Monthly Archives: July 2014

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.

 

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