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April 10, 2020

March Streaming Madness Elite 8: Who will win our HBO, Hulu regions?

Streaming HBO
March streaming madness updated elite 8 bracket Evan Macy/for PhillyVoice

Two powerhouse regions are down to their final matchups, as The Wire and Game of Thrones will force a nearly impossible decision for prestige TV fans in the HBO bracket, while two sleeper comedy picks in 30 Rock and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia do battle for Hulu bragging rights.

The winners of these matchups will head to the Final Four next week, as we inch closer to naming the best streaming option for those stuck in coronavirus self-quarantine.

Please take the time to circle back to the other two matches in our Elite 8 in the Netflix and Amazon Prime matchups right here.

March Streaming Madness Elite 8: Who will win Netflix, Amazon regions?

The seeding and full body of TV shows in our bracket are of less relevance now, but here's a little bit about our methodology. We took 64 teams, 16 from each of four regions (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO) and threw them onto a bracket (seeded using Rotten Tomatoes ratings). You can view the full original bracket here.

We invite you to place your vote and give us your thoughts in the remaining TV shows below. We'll also chime in with our picks because, well, what else are we going to do right now?

HBO Regional Final


4. The Wire vs. 15. Game of Thrones

Tale of the tape: The Wire (71.9%) over Boardwalk Empire; Game of Thrones (55.4%) over The Sopranos 

Staff picks: 2-1, Thrones

Evan Macy: So Thrones barely squeaked into our bracket as a 15 seed with 86% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. I did a little research, and four of the five worst rated episodes on the website came from the controversial final season — with two of them getting less than 50%. This clearly is what knocked the Thrones seeding so far down. But somehow, the seeding disrespect made no difference at all. The show bested Girls, Succession and The Sopranos but is running up against a buzzsaw in The Wire, one of the most critically acclaimed and influential shows of the last 30 years. I would rather re-watch (seasons 1-6 at least) of Thrones, so that's my vote, but either show advancing to the Final 4 is a victory in my eyes.

Matt Mullin: This is my own personal Sophie’s choice. As excited as I am to see one of these advance to the Final Four, I’m going to be absolutely devastated that the other has to go home. And I really don’t know which to pick. I think they’re both excellent shows — I’d put both in my Top 5 all-time — so it’s really splitting hairs. To break that tie, I’m going to base my pick off which show I’ve personally watched the most, and that is Game of Thrones. I’ve watched that series all the way through at four times (OK, maybe not the last two seasons since their relatively new, but you get the point) and I’ve only watched the Wire start to finish once. That will be re-watched next before GOT, but for now I’m sticking with Thrones. That being said, I fully expected The Wire to advance here and possibly win the whole thing, and I won’t be mad in the least if that happens. In fact, I’ll almost certainly vote for it in the next round.

Jimmy KempskiEasy call for me here. The Wire was stellar for the entirety of its run, while the lasting memory I’ll have of GoT, for as good as it was overall, will be of that last dreadful season.

Vote here:

Hulu Regional Final


3. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia vs. 4. 30 Rock

Tale of the tape: It's Always Sunny (51.8%) over Seinfeld; 30 Rock (66.1%) over Community

Staff picks: 2-1, Always Sunny

Evan: I have to admit when I first looked at this bracket, neither of these comedies were penciled in to make the Elite 8. I've watched each probably twice, once on live TV and then once through various re-runs on Comedy Central or FX or whatever. Always Sunny has a special place in my heart because, well it takes place and has themes in Philly, my hometown. But 30 Rock is better. It's well-written, it's hilarious, and it boasts one of my favorite all-time characters Jack Donaghy. 

MattThis is almost as tough as the HBO Region, as these are two of my favorite comedies of all time right behind Seinfeld. I quote both these shows constantly (some might say too much) and my Twitter avatar is from my favorite Always Sunny scene. Hell, my cat is named Charlie Kelly — she’s perfect, by the way. I’ve been riding 30 Rock pretty hard so far, but I was leaning Always Sunny here, and then I remembered that my wife’s all-time favorite show is 30 Rock. If I pick against that, given the quarantine and everything, I might be in big trouble. Still, I have to go with my gut here and stick with The Gang, and take whatever punishment I get. I won’t be mad no matter who wins this matchup, but given that it just beat Seinfeld in the Sweet 16, the smart money is on Always Sunny.

JimmyHey advertisers, It’s Always Sunny beat Seinfeld in the last round, which can really only mean that we have very young, impressionable readers, eager to purchase whatever goods and services you provide. Anyway, now that it has absurdly advanced past the best sitcom ever, I guess It’s Always Sunny will just keep chugging along past 30 Rock.

Vote here:

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