Power rankings: the best shows of April

21:54, May 02 2013

April is in the can and we're in the grips of winter. Luckily, I've got another round of Power Rankings for you to enjoy! Here are the best shows of the past month, in the opinion of your humble blogger (of course). Be wary: spoilers abound.

11: Doctor Who (Prime, Thursdays 8.30pm)
The new season has been a mixed bag - The Rings of Akhaten was a great episode, whereas Cold War was a letdown the following week - but one thing is for sure: Jenna Louise Coleman was the right choice to play the Doctor's new companion. Every scene between Coleman and Matt Smith is a delight.

10: Wilfred (Four, Sundays 10pm)
You know, for a show that opened with Elijah "Frodo" Wood trying to kill himself with a container of sugar pills then realising he sees his neighbour's dog as a human in a dog costume who constantly smokes pot and waxes philosophical at every opportunity, Wilfred is pretty damn funny.

09: Go On (TV3, Tuesdays 8pm)
For all the charm of Matthew Perry, which I've mentioned in past issues of the rankings, it's the supporting cast that are getting it done lately: Fausta (Tonita Castro), Mr K (Brett Gelman) and Sonia (Sarah Baker) bring the laughs in the support group, while Steven (John Cho) and Carrie (Allison Miller) keep it going while Ryan is at work.

08: Veep (SoHo, Thursdays 8.30pm)
It's not quite as clever as Armando Ianucci's other, UK-set political satire, The Thick of It, but I reckon Veep might be the funnier show - Signals, which found Selena attending a pig roast and dealing with a controversy surrounding her daughter and the publication of her secret communication signals, had me in stitches.

07: Top of the Lake (UKTV, Mondays 8.30pm) (finished)
I was disappointed by the ending of Jane Campion's series, but there is no denying that it was a) gorgeous to look at, making full use of the settings and surrounds, and b) performed brilliantly, with stars Elisabeth Moss, Peter Mullan and David Wenham standing out.


06: Fringe (TV2, Tuesdays 10.45pm)
We're less than a week away from the final episode of Fringe ever. I'll be sharing a few thoughts on Fringe - and its (high) place among the best sci-fi shows in recent memory - next Wednesday, after it finishes on TV2. In the meantime, just know that the fifth season of Fringe might have been highly conceptual, but it worked. Fantastic television.

05: New Girl (Four, Mondays 8pm)
We met the Miller family in Chicago, Nick and Jess went on their first, uh, date, Schmidt and Winston had a bonding experience while a hobo wrecked the bathroom, and Jess threw CeCe a surprise hens' night - an amazing run for a comedy that is the funniest on television right now.

04: Mad Men (SoHo, Sundays 8.30pm)
The latest season of the hit drama started slowly, but found its footing this week as the focus shifted back to the office, and to the business of marketing: the ketchup pitch (Project K), and the subsequent scene with Ted and Peggy in the bar, was just brilliant to watch play out on screen, and signalled that there is greatness to come this year.

03: Sons of Anarchy (TV3, Wednesdays 9.30pm)
Well, this week's finale certainly turned the show on its head ... but is there too much going on? Sons has always been a plot-heavy show, but this season was relentless, with new developments and unexpected twists coming thick and fast. It's an impressive feat to juggle so many story elements and make a show work as well as Sons did this year, but it can't continue into the foreseeable future. If anything, the show needs to slow down.

02: The Americans (TV3, Mondays 11.35pm)
Is it still the best show on television? Nyet. The Americans had to give way to my favourite returning show, but I still have love for Philip, Elizabeth and Stan: the final episode, next Monday night (late), is appointment viewing for me - and I'll have a full review of it, and the season, on Tuesday morning.

01: The X Factor NZ (TV3, Sundays 7pm)
I'm kidding! I'm kidding!

01: Game of Thrones (SoHo, Mondays 8.30pm)
You thought something else would be #1? Silly you.

Shows that dropped out from last month: Both The Walking Dead and Girls finished their seasons, while Once Upon a Time and Bunheads make room for new blood. The Blue Rose finished its first (and probably only) season this week with a whimper; some great ideas there, but it didn't quite come together for me.

Shows that came damn close to getting in: They only had a single episode each, but The Simpsons (where did the new season episodes go?!) and Go Girls nearly cracked the list, and Alphas has been enjoying a nice little second season on Four - and while it's not the policy of these rankings to include *ahem* non-NZ broadcast shows, if I did then Hannibal would be near the top of the list.

What were your favourite shows of the past month?

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