Well, that was close.
If the “Dexter” vs. “How I Met Your Mother” matchup in the Elite Eight of Hulu’s Best in Show is any indication of how testy the Final Four is going to be, we’re going to need to provide some padding. The Showtime staple barely edged out Barney Stinson and friends in the closest vote to date.
And to ensure that we’re giving you all the time you need to cast your vote in the last round (which kicks off next Monday, March 28), we’re extending Best in Show through April 3, with the grand champion announced on Monday, April 4. So will it be “Community” or “Chuck” versus “House” or “Dexter?” Hitfix.com Senior Editor — and his 5 percent of the vote — is here to dissect the madness of the third round and help break down the Final Four.
Hulu: “Chuck” is getting a substantial late push after barely surviving its Round 2 matchup against “Supernatural.” Do you now think this show has a legitimate chance to overtake the juggernaut that has become “Community” in the next round?
Alan Sepinwall: “Chuck” had an easier match-up this time. In the real world, Modern Family is much more popular than Supernatural. Online, though, sci-fi, fantasy, and other genre shows tend to arouse more passion, so I’m not surprised the “Chuck”/”Supernatural” race was much tighter. I really don’t know how “Chuck”/”Community” is going to go. “Chuck” is a show whose fans love it so much they helped save it from cancellation two years ago, but “Community” has as obsessive and fiercely loyal a fandom as any comedy I’ve seen in a long time. My gut says “Community,” but in a squeaker, and I’d put the winner of this match-up as the favorite for the final round.
Going into the tournament, did you think the Final Four would shape up basically like this? Is there any show that has shocked you by its lengthy run?
“Community” seemed a fairly obvious call from its bracket, and I figured either “Chuck” or the winner of the “Fringe”/”Supernatural” Round 1 matchup seemed likely to come out of that bracket. I’m a little surprised “House” has done so well, though pretty much every match-up has pitted it against a show with a smaller (albeit sometimes more vocal online) audience. The real shocker to me, though, was “Glee” not getting out of Round 2. Everyone I know who saw the bracket as constructed figured it had the easiest path to the Final 4 of any show, given the draw and the size and passion of the Gleeks.
Should “The Office” take notice of its sound thumping in the Elite Eight? Does this forebode a nasty turn in critical reception when the show is left Michael Scott-less?
I’m having a hard time finding people who don’t think the show should end when Steve Carell leaves. Though at this point, I almost feel like the show has the potential to be better in the short term without him, as it’s been getting a little tired the last few years.
“Dexter” vs. “”How I Met Your Mother”" was one of the closest votes in the history of Best in Show. Was it tough to narrow down these shows when the criteria for greatness — one a gritty, pay-TV slasher; the other a standard network comedy — is so disparate?
Once we got out of the first round, there were a lot of apples and oranges comparisons that had to be made. In that case, I just went with the show I was still enjoying more, regardless of the very different styles they offered.
How big of a coup is this “Dexter” win for Showtime? Could its un-PC, violent — but gorgeously written and well-acted — show could build up enough name recognition to beat a funny, all-ages comedy that most people know and a lot of people like?
“Dexter” fandom has done a very impressive job of mobilizing itself. It helps, I think, that lots of people watch the show on DVD rather than Showtime, which would mean their most recent exposure to the show was the Emmy-winning season 4 with John Lithgow, rather than the murkier season 5 with Julia Stiles and company. But if you look at the Final 4 as a whole, the only show left that’s a mass-appeal hit is “House”; everything else is a show with a small, crazy-passionate audience.
With your Elite Eight choice of “Mad Men” gone, which of the Final Four shows do you think most deserves the title of Best in Show?
Definitely “Community”, with “Chuck” second and the other two off in the distance.