65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

NPH 2013 Emmys

Alright, so the Emmys are tonight, and I’ve been pretty sparse on this here blog, which I’m trying to change, so let’s predict some Emmy winners! I’ll pick two, the one who I THINK is going to win, and the one who DESERVES to win.

Also, I should say that I’m uniformly pretty terrible at predicting awards show winners, and this year is especially tricky where I could see things going either way and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least with whoever wins. This is also a clever little fallback disclaimer that I can rely on when come Sunday night all my picks are wrong. Let’s do this.

Outstanding Drama Series:

This is a prime example where I could see it going multiple ways and not being surprised. Mad Men was a king crusher until Homeland came along and won last year. Mad Men’s as good as its ever been and I wouldn’t be surprised if it won. Homeland won last year for a terrific season of TV, but season 2 was pretty lackluster in spots and a definite step down, but, hey, sometimes the academy is dumb and just votes on name. Breaking Bad is what everybody’s obsessing over now, its never won one of these, but its got that acting category on lock. It’s good as well, and deserving, so, maybe. The new kid on the block, House Of Cards was pretty much tailored to win Emmys, and it’s alright, but not deserving, but again, it’s the type of show that the academy LOVES. Game Of Thrones was good too, but still a little too out of the Emmy wheelhouse to actually win. So, yeah, I’m gonna say House Of Cards wins, while I personally would give it to Mad Men to win. It could go so many ways, though.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series:

I’ll come right out and say that Kevin Spacey wins this, and I feel semi-pretty good in that. He’s got the name recognition, everybody loves him and he was pretty good. Most deserving? I’d say Damian Lewis, a lot was demanded out of him in season 2 of Homeland and how he was able to flip the script and shift into different modes and sides of Brody was some awe-inspiring work.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series:

Claire Danes deserves it and wins it on Sunday. No real competition here, she was fantastic yet again. Robin Wright was good, if never given much to do, and I guess Elisabeth Moss is the next threat, but, nah, Danes got this thing. If I had my way though, Connie Britton would win, because I love her more than most of my family members, and she’s awesome and everything positive should go her way. Connie 4 lyfe.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series:

I think Peter Dinklage wins this thing again, but Mandy Patinkin is the most deserving. Dinklage is great, and although not as good in this last season of GoT, I still think he gets it again. Patinkin is arguably the best part of Homeland and he’s just fantastic. Plus, that fedora and beard. The man knows old man chic.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series:

I’m going to say Anna Gunn wins this, but I’m not really that confident in it. Nobody else really jumps out at me, even while I enjoy every single nominees work on their show. I don’t even know who’s most deserving, so, hey, Emmys, just make it a six-way tie. Emmys for everybody.

Outstanding Comedy Series:

We all know Louie should and deserves to win this thang, but that just ain’t gonna happen, because we live in a cruel and unjust world. So, say hello to The Big Bang Theory or Modern Family winning. Modern Family is not a good show, but it was slightly better this year. I’ve stopped watching The Big Bang Theory for awhile now, but people tell me it’s on kind of an uptick and doing good things, so it wins tomorrow. You guys can all wear your totally awesome BAZINGA! shirts in celebration. You know you want to.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series:

Do you think Alec Baldwin is gonna win this thing for the 395th time? I don’t know, but I think there’s something in his contract that even now with 30 Rock off the air, he’ll continue to be nominated into eternity, a forever reminding cloud that makes you question your life just so, because what kind of world would it be if Alec Baldwin had to cease being nominated in this category. What kind of world I ask of you. Anyways, Jim Parsons wins, but Louis C.K. is most deserving.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series:

Strong candidates abound and I love them all, except one. I’ll let you figure out which one that is. JLD ain’t gonna win this again, though I love her so. I don’t think they give it to Tina Fey even though it’s her swan song. No on Dunham and Falco. So, Amy Poehler wins and Laura Dern is so, so deserving of it. Writing this just reminded that Enlightened is gone, and I’m so sad now, guyz. You should watch it if you haven’t, it’s such a beautifully poignant, sad, funny and uplifting show. Please, someone give Mike White another show.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series:

Ty Burell wins this, and yeah, I think he deserves it. I absolutely loved Burell in the first seaon of MF, but just got tired of his schtick. I’ve come around, it is what it is, I love Ty Burell, he’s funny, so give him the Emmy.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series:

Sadly, I think Sofia Vergara wins this. I can’t stand her because the show only derives two outlets of comedy from her, her nationality, and how hot she is (I’d argue against her perceived attractiveness, but, hey, that’s just me a sane straight male). Jane Krakowski deserves this to the world’s end, because she’s been my favourite thing about 30 Rock since it began. She is so great, I can’t even function how good she was on that show and never gets any recognition for it. Krakowski 4 lyfe.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie:

I’ve only seen a couple of these, but knowing things I’d say Behind The Candelabra wins and deserves it.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or Movie:

Emmys just can’t wait to give Michael Douglas an Emmy. Wins and deserves.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or Movie:

Again, the Emmys love their old, distinguished and creditable thespians (am I using that word right?). Jessica Lange wins, and deserves because the only other one in the category I’ve seen was Laura Linney in The Big C, and no, just no.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or Movie:

I’m gonna say the American Horror Story love doesn’t leave Lange, so Scott Bakula continues the “Candelabra” love. I don’t know, maybe the Emmys might really love Zachary Quinto. Who knows.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or Movie:

Man, I have no clue. I think Political Animals was bad, I don’t know, I didn’t watch it. So, lets say Ellen Burstyn wins because she’s an OG and just great and kinda looks like all of our grandmothers. Sarah Paulson was cool and had commitment for days in AHS, so maybe she pulls the rug out.

Outstanding Variety Series:

The Daily Show, are you even kidding with other nominees? It’s the don mega of variety series. Which is, like, the most broad category ever.

Outstanding Reality – Competition Program:

Where’s Big Brother? Hahaha, I’m a jokester, but seriously I don’t watch any of this. The Amazing Race had the crown for awhile, until Top Chef screwed it up a few years back. I don’t really care, but we’ll say Phil Keoghan and company retain the award. I haven’t watched it since, like, Reichen and Chip just totally Jordan/Pippen’ed the entire show.

Let’s keep going, because why not, I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series:

You’ve gotta be dreaming if you think David Fincher doesn’t win this. An A-list director directs one of the most anticipated and Emmy bait shows of the past year? Get outta here. I think my girl Michelle MacLaren deserves this, though.

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series:

“New Year’s Eve” is such a beautiful piece of television that C.K.’s gotta win. I’d like to think that the academy has started to turn even more towards C.K. after last year, and less towards the perennials of Modern Family and Glee and such. They probably haven’t, but I’m gonna stick with C.K. winning.

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special:

Steven Soderbergh is the boss and he wins this. Hahaha, you actually thought dude was retiring to paint?

Outstanding Directing For A Variety Series:

Man, I don’t know. None of these have real unique directing styles except for Portlandia. Maybe, it wins because of this. But, lets just give it to The Daily Show because they haven’t won enough. I don’t know.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series:

I was going to say that one of those Breaking Bad episodes was gonna win, but I completely forgot about “Q&A,” because I’m an idiot, with it being a jaw agape hour of television written by the late and forever great Henry Bromell. He’s gotta win.

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series:

Louie, Louie, Louieeeee. And Pamela Adlon. They’ve got this in the bag, with a decidedly weird and inventive episode.

Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie, Or A Dramatic Special:

Behind The Candelabra, please come and accept another award.

Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series:

The Daily Show, please come and accept another award.

Outstanding Choreography:

What? You think we’re not gonna talk about choreography? Of course we are. Some would argue that it is the most important category, and I cast myself as chief among them. Some would also say that I always forget how many goddamn Emmys categories there are, and I’m just reading these off the Wikipedia page. That could also be true. Good thing I also always forget that the Creative Arts Emmys are a thing, as well. Anyways, my girl cousins like that So You Think You Can Dance show, so one of its four nominees wins. Let’s say the “Sonya Tayeh” one wins, sounds like a cool enough name.

So, I hope this was all informative. No real need to watch the Emmys now I guess, sorry for the spoilers, but whatever, watch Breaking Bad instead or the sure to be cracking Dexter series finale. All the props to you if you read this far, but I think my own eyes glossed over this thing about halfway through. Happy Emmys watching, I’m gonna go watch some hockey.

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Auteurism On TV And ‘Louie’

Probably my favourite concept in film is the one of auteur theory. Which, if you’re out in the dark, refers to a film that showcases a pure vision of the director as the sole voice that drives and creates a film. This director isn’t just coming into a film from the woodwork for his next job or paycheck. This is a particularly calculated film where the director has control over all aspects, and his unique voice is discernible in the film through common themes, motifs, camera techniques, dialogue etc.

Unfortunately, being a big TV fan, the auteur theory isn’t that translatable from film to TV, as the medium of television almost prohibits it to a certain sense. New directors are hired for each new episode as a “hired gun” who come in, direct, and leave right away. Now with the ever popular term of “showrunner”, usually the creator or executive producer of a show who runs day-to-day operations and oversees the writing process, their is definitely a sense of the auteur theory in TV, but not in a fully realized definition of the term as in the filmic sense. Shows like The Sopranos, Fringe and Breaking Bad have a unique vision and direction that is influenced and maintained by differing writers and directors, but these shows still contain other people trying to adapt either David Chases, J.H. Wyman or Vince Gilligan’s vision. These showrunners are of course in control of a lot of the content, but aren’t the sole, singular force.

This long-winded beginning is all to say that someone finally found a place for the “auteur theory” in TV, and against better judgment in the world of TV, FX gave Louis C.K. his own show, with free reign to do whatever he wanted week to week. C.K. does everything behind the scenes on Louie, he writes, directs, produces, acts and edits (although in this past season handed some of the editing duties off) all of it. People liken the show to short stories, or mini-independent films, mostly because of Louie’s introspective and inclusive story-telling to himself and the lack of any major continuing storylines, besides smaller themes and ideas. C.K. has freedom like no other person or show on television right now, possibly ever. Obviously, being a comedian this show was billed as a comedy and of course it largely is, but this is C.K.’s show to do whatever he wants and comedic guidelines aren’t always followed. There are several scenes of “drama”, or more accurately C.K. wringing the truths out of real-life that are often sad and sometimes depressing. Also, seeing as this is a comedy, I don’t think anyone really expected how tight and beautifully this show is continually shot. It is a comedy, but the aesthetics and visual look are massively top-notch and continues C.K.’s strength as an auteur and someone who is able to craft a multitude of visions into one package.

Being able to have full control over a film or show is great, but along with that comes all the criticism, as there’s no one available to scapegoat if you’re received less than favorably. C.K. has made quite a few bold choices in his episodes, ones that might not click with me or you, because of that personal nature that is so defined to his likeness and craft that it’s hard to relate to or get. But, the majority of the time, C.K. still carries the same vision, deft, direction and style into new areas that still feel like an episode of Louie, but is still vastly different to the previous episode.

Another one of my favourite ideas from the worlds of film and TV, is trying to top yourself after an amazing or great season of TV. The immense pressure of coming off something of such a success and making it even bigger, more expansive yet still faithful to your viewer is something that fascinates me and must be forever frustrating and hard to pull off. After season 2 of Archer, I never thought they could make a funnier season of TV, with season 3 they somehow made maybe the funniest season of TV (at least for me). The great season 4 of Breaking Bad was not quite eclipsed by season 5, but was closer than I ever thought it’d be. And as I write this I’m wondering if Homeland can expound upon their near perfect first season. Louie is hard to judge as a whole, as the episodes are so different, content wise, from episode to episode. I liked season one, but didn’t really fall in love with the show until the second season, where C.K. really got the confidence to tell his stories, no matter how wacky, weird and depressing they may be. It’s really up in the air for me for what’s better, season two or season three? I loved season two, but the more I think about it season three just seemed more audacious. Whichever the case, I’m sure I’ll be going back and forth over which season is truly greater (not to mention the coming seasons), forgetting the fact all along that I should just shut up and be grateful I have all this great TV at my disposal in the first place.

Louie is a special show, because it allows its creator to practice auteurism within the medium of TV, creating a truly innovative show that reaps rewards for its faithfulness and vision in its content and technique. Louie embodies the auteur theory and allows a window into auteurism for TV, that remains as effective a showcase as any film director has amassed.

Emmy Awards 2012

The Emmy’s were relatively fine tonight, even if they seemed like a retread of years’ past. ‘Louie’ and ‘Homeland’ received some awards, but beyond them what really seemed new? ‘Modern Family’ sadly continued their steamroll through the awards even as Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez remained the only good parts from the show (prove me wrong). We were delivered an Emmys that was slightly different, but lets face it, was pretty much the exact same as we’ve seen in years’ past.

For years now I’ve been a champion for Jimmy Kimmel hosting the Oscars. I’ve simply had enough with these random non-comedians who have hosted the Oscars of late and have no comedic timing and are relegated to dumb musical numbers (I’m looking at you Hugh Jackman, James Franco and Anne Hathaway). I’m a traditionalist and love when a hard to the core comedian hosts an awards show and does a solid 10 minute monologue rather than some silly musical number. History has shown how great legitimate stand-up comedians have done at awards shows like Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart (even though he’s not really a stand-up comedian). I’ve always enjoyed Jimmy Kimmel from ‘The Man Show’ through ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and since he is based off ABC, would be a perfect Oscars or Emmys host. Ultimately, he was solid, fine in the monologue, not great, but as the night wore on, like all hosts, was given less to do and hardly felt like a presence. He didn’t really do anything wrong, but wasn’t spectacular either, and nowadays I guess that’s the best you can expect from an Emmys host.

Because I don’t want this to drag on forever, I’m not gonna break-down every category, but instead just the ones that effected or impacted me the most.

Ummm, so, Louis C.K., won for best writing in a comedy series and for best writing in a variety special. He simultaneously seemed grateful and reticent when receiving these much deserved awards. ‘Louie’ is one of the best shows on TV, and even if a conservative show like the Emmys will recognize it’s writing, I’ll be happy.

But, just when you think the Emmys is being awesome and giving Louis C.K. awards, they also keep giving ‘Modern Family’ and its cast members awards as well as goddamn Jon Cryer. Like, c’mon, I thought we were at least past giving Jon Cryer another fucking award for the lowest common denominator of comedy. ‘Modern Family’ is another show that scrapes the bottom of the barrel for ‘Two And A Half Men’-esque racial and sexist jokes.

Okay, now lets get to the awesome stuff, namely Julia Louis-Dreyfus winning for Best Actress in a Comedy for ‘Veep’. I’ve recently found out through Twitter that there’s actually quite a few people who don’t like ‘Veep’ for some reason? Okay, I guess you don’t like smart political jokes, name-calling, layered jokes and acidic come-backs, that’s cool for you though. Think about this, forget about the ‘Seinfeld’ curse, JLD has won an Emmy for ‘Seinfeld’, ‘The New Adventures Of Old Christine’, and now ‘Veep’, that is quite the accomplishment for the comedic goddess who we shorten to JLD.

If you know me at all, you’ll know my undying love for ‘Homeland’, my favourite show of last year. Now, Claire Danes was an absolute lock for Best Actress, and wasn’t she just adorable/deserving accepting it? I thought Damian Lewis would have a good chance to win Best Actor, but thought it might slip away. Little did I know, the Academy decided to slay Bryan Cranston, and give the award to Lewis, I’m not complaining. Again, I thought Best Drama was a possibility, but not an actuality, but little did I know ‘Homeland’ would take home all the gold.

There really isn’t much to say about this mediocre edition of the Emmys. It was all pretty par for the course, besides the ‘Homeland’ victories, which when you look back aren’t all that much of a surprise. Louis C.K.’s wins were beyond awesome but not completely surprising as everyone knew how great they were, but just took the Academy to notice. Otherwise, we were left with dumb ‘Modern Family’ winning everything, a lackluster HBO movie (‘Game Change’) and other bits and pieces that were easily predicted, such as Lange, Paul, Smith and Moore winning.

There was some nice surprises, and solid wins, but more of the same dominated the Emmys, who had hardly even deserved Emmys in their “best” seasons. Some new blood was nice, but when there’s so much of the old, do we really recognize the new? Or is it just a bump in the road?

Also, Lena Dunham is all sorts of awful.