more interesting than the title character.

11. This Is Us

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NBC – Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia

One of the best new shows on television, This Is Us has this uncanny ability to make you laugh, cry and repeat over and over every episode. It’s honest, it’s smart, and it’s one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. The show also never ceases to keep you on your toes.

10. The Night Manager

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AMC – Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Elizabeth Debicki

Sexy, suspenseful and super unpredictable, The Night Manager was unbelievably good, even by AMC’s standards. If it was an audition for Tom Hiddleston to play James Bond, he passed. If Hugh Laurie was trying out to be a Bond villain, he’d be way better than most…Rather than go with the obvious Bond girl comp, I’ll just say Elizabeth Debicki is my new TV crush and I feared for her life the entire miniseries.

9. Narcos

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Netflix – Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal

The best way I can describe how good Narcos S2 was, I literally couldn’t close my laptop while streaming it…I actually let it play on top of my washer while I did my laundry because I couldn’t hit pause on the action that was cranked to 11, compared to season 1. Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar is more than award worthy as well.

8. Atlanta

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FX – Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry and Keith Stanfield

Donald Glover is making a really strong case for coolest dude on the planet. Even cooler might be Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12, Straight Outta Compton) and everything his character does on Atlanta. Every episode is different in its own way but they are all consistently real and also surreal at the same time.

7. Better Call Saul

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AMC – Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks and Michael McKean

Better Call Saul is proof of 2 things: Vince Gilligan is a genius and comedic actors are brilliant in dramatic settings. It’s incredible to see how enthralling the stories can be of Breaking Bad’s supporting characters. The shows are very different in tone, but the suspense, cinematography and classic Gilligan wit are all there…sometimes better. Oh, and it look’s like Gus is coming next season.

6. Luke Cage

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Netflix – Mike Colter, Rosario Dawson and Theo Rossi

While watching Luke Cage, I couldn’t help but think it was my favorite of The Defenders  series. Mike Colter’s Luke Cage isn’t afraid to be the hero, nor does he hide behind an alias and that avoids the unnecessary drama that you find in Daredevil. The show doesn’t hold back on facing social issues and the women on the show are all complete badasses in their own way. Also love the music and how Harlem is treated like a character itself.

5. Westworld

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HBO – Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins

The mystery of Westworld’s end game throughout the first season was so enthralling that you couldn’t help but keep watching until it came to fruition. Every twist kept you on your toes, the setting was gorgeous, and the music was haunting. Almost every character was dynamic, man or machine, and whom you were rooting for was entirely up to you.

4. Stranger Things

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Netflix – David Harbour, Winona Ryder and Millie Bobby Brown

Stranger Things was the new show that many of us geeks needed over the summer. Sci-fi, horror, 80’s references, adventure, action and all the wonderment through the eyes of kids of that era made this show worth binge watching over an entire weekend.

3. Game of Thrones

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HBO – Kit Harrington, Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey

Television’s most talked about show gave us its biggest payoff of a season. Every episode gave fans a win, whether it was characters being reunited, the advancement of a few others, or the death of a few hated ones…Don’t forget, I had Power Rankings for the entire season too.

2. The Night Of

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HBO – Riz Ahmed, John Turturro and Bill Camp

After every episode, week to week, I couldn’t help but say that The Night Of was the best show of the summer. It was. From the premiere, which made you scream “NO NO NO NO NO!” with everything Riz Ahmed did, to John Turturro’s amazing performance, to the back-and-forth “Serial Podcast” style guessing of who-done-it…every episode was worth the wait. Would have loved to see what the first one would have been like with James Gandolfini in Turturro’s role.

1. Goliath

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Amazon – Billy Bob Thornton, William Hurt and Maria Bello

I haven’t seen it on many year-end lists, but here I have it as my #1. Why? If you’re a Billy Bob Thornton fan, everything you like about him is on display in Goliath. He’s funny, commanding, and unbelievably easy to root for. The battle between a giant corporation and the “little guy” victims was too good to pause during a weekend to myself. It was also the most fulfilling of any series I have listed above. It’s the first thing I suggest to anyone who asks for a recommendation too.

 

If you have any thoughts or recommendations for next year’s list, let me know on Twitter or Facebook. Stay tuned for the Favorites of 2016 Movie List. 

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Piffcast: The Ninth One – Better Call Saul Finale & Game of Thrones Week

Aaron Couch, from People Magazine and the Better Talk Saul podcast, makes his return to discuss the Better Call Saul S2 finale. We also kick off Game of Thrones week with the storylines we look forward to most and pick our favorite Captain America: Civil War matchups before it hits theaters May 6th. (23:26 mark, if you want to jump ahead)

TJ and I breakdown all the awesome trailers and news from the past 2 weeks, and explain why it’s good to be “us”. Take a listen and you’ll understand why that’s in quotation marks.

Feel free to react as you listen on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe on iTunes here.

 

Also, don’t forget that the Thrones Power Rankings start NEXT WEEK! Here are the Pre-Season 6 Character Rankings going into the premiere.

Piffcast: The Eighth One – Pizza, TV and Stuff

This week we took the show outside, and I don’t think we’re coming back in…

TJ and I played a little catchup regarding the Old Style Pizza Summit, The Walking Dead finale and then some. We also talked about the things that make us feel older, some exciting plans for the show, and TV recommendations that can carry you to the new season of Game of Thrones. Somehow The O.C. and One Tree Hill came up too, you’ll have to listen to find out why. 

We’re also in the hunt for a show grill master, so if you know anybody or want to hang…?

Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter! Subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes here

TV Recommendations: The Best of What You Might Not Be Watching

How often do you find yourself asking your friends for TV recommendations? Maybe you just wrapped up a nice long intimate binge-watch on Netflix, or you’re looking to kill time between new Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodes. Perhaps you’d like to have something fun to show your friends who are in a similar predicament…

Before you jump on the next bandwagon show, I recommend giving these a try while they’re still on-air. They may not necessarily be Breaking Bad, but I wouldn’t mention them if I didn’t think they’d hook you enough to get caught up. As an old friend once described my taste in television, they’re #MichaelShows.

 

Billions (Showtime)

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Starring: Damian Lewis (Homeland) and Paul Giamatti (John Adams)

This show was an excellent surprise during the past winter season Sunday lineup. As Wall Street becomes more and more in the political campaign discussion and after films like The Big Short and 99 Homes were big successes, a show like this has never been more relevant. You’ll also feel better prepared after seeing either movie. Giamatti is a federal attorney with a hedge-fund boss in his crosshairs, played by Lewis The contrast and battle between the two sides is awesome. Just don’t let the opening S&M scene turn you off, unless you’re into that sort of thing (it’s very brief, but very fitting).

Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy) gives a very under-appreciated performance that I think deserves Emmy consideration. Toby Leonard Moore (Daredevil) is also very good, as is the rest of the supporting cast. It’s smart, funny, suspenseful, sexy and has very cool ties to the rock music selections played each episode.

Season 1 is available in its entirety on Showtime Anytime.

 

TURN: Washington’s Spies (AMC)

TURN Season 2

Starring: Jamie Bell (Jumper), Angus McFayden (Braveheart) and Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire)

TURN is great for history buffs but even better for spy genre fans. The idea of America’s first spy ring and the means to pull that off in the 1700s is fascinating. There’s a little bit of a Q-Branch/James Bond vibe at times when period appropriate technology is introduced to the rebel spies at different points. The mythos that surrounds George Washington when he finally enters the fold, in person, as are the moments that humanize him a little.

You don’t really empathize with the British at any point but there are some characters who garner your respect, specifically “counter intelligence” officer Major John Andre (played by JJ Feild). There are also a few recognizable faces on the show that will make you go “Oh, that guy from that thing”, like Burn Gorman (Game of Thrones), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean), and Stephen Root (Office Space). Favorite character is Caleb Brewster, played by Daniel Henshall (The Babadook).

First two seasons are available on Netflix. Season 3 premiere is April 25th. 

 

Tyrant (FX)

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Starring: Adam Rayner (Hawthorne), Ashraf Barhom (Clash of the Titans) and Jennifer Finnigan (Better With You)

It’s the closest thing you’ll find that portrays a modern realistic Game of Thrones. I think that every episode I watch. It’s unpredictable, action-packed, scary, and not necessarily for the faint of heart. One brother believes it is birthright to rule his middle eastern country, Abuddin, while the other wants to implement democracy. All the while factions like the Caliphate are brutally making life outside their kingdom all the more dangerous.

Bassam, played by Rayner, is a mix of Tyrion, Daenerys and Jon Snow. His brother Jamal, played by Barhom, is combo of Joffrey, Roose Bolton, Cersei, and the crazy parts of Stannis. You can imagine the clashes based on that description alone.

Season 1 is streaming on Hulu. Season 3 will premier this summer.

 

Peaky Blinders (Netflix)

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Starring: Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and Sam Neil (Jurassic Park)

When friends ask me about shows to check out on Netflix, my mind goes immediately to Peaky Blinders. Cillian Murphy’s Thomas Shelby is one of TV’s biggest badasses, it’s shot beautifully, the music rocks, and Tom Hardy joins the cast in season 2. It’s also an incredibly quick watch, as each season is just 6 episodes and the storylines are fast paced. At times, you’re reminded of the old Guy Ritchie films like Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrells…in part because of the organized crime themes, dialogue and HEAVY accents.

The new season begins on the BBC this May, but no date has been set for a Netflix release. Which gives you plenty of time to get caught up on the first 2 seasons. The theme song by Nick Cave is also dark and addicting.

First 2 seasons are on Netflix. Season 3 premieres on BBC Two in May.

Bosch (Amazon)

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Starring: Titus Welliver (The Town) and Jamie Hector (The Wire)

Bosch was my introduction into Amazon original programming and I’m very glad it was. Welliver is one of those “That guy” actors that seems to appear in just about everything, and now he’s in a starring detective role based on a Michael Connelly book series, similar to The Lincoln Lawyer. Apparently the two eventually meet in a crossover book…

The show is dark and fills a modern crime void that’s been left by Justified, for me at least. I wouldn’t stack the writing up with Season 1 of True Detective, but you get the noir vibe. Better yet, it’s FILLED with alums from The Wire. Bosch’s partner is Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield from The Wire) and his boss is Lance Reddick (Lt. Daniels). There are tons of faces you’ll recognize, both regulars and guest appearances, like Scott Wilson (The Walking Dead), Sarah Clarke (24), Matthew Lillard (Scream), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek Voyager), Brent Sexton (The Killing), Annie Wersching (24), and James Ransone (The Wire, of course).

First 2 seasons are available on Amazon Prime.

 

Have some more recommendations? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll add them to the list!

The Walking Dead Power Rankings: N.W.O. (Negan’s World Order)

Each week, we give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead. 

The biggest theme for The Walking Dead was how much bigger the world actually was than Rick and the Alexandrians knew. As far as we know, there are at least 3 more factions who will have a direct impact on the group we’ve grown to know and love: The Hilltop, the horse people (very likely The Kingdom” led by Ezekiel, for those who read the comics and I don’t think that’s much of a spoiler), and The Saviors. Right now though, this current world is run by Negan.

There is a lot of angst regarding the Season 6 finale. Fans were prepared to say goodbye to one of their favorite characters and now they have to wait till October to find out who it is. To an extent, I agree that Scott Gimple and the show’s writers are taking liberties with the audience’s patience but at the same time…I like it.

We’ve heard so much about Negan since the mid-season finale, how everything you own belongs to him, how all the Saviors are HIM. The Season 6 finale was a 90 minute introduction to just how powerful this man is and goddammit, he’s powerful. It was slow, it was painful, but the point got across. Then when everyone watching braced themselves and thought they knew who would get their brains bashed in at the end, Negan (representing the writers) took that away from you. It’s sick, twisted, and probably dumb, but now you’re going to have to tune in for the Season 7 premiere to find out what happened. It’s the 2nd time this season they “Jon Snow’d” you (for Game of Thrones fans, it’s the mystery of whether or not an important character died).

Now for the last Walking Dead Power Rankings…until Season 7.

1. Negan (Previously 2nd)

Negan

“Pissing our pants yet…It’s gonna be pee pee pants city here real soon?”

As you now know, this is Negan’s World Order. He has a James Bond villain’s amount of henchmen. He’s methodical in getting his message across and having his followers call themselves by his name.  Negan’s this weird mix of mafia don, pirate captain, feudal king and cult leader. He takes control by force, he plunders those he conquers, everything you work for makes it up to him, and his followers seem to believe in him. He would also prefer people work for them than kill them, which is sensible. The crazy thing about it all is that I think…I love him? That’s probably thanks to Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance after he climbed out of the camper. He’s a bad dude, for sure, but he was charming, funny, and had this swagger about him that makes some villains too cool to hate entirely.

 

2. Morgan Jones (Previously 4th)

Morgan

Out of everyone among the Alexandrians right now, Morgan is the most in control. Morgan also broke his own rules to save Carol, blasting away Roman with the gun Rick gave him in the previous episode. Morgan gave the man a chance to drop his gun, but didn’t hesitate a second when he saw that look in his eyes. He also might be the key to saving the group from Negan, as he and Carol ride with a pair of equestrian enthusiasts with body armor to wherever they come from (confident it’s The Kingdom). If anyone can be diplomatic for an alliance, Morgan probably has the capacity to broker that kind of deal. He also has a chance to go full Eastman with Carol, who needs to find purpose again.

 

3. Rick Grimes (Previously 1st)

Confident Rick

I don’t fault Rick at all for falling into Negan’s trap. It was going to happen, sooner or later. The goal was to get Maggie to the Hilltop to Dr. Harlan, and Rick doesn’t send his people into harm’s way without going with. He was getting cocky though and he didn’t truly know how big the world was or how dangerous Negan, is until it was too late. You live and you learn though, right? Keyword: Live. But Rick’s now facing the consequences for killing so many Saviors.

Negan kill scale: 0/10 – Negan threatened to feed Carl’s remaining eyeball to Rick, so that cancels them both out

4. Lead Savior (Newbie)

Lead Savior

“Welcome to where you’re going.”

We don’t know his name, yet, but we have seen this the lead savior before. You may recall him in the forest with Daryl and Dwight, before they hated each other, and he cut off another savior’s limb to save him. We didn’t see his face then, but Steve Ogg’s is pretty memorable. He orchestrated the whole elaborate path for Rick to

5. Dwight (Previously 3rd)

Dwight

Dwight hauled in 4 of the 9 captives, and they are some of the more dangerous from the group. He’s going to be an interesting variable going forward, considering he tried fleeing from Negan before. Will someone get through to Dwight to help them get out of this mess? The little bit of hope is in his hands, if so.

6. Eugene (Previously 16th)

Eugene

This is the highest Eugene has ever been ranked and likely ever will. As much as it was probably a fool’s errand, Eugene gave himself up as a decoy to drive the winnebago into the Saviors’ next trap. That says a lot for a character who started out only caring about himself and survival. During his goodbyes to Abraham, Rick, and Maggie, he also passed his instructions for making bullets on. That should come in handy eventually.

Negan kill scale: 9/10 – Eugene had his nice moment to say goodbye and passed on his last bit of usefulness in the bullet instructions. The only thing that makes me hesitate on Eugene’s fate is the lack of heartbreak he garners from dying for effect.

 

7. Jesus (Previously 9th)

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If there’s going to be an uprising against Negan, Jesus is more than likely the man who can bring the other factions together to make it happen. Whatever alliances the Hilltop has, they have them because of him. He also knows better than most what it’s like to deal with Negan, so Rick will need to lean on him for that information.

8. Maggie Greene (Previously 4th)

Maggie

Physically in the worst place possible, with hers and Glenn’s baby at risk, Maggie stayed cool. She’s not really giving up, she’s trying to keep Rick even keeled by saying she believes in him, and when she shouldn’t even be walking…she says she will. It’s likely that she’s going to lose one or two more important people in her life (Glenn and the baby). After losing the most already on the show (her whole family), I’m more confident in her to handle that than most of the characters on the show.

Negan kill scale: 2/10 – There’s a lot of Daenerys Targaryen in Maggie, and there’s too much of her story left to go. It also seems like Negan has a soft spot for women…until someone like Dwight tries running off with them.

9. Carol (Previously 14th)

Carol

I want to rank Carol higher, but her willingness to give up made that tough for me to do. What puts her back in the Top 10 was how badass she was when Roman had her dead to rights. “This world doesn’t choose for you, you do.” After being shot multiple times, she laughed at Roman. I do and don’t get her resistance from Morgan. Ironically, Morgan took the “choice” to die away from Carol. Like he said though, she “can come back from this”. She’ll have to when she finds out her friends are under Negan’s control.

10. Father Gabriel (Previously 12th)

Father Gabriel

Two characters made the biggest leaps in development this past season, Eugene and Father Gabriel. Gabriel’s may be the most significant though, since he was at one point against Rick and those closest to him. Now he’s Judith’s personal bodyguard and more ready to defend Alexandria than anyone currently there.

 

11. Carl Grimes (Previously 15th)

Carl

I think there’s a lot to be said about Carl wanting to go on the mission to help Maggie. As Enid pointed out, he is looking for a fight…but so is everyone on the winnebago. Justifying Carl’s decision is Rick not putting up a fight. Rick also calls him “Son” before they are surrounded, as if the Walking Dead writers are conscious of the “CORAL” joke. I put Carl ahead of the others remaining at Lucille’s mercy because he stayed tough in front of Negan. “Cry a little”, Negan said…Nope. The “future serial killer” made a savvy move locking Enid in the closet to keep her safe. She is definitely his motivation these days.

Negan kill scale: 1/10 – As noted before, Negan’s ready to feed Carl’s other eye to Rick. That suggests he’s keeping Carl alive, but doesn’t necessarily have to grab his eyeball. Just saying.

 

12. Glenn Rhee (Previously 6th)

Glenn

Things aren’t looking great for Glenn, but at least he tried to defend his wife’s honor. His innocence is gone after having to kill for the first time and he may be paying for that soon. The foreshadowing has been there too, shown holding a bat before and seeing photos of Negan’s victims. Losing him would still be especially painful as he had been the group’s moral compass up until this point.

Negan kill scale: 8/10 – As many of you know by now, the comics suggest Glenn is the one at the end of Negan’s bat. Losing him would shake the group to its core. However, he’s cheated death twice already this season. Can he and the writers surprise us again?

 

13. Abraham (Previously 10th)

Abraham

Abraham gave Negan a glare that was just begging to be smacked by Lucille. Part of it is “take me, not them” and another is “do your worst, asshole.” Abraham is ready to have something real with Sasha and he wants to have what Glenn and Maggie have. I don’t think he’s totally willing to lose that, but he’d rather sacrifice himself for any of those 3 first so they have a chance going forward.

Negan Kill Scale: 8/10 – Negan saw Abraham’s fu manchu and his only response was, “I need to shave this.” That could very well mean getting rid of Abraham, but I also think he’d find Abraham to be useful in his militant world. 

 

14. Michonne (Previously 7th)

Michonne

Michonne’s got her whole family kneeling next to her, Rick and Carl. I think people are confident because Rick’s fallen for her, she’s doomed (like Lori and Jessie). I think Rick has suffered enough and that would be too redundant, at least at this point. She’s also way more of a capable killer once shit hits the fan…which it just did.

Negan Kill Scale: 5/10 – all the things listed above, and Negan may find Michonne useful.

 

15. Sasha (Previously 12th)

Sasha

I thought the “packaged deal” thing was pretty sweet, however I think Sasha’s skill set would have been best used for defending Alexandria. That may be more on Rick for not having her stay behind, but none of their warriors are back protecting to their home. That’s not to say she isn’t reliable in either scenario.

Negan Kill Scale: 4/10 – If anyone’s getting killed first between “Sabraham”(is that their ship name?), it’s old Abe. He’s the one who appeared done not too long ago.

 

 16. Horse Guy (Newbie)

Horse People

Here’s your window into the next faction (possibly Kingdom). You get a feeling these guys will get along well with Morgan, because they carry spears. They also may be the key to helping Rick’s group out of this jam.

17. Aaron (Previously 13th)

Aaron

Original Alexandria alum Aaron needed to come on this mission. He grew a bond with Maggie and he probably feels that he owes a lot to Rick for making the community stronger. He’s the strongest of his group and it would knock the hell out the other Alexandrians if they lost him.

Negan Kill Scale: 6/10 – I have to think there’s still more for Aaron’s role and offing him now wouldn’t effect the audience as much as others.

 

18. Enid (Previously 17th)

Enid

Props to Enid for trying to get Carl to focus on what was immediately important, Maggie’s health. You can tell she believes more in the community and she echoes Glenn’s overall point that they are stronger together than apart. Who’s going to let her out of the closet though?

 

19. Daryl Dixon (Previously 8th)

Daryl's Not Dead

I hate having Daryl drop this far but let’s be honest, most of these characters wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for him. Yes, Maggie would still have been sick regardless, so likely Glenn, Rick and probably Daryl would have gone to take her to the Hilltop. Probably Aaron too. Who knows about Eugene…

Negan Kill Scale: 7/10 – Killing Daryl would be the biggest blow to the audience (outside of Rick, maybe). I think he and Dwight have serious unfinished business though. My hope is that Daryl letting Dwight live before pays off in the long run. Daryl deserves to go out fighting too, not like Opie from Sons of Anarchy.

 

20. Rosita (Oversight last week, Previously 8th before then)

Rosita

I apologize for forgetting about Rosita last week, but she was sliding then with Daryl too. Daryl would not have put the other members of the group in this position if he didn’t leave. That could have been prevented if Rosita stopped him, or at least tried to get through to him as someone who was grieving the same way. Now she’s stuck on a chopping block with her ex and his new fling. Ouch.

Negan Kill Scale: 5/10 – There’s something about Denise telling Rosita “I don’t think you’ve ever known what it’s like to be alone” and Negan likes his “company” from what it sounds. She was already in a downward spiral. Why not go the way of Andrea with the enemy too?

 

21. Doctor Harlan (Previously 18th)

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Somebody’s gotta help Maggie, right?

22. Heath (Previously 19th)

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So did Heath and Tara get picked up by The Saviors too? Apparently not…

 

23. Tara Chambers (Previously 20th)

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…and if Heath and Tara are still out there, they can either help Rick or team with the horse people and Hilltop.

24. Tobin (Previously 21st)

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Tobes is just Tobin.

25. Spencer Monroe (Previously 22nd)

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Spencer suggesting that Alexandria could make a deal makes me nervous, or maybe what was left of Rick’s swagger rubbed off on him. Still a big question mark.

26. Olivia (Previously 24th)

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Ready your jars, Olivia.

 

27. Andy (Previously 25th)

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Saviors probably STILL want to get some revenge on this dude, right?

28. Eric Raleigh (Previously 26th)

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Your boyfriend’s in danger, Eric. What will you do?

 

29. Baby Judith (Previously 27th)

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Keep doing you, Judith.

30. Gregory (Previously 28th)

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I still don’t trust Gregory helping the Alexandrians against Negan.

 

31. Cal (Previously 29th)

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I like the spear guys on horses better than this one.

32. Freddie (Previously 30th)

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What would you say, you do here?

33. Craig (Previously 31st)

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I seriously thought Craig was the guy hanging from chain with an X painted on him, but that was “just a guy.”

Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter. Power Rankings will be back sooner than you think…Game of Thrones returns April 24th and we have the Pre-Season 6 Rankings already done. 

 

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The Walking Dead Power Rankings: “It’s All Over”

Each week, we’ll give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead. 

In “East”, the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead’s 6th season, things go awry in a hurry. Johnny Cash’s song playing during the montage following the opening credits told you everything. The relationships, the security, the confidence…”It’s All Over.” It setup some powerful symbolism to Rick and Michonne biting the apple in bed.

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Like Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit. They thought they had the world to themselves, and it all changed quickly after

It’s a difficult episode to watch as we see some of the strongest characters we’ve come to love make some very foolish choices that put everyone else in danger. You know a fight is coming. You know the vengeful Saviors are knocking at your door. Yet, well..

A quick, “we hardly knew ye” goodbye to Jiro and his Savior posse. 

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Funny how Jiro’s voice sounded very similar to Paula’s when confronting Carol. He knows the community is called “Alexandria” and he knows how close they are to it. Obviously Negan’s men have been doing their homework.

Now for this week’s Power Rankings:

1. Rick Grimes (Previously 2nd)

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What I appreciate about Rick’s leadership is his willingness to go head first on missions. It was smart of him to go with Morgan to find Carol and get intel along the way of how close the Saviors are and what they’re carrying. It was even smarter of him to take Morgan’s advice to head back to Alexandria as soon as possible.

We also see another side to Rick. He’s out looking for Carol because she’s family. Rather than react badly to Morgan’s “Wolf” admission, he wants him back at Alexandria. You wonder how much more Rick can grow, and here’s more evidence.

“Michonne did steal that protein bar” was Rick awesomely trading a confession for Morgan’s. Hopefully it isn’t the last thing he gets to tell him.

2. Negan (Previously 3rd)

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“Hi…I’m Negan.”

I understand that’s from the finale’s teaser, but Negan is holding all the cards right now. He has at least 4 of Rick’s people in his captivity, an infinite number of henchmen (apparently), and a barbedwire bat named Lucille.

Right now, this man holds to keys to your heart as a viewer. There is going to be blood, but who among your favorite characters will be shedding it?

 

3. Dwight (Previously 18th)

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NOBODY MAKES DARYL BLEED HIS OWN BLOOD!

Oh, Dwight did. The rivalry between these two is one of the most compelling aspects of this story. Dwight is in Daryl’s head, has the group reeling after taking out Denise, and has captured 4 of their best warriors. It’s too impressive not to give credit to.

4. Maggie Greene (Previously 4th)

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Michonne mentions at the start of the episode that Maggie has her and Rick on a tight schedule. That suggests Maggie is as much in command of Alexandria as anyone, even as much as Rick. Although she’s in a bad spot toward the end of the episode with her baby, there’s an obvious arc change for her as she asks Enid to cut her hair.

“I don’t want anything to get in my way.” This harkens back to when Shane shaved his head after killing Otis, who pulled on his hair and was weighing him down as they fought off walkers. I don’t think Maggie is turning into a complete asshole like Shane, because she has endured even more than he had to this point and remained strong. With Glenn in danger and apparently her child as well, how does she stay poised?

 

5. Morgan Jones (Previously 14th)

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We’ve been waiting a few episodes now to see what Morgan will do in the next time of crisis. It’s huge that he springs into action to chase after Carol. The woman wanted to kill him not long ago, and here he is chasing after her when there’s apparent danger EVERYWHERE.

There was a lot of references to Morgan’s “standalone” episode with Eastman. Literally, he and Rick were traveling east and the episode was called “East”. Then Morgan explains the “circle of life” process of him saving the Wolf, who kidnapped Denise, then saved Denise, who eventually saved Carl. It was interesting justification of his decision making. Now he’s helped bring back some humanity in Rick in this episode alone, and Carol has all of a sudden found hers again too…just like he did.

 

6. Glenn Rhee (Previously 7th)

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The group’s moral compass is currently in trouble. Glenn knows that the group is significantly stronger when it’s together rather than separated. That’s been proven MULTIPLE times like at Terminus, fighting the horde, and raiding the Saviors camp. It’s amazing that he still has to be the voice of reason to convince characters like Daryl and Rosita in the toughest of times.

 

7. Michonne (Previously 6th)

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Michonne is right there with Glenn, having to play babysitter to other members going rogue but also tied up among Saviors. If there’s anyone you can feel better about getting out of this pickle, it’s Michonne.

There’s also something that Jesus said a few episodes ago that I think motivates Michonne, “You have to know what you’re fighting for.” She’s fighting for Rick, Judith, Carl and their community now. She even says so after taking a bite of the apple in bed toward the beginning.

 

8. Daryl Dixon (Previously 1st)

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I’m sorry, friends, but Daryl was acting a fool in this episode. He’s been regularly at the top of our rankings since we began keeping them, but right now he has put at least 3 other characters and himself in harm’s way.

As Dwight said after shooting Daryl, “You’ll be fine.” Will he be by the end of the season finale?

(He’s booked to be on Talking Dead that night. That makes everyone nervous but I think Daryl has more of a score to settle with Dwight to go out anytime soon)

 

9. Jesus (Previously 5th)

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Jesus doesn’t get any face time, which was why he slips here, but his abilities and intelligence on the Saviors are going to be crucial in the inevitable fight with Negan. He and his Hilltop community are referenced twice in the episode, which leads me to think they have to be a variable in the finale.

 

10. Abraham (Previously 11th)

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I love Abraham’s “Ready to tear the world a brand new asshole” attitude right now. It’s huge considering how he was spiraling not too long ago and things looked bleak for his arc. That isn’t to say we’re being set up for tragedy with him, but Abraham is much more on his game when he’s happy and has something he is invested in…that being Sasha.

 

11. Sasha (Previously 12th)

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I know…where Abraham gets ranked, Sasha isn’t far away. They are a team right now and a pretty good one when they are on point. If we’re talking defense, Sasha is key as a sniper. She has also come a long way since losing Bob and Tyreese. It’s hard not to feel happy for her. It’s also interesting that she maintains her chill when having to stand her post right next to Rosita. I loved the glare she gave after Abraham climbed up to take her place. It silently screamed “Don’t mess with this.”

 

12. Father Gabriel (Previously 10th)

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Speaking of defense, Father Gabriel is definitely someone we can trust more. In a sneak peak to the finale, Gabriel pledges his service to keeping Judith safe when the war comes to them. I think his development has been critical to the narrative that “People can come back.” As someone who tried to sell out Rick and his people not long ago, after giving them shelter a season before, Gabriel is proof of what Morgan has preached this season.

 

13. Aaron (Previously 13th)

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Aaron will be a character Rick needs in the confrontation with the Saviors in the Finale, and probably after. Someone we love is likely going to die, and I would like for Aaron to take on that role that fills their place. He is the most proven out of the original Alexandrians and trusts Rick more than most.

 

14. Carol Peletier (Previously 26th)

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Welp, Carol’s “no kill” policy lasted all but 1 episode.

She’s out of my doghouse though because her leaving didn’t result in Alexandrian loss…yet. This was the first time she seemed really upset about having to kill Saviors, so she’s obviously still very conflicted. Rick and Morgan tracking her reminded me a lot of the group’s search for Sophia in season 2. I’m a little worried that Morgan will find a similar result because of that.

But she still pulled off a ridiculously impressive standoff against Jiro and the Saviors.

15. Carl Grimes (Previously 15th)

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 10.19.01 AM

Some serious foreshadowing as Carl checked out the Savior gun with the “Lucille” carving in it. I think we currently have the strongest version of Carl to handle what is to come. His experiences and learning from #Richonne have him more than prepared for a Savior attack.

Also, if we’re keeping score…

Carl – 2

Daryl – 1

…when it comes to being shot.

16. Eugene Porter (Previously 9th)

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“Phase 2” Eugene is also prepared for the worst case scenario. You wonder if his bullet making plan will be beneficial more in the short term or the longterm though.

 

17. Enid (Previously 20th)

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 10.43.14 AM

Hey look!…It’s Enid!

And she’s not being a brat! That’s so awesome. Seriously, I was worried for quite a while since her and Carl had their momentary spat in the woods.

What I hoped sort of came true. You could tell that she and Maggie were growing closer, and it’s nice to see her step in to fill in for duties when possible. Right now, she’s  most responsible for keeping Maggie safe while she deals with something going wrong in her belly too.

 

18. Doctor Harlan (Previously 19th)

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Only doctor between Alexandria and The Hilltop. Yeah, he’s kinda important while Maggie has pregnancy problems.

 

19. Heath (Previously 16th)

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In a 90 minute finale, there could be time for a look-in on Heath and Tara on their run. Maybe the come back in time or show up while the 6 characters (Carol, Morgan, Glenn, Michonne, Rosita and Daryl) are on the outside. His presence would certainly be helpful.

20. Tara Chambers (Previously 17th)

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 11.04.17 AM

Oh Tara…Like Carol, I have no idea how she’s going to react when she finds out about Denise. Maybe she’ll get some revenge. Maybe she’ll join her lover. I guess we’ll see, but it seems like something that should be resolved by the end of the season.

21. Tobin (Previously 21st)

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Heavy sleeper, that Tobin.

I still think he looks like the love child of Craig T. Nelson and Bill Fagerbakke from the TV show Coach.  He’s going to get a moment to fight, but I still don’t think it’s going to end well for him. PROVE ME WRONG, TOBIN. Your fling with Carol was already shocking enough. Do it again!

22. Spencer Monroe (Previously 22nd)

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So which Spencer are we going to get when shit hits the fan again?

The one who nuts up or the one who shuts up?

23. Roman (Newbie)

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The lone survivor of Jiro’s Savior crew that was blown away by Carol, and he’s on the hunt. I think he’s going to represent a crossroads moment for Morgan and Carol. Will one of them kill him? Will he kill one of them? Now I’m nervous…

24. Olivia (Previously 23rd)

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Ready your jars, Olivia.

 

25. Andy (Previously 24th)

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Saviors probably want to get some revenge on this dude, right?

26. Eric Raleigh (Previously 25th)

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Similar to Spencer, nut up or shut up time is coming for Eric.

 

27. Baby Judith (Previously 27th)

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Keep doing you, Judith.

28. Gregory (Previously 28th)

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You wonder if Gregory will stand in Jesus’s way to help the Alexandrians against Negan. He seems shifty like that.

29. Cal (Previously 29th)

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Sit on it, Potsy.

30. Freddie (Previously 30th)

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What would you say, you do here?

31. Craig (Previously 31st)

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…and you too.

Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

 

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The Walking Dead Power Rankings: Dick Move, Eugene

Each week, we’ll give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead. 

It would appear we picked a good time to start these power rankings because it’s been a heck of a ride since the midseason premiere. After successfully completing their attack on Negan’s satellite camp and “safe house”, we saw the Alexandrians in a state of calm. We saw residents in their routines, Carol smoking, new relationships forming…Of course everything couldn’t stay hunky dory for long.

Besides the obvious climax of action toward the end, there was also an interesting parallel of development and focus between two characters specifically, Eugene and Denise. Unfortunately it all came to a halt for one of them…

Goodbye Denise

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This felt inevitable throughout the episode, didn’t it?

The things Denise was doing seemed admirable. She led Daryl and Rosita to a pharmacy to replenish on meds, killed a zombie, and found her orange soda. However, she didn’t have to go on the run. Her selling point was that she could identify all the meds, but Daryl and Rosita ended up taking everything anyway. She’s the community’s only doctor (outside of Dr. Harlan all the way at the Hilltop) and had a responsibility to stay safe for the rest of her people.

We learned a lot about what makes Denise tick in her final episode like her bad relationship with her parents, how Daryl reminds her of her twin brother, and how she cares about Rosita. Some of that counteracts how reckless she was in the episode, but ultimately Alexandria takes a serious hit with her loss.

Now for this week’s Power Rankings:

 

1. Daryl Dixon (Previously 1st)

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Yay! Daryl got his crossbow back! Unfortunately, it came at the expense of someone he was growing closer too. Even with the toughest losses though, Daryl doesn’t seem to waiver in the toughest spots. Always dependable with whatever weapon he can access. The fact he can handle his bow way better than Dwight could says a lot as well.

You can also vote for Daryl in our TV Madness tournament here, as he’s made the Elite 8 and is facing off with ANOTHER Dwight (how about that for irony?).

2. Rick Grimes (Previously 2nd)

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Continued lack of activity from Rick keeps him in second to Daryl, but nobody did anything to unseat him either. There was something to his exchange with Morgan though. First, it was a symbolic to see Morgan in the jail cell he was building while Rick feels free with his philosophy on the outside. He simply asks Morgan “why”, but doesn’t argue with him when the purpose is to have options when captives are taken. With Negan’s group seemingly knocking on the door, Rick’s leadership and decision making are going to be as valuable as ever.

 

3. Negan (Previously 5th)

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It might be weird that someone who hasn’t even shown his face on the show yet is ranked so high, but let’s face it…every episode shows us how much more powerful Negan is. He has a Bond-villain amount of infinite henchmen apparently and Dwight acknowledges that The Saviors know where Alexandria is and have an idea of how nice it is inside. The writing is also on the wall that Denise is just the start for casualties Negan wants to make up for all the Saviors that were killed in the last 2 episodes.

 

4. Maggie Greene (Previously 3rd)

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No face time for Maggie this week, but we know how important she is to the community. While Rick is clearly in charge of defense (and offense), Maggie is the glue and handles all diplomacy outside of Alexandria. Her hands are bloodier now after breaking out of Savior captivity and she seems to have picked up the torch that Carol has left behind.

 

5. Jesus (Previously 7th)

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Alexandria is preparing for battle and that means they will have to rely heavily on their one ally community for help. Like Maggie, Jesus is the glue for The Hilltop and much handier in battle. If it’s all hands on deck, as things appear to be, they’ll need Jesus’s particular set of skills (Liam Neeson voice).

 

6. Michonne (Previously 8th)

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In preparation for what seems to be a serious battle coming up, Alexandria needs it’s best warriors to shine and Michonne is as dangerous as anyone. Being as close as ever to Rick, she’ll have some influence on his decision making too.

 

7. Glenn Rhee (Previously 6th)

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Well, Glenn’s a killer now…so that makes him a little more valuable in the heightened situations. He is also motivated by Maggie having his unborn child and won’t be held back to protect them both. We’ve seen a lot of potential foreshadowing though, and thing’s are going to get scary when Negan comes knocking.

 

8. Rosita Espinosa (Previously 13th)

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Nice jump for Rosita, as she continues to show how capable she is with her scoped out assault rifle. She also saved Abraham’s ass in the latest Savior encounter, even when she has a reason not to. Denise’s speech before her demise may have sparked something in Rosita as well, to take a big step as the badass she can be.

 

9. Eugene Porter (Previously 15th)

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“Welcome to Phase 2” and the Top 10, Eugene.

I like the mullet ponytail. It’s a nice look. I like his idea to mass produce bullets even more. His spat with Abraham was pretty lame and considering his past transgressions, he doesn’t have much of a right to talk down to the ginger-haired beefcake. Taking a chomp out of Dwight’s nether regions and “taking his moment” to distract the saviors was the most capable we’ve ever seen him in any of his skirmishes.

If he gets the bullet idea up and running, his value is going to be huge going forward.

 

10. Father Gabriel (Previously 10th)

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I like this version of Father Gabriel a lot. Rather than hide behind his church doors, he’s protecting his people with a rifle. Sticks to his convictions and he’s ready to fight. Very interested to see how he steps up when trouble rolls in.

11. Abraham (Previously 17th)

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There was a sigh of relief for TV and comic fans alike, as Abraham made it out of the episode unscathed. Eugene echoed some of my feelings about Abraham, saying he’s completed his mission and his arc should soon be over. Abraham showed up when it counted though, as the Saviors seemed to have Daryl, Rosita and Eugene dead to rights…Giving Eugene some respect was a big step, and making his move on Sasha was something we waited for as well.

12. Sasha (Previously 16th)

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The image above was a powerful one to me, showing that Alexandria was preparing for what’s to come. Sasha also has the demeanor that simply says”Bring it”. By inviting Abraham in after he professes his feeling for her, she avoids conflict with him…but that may amplify it with Rosita in the near future.

 

13. Aaron (Previously 9th)

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Aaron’s had the last couple weeks off, but he’s someone you can count on when stuff hits the fan. He proved that in the raid on the Saviors. Right now, you’re going to want to depend on people who are willing to get their hands dirty rather than the alternative. He’s also in lockstep with Rick.

 

14. Morgan Jones (Previously 20th)

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For a while, it didn’t seem like Alexandria was big enough to keep both Morgan and Carol in it. Apparently we got our answer to that this week, but roles seem to have changed between the two. Morgan has been training for a fight and readying a cell for potential prisoners. Carol can’t kill, and we’ll get into that further down the list…

 

15. Carl Grimes (Previously 18th)

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Carl’s played protecter without much airtime during the last month, seemingly, and now the fight is coming to him. I continue to hear animosity for the kid and I don’t think it’s warranted anymore. He’s on Rick’s side, he’s suffered enough, and he’s matured more than most on the show. When The Saviors inevitably show up at the door, I trust him more than anyone ranked after him.

 

16. Heath (Previously 12th)

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I’m not totally sure if Heath will be back from his run in time to help anyone, but he’s better help than most if he does return. Participating in the raid and being forced to kill some of the Saviors helped him grow to be better prepared for those circumstances too.

17. Tara Chambers (Previously 11th)

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Similar to Heath, I don’t know when she’s coming back because they are both on a run. I also don’t know how she is going to react to the death of her girlfriend. Will it be a catalyst for her to get some serious revenge, or will she turtle and lose her dependability that she’s been relied on for as of late?

18. Dwight (Previously 30th)

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Biggest of jumps in the power rankings goes to Dwight for making his return and his presence known. After Daryl found his motorcycle, we had a feeling Dwight had been picked up by Negan. The “Two-Face” look makes me think he was punished for running off, and it’s interesting to see him have some authority among the Saviors after.

“D” still killed someone he wasn’t aiming for, and he failed to take anyone else in after having Daryl, Rosita, Eugene and Abraham completely outnumbered.

 

19. Doctor Harlan (Previously 24th)

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Considering he’s now the only doctor between Alexandria and The Hilltop, I’d say he’s pretty valuable.

20. Enid (Previously 21st)

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I may be in the minority, but I’ve been waiting for Enid’s return to the screen for a long time. How is her relationship with Carl now? Are she, Maggie and Glenn a “unit”? What happens when Negan attacks? I do know she’s a survivor, she’s proven that in this season and the last. You’ll also trust her abilities more than anyone else ranked after her at this point.

 

21. Tobin (Previously 22nd)

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RIP #Carbin (The ship hashtag I made up for these not-so-lovebirds)

At least Tobin is around and has something to contribute by alerting everyone that one of their most valuable pieces has just up and left.

22. Spencer Monroe (Previously 23rd)

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Look at Spencer, offering to cook dinner for Rosita and stuff. She really doesn’t seem cool with that, but I’d be down if he’s making something good.

Spencer is a question mark still. We haven’t seen him in action since putting down his zombie-mom. Is he going to step up when things get scary or is he going to fall apart? We’ll also see if this weird thing with Rosita effects him when it matters most.

23. Olivia (Previously 29th)

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Olivia gets a boost after hanging around the bottom for most of these rankings. Mostly for just getting some face time, but also showing she’s still responsible of inventory and seemingly doing a good job of it.

 

24. Andy (Previously 14th)

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Andy slides for inactivity, but I feel better about him for holding his own against the Saviors.

25. Eric Raleigh (Previously 25th)

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Are Eric and Aaron still together? I don’t even know and if anyone’s going to go, it’s probably Eric, but at least he has stuck around…

 

26. Carol Peletier (Previously 4th)

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Biggest slide of the rankings goes to Carol…

Why? Well, having an existential crisis at the worst possible time certainly doesn’t help. She fought Morgan (also at the worst possible time) over this debate to kill or not. She’s also bailing on her people when they will likely need her most…

People in Alexandria care about her, Rick and Daryl especially. If either choose to chase after her (the teaser for next week suggests Daryl does), that cripples Alexandria’s defenses and the community becomes vulnerable. If disaster strikes because of Carol, she’ll probably drop to last in these rankings. Negan’s forces are everywhere too. One can guess she’ll get caught by a troop and made an example of for it.

Sorry, Carol fans, but it’s hard to argue for her right now.

27. Baby Judith (Previously 26th)

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Keep doing you, Judith.

28. Gregory (Previously 27th)

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Gregory seems like the type to sellout Alexandria if given the opportunity

29. Cal (Previously 28th)

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Still wielding a spear somewhere.

30. Freddie (Previously 32nd)

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Still being just a guy who misses his wife.

31. Craig (Previously 33rd)

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Does Craig have any value after Rick’s group killed dozens to save him? We’ll see but I doubt it.

Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

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