The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

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ValenN
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The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by ValenN » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:41 am

As I've been making great progress on my project to calculate the most acclaimed TV series of all time, I've found an intense battle taking place within all the numbers. For everytime I update the rankings for my viewing pleasure, two shows are WAY ahead of the rest and constantly duke out for the prestigious number one slot. These are iconic "The Simpsons" and "The Sopranos".

Both of these shows have held an iron reign over the thousands of other shows in the rankings, and since my list of sources has grown past 200, neither show has refused to exit the top 2 slots. It's a neck-to-neck race between these 2 titans and I'm curious myself to see who winds up being the king when I eventually publish this project.

Who do you think will be victor? Can "The Wire" or "Game of Thrones" hope to intercept this tight race?

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by Hymie » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:00 am

I've never seen The Simpsons, The Wire, or Game of Thrones.

Hopefully Breaking Bad is top 10.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by nquoid » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:18 pm

If this post is implying that Game of Thrones is a top 4 show then hooo boy.

Very much hoping for a nice comedy/drama balance in the top 10.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by Live in Phoenix » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:26 pm

Might as well guess The Sopranos. For one thing, I feel like it kicked off our modern era of high-quality TV programming.

I would have thought that The Simpsons had lost more of its luster. It's the ultimate example of the query, "Do we just love the good years of (musician, TV show, etc.)? Or should we account for all the years it dragged on pointlessly?" It was mega-hot in the '90s, I loved it then, and it's been Zombie Simpsons ever since, and it just keeps dragging on. I assume that will cost it the #1 spot.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by ValenN » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:55 pm

Live in Phoenix wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:26 pm
Might as well guess The Sopranos. For one thing, I feel like it kicked off our modern era of high-quality TV programming.

I would have thought that The Simpsons had lost more of its luster. It's the ultimate example of the query, "Do we just love the good years of (musician, TV show, etc.)? Or should we account for all the years it dragged on pointlessly?" It was mega-hot in the '90s, I loved it then, and it's been Zombie Simpsons ever since, and it just keeps dragging on. I assume that will cost it the #1 spot.
I think you are absolutely right. When I was first working on this project, I fully expected The Simpsons to be in the top 20 at least based on its huge legacy and "once great" status. And much like you, I expected the fact that the show has dragged on for so long to really hurt its ability to get a high ranking. However, many of the people that make lists out there just don't seem to care about that.

Lots of authors take a joyous approach in making their lists, focusing a lot more on the show's good seasons and overlooking their bad ones. As a similar example, Roseanne is a show that had a terrible last couple seasons, with the finale considered as one of the worst of all time, but yet the show continues to accumulate lots of points (see also Lost and Dexter). I assume the same is gonna happen to Game of Thrones, despite its less-than-stellar last season.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by Nick » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:54 am

The Simpsons vs The Sopranos: It's like the Beatles and the Stones, right? The condensed, quick, never waste a minute artistic experience that lasted for a few years before finishing with a bow versus the sprawling, never ending, franchise that keeps chugging along decade after decade, warts and all.

And Hymie is right: Breaking Bad deserves a top 10 placement.

And 90s Simpsons alone is an absolute top 10 show of all time.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by ValenN » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:09 pm

Nick wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:54 am
The Simpsons vs The Sopranos: It's like the Beatles and the Stones, right? The condensed, quick, never waste a minute artistic experience that lasted for a few years before finishing with a bow versus the sprawling, never ending, franchise that keeps chugging along decade after decade, warts and all.

And Hymie is right: Breaking Bad deserves a top 10 placement.

And 90s Simpsons alone is an absolute top 10 show of all time.
That was one of the best comparisons I've ever read! I think I'm more on team Sopranos/Beatles myself, though the goodness of Simpsons/Rolling Stones can't be denied. Had The Simpsons just had those first 10 seasons and then called it quits, I think its #1 placement would be accepted with no doubts. I think it has the opportunity to really boost its reputation if it ends on an amazing final season that satisfies old and new viewers alike.

As for Breaking Bad, I think it'll end up in the top 10. It has surprisingly struggled to get up there but its number 5 right now, however I'm in the process of updating my formulas to account for some factors I previously ignored. Once I'm done, the top 100 will be really shaken up, but I think Sopranos and Simpsons will still remain on top.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by kargetina » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:50 pm

#5 is a very suitable ranking for Breaking Bad.

As far as Dramas are concerned, The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Mad Men are the pinnacle. Tastes will vary about which one is the best, but the continuous quality, acting, writing, have established them as the mould of what a great show should be like.

Game of Thrones is not in the same same galaxy as those 4. It would be a stain for the list if it manages to outrank any of them. Seasons 7 and 8 are horrendously written. Season 5 and 6 were far from what came before but there was still some semblance of cohesion and narrative logic. This is the ''Greatest TV shows ever'', 20% of the show can't be ignored, especially when those 20% ruin every single character arc.

A static, non-linear narration like the Simpsons can get away with bad seasons. A show where plot and character development is everything, should not.

I think no TV critic worth his salt should use unfinished TV shows in such lists. There are countless examples where a TV show was great for 2-3 seasons and then took a nosedive. Dexter had an excellent reputation after 4 seasons. Would a critic that puts it at let's say #18 all time after those 4 seasons, do the same after the show ended? I think not.

It's like ranking a film as one of the best ever, while only watching two-thirds of it, then watching the terrible third act and either looking like a premature fool or act like the third act doesn't matter. Which is ridiculous.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by ValenN » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:14 pm

kargetina wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:50 pm
#5 is a very suitable ranking for Breaking Bad.

As far as Dramas are concerned, The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Mad Men are the pinnacle. Tastes will vary about which one is the best, but the continuous quality, acting, writing, have established them as the mould of what a great show should be like.

Game of Thrones is not in the same same galaxy as those 4. It would be a stain for the list if it manages to outrank any of them. Seasons 7 and 8 are horrendously written. Season 5 and 6 were far from what came before but there was still some semblance of cohesion and narrative logic. This is the ''Greatest TV shows ever'', 20% of the show can't be ignored, especially when those 20% ruin every single character arc.

A static, non-linear narration like the Simpsons can get away with bad seasons. A show where plot and character development is everything, should not.

I think no TV critic worth his salt should use unfinished TV shows in such lists. There are countless examples where a TV show was great for 2-3 seasons and then took a nosedive. Dexter had an excellent reputation after 4 seasons. Would a critic that puts it at let's say #18 all time after those 4 seasons, do the same after the show ended? I think not.

It's like ranking a film as one of the best ever, while only watching two-thirds of it, then watching the terrible third act and either looking like a premature fool or act like the third act doesn't matter. Which is ridiculous.
There are bigger stains on this top 1000 than Game of Thrones being so high, trust me.

The update I'm currently putting my compiler through will help to greatly diminish the influence of some trash opinions I've seen. I'm really confident in this update, but its gonna take a long time to fully implement.
Last edited by ValenN on Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by Jirin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:12 am

Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones both deserve top ten.

I don't get people who say a weaker last season retroactively ruins the whole series. First, the actual ending of the arcs were great, the problem was the rushed execution. Second, if the ending were terrible would it really retroactively un-enjoy the rest for you? Come on. Game of Thrones is a great show regardless of the last season being a bit of a let down. And anyone who thinks what she did was out of character for her was flat out not paying attention to the first few seasons.

It's hard to compare Sopranos and The Simpsons. The Simpsons became such a huge cultural icon, and due to its format, it can have ten years of terrible episodes and it won't stain the legacy a bit.

I think the last couple Sopranos seasons were a bigger letdown than Game of Thrones' final few seasons. It became kind of cyclical toward the end, after season 2 you lost the "Anyone can die" feeling and it became obvious whenever the main few characters were threatened, the universe would correct itself and kill whoever was threatening them. It frankly should have ended sometime between season 2 and season 4.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by Pieman » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:58 pm

ValenN, just curious, have you included year-end lists in your formula, and if so, how do you weight against the more expansive lists? Metacritic has collected a ton of these every year since 2009 or so.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by ValenN » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:58 pm

Pieman wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:58 pm
ValenN, just curious, have you included year-end lists in your formula, and if so, how do you weight against the more expansive lists? Metacritic has collected a ton of these every year since 2009 or so.
I've included all types of lists in my project, from general All Time Lists to Year and Genre Based ones, as well as award show winners and nominations.

Weighing each list was something I had in mind since I started the project, but I chose to ignore this since it seemed irrelevant at the time. I was also really unsatisfied with the methods I came up with for weighing the lists.

Ignoring this was a BIG mistake though. I'd pretty much be done with the project by now had I just done the weighing from the start (among other things). Part of the massive update I'm doing now is weighing the lists based on a tier system I'm finally happy with. It's unfortunately gonna take a long time to fully implement all this, but in the end I'll have the best, most satisfying and accurate results.

Tip for anyone else looking to do these types of projects: Have your system clear, clean, and well-tested from the very beginning, otherwise you're gonna get your ass kicked in the end.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by letmeintomyzone » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:37 pm

Two questions:

1. What is the oldest TV drama on your list?

2. Do you factor in other BOTY lists besides Metacritic's (I have a TIME account to look through their year-end archives, and been trying to buy Entertainment Weekly's 1990 through 1997 issues for their lists for their EOY lists, http://www.amiannoying.com has some more EOY lists from them)

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by Live in Phoenix » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:05 pm

Well, shows what I know.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by ValenN » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:32 pm

Live in Phoenix wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:05 pm
Well, shows what I know.
Lol, it's a very tight race between the shows. There's literally only a few points between the two shows, its insane. Don't be surprised if Sopranos overtakes Simpsons in the future.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by keater » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:23 am

Always felt like The Wire was more acclaimed than Sopranos. Rather, maybe it's just more appreciated or something, there's just a lot more discourse around it in critical circles, as if there's more to appreciate than The Sopranos. I can be wrong as I don't have all forms of acclaim open right now but still.

There's a site like AcclaimedMusic & your own for films, called TheyShootPictures. I know this has nothing to do with television lol but it's worth noting The Wire is actually on the list they have. As far as I see, it's the only television show on there.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by ValenN » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:53 pm

keater wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:23 am
Always felt like The Wire was more acclaimed than Sopranos. Rather, maybe it's just more appreciated or something, there's just a lot more discourse around it in critical circles, as if there's more to appreciate than The Sopranos. I can be wrong as I don't have all forms of acclaim open right now but still.

There's a site like AcclaimedMusic & your own for films, called TheyShootPictures. I know this has nothing to do with television lol but it's worth noting The Wire is actually on the list they have. As far as I see, it's the only television show on there.
I'm actually quite surprised that the Wire managed to make it to the top 3, considering how pop-oriented a lot of the top 10 is.

I'm aware of that site, but I was totally unware that a TV show wound up on their list! It seems odd that they would include that. Personally, any time I see something on a list that isn't a TV show (like a TV Movie), I automatically disqualify it from my compiler.

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Re: The Simpsons vs The Sopranos

Post by ValenN » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:33 pm

It looks like The Wire has now entered the top race to claim the #1 spot. I still have a lot of work to do before the top 1000 is finalized, but now it looks like neither the Simpsons or Sopranos might be on top.

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