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Entries in Modern Family (4)

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

 

Friday
Sep202013

Emmy Predictions. Who Are You Rooting For This Weekend?

Giant all caps disclaimer coming at'cha: I AM NOT A TELEVISION PUNDIT. I have never claimed to know what I'm doing with predicting Emmys though occassionally I try. I watch way more TV than I did a decade ago mostly due to the invention of the DVR and also probably because TV got more cinematic and thus better. I am not a TV pundit but I like to watch and you know I like to opine. It's an action verb. 

Herewith my poorly informed predictions regarding Sunday nights award's. Plus a few comments and trivia notes.

DRAMA
The Nominees: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards, and Mad Men
I'm Rooting For: Mad Men. Always. It's literally the only show I've ever watched as it aired that I'd hand the best series prize to for each and every one of its seasons (thus far). For example: I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer like life but I would've handed the top prize to a couple of different things and different times during its 7 year run.
Prediction: Given Emmy's prospensity/habit to repeat winners, you have to consider Homeland a threat for a second consecutive win even though you'd be hard pressed to find one person alive who thinks the second season measures up to the first. Downward sloping quality both true (Downton Abbey) and perceived (Mad Men isn't as "enjoyable" as it once was but it's still challenging meaty triumphant television) rules them out as well. Which leaves us with House of Cards and Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, the latter of which I think is winning the internet the Emmy for the first time.

comedy series and 8 acting categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug112011

Til Death Do Us Link

Frontal Cortex on the Auteur myth and the genius of Hollywood's Studio System using auteur poster boy Alfred Hitchcock as the prime example. 
Super Punch clever Australian symphony posters for a "Space Classics" concert featuring film scores.
Arts Beat Whoa. Musical theater's #1 genius Stephen Sondheim is not happy about the changes they are making to opera classic Porgy & Bess for its reimagination / revival with the great Audra McDonald.
Boy Culture if you haven't been following the Luke Evans (Three Musketeers, Immortals) re-closeting scandal, Matthew has been keeping close track. Lots of testy developments including his management teams efforts to dub former statements "youthful immaturity" (that's right coming out is now IMMATURE!) and Chelsea Handler ribbing.

Luke Evans, Amber Heard, Taylor Lautner

Towleroad That new Taylor Lautner movie Abducted looks d-r-e-a-d-f-u-l (and yes it kills me to see major brilliant actors like Sigourney Weaver trying to prop him up way under the title billing) but this photo caption made me lol. 
Stuart Immonen draws Ginger Rogers on his phone. Love it.
Playboy has an interview with actress Amber Heard (Drive Angry, The Playboy Club, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane) on coming out in Hollywood (she's been dating a female photographer for a few years) and the pressure for actresses to look like "14 year old boys". Fun interview actually, she sounds like she's got bite.
Lens this book "Where Children Sleep" looks fascinating. It's portraits of diverse living environments all over the world, from the overprivileged to the homeless to the whaaaa? Take a look.

Remember that time a couple of years ago when Chris Evans' management  told him that he should top taking his shirt off all the time? Yeah, that was dumb. Thankfully also short-lived. Post Captain Americahe's back to his old tricks. Here he is in a scene from the new Anna Faris comedy What's Your Number?

 

 

Emmy Watch
Gold Derby has a piece up about the Comedy Supporting Actress category at the Emmys which I've discussed previously to offer a quite altered list. I am no Emmy expert so I have to trust them that the race is between Jane Lynch (1 Emmy) and Betty White (5 Emmys). But I'm dumbfounded as to why. ALL the other competitors are stronger than these two by leaps and bounds. I'm rooting for either of the Modern Family ladies Sofia Vergara (no Emmys) or Julie Bowen (no Emmys). "Slow Down Your Neighbors" was an instant classic episode for the Sitcom Hall of Fame thanks in large part to both of them.

Dead Link Me
Screened shares all the deaths in Final Destination. Previously on... Final Destination.
The Awl interesting piece on actors having to play death scenes with quotes from actors like Edward Furlong from American History X

Doing that scene took a long time—I was laying dead in a urinal for a whole day, and playing dead is terrible for me. Maybe I’m a little ADD, but it’s very hard for me to be still, not blink, hold my breath.

There's also vampire victims from both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood!

Tuesday
Feb012011

Red Carpet: Matchy-Matchy, Swans & Sweet Revenge

Previously: SAG live blog and SAG screen shots.

Final SAG Post!
Aren't you relieved? When people say the verb "sag" do you think automatically think of unionized actors? Glam Overload especially after that Vanity Fair cover. But we can't wrap up SAG discussions without a quick fashion run-through, can we? It wouldn't be right. I'm dying to talk about actual movies again. Funny how movie awards season shoves the movies into the background. Must watch some actual movies that don't have awards on their mind this week so that we can better appreciate all the sleek beauties and shiny gowns again by BAFTA & Oscar time.

Amber Riley, Paz de la Huerta, Angie Harmon, Throwback Goddess

Too Matchy-Matchy
Let's start with the TV girls because we never do and this was their last chance in the season to shine. This group is way too frustrating. I didn't know that Amber Riley (Glee) was rooming with Julia Stiles. How else to explain this saloon girl in mourning gown that we just saw at the Globes. Angie Harmon is wearing something that's very suspiciously Penélope Cruzesque and if you're not Penélope... Christina Hendricks remains a goddess but I don't know what to make of this.

Paz de la Huerta from Boardwalk Empire... matching lips with dress? Must she? Is that ever a good idea outside of maybe classic reds and even then. A little bit of red goes a long way. Aren't you glad other actresses didn't do this?

BEST DRESSED (TV Division)
Cara Buono (Mad Men), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Edie Falco (Edie Falco!), Juliana Margulies (The Good Wife), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)

The Pretty. The Unexpected. The Vivid. The Classy. The Va Va VoomLove that Bowen managed to pull off pants at a glam event; risky means big pay off if it works. When Modern Family first started I worried that Julie Bowen would have the boring "straight man" role among comediennes but...

(more after the jump including Best Dressed and the Black Swan girls)

Click to read more ...