#1 Parks & Recreation vs. #4 Bojack Horseman
Every day is Galentine’s Day when you are cruising through the Screen Scholars/GBOAT “March” Madness without a care. Parks & Rec sent the cult favorite depressed cartoon horse back to the ’90s and his famous TV show within a show and the residents of Pawnee should be considered the heavy favorites in this event. Leslie Knope will be thrilled to find out her next opponent is a politics fan kindred spirit…
#2 The Daily Show vs. #6 Designing Women
The 25 years, 3 hosts, and multiple correspondents of The Daily Show prove to be too much for Sugarbaker & Co. and the ladies plus Meschach will not get the vapors as they had a nice run and can now celebrate. The Daily Show will need all the minutes of Zen available as it faces a juggernaut one week from now in Pawnee, Indiana (as that crew has home field advantage). Hopefully Ben Wyatt won’t have a freakout when he’s asked Craig Kilborn’s five questions (remember those). That era counts, even if we know that’s not what you’re voting for…
Sect. B #1 The Simpsons vs. #5 Daria
Frankly Daria Morgendorffer was bored with this whole event anyway and would have cracked wise (maybe “if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my room”) and walked out even if her show had defeated the GOAT with its 32 seasons and 700+ episodes. Will it win it all? It’s hard to tell as while its first five to twelve seasons (three, at best, if you ask Comic Book Guy) defined animated comedy (and comedy in general), but will its long stretch of mediocrity drag it down–or maybe if you weren’t around for the beginning, season, say, 25 does not seem as meh. However, it’s next round may be tricky as it faces Tournament wizard Mike Schur and the very concept of good vs. evil…
#2 The Good Place vs. #3 The Office [UK]
Mike Schur is now 10-for-10 as the very accountant that sums up points on The Good Place tallies up the groundbreaking British show he co-created and finds it lacking. If all that’s unclear, Steven Merchant, who was Ricky Gervais’ writing partner on The Office [UK], also played the character in charge of overseeing the point system on The Good Place. In any case, while it’s weird to see such an iconic and imitated show exit so early, that’s just how charming and wonderfully written Schur’s wholly original imagining of the afterlife is. But we’ll see how well it can keep it sleazy when up against arguably the most important TV show of all time.
#1 I Love Lucy vs. #4 WKRP in Cincinnati
In 2013, excellent TV Guide critic Matt Roush snubbed the tightly written 1970s sitcom about misfit DJs in America’s heartland when he created his Top 60 Greatest Comedies. Johnny Fever, et al, gets a revenge of sorts by taking down the number on that list, dethroning the Queen of American comedy, Lucy. As God is our witness, we thought I Love Lucy would fly to the final round. It was a razor close race, and can we call recency bias on a show that’s 40 years old itself, but while some may question this result, WKRP stands as one of the best shows created during a golden era for the standard situation comedy. And while we all know one specific classic episode, it also set the bar for dealing with tragedy when it addressed the deadly stampede at a 1979 Who concert in its titular home town (see a link after the next matchup.
#2 The Larry Sanders Show vs. #3 Atlanta
Another controversial ending–and one that certainly cannot be blamed on recency bias as a 1990s classic won out over Donald Glover’s groundbreaking comedy(?) that is still on the air now–but Garry Shandling’s conceptualization of the late night show he was never given wins by a slim margin as Screen Scholars and GBOAT voters diverge. The voters of this site take the day giving it a 5-point margin wiping out the 3-point edge Atlanta had in the FB group. Both were shows unlike anything else on air at the time, but in this case, it’s the 20-year-old HBO show that moves on.
#1 Arrested Development vs. #5 M*A*S*H
The helicopter flies into the sunset, hopefully not to get batted down by Tobias Funke in a mole costume or George Michael Bluth awkwardly maneuvering a jetpack. While the Korean War has ended, there’s still always money in the banana stand. The show that has always had to struggle to avoid cancellation in real life is thriving in this tournament, earning its third straight easy victory, this time over one of TV’s all-time classics. Will its run continue against another unconventional comedy.
#3 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia vs. #7 The Jeffersons
The messiest Gang on TV, the extended Reynolds clan from Philly, sneaks barely by a Norman Lear classic from the late 1970s known for its many firsts. Stars Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton had to struggle to get their strange, rough-edged, unabashedly meta, wholly unique collection of eccentric characters from the former’s home city on the air. Once they did, the cult following grew year-over-year until one thing followed another and they wound up on the air for 15 seasons. They’re feeling the love in this tournament as even though they needed a tiebreaker to move on, It’s Always Sunny shines on and into the Sweet Sixteen