Raked TV Madness! Who’s #1?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Who won Raked TV Madness?

As a reminder, here’s the bracket as we saw it last:

After battles in each division, we were left with a fanbase faceoff: Awake versus Fringe. After the previous rounds, it was no surprise that Awake made it into the final. They knocked out defender after defender, including the procedural favorite Castle and best comedy Community because they gathered and conquered by collecting votes here and on Twitter.

On the other side was Fringe, who had a comfortable but less obvious lead in the Supernatural/Fantasy shows. It wasn’t until facing award-winning Mad Men that the fans really rallied — and rally they did. In a competition where the most votes a show got in the first round was eight, by the Final Four competition, Fringe got 120.

But who won the Championship?

Fringe wins!

After seasons of rallying to make sure their show gets renewed, it should be no surprise that Fringe won the Championship, gathering a whopping 75% of the vote. Awake made a solid effort, taking to Twitter to spread the word (and vote), but the multiple dimensions and timelines knocked out the dual realities in the end. But hey, a show that’s been on for just a month made it all the way to the final, almost taking out a cult favorite. Not too shabby.

Thanks to all who voted, and congratulations to Fringe! Now, I suppose you should turn your attention to some other Madness Championship? Nah… Toss in a DVD or check out on demand. Let’s celebrate all of our TV Madness contenders!

Raked TV Madness! The Championship!

Well, that was unexpected…

Wow. If you haven’t been impressed with the competition so far, now’s the time to pay attention. Awake, with a strong lead throughout the tournament, outwitted the witty Community, but not by that large of a margin. The newcomer won with only 58% of the vote.

But the real story here was Fringe, whose fans rushed the court, giving it a phenomenal victory over Mad Men. While this may teach us that cult followings will always beat prestige (at least in voting), it tells us much more that this championship is anyone’s game.

Take a last look at the bracket and then vote!
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Awake vs. Fringe

Which fans will lead their favorite to the top? Which will be Raked Champion?

Cast your vote by leaving a comment, sending me a tweet, or dropping me an email. The winner will be announced on Monday!

Voting has now closed for this round. Stay tuned for the winner!

Raked TV Madness! The Final Four!

Can you believe we’ve gotten down to the Final Four? I can’t. And honestly, I can’t believe what shows were division champs in their categories!

Pop Pop! Community faced some of the best-ranked shows on TV right now, but the fans rallied, giving the Thursday night show the Comedy crown. Needless to say, #coolcoolcool.

Perhaps the long shot at the outset — having only been on the air for a few weeks — but the no-brainer by now, the fans of Awake kept this show going to win the title of Procedural.

Fringe may be hanging by a thread on Friday nights, but it outsmarted fan favorites like Once Upon a TimeGame of Thrones, and Supernatural. Now it’s got the title of division champ for Supernatural/Fantasy shows.

Given the large numbers in its season five premiere, it should be no surprise that Mad Men prevailed to win the Drama category, having a solid lead against Parenthood.

Now, it’s time to vote for the Final Four!
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Community vs. Awake
Fringe vs. Mad Men

It’s a fan faceoff with Awake against Community. Both are passionate groups, but who will make it to the championship? And Fringe against Mad Men — two very smart shows! Who will outsmart the other to make it to the final game?

It’s time for you to vote! Let me know your picks in the comments below, send me a tweet, or email me! And spread the word! Help your favorite shows move on!

I’ll be announcing the final matchup — the CHAMPIONSHIP — on Friday, so make your votes count and get them in fast! The winner of the tournament will be chosen on Monday!

Voting for this round is now closed.

Raked TV Madness! The Elite Eight!

Wow. I’m pleased to say that we got some new blood in the competition, with brand-new voters jumping in with their picks both in the comments and on Twitter. Let’s keep that momentum going into the next round — The Elite Eight!

There were some definite surprises in the last round. Awake fans rallied once again to beat out Justified  by a large margin (they’re currently the ones to beat, folks), but Castle overtook Bones with a similar large number of votes. In a closer race, Community took out its 8:00 competitor Big Bang Theory, and with a mere one vote lead, Happy Endings overpowered Emmy-winning Modern Family.

Once Upon a Time easily beat Supernatural, and I was pleased to see that, while in close competition, Fringe took the lead against The Walking Dead and is moving on to the next round. Mad Men easily grabbed the attention of viewers over Boardwalk Empire, but probably the biggest surprise in the competition was Parenthood‘s defeat of Downton Abbey.

Now it’s time to choose the sole survivor for each division. On to the Elite Eight!
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For those of you who don’t have expert vision or magnifying glasses, here’s the breakdown.

Comedies:
Happy Endings vs. Community

Procedurals:
Castle vs. Awake

Supernatural/Fantasy:
Once Upon a Time vs. Fringe

Dramas:
Parenthood vs. Mad Men

We’re almost to the Final Four! Which one of these shows will move on to the next round? Who will be the division winner? Let me know your votes in the comments, send me an email, or drop me a line on Twitter. And spread the word. If we’ve learned anything from these winners, those with the most fans voting are the ones that move on!

You’ve only got two days to vote! The Final Four will be up on Wednesday!

This round has now ended. Vote for the Final Four!

Thursday Open Thread: Your TV Crush

You can’t deny it. We may be older, some of us in serious relationships (if not marriages), but there’s a part of us that just can’t wait to see that hottie-hot-hot on our favorite TV shows every week. Some of us may have gone so far as to start watching a show because said actor or actress is in it.

Hey, I don’t blame you. This isn’t Tiger Beat. This is Raked. And I’m with you.

Who Is Your TV Crush?

There are certainly plenty of hotties out there (hellloooo, Matt Bomer), but if I had to choose a real crush, it’s got to be Joshua Jackson. In case you’re wondering, yes, it took all my willpower not to say, “Pacey from Dawson’s Creek, ” but that is how long he’s probably been my TV crush. There were others, certainly. George Clooney, for example. But I’ve grown up, perfected my focus. (And if you notice the similarities, you’ll actually see that in some ways, Joshua Jackson is a young George Clooney.)

Now, I’m a happily married woman. And isn’t it a bit embarrassing to share this out in the open world? Well, a little. But it’s not a bad thing. He also happens to be a good actor, and if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have started watching Fringe, which is one of the better shows on the air right now (is it too early to start the “please renew” speech?). If you like someone who’s actually in decent stuff, it actually works out for everyone around.

So good work, hotties. Your good looks and charm are working for us. Who’s your TV crush?

I realize I should be slightly red-faced in admitting my grown-up crush, but really, I’m just ashamed I used the word “hottie” so much.

The 2011 Awards: Part 1

It’s that time of year. I asked for some nominees from you, the readers, and now it’s time to announcing the winners of the 2011 Awards here on Raked. We’ve got a good mix of shows presented (and I hope you’ll agree), and just like last year, if you see a suggestion marked with an asterisk (*), that means that one of our readers suggested it for the list.

So enjoy Part 1 below. I’ll be following up tomorrow with more award winners!

The 2011 Awards!

Best Cliffhanger: Peter’s Disappearance, Fringe. This is one storyline that kept me going all summer long. And then the teasers, where you didn’t see him, and his voice just kept cutting in and out — that gave me goosebumps of anticipation! Come on, it even had it’s own tagline. That reminds me…

Best TV-Related Tagline: Where is Peter Bishop?, Fringe. Hell yes. Seriously. I think I still want this printed on a T-shirt or sweatshirt that I can wear in public.

Most Inventive New Show: American Horror Story. Sure, it had its flaws (Dylan McDermott for one; the antichrist for another), but when you can’t name another show like it and it gets consistent ratings, it’s certainly one to check out. This one has to be one of the most inventive new shows of the year, making me wonder most: What will next season be like?

*Creepiest Family Relationship: James and Angela Darmody, Boardwalk Empire. We had two gross examples of incest this year, both on the same network! Jaime and Cersei Lannister of Game of Thrones, and James and Angela Darmody of Boardwalk Empire. I think the award has to go to the Darmody’s though, because even if it only happens once, having sex with your mom is way more disgusting than having sex with your sibling.

#1 Character I Still Don’t Care About: Stefan, The Vampire Diaries. The idea of Stefan becoming a baddie seemed like an interesting idea. But the implementation was sloppy, and he’s certainly no Angelus. In the end, I never really cared about him anyway, so bad or good, I just don’t care.

Best Hair: Bridget, Ringer. Considering that she went from drug addict stripper forced to come clean after witnessing a murder and going into police detection, she sure knows how to make a neat chignon. Kudos.

Worst Hair: Bridget, Ringer. That ponytail with hair extensions in one of the early episodes was an awful mistake.

Most Annoying Teenage Character: Josh, Terra Nova, and Haddie, Parenthood. It’s a tie! I couldn’t just pick one. Falling in the footsteps of Tyler from V, we have two fantastic characters that bring down a show with something as small as a roll of their eyes. Whining, pitching fits, running away — you name it. These kids make us wince when they come on the screen — and make us change the channel when an episode is dependent on their plotline.

Best Standout Episodes: How I Met Your Mother. From Marshall’s dad’s death to Barney’s discovering his father to Robin’s discovery that she can’t have kids, How I Met Your Mother has brought us some fantastic standout episodes in 2011. Sure, there may have been weak ones in between, but these are the ones that make us keep watching.

*Best Newcomer Actress: Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones. She was given the most difficult role of any of the kids. Sansa could play the lady at court, which isn’t easy, but it’s not particularly hard; Bran could play the broken kid; but she had to play the line of the willful tomboy girl without making it seem out of context given the setting. Also, the work she did in Ned’s final episode was just awesome. Plus, it’s a rather physical role, given the left-handed fencing (and I don’t think she’s left-handed either).

*Best Newcomer Actor: Joel Kinnaman, The Killing. He did a great job showing the audience a conflicted, unexpectedly deep character. Despite how they screwed him up at the end that somehow he was a traitor, his acting performance was still well-done.

Best Musical Episode: “Regional Holiday Music,” Community. Oh, sure, many of you are probably upset that Community won over Glee. I agree. I do have a big soft spot in my heart for Community, and to be fair, everyone expects Glee to have song and dance numbers. People never know what to expect with the gang at Community, which is why I give the award to the Greendale crew for their festive, musical Christmas episode.

Best Musical Performance: Michael’s Song, The Office. Again, Glee could have had a shot here, but it’s missing the sentimentality that The Office had as they gave Michael a final musical number before he moved to Colorado, which even became a Moment of the Week here at Raked.

Cutest Reaction to Pregnancy News: Booth, Bones. That smile that filled his entire face at the end of last season? I think it’s what any single girl telling the father of her accidental unborn child hopes for.

Best Episode of the Year: The Pilot, The Killing. The show flunked in its finale, but the first episode was probably one of the most well-done episodes I’ve ever seen. Michelle Forbes alone was incredible. This was the one show I recommended to anyone I saw after the first episode. (If only I knew how the season would end; perhaps I would have altered that recommendation.)

*****

And there’s Part 1!
Check back tomorrow for more 2011 Award Winners!

Fringe: Savoring the Memories

FRINGE: 4.06 “And Those We Left Behind”

Peter’s back! Peter’s back, Peter’s back, Peter’s back. But poor Peter. Walter won’t have anything to do with him, and Olivia is just civil and polite. Her usual (new) reserved self.

I have to say, after his return, Peter seems to be taking things rather well. He seems to get the fact that no one knows who he is and that Olivia is just going to keep him at arm’s length. He seems to know when and how to mention what he knows and how it helps. Really, the only thing that threw him was hearing that Walter lived in the lab. I really can’t wait to see how Peter tries to fix his relationship with Walter. Despite his love for Olivia, clearly, that’s what foremost in his mind right now, even if she could tell that she was important to him when she dropped him off at his old house. (By the way, would a house covered in sheets, dust, and cobwebs really have a flatscreen TV? Just sayin’.)

But this week’s episode really wasn’t about Peter, even if he claims the moster-of-the-week events were his fault. It was really about time anomalies caused by one man who just wanted to fix his wife.

I barely recognized Stephen Root in this episode at first. It took me a minute. But man, the relationship his character had with his wife was just so heartbreaking. This relationship was so real, and given her Alzheimer’s state, you could see why he so desperately wanted to go back into the past and just live together happily in their little bubble. He didn’t know he was doing anything wrong. He just wanted to be with her.

You know, there were parts of this episode that reminded me of Up. It’s all about living life. Seriously, this episode made me tear up. (Up made me sob buckets. I’m a wuss.)

Beyond the great job Root did with his story, there’s not much more to be said here. It was a pretty straight-forward episode. I really want to get back into the story arc, though, and find out why Peter’s back and what’s next. Will he ever get back with Olivia? Personally, I’d find it interesting if we found out that she and Lincoln had themselves a growing romance, all while Peter’s standing by. In fact, that’s not too far fetched, especially considering how the other Lincoln loves Faux-livia on the other side.

Speaking of, I can’t wait to see what Peter does when he sees the other side. I hope that happens soon. That will be something to see.