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Entries in Emmy (95)

Wednesday
Jun242015

Team Experience: Collective Emmy Ballot, Drama 

Part 1 of 2... DRAMA!
Part 2 -- Comedy 

Eleven members of our team* turned in full Emmy ballots. I've compiled the results for you here. This is a very limited pool versus the thousands from the Television Academy who will vote on the actual Emmys but I thought it might be interesting for readers who are invested in this 'new golden age' of television. 

REMINDER: THESE ARE NOT PREDICTIONS

What follows is what we communally hope for when the nominations are announced. Voting on the nominations for the real Emmys ends this Friday, June 26th. The nominations will be announced on July 16th (what takes them so long to tally it?) and the ceremony happens on September 20th. It's a ridiculously wide spread of time -- nearly double the Oscar voting spread.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

  • The Americans (FX)
  • Empire (FOX)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • The Leftovers (HBO)
  • Mad Men (AMC)
  • Masters of Sex (SHO)
  • Orange is the New Black (NETFLIX)

Twenty-two different series received at least one vote but there were no votes at all for two Emmy regulars in this category (Downton Abbey & House of Cards). No series made every ballot though Mad Men and Masters of Sex were out front together in that regard. I forgot to hold a tiebreaker vote between The Leftovers and The Fall for the final slot so I made the choice myself, and erred on the side of way more ambition though The Fall was arguably more consistent. The nearest misses were The Affair and Agent Carter. The Agent Carter contingency surprised me even though I adore the show but then we're friendlier to non-prestige genre shows here (The Flash, Orphan Black and Daredevil also received votes). We shouldn't bring up the painful years of snubs for Battlestar Galactica and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, two of the finest shows TV ever produced. Neither of which could get arrested by Emmy voters in major categories. (sigh)

Acting Categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun232015

FYC: Thomas Middleditch for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy

Team Experience is sharing their dream picks for the Emmys. Here's Michael C with our final acting FYC before we wrap up with a couple of other things...

The central comic conceit of Silicon Valley is that the tech industry has created a dynamic where the most power is now in the hands of those with the least social skills. Thomas Middleditch (perhaps best known previously for getting his gold fish eaten by Jonah Hill in Wolf of Wall Street) embodied this idea so perfectly in the beginning he barely seemed to be doing any acting. He just is that guy. He need only show up in scenes with his wide-eyes, his stammer, and his never-seen-the-inside-of-a-gym physique and we instantly got the joke. That "Richard Hendricks" quickly graduated from being a type to a character is a credit to Middleditch, in particular his keen comic timing capable of shading the many subtle levels of Richard's ever-present anxiety, from basic discomfort all the way up to full-blown meltdown.

Were Silicon Valley a typical network sitcom Middleditch could spin variations on the same comic beats for nine or ten seasons, probably to much acclaim, but the stellar second season of Mike Judge's HBO show immediately upped the ante for Richard. The triumph of the first season finale dropped him into the deep end of the pool, swimming with the tech equivalent of great white sharks. Where before he could succeed with a bolt of lightning burst of genius. the new season requires him to be not just a brilliant programmer but a brilliant leader, a renegade capable of inspiring his team and strategizing against the big boys on a tiny fraction of their budget. That Richard has floundered at every step of this process may have obscured the fact that Middleditch has succeeded in subtly evolving the character at pace with the show. The Richard Hendricks from the season two finale ready to burn his business to the ground (read: delete it) rather than see it stolen out from under him, was a far cry from the nervous nelly of the pilot who nearly had a breakdown trying to decide if he should just sell it and run. That Middleditch pulled off this incremental transformation believably (and hilariously) is an achievement that easily warrants inclusion among the five nominees for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy. I'm tempted to say he deserves the win.

Previously:
Supporting Actress Specials!!! Cara Seymour & Ann Dowd
Series Drama The Americans and The Leftovers 
Series Comedy Jane the Virgin 
Actress (Comedy) Lisa Kudrow, Amy Schumer 
Actress (Drama) Ruth Wilson
Actor (Drama) Jon Hamm and Michael Sheen 
Supp. Actor (Drama) Matt Czuchry (Comedy) Tituss Burgess
Supp. Actress (Comedy) Lauren Weedman and Melanie Lynskey

Monday
Jun222015

FYC: RuPaul's Drag Race for Best Reality Competition

We're almost at the end of our FYCs. Team Experience was asked to share their individual dream picks for Emmy nominations. Here's Manuel ...

I don’t even have to tell you how stale this relatively new Emmy category is (The Amazing Race has won 10 out of 12 times the statuette has been awarded with only 12 shows ever nominated) before I get to vocalize my frustration - if not surprise - at the fact that RuPaul’s Drag Race has even yet to be nominated.

I mean, is that okay?

Drag Race is that rare show that can sport an arched eyebrow that tells you we should take everything in good fun while offering a shoulder to cry on because the struggle is real, y’all. Its greatest strength as a television show is that its sentimentality isn't framed in opposition to its campy exterior or its ironic posturing, it's actually endemic to them. This, of course, wouldn't be possible without RuPaul, who can stage a heart to heart while sharing a tic tac for lunch. It's a show that can take a seeming contradiction ("I want to see the REAL you by having it come out through layers of make up and various wigs and affectations and gif-ready reaction shots") and improbably enough, make it werk.

Even after seven seasons, Drag Race remains a fascinating experiment in reality TV competition which doesn't just explicitly admit the strangeness of its own genre trappings but uses them to create the most cogent oral history of the trials of drag queen herstory since Paris is Burning. Think about it: this season alone dealt with the palliative powers of drag when it comes to dealing with addiction (Katya & Fame), trauma (Pearl, Kennedy), rejection (Jaidynn, Trixie), aging (Tempest, Mrs Kasha Davis), storylines that have become so familiar to the show only because they have become intrinsic to understanding the very nature of drag. That Logo and Ru can accomplish that while giving good gif, well, that's Emmyworthy.

 

Can I get an Amen up in here?


Monday
Jun222015

The Many Faces of Ann Dowd ~ 25 Years in Film & TV

As this new week begins, I need to take a moment to express gratitude for what made last week special. Ann Dowd was gracious with her time and thoughts for a special guest blog day. In case any of you missed it, it was neat to get an insight into her work on The Leftovers, hear about her teenage reaction to Romeo & Juliet, and more. I particularly enjoyed her comments on falling in love with acting and advice for young actors. Regarding the latter, I'm not an actor but it resonated with me strongly and I think it's great advice for any career that requires risk, heart, soul, and the ability to handle considerable peaks and valleys.

Which is quite a few careers if you stop to think about it.

Ann Dowd's film and television career began in earnest 25 years ago in 1990 with a role in the Golden Globe Comedy winner Green Card and guest appearances on two different TV series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd and The Baby-Sitter's Club.

this is just scratching the surface

Her gallery of characters has been growing ever since but with critical raves and a few prizes for her riveting film-carrying work as a duped fast food manager in Compliance (2012) audiences finally starting putting a name to the face. Ever since we've been blessed with more and more of her. The Leftovers was arguably her greatest showcase yet. If Emmy voters don't notice what casting directors already have, it'll be their loss. 

What's your favorite Ann Dowd character and did her Guest Blog Day make you long for more peeks into your favorite character actors? (I'll take suggestions)

Sunday
Jun212015

FYC: Melanie Lynskey for Best Supporting Actress, Comedy

Team Experience continues to share their individual dream picks for Emmy nominations. Here's abstew on TFE favorite Melanie Lynskey...

With this year's rule-change that half hour shows will be automatically placed in the comedy categories and hour-long ones in drama, we worry about the shows that don't necessarily fit so easily into either category, regardless of their running times. But then again, Melanie Lynskey currently giving one of the year's best comedic and dramatic performances in HBO's Togetherness, has always been an actress undefined by categorization. Equally at home in traditional sitcoms (playing kooky neighbor Rose on Two and a Half Men) as she is in dramatic film work (her film debut in Heavenly Creatures is still a haunting revelation), Lynskey utilizes her skills from both (along with a sure hand at improv, recently seen in Happy Christmas) to play Michelle, the unhappily married wife and mother on the Duplass Brother's relationship dramedy. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jun202015

Emmy FYC: "The Leftovers" for Best Drama Series

A lot has been made of so-called “watercooler TV”, or what in today’s world we might call “hashtag-worthy TV”. But I’ve never really understood it. Discussions of “watercooler TV” mostly revolve around plot: “OMG did you SEE what happened on show X last night?” “LOL how freaking hilarious was that one moment on show Z?!?” But those watercooler or hashtag conversations rarely go much deeper than “What do you think is going to happen next?” TV shows typically prioritize this kind of storytelling over the much more interesting, engaging kind of storytelling - the kind that asks

What do you think this means?”

By that measure, The Leftovers, created by the formerly Lost Damon Lindelof and author Tom Perrotta, based on the latter’s novel of the same name, is the most deeply engaging show of the new millennium.

The show tells the story of the residents of Mapleton, NY in the aftermath of a terrifying event: The “Sudden Disappearance” of 2% of the world’s population. What exactly happened, no one is sure, and no answers are forthcoming. But what happened, how, and why, isn’t what’s important. What’s important is what people are doing in the present, how they are grappling with that event, and why.

Often ambiguous, deeply symbolic, and allegorical in its storytelling, The Leftovers is one of the most difficult shows to watch that any network has dared to air in quite some time. It also makes for one hell of a hypnotic viewing experience. The show isn’t afraid to barrage you with difficult questions. Not questions of plot or character, but of subtext and theme. Not what a certain action means for the narrative, but what it means to the viewer. This is a television show that invites deep discussion on a weekly basis - discussion that will reach far beyond the show and the (incredibly real) world it creates. And that is something we should be honoring.

previous Emmy FYCs