If you’re just catching up with our One Perfect Binge bracket project, it’s worth noting up front that round one was dominated by decisive victories. While we expected that this might turn into a popularity contest, we may have underestimated a few online fanbases. We should’ve known that the Fannibals would come out strong for Hannibal, for instance. While it’s technically an upset (based upon the seeding) that the Mads Mikkelson-led show defeated sci-fi powerhouse Battlestar Galactica, it wasn’t exactly close. In fact, large margins of victory were a theme in round one, including:
- Breaking Bad took 85% of the vote against cult-favorite Fringe.
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer took 75% of the vote against Quantum Leap.
- Twin Peaks received 80% of the vote against Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- Lost took 79% of the vote against The Wonder Years.
- The Good Place received 78% of the vote in its matchup with Orphan Black.
- The Wire defeated The Knick, 91% to 9%.
- The Sopranos (87%), Parks and Rec (85%), and The Office (83%) all won their respective matchups with over 80% of the vote.
Hannibal ends up being the only first-round winner with a vote share of less than 60%, but even then, it received 59% of the vote. As expected, the first round was a fairly lopsided affair in most matchups. But it won’t get any easier from here. As we move on to the pairings in the second round, the choices become far more difficult…
Below you will find the 8 matchups that comprise the second round of our One Perfect Binge bracket, featuring the remaining 16 shows. Many of our more-obscure and creative picks have been handily defeated in the first round. It appears as if a popularity contest is afoot, but we’d like to take a moment to remind you of our criteria for this project: Which show is the most perfectly bingeable show ever? That means it’s about more than whether or not you think a show is good. Is it the best show to binge over the course of a few days? Let’s say you wanted to invest this upcoming weekend in one of these shows, which would you choose?
The power is in your hands as we begin voting for round two…
(1) Breaking Bad vs. (8) Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The case for Breaking Bad…
If you’re into major heists, drug deals gone right, drug deals gone wrong, drug busts gone right, drug busts gone wrong, long sit-down breakfasts, hostage situations, identical twin hitmen, romance, family bonding time, science… Breaking Bad is the show for you. It literally has something for everyone. So if you’ve somehow avoided watching it until now, you better get on it. Seriously. (Aurora Amidon)
The case for Buffy the Vampire Slayer…
A perfect blend of monster-of-the-week action and more longform storytelling, Joss Whedon’s supernatural saga redefined television in the ‘90s and it remains absolutely enthralling to this day. You won’t hear a better opening credits song anywhere else, either. (Kieran Fisher)
(12) Community vs. (4) Twin Peaks
The case for Community…
Surreal and chronically self-aware, Community satirizes the oddities of community college. With classes including “Intro to Senselessness,” extracurriculars like the annual paintball war, and a secret air conditioning school, there’s something for everyone at Greendale! (Kristen Reid)
The case for Twin Peaks…
You know, this is – excuse us – a damn fine binge-able show. We’ve had, we can’t tell you how many binge-able shows in our lives and this? This is one of the best. With hypnotic rhythms and a groundbreaking interrogative gait: Twin Peaks is a rabbit hole worth getting lost in. (Meg Shields)
(11) Avatar: The Last Airbender vs. (3) Lost
The case for Avatar: The Last Airbender…
It’s rare to find a show as consistently sweet, courageous, and captivating as Avatar: The Last Airbender. How spectacular: to throw yourself heart-first into a series that reciprocates with open arms and rock-solid sympathy. Avatar is #OnePerfectBinge. (Meg Shields)
The case for Lost…
Looking to start a big project? You could learn a language or write a novel—or get lost in Lost, the cultural phenomenon about castaways on a mysterious island that spends six seasons and a slew of timelines expertly blurring the line between mindf*ck and just-f*cking-with-you. (Ciara Wardlow)
(7) The Twilight Zone vs. (2) The Good Place
The case for The Twilight Zone…
The game-changing anthology series seems to only get better with age as we realize how prescient many of Rod Serling’s terrifying tales really were. With an impressive slate of familiar actors, writers, and must-see episodes, The Twilight Zone is the thinking man’s binge-watch. (Jacob Trussell)
The case for The Good Place…
If you’re looking for a bit more niceness in your TV diet, The Good Place is a perfect escape: it’s got a lovable cast, a subtle but impeccable pun game, and plenty of heartwarming appeals to our shared potential for growth. You need it in your life. And in whatever comes after. (Christina Smith)
(16) Hannibal vs. (8) The Wire
The case for Hannibal…
Part crime drama, part romance, all drop-dead-gorgeous cinematography, Hannibal is both a breakneck chase and a slow burn that propels you forward. And each season finale is meant to double as a series finale, so there are 3 bombshell “endings” to satisfy you along the way. (Liz Baessler)
The case for The Wire…
Can you binge a dense, gritty, 60 hour drama? Yes. Should you? Also yes. The Wire is daunting, but it’s brimming with intrigue and even levity, plus a cast of characters you’ll love desperately as they come and go over the years (or, from your perspective, days). (Liz Baessler)
(5) The Sopranos vs. (4) Parks and Recreation
The case for The Sopranos…
Settle in with television’s favorite New Jersey organized crime family and prepare yourself for six seasons of shocking violence, tense therapy sessions, and some of the most well-directed dream sequences of all time. Riveting, often terrifying, and always with a great sense of humor, The Sopranos is the crown jewel of prestige television drama. (Angela Morrison)
The case for Parks and Recreation…
Welcome to Pawnee, home of Lil’ Sebastian (RIP), Indiana’s smallest park and the most lovable crew of municipal government workers in the history of television. Once you get past the slightly awkward first season, it is nothing but non-stop laughter, waffles, and heartfelt moments between people who genuinely love each other… except maybe Jerry. (Angela Morrison)
(6) The Office vs. (3) Mad Men
The case for The Office…
From awkward dinner parties to office romance, The Office is a side-splitting look at workplace culture. From the office suck-up to the awkward boss, this show marries comedy and tenderness to make its characters feel like family. So embrace that new family and dive in! (Mary Beth McAndrews)
The case for Mad Men…
The ’60s might be the most catalytic period in modern American history and Mad Men doesn’t sell a minute of it short. Brimming with in-depth history, costume and set design worth the binge time alone, and a world of brilliant, complex characters, it’s made for getting lost in. (Luke Hicks)
(7) Seinfeld vs. (2) Bojack Horseman
The case for Seinfeld…
For a show about nothing, Seinfeld has given us everything. Iconic catchphrases, ridiculously cringe-worthy scenarios, and four characters whose selfishness and pettiness will make anyone feel better about their own worst impulses. (Angela Morrison)
The case for Bojack Horseman…
BoJack Horseman is a meaty but manageable 77 sitcom-length episodes that, through the existential despair of a selfish, drug-addled celebrity horse and a bottomless supply of entertainment industry quips will make you laugh as often as it leaves you sunken in contemplation. (Luke Hicks)
For more, read our One Perfect Binge essays and follow @OnePerfectShot on Twitter.