It's that time again: io9's March Madness. In past years, we've crowned the best movie, the worst movie, the best TV show, and a winner in an epic science fiction versus fantasy showdown. This year, we're figuring out which medium has produced the best work: film or television.
Top image and bracket by Jim Cooke
As usual, competition for the 64 slots on the bracket was fierce. Undoubtedly, there are things missing that you feel very strongly should have been included. And that's fine! There was a lot of arguing for and against a lot of the entries on this list, and the final cuts were very hard to make. Similarly, you may disagree with the seedings of these shows and movies. Or think we put things in the wrong categories. You are entitled to all of those opinions. You can yell about them in the comments. Just don't expect the bracket to actually change. As far as we're concerned, this is carved into stone:
(It's huge, click to expand.)
Here are a few things to explain our thinking:
All 64 are loosely grouped into four themed regionals. In order to prevent another battle of science fiction and fantasy, the Movies and TV sides are not broken down that way. Instead, we chose to break TV into 32 shows set in contemporaneously to when they were made and aired and those set in other times and places. For shows with time travel or set in a world just slightly different from our own, this was a difficult determination to make. Doctor Who could have easily been in either. Same goes for the Movie regionals, which are broken up into epics and episodes — things telling a single, giant story versus those which either stand alone or have the same characters facing new stories. We've made a determination of where they belong for this tournament, but it's not meant to be the final word on any of these.
Every movie or TV show in a franchise counts ... sort of. Some of the major franchises in this tournament have had their highs and their lows. In deciding whether or not something should make the cut, we basically considered the strongest entry in the canon. However, when it came time to seed them, the overall strength of the franchise came in to play. Otherwise, it became almost impossible to distinguish some of the entries. But if, when you vote, you'd prefer to ignore a movie or show you just can't stand, feel free.
We tried to get a good cross-section of everything TV and Movies have to offer. When it came time to decide what made the cut and what didn't, we erred on the side of a diverse bracket over two more similar entries. This was in the interest of making sure that, come final battle time, Movies and TV had their strongest competitor representing them.
With all of that said, it's time for you to vote in the Here and Now and Episode regionals. The polls will stay open until midnight Pacific Time tonight. Come back Wednesday for the Other Times, Other Places and Epics regionals.
Wednesday, March 18: Other Times, Other Places and Epics Regionals
Friday, March 20: Round Two
Monday, March 23: Sweet Sixteen
Wednesday, March 25: Elite Eight
Friday, March 27: Final Four
Monday, March 30: Championship Round