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Entries in FYC (91)


Team Experience: Collective Emmy Ballot, Comedy


See Part 1 for Drama
Here's Part 2 of 2... COMEDY!

Eleven members of our team, those most excited by television, turned in full Emmy ballots. So here is what we communally hope for when the real Emmy nominations are announced. Nomination ballots are due tomorrow, June 26th so if you happen to be an Emmy voter, check out our FYC series (shameless plug).  The Emmy nominations will be announced on July 16th though who knows why it takes them over three weeks to tally the results. Slackers. 

Comedy Series and acting races after the jump...

Click to read more ...


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. 


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.


  • 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 ...


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.

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


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?


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 ...


FYC: Tituss Burgess for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Team Experience is sharing their dream picks for the Emmys each day at Noon. Here's Margaret...

Tituss Burgess' performance as Titus Andromedon on Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is nothing short of genius. (Before we get any further into this, it should be established that Tituss with two S's is the actor, and Titus with one S is the character. Confusing, yes, but blame Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.)

His vocal control is exquisite, and we see it tested time and again as the writers work up excuses for Titus to belt whenever possible. His grip on his comedy is similarly iron-clad. Every gesture, every line reading, is laser-precise. He never fails to deliver the biggest laugh of whatever scene he's in--he's a dexterous physical comic and quite nimble with Fey & Carlock's twisty punchlines-- but he also lends a distinct pathos to the performance that makes it more than just funny. 

And he's tremendously gif-able. Sweet mercy, how gif-able.

Though often ridiculous, Burgess makes damn well sure we know that Titus is the one telling the joke. Even the most absurd lines fly out of his mouth with self-awareness and complete conviction. (In lieu of apologizing for putting his foot in his mouth, he shrugs: "I am as God made me.") One of the things that makes Kimmy Schmidt so special is its improbable sense of melancholy. Hints about Titus' past point to frustration and pain, and that's present in his performance even as he lives confidently and without contrition.

But most of all, he's just purely and entirely funny. He makes me laugh more than any other TV character, certainly today, maybe ever. To deny him would be like denying Jane Krakowski's Jenna Maroney, which...  well... please don't make that mistake again, Emmys.

Previously: Ann Dowd talks The Leftovers and Nathaniel fusses over the Emmy ballot


FYC: Michael Sheen for Best Actor, Drama

Team Experience continues to share their picks for this year's Emmy nominations. Here's David on Michael Sheen.

If Lizzy Caplan's Virginia Johnson is the heart of Masters of Sex, Michael Sheen's Bill Masters is its head - its proud, dedicated, fearful psychosis, driving the narrative into a quagmire of sexual and social confusion. Virginia's emotion flows easily from her, but Bill's is buried beneath acres of childhood trauma built into cracked defences. He is akin to the other current TV icon of past American masculinity, Don Draper – and one episode even leaves him in the dark glow of a deserted office in a shot that could have come straight from Mad Men.

Sheen’s brilliance in the part is in how he retains the audience’s sympathy and investment despite his frequently frustrating episodes of stubbornness, anger, hypocrisy and cruelty. As Bill repeatedly contends, he "never meant to hurt anyone" - a clichéd excuse that is beautifully grounded in the reality of Sheen’s performance. Ironically, Bill is only really able to pull off an emotional façade in his most vulnerable moments, whether spitting cruel barbs back at his brother Frank or trying to shut out Virginia’s inquisitive gaze as she delves into his childhood (in the masterful third episode, ‘Fight’, set almost entirely in their hotel room).

Sheen and Lizzy Caplan in 'Fight'

Tasked with portraying such an intricate mind, it would have been easy for Sheen to make him inscrutable, shutting the audience out as spectators of Bill’s great intellect. Instead, Sheen delineates almost endless contradictions and conflicts while humanising a man who insistently refuses emotionality. As Bill discovers that his first patient needs to be himself, and as he opens up to Virginia, Sheen is careful not to abandon the inherent resistance of Bill’s nature to both of these developments, crafting a compelling and detailed story of a man more fascinating than his work. The defining moment of Sheen’s second season might be when Virginia orders him to strip before her – rarely do we see any man so controlled and exposed, but especially this one. 

The Americans | Jane the Virgin | Cara Seymour, The Knick | Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback | Jon Hamm, Mad Men | Ruth Wilson, The Affair | Matt Czuchry, The Good Wife | Gwendolyn Christie, Game of Thrones | Lauren Weedman, Looking