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Entries in Downton Abbey (24)

Monday
Jun272016

Emmy Ballots Due: Which old fav would you sacrifice for a newbie? 

Emmy nomination balloting ends today for the 68th annual Emmy Awards. Cross your fingers that we actually get a few shakeups this year. Yes, cross your fingers even if you love all 10 of the shows that are normally swimming in nominations. Why? Well, the Emmys really should reflect how competitive television is and not suggest that there have only been 10ish good shows on the air for the past half decade plus.

Comment Party! On that note please do tell us in the comments which 3 of your old favorites that you still love you'd be willing to sacrifice for 3 who have not been recognized. Make your Sophie's Choice in the comments and let us all pray that Emmy voters do the same. Nobody deserves 5+ nominations for the same thing when that means someone else can't even get ONE for something arguably just as good! The catch is that you can't ditch someone you don't love or think is unworthy who is always nominated. I'll go first as truly painful as this is:

I'd be willing to trade Michelle Dockery on Downton Abbey (who I totally think is the MVP of that entire series (if you blend all seasons together - otherwise there are different MVPs each year as there are for most quality shows) for Shiri Appleby's deep-digging as ambitious self-destructive Rachel on UnReal; Hell, I'd even be willing to trade Taraji P Henson (my preferred winner last year for Empire) if it meant I could have Eva Green's genre genius in Penny Dreadful in the mix (my winner this year). I'd even be willing to trade my beloved Titus Burggess on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (who I thought should have easily stormed to the win last year) if we could give a chance to another delusional show-stealer like Jamie Cavill in Jane the Virgin (who should have been Titus' main competition last year) or another outspoken gay like Noah Galvin from The Real O'Neals both because he's brilliant on his show and to stick it to ABC for even threatening to cancel that gem. (Yes, I know they think Noah is entitled and 'difficult' and yadda yadda yadda but they would never think of threatening and publicly humiliating a straight actor who was the MVP of a similarly acclaimed show.)

I expect zero nominations for THE REAL O'NEALS but I legit think it deserves multiple nods

The point is that many previously nominated shows and people are still deserving but it makes so much more sense to spread the wealth each year. If you don't spread the wealth it sends two messages ... 1) That you're not paying attention to what's eligible or even what happened on your favorite show that year and merely voting based on loyalty to your "favorites" and...  2) That TV's 'golden age' is really just a clever PR campaign for 10 shows and history won't mark it as anything particularly special. 

ICYMI Our Emmy Balloting Pieces
SHOWS: Emmy Drama Ballots |  Emmy Comedy Ballots | GirlsThe People vs OJ Simpson; PERFORMANCES: Amy Landecker in "Transparent"Donna Lynn Champlin "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" | Eva Green & Helen McRory in "Penny Dreadful" |  Constance Zimmer "UnREAL" | Boyd Holbrook "Narcos"Noah Galvin "The Real O'Neals" | Gillian Jacobs "Love" | Riley Keough "The Girlfriend Experience" | Jeremy Allen White "Shameless" ; MISCELLANIA: "Mr Robot" leads TCA Nominations | Ten Nominees? | More TV MVPs (earlier in the season)

Thursday
Jun092016

Emmy FYC: Ten Nominees?

Emmy nomination voting begins Monday. For the next week or two we'll be sharing FYCs of some kind. Here's Daniel...

If you haven’t had a chance yet to read Debra Birnbaum’s shake-up Emmys proposal in Variety, I highly recommend you do. Her argument seems tailor made for feedback from passionate awards watchers (i.e. TFE readers) who have cultivated reams of opinions for how various awards bodies do business, nomination-wise, in an ever-changing marketplace of taste and broader appeal. Living in this age of television where high quality programs are on an infinity loop, she wonders whether the Emmys should consider expanding their Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series categories to ten nominees.

Sound familiar?

While there’s a certain integrity in maintaining a tradition of exclusive acclaim – after all, not every deserving piece of art can statistically make the cut – one wonders how a taboo-busting, conversation-elevating, and surprising comedy like the aptly named Broad City can so consistently take bong hits off the zeitgeist without seeing a few gold men women along the way. That aren’t hallucinations, mind you. Same goes for The Americans, which has been uniformly accepted by critics as one of the all-time greats and yet fails time and time again to nudge out a longstanding favorite like Downton Abbey. The Emmys notoriously pick their favorites and bitterly cling to them so could this be an inclusive measure to better reflect populist and critical tastes?

On the flipside, for every District 9 or A Serious Man, there’s a Blind Side amongst expanded groups. On the movie side, AMPAS has struggled to find clarity on this issue – abandoning the hard ten for a jostle between seven and nine. That's made some yearn for a time when five was fine. There's no guarantee that bigger sized envelopes equal 'pushing the envelope' in awards selections. After expanding their roster to seven nominees last year, perhaps the Emmys are better served to wait and see how their fresh shuffle deals in the long game. As Birnbaum touches upon, mainstays like Mad Men and Nurse Jackie have ended their runs and opened up space for new nominees. And, yet, the juggernaut that is Modern Family journeys on unchecked, save a Veep.

Should the Emmys take a page from the 2009-2010 Oscar playbook and expand their nominations in hopes of new players? Or will their fresh groceries go stale? How do you adjust an influx of quality with such limited quantity? 

Thursday
Mar032016

A "Spotlight" on Sexual Assault 

The Oscars last Sunday threw a somewhat unexpected spotlight on the issue of sexual assault. Best Picture Spotlight is famously the true story of journalists covering the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Room is about a girl who is raped and imprisoned and ultimately escapes with her son. A Girl in the River, winner for best documentary short, is about honor killings—something that is intimately tied to the sexual control of women. And Lady Gaga’s much discussed performance was of a song about surviving rape, featured in a movie about campus rape, The Hunting Ground

In general, when awards shows and sexual assault go together, there’s a kind of gawky, almost porny pandering. Pat ourselves on the back for giving an acting award to the rape victim—yes, I’m looking at Joanne Froggatt, who has done very fine work on Downton Abbey, but who won her Golden Globe for getting raped on the show. 

But that’s not what we saw Sunday night. What we saw was respect for survivors, and the will to change. 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep212015

Link Catch-Up, Oscar Warm-Up

Some of these links are a smidge old since I've been away for two weeks in Toronto, others brand new.

Get Peanutized the Peanuts Movie is advertising like Straight Outta Somewhere... by going for an internet meme. You can make yourself into a character. The options are a bit limited so this the best i could do at approximating me. I really wanted to be holding a coffee cup or a laptop
Boy Culture Novelist Jackie Collins, sister of Joan, dies at 77. My favorite memory of her will always be Sandra Bernhard reading a passage from "Rock Star" on David Letterman and then tossing the book aside after "wanna pick a flower you lucky man?"
Dark Horizons Brie Larson to play tennis legend Billie Jean King. Good luck Brie because tennis movies never get good reviews!
The Daily Beast interviews Tom Hardy about Legend, The Revenant, dogs, and that sexuality question that keeps popping up
The Telegraph their excellent film critics rank all Woody Allen movies ranked. Good read/insights even if you quibble with order
NYT "Hooray for Hollywood... No Really" a must-read conversation between the smarty New York Times film critics 
i09 Johnny Depp's six most inexplicable career decisions
MNPP Quote of the Day Paul Bettany vs. Jason Statham. Meowwww

MNPP Do Dump or Marry: The X-Twinks - Ben Hardy, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Tye Sheridan
NYT Jack Larson, aka Jimmy Olsen from TV's original Superman, dies at 87 
Towleroad are these the top ten coming out scenes from TV history?
Empire Amanda Seyfried joining the cast of Twin Peaks Season 3 in a new role
/Film Pulp Fiction original cast wish list? This is so weird to consider 
Film Stage Charlie Kaufman discusses Anomalisa 

You Know Awards Season's Coming When...
The arguments get more heated. THR published a negative piece on Truth and Awards Daily thinks it's a hit job from the Right (with more to come from The Left). And Vulture's already declaring the winner which puts a big target on its back. My goodness. We're starting early this year, huh?! ICYMI I also pitted Truth and Spotlight against each other (for fun... I don't actually think they're after the same thing at all). And finally these two pieces framing this year's Oscar Best Actress race as "Under 30 Contest" and "Women of All Ages" just goes to show you how much framing by the media can count when it comes to narrative / awards shows. 

Yes yes. I'm going to start updating the Oscar charts to reflect Festival Madness. Probably tomorrow.

Today's Watch


Downton Wars Episode 1 Bates & Thomas draw lightsabers on each other... for a good cause. Rob James-Collier, tv's most delicious evil gay butler, filmed this for charity, in the downtime on set. Mashing up Star Wars and Downton is not quite as wonderful as it sounds but both episodes have a few good chuckles.
Downton Wars Episode 2 This one is better if way too slow. The asides to the Downton actors sending up their own characters are wonderful - particularly Daisy, Mrs Patmore, and Lady Mary. Bonus Points: Dowager Countess Jedi... Dame Maggie Smith 4evah ! 

Tuesday
Sep012015

Linker in the Rye

WTF w/ Marc Maron talks to Peter Bogdanovich
Yahoo! has the first image of Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creed but don't get too excited because it could be anyone, given that the character loves those face covering hoods
EW everything Mads Mikkelsen wore on Hannibal thanks to costume designer Christopher Hargadon. So much fine suitage!
Awards Daily Nicolas Hoult to play JD Salinger in a biopic Rebel in the Rye. Danny Strong is on writer/director duties
Variety Penny Dreadful S3 adds Wes Studi (remember how good he was in Last of the Mohicans), Shazad Latif, Jessica Barden, and Patti LuPone (!) as a regular now, albeit in a new role since her witch died last season


Deep Dish [nsfw] celebrates 66 factoids about Richard Gere for his recent birthday - I didn't know a lot of the off-movie stuff
Tracking Board Michael J Fox is voicing a robotic canine for a new film called A.R.C.H.I.E. as befits an 80s sounding high concept comedy
Empire Sam Worthington and Ruth Wilson to headline a new sci-fi picture called The Titan about a military family participating in an experiment in space
Empire French filmmaker Pascal Chaumeil (Heartbreaker) dies at 54 
Film School Rejects has a bathe with A Room With a View... such a great movie 

We ♥ to Watch
Gizmodo Amazon Prime now first subscription service to offer download / watch offline
Cinematically Insane looks at the changes at TCM and what that might mean down the road. I'm so wary of this because even if they rebrand to be less about "old" movies then agreed upon "greats" how will we see the really old movies that are harder and harder to find with the death of DVD? I know I'm not alone among cinephiles in the desire to see less-than-great films regularly so as to get context for a career (director or actor) or timeframe at the movies 
/Films warns you about all the films leaving Netflix in September. (I'm so glad i never gave up my dvds since the range of their streaming options get grosser and grosser beyond their original content)

For LOLz
The Toast A League of Their Own inspired thinkpieces. Inspired silliness.
MNPP Michel Huisman strutting around New Orleans 
Back of the Cereal Box discovers an old Meryl Streep joke that still holds up 

Off Screen
Boy Culture a-ha's "Hunting High and Low" to receive 30 year anniversary rerelease. Such an amazing album - pity that people only think of "Take On Me"
Playbill Jim Broadbent returns to the West End toplay Scrooge in A Christmas Carol this season
Towleroad author Oliver Sacks who wrote Awakenings (which became an Oscar nominated movie) recently died (RIP)

Finally
The trailer to the final season of Downton Abbey. So many big shows wrapping up lately.

Saturday
Mar282015

Superheroes, Shakespeares, Stonewalls, and Series Endings

Lukewarm off the presses: Here's a collection of things we didn't get around to talking and/or linking to for your enjoyment or conversation prompting. We always hope for both. And I'm always hoping to empty out my "things to write about immediately" desktop folder... which is never emptied out.

• Terrence Malick's new movie (the one right after Knight of Cups) will be called Weightless (no cracks about how skinny Portman, Blanchett, Fassbender, and Rooney Mara, who star, are) but it's about music and its set in Austin. Apparently there's Madonna, Bob Dylan and Arcade Fire songs or something? Who knows. In truth I don't know why I'm sharing this info. Fact: Malick movies are only interesting in the watching of them, not in the hearing about their development since that's always totally vague.

• Glenn Kenny wrote a lovely piece about his mother's love of Alfred Hitchcock movies (she recently died) and he brings up an interesting point about how older audiences of either gender remember and loved his work. Do you know what your parents favorite Hitchcock's were?

• Look! It's Jeremy Irvine in action director Roland Emmerich's first gay drama Stonewall (2015) -- that and plenty of other things are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar052015

Downton Abbey is The New Gateway to Disney Stardom!

Have you been following the casting announcements for Disney's live-action adaptation of their Best Picture nominated classic Beauty & The Beast (1991)? First came the collective girlfriend of millennials Emma Watson as Belle. But she's not the only Beauty in the cast. Former Downton Abbey star "Cousin Matthew" himself Dan Stevens, who slimmed down and muscled up since that show and immediately shifted perceptions with an about face turn in The Guest, signed on as the cursed romantic Beast. 

Given that Lady Rose (Lily James) and Daisy from the Downton kitchen (Sophie McShera) are playing Cinderella and her stepsister this coming weekend at the movies one has to wonder which Downton Abbey star is next for which big Disney property? Maggie Smith's schedule just opened up Mouse House. Jump on that before someone else grabs her!

But in all seriousness... Downton Abbey has a deep bench of valuable players some of whom made their names in the movies (Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern chief among them), some of whom will probably be content to stay well employed in British television, and a few of which are already trying their hand at transferring to film. But how much longer can that series keep telling its repetitive story? (Don't misunderstand: I love Downton -- even when its at its weakest -- but the writers room is definitely on loop)

If I were a casting director I'd have the whole cast (so many rich character talents) under surveillance for restlessness and would definitely be trying to lure the ice cold beauty Michelle Dockery away. She's hitting movie screens this summer in Tarsem Singh's next movie Self/less. which happens to co-star her new love interest on Downton film/tv regular and handsomest man on earth Matthew Goode.

But back to BEAUTY & THE BEAST for a wrap-up
It looks like Luke Evans will be Gaston to Emma Watson's Beauty in the forthcoming live action adaptation of the musical. No word yet on whether he'll put on more muscle or if 'ev'ry last inch of him's covered in hair' but he can definitely sing!  

 

Do you think he harmonizes with Jon Kartajarena at home