66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Miniseries   Leave a comment

Emmy Miniseries

Hey, you’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 2014 Emmy coverage. After discussing the TV movie and its four acting categories, it’s time to close of this section with the newly revived Miniseries category. Since the combination of both TV movies and miniseries three years ago, only one miniseries has won against a TV movie. So this is quite a refreshing comeback. That said, this is a very empty category as proven by the fact that there are only 16 miniseries eligible, and with that small group, it even ended up with six nominees (as opposed to the regular five). Here are the six nominees for this year:

For the third year in a row, the American Horror Story series gets in, and Coven is a great departure from the underrated Asylum.  As for starters, it has the trio of Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett at the helm. Just when you think that the Emmys interest with AHS would decline, they come back not only with a whimper but with a bang. This year’s series received 17 nominations, the same as last year, but now with Directing and Writing to boot. I’d say this is the closest year they ever had of possibly scoring that Emmy win.

Then we also have A&E’s Bonnie & Clyde. Welp there’s really nothing much to say about it given that this is the show’s only nomination, so it’s pretty much obvious that this is the filler sixth contender here. Maybe having the prominent duo of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron would siphon some votes, but even I really doubt that.

The miniseries adaptation of the Oscar winning movie Fargo was a risk for FX, but it’s a risk that certainly paid off. The first season wasn’t only met with critical acclaim, it also had ratings under its belt. And surely, some Emmys as well (with the Allison Tolman upset that I’m currently predicting). This show garnered 18 Emmy nominations this year, the highest for any miniseries, and the second overall only behind HBO powerhouse Game of Thrones. It’s clear that the nominating panel love it, and I can’t blame them for doing so.

Now to represent the British bloc comes second time nominee Luther. After getting its first nod in 2012, the show’s final season is nominated once again this year alongside a Writing nod and one for lead actor Idris Elba. While the Emmys doesn’t have a total hard on as compared to the Oscars, history has shown that they give exceptions every now and then as proven by Downton Abbey‘s domination in 2011 and last year’s Screenplay upset by The Hour‘s Abi Morgan. Let’s see if Luther can have the same fate too.

Like Bonnie & ClydeThe White Queen also gets their only Emmy nod this year for miniseries. The lack of both Rebecca Ferguson and Janet McTeer in the acting categories, nor The Final Battle in Directing indicates that the Emmys aren’t just into this show at all.

And lastly, HBO’s bet in this category is True Detective Treme. Now on its closing season, the show has finally gotten into a series category for the first time and even with a writing nod to boot. Prior to that though, its only Emmy mentions were a Directing nod and a Song nod way back during its initial season. This indicates to me that this, more than anything else, is just the result of a weak and empty category.

Basically, it all boils down to American Horror Story: Coven vs. Fargo. While Coven got 17 nods, Fargo topped it with 18. Meanwhile, Fargo is less one total acting nod with 4 as compared to Coven‘s 5. Both shows got in for Directing and Writing but Fargo has two Directing nods as compared to AHS‘ one. That said, I think the telling factor here is that the clamor and acclaim for Fargo is definitely much stronger and more consistent than AHS. I think that’s what makes me predict for a Fargo win. Now if only we got this one a real race between True Detective and Fargo, it would have made the race more enjoyable to predict.

Prediction: Fargo
Alternate: American Horror Story: Coven

Full Rankings:
01. “Fargo
02. “American Horror Story: Coven
03. “Luther”
04. “Treme
05. “The White Queen
06. “Bonnie & Clyde

You can see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

Emmy TV Movie Miniseries Supp Actress

And to complete the four acting categories for the TV movie and miniseries categories, it’s time to discuss one of the most competitive races for this year’s Emmys. To say this is an embarrassment of riches is truly an understatement of its own. Supporting Actress is so stacked there’s no room left for the likes of Tony queen Audra McDonald as The Sound of Music Live‘s saving grace, owner of the Globe’s most memorable speech this year, Dancing on the Endge‘s Jacqueline Bisset, 2x Oscar nominee Janet McTeer from The White Queen and the Tony nominated role of Vanessa Williams in The Trip to Bountiful. As for the actual nominees though, we have…

Current winner Ellen Burstyn makes another bid for a back to back win. By now, her 2006 fluke nod for Mrs. Harris has long been forgotten (or not) and she’s finally been rewarded with a win here last year as the matriarch last year in Political Animals. That said, her nominated performance this year is a big departure from her winning one last year. In Flowers in the Attic, she plays a grim and strict mother whose strong beliefs control her daughter and her grandchildren. This is physical transformation mixed with a baity role, and if she can win one for Animals, she can totally win for this too.

We also have the trifecta of the American Horror Story: Coven actresses in this category. There’s Frances Conroy whose red tips demand your attention (and deservedly so). As Myrtle Snow, Conroy ends up being one of the most vital characters by the end of the season, though she’s at a disadvantage by having her character introduced in the middle of the season as compared to the other co-nominees here who were already featured in the pilot episode. Since I highly doubt that voters will watch the whole season of Coven before voting, I think it’s a con for her.

Angela Bassett receives her second career Emmy nomination by playing the fierce witch Marie Laveau who’s out to seek some revenge for her loved ones. Bassett was every inch a gay man’s dream character here. She’s sassy and she’s ready to fight right here right now. That said, I think hers is a character that is more appreciated by fans as opposed to one that garners awards and stuff.

The last Coven actress nominated is Emmy favorite Kathy Bates. Sure, Bates only has one Emmy under her belt, but she’s one of the four actresses who has the most number of nominations in this category’s history, and you know she’s bound to win one. There’s a chance that this might be the year though. As racist Delphine LaLaurie, Kathy’s character travels in time literally that is as she’s uncovered under the grounds. Bates is the first character you’d see from the previous season of AHS, which means she benefits the most if voters only check the first few episodes of the series.

Then there’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world Julia Roberts as she receive her second Emmy nod. In any other year, this would have been a surefire winner in this category and one that’s bound to sweep awards. After all, this is reminiscent of her Oscar winning performance as Erin Brockovich only that she’s in a wheelchair for the duration of the TV movie, so that makes her role a thousand times baitier. Unfortunately for Roberts, this is probably one of the most competitive years in the history of this category and while she’s much in the race, it’s not an easy win as one might think.

And in the midst of all these big stars, the last nominee is virtually an unknown. Allison Tolman gives one of the last season’s best breakthrough performances given the pressure of this Oscar winning role in Fargo. The reviews and personal citations that she has received all seasons is definitely a statement of how people are paying attention to her performance, and this nomination alongside these established actresses is just the cherry on top of it.

This category is really crazy. Aside from Angela Bassett and Frances Conroy, this could go to any of the four other nominees depending on which performance the voters will dig the most. The difference between the four actresses is so thin that in any other day, I might come up with a different ranking. That said, I’m going on a limb here and predict newbie Allison Tolman to take home the Emmy. Sure it’s a David vs. Goliath level of competition given the line up, but I think hers is the one that will elicit the most passionate response. That said, I won’t be surprise if they’d be carried away with Julia’s schtick, or Kathy’s in your face role, as well as Ellen’s costuming performance.

 Prediction: Allison Tolman, “Fargo
Alternate: Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Tolman, “Fargo
02. Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven
03. Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers in the Attic”
04. Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart
05. Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Coven
06. Frances Conroy, “American Horror Story: Coven

You can see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

Emmy TV Movie Minseries Actor

While it’s the ladies that were from and center yesterday, we now shift the spotlight to the gents as we discuss the Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie race in our continuous coverage of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. It’s the third year in a row that I have a perfect track record of predicting the line up here, so I don’t know if it’s jsut the predictability of the race or just a good summation of who Emmy’s favorites were. Anyway let’s begin.

Speaking of third year in a row, this is Benedict Cumberbatch‘s third consecutive nomination in this category after being nominated for the second season of Sherlock in 2012 and the HBO movie Parade’s End last year. While His Last Vow rakes its biggest nomination haul for the series by far, I don’t think Cumberbatch is much in the race especially with likelier movie star frontrunners in here. He can count on an Oscar nod for himself though come January for The Imitation Game to be released late this year.

And while at the topic of Oscar nod, coming off from an Oscar nomination earlier this year, Chiwetel Ejiofor follows it up with an Emmy nomination, this time for the Starz  miniseries Dancing on the Edge. Sadly for Ejiofor, his nomination is his reward given how much the Emmys snubbed the show altogether (he’s the lone nomination from it). I would have wanted a follow up to the Ejiofor-McConaughey Oscar race tho had True Detective stayed to compete here in the longform categories.

But while we didn’t get an Ejiofor-McConaughey repeat, we can resort to the alternate one of a race between Ejiofor and Idris Elba instead. Both were twice nominated for the same two categories at the Golden Globes earlier this year: one is for Movie Actor Drama (former for 12 Years a Slave, latter for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom). The other one is for their respective roles in this category. Like in 2012, Elba nabs a repeat nomination for his role in Luther. This was confirmed as the show’s last season already, and though I don’t think it will chaneg the voting game, it will probably have at least a bit of an effect to the voting (…or not).

Then we also have Mark Ruffalo who’s enjoying a career best 2014 by far. Starting at Sundance in January for Infinitely Polar Bear to his run at Cannes for Foxcatcher in May, and the good reviews he received from John Carney’s Begin Again, he’s definitely on a roll. That said, his Emmy vehicle this year is the TV movie frontrunner The Normal Heart where he played gay activist Ned Weeks. After all, the current winner in this category is Michael Douglas for playing gay pianist Liberace.

Now to cap this off, it’s not only the Lead Actress category where we have two nominees from the same show. If the women has American Horror Story: Coven, then the men has Fargo. Billy Bob Thornton comes back with a bang in this project where he plays sinister Lorne Malvo. His is the more awards-baity character between the two as he’s the flat out villainess evil character here. The other nomination is for Martin Freeman, who plays insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, who was caught in the series of incidents involving him and Malvo. Personally speaking, I preferred Freeman’s performance more than Thornton, but between his two nominations, they might reward Freeman instead in the Supporting category.

While the consensus thinks it will be an easy win for Mark Ruffalo, I don’t think this is an easy win as one perceives. I feel that this will be a tight race between the two one-time Oscar Supporting Actor nominees. Ruffalo is seen as the obvious choice. I mean he’s a straight actor playing the gay lead in a TV movie with a strong political statement. If this was Oscar, he’s certain to be winning it already. That said, Fargo is the most nominated miniseries this year and the support for it is really staggering. If there’s anything this category loves more than portraying gay characters, that is rewarding veteran movie stars with wins here as evidenced by Geoffrey Rush in 2005, Robert Duvall in 2007, Kevin Costner in 2012, and Michael Douglas last year. I keep going back and forth, but I guess I’m going with Mark Ruffalo by a hair.

Prediction: Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
Alternate: Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo

Full Rankings:
01. Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
02. Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo
03. Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
04. Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
05. Idris Elba, “Luther
06. Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge

Click here to see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis. For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie   2 comments

Emmy TV Movie Miniseries Actress

Welcome back! We’re still in the middle of our Emmy analysis discussions, and for today, we’ll be shifting the focus to the leading ladies of the TV movies and the miniseries. Some notable names missing here include Rebecca Ferguson in The White Queen, Toni Collette in the CBS canceled show Hostages, and Carrie Underwood in that NBC special The Sound of Music Live. As for the actual nominees, our line up this year include…

Helena Bonham Carter for playing screen legend Elizabeth Taylor in the BBC adaptation of Burton & Taylor. Bonham Carter has already received Globe and SAG nods for the same performance earlier this year, and this is pretty much a tempting pick had it only performed stronger and probably a stronger pick in a weaker year. Unlike the Oscars though, Emmys isn’t really fond of portraying other stars, but this is a showy character with some physical transformation involved in it.

Then there’s also Minnie Driver getting in for the Lifetime movie Return to Zero. In the said film, Driver deals with the loss of a child before it was even born and she’s a grieving wife whose relationship with her husband also got jeopardized because of it. This is basically like Rabbit Hole without the young kid factor, and this is a very baity role that I’m quite surprised I didn’t even predict her for a nomination. That said, this gives her a lot of showy moments that I think it’s quite risky to totally eliminate her chances.

From one Lifetime lady to another, we have 3x Emmy winner Cicely Tyson reprising her Tony winning performance in the Oscar winning role in The Trip to Bountiful. This seems the likelier Lifetime actress to pursue a win given the history of the role and the accolades that she has received by far both for the play and the TV movie. It also helps that this is the only film nominated in the TV movie category for this year.

Kristen Wiig received her sixth(!) consecutive nod this year, and her first one outside of Saturday Night Live for the comedy miniseries The Spoils of Babylon. On one hand, this benefits her as this is like an extended SNL performance only she’s the lead of it with her over the top character being front and center in all six episodes. On the other hand, if she can’t win for SNL whether as a supporting performer or a guest actress, then maybe it’s a performance that they just love to nominate and not to reward with an Emmy.

And lastly there’s the pair of American Horror Story: Coven ladies in here. Sarah Paulson gets her third consecutive nod and her first one in Lead. While she gets to be more physical with her performance given that she was blind for a lot of episodes in the season, it’s really hard to see her be prioritized with a stronger co-star and competitor via Jessica Lange. 2009 champ in this category Jessica Lange can actually skate a win here. There seems to be an abundant amount of love for Coven and even manage to surpass expectation of the show cooling down. After all, Lange already managed a win for AHS first season in Supporting, it’s equally deserving if she gets one in Lead as well.

In the end, I see this between the two veterans. Cicely Tyson is obviously some sort of an Emmy favorite here having three Emmys under her name already. This is already an Oscar and Tony winning role, and I won’t be surprised if Emmy won’t give in to it as well. But then again, Jessica Lange is always a contender in this category, and this year is no exception. These two actresses have only battled out with these performances only one time (at the CCTV Awards) and Lange ended up on top. That said, I’m sticking with Cicely Tyson to win a fourth one, but don’t count out Minnie Driver in this race though.

 PREDICTION: Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful
ALTERNATE: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven

Full Rankings:
01. Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful
02. Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven
03. Minnie Driver, “Return to Zero”
04. Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton & Taylor
05. Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven
06. Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils of Babylon

You can still also check the rest of the 2014 Emmy prediction analysis. And follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

Emmy TV Movie Miniseries Supp Actor

Hi everyone! You’re still reading Tit For Tat’s 2014 Emmys coverage, as I slowly unveil my winner predictions for this year’s Emmy Awards. Days ago, I started the whole series with Outstanding TV Movie, and it’s time to move on to the acting categories. Let’s begin with the supporting men of this year a.k.a Best Supporting Actor from the The Normal Heart.

Exactly ten years since HBO’s Angels in America dominated this category (with Jeffrey Wright), The Normal Heart pulled off the same feat by having four of its actors nominated here (poor Taylor Kitsch who really can’t catch a break). First off we have Matt Bomer who has the largest role from the Normal Heart guys here as Mark Ruffalo’s partner in the film. Bomer, in probably his most daring and bravest performance yet, got unanimous raves in his role for this film, and if this one only had a theatrical release instead, I won’t be surprised if he ends up with an Oscar for it.

Then there’s also Jim Parsons getting his first Emmy nomination outside of his 3x winning role as Sheldon Cooper. In the film, Parsons portrayed the kind hearted and the likable gay guy, and I felt this is a win-win situation for Parsons to take this role, and if the voters really do love him, he has a chance of taking a fourth Emmy for this performance.

Every year, there’s always a veteran actor that gets his due here in the Supporting Actor category whether via wins or nominations. In the past years alone, we have seen nods for Bob Newhart and Scott Bakula and wins for Ken Howard and Tom Berenger here. This year, Joe Mantello, the third Normal Heart guy, fits that bill. It also doesn’t hurt him that they all received an “Oscar clip” scene or two that worked well for all these supporting actors. I consider Mantello as the dark horse of this category and I won’t be surprised if he ends up winning it.

The last Normal Heart actor nominated here is Alfred Molina, who received his first Emmy nomination for this. While not totally a long shot, it’s quite surprising that Molina pulled this off considering he’s not a part of the central story. That said, his nomination mostly indicates the really strong support for the TV movie and the really weak support for Taylor Kitsch. I really don’t see a scenario of Molina winning though.

As for the other guys, we also have Colin Hanks of Fargo. This is one of my personal wishlists to get nominated because his isn’t that showy of a role that gets the nominations or the spotlight, so the mere fact he made it in makes me feel personally happy. That said, I think the nomination is his reward, and despite Fargo getting in 18 nominations (the second most after Game of Thrones), this won’t be the category where they will reward it with a surprise win.

Lastly, there’s Hanks’ Fargo costar Martin Freeman also getting a second nomination this year (aside from his Lead one for the said show, this one for Sherlock: His Last Vow. Freeman is getting some sort of a great year narrative, and with Lead Actor having a stiffer competition, this is the more possible of the two Sherlock acting nods. He’s also the only returnee nominee in this category after his first one in 2012 for the earlier Sherlock film.

Right now, I think this is Matt Bomer’s to lose. His character and performance is towering enough here to beat three of his co-stars and his two other co-nominees. That said, never count out the veteran vote for Joe Mantello and Martin Freeman’s double nominations to factor in the race. But I think both aren’t enough to topple Bomer here in the race.

PREDICTION: Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart
ALTERNATE: Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: His Last Vow

Full Rankings:
01. Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart
02. Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
03. Joe Mantello, “The Normal Heart
04. Jim Parsons, “The Normal Heart”
05. Colin Hanks, “Fargo
06. Alfred Molina, “The Normal Heart

Two categories down, may more to go. Do not forget to check the rest of the 2014 Emmy prediction analysis.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Television Movie   Leave a comment

Hi everyone. Like last year, I will be hosting a series of comprehensive Emmy discussion and analysis as I predict 30 of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards categories. It will be done in the next few days leading up to the actual ceremony on August 25. For this year, we will be doing all comedy, drama, longform, and reality categories as we learn more about the submissions for most of them. Let’s begin with one of the easiest calls for the night… Outstanding TV Movie!

Emmy TV Movie

 

After three years of being combined, this year marked the separation of the television movies from the miniseries. While this isn’t the actual ideal year to do that (given the lack of legit contenders for both), we still managed to come up with a decent batch of nominees here.

NatGeo finally had their first contender in the history of this category via Killing Kennedy, a topic that hasn’t been done to death among TV movies yet (note the sarcasm). This film, which was an adaptation of the 2012 non-fiction title, focused on the point of view of former Marine Lee Oswald leading up to the infamous assassination of President Kennedy. This film surprisingly has managed to keep its buzz afloat among the guilds earning WGA, SAG, and DGA nods for it. However, I’m inclined to believe that it will have a hard time getting nominated had there been a combined TV movie/Miniseries category this year.

The first HBO contender we have is Stephen Frears’ Muhammad Ali’s Greatest FightLike Killing Kennedy, I really don’t think it will be nominated in a combined longform category, and the only thing it has in its advantage is that from HBO. Heck this can’t even be compared to the lesser HBO films like You Don’t Know JackHemingway & Gellhorn, Bernard & Doris, or Live From Baghdad since those films managed to reap up nods and would have managed to have the prime HBO slot in any other year. This one is simply non-existent which leads me to…

Fret not HBO since we all know what your priority is. It’s Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart. Based from the Tony winning material of the same name, this is definitely the top tier contender from this year’s batch of TV movies. It has well known names attached to it, it is political, historical, and socially relevant. It is star studded, produced by Brad Pitt, and got really great reviews. Like there’s not much competition for it already.

Probably in its most successful Emmy nom haul yet (with 12 nominations), it really amazes me why Sherlock: His Last Vowrefuses to campaign in Miniseries and just choose one episode to pass as a TV movie. Sure the length might fool you, but in a year where TV movies are being separated from miniseries, this doesn’t make much sense. Then again, it probably won’t hear its name be called either way, but I guess they should consider moving to Miniseries in their next years especially given the weak competition there.

And the token Lifetime slot here goes to the 2014 adaptation of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful. It’s one of Lifetime’s stronger efforts in a long time, so a part of me is quite shocked that it only received two nominations. It seems like it was really just seen as the Cicely Tyson show than awarding the TV movie altogether.

By now you should have easily guessed what would win here. Yep, The Normal Heart will win this in a cakewalk. I think there will be at least a competition of some sort had it battled with the miniseries, but the separation is a blessing in disguise for the whole team. I really don’t see a scenario where it loses in the end, and for what its worth, it really is deserving of its Emmy win.

PREDICTION: The Normal Heart (HBO)
ALTERNATE: Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)

Full rankings:
01. “The Normal Heart
02. “Sherlock: His Last Vow
03. “The Trip to Bountiful
04. “Killing Kennedy
05. “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight

There you have it! Check in soon to see the rest of the 2014 Emmy prediction analysis. You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

87th Oscars Predictions: July Edition   2 comments

As we go over halfway of the month, it’s time to update those Oscar predictions with all the hoopla and surge of trailers and news of the potential films this year!

best pic

best director

best actor

best actress

best supp actor

best supporting actress

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

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