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Best in Show: The Final Four

March 21st, 2011 by Ben Collins Editor

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.

Last comment: Mar 4th 2012 16 Comments
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  • thaCarter says:

    I ran a script voting for Chuck but it’s not like there weren’t Community fans doing the exact same thing. So alls fair. I’m sure plenty of people were doing the same thing for Dexter.

  • Joe says:

    Chuck vs Dexter? Are you F@cking kidding me??? Chuck isn’t even in the same league!! Chuck isn’t even entertainment!!!

  • JoeIsTim says:

    O Yes He IS… OH YES HE IS… =D

  • Joe says:

    No, it’s not just Tim.
    But I guess you could always say that Chuck “needed” the win more, since the show hasn’t had a good season.

  • timisasoreloser says:

    It IS just you tim.

  • Tim says:

    Is is just me, or does it seem obvious that some Chuck fans have set up a voting script that just continually refreshes and votes for their show?

    Next year, Hulu should set the voting so that you have to use either a Hulu or Facebook account to vote and you can only vote once. That way it’ll help cut down on people on that sort of thing

  • Ian Paisley says:

    Neither Community or Chuck holds my interest for very long. Both of those shows are shows I’d watch if there’s nothing else on at the same time. So my vote is whichever wins in th a coin flip.

    It’s interesting that you House MD. in a voting Match-up with Dexter. Nothing against House Md. I like the show. However, I love Dexter and watch it regularly. Isn’t it kind of an unfair to have a match-up to vote for a show [that would be Dexter] that isn’t even available on hulu.com even with a Hulu Plus subscription? Or is this the promise of things to come and has hulu.com entered in to a partnership agreement with Showtime? Is this data gathering to decided which shows hulu.com with bring back to this fall season line up?

    Inquiring minds would like to know! If you brought Dexter to hulu.com it would be fantastic.

    Ian Paisley

  • DWHarper says:

    Chuck? Really? The premise is worth a 2 hour movie…maybe…well, at least its worth a SNL sketch…Community is best of the lot now but Modern Family is number 1 seed…

  • Pacey says:

    How is Chuck in Community reading 50% .
    I thought yaul took that out to pervent ties, I know your other polls just skip to 49 to 51%.

  • qbgabe12 says:

    Gotta give it up for Chuck… it was great in first two seasons, but got handicap by lower budget as a result of on going struggle for renew, but they managed to keep it interesting and exciting.

    Having saying that, Community win in overall quality. Unfair advantage, yes? No matter what the reasons behind, the degrade in quality is obvious since season 3 of Chuck.

  • Micah says:

    I love Chuck and Community, but I have to go with Chuck for two reasons:

    1) the storyline from episode to episode is stronger. I look forward to it more each week than Community because of that. Community is usually very funny, but the episodes don’t have as much continuity as the quirky romance/spy goings on of Chuck n the gang.

    2) Community has already been picked up for next season while Chuck is somehow still on the bubble that it is on every season. I don’t know if it winning the Hulu best of show will make any difference to the network, but you’d think they would at least be aware that it did win and that would mean something. Of course, I sometimes wonder if the networks are in touch with reality at all.

    Go Chuck! The force is strong with you!

  • Ben J. says:

    Its a shame that NBC is so stupid with its best shows. Almost cancelling Chuck, getting rid of Conan, and putting Community in a crappy timeslot. Chuck and Community would be way more popular if NBC knew what they were doing.
    As far as this bracket goes, although Chuck and Community are both awesome, Community is way awesomer. Vote Community

  • Hill says:


  • Alexander says:

    I hate that Community and Chuck have to face each other. While I agree that Community is far and beyond the best of the four shows left (the best sitcom on television actually), I’m sympathetic to the plight of Chuck fans. NBC has done very little to get these two gems the audience it deserves. So while I’m disappointed Community won’t win (especially since it’s DEFINITELY the best of the four), I understand why the rabid Chuck fans will be voting around the clock all week to see their show through. Just a little bit of deserved recognition for either show means so much to us supporters. Glass Half Full: I did get to watch my show take down the most critically adored comedy on TV (30 Rock), one of the four faces on “Sitcom Rushmore” (The Simpsons), and the “staple” and ratings champ of it’s own Thursday lineup (The Office), and it felt GREAT! Now how about a single, solitary nomination next awards season for the most underrated, ignored, and disrespected shows on TV. Viva Community!

  • Daniel L says:

    I’ve supported most of the winning candidates thus far. Viva Chuck!