Welcome to the Sweet 16. We are going to break the remaining TV shows in half, with the four surviving entries from Netflix and the four left from Amazon Prime Video set to take votes today.
Four dramas and four comedies remain in the brackets below, with Breaking Bad the No. 1 seed and a trio of comedies in Netflix and the inverse, Fraiser and three dramas left on Amazon.
To recap our methodology, we took 64 teams, 16 from each of four regions (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO) and threw them onto a bracket (seeded using Rotten Tomatoes viewer ratings). You can view the full original bracket right here.
Below place your vote as we try and determine which TV show is the best option to stream during self-quarantine. We’ve also included our sport’s staff’s pick because, well, without sports to watch we are all streaming along with you…
1. Breaking Bad vs. 12. Arrested Development
Tale of the tape: Breaking Bad over Stranger Things in Round 2 (67.5%); Arrested Development over The West Wing in Round 2 (66.6%)
Jimmy Kempski: [Breaking Bad is] the only series I’ve ever re-watched from start to finish.
Evan Macy: I was absolutely blown away by the bloodbath Better Call Saul, The West Wing and Mad Men took in the second round in the region. The only drama remaining is Breaking Bad — and it’s a tough choice for me. One the one hand, BB is gritty and really an investment to watch it again, especially in these unusual times. But, as great as Arrested Development is, BB is the better show. That’s my pick.
Matt Mullin: I LOVE Arrested and quote it constantly. But the choice here Breaking Bad without hesitation. That’s how good it was.
Kyle Neubeck: It may not have the meme power of Arrested Development, but Breaking Bad was so good with such enduring characters that it inspired an elite spin off. No contest.
6. The Office vs. 7. Parks and Recreation
Tale of the tape: The Office over Better Call Saul in Round 2 (82%); Parks and Recreation over Mad Men in Round 2 (72.6%)
Evan: The Office is going to win and I hate it. There are some great moments in the show to be sure, but Michael Scott is a horrible, awful unwatchable character. Parks and Rec is more optimistic, more closely resembles my sense of humor and is the better watch right now.
Matt: This was a tough one for me because both shows are great in their own way, but I’ve got to give the nod to Parks and Rec. And the good news here is I don’t think that will upset the creators, as Greg Daniels adapted the American version of The Office and then he and fellow Office producer and writer Michael Schur (who also played Mose) developed Parks and Rec as well. So it’s quite fitting that these two shows matchup in the Sweet 16. They’re both very similar in their style and humor — and both were made much better by the supporting cast they put around the main characters. The Office had Dwight, Jim and the rest of Dunder Mifflin, Parks and Rec had Ron Swanson, Andy Dwyer and bureaucracy. They both had classic moments and memorable episodes, so it’s really splitting hairs to pick the winner here. But it comes down to the fact that Ron Swanson is one of the greatest TV characters of all time and I wasn’t a big fan of Michael Scott (the character, not Steve Carrell’s acting). I’m fully prepared for The Office to win here, but I’ve got to represent for Parks and Rec.
Jimmy: Ah, the battle of shows that Comedy Central airs re-runs of endlessly. I’ll take The Office all day, as long as Michael Scott is still there.
Kyle: The “I’m voting third party” of second-round matchups.
Amazon Prime Region
8. The Americans vs. 5. Friday Night Lights
Tale of the Tape: The Americans over House in Round 2 (55%); Friday Night Lights over 24 in Round 2 (54.3%)
Evan: Friday Night Lights is honestly the only of the four shows left in this region that I have watched enough of to speak knowledgeably about. It has flaws, but it actually has a solid chance of winning the entire Amazon section.
Matt: Evan and I disagree here. I was not a fan of Friday Night Lights, but after hearing from people last week upon revealing that, I’ve been convinced to give it another try. I stopped at some point midway through the second season, and was informed that the writers’ strike greatly impacted that season and that seasons 3 and 4 are much better. I haven’t seen ALL of The Americans, but I’ve seen enough to know it’s better than FNL. Sorry, Coach Taylor.
3. Mr. Robot vs. 7 Fraiser
Tale of the Tape: Mr. Robot over Fleabag in Round 2 (50.8%); Fraiser over The Man in the High Castle in Round 2 (52%)
Matt: This was one of the hardest matchups to write about because, like, how the hell do you even compare these two shows. Both barely squeaked into the Sweet 16, so had either drawn a different matchup, they might be going home. But one will advance to the Elite 8 later this week. I have a feeling Mr. Robot is going to win, but I haven’t finished it yet. And I feel like that’s one of those shows where the ending will be very important to how the rest of the show is received. If it’s unsatisfying, I won’t look back on the show the same way. I did, however, re-watch Frasier last year and it was much funnier than I remembered. I really want to pick it here, but it’s hard to take a 30-minute sitcom over a show that did some stuff I’d never seen on television before. If this was Seinfeld, I’d be going with the comedy, but Frasier isn’t Seinfeld. Sorry, even without knowing the ending, I have to go Mr. Robot here.
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