In the interest of wrapping this up before the end of March, which I guess isn't going to happen now but at least before the end of April, we're doubling up on the Sweet Sixteen posts, which means you better hurry up and vote in yesterday's matchups because we will see them again very soon. But we'll start with the Comedies, from which we have a Final Four.
1 - Seinfeld vs. 5 - South Park
2 - Cheers vs. 6 - Arrested Development
In my round 2 post, I mentioned that Cheers and Seinfeld had a run of success at the top of my favorite yearly shows list and it looked a little something like this:
1992-93 Seinfeld (Cheers' last season)
So yeah, for 9 straight seasons, these two NBC series that were at some point back-to-back were my favorite shows on television. Which is how they earned the top 2 seeds. And in the voting, Seinfeld is well ahead, scoring a 9-3 lead as of Sunday against the subversive animated comedy South Park. On the other hand, Arrested Development has an 8-3 lead over the longer running Cheers (longer running by about half a decade). I agree with the voters on Seinfeld, whose reign of unrestrained excellence between seasons 2 and 6 or 7, peaking with the season 4 "show within a show" concept and the classic Keith Hernandez two-parter just cannot be matched by South Park. But in the second matchup, while I clearly agree that I would watch an Arrested Development episode that I've seen a dozen times a thirteenth time right now rather than anything featuring Diane Chambers, I don't want to give short shrift to a show that brought us Norm and Frasier and Carla and Woody and Robin Colcord and of course, Sam Malone. "One-two-three-four, I declare a thumb war." Yeah, that was some great stuff. And what you may not remember is that most of those brilliant episodes, at least in my mind, came AFTER Shelley Long left to pursue her great film career and was replaced by the then normal sized Kirstie Alley. I liked the Sam and Diane years, a lot, and I certainly mourned the loss of Coach. But I really didn't love the show -- and it didn't jump to my #1 favorite until Rebecca Howe came on board and the situations got zanier and there was less Diane Chambers bringing everyone's mood down. Unfortunately, let's be honest, that was a long time ago. And the more recent brilliance of Arrested Development shines so fucking bright that it's tough to see anything else. Come on! (tm Gob Bluth). I don't know where to go here. My head says Cheers had a much longer run of greatness but my heart says it never reached the peaks of Arrested Development, mostly because no other show possibly could. Because really, Cheers did not come up with Tobias Funke, Analrapist. I don't know, I guess it's a toss up in my mind and I said at the start of this I would side with the voters when I couldn't pick a clear winner. So Arrested Development slips into the Elite Eight in the biggest upset of the tournament so far.
Winners: 1 - Seinfeld vs. 6 - Arrested Development (vote below)