The Nights He Came Home

halloween_2018_laurie_strode_sister

Home means a lot of things to a lot of different people. It can be comfort, family, or nostalgia. But for Laurie Strode in the new Halloween, home is something else entirely, something closer to Hell than anything else. Home is where the spectre of the original night he came home continues to live. Home is Haddonfield, Illinois, the infamous stomping grounds of Michael Myers.

David Gordon Green’s 2018 Halloween is naturally indebted to Carpenter’s original from forty years ago, serving as the closest thing to a direct sequel since Halloween II, picking and choosing what to keep and what to ditch in terms of canon and continuity. But the one thing around which the film revolves isn’t Michael, but Laurie. This is her story, just as Haddonfield is her home, and the journey through her past traumas is where the film is at its strongest.

Two journalists are working on a piece about the “Babysitter Murders” committed by Michael. This takes them to the sanatorium where Michael is being kept. But a journey into Haddonfield’s past is meaningless without an attempt to reach out to the woman who survived an encounter with Michael. But Laurie is a long way from home, and a long way from the person that she was back in 1978. She’s spent decades of her life planning for Michael to come back, driven by some combination of trauma and obsession, desperate to end him herself. After Michael escapes the bus taking him to a maximum security prison, he does the one thing he knows to do: he comes home. Laurie says that she prayed for it every night, so that she could kill him.

The direction and visual style of Gordon Green’s Halloween works on multiple levels in terms of the way that it relates to the 1978 original film. On one level, it allows the new film to pay homage to where it came from; some of the shots and music cues play as knowing nods to other films in the franchise, to the looming spectre of Michael appearing in a similar way here and in Carpenter’s film, to the use of the Season of the Witch pumpkin masks as Halloween costumes. But it operates in a deeper way than just to give knowing nods and winks to long-time fans of the series. Through a series of call-backs and reprises, this Halloween manages to show us how much has changed in four decades, and just how much has stayed the same.

In the 1978 Halloween, Michael stands, silent and imposing, outside of a high school, glimpsed by Laurie as she sits at her desk. In the 2018 film, it is Laurie who keeps a haunted vigil, noticed by her granddaughter, a student at the same school at Laurie attended forty years earlier. Family runs through the core of the new Halloween, it is something that Laurie sacrificed, or was forced to give up, in response to the events of the 1978 Halloween. There’s also a role-reversal of the final moments of the original film that plays out towards the climax of the new one; violence and trauma become cyclical through the visual language of the film, one that is acutely aware of its past, and the way that impacts the potential for any kind of future.

Although the final conflict of the 2018 Halloween doesn’t take place at Haddonfield, the weight and trauma of that place follows both Laurie and Michael to their fateful showdown. Many characters in the new Halloween comment on the ways in which Laurie and Michael might symbiotically be keeping each other alive, how the nature of predator and prey means that one needs the other in a twisted way. But this film isn’t a tale of mutually assured destruction, of sinning teens brought low by a vengeful monster. It’s the story of Laurie Strode; of who she became and how she got to be living in a self-styled fortress in the forest. Michael is a monster in the eyes of everyone, but this is most clear when he’s being looked at by Michael; the repercussions of his rampage cost her everything. In Halloween, the legacy of the final girl isn’t as simple as just surviving; it’s needing to live with everything that’s happened, with knowing that The Boogeyman knows who you are, and might be hiding around the corner to finish what he started. The weight of trauma anchors Laurie to her past, and throughout Halloween she dances a familiar dance with Michael, one informed by their past together, and everything she’s done to try and break free of it.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles, film

The Return

It’s been a long time since I posted on this blog. A couple of months ago I put some old work up here because it disappeared from the site that it was originally written for. And before then, I hadn’t touched this blog for a year. I’ve been doing freelance work, both paid and unpaid. But I never feel like I’m writing enough. So, in simple terms, I’m going to try and bring this blog back.

It’ll have a slightly broader remit than before. While film and TV will be the main concerns of the piece, there might also be some pieces on other kinds of art; written, visual, performed, or some combination of them.

I’m hoping to try and write a piece for this blog at least once or twice a week, alongside pitches to other places, and writing for Patreon patrons (more on that in a sec). It’s one thing to keep wanting to write, but another to do it. As the saying goes: don’t be a writer, be writing. I don’t want to be a writer. I want to be writing. So I”ll write.

I’ve also set up a Patreon, because capitalism is a nightmare and freelance work is inconsistent at the best of times. I know it’s a lot to ask of any reader to go into their own pocket to support me when so much good writing is already available online, but any and all support would be wonderful. There’s a link to the Patreon here.
Also, you can follow me on Twitter here to see all the work I do with different places.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

LFF 2017: All Summer Long

Beach Rats literally flashes to life. The flash of a camera phone taking selfies at various angles that are trying to be provocative. Trying to look a certain way, project a certain image. They’re trying. Frankie, the film’s adolescent protagonist, on the cusp of a summer of love and hate, is trying, too. He’s trying to work himself out.

Frankie is torn between two things. What he wants, and what he thinks he should want. What he wants, is to go online and cruise older men. To begin with, this seems to be for nothing more than validation, to look and be looked at, to want and be wanted. He insists he doesn’t meet up with the men from the site he frequents. What he thinks he wants is just what his friends (who he insists are “not his friends”) want: to hang out, do drugs, and sleep with pretty girls. Frankie does all of these things, but they don’t seem to bring him any kind of happiness or fulfilment. If anything, they just serve to highlight the lack that he’s dealing with, the lack that comes from not going after what it is he really wants.

When Frankie meets up with people, it begins the same way as his online interactions do. He looks and is looked at. He wants and his wanted. These meetings all lead to sexual acts of one kind or another; some by the beach, some in hotel rooms, but wherever he goes, he doesn’t go there alone. They’re not shown as being terrifying or titillating, they’re simply shown. They just are what they are. Beach Rats exists at a kind of distance from its subject. Not an unfeeling distance, but a Larry Clark kind of distance; like a voyeur, always worried that if they’re caught too loudly, they’ll be caught in the act. In sex, as with the light of Frankie’s phone camera, bodies are shown in fragments; hands grab and touch, but any kind of wholeness is avoided.

Throughout all of his interactions, with friends, family, or lovers, Frankie is afraid. Afraid of being too much, of not being enough, of being outed, of being inadequate. Beach Rats has fear beating through its heart. Every breath that Frankie takes in the company of the men he sleeps with is imbued with fear. The interaction he has with his girlfriend when she says “when two guys make out, it’s just gay,” is fearful. The simple fact that Frankie doesn’t know what he is, and doesn’t understand what he wants, is full of fear. On a primal level, the unknown is sheer terror, and that’s what Frankie contends with throughout Beach Rats. He flinches away from intimacy after sex; not wanting to be too much, or maybe not wanting to be too “gay.” Sexuality isn’t really brought up much in dialogue, other than Frankie saying he “doesn’t think of himself as gay.” But Beach Rats is about fear, not sexuality or coming. The closet exists, of course, and Frankie is obviously in it, but coming out of it isn’t treated as being all that important. Instead, coming to terms is. Coming to terms with what you want, who you are, with the small degree of safety that can come from knowing, a moment of intimacy on a hotel room bed. Frankie doesn’t live in the closet, he lives in fear. He waits for the truth to set him free, and it doesn’t as his summer ends the way it began, with fireworks on the boardwalk. The truth will set him free, later, just not before its finished with him.

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles, Reviews

LFF 2017: Being Alive

There seems to be a visual contradiction running through Call Me By Your Name. It’s a film about intimacy, and sexuality. Yet it keeps some things at a distance. It favours long takes and images of stunning scenery to close-ups of faces in anguish or ecstasy. But that doesn’t make it cold, or unfeeling. If anything, it’s exactly the opposite, and the slight distance that the camera keeps is the only way to stop Call Me By Your Name from being utterly overpowering.

Call Me By Your Name is, simply put, full of things. This is true on a lot of the levels the film operates on. It’s full of longing glances and stolen moments, full of sculpture and literature and art, full of nature and food and music. But nothing feels like it’s there just to be there. Everything there feels alive. Call Me By Your Name isn’t just full of things, its full of life, it shows a world that’s lived in. Even discussions about etymology manage to relate to the world of the film. It might be a bit on the nose, with reference to things being “precocious” just as the camera presents us with a shot of Elio, who even gets described as precocious in a plot summary on IMDB. But the film never tries to be subtle, not really. It zooms in on the first moment of intimate contact between Elio and Oliver, a shot that, by now, seems all too familiar.

It makes sense for Call Me By Your Name to be unsubtle though. After all, there’s something about it that threatens to overpower. We see the way these characters live and feel through the things and people that they surround themselves with. Art of all kinds, from pop music to classical piano, is treated with paramount importance. As a way of seeing someone, a way of understanding them. There’s a scene where Elio plays the piano for Oliver, a version of something he played minutes earlier on an acoustic guitar. He plays variations on it, and one of them is tinged with rock and roll. As Elio plays it, we see him swept up in the feeling of the music, face contorting like Mick Jagger or Jim Morrison. There’s a similar moment, much later in the film, when Oliver is looking at slides of sculptures with Elio’s father. Oliver is being told about the way the sculptures curve, their ambiguity, and the way they “almost dare you to desire them.” Then Elio walks in, desiring Oliver as he desires the sculptures, which are really a way of desiring Elio.

The life of Call Me By Your Name isn’t all academic and artistic though. It exists on a physical level as well as an intellectual one. Elio watches Oliver dancing to a pop song, watches the way his body moves, the way he kisses the girl opposite him. The music is imbued with desire, like the sculptures or the piano music. Desire is at the heart of Call Me By Your Name, it pulses through the films veins. Everything in the film is felt by someone, every piece of art, every thump of a volleyball; every kiss, all of it is felt. There is a whole world of things in Call Me By Your Name, things that bring us closer to the characters than a camera ever could, closer than the longest close-up of Elio staring at Oliver ever could. The rapture we see Elio feel when he plays piano is more than enough, like the uninhibited way that Oliver dances. In spite of the physical distance the camera keeps us at, the lived-in quality of Call Me By Your Name gives us something much richer, something much more than physical closeness: intimacy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles, Reviews

LFF 2017: Gemini as a Hollywood thriller

In aesthetic and execution, and possibly intent, Gemini feels very Hollywood. Capital “H” Hollywood, but beyond just its setting. Yes, Gemini is set in the film world, around actresses, screenwriters, the paparazzi, and the (in)famous tell-all interview, but it isn’t only that that makes the film Hollywood. The capital “H” shouldn’t be one of place, but of emphasis, drawing your attention to all of the things about Hollywood as a place, and the people in it, to try and turn Gemini into more than the sum of its parts, into something about Hollywood, and not just set in it.

There’s some David Lynch light that seeps through into Gemini. Like with Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire, where Hollywood dreams turn into nightmares, Aaron Katz’s neo-noir features murder, mystery, and a woman in trouble. There’s even a shot that feels like it was ripped straight out of Blue Velvet, when Lola Kirke’s Jill spies on a conversation through the door of the wardrobe she’s hiding in. Gemini isn’t as surreal or nightmarish as anything that Lynch has set in the city of angels, but there’s a certain shared sensibility here, a desire to look underneath the surface, to stare beyond something and into the darkness, and wonder what, if anything, is staring back at you.

On the surface, Gemini seems a little shallow. All neon lights and motorbikes, trading in stock images: sleazy paparazzi photographers, the dogged and determined detective, and, of course, the woman in trouble. These are all puzzle pieces that everyone is familiar with. They feature in most films about Hollywood, most murder mysteries, or both. But they’re used in ways that betray their surface simplicity. These predictable images lead to predictable plot beats, but Gemini slowly gets you to look closer. To look at just how Hollywood everything is.

There’s a scene where a screenwriter talks to Jill about the murder of Heather Anderson, Hollywood starlet, and Jill’s best friend/boss. He talks Jill through what would happen “if I were writing the screenplay.” He goes through a list of suspects, even crossing someone off the list because “all signs point to him. So it can’t be him.” This scene is the closest that Gemini comes to broadcasting its intentions. By setting itself among actresses and screenwriters, Gemini deliberately makes us think about the way these stories are told. Not the way that they are in the real world, but the way that they’re told in movies. Movies like Gemini.

At no point does Gemini explicitly say that it’s being self-aware, that it’s using the Hollywood setting and archetypes to say something about the story. That’s where the real mystery of Gemini lies; not in the murder, but in the (un)reality of a story like that, being told in a place like this. The characters talk like characters. In a voicemail left for Jill, the detective, played by John Cho, says “I think that you’re not telling me the whole truth.” I struggle to think that any real-world detective would say something like that. But in Hollywood, coming from the mouth of a character, I’ve heard it before, and it makes perfect sense. It’s unreal. That’s the point. John Cho’s detective even mentions, in an early scene with Jill, the idea of “one small detail” that allows everything to make sense. That makes Gemini the second Hollywood satire I’ve seen in as many days – the other being BoJack Horseman – that mentions, and then uses, that storytelling idea.

One of Gemini’s greatest strengths is that it doesn’t explicitly signpost what it is being self-aware about, or when it’s being done. It expects the audience to pick up on it, to notice when the known becomes the unknown. This deliberate evasiveness can lead to some frustrating moments and dead ends. The hotel scene that borrows from Blue Velvet, from example, is tense in the moment, but none of that tension carries over once the scene is over. Instead, it shows us that the screenwriter was right, that the guy in the hotel room couldn’t be the killer, because all the signs pointed to him. Like so many effective mysteries, all of the pieces fall together at the end, and with hindsight, one can’t help but wonder how they didn’t work it out themselves. Gemini is a slow burn, that takes a familiar LA drive on an unfamiliar route, and along the way it does something that feels more and more rare in cinema; it trusts the audience to notice things, it trusts their intelligence, and rewards them for the time they spent watching those familiar images on a familiar screen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Golden Eagle: Foxcatcher’s American Dream

Foxcatcher might be Bennett Miller’s best film to date, and even if that’s not the case, it certainly seems to be his most thematically accomplished. Much like Capote and Moneyball before it, Foxcatcher appears to be fascinated with outsiders, people that are viewed as second best, never quite living up to the expectations put upon them. However, the thing that seems to set Foxcatcher apart from Miller’s previous efforts is the way that it considers the bigger picture; it treats these characters and their situations as a microcosmic picture of the American Dream, and the toxic reality of the situation, something more akin to an American Nightmare than anything else.

The idea of the American Dream, that anyone can get anything if they aspire to greatness and put in the work, is perfectly embodied in Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum). The thing with Mark is, even though he wins gold medals, he still doesn’t feel like a champion, he doesn’t have that independence and self-assuredness you’d expect from a man who, theoretically at least, has the American Dream within his grasp. Well the reason for that is simple; in reality, the “American Dream” doesn’t create those things in people that never really seemed to have them. John du Pont (Steve Carell) says that Mark has spent his “whole life in [his] brother’s shadow,” and to be blunt, he’s right. In fact, du Pont appears to be a gateway for Mark to get that American Dream, the money and the independence and the sense that he, as a human being, is worth the fruits of his labour, especially given du Pont’s fascination on the nation’s need for role models, and making Team Foxcatcher “citizens of America.”

John Du Pont is another man who seems to have everything, but in reality appears to lead a rather hollow existence. He and Mark seem rather like kindred spirits, constantly reaching for something that moves further and further away from their grasp. Much like Mark, he lives in someone else’s shadow; the shadow of his mother, Jean (Vanessa Redgrave), a woman from whom he needs to ask permission on where to put a trophy. John du Pont is a man that seems to embody the very notion of the American Dream, or at least someone that wants to. He pontificates on the role of the coach, considers himself to be a father and a mentor to his athletes, a role model for them, which is something that he thinks America needs. He’s so patriotic he even tries to get Mark to call him “Golden Eagle.”

So, if between them these two men have Olympic gold medals and a countless amount of money, then what’s the big deal? Why can’t these men get the ideal that seemed to be promised to them by their very nation? Because, unfortunately, the American Dream doesn’t work like that, getting these things, the money and the glory, doesn’t mean you have it all. Foxcatcher’s version of the American Dream is one that doesn’t stop, even once these people seem to have everything, and they need to have more. Du Pont has money, and therefore wants glory in the form of Team Foxcatcher; Mark has glory in the form of a gold medal and then gets money by working with du Pont, but at the same time, he needs more, he needs freedom from the shadow of his brother. That’s where the toxic, almost self-destructive reality of Foxcatcher’s version of the American Dream begins to emerge.

When Mark loses a round at the Olympic tryouts, he goes back to his hotel room, and in true Raging Bull fashion – a comparison I will admit I’m far from the first to make – destroys his room, binges on room service and then makes himself vomit. It isn’t easy to watch; first of all because its raw and brutal, and also because it shows what happens when these people can’t have it all: they become angry and destructive, something that leaves an even more bitter taste in the mouth given the futility of their efforts.

The interesting difference between du Pont and Mark (two men who seem remarkably, perhaps even frighteningly similar in their ways) is how they manifest their anger. Mark is self-destructive, but John takes his anger out on the world at large. Upon discovering no members of Team Foxcatcher are training in the gym, he hits Mark and calls him an “ungrateful ape.” So given the futility of their endeavours and the chilling results of those failures, why do John and Mark keep fighting for this American Dream? Well, because they have to; they seem to think that, as Americans this is their right and they fight tooth and nail for it. From the very beginning of the film, Mark seems in instil in his medal a certain a sense of grandeur, he says that “it isn’t just a medal, it’s what the medal represents,” and that’s what it is that these men are after, something greater, something that can’t be given corporeal form the way a medal or money can, and what could perhaps be called the tragedy of Foxcatcher is the lengths that they’ll go to try and get it, as well as what they’ll do to liberate themselves from failing to do so.

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Responding to the 2014 Emmy nominees

So, the Emmy nominees for this season have quite literally just finished being announced. I haven’t gotten around to checking much by way of a response from Twitter beyond all of the bitter Orphan Black fans voicing their outrage; posting pictures of themselves giving the finger to their laptops (which are showing the nominee announcement stream) and texts from my brother, the best of which has to be “NO GOOD WIFE IN SERIES, FUCK THAT.” Which is indeed rather accurate. (should I, like use the stars – * – to censor the swearing? I dunno, do people swear on blog posts?)

In that traditional awards season fashion of getting to work on the post-mortem analysis before the body is cold, I figure I’ll get to work on my responses and some analysis of the nominees. Be warned; there will be quite a bit of subjectivity from here on out.

Outstanding Drama Series
“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Mad Men” (AMC)
“True Detective” (HBO)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)

I think the real surprise here is the continued presence of Downton Abbey; I’d have thought that with strong freshman shows like Masters of Sex, and the stellar form that The Good Wife was on this year, that something would have toppled it. On the topic of The Good Wife, I can’t help but be shocked – and personally appalled – at its omission from the category. It would’ve been nice to see Masters of Sex here too, but that was always something of an outside pick.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom” (HBO)
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” (Netflix)
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” (AMC)
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective” (HBO)
Woody Harrelson, “True Detective” (HBO)

If I were to predict this category, the only person on this list that I wouldn’t have chosen would Daniels; I mean, I appreciate that his being the returning winner is a factor, and he was solid in the second season, but it became more ensemble focused and he really didn’t get material to tear into like last year. Drama actor really is a two horse race though; ever since True Detective moved to Drama Series it became one; Cranston on McConaughey? My money is on McConaughey, and he’s my personal pick too.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Claire Danes, “Homeland” (Showtime)
Robin Wright, “House of Cards” (Netflix)
Kerry Washington, “Scandal” (ABC)
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (CBS)
Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex” (Showtime)

Quite a lot of this is, I suppose, business as usual between Danes, Dockery and Wright (with House of Cards getting an increased amount of love this year, although quite why that is continues to baffle me.) and, perhaps to the surprise of some – myself included – the return of Kerry Washington, who I just thought appeared based on Scandal‘s hype last year; I may need to get around to watching it at some point. On the more interesting end of the spectrum are Caplan, and Margulies returning, both of which absolutely thrill me, they’re both wonderful and it’s great to see their work recognised.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland” (Showtime)
Josh Charles, “The Good Wife” (CBS)
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)

Jon Voight? Really? I tried Ray Donovan; I watched four episodes, five at the most and just thought it was a cheap West Coast attempt at being The Sopranos. How it managed to get here baffles me when the likes of John Slattery and Matt Czuchry are left by the wayside. And again, Downton Abbey’s ability to hang on to award nominations borders on the miraculous. In terms of Breaking Bad, nobody is surprised that Aaron Paul got in, but the omission of Dean Norris (the better of the two supporting actors the show produced that year) can’t help but leave a bad taste in the mouth. Also, Josh Charles got in, and really, that’s all that matters.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife” (CBS)
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men” (AMC)
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)

So, here we have a mix of an “old guard” of sorts, actresses like Baranski and Hendricks and Maggie Smith who have been getting nominated for pretty much the entirety of their shows runs, returning winner Anna Gunn (who, for my money, doesn’t have the tape to win this year, even if my love for ‘Rabid Dog’ is well known) and the “rape as drama” contingent of Froggatt and Heady. It feels like it could be quite an open race, unless the Academy just tick the box for Breaking Bad if just for the fact it continues to exist. I can’t really complain about this list because of my love for Mad Men and The Good Wife and Skyler as a character, but it would’ve been nice to see Kiernan Shipka, who had her strongest season yet as Sally Draper – and a slew of one liners to boot – sneak in.

Outstanding Comedy Series

“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Louie” (FX)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“Veep” (HBO)
“Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
“Silicon Valley” (HBO)

The new blood is what’s interesting here. I mean, I am trying to watch Orange is the New Black – just as it’s trying me – but I find it deathly dull, I must admit. I’m thrilled that Silicon Valley got in, but frankly, the Academy really needed to step up its game in relation to some of the strong freshman shows; I mean, Silicon Valley is one of them, sure, but the lack of love for Brooklyn Nine Nine and Broad City can’t help but leave me feeling a little bitter.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” (Showtime)
Louis C.K., “Louie” (FX)
William H. Macy, “Shameless” (Showtime)
Ricky Gervais, “Derek” (Netflix)

Much of the categories in general seem to be as expected with the odd surprise, although sometimes the surprises are the people that stay, as in the case of Matt LeBlanc. I couldn’t finish Episodes this year, I just didn’t think it was good and I thought it was LeBlanc’s weakest year. The appearance of Gervais irks me if just because I don’t like him as a comedian and Derek, for my money, looks pretty awful. William H. Macy, an actor I adore in a show I unfortunately haven’t seen, on the other hand, is nice to see, and it’s pretty clear that Shameless switching categories was good for its award chances.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly” (CBS)
Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black”

This is pretty much how I would have predicted the category, but without McCarthy, probably with Shameless’ Emmy Rosum or something instead. Again, I can’t help but be a bit indifferent about Schilling, given I’m not really a fan of her show. If I were a betting man, I’d say JLD wins again for Veep, but I’m a dreamer, so I’m hoping Dunham or Falco can win.

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Adam Driver, “Girls” (HBO)
Jessie Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family” (ABC)
Fred Armisen, “Portlandia” (IFC)
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” (ABC)
Tony Hale, “Veep” (HBO)
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Fox)

Here we see the gradual disappearance of Modern Family in acting categories, which is interesting for the fact that it was so strong this year, and the people that disappeared are interesting; I always considered Jessie Tyler Ferguson to be perpetually the most vulnerable of the men in the cast. Really though, the one thing that, for me, overshadows everything else in this category is the presence of Andre Braugher, who was superb in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and it’s great to see him get in, if just because it means that the exceptional cast has one representative.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” (ABC)
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep” (HBO)
Allison Janney, “Mom” (CBS)
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Kate Mulgrew, “Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix)

Only looking at this now do I notice that Merritt Wever didn’t get in, but again, we see the gradual decline of Modern Family, with Vergara – finally – dropping off, given she’s the weakest member of the show’s ensemble I’m surprised she hung on for as long as she did. Other than that, there’s Janney, who I’m thrilled about (and she also got in for Guest Actress – Drama for her turn in Masters of Sex) and Kate Mulgrew, who I’m indifferent about.

 

The writing/direction tapes don’t seem available yet, but I’ll respond to them as I see them, and post my personal ballot later down the line. In terms of guest acting, I didn’t pay too much attention to them, but it was nice to see Dylan Baker get in again, and of course, my indifference rose in magnitude after a slew of OitNB actresses got in to guest for comedy.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards season