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Entries in Emmy (107)


The Morning After: Creative Emmy Award Winners

Andrew on the Emmy Awards, Round 1

Are there too many Emmy Award categories? On one hand, considering that that they need two separate ceremonies to get through all the winners, it seems a reasonable thesis. It lends a longness to the procedures but how nice that they recognise everything, and appreciate the difference between prostethic and non-prostethic make up, credits music, and title design? 

Yesterday, eight days before the regular Emmys, the Creative Emmy awards were presented with prizes for costumes, choreography, production, design, music, guest acting and even TV movie. The creative Emmys, unlike craft prizes at the Oscars, are rarely a good indicator of what wins the big prizes. But let’s look at the notable winners and ponderwhether some of the surprises of last evening might carry over to next week's official ceremony. 


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"Best Shots" from the Emmy Nominated Series

Andrew here with a special Hit Me With Your Best Shot inspired look at the best looking TV shows (according to Emmy voters).

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards are handed on this Saturday (September 12), the precursor to the main ceremony billed for the next week. So, in anticipation of Saturday's ceremony where all technical and visual prizes will be handed out here's a celebration of the cinematographic side of television.

The cinematography side of TV has been divided into two categories, instead of one, since 2000: Cinematography for a Single Camera Series (most, if not all, dramas on TV right now, and many comedies), Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series (predominantly CBS comedies). (They briefly flirted with dividing the category by episode length in 2008 and 2009 and then returning to this current, which just goes to show how indecisive the Emmy rules committee can be.)

It's easy to see which category Emmy voters consider superior. There are 7 single-camera nominees, and 4 multi-camera nominees, and having watched all eleven episodes we're following their bias and focusing on the single category, too...


7 nominees across 4 shows to represent the best photograped shows on television. One shot from each show follows to help you decide which to root for on Saturday.

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What Is It With Ruth Madoff and Actresses?

You've already heard that Michelle Pfeiffer is finally planning to work again for an HBO movie called Wizard of Lies. So let's give the story its proper due.

Pfeiffer in The Family / Ruth Madoff

(I included the Pfeiff News in the last link roundup but the Pfans among you didn't deem that sufficient. (I heard from a pflummoxed pfew by e-mail). Look, stop demanding my bonafides! I have been devoted to La Pfeiff since 1985 in. real. time. I've followed her long enough to take each new probject with a full brick of salt until I see footage. She is so skittish about working.)

For the moment at least she is planning to play Ruth Madoff in Wizard of Lies with Robert De Niro in the leading role of fraudulent financier Bernie Madoff. Aside from cameos and voice work this will be her first TV role since just before superstardom hit in 87/88. In her last film The Family, DeNiro (who is 72) and she had teenage children but they're aging up this time around and delicious/undervalued Alessandro Nivola (who is 43) will play their son. Frankly I'd rather see Alessandro romantically paired with Pfeiffer than playing her biological! She's closer to his age than De Niros (by one year - hee - as she's 14 years older than Nivola and 15 years younger than De Niro - but it counts! Especially since she's so foxy. And especially because Nivola is even hotter (it sounds impossible but it's totally true) when paired with actresses that are older than he is - think Frances McDormand in Laurel Canyon, Embeth Davidtz in Junebug and Emily Mortimer in real life (his wife is just one year older - but for this argument it counts ;) 

But back to the Madoffs.

It's worth noting here that Ruth Madoff has already been played by Cate Blanchett (kinda) in Blue Jasmine, and BEFORE Pfeiffer she'll be played by Blythe Danner in the ABC miniseries Madoff (currently filming) so the disgraced rich lady is really getting around among the actresses. It is kind of an instant classic dream role in the Women Who Lie To Themselves™ subgenre.

Blythe Danner and Richard Dreyfuss in Madoff, coming to ABC in 2016.

If Pfeiffer actually goes through with it, we can hope for an Emmy but won't hold our breath. Despite her fame and acclaim, she has never been an awards magnet only picking up an odd trophy here and there (the BAFTA for Dangerous Liaisons, the Silver Bear for Love Field, and several coveted prizes for Fabulous Baker Boys including the Globe, the NBR, and the holy trinity of critics prizes -- NYFCC, LAFCA, NSFC -- before losing the Oscar for that role. ARGH x ∞).

But after both Blue Jasmine (2013) and ABC's Madoff (2016) will audiences and showbiz voters still be into this story for a third round in late 2016 or 2017? 


50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Viola Davis' Birthday

Margaret and Anne Marie here, with suggestions of how best to rejoice in 50 years of national treasure VIOLA DAVIS...

  1. Set something on fire with only the power of your measured, penetrating gaze
  2. Look sensational in a jewel-hued gown
  3. Drink a tall glass of bubbly while wearing said gown
  4. Enter a room with unparalleled grace
  5. Have a professional task you feel is beneath you? Pick it up and blow it out of the water. Because you can.
  6. Make your coworkers look great
  7. Give sage & loving advice. Or take someone else's
  8. Pull up a dick pic on your phone, and accusingly approach strangers with it

  9. Consider making a donation to the Segue Institute for Learning or the Hunger Is campaign, which are two of Viola Davis' preferred charities
  10. Visit Rhode Island
  11. Do a few sets of tricep curls 
  12. Write a thank you note to Shonda Rhimes.
  13. Paper your neighborhood with Emmy For Your Consideration ads.
  14. Walk up to the most respected person in your chosen field and gracefully, modestly, utterly outshine them.
  15. Outshine some nobodies too, just for fun

    35 more ways to celebrate after the jump!

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Link Nation

Deadline gross. They're making Animal Kingdom (2010) into a tv series? Ellen Barkin is in the Jacki Weaver role so there's that but leave great things alone!
Out talks to Judy Greer about playing girlfriend to Lily Tomlin in Grandma
AV Club another underappreciated actress Carla Gugino has taken over lead role duties from Christina Hendricks in Cameron Crowe's Roadies
MNPP Director John Curran leaves the Lewis & Clarke miniseries so Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts are without a director. (Naturally there are cute shirtless set photos this being MNPP) 

Deadline Billy Crudup won the top male role in 20th Century Women, though it's not the lead. That belongs to The Bening (yay!) and the film is from the undervalued but excellent writer/director Mike Mills (Beginners)
Demanders looks back at My Beautiful Laundrette which recently got a Criterion release 
Variety happy news: Season 2 of Transparent arrives in time for Christmas
i09 Ridley Scott still planning on filming a Prometheus sequel next year. (And with Michael Fassbender. How exactly will Fassy be able to squeeze that into his ever busy schedule?)
NY Times Christopher McQuarrie on the anatomy of the Opera scene in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 
MNPP Jai Courtney is... um... enjoying himself 
AV Club The legendary Max Von Sydow joining the cast of Game of Thrones. That's quite a get for the series. Related but not at this link. /Film also covered this story and were shameless traffic whores enough to not even include von Sydow's name in the headline but merely referred to him as "Star Wars Rogue Nation" actor. That's so disrespectful... and just tacky. End of times.  

Woody 2016
Woody Allen has announced the cast of his next Untitled Film (2016). We rarely get anything but a cast list and location as the projects are secretive and/or Woody is not a chatterbox. This one shoots in LA & NYC and will reunite Woody with Parker Posey (Irrational Man), Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) and Jesse Eisenberg (To Rome With Love) and first timer in Woody's world newbies: Jeannie Berlin (who does not work enough, she was last seen on the phone with Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice), Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Ken Stott, Bruce Willis, Anna Camp, Stephen Kunken, Sari Lennick, and Paul Schneider

About The New Banner
"Anonny" gave me two options for banner topic when he won the theme-choosing with Question of the Week. Though "sweaty" would have been truly new, I promise y'all that it wouldn't have read in black-and-white closeups up top. Unless it was comically drenched sweating and there's only, what, Airplane (1980) for that?

So the new banner is "GRUMPY". I'm not feeling grumpy so I really had to work on my own pose. I'm hesistantly elated. Toronto International Film Festival plans seem settled and I had such a great time last year. I can't truly expect it to be that good every year but it's my favorite festival so cross your fingers that a lot of masterpieces emerge. 

THR Emmy Drama Actress Roundtable (in full)
I'd embed it here but we have a policy against "autoplay" videos. Too noisy. Too disruptive to readers. But if you're interested watch it at THR: Viola Davis, Jessica Lange, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lizzy Caplan, Taraji P Henson, and Ruth Wilson. Kind of strange that they waited until after nominations to release the full versions of these (the others arrive throughout August) when some of the people in each roundtable weren't nominated. Naturally Taraji P Henson is the most entertaining.


HBO’s LGBT History: Six Feet Under (2001-2005)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions...

Last week we talked about Cheryl Dunye’s Stranger Inside, a female prison drama that makes that Netflix series feel like a light-hearted romp. I highly recommend it; though, as with many of the films we’ve been looking at these past few weeks, it is not readily available for streaming (it is available on YouTube). This week, we pause on one of HBO’s greatest shows, Six Feet Under, which features one of the most fully realized gay male characters ever seen on television, David Fisher, played by Michael C. Hall.

Premiering as it did after The Sopranos and proving HBO’s swaggering arrival into prestige TV was no fluke, Alan Ball’s melancholy meditation on death, mental illness, and sexuality, nevertheless always felt, as David Fisher himself, like the dutiful, kinda gay, and oft-ignored middle child in HBO’s eyes; Six Feet Under thus lived (and died) in the shadow of its more popular and charismatic older brother.

That’s not a knock on David Chase’s drama but a reminder that Tony Soprano’s show was a gargantuan hit that’s since become the poster child for "HBO drama," if not for the entire “Golden Age of Television” writ-large. It both paved the way and reaped the benefits of the daring work showrunners like Tom Fontana (Oz), David Simon (The Wire), Daniel Knauf (Carnivale), Steven Soderbergh (K Street), and, of course, Ball himself, were producing during the early 2000s.

Ball’s series feels like an outlier among those early HBO dramas; Six Feet Under, more expertly than Ball’s Oscar-winning film, American Beauty and with more nuance than his later vampiric sudfest, True Blood, thrives on that much maligned genre which earns immediate scorn, melodrama. Indeed, with its focus on grief and mourning, the show constantly wears its teary-eyed heart on its sleeve, shamelessly tugging at its audience’s heartstrings. [More...

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Titus Andromedon and the "GBF"

Please welcome new contributor Kyle Turner to the team, who has previously Smackdown'ed right here. In the wake of the Emmy nominations, he's here to talk about one very particular film & tv trope - Editor

In Tina Fey’s book of autobiographical essays Bossypants, she describes with delight and nostalgia her time growing up working at the Delaware County Summer Showtime program for the arts. And while her experiences about her background in theater are the surface, it’s her relationship to the queer community that serves as, perhaps, the thesis and thematic core of the essay. She writes carefully, balancing emotional reaction of the present juxtaposed against examining the events in hindsight. She talks about the lesbian best friends she had for several years, the way her hometown was like “Gay Wales” (“What Wales is to crooners, my hometown may be to homosexuals – meaning, there seems to be a disproportionate number of them and they are the best in the world!”), and, most important, the role of LGBT people in her personal narrative(s). She writes

I thought I knew everything after that first summer. ‘Being gay is not a choice. Gay people were made that way by God,’ I’d lectured Mr. Garth proudly. But it took me another whole year to figure out the second part: ’Gay people were made that way by God, but not solely for my entertainment.’ ”

In one quote, Fey pinpoints a problem that mainstream media often has when depicting queer (usually male) characters: they’re often asexual, thinly written, or designed with tropes built in as opposed to given the benefit of complexity that their straight counterparts more reflexively are given. They are, in a word, tokenized. [More...]

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