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Entries in Emmy (63)

Wednesday
Feb252015

Oscar Stages Through the Years

Ask and you shall receive. Manuel here to take up Joel V's suggestion in the comments (for this post on the gorgeous graphics we saw on Sunday) and give us a look at past Oscar stages. I will hand it to Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, while NPH was only so-so (though thankfully willing to embrace the male gayze) and that ceremony ran way too long, they sure know how to make the telecast a stylish affair.

NPH amidst a stage that's giving us steampunk Oscar glam realness

This is Derek McLane's third time desigining the Oscar stage (he won an Emmy for last year's) and it's clear why Meron & Zadan love him, though please let us not speak of his designs for Peter Pan Live!

But, how well does this year's stage design hold up? Take a look at the last ten years of Oscar stages, which have in the last decade alone garnered 5 Emmys for Outstanding Art Direction for Variety, Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Program, nabbing a nomination every single year. Talk about a hot streak!

86th through 77th Academy Awards after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb202015

Emmy's New Rulings Are Game-Changers

After years of gripes about tv shows "gaming" the system to get more nominations - like Downton Abbey pretending it was a miniseries before it was a series and True Detective pretending it was a regular series instead of a miniseries or Joan Cusack pretending she was a "guest" on Shameless for years on while starring in every episode - suddenly things have changed. Next year's Emmy races in both Drama and Comedy will be forced to look very different. And I'm not just talking about Breaking Bad finally being out of the way (thank God!)

The big changes and the one show most affected after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug272014

Linkman & Emmywoman

First Things First: at Movie City News the "Gurus of Gold" have begun (yes, I'm a part of it again) and as David Poland points out there are seven films that made almost every list: Birdman, Gone Girl, Boyhood, and Unbroken tied at 1st place with Foxcatcher, Selma, and Interstellar just behind themMost pundits are feeling these as Best Picture threats. Look at the whole chart though to see how everything fared. The highest ranking films that were not on my list (we were asked to submit 15 films) are Wild and Inherent Vice

Birdman Flies
Early rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival from The TelegraphVariety and THR and a couple positive but not ecstatic reviews from The Guardian and The Film Stage are up and surely bode well for the film.  I'm holding off on reading them as I want the movie fresh when I see it. But others may want to dive right in.

Anger Making
Yahoo talks to Tyler Perry. The Madea franchise star/director claims he didn't know who David Fincher was when he signed on to Gone Girl and he wouldn't have done it if he knew how "mainstream" he was. What the F'in hell? Yes, Tyler Perry a bastion of "edgy" cinema. He's also been a voting member of the Director's branch of the Academy since 2009 which means he's been asked to judge and vote on Fincher's work twice. Way to be a conscientous voter!

Other Linkage
The Playlist 10 overlooked greats from the 1970s. I gladly support the inclusion of Girlfriends (1978) but I haven't seen the others
HitFix Deborah Ann Woll talks about moving on to Daredevil and the difficulty of leaving True Blood's Jessica behind
Pajiba Ridley Scott is 76 years-old but his plate is super full. How many more films is he planning to make exactly? 
Cinematically Insane will layoffs and monetization at Turner Broadcasting affect TCM? 
My New Plaid Pants Superman takes the ice bucket challenge 
The Dissolve Mike D'Angelo looks back at "Best Actress" of 1989 -- we all know that shoulda been Michelle Pfeiffer but others are discussed, too. 
VF Neil Marshall (The Descent) wants to direct a Black Widow movie. Also talks Game of Thrones

Emmy Hangover
The Nib Liza Donnelly's caricatures from the evening 
Pajiba's liveblog with Courtney Enlow icymi
We Recycle Movie's "lateblog" with Anne Marie and Margaret 
Towleroad icymi it on Emmy night, Billy on the Street's Emmy dash was the most hilarious of few hilarious things that night 
Showtracker wonders if Game of Thrones can rise in Emmy estimation with Breaking Bad moving out of the way 
Salon what the Emmys revealed about the broadcast vs cable war on television 

ICYMI
Vulture Mark Harris has a long read on "The Making of Foxcatcher" - so much Mark Harris to read. (I'm reading "Five Came Back" very slowly because I am learning so much about late 30s/early 40s Hollywood on every page.)
Funny Or Die Mark Duplass and Ted Danson go to couples therapy over Prince's Purple Rain suit

Fun Interview
Assignment X talks to one of our favorite British thespians, Olivia Williams about her new series, films (very briefly), makes fun of her own accent work and this, my favorite part, on her stellar role in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse:

Joss legendarily starts to adapt your character as the series goes on to how you really are, and I started off as sort of a calculating bitch and ended up being rather motherly and a bit of an alcoholic, and I can’t think where he got that from.

Ha!

 

Tuesday
Aug262014

Emmy Aftermath: The Repetitions, The Rules, The Fixes.

Well hear we are the day after the 66th Emmy Awards... or was it the 65th? or 62nd? or 60? It gets so hard to tell what with their refusal to spread the wealth. This number may not be 100% accurate but from my rough calculations anyone/anything who won Emmys last night had, on average, two previous statues.

No matter how great any one performance or show is, is it seems downright criminal to only honor that one thing. Think of how many people couldn't have Emmys for acting because of, say, Bryan Cranston's 5 statues for Walter White. I wish more voters would think of it that way. There's no argument among anybody who has watched it, even off and on like myself, that he didn't do great work but is his work 5 times greater than Jon Hamm's best work as Don Draper? 3 times greater than Michael C Hall's work as Dexter? And so on. He would have also prevented Kyle Chandler from that awesome tearjerking Friday Night Lights win had he been eligible that year. You just can't tell me his work is more valuable than all of those men combined and his Emmy run  blocked so many gifted actors from winning television's top honor. Same with Aaron Paul (3 statues) and Allison Janney (6 statues, 4 from one role). Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a slightly different case. She's a stellar performer (great in every series she's been in) but three statues is more than enough for the same performance especially when it means Amy Poehler's genius continues to go unrewarded. Yet at least Julia's 5 statues are distributed across 3 roles.

When you obsessively award one person over and over for the same performance you're really saying that nobody else in town is remotely of their calibre which is a depressing way to judge artistry, which is so subjective and has room for multiple conceptions of "Best". But perhaps the problem is in the voting process. (According to Gold Derby at least, voters rank the performances and whoever has the lowest score (i.e. you want first and second finishes, means that if you're everyone's second favorite you will probably win each and every year since the slightly more divisive series won't stand a chance. This could also explain why Modern Family just continues to hog Emmys though most critics think its glory days are long behind it. Maybe it's everyone's #2 and their number #1s are all over the place.)

"LESBIAN REQUEST DENIED" - Jodie & Laverne and several other OITNB nominees lost their categories.Though Emmy night wasn't at all interesting (I am reminded why I have never watched it religiously) the Emmy season was with all the controversies. For months there's been heated divisive arguments about Broadcast vs. Cable and whether they should be in direct competition. Official word is "we're not going to go there," that they'll never split up the categories. But couldn't some of the results in part have been about network TV actors finally rallying and saying 'enough with online and cable!'  HBO still led in actual wins  but it had very few televised wins so most of its triumphs were in the non-marquee categories. And Netflix, which has brought so much energy to the TV game, tanked. Orange is the New Black, easily one of the best and most-obsessed-over shows on TV, only managed two wins, neither of them televised. 

Herewith my proposal on how to fix the Emmys, to prevent all the controversial gaming of the system and the relentless repetition which does no service to an industry enjoying a lot of Golden Age goodwill. Every week on the internet you read about some new great achievement in television and everyone's top tens look different and people are just so excited with all that's on offer and every year at the Emmys the picture they present to the world is. 'We only make a few good shows. Sorry bout it.'

Proposed Rule Fixes

  1. No category hopping. Once you've submitted one way, you can't pretend you've become something else.
  2. Seriously consider best half hour series and best hour series instead of Drama vs. Comedy because nearly all the best work in any artform has both dramatic substance and a sense of humor. Orange is the New Black is hilarious but people kept being mad that it was placed in comedy because its drama is so effective. 
  3. If your name is in the opening credits you MAY NOT submit as a "guest" -- this is supposedly the guideline right now but very few actors follow it if they think they have a better shot at "guest." If you are in every episode, even if you're not in the opening credits, you MAY NOT submit as a "guest."
  4. Cap of three wins for any performance of the same role.
  5. Strict rules on number of episodes you must produce to qualify as anything other than a miniseries. I personally think the rule should be 10. How are shows with only 7 episodes competing in series? 

 Emmy really needs to lock down some rules about anthology series. Are they miniseries like AMERICAN HORROR STORY or regular series like TRUE DETECTIVE. It shouldn't be either or.

What do you think would help fix the Emmys? 

P.S. Here are my personal awards for last night's show

Best Duo: Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Bryan Cranston
Best Sports: The Mad Men actors who will complete this historic series with none of them ever having won for their terrific complex creations. And yet they show every year and smile and even endure the jokes about it now.
Classier Than It Often Is: In Memoriam
Dependably Funny Person Who Was Amazingly Funny: Amy Poehler
Dependably Funny Person Who Was Not at all Funny: Sarah Silverman
Most Ubiquitous Color: Orange (skin) vs Red (dresses)
Most Awesome Loser Reaction: Julia Roberts


Most Depressing Loser Reaction: Cicely Tyson 
Best Dressed: Lizzy Caplan
Hottest Arm Candy: Julianna Marguiles husband. In perpetuity.
Most Annoying Emmy Obsession: Seriously why even have a Reality category if you consistently ignore the really creative ones (hello RuPaul's Drag Race) and just hand The Amazing Race the prize ever year. 10 wins! Ridiculous
Most Satisfying Win: None. The closest would be The Normal Heart which I liked (but didn't love)
Happy Realization: There is room for at least a smidgeon of movement in next year's Best Drama races since Breaking Bad will be gone from all categories.
Bitter Realization: That won't help the repetitive factor in Comedy since Modern Family is still with us and still winning... and not just in the top category.
New EGOTs: None. And people we thought might edge closer (Julia, Cicely & Matthew) did not.

Photo that perfectly sums up Emmy night via Lena Dunham & Instagram

 

Monday
Aug252014

Emmy Winners. Live-Listing

Refresh your screen periodically
I'll have some sort of recap tomorrow and I'm live-tweeting here and there but I'll list the winners as they come in for those who want a handy reference.

UPDATE: Post-Ceremony Thoughts Here!

EMMY WINNERS 2014 - list is after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug232014

2 Days 'til Emmy Awards: Fantasy Mash-Ups

Before we hit the Emmy Awards one last group poll. I asked friends which Emmy nominated TV characters mix and matched from different series would they love to see paired up? 

True Sherlock: His Last Vow

Michael: I would mash up Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock with McConaughey's Rust. Sherlock would've knocked out that Yellow King business out in 20 minutes leaving the rest of the season for them to get drunk and philosophize.

DennySheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons on The Big Bang Theory) and Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba on Orange is the New Black) are served a pie. Hilarity ensues. Or: Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) gets sent to Litchfield prison and insults Red's (Kate Mulgrew) cooking on her first day. Delicious scheming and sassy put-downs ensue. And I really want to see Allison Janney and Julie Bowen's characters from Mom and Modern Family get drinks together, just because.

Andrew:  I'd like to see Claire Danes throwdown with any of the women on Orange is the New Black. Even though Homeland is supposed to be passe now, Claire continues to dig deeper with Carrie so why not up the ante by having her imprisioned? 

Tyrion & Claire in "House of Thrones"

Joe ReidOkay, well for starters, Claire Underwood would be the best thing that ever happened to Tyrion Lannister, and it would lead to possibly the greatest showdown on TV ever the next time Cersei tried to cross the happy couple.

Meanwhile, I keep trying in vain to find someone good enough for Veep's Amy Brookheimer, who would simultaneously not get chewed up and spit out by her ambitions/schedule. I finally settled on The Good Wife's Will Gardner, except ... well ... sigh.

Matthew Rettenmund:: Definitely Selina Meyer from Veep and Nicky Nichols from Orange is the New Black. I think Selina is a power lesbian waiting to happen—that haircut was more of a declaration than Ellen's "Yep, I'm gay!" NEWSWEEK cover—and Nicky knows how to pick the lock on a closet.

Jose SolisCarrie Mathison and Dr. William Masters. If poor Virginia drives him crazy, wait until he has to deal with Temple Grandin...

Mark BlankenshipCapt. Holt (Andre Braugher) from Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) from Game of Thrones would be perfect as a mismatched pair of private investigators in small New England town.

Anne Marie:  I want to see Lady Olenna and the Dowager Countess sit down to a meal with Red. They can serve prison chicken, tea, and barbed one-liners to each other.

Abstew: Allison Janney in Mom and Allison Janney from  Masters of Sex. Who wouldn't want an Allison Janney acting showdown? And since these characters are polar opposites, they could teach each other what the other is missing. Bonnie can tell Margaret about orgasms and Margaret can give Bonnie some class. 

You know you want to play in the comments and tell us which one of these impossible pairings is the one for you. Or create your own if none of these would win your greenlight.