Archive for September 2012

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Comedy Series 2012   Leave a comment

The Big Bang Theory continues to dominate the ratings game, and it seems to fill in the “traditional sitcom” slot opted to one of the nominees every year in this category. As a matter of fact, that seems to be the only thing in their favor now as overall reception was that it was a weak season, and the nomination is purely because of lazy writing. When the types of Louie and Parks and Recreation gets snubbed in favor of highly rated shows, that’s when backlash begins. Seems like for this year, this is the show that takes the cake for the most bashed nomination award.

Curb Your Enthusiasm finished in another eligibility season, and of course easily makes it in the series line up. The thing with this show is that it’s the type of show that voters love to nominate but never give any award to. As a matter of fact, since its inception a decade ago, the total number of Emmys it received is one. It seems as though the pattern will be the same this year, though what’s working in its favor is that if it still loses, this will be the show that got the most nominations in this category yet still loses every single one of them. For that alone (and a little bit of weak competition), I expect that this is one of the years with their closest shot for a win.

Many shows comparably put Girls in the same sentence as “Sex and the City.” And while there can be some similarities you can see about the two, one thing you can add to that list is their Emmy fate. This year, Girls got 5 noms and four of them were for creator Lena Dunham. If it’s any indication, all the nominations this year were to recognize that the show existed and for Dunham as being the it girl of the year. With that being said, it’s the only show among this roster to get acting, writing, and directing nods so that probably says support to an extent. However, I think they will be waiting for the next few years first before giving this show the crown.

Current two time champ Modern Family is still in contention for a threepeat this year. While consensus say that this is the show’s weakest season, that still did not stop them from giving the show a boatload of nomination including seven for acting which includes all noms for the main adult cast of the show. It also got two directing nods, and while there is no writing nomination this year, it seems like the Modern Family train is still not stopping in terms of Emmy reception. With that said, it is easy to say that the show will win another trip on the way to the podium as they receive their third Comedy Series plum this year.

30 Rock is a former three time winner who gets consistently nominated all the years it is eligible for the top award. While the same happened again this year, this now remains to be the show that they will consistently nominate even if it has no chance on bagging the top trophy. The good thing about though is that this season definitely merits another Comedy Series as we get to see a resurgence of the top 30 Rock quality that gave the show Comedy Series Emmys. With their impending final season next year, they might be more competitive for a 4th win battle (between Modern Family) next year, but they sadly will sit this one out this year.

Veep, the surprising third HBO show to get a nomination in this category, happens to be this political themed show starring Julia Louis Dreyfus and helmed by Armando Iannucci. I think those two names alone plus HBO as the home company propelled this little show all the way to the top trophy nomination. With only three nomination under its belt this year, I see it follow the same pattern as Girls. The nomination serves as a way of the Emmy people to recognize that the show exists, and given the confidence that their next seasons will be better in terms of awards recognition.

Like what I said, both perceived frontrunners Louis and Parks and Recreation missed the nod this year, With that said, it’s an easy threepeat for Modern Family thinking there’s no solid alternate again for the show to be unseated. Lucky family, I must say.

Prediction: Modern Family
Dark Horse: Curb Your Enthusiasm


Complete Predictions:
1. Modern Family
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm
3. Girls
4. 30 Rock
5. The Big Bang Theory
6. Veep
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ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Zooey Deschanel, “New Girl” (Bad in Bed)
• Lena Dunham, “Girls” (She Did)
• Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (Disneyland Sucks)
• Tina Fey, “30 Rock” (The Tuxedo Begins)
• Julia Louis Dreyfus “Veep” (Tears)
• Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly” (The Dress)
• Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (Win, Lose, or Draw)

It girl Zooey Deschanel gets a nod for playing the title character in FOX’s hit comedy New Girl. In her episode, she tries to learn how to properly seduce the character of Justin Long so she asks the help of the guys, watches porn for practice, and buys kinky S&M outfit. While she was funny on her scenes, her episode also contains an equally hilarious storyline with Schmidt wanting to impress his pregnant boss when and pushed her in the pool. Deschanel can also be lost in the middle of all these performances, but I’d give her props for mixing physical comedy with her usual funny line deliveries.

Lena Dunham is the Emmys’ it girl this year garnering nods for writing, directing, acting, and producing the HBO comedy “Girls”. Sadly, her episode, which is the season finale, didn’t highlight her that much and did not introduce her character well to voters. I actually like her last few scenes from the train to the beach, but I don’t think it will stand out amidst the group of actual hilarious performances by the other nominees. If anything, she’ll get her consolation in the Writing category where she’s the actual frontrunner.

Up until now, Edie Falco still holds the record for the only actress who has wins for Best Actress both in the Drama and Comedy genres. her Comedy win is for the show where in she’s nominated again this year, Nurse Jackie. In her submitted episode, Falco goes to rehab which she dubbed as “Disneyland” and gets a visit from her daughter wherein she pretended that she was working there. This is a very good submission from Falco showing her great acting chops. Is Falco good? Definitely. Is it comedic enough? Nope. And that’s the reason on what will hinder her from the win.

After her first year submission blunder, Tina Fey has been a very good submitter when it comes to the Emmys, that’s why one cannot eliminate and dimish her chances when analyzing and viewing the tapes. The same can be said this year where in Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy portrayed a Batman like stunt to save New York. Fey, complete with hilarious make up and playing various characters, is definitely on the top of her game with this episode and could have been an easy winner any other year. However, like what I mentioned earlier, while Fey is a consistent good submitter, she hasn’t received a second win in this category, and I don’t think this will change this year. There’s no denying though that this is her best submission since Reunion three years ago.

Julia Louis Dreyfus is one of the actresses that Emmy really loves. How she propelled a victory in 2006 is a big testament to that. Since then, she has been a perennial nominee and has received Emmys for both of her last two shows where in she’s a regular. This year, the same pattern happens when she’s nominated for her performance as Vice President Selena Meyer. In her submitted episode, she played the underdog with matching tears after receiving disappointment numbers from the people. Julia’s capability to shift from an underdog lady who misses her daughter to a foul mouthed official when she’s ranting to her staff will definitely stay with the voters. It also helps that the show is received enough even bagging a surprise Comedy Series nomination.

Melissa McCarthy‘s surprise win last year was mainly caused of Bridesmaids, but she has established so much this year that she can make her performance remain on the voters’ radar for the consecutive this year. I’m surprised how strong her tape is, as it dealt  with typical Emmy bait when she tries so hard to lose weight to fit in her wedding dress. I think this will work well with voters, and like the case of Jon Cryer, the disdain over her show and surprise Emmy win is what makes others dismiss her Emmy chances. I think that she’s in this race, and while I don’t think she’ll be the one to break the no wins here in this category, among the three past winners, she has what it takes to do so.

Amy Poehler should have an Emmy already in her mantle, and it’s a surprise that she still hasn’t received any after being nominated the last five years (combination of SNL and Parks and Recreation). This year, she submitted the season finale in which it was finally revealed what’s there for Leslie’s political ambitions. I see Poehler’s fate the same as Louis CK’s that if we based it on season long submission, she has a stronger chance, but she submitted an episode that works more on the heart rather than the laughs. Not that it’s a bad thing, and I think it’s a really good submission for Poehler; however, Greg Daniels characters haven’t had any luck in terms of any Emmy recognition, and I sadly don’t see any Emmy for Amy’s way. I’d be totally glad if she pulls it off though.

This is really difficult to predict especially the blunder re:tape of Zooey Deschanel, so every ranking really matters. For all we know, those who got the most number one votes also got the last place ones and someone who’s simply in the middle of the pack wins. For now, I’m going with Julia Louis Dreyfus who combines Emmy predigree, good tape, and right buzz for the win.

Prediction: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”
Dark Horse: Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

Complete Rankings:
1. Louis Dreyfus
2. Poehler
3. McCarthy
4. Deschanel
5. Dunham
6. Fey
7. Falco

85th Oscar Predictions: September Edition   Leave a comment

REVIEW: The Mistress   38 comments

Star Cinema’s latest offering, Olivia Lamasan’s The Mistress, is a reunion of some sort. First, it’s the comeback project of  the tandem of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo after 2010’s Miss You Like Crazy. Incidentally, it’s also a celebration of a decade of being paired together. This is also Hilda Koronel’s comeback movie after 2005’s Nasaan Ka Man, and her first, since she decided to live with her husband abroad. Thus, it gives The Mistress some sort of an advantage in terms of chemistry and acting intensity which can be both beneficial and disadvantageous at some parts.

JD (John Lloyd Cruz) meets Sari (Bea Alonzo) and invites her for a date; Sari refuses, yet their paths meet again. When JD uncovers the reason, he became more persistent; Sari starts to become confused. Thing is, Sari is a mistress of a rich businessman (Ronaldo Valdez); thus, she claims herself as taken already. But JD won’t stop, while Sari shows her vulnerability. What happens in the end?

There’s always something that strikes me to like the film, only to pull me out of it every now and then. For one, I really like how the story ended. It embodies something that I long waited in Philippine mainstream films. but of course, Lamasan can’t stray away from pleasing all types of movie watchers with her treatment of it. Still, I appreciate what they did there.

I actually liked the first 20-30 minutes of the film, where the tension is built and it engages you into something interesting, only to see it fall downhill from there. We were then treated to almost a different film that focused on the romantic montages reaching to the climax which will lead to a bunch of recycled Star Cinema treatments. For someone who’s tolerant about Star Cinema dramas, even I got tired seeing and knowing what happens next. It will only lure you again with the ending but not enough to save the whole experience. Though, I must say I like the production design of this one especially during the wedding cave scene. That’s actually really beautiful.

Also, I really find it hard to like anyone in the film. John Lloyd is so mad against the world, but you get confused with his intentions. But since it’s John Lloyd Cruz, I guess he is entitled to a free pass? Hmm. Not this time. JD is confident yet pleasing, he has opinions yet he can be petty which makes one wonder how can he still be someone you are rooting for? The same can be said for Alonzo’s Sari. She’s a mistress who does not know what her perspective in life is. She claims herself taken, yet she entertains. She loves her grandmother, yet she’s bitter about her mother who commits the same fate as her. Ronaldo Valdez is bitter, but he’s in denial. He thinks he can handle   everything in his hands, only to see him admit it’s not possible since the movie’s about to end. Hilda Koronel’s character is some sort of a mess, and despite being “the original”, you don’t actually care for her at all.

I guess that somehow affects the performance of the actors. John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo really has this palpable chemistry, so it’s not surprising to witness their banters working perfectly. However, I think John Lloyd fared better in his individual scenes as compared to Bea (she was good in the film generally), who can’t help but do the “kunot noo-pikit mata” acting during their confrontation while her partner steamrolls all this emotions in front of her. With that said, I am captivated by how the camera loves Bea Alonzo’s face. She is ravishing and sparkling whatever angle you look at her. She really commands the camera and her face knows no angle to highlight her beauty. Ronaldo Valdez was typical Ronaldo Valdez, while Hilda Koronel seemed to suffer the most from the writing with her mostly relying on theatrics with her line deliveries.

In entirety, I see this is as a hit or miss. When The Mistress is good, it’s really good. But when it falters, one can easily notice the weakness in it.  Sadly, the latter trumps the former in this one.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7: Christmas)
• Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire” (Two Boats and a Lifeguard)
• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (Crawl Space)
• Michael C. Hall, “Dexter” (Nebraska)
• Jon Hamm “Mad Men” (The Other Woman)
• Damien Lewis, “Homeland” (Marine One)

It’s such a surprise that given the Downton love last year, Hugh Bonneville failed to make it in the Lead Actor Miniseries line up despite having six nominees. This year, he wasn’t the MVP of the series, but his episode is satisfying enough to justify his nomination. We get to see a lot of aspects with Bonneville’s character as a patriarch, a father, a son, a master, and Bonneville showed all of that with effectiveness. If anything though, his nominations is his reward. This is Steve Buscemi’s second shot for a nomination, and while the quality of the show increased from the first to the second, the buzz for the show decreased from the second to the first. His episode was okay; however, the problem is that it was too subtle and quiet for Buscemi to be the standout in this field. If he can’t win last year with the Globe and SAG wins, plus the buzz that Boardwalk had, I don’t see him winning this year. Bryan Cranston, so far, still has a perfect record for his performance as Walter White in the Emmys, and this is his year where in he’ll be tying with Dennis Franz if he wins a fourth one. And Cranston definitely nailed his episode submission with “Crawl Space.” The good thing with Cranston is that regardless if it’s a single tape system or a season long performance, he certainly delivers and is worthy of his Emmy win year in and year out. And with no real solid alternates, it’s easy for Cranston to get that fourth one. Michael C. Hall is on his fifth consecutive nod for the show, and he still hasn’t received any Emmy for this role. Hall’s best shot was in 2010, but he screwed up his submission resulting to a loss. This year, with Dexter falling out of the Best Drama Series category, and no major arc that led to a guest spot nom (Jimmy Smits, John Lithgow, Julia Stiles), the possibility of Hall finally winning an Emmy for this role is getting more impossible. I wouldn’t be shocked if he joins the list of other Emmyless performances with the way things are turning. Jon Hamm, like Hall, is on his fifth bid for a win now and still hasn’t received an Emmy. Don Draper is an iconic role already, but for some reason, the voters don’t feel the same way. During the previous years, the main con that people say why he keeps on losing is that his performance is too subtle as compared to others; however, he still lost last year with a very baity and over the top tape. Is it just a case of voters not really liking the role that much? While his tape this year is also good, he shares the episode with both Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks, so he doesn’t get to own it from start to finish. The only one who stands a chance in beating Cranston is first time nominee Damian Lewis who also gives a very competitive performance in Homeland. He also submitted a winning tape via “Marine One”, which also happens to be one of the most lauded episodes of the show. Lewis showed range, emotion, screentime, and impact in his submission, and had it been a weaker year, it will definitely be the frontrunner. Don’t count his chances out though.

This category could have been stronger, as the snub for Kelsey Grammer turned this into a different ballgame. However, in the end, this is just between two men: Bryan Cranston and Damian Lewis. Cranston is the logical choice especially with the support that the show receives every year at the Emmys, and a fourth one is very much in reach. If there happens to be a Cranston fatigue, then I see Damian Lewis as a very deserving alternate to take home the trophy.

Prediction: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Dark Horse: Damien Lewis, “Homeland

Complete Rankings:
1. Cranston
2. Lewis
3. Hamm
4. Bonneville
5. Hall
6. Buscemi

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” (Live from Studio 6H)
• Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” (Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments)
• Louis CK, “Louie” (Duckling)
• Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men” (Frodo’s Headshots)
• Larry David “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Palestinian Chicken)
• Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (The Werewolf Transformation)

Alec Baldwin is on his sixth nomination and had won twice already. While his episode Live From Studio 6H is a good one where he gets to do various characters that’s reminiscent of his winning episode, it’s not a surefire material that will give him his third Emmy. Also, the fact that 30 Rock has been some sort of a perennial nominee but not the Emmys choice for any win (they have been empty handed the last two years) gives him a disadvantage. Maybe they’ll wait for 30 Rock’s swansong last year for him and the rest of the show to be competitive again. Don Cheadle is the newbie nominee in this group, and I think it’s a result of how weak the options were this year. House of Lies isn’t necessarily a funny show, nor his submission, the pilot, has anything new to offer. I’d even put this role in the veins of David Duchovny in Californication and Thomas Jane in Hung which were both snubbed for an Emmy nomination. His exception for a nomination is a combination of a weak competition plus his star status, but not even his Emmyless state will help him all the way to the podium this year. With Leblanc coming back next year, plus a plethora of new shows, I’d be surprised if he even managed a consecutive nomination. Louis CK will surely be the winner if we based it on whole season performances. However, given his submission “Duckling”, I think it can be a hit or miss for the voters. On one hand, he gets to have 40 minutes of screentime in his episode, and this one targets more of the heart than the laughs with him doing stand up comedy for the troops. On the other hand, there isn’t any LOL moments that one expects to see given the double screentime his episode had. I think he has some other episodes that were more competitive than this one, but its not wise to dismiss his chances altogether. However, with all his other nominations (a record breaking SEVEN!), he can easily be a victim of vote splitting among voters where they will reward him with an Emmy. After six consecutive nods and one victory in the Supporting category, Jon Cryershifts to Lead status and easily gets a seventh nomination. His episode is classic Emmy bait as he gets to lose his mind and suffers a breakdown with everything happening around him. This has a combination of physical comedy, one liners, and I see him very competitive since no one submitted a sure fire winning submission. If anything, dislike towards his show is what hinders people from dismissing his chances because he is so in the race. The Emmys love his Alan Harper role so much (to the point they nominated it last year over Barney Stinson), and with a surprise SAG nom earlier this year, I can see him winning all the way. Maybe it’s because they don’t love actors portraying themselves but Larry David hasn’t still won an Emmy for his performance in the show despite him being continuously nominated. Two years ago, I predicted him with that Seinfeld episode which I took as a sign that Emmy voters will eat up, and yet he still lost to Jim Parsons. This year, he again submitted the show’s best episode, and if overdue status is to be considered, then he’ll definitely have a chance again. He is funny in his submitted episode, but it does not cater to everyone and might be divisive in general. Voters seem to love Jim Parsons‘s Sheldon Cooper so much to the point that he won against Steve Carell’s last year, and despite strong submissions from a should be three-peat of Alec Baldwin, a last for Tony Shalhoub, and a Seinfeld ep from Larry David two years ago. This year, Parsons submitted an episode that highlights the wackiness of Sheldon with him not wanting to get a haircut from others because his usual barber is in the hospital. It features him suffering a semi-breakdwon while playing the bongos during midnight and visiting the barber with scissors on his hands. It’s not as strong as his first win, but I see voters checking his name off here.

There is no standout performance per se, so we might be in for a surprise, but the past four years led us to wins in traditional sitcoms. I see the trend happening this year between Jon Cryer and Jim Parsons; however, I’m giving the edge to Parsons to mark a threepeat in this category.

Prediction: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Dark Horse: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men”

Complete Rankings:
1. Parsons
2. Cryer
3. David
4. CK
5. Baldwin
6. Cheadle

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Kathy Bates, “Harry’s Law” (Onward and Upward)
• Glenn Close, “Damages” (I’ve Done Way Too Much for This Girl)
• Claire Danes, “Homeland” (The Vest)
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7: Christmas Episode)
• Julianna Margulies “The Good Wife” (Parenting Made Easy)
• Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” (The Other Woman)

This year, still Emmyless Kathy Bates is nominated twice: one is for her performance as Charlie Harper’s reincarnation in the Guest Actress, Comedy category. The second is for her performance as the lawyer in this canceled David E. Kelley show. It’s such a shame that this show was finally canceled when it started to pick up already in terms of the quality of the episode. Her season finale episode (which turned out to the the series finale as well) deals with her knowing that her first husband was dead and no one wants to claim the body. It makes Harry re-visit her past and reminisce her relationship with the said husband. While the case of the week does not involved some Emmy bait monologues that David E. Kelly shows are made of, it ends with Bates dedicating a song to her husband. Had there been no solid frontrunner this year, I’d say she has a chance to win. But, for now, the most I can do is keep her in the upper tier. Glenn Close‘s Emmy winning role has already received two Emmys in 2008 and 2009. However, since then, all of Close’s succeeding nominations were paired up with bad submissions. It seems she Close’s team really knows how the game works and were submitting on purpose in order to spread the wealth, which at one hand, is glorious since they’re all for sharing. But on the other hand, it makes you question why they’re clearly sabotaging their chances. Close’s episode this year sounds baity with her visiting a shrink but it’s joined with a hunt for a baby sitter. After viewing Closes’s tape, you’ll feel as it just came and went leaving no impact to voters. Claire Danes, after winning two years ago in the Miniseries categories, is on the hunt again for her second Emmy, and it’s pretty obvious she’ll get it. Week after week, her performance in Homeland has been described as a tour de force, and I’m a testament of that. In her submitted episode, we get to see Danes’ character play bipolar and go batshit crazy. I can see some voters being polarized with this performance, but I don’t think it will be enough to overcome the buzz, critical support, and status that Danes had. After all, this is probably the only major category where in they can reward Danes, and it’s not as if they’re giving it a consolation win. I don’t see her faltering come Emmy time in terms of her odds, and she’s probably one of the few locks in this very competitive year. Moving on, it’s nice to note that voters are really paying attention to Downton Abbey when they nominated Michelle Dockery over last year’s Elizabeth McGovern who wasn’t given much to do this season. Dockery has been very consistent this season, and she would have benefited if ti was judged for a whole season’s body of work rather than an episode. Given that, she did the most she can by submitting the Christmas episode which was the most well received Downton episode of the season. She gets to have a lot of screentime here, but it wasn’t until the last scene that she leaves an impact. I don’t think it will be enough to trump other co-nominees’ submissions, but she’s probably somewhere in the middle of the pack. Current winner in this category Julianna Margulies, and she has a chance to reap a back to back win for her role as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. I like that she submitted an episode that has a history of getting awards here: a mother trying to balance her professional and personal duties which was put into test when she thought her daughter was missing. Margulies hits all the right notes here, and I won’t be shocked if she easily wins number two, though Danes is very hard to beat. This is a very good submission, and her only con is that she’s up against a co-nominee who is pretty much unstoppable at this point. Lastly, after being very competitive last year with The Suitcase, Elisabeth Moss is back this year with a less than stellar tape. However, this isa  good submission for her when she decided that she’s not given the worth that she deserves, so she jumps on a new company to work for which will give her the treatment she thinks she deserves. The episode ends up with an impactful scene with co-star Jon Hamm when she broke the news to him. This led to a scene where she packs her things and leaves the elevator smiling. This would have been a more competitive tape for Moss had she been given more screentime when the likes of her co-nominees such as Margulies, and to a certain extent, Danes, were the highlights of their episodes. I don’t think this is the year where we’ll see Moss nab the Emmy.

This category could have been more exciting if Danes wasn’t a sure bet as she is, but since we all know now that she’s taking this, I guess it will really be a shock if any other name will be called by the presenter on Emmy night.

Prediction: Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Dark Horse: Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife

Complete Rankings:
1. Danes
2. Margulies
3. Bates
4. Dockery
5. Moss
6. Close