Welcome to the first edition of the Monthly Power Rankings!
Those of you who've been following On The Box for a while will know that I like to rank things - and up until I went overseas, I'd been reporting back on my favourite shows each week with an elaborate ranking system, posted on Sunday evenings at my personal blog (starting back this weekend).
The rankings are based on my ratings for each episode; I give each episode a score out of 10, and their position on the list is based on their average score over the last 5 weeks. For the monthly edition, which I'm going to run here at OTB starting today, it'll be based on an average rating over the last month.
Make sure you share your favourite shows from the last month in the comments section below - in the meantime, here are my Top 10 favourite shows for October 2012, in reverse order ...
10: Boss (SoHo, Saturday 8.30pm)
The second season of Boss has been better than the first in some ways, worse in others: the political side of the show has been more complicated and vastly more interesting, but expanded roles for some of the supporting cast have had a detrimental effect on the show (as I wrote a few weeks ago). The season finale airs this Saturday night.
08: 7 Days (TV3, Friday 9.30pm)
TV3's flagship local comedy show has been as good as ever, and with the way the revolving collection of guest panelists - Urzila Carlson, Jesse Mulligan, Ben Hurley and Steve Wrigley, particularly - are improving from week to week, I can't help but wonder if the improving profile of Kiwi comedy has given the comics a confidence boost that has translated to 7 Days.
07: Doctor Who (Prime, concluded)
The first half of the latest season of Doctor Who ended a few weeks ago, and I shared my thoughts at the time; however, it's funny how my opinion of that ending - the farewell to the Pond's - hasn't changed since. As I said at the time, I feel quite optimistic and am looking forward to where the show is going when it returns next year.
06: New Girl (Four, Tuesday 8.00pm)
I know, I know, I owe you guys a "here is why New Girl is the funniest show on television right now" post, which I'll endeavour to write next week. The short version is this: the interplay between Jess and Nick is brilliant, Schmidt might be the single best character on any comedy right now, and every argument on the show is riotously funny. Honestly, I could watch a show that was only made up of shouty arguments between Jess, Nick, Schmidt, Winston and CeCe.
05: Downton Abbey (Prime, Thursday 8.30pm)
I'm saving my thoughts on Downton Abbey until a later date, but suffice to say that the third season is a major improvement on the second. Shirley MacLaine is perfectly cast, and the money storyline has been interesting enough to carry the show through the first few episodes. It promises to get better, too.
04: Parks & Recreation (Four, Tuesday 10.00pm)
If New Girl is the funniest comedy on television, then Parks & Recreation is the flatout best comedy on television - no other comedy can do both slapstick hilarity and heartfelt emotion, sometimes in the same episode (and frequently during the current fourth season), as well as Parks & Rec. Plus, it boasts the best ensemble cast around, hands down.
03: Dexter (SoHo, Wednesday 8.30pm)
Is it just me, or is Dexter enjoying a resurgence this season? With Deb in on the secret of Dexter's dark passenger, while a Russian drug cartel and a persistent LaGuerta are hot on his heels, this season seems to have a lot more at stake. The result is the best start to a season in years. Hopefully the remainder of Season 7 can keep up the pace.
02: Boardwalk Empire (SoHo, Monday 8.30pm)
After that opening scene, introducing us to the menacing Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale), followed by that remarkable re-introduction to a focused Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), everything that has happened on Boardwalk since has been loaded with so much tension that you can forgive the strategically slower episode on Monday.
01: Homeland (TV3, Monday 8.30pm)
Not only is Homeland the best show on television right now, but Monday's episode might well have been the best episode of the show to date. Heck, it might be one of the best episodes of anything to date. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are at the peak of their powers, the writers are nailing every episode ... Monday nights can't come soon enough.
Honourable Mention: Family Guy and The Simpsons are strong again this year, despite only a couple of episodes airing before a lengthy, US-enforced break. Jono & Ben At 10 has been a surprisingly entertaining chaser for 7 Days. Episodes is back, picking up the second series where it left off. Lastly, Hell On Wheels wrapped a great second season on Sunday, followed by the welcome news that it has been picked up for a third.
What are your favourite shows from the past month? Share them in the comments below ...
Wondering what is coming up next week? Never fear, click here for a look at the week ahead.