The real March Madness begins today, while Hulu's Best in Show competition has already moved into its second round, with me once again serving as guest judge.
Because Hulu likes to arrange the bracket by pairing similar shows, rather than a straight numerical seeding like the NCAA does, we lost a bunch of good shows in the first round. "Louie" knocked out "Curb Your Enthusiasm," for instance, while H. Jon Benjamin in "Archer" whupped H. Jon Benjamin in "Bob's Burgers." And the new round features maybe the toughest choice I'll have to make of the whole competition (not that my vote matters any more than anyone else's this year) by putting "Parks and Recreation" up against "Community."
The most interesting development of Round 1 came on the weekend, when "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter noticed that his show was trailing "Justified" and went on Twitter to ask all the SAMCRO faithful to vote. Within only a few hours, that contest had gone from 52-48 in favor of Raylan Givens to the exact opposite (the final tally was 56-44). Sutter's former "Shield" co-worker Glen Mazzara, now running "The Walking Dead," then tried to do the same in what was at the time a losing battle against "The Vampire Diaries," and though his success wasn't as immediate, the AMC zombie drama just edged out the CW show in Round 1's final hours.
I'll be curious to see which showrunners and actors are most active in trying to agitate for the vote this week, and also which ones are most successful. Both "Parks" and "Community" have very strong Twitter presences, but I'm guessing the more perilous circumstance for "Community" will lead everyone involved there (both producers and fans) to push harder this week. But we'll see.
So go vote, and we'll be back around this time next week to talk about whether Tyrion Lannister was able to outwit the Dowager Countess, whether Walter White can out-scare "American Horror Story," and all the rest.