Yep, it’s kinda early to be calling the winners in the second month of 2014, but thse shows are so far ahead of the pack that it’ll take an overnight out-of-the-blue miracle sensation to knock them off the ladder. Here we go in order of achievement, read ’em and weep…
#1) True Detective – It seemed nearly impossible for them to top Episode #4 (the mindboggling Beaumont project shootout), but they managed to do so with the crack lab coverup in Episode #5. They tapered off ever-so-slightly in Episode #6, but with ‘Two Episodes Left’, you can bet the farm that they’re going out with an unprecedented finale (not like the Sopranos and Breaking Bad cheese-cutters). There’s little doubt that Matthew Mc Conaghey’s Rust Cohle will become as much a TV legend as Bryan Cranston’s Walter White. Obvious question: what can they possibly do for an encore?
#2) The Walking Dead – Hanging on by a thread. As I mentioned in my last article, The Governor was their best shot at keeping this at the top of the charts. They shot themselves in the head when they put one in his during the 2013 finale. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is not strong enough to carry this season on his shoulders, and the politically-correct racial stereotypes they’re using to boost ratings aren’t cutting it either. You can smear corpses on screen just so long before the smell starts coming through.
#3) Dallas – Life beyond JR? So far, so good. Even though they’re hanging on to his storylines for dear life, the feeling that Larry Hagman’s on hiatus is still there. Who would have thought that Patrick Duffy could have carried all this weight by himself? His supporting cast is more than doing theri share, and True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto is going to be facing stiff competition from this writing staff come Emmy time.
#4) Black Sails – This one’s weathering the storm on the strength of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) alone. The pirate angle in holding up okay, but Stephens is doing for this series what William Shatner did for Star Trek. Time will tell if this dark side version of Pirates of the Caribbean will spawn its own generation of Sailsies, but for now, Stephens should carry this one comfortably into the sunset.
With garbage like Girls and Looking bringing up the rear, these four shows should easily beat off all the cop show network pretenders and sweep the Emmys in 2014. Remember, you read it here first.