Of course we all know there is no such thing anymore as a TV "season." Half the time, I'm trying to avoid giving spoilers on shows that aired months ago, because the season hasn't been released yet on DVD for the Netflix junkies to watch. But, since this is still nominally the end of the network season; since most shows have actually finished their seasons or are about to; since new shows haven't yet arrived; and since I'm going to be in Europe for four weeks with as-yet undetermined Slingbox access; I might as well do one of my roundups of TV from the last nine months or so. These are mostly based on the grades I gave them in various posts over the year, with minor changes, and are for the latest season, not for the series as a whole:
A+: The Wire
A: Battlestar Galactica, The Office
A-: Dexter, Extras, Rome, Weeds
B+: 30 Rock, Big Love, Lost
B/B+: Ugly Betty
B: Entourage, House, The L Word
Somewhere between A and C, depending on the episode and my mood: Rescue Me
Gave up on show because I no longer liked it: Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Gave up on show when I noticed too many episodes unwatched on the DVR: My Name Is Earl
Too soon to tell because season isn't over yet, but probably an A: The Sopranos
Too soon to tell but I've secretly seen the last episodes of the season so A- is the final grade: The Shield
Incomplete because I like it but I'm several episodes behind so how much do I really like it: The Riches
What can the stat-head in me ascertain from the above? First, as always, the grade inflation doesn't really exist here … I'm sure there are plenty of shows with grades lower than C+, but I don't watch those shows, there's a filtering process whereby I only grade what I watch and I only watch what I think will be good.
I finally graded a show lower than L Word.
Number of shows in "A" range: 7. Number of those shows on HBO: 3. Showtime: 2. Sci-Fi Channel: 1.
Number of those shows on regular broadcast networks: 1.
Average grade for HBO shows (assuming an "A" for Sopranos): 3.7
Average grade for Showtime shows: 3.5
Average grade for broadcast network shows (not counting shows I gave up on): 3.15
Shows I gave up on: 4
Broadcast network shows I gave up on: 4
Hardest network to figure: FX (A- for The Shield, INC for The Riches, muddle-headed A/C for Rescue Me)
Number of series on CBS I watch: 0