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Janelle Monae's Breakout Year

One of my favourite artists of the decade. I've had the pleasure of seeing her live twice. I would've loved to see more of her in Moonlight. Loved that role and loved seeing her. -Roger

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Entries in TV (497)

Thursday
Jun232016

"Mr. Robot", "People vs O.J." Lead Television Critics Association Conglomeration Nominations

The Television Critics Association announced the nominees for their 34th annual TCA Awards yesterday, as Emmy nomination ballot deadlines loom (Monday). For those unitiated into the organization's particular mode of aggregating accolades, it may come as a bit of a surprise to see Bob Odenkirk and Sarah Paulson mentioned in the same acting category. The TCA loves a good buffet. Rather than divvy up the love by format, they scoop a big heaping of pick-and-choose onto their nominating plate; the tip-toppest acting bona fides of series, miniseries, talk shows, TV movies, and different genders all taste great so why not load them all onto the same plate?

Granted, they break up serials and self-contained shows for their Best categories but there's something thrilling about weighing Samantha Bee's achievement in fervent fact-boiling against Aya Cash's honest exploration of depression in a way that feels less competitive than it does conversation-raising. In fact, there's not a straight white male amongst the Individual Achievement in Comedy group, which is 5/6 women; its selection of nominees balks at the idea of institutional placeholders in favor of true grit. Inclusion, it appears, garners a compellingly reflective list.

Individual Achievement in Drama

  • Bryan Cranston, All The Way
  • Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Keri Russell, The Americans
  • Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Individual Achievement in Comedy

  • Aziz Ansari, Master of None
  • Samantha Bee, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
  • Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Aya Cash, You’re The Worst
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat

Outstanding New Program

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Marvel’s Jessica Jones
  • Master of None
  • Mr. Robot
  • Underground
  • UnREAL 

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, and Specials

  • All The Way
  • Fargo
  • The Night Manager
  • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Roots
  • Show Me A Hero 

Outstanding Achievement in Drama

  • The Americans
  • Better Call Saul
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Leftovers
  • Mr. Robot
  • UnREAL

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

Program of the Year

What do you make of the TCA's kitchen sink approach to their nominations? By eliminating binaries, does its all-of-the-above inclusion cut straight to the heart of the talent, or does it winnow its window of worthy contenders?

Saturday
Jun182016

Share Your Emmy (Drama) Ballots

We've already discussed our comedy ballots and though we've got a few more individual FYCs coming and are still trying to sample various new series we missed that others are rooting for before the nominations, let's talk Drama Series. Emmy is always loathe to change up its nominations so the actual nominees this year are likely to be the exact same as last year which means that you're looking at...

PREDICTIONS

Do you think GAME OF THRONES can repeat its win?

  • Game of Thrones (Season 6 -- nominated for all previous seasons. 1 win for Season 5)
  • Better Call Saul (Season 2 -- nominated last year, too)
  • Downton Abbey (Season 6 -- nominated for all previous seasons. 1 win for Season 1 as "limited series")
  • Homeland (Season 5 -- nominated for 3 of 4 previous seasons. 1 win for Season 1)
  • House of Cards (Season 4 -- nominated for all previous seasons)
  • Orange is the New Black  (Season 3 -- nominated for all previous seasons. though first was in "comedy")

Basically you're looking at the same lineup that's been going on for half a decade (since Better Call Saul just replaced its origin series Breaking Bad). But with Mad Men out of the picture there is exactly one slot free, which we assume will be taken by...

  • Mr Robot (Season 1 -- since its won so much buzz, acclaim, and fandom in its debut season)

PREFERENCES

If I was in charge rare would be the series that was always nominated since nearly all series have some ebb and flow in terms of quality and there is (thankfully) so much quality competition out there. The only long-running television show of my entire life that I would have nominated every single year was Mad Men...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun172016

Emmy FYC: Riley Keough in "The Girlfriend Experience"

We're sharing Emmy FYCs as nomination balloting continues. Here's our much missed contributor Matthew Eng (who now mostly resides at Tribeca Film)... 

Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz’s The Girlfriend Experience, the glossy and gripping new series loosely “suggested by” Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 feature experiment of the same name, has, in all honesty, about the same chance of becoming a serious Emmy contender as Fuller House. This is in no way a blight on the series so much as an indicator that a work like The Girlfriend Experience, which airs on STARZ, is at once too under-the-radar and, more significantly, too polarizing to appeal to the Television Academy, who probably wouldn’t even know how to categorize a half-hour drama that sports a restrained tone, a notoriously well-known premise, and a uniquely challenging connection between protagonist and audience.

It’s on this last front that The Girlfriend Experience has made its most provocative and absorbing strides. And that’s largely due to the perfectly-cast Riley Keough, who turns in the type of confident, commanding, and utterly distinctive star performance that immediately makes one question and reformulate every preconception ever held about this actress, still best known as one of Mad Max: Fury Road’s rebellious war-brides, although The Girlfriend Experience (and a well-received turn in Andrea Arnold’s American Honey) are destined to change that...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun172016

Top of the Lake's Silver Through-Line

As you have undoubtedly heard since it was announced on the internet about 1,000 different times over the course of about six months (as if each meeting was the official official, 'no really official this time!' news, Nicole Kidman will co-star in Top of the Lake season 2 (with Elisabeth Moss returning to her leading role) . It's her first reunion with her Portrait of a Lady director Jane Campion from back before she was fully NICOLE KIDMAN but basically getting there if you know what I mean.

What we didn't know until now is that she will be sporting Jane Campion's favorite hair color just like Holly Hunter did in Season 1 way back in 2013...

Nicole Kidman in Top of the Lake (S2)Jane Campion and Holly Hunter on the set of Top of the Lake (S1)

Can this be a thing for each season? A gorgeous Oscar winning actress suddenly sporting grey hair even though she's only in her mid 40s to mid 50s? Why should men get all the silver fox action? 

Let's pray for Top of the Lake to be renewed in perpetuity (that first season was straight up amazing) and even though they're slow with them -- once every three years? weird, but okay -- might we suggest: 

Season 3 (2019) Juliette Binoche at 55
Season 4 (2022) Gwyneth Paltrow at 49
Season 5 (2025) Cate Blanchett at 56
Season 6 (2028) Anne Hathaway at 46 
Season 7 (2031) Anna Paquin at 49 (Piano reunion!)
Season 8 (2034) Kirsten Dunst at 52 (we'll just assume she's won the Oscar by then, shut up!)
Season 9 (2037) Alicia Vikander at 49
Season 10 (2040) Elle Fanning at 42 (see: Dunst reasoning)

Sorry. I'll stop now! 

Thursday
Jun162016

Hamilton Mania, Pixar Short, Gay Rage, New Musical

• Variety Zac Efron possibly joining headliner Hugh Jackman in the new PT Barnum movie musical The Greatest Showman on Earth
Universal Studios Wicked, the movie has a release date. More on this tomorrow
Playbill Tony Kushner writing an adaptation of West Side Story for a remake by Steven Spielberg! Since that's my favorite movie of all time I feel very weird about this. Strangely the article stays that Kushner is "currently adapting the screenplay of August Wilson's Pulitzer-winning drama Fences" which would be really bad news for the movie since it's already done filming ;) 
• My New Plaid Pants ...reacts to the news with a shout out to PT Barnum look-alike Jim Broadbent

• THR The British Independent Film Awards, which helped Ex Machina along last awards season, and are adding award categories this year will try a new system to coincide with what voters have seen and where there are conflicts of interest. Interesting.
EW Tyler Hoechlin will play Superman for the CW
The Stake Batman v Superman gets a new trailer for its expanded DVD edition. It's LONGER now?!? Jesus Christ. 
• THR That Noah Galvin interview we discussed is still prompting news stories. Apparently ABC is coming down hard on him. Guess they're sensitive about Modern Family!  
• NYT She Loves Me will be the first Broadway show streamed live. One night only June 30th. It will cost you $10 instead of the normal $100+
• Vanity Fair on the making of the new Pixar short "Piper". The buzz is true. The short is super adorable / impressive after a patchy run for the most recent Pixar shorts
Awards Daily Oscar nomination frontrunners thus far?
• Facebook if you missed Jeffery Self's live feed "It's Awesome to be Gay" with lots of LGBT actors and performers all five parts are available to watch! I haven't finished watching it but there's much talking, funniness, and even some musical numbers. Loved Jordan Firstman singing "Smile," Brian Jordan Alvarez's story about Kevin Spacey, and Drew Droege and Sam Pancake talking about playing gay characters on TV, Darryl Stephens unconventional queer awakening via Prince's Under the Cherry Moon and more... 

Hamilton Mania
I was finally able to see the insanely popular  Hamilton on Broadway last night. For this I must thank the very talented Rory O'Malley (who broke through with Book of Mormon five years back) that's us on stage after the show to your left) who plays King George III. We met because of Into the Woods and this blog and long story.

King George III is such a fun role with perfect little comic interludes to comment on all the chaos in America. (That's the role Jonathan Groff originated but he had to leave the show early due to Looking and other commitments). Otherwise the original cast is still with the show -- for another couple of weeks at least. Good news: they'll be filming it soon for posterity! There will also be a Hamilton mixtape of cut songs and covers and a documentary later this year since people are insatiable.

We had excellent seats -- I nearly smacked the actor Josh Charles in the face (who happened to be sitting next to us) before the show while trying to send a selfie with too little wi-fi. The show lived up to the hype. Great energy, fun, and memorable music and an incredibly finessed marriage of content, form, and theme. 

Politics
Tis the season. With the recent tragedy in Orlando it's hard to not focus on politics, and how broken the GOP is, basically serving only as meat puppets for the NRA who are holding us all hostage (and executing thousands of people each year) via lax gun laws. So here are a few political pieces worth reading/watching:

BET an amazing open letter to straight people from Dominick Pupa which was banned from Facebook -- I guess because it upset sensitive straight people who don't like being reminded of the existence of gays? Not sure how Facebook can justify removing it
•  The Daily Beast "Admit it..." a thought provoking piece on religion and mass killings and theocratic community's culpability 
Gawker the essential Rich Juzwiack on Anti-Gay hatred and gay resistance