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« On This Day in History... | Main | Nebraska, Finely Aged and Potentially Oscar Record-Breaking »

WGA Prefers 'Buyers Club' To Llewyn Davis Inside Greenwich Clubs

The Writers Guild of America has spoken, choosing their favorite scripts of the year in film and television. They repeat an interesting move from yesterday's Producers Guild Awards in that they've (somewhat) unexpectedly acknowledged Dallas Buyers Club, which few people thought was a strong contender outside of the male acting categories, while skipping the Coen Bros Inside Llewyn Davis for honors.

The nominations with commentary are after the jump...

It's another reminder that I should stick to my gut instincts in my own punditry. For a long time I was one of the only pundits thinking Dallas Buyers Club was a bigger Best Picture threat than Inside Llewyn Davis, and then I caved once the critics went berserk for it since I seemed to be the only one doubting its wider appeal. (So -- off topic now -- this is strengthening my resolve that I'm right about Emma Thompson being more locked up for Saving Mr Banks than half of of her Best Actress competitors despite everyone else thinking she's the must vulnerable in Best Actress) 

If you're new to the Oscar game, take note. It's unwise to connect the Writers Guild Awards too closely to Oscar's comparative screenplay categories since the WGA has far stricter requirements for eligibility. They seem, year after year, to be the guild with the most "ineligible" situations - potentially strong Oscar contenders are shoved aside before voting even begins. Ineligible this year and thus we know nothing about how well Oscar's writers branch might like their screenplays: Philomena (which has won screenplay awards already) and Fruitvale Station (which has won a lot of first film prizes). 


  • American Hustle, Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures
  • Blue Jasmine, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
  • Dallas Buyers Club, Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack; Focus Features
  • Her, Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.
  • Nebraska, Written by Bob Nelson; Paramount Pictures

That looks like a solid future Oscar lineup but for the probability that Fruitvale Station and Inside Llewyn Davis still have a lot of fans.


  • August: Osage County, Screenplay by Tracy Letts; Based on his play; The Weinstein Company
  • Before Midnight, Written by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan; Sony Classics
  • Captain Phillips, Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Seaby Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures
  • Lone Survivor, Written by Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell with Patrick Robinson; Universal Pictures
  • The Wolf of Wall Street, Screenplay by Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort; Paramount Pictures

Lone Survivor's nomination is the biggest surprise as it doesn't appear to be, in any typical sense, a writer's film. It's an action driven narrative with a bare bones plot. I'd have to assume that Philomena will knock something in this category out on January 16th when Oscar nominations arrive... and I refuse to give up hope that a really cool off the beaten path indie surprise might happen like Short Term 12 or Blue is the Warmest Color. Oscar's writing branch is occasionally adventurous with foreign films whereas the WGA is not.


  • Dirty Wars, Written by Jeremy Scahill & David Riker; Sundance Selects
  • Herblock – The Black & The White, Written by Sara Lukinson & Michael Stevens; The Stevens Company
  • No Place on Earth, Written by Janet Tobias & Paul Laikin; Magnolia Pictures
  • Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions
  • We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks; Written by Alex Gibney; Focus Features

I understand with talking head pictures that there still has to be writing... or at least some form of editing as writing... but I never think "screenplay!" when I see a documentary. That said, I really love the nomination for Stories We Tell here. In addition to its interesting talking head structure, it also has all that brilliant performing of narration that is clearly written, and then discussed and sometimes renarrated.



  • Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC
  • The Good Wife, Written by Meredith Averill, Leonard Dick, Keith Eisner, Jacqueline Hoyt, Ted Humphrey, Michelle King, Robert King, Erica Shelton Kodish, Matthew Montoya, J.C. Nolan, Luke Schelhaas, Nichelle Tramble Spellman, Craig Turk, Julia Wolfe; CBS
  • Homeland, Written by Henry Bromell, William E. Bromell, Alexander Cary, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Barbara Hall, Patrick Harbinson, Chip Johannessen, Meredith Stiehm, Charlotte Stoudt, James Yoshimura; Showtime
  • House of Cards, Written by Kate Barnow, Rick Cleveland, Sam Forman, Gina Gionfriddo, Keith Huff, Sarah Treem, Beau Willimon; Netflix
  • Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jason Grote, Jonathan Igla, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Michael Saltzman, Tom Smuts, Matthew Weiner, Carly Wray; AMC 


  • 30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Luke Del Tredici, Tina Fey, Lang Fisher, Matt Hubbard, Colleen McGuinness, Sam Means, Dylan Morgan, Nina Pedrad, Josh Siegal, Tracey Wigfield; NBC
  • Modern Family, Written by Paul Corrigan, Bianca Douglas, Megan Ganz, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Becky Mann, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Audra Sielaff, Emily Spivey, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC
  • Orange Is the New Black, Written by Liz Friedman, Sian Heder, Tara Herrmann, Sara Hess, Nick Jones, Jenji Kohan, Gary Lennon, Lauren Morelli, Marco Ramirez; Netflix
  • Parks and Recreation, Written by Megan Amram, Donick Cary, Greg Daniels, Nate DiMeo, Emma Fletcher, Rachna Fruchbom, Daniel J. Goor, Norm Hiscock, Matt Hubbard, Dave King, Greg Levine, Joe Mande, Sam Means, Aisha Muharrar, Matt Murray, Amy Poehler, Alexandra Rushfield, Michael Schur, Jen Statsky, Harris Wittels, Alan Yang; NBC
  • Veep, Written by Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO

Really good lineup!



  • The Americans, Written by Michael Batistick, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Melissa James Gibson, Sneha Koorse, Joe Weisberg, Bradford Winters; FX
  • House of Cards, Written by Kate Barnow, Rick Cleveland, Sam Forman, Gina Gionfriddo, Keith Huff, Sarah Treem, Beau Willimon; Netflix
  • Masters of Sex, Written by Michelle Ashford, Tyler Bensinger, Michael Cunningham, Lyn Greene, Richard Levine, Amy Lippman, Sam Shaw, Noelle Valdivia; Showtime
  • Orange Is the New Black, Written by Liz Friedman, Sian Heder, Tara Herrmann, Sara Hess, Nick Jones, Jenji Kohan, Gary Lennon, Lauren Morelli, Marco Ramirez; Netflix
  • Ray Donovan, Written by Ann Biderman, Sean Conway, David Hollander, Brett Johnson, Ron Nyswaner; Showtime

I'd be thrilled with a win for either Masters of Sex or Orange is the New Black.

Orange is the New Black "Lesbian Request Denied"

But my interesting in the awards starts to break down right about here where suddenly there are different numbers of nominees in each category from 1 nominee (ummmmm...) to 6 and numbers inbetween that. The BFCA does this too and I can never make heads or tails as to why. Right or wrong, to me, it looks unprofessional/embarrassing as if members of the organization (whichever organization it happens to be) lost interest or didn't vote or were holding grudges against certain programs, or had only seen two things that were eligible or some such. It always throws me. Is it just me?


  • “Buried” (Breaking Bad), Written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC
  • “Confessions” (Breaking Bad), Written by Gennifer Hutchison; AMC
  • “Episode 101” (House of Cards), Teleplay by Beau Willimon; Netflix
  • “Granite State” (Breaking Bad), Written by Peter Gould; AMC
  • “Hitting the Fan” (The Good Wife), Written by Robert King & Michelle King; CBS
  • “Pilot” (Masters of Sex), Written by Michelle Ashford; Showtime

I understand that pilots of acclaimed series usually take the individual episode nods but I think Masters of Sex is an example of a show that only got stronger as it went so it seems strange to single out the beginning. 


  • “Career Day” (Modern Family), Written by Paul Corrigan & Brad Walsh; ABC
  • “Farm Strong” (Modern Family), Written by Elaine Ko; ABC
  • “Hogcock!” (30 Rock), Written by Jack Burditt & Robert Carlock; NBC
  • “Lesbian Request Denied” (Orange Is the New Black), Written by Sian Heder; Netflix
  • “Leslie and Ben” (Parks and Recreation), Written by Michael Schur & Alan Yang; NBC
  • “Pilot” (Orange Is the New Black), Teleplay by Liz Friedman and Jenji Kohan; Netflix

I also don't understand why they have television series nods and then individual episode nods... isn't this like giving a movie two Oscar nominations: One for the screenplay, one for "best scene" within the screenplay. That said "Lesbian Request Denied" was just an awesome hour of television. I probably saw all these nominees since I watch all four shows (albeit not religiously) but it's the only one I recall vividly... at least by it's title. 


  • Killing Kennedy, Written by Kelly Masterson, Based on the book by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard; National Geographic
  • Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, Written by Shawn Slovo, Based on the book by Howard Bingham and Max Wallace; HBO


  • “Episode 4: The Collected Sylvia” (Sylvia Plath: Girl Detective), Written by Mike Simses; sylviaplathgirldetective.com
  • “Episode 8” (Lauren, Season 2), Written by Jay Rodan; youtube.com/wigs
  • “I Do Over Part 1” (Husbands), Written by Bradley C. Bell & Jane Espenson; cwseed.com
  • “I Do Over Part 2” (Husbands), Written by Bradley C. Bell & Jane Espenson; cwseed.com 


  • “A Test Before Trying” (The Simpsons), Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox
  • “Game of Tones” (Futurama), Written by Michael Rowe; Comedy Central
  • “Hardly Kirk-ing” (The Simpsons), Written by Tom Gammill & Max Pross; Fox
  • “Murder on the Planet Express” (Futurama), Written by Lew Morton; Comedy Central
  • “Saturday Morning Fun Pit” (Futurama), Written by Patric M. Verrone; Comedy Central
  • “Yolo” (The Simpsons), Written by Michael Nobori; Fox


  • The Colbert Report, Writers: Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Michael Brumm, Nate Charny, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Dan Guterman, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Bobby Mort, Meredith Scardino, Max Werner; Comedy Central
  • Conan, Writers: Jose Arroyo, Andres du Bouchet, Scott Chernoff, Deon Cole, Josh Comers, Dan Cronin, Scott Gairdner, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Laurie Kilmartin, Rob Kutner, Todd Levin, Conan O'Brien, Matt O'Brien, Jesse Popp, Andy Richter, Brian Stack, Mike Sweeney; TBS
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Head Writer: Tim Carvell; Writers: Rory Albanese, Steve Bodow, Travon Free, Hallie Haglund, J.R. Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Matt Koff, Dan McCoy, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Zhubin Parang, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Lauren Sarver, Jon Stewart; Comedy Central
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live, Writers: Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Bess Kalb, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeff Loveness, Molly McNearney, Bryan Paulk, Danny Ricker, Rick Rosner; ABC
  • Portlandia, Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Bill Oakley; IFC
  • Saturday Night Live, Head Writers: Seth Meyers, Colin Jost; Writers: James Anderson, Alex Baze, Neil Casey, James Downey, Steve Higgins, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Joe Kelly, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Mike O’Brien, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Marika Sawyer, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, John Solomon, Kent Sublette, Bryan Tucker; NBC Universal




  • Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, Head Writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts; Writers: Alex Rubens, Charlie Sanders; NBC 


  • Jeopardy!, Written by John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse; ABC


  • Days of Our Lives, Written by Lorraine Broderick, David Cherrill, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Janet Iacobuzio, David A. Levinson, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Christopher J. Whitesell; NBC
  • General Hospital, Written by Shelly Altman, Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Jean Passanante, Elizabeth Page, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten; ABC
  • The Young and the Restless, Associate Head Writers: Shelly Altman, Tracey Thomson; Written by Amanda Beall, Jeff Beldner, Brent Boyd, Susan Dansby, Janice Ferri Esser, Jay Gibson, Beth Milstein, Lisa Seidman, Natalie Minardi Slater, Anne Schoettle, Linda Schreiber, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS

Confession: I have literally never seen a full episode of a daytime soap. And yet I have been aware of these series for as long as I can recall being aware that something called "daytime soaps" existed. They will outlive us all!

For documentary television, childrens, and radio and all of that, check out the WGA site 

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Reader Comments (34)

1) The writing on The Americans is excellent, right up there with OItNB and MoS for me.

2) With only four daytime dramas left on the air, I guess it's a sad, snubby day for The Bold and the Beautiful...

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Hi Nathaniel! :)

The most interesting thing about Dallas Buyers Club potentially nabbing a Best Picture nomination (since it obviously won't win Best Picture) is that it increases Matthew McConaughey's chances of winning the Oscar. When it wasn't in the Best Picture conversation, I never expected McConaughey to be a threat because in the last 25 years (I was too lazy to look back further than that) no film has won more than one acting Oscar unless it was nominated for Best Picture, and with Jared Leto seemingly a frontrunner in his category, I expected him to be the sole winner from his film. But if it gets nominated for Best Picture, then statistically/historically, both Leto and McConaughey stand a chance of winning.

And I'm with you. I thought the film was dreadful. It's so like Oscar to give McConaughey attention for this and not for his wonderful work last year in Magic Mike. Talk about homo panic.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAkash

I guess Dallas is practically a sure thing Best Picture nominee. At this point, a DGA nom wouldn't surprise me all that much, sigh.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

The 12 movies (Years a Slave and Short Term) were both ineligible, so it's very possible Short Term 12 is more competitive than it appears here. Inside Llewyn Davis and The Butler take the biggest hits, it looks like.

On the TV side, The Good Wife turned this season into a really fantastic one, so I'm glad to see them noticed.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Akash -- oh i didn't think it was dreadful. but yes... McConaughey's best performance ever is still MAGIC MIKE. (and probably always will be). now, THAT, was oscar worthy... a performance nobody else but the person who gave it could have given as well)

p.s. it sucks that you left new york. okbye

eurocheese --i keep hearing that

January 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It's just my luck that my favorite film of the year is "Inside Llewyn Davis." It looks like I will go another year with my favorite not in the running for an Oscar.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRaul


Amen on THE GOOD WIFE. Best drama currently airing on TV, network and cable. This season has been continually great, with no subpar episodes. And the sequence that lead to Hitting the Fan was amazing.

Julianna, Christine and Josh are on top of their game.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Great lineups. I'm also happy to see Good Wife mentioned. This has been its best season, equal to Breaking Bad. The fact that GW is on a network with all the limitations that brings, only makes the achievement that much greater.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I feel sad for Inside Llewyn Davis, the only film I fell hard for besides Short Term 12 this year. I always knew it was a long shot with several Oscar categories but still I thought Screenplay was (almost) a given.

Looks like not even Hollywood can empathize with a story about talented people repeatedly trying and failing to achieve success.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Also: HOORAY for The Good Wife. I know it's a procedural and a CBS one at that but Nathaniel you are truly missing out on a constant spectacle of actors doing amazing work.

And the central core of the series is almost an actressexual dream, with Christine Baranski and Julianna Margulies butting heads repeatedly this season. And being awesome at it.

I'm not saying it's the best show ever but it's a great network drama that has to overcome the many advantages of being on cable (the main one: making a plot for the whole season last for 24-25 episodes without ever losing interest or aim).

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Weird that they have a "new" series category. Also: I wonder if ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK will settle on a category by this year's Emmys. It's a comedy here, but a drama at the Golden Globes...

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Akash, that is a good point about DBC. It's still so tough for one movie to win two acting awards, though. Lincoln, Silver Linings, The Help, The King's Speech couldn't do it. They seem to want to spread the wealth. We'll see.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

@Glenn -- they already said they'd be submitting as DRAMA for both. http://tvline.com/2013/11/13/orange-is-the-new-black-golden-globes-emmys-drama-category/

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

At least they didn't totally snub Mad Men, which seems to be the in-vogue thing to do.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Jorge & Glenn -- whoa. that's a mistake. didn't they miss out on the Globe but they scored here as comedy. I say if it's not category fraud (and it's not since you could categorize the show is either) go where you're most likely to be rewarded

Good Wife fans - i hated the pilot so much that i just never went back. well, that's not true i went back once a year or so ago for one episode and it was fine but didn't grab me and then i caught some of what looked like a really exciting episode -- something about a mutiny within the firm....

but legal procedures are probably my least favorite of ALL subgenres of drama. yes, even less favored than cop shows or forensics or hospital shows. I just find them so stiflingly familiar. it's like you get them from the time you're nursing till the time you're in your grave and never a year goes by that doesn't have like 10 of them. at least. but yes, i'm fully aware that everyone thinks it's great. Maybe i'm just not into Julianne Marguiles? Love Christine Baranski in anything though. I have the same issues with Scandal. everyone swears by it but every time i've tried. once fully committed, twice with random episodes i just wasn't into it.

January 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Am I the only person in the world that doesn't get the love for Modern Family and 30 Rock? I find both series to be tedious. Happens with movies for me too - The Descendants most recently and until the day I die will never understand why critics loved Fargo.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEddie

What's ever Oscar worthy about actors playing themselves? (McConaughey, Magic Mike)

He's very much a dirty backwoods hillbilly stripper.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Nathaniel, I suggest you see Outside the Bubble and Hitting the Fan (the 4th and 5th episodes of this season) to make an informed opinion ;)

I totally agree with you on Orange is the New Black. Since it can qualify as a comedy and it is very funny sometimes (more than most of the Showtime dramedies, at least), I don't get why campaign as drama. The drama categories are so overpopulated with 'returning favorites' that it's very tough for something new to get in (Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Game of Thrones, Homeland and House of Cards all eligible for this year's Emmys).

Meanwhile, in Comedy, apart from Veep and Girls, every comedy out there is losing spark, Modern Family is becoming stale (but it's still the popular choice, I know) and 30 Rock and Louie are not coming back and only The Big Bang Theory keeps buzzing (and adding new viewers; i don't get it either).

It'd be so easy to get in not only for Comedy but also for Actress and Sup Actress (even Sup Actor).

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

There seems to be this weird standard that if its half hour, its comedy, if its an hour, its drama.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB! Nominated for best screenplay!! WTF?!

On the TV side, can't complain, except to say that I really wish Justified - easily one of the best written shows on the air right now - could get some awards traction.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Didn't I just mention the other day that people were potentially underestimating DBC, WOWS, and/or Her's appeal in these categories...

And I second the love for The Americans and Masters of Sex. But with Drama and Comedy series noms, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black respectfully, appear the frontrunners to the 'New Series' category. But they are both pretty darn good too.

If they replaced Ray Donovan with Hannibal, then that new series line-up would be to die for.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

"Dallas Buyers Club" *WILL* be nominated for Best Picture... if only to make a statement about Schamus

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

@Nathaniel regarding your thoughts on McConaughey in MM vs DBC: "a performance nobody else but the person who gave it could have given as well"

I just thought of this idea yesterday when thinking of the prior attempts to make DBC with Woody Harrelson, Brad Pitt, and finally Ryan Gosling. With perhaps the exception of Harrelson, who would've perhaps gone as far with the swaggering nature of the character but I think would have still missed out on some of his certain vulnerability, I can't imagine a version of Ron Woodruff half as interesting or even tolerable as the one that we are ultimately gifted by McConaughey. I love all of those actors, and we could throw even more gentlemen on the list of considerable contenders, but time and time again, I am left thinking that McConaughey was the ONLY person who could have brought this man to life in any palatable way.

conversely, I'd watch remakes of Magic Mike with any of those guys listed, and I expect I'd enjoy it just as much as the one that was ultimately released. in fact, let's do some reverse screen testing ;)

All this to say that, of all the actors being talked about in the very very stacked Best Actor category, very few of the roles are as quintessentially one-of-a-kind matches that we so love to reward on Oscar night. I'd say McConaughey in DBC and Oscar Isaac (who won't make the category) in Llewyn Davis are the only two who are so so specific in their talents, approaches, and certain "rightness" for their roles that they become the only men imaginable in the roles. I'd wager to add maybe Bruce Dern in Nebraska (but can't we all imagine the film with Jack Nicholson or Gene Hackman?) and maybe maybe Christian Bale in American Hustle, not a film or performance I necessarily love, but because I frequently regard Bale as a singular actor of his own eccentricity and yet leading male capability.

I think this is why, when faced choosing a winner, I am geared to choose McConaughey over Ejiofor for my personal vote.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

regardless of whether or not DALLAS BUYERS makes the Best Pic lineup, I really think Ejiofor is gonna win the Oscar... Leto stole the McConaughey spotlight while Dern and Redford will split the veteran 'overdue' vote

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTz

OVER THE MOON about the nominations for The Good Wife and The Americans. The Americans is really stellar, best thriller on TV since at least Alias, and it's WAY better than that (and I was a HUGE Alias fan back in the day)! Seriously try to watch it before it premieres again in Feb.

And really, Nathaniel, The Good Wife has basically stopped being a legal procedural now (if it really ever was). Ever since Alicia and Cary broke off to start their own firm this season it's been all about the rivalries and tensions between the series' main characters. The legal cases are either tied directly to that or just window dressing. HOWEVER, part of the reason this season is so good is that it's really playing on the relationship dynamics that have been built up not just between the characters and each other, but between the characters and the audience. My allegiances are torn in each episode because they're doing a stellar job of getting you to into everyone's headspace. It's thrilling to watch, and the centerpiece of "The Decision Tree" may just be the single best thing I've seen on TV all year (well, outside of the entirety of "Hitting the Fan"). Julianna Marguiles is an actressexual's DREAM on this show.

As you may have guessed, I am totally and completely bored with the movie nominations. Outside of Before Midnight, that is.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

The Good Wife has always been quite excellent.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I knew 12 Years' ineligibility due to John Ridley being a scab would leave an opening for some film, just figured it would be Dallas Buyer's Club itself than Lone Survivor.

UGH, House of Cards and Homeland for writing. Come on, don't convince me that was a strength for either. The Americans or Masters of Sex belonged there in series.

Nothing for Bob's Burgers in animation.

And hopefully these writers guild nods point to Netflix they need to stop the category shenanigans and put OITNB into comedy. Modern Family's reign needs to end. Now.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I do not understand how they could nominate three out of the eight episodes of BREAKING BAD that screened in 2013 - and not nominate the best one, "Ozymandias". Bizarre.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Gow

I'm going to defend Modern Family's writing. At it's best - which the fifth season thus far has been as well as episodes from the fourth season - it's a masterclass is classic sitcom writing. Structure, character, plotting - it's really very strong.

But Veep, at it's best, is my favourite, though I haven't seen Orange is the New Black yet.

The Americans should've cracked the best drama line-up, but it's Breaking Bad's to lose. I also miss Game of Thrones and Hannibal. And Justified. And Masters of Sex. And.... drama is ridiculously stacked this year.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

The Good Wife can be good, and occasionally great, but you have to wade through some mediocrity to get there. It still is very much a legal procedural. Though the acting can be quite good.

I'm surprised at the complete snub of Bryan Fuller's ever fascinating Hannibal. Twas a show that started strong and just got stronger as it went on and in which the writing, directing, and acting (esp. Mads who's better than I've ever seen him elsewhere) were superb.

January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

The Good Wife was a great procedural in the first season and then really came alive in the second as just great TV in general. It continued down that path and then the end of season 4 into season 5 has just floored me. It is the best television show of the year, and I am someone who watches and loves Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Homeland, Orange is the New Black, etc. etc.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I think it is weird that Before Midnight is adapted and Blue Jasmine is original. Fine, we can't "prove" Blue Jasmine is based on Streetcar, but at the very least, I hope they get rid of the rule that sequels = adapted.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkin

kin-- unfortunately like inarguably leading roles regularly being allowed to compete in supporting, there's no controlling it once someone successfully pulls it off. I blame 2002 for the downfall of the screenplay categories when both Gangs of New York & My Big Fat Greek Wedding changed their pitches halfway through... adapted? what are you talking about... i know i talked about that book and that play for a year, but forget that. I was just being modest. This is an ORIGINAL work.

That the academy didn't call their bluff means that people can do whatever they want now.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

also baffled by Ozymandias being passed over here.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

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