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68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 3: Comedy   Leave a comment

After the reality and variety, plus TV movie and limited series, we continue our 2016 Emmy prediction series with the hilarious shows and performances from our comedy shows. Last year, Veep dominated winning Series, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Writing. Will they pull off the same feat again this year? Can Jim Parsons come back in the race? And will they finally give up on Modern Family?

comedy directing

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Any Given Saturday” (Gail Mancuso)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari)
• Silicon Valley, “Founder Friendly” (Mike Judge)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Jill Solloway)
• Veep, “Kissing Your Sister” (David Mandel)
• Veep, “Mother” (Dale Stern)

Seventh nominee: Silicon Valley, “Daily Active Users” (Alec Berg)

Let’s begin by me saying that I think black-ish would have a huge Emmy breakout this season. I mean, sure maybe Anthony Anderson’s surprise nod last year was maybe due to a tie, but whatever. The improved quality of the second season had the critics pushing for it. It’s also somehow of a statement show, and it says a lot that Emmy winner Gail Mancuso decided to submit for this show instead of 4x winner Modern Family here. I’ll also probably predict a lot of Master of None here, and maybe Aziz Ansari follows Lena Dunham and Louis C.K. to pick up nods for their directing and writing efforts too. Silicon Valley, Transparent, and Veep are mainstays here and it’s just a matter of choosing which show will pick up multiple nominations. Thus, bet on current Emmy champ Veep to be it.

comedy writing

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Hope” (Kenya Barris)
• Lady Dynamite, “Pilot” (Pam Brady & Mitch Hurwitz)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang)
• Silicon Valley, “The Uptick” (Alec Berg)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Ali Liebegott)
• Veep, “Mother” (Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck)

Seventh nominee: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, “Kimmy Finds Her Mom!” (Tina Fey & Sam Means)

It’s unfortunate that Lady Dynamite didn’t have an explosion in terms of reception, but it’s the writers we’re talking about here, and they’re more reactive to quality as compared to the other branches; thus, a pilot written by multiple Emmy winner Mitch Hurwitz does stand a chance to get nominated. After that, we have the same five shows I’m predicting for Directing, though if there’s a spoiler here, maybe Tina Fey gets back in the race, her first since 30 Rock.

comedy guest actor

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

• Fred Armisen, “Saturday Night Live
• Larry David, “Saturday Night Live”
• Peter MacNicol, “Veep”
• Tracy Morgan, “Saturday Night Live”
• Martin Mull, “Veep”
• Bradley Whitford, “Transparent”

Seventh nominee: Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory”

Three SNL men have competed here in the past, so it’s not as if it’s something new. After all, they’re working on three entirely different narratives. Fred Armisen is a past SNL member, and we all know how much they love to nominate those previous members even in the past years alone (there’s Tina and Amy and Jimmy (winning twice) and Kirsten and Maya and Bill)! Tracy Morgan has a comeback narrative. I mean have you seen the reception to him when he presented at the Emmys last year? They LOVE him! As for Larry David, this is his first bid at an acting Emmy and him playing Bernie Sanders will help him further. Last year’s winner Bradley Whitford is back at it again, so you can pencil a nomination for him again. Then for the last two spots, I went with two Veep men: Martin Mull who played Bob Bradley, and previous Emmy nominee Peter MacNicol who I’d say is the non-SNL actor frontrunner in here.

comedy guest actress

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Ellen Burstyn, “Mom”
• Claire Danes, ”Master of None”
• Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, “Saturday Night Live”
• Anjelica Huston, “Transparent”
• Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”

Seventh nominee: Lisa Kudrow, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

I have mixed reactions with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler competing as one especially since this is likely Amy Poehler’s first actual legit bid at an Emmy. But hey, if that’s what it’ll take for her to finally win, then let’s go for it. Joining her is Melissa McCarthy who got nominated for all the times she hosted SNL too, Christine Baranski who’s also a multi-guest nominee for this role. Then there’s Ellen Burstyn who’ll Allison Janney her way to both Guest Comedy and Drama nominations. Oscar winner Anjelica Huston had a much-buzzed stint on Transparent, so I think she’ll be in. Last spot is up for grabs, we have lots of contenders from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, that maybe we can get in a second Guest nod for a solo Tina Fey, or the much-buzzed Lisa Kudrow, but I’ll go on a limb and say that Claire Danes gets in for Master of None. It has that Louie guest stint vibes for me, though that show is infallible as well (Sarah fuckin Baker, everyone).

comedy supp actor

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
• Adam Driver, “Girls”
• Laurence Fishburne, “black-ish”
• Tony Hale, “Veep”
• Hugh Laurie, “Veep”

Seventh nominee: Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine”

Tony Hale is a given at this point, especially after winning twice for that role already. Congratulations Ty Burrell, you’re the last man standing from Modern Family, and I think he’s here to stay for the next few years. It would be such an Emmy thing to do to finally stop nominating Adam Driver since he finally made it big as a movie star, but if he can survive last year’s almost Girls shut-out, then maybe he can still squeeze in a nod or two. Tituss Burgess also seems like a possible consecutive nod. His is a role that this category loves if we’re to base it on the history of this. Andre Braugher can easily score another nod, but I think voters are already over Brooklyn Nine Nine by now, and while it is Andre Braugher we’re talking about, there’s a lot of other veterans they can nominate here… which leads me to Laurence Fishburne in black-ish. It’s a tad surprising that even after so many years, Hale has been the only Veep supporting actor nominated but maybe winning Series last year can finally score them an additional acting nod. Since there’s no consensus on who the second actor might be (Tim Simons is probably what critics will push, but Gary Cole is the only other male nominated performance from this show), so go the easy route and predict the most prominent one in the group; thus it’s Hugh Laurie.

comedy supp actress

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
• Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
• Allison Janney, “Mom”
• Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Judith Light, “Transparent”
• Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

Seventh nominee: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”

It’s hilarious that all eight(!) women from last year are still eligible to be nominated again this year, but since I don’t think we’re going eight here again, I’d say Mayim Bialik and Niecy Nash are the first to go. Allison Janney is definitely back and in contention for a third straight win here, and so is Anna Chlumsky. Jane Krakowski is someone they love to nominate (however, winning is a different story), so I think she’ll be back as well. And it’s safe to say that they won’t be cutting Kate McKinnon in an election season of all years, so there’s four. The last two slots are between 2x previous Emmy champ Julie Bowen of Modern Family and the two Transparent ladies — last year’s nominee Gaby Hoffmann and Judith Light. All three make sense as nominees, but I feel Modern Family is going on a decline here, thus cutting Bowen off in the process.

comedy lead actor

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
• Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
• Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle”
• Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
• William H. Macy, “Shameless”
• Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Seventh nominee: Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”

Let’s begin with those that will surely be back. Of course, there’s no better way to start this than with Jeffrey Tambor who’ll even probably win this again (and deservedly so). After his surprise nod last year, I think Anthony Anderson will be back too, as well as perennial Emmy favorite William H. Macy. Will Forte scooped three major surprise nods last year, so I feel like in a relatively empty category like this one, he has the industry support and clout to pull off another one.Now this is where it gets tricky — sure Louis C.K. and Matt Leblanc aren’t eligible this time around so it’s opening up a free slot (since there are seven nominees last year). I’m currently predicting Aziz Anzari, as mentioned above already, to have his Louis C.K. (or Lena Dunham or Will Forte or whatever) moment, but I won’t be surprised if he gets Ellie Kemeper-ed in the end, meaning lead star of the nominated show snubbed. For now, I’d keep him in. As for that last slot, we can have a Jim Parsons come back again (yes as much as we’re sick of him and his show now) and Don Cheadle has been nominated all seasons his show was eligible (and this is the final season so there’s that), but I’mma go risky and put in Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal here only because I think Amazon’s really, really aggressive campaigning will at least bear one good result for them.

comedy lead actress

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Lena Dunham, “Girls”
• Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
• Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
• Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
• Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Seventh nominee: Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”

The question here basically is who are the five other women Julia Louis Dreyfus is beating for that fifth consecutive Emmy? As for starters, there’s Lily Tomlin who got in last year for Grace and Frankie without her partner Jane Fonda. Maybe both of them gets nominated this year, who knows? Then there’s Ellie Kemper who missed last year, but then again, last year is the most competitive category of the race since whenever so maybe it’s safe to say she’s in this year (or is she?) To continue my black-ish breakout year narrative, there’s also Tracee Ellis Ross who’ll be the first black woman to be nominated since Phylicia Rashad exactly 30 years ago (talk about narrative)! With a clear resurgence in quality, I think Lena Dunham will also be back after a year of absence. This can be a way to reward her and her season since Girls feels like an afterthought already. Now I’m definitely crazy for excluding Amy Schumer out. Sure, she doesn’t have a breakthrough big year like last year because not all years can be like that, but the lukewarm reception of this Inside Amy Schumer season feels like it’s ripe for a possible miss. Think of the other one time-nominated performances here (Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross in Desperate Housewives, Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Laura Linney in The Big C, Sarah Silverman in The Sarah Silverman Program, Lea Michele in Glee, Taylor Schilling in Orange is the New Black) — all those in really huge breakout seasons that they snubbed after. After all, I think she can get her due in the Variety Sketch category. Now this is where it gets crazier — I’m removing Amy Schumer for a CW actress. The Emmys are so allergic of CW they don’t even nominate their guest actresses (not even when they’re as legendary as Rita Moreno). But I think that sooner or later they’ll cave in. This year, they have two in contention: Globe winner this year Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-girlfriend and Globe winner last year Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin. Now I don’t think both are getting in, and while Bloom is the more current one, I’d say the Emmys will be y’know.. like the Emmys and be a year late in acknowledging Gina Rodriguez just like when they nominated Tatiana Maslany when no one’s predicting her anymore.

comedy series

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish (ABC)
• Master of None (Netflix)
• Modern Family (ABC)
• Silicon Valley (HBO)
• Transparent (Amazon)
• Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
• Veep (HBO)

Eighth nominee: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

As for the Series categories, we have two slots freed up this year because of Louie having no season this year and Parks and Recreation‘s departure. While people are toying around with the idea of Modern Family missing already, I’m not sure that will happen yet for this year, at least. They probably have one or two years in them before they get dropped off. Meanwhile all the other four nominees are guaranteed to be back as well – current winner Veep, Transparent, Silicon Valley, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Considering that Netflix is really great when it comes to campaigning their own shows, I’d say Master of None gets in in a category with seven spots. And lastly, I began my mention of it and end with it too –Black-ish seems like its poised for an Emmy breakout. Not only will it be the remaining network representative (especially since Modern Family is on its way out), but it’s about family too, so expect it to be there.

Tomorrow, to complete the list, the cream of the crop among the television dramas!

Talk to me about this one on Twitter: @nikowl

69th Cannes Film Festival Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

2016 Jury

Another year has gone by, as the world’s most prestigious festival comes to a close. The 69th Cannes Film Festival has been a whirlwind of some sort. This year featured a bad Woody Allen joke during the opening ceremony, a barefoot Julia Roberts in the red carpet, and probably the most low-key Un Certain Regard competition in a long time.

As for the Main Competition, the consensus is that it’s a bit frontloaded with the latter half of the festival ranging from underwhelming (Dardennes), to bad (Dolan), to really bad (Penn), and sadly, to the no1curr (Mendoza). That said, this is one of the hardest to predict since there isn’t any specific basis as to what the jury will go for (and the jury changes every year!), but here’s a stab at possible winner predictions.

Screenplay

PRIX DU SCÉNARIO

PREDICTION: Cristian Mungiu, “Bacalaureat (Graduation)
Mungiu has already won this award four years ago with Beyond the Hills, but I can see him being the first person to win this twice. A previous Palme d’Or winner for 4 Months, 3  Weeks, 2 Days, this slow burner story about a father and his daughter is the type of thought provoking film that usually wins this category. He can find himself against the other Romanian, Cristi Piui, for equally talky film Sieranevada

ALTERNATE: Asghar Farhadi, “Forushande (The Salesman)”
Prior to the beginning of the festival, this one is touted as one of the major frontrunners especially since it was a late minute addition. While it can still happen in this jury, the relatively silent reactions around it makes me think that it can settle for a Screenplay award instead.

Actor

PRIX D’INTERPRÉTATION MASCULINE

PREDICTION: Dave Johns, “I, Daniel Blake
Mostly known as an English stand up comic, “I Daniel Blake” is Dave Johns’ first foray into movie acting. And if it’s any indication, he should be doing more of it. His commanding turn as the title role in Ken Loach’ entry this year reportedly broke a lot of hearts and had everyone praising him. Seems fitting in this category.

ALTERNATE: Adam Driver, “Paterson
The Jim Jarmusch film in competition this year is said to be in his upper tier of works, and if the Jury loves it so much, an award to its lead actor can be one way of rewarding it. In the event it happens, it’s quite delicious since Driver has just won the Volpi Cup two years ago for Hungry Hearts, and for him to have 2/3 of the major trifecta for a relatively short career yet is astounding, to say the least.

Actress

PRIX D’INTERPRÉTATION FÉMININE

PREDICTION: Sonia Braga, “Aquarius
Locks rarely do happen at Cannes of all people (heck even unanimously raved Blue is the Warmest Color in 2013 wasn’t a sure thing as we entered the awarding ceremony), but if there’s one performance that was continuously raved from its premiere up to now was that of Sonia Braga’s in Aquarius. It also helps that the film has received great word too, so it can be hitting two birds with one stone in this one.

ALTERNATE: Kristen Stewart, “Personal Shopper
To be frank, this is probably the most competitive lead actress year in Cannes for quite some time. There’s Isabelle Huppert gunning a third win for “Elle” and Sandra Huller for “Toni Erdmann” but I think both are also gunning for higher prizes. There’s also Ruth Negga who was consistently praised for “Loving“, the two women who played the title roles of”Julieta” — Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte, Adèle Haenel of “The Unknown Girl“, Sasha Lane of “American Honey“, Juliette Binoche of “Ma Loute“, Jaclyn Jose of “Ma’Rosa“, Elle Fanning of “The Neon Demon“, but maybe Kristen Stewart’s lead role in Oliver Assayas’ “Personal Shopper” is one that can appeal to this particular jury.

Directing

PRIX DE LA MISE EN SCÉNE

PREDICTION: Andrea Arnold, “American Honey
I’m sure politics isn’t the be all-end all of everything, but in the history of Cannes, only one woman has won the Best Director trophy (that would be Soviet director Yuliya Solntseva 55 years ago way back in 1961). The buzz for American Honey has managed to stay throughout the rest of the competition, and while I don’t think it was unanimously raved, this type of divisive response is perfect for a Best Director trophy.

ALTERNATE: Paul Verhoeven, “Elle
Sure he is no highly heralded auteur, but Paul Verhoeven’s comeback is enough narrative for him to win this. This is the man who gave us Starship Troopers and Basic Instinct, so winning a Cannes Best Director for his first film in ten years is something I can see the jury acknowledging.

Jury Prize

PRIX DU JURY

PREDICTION: Park Chan-Wook, “Agassi (The Handmaiden)”
Winner of the same award back in 2009 for “Thirst“, Park Chan-Wook’s comeback film in competition can also be his third-award winning one following 2004 Grand Prix winner “Oldboy” and the aforementioned Thirst.Agassi” surely isn’t the unanimous raved entry for this year, but between its feminist tones and deliciously looking visuals, this can be enough of a formula to win a Jury Prize.

ALTERNATE: Bruno Dumont “Ma Loute (Slack Bay)”
It’s a bit weird to see no French entry be rewarded with a win especially since this is the Cannes after all, but if there’s one, this Bruno Dumont comedy is my best guess to have a chance.

Grand Prix

GRAND PRIX

PREDICTION: Paul Verhoeven, “Elle
Saving the latter half of the competition, Verhoeven’s comeback vehicle “Elle” was met with raves from critics and was considered as the perfect closer to the festival. Its humorous and atypical take on a serious subject matter, as well as the combination of star power and potential wide appeal is definitely right up Miller’s alley. One reason why I’m not predicting it  for the Palme d’Or though is that I think it’s a tad controversial and boundary pushing for the top prize.

ALTERNATE: Andrea Arnold, “American Honey
American press kept on harping that this is the next Palme d’Or, but I have my reservations with that. I think it’s too divisive and not even the type of divisive that will have enough champions in the group. It’s more fitting for a Jury Prize or a Directorial one for Andrea Arnold. But who knows? Maybe they know something I don’t.

Palme d'Or

PALME D’OR

PREDICTION: Maren Ade, “Toni Erdmann
It’s really the breakout of this festival. This strange comedy from female filmmaker Maren Ade really had all the critics raving about it. As for starters, it’s one of the consistent performer across all different critics poll series. Then, George Miller hinted about wanting to reward/prefer a comedy. Add the narrative of only one female director winning the Palme d’Or (that would be Jane Campion’s “The Piano” back in 1993 but it won in a tie). Unless the jury really wants to go on a different direction, I think we’re looking at our Palme winner already.

ALTERNATE: Ken Loach, “I, Daniel Blake
Well this is the other direction I’m referring to. If they’re not in the mood for some comedy, then this heartwarming drama which was reported as having the jury really ecstatic about it can be our Palme winner. Ken Loach won this exactly a decade ago unanimously with “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” (in a competition that included Bruno Dumont, Nicole Garcia, Andrea Arnold, and Pedro Almodovar too) so maybe history’s for rewriting this one.

As for that highly regarded film that ended up with no win, I’m leaning towards Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” and Cristi Piui’s “Sieranevada” as the likely victims for this year. I’m excited to see the Maren Ade, the Jim Jarmusch, the Paul Verhoeven, Asghar Farhadi, and I guess the Brillante Mendoza among the competition, but titles in other sidebars such as Pablo Larrain’s “Neruda” and “The Red Turtle.” Oh and for the sheer lulz of it, I hope we get to see Sean Penn’s “The Last Face” too!

Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl

89th Oscars Predictions: May Edition   2 comments

It’s that time of the year! As Cannes is currently going, here’s my first stab at predictions for the 89th Academy Awards. Ten years ago, The Departed won in the tightest Best Picture race (prior to the one early this year), Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren steamrolled through critics and televised awards, an Idol reject named Jennifer Hudson took Oscar glory, and an overdue Martin Scorsese finally can call himself an Oscar winner.

This year, we might have Marty coming back again, the birth of a nation, Ang Lee at another shot to a Best Picture win, as well as Meryl Streep getting nod #20, and Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert? Here’s my take on the top six races.

Picture

Directing

Actor

Actress

Supporting Actor

Supporting Actress

Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

comedy supp actor

We’ll now be doing the supporting categories, and this year, the funny men of comedy is the first one we’ll analyze. It’s mostly the same lineup from last year only that perennial nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Fred Armisen were finally dropped as Tituss Burgess and Keegan Key enter the scene. Ty Burrell can score his third Emmy for the show, as he submits “Crying out Loud”  which plays the sentiment card like the one he won for last year, only this time no crossdressing which makes it a tad weaker than last year’s winning one. Meanwhile, Andre Braugher went with the same route too from last year as “The Mole” has him play the straight person dealing with Andy Samberg’s antics. For this category though, the loud and showy characters tend to prevail over the poker faced ones, but then again he’s a respected veteran who can score a win. In a sea of comedic performances lie Adam Driver‘s highly dramatic tape for Girls as he goes with Close-Up where he gets in a big argument with Gillian Jacobs’ character. This one stands out, but only because it’s heavily dramatic and that might not sit well in this category.

2013 winner Tony Hale can win again after a year of sitting out just like what happened to Ty Burrell last year. His tape in Veep uses the same antics he had with Julia Louis Dreyfus’ character as he tries to avoid her in “East Wing.” That and Veep‘s popularity within the Academy is in an upward trajectory. Keegan Michael Key joins the race as the representative from sketch shows, but just ask Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, who were both unsuccessful with their bids here. For what it’s worth though, his submission “Sex Detective” gave him lots of screentime and lots of characters to play. Ultimately, I think this one is Tituss Burgess to lose, Not only does he have a great tape with “Kimmy Goes to School!”, he also is the breakout actor of the season, does musical numbers in his tape, plays straight man shifting to his character, and it can be the reward to Best Comedy Series nominee Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Watch out for the veterans and past winners like Ty Burrell and Tonu Hale though, as the new voting system favors them.

Prediction: Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Alternate: Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”

Full Rankings:
01. Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
02. Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
03. Tony Hale, “Veep”
04. Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine
05. Adam Driver, “Girls
06. Keegan Key, “Key & Peele

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Comedy Supp Actor

And now to complete the quartet of the supporting acting categories for regular series, let’s do the supporting actor category with another less Modern Family guy in contention but another Andre Braugher nominated performance.

So we begin with Andre Braugher who is one of the few things the Emmys liked about Brooklyn Nine Nine. While it was expected that he’ll submit the event episode for this year, he only got half of that right as he had Christmas as his submission. In it, his character Ray Holt received death threats and thus, he was assisted by Jake Peralta for protection. That means he was with Andy Samberg the whole of his episode submission. On one hand, it’s great since he was in full character of his strict uptight character, but on the other, it was Samberg who was doing most of the comedic scenes in it. While I don’t think he’s completely out, things would have been more different had he submitted The Party or Full Boyle.

While Bill Hader moves out of the race after his Saturday Night Live departure last year, it was a co-SNL actor who replaces him only that it’s not for the same show. Fred Armisen gets in this year as the lead character in his own produced show Portlandia, where he went on to submit Pull Out King. Unlike SNL. this show runs for only 21 minutes and Armisen si the lead of this show so he doesn’t get overshadowed in it. Only that he actually was by co-star Carrie Brownstein. Even the title of the episode refers to her impersonation, and while Armisen does some great improvs in it, the bias against variety performers to win here is pretty much present and can always be taken against him. I don’t know if this will be the performance that will end such, though I’m leaning to no.

After his surprise nomination last year, Adam Driver picks up a consecutive one despite the almost Girls shutout this year. And while he has a winning submission in Role-play, he opted to go with the season finale which was Two Plane Rides. This begs the question again of submitting the better episode or the better showcase. While Rides was an altogether better episode than Role-play, the latter was the better acting showcase for him. In the finale, he only appeared in three speaking scenes and he even came across as unlikable in them. That said, Driver is one of the current TV it boys nowadays that his involvement in large film projects can probably get some votes his way.

Last year, he pulled off an upset win, but the question is can Tony Hale pull off a repeat? It’s quite odd that this performance is in the running for a 2x Emmy winning one since this isn’t really like one, but with his submission Crate, the odds are actually on his favor. There’s a scene in the episode when Selina Meyer confessed to Hale’s Gary that she will officially be the next president, and Hale displayed a range of emotions in just a single scene. That is clearly the highlight of the episode and Hale was unstoppable there. That said, there’s quite a feeling of a been there done that with his role and since he was already rewarded last year, there’s also a chance they might look somewhere.

And that somewhere might just be 2011 champ Ty Burrell. After being the only person to dethrone Alec Baldwin at the SAG earlier this year, Burrell aims for a second win this year with his episode Spring a Fling Ding where he hosted the annual realtors’ Oscars. This included him donning up a female get up and performing a song number to the audience. The con of this episode is that he wasn’t much featured outside it even if his storyline closes with an “aww” moment. He also benefits in Ferguson’s episode where he thought Claire was pregnant again though that also provided more “aww” and less “haha” for him.

Now who would have thought that among six cast members of Modern FamilyJesse Tyler Ferguson would be one of the three remaining adult cast to get nominated every season by far? And even if  he hasn’t won any yet, the fact that he keeps on getting nominated means he has the support from the TV Academy. This year, he submits one of the most lauded episodes of the season via Message Received when he had an argument with his dad regarding their impending wedding and how it was difficult for Jay to still accept his sexuality. It’s really a heartbreaking episode and one that has lots of impact. And on Burrell’s episode, he goes on the classic first day at work storyline and how he’s dealing with someone who’s not the friendliest of them bosses.

This is really a tricky category to be honest. I had Tony Hale in front but he’s vulnerable at most. After all, he really doesn’t strike me as a 2x winner for this role nor a really far and away frontrunner. While he is not totally out, there’s a lot of ifs that need to happen for Andre Braugher to win here, and had he only submitted a stronger tape, he can easily be the frontrunner status. It’s really not wise to dismiss both Modern Family  here. I mean sure it lost acting nominees here, but the show is still every inch competitive and Burrell is the type I can see winning multiple Emmys so he can easily win in a weak year like this. And in his five years of getting nominated, this is the first time Jesse Tyler Ferguson came close to winning. I never bought his chances in the past, but him continuing to get in plus competitive tapes makes him in the upper tier easily. I guess in the event of an unknown race like this, there’s only two paths it can head: stay with the current winner or get an out of the box win. Let’s just say I’m gonna go the safe road and predict #2 for Tony Hale instead.

Prediction: Tony Hale, “Veep
Alternate: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family

Full Rankings:
01. Tony Hale, “Veep
02. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family
03. Ty Burrell, “Modern Family
04. Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine
05. Adam Driver, “Girls
06. Fred Armisen, “Portlandia

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 3: Comedy   Leave a comment

Hi guys! We’re now past halfway the Emmy week over at Tit for Tat, and after discussing the possible nominees and my predictions for Reality and Variety, and TV Movie and Miniseries, it’s time to continue the prognosticating before Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce the nominees on Thursday morning. For this part, our focus will be on the laughter source for the past TV season: COMEDY!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Directing

• Brooklyn Nine Nine, Pilot (Phil Lord, Chris Miller)
• Girls, Two Plane Rides (Lena Duham)
• Louie, Elevator Part 6 (Louis CK)
• Modern Family, Las Vegas (Gail Mancuso)
• Orange is the New Black, Lesbian Request Denied (Jodie Foster)

Sixth nominee: Silicon Valley, Minimum Viable Product (Mike Judge)

Okay let’s begin with current champ Modern Family. This show has been dominating this category winning the past three years, and a fourpeat is indeed very possible. This Las Vegas episode is one of their more buzzed ones this season, and it’s a very obvious possibility to win as well. Then of course there’s Jodie Foster. Sure she’s no Fincher or Scorsese, but Lesbian Request Denied is a top episode for OITNB’s first season and with the deafening buzz it has, it’s likely she’ll get in here. I’m also predicting the pair of writer/creator/director Louis CK and Lena Dunham. Both have been nominated here for the past two seasons of their shows though I have to say Louis CK is probably the more assured contender here as compared to Dunham. But this semi-sort of creative resurgence for Girls can give her a nod here. As for the last spot, I’m giving it to the duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller simply because they love pilots in here and it’s the most logical pilot in contention, and second, the duo comes from a hit summer film and a great 2014 year so far.

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Writing

• Episodes, Episode 305 (David Crane, Jeffrey Clark)
• Louie, Pamela Part 3 (Louis CK, Pamela Adlon)
• Louie, So Did the Fat Lady (Louis CK)
• Orange is the New Black, I Wasn’t Ready (Pilot) (Liz Friedman, Jenji Kohan)
• Veep, The Special Relationship (Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche)

Sixth nominee: Girls, Beach House (Lena Dunham, Jenni Korner, Judd Apatow)

As much as it does not make sense, Episodes is 2/2 so far when it comes to getting a nomination, so it’s really hard to bet against it. Thus, I guess I’m going with it for my first slot here. Then the writing/directing categories is a haven of some sort for pilot episodes, and I think that will put I Wasn’t Ready in a good position for a nomination as well. Louis CK has won in this category two years ago and has three nods under her belt, so a nod is assured. So Did the Fat Lady is his best contender this year, and I won’t be surprised if it goes on and win all the way. The risk I’m doing though is to predict two Louie nominations here, though I guess I’m putting a lot of faith with the writers and they have delivered before. As for Veep, they finally did the right thing of submitting only one episode for consideration, so it’s really easy to rally up at this point, though I won’t be surprised if it misses simply because it’s not even their best episode of the season (Debate anyone?) and that this sort of “submitting only one episode” has backfired in the past (last year’s Arrested Development as for starters).

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Guest Actor

• Louis CK, “Saturday Night Live
• Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live
• James Earl Jones, “The Big Bang Theory
• Nathan Lane, “Modern Family
• Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory
• Jeremy Renner, “Louie

Seventh nominee: Andy Samberg, “Saturday Night Live

Right now, two previous winners are in the running this year: Jimmy Fallon for SNL and current champ Bob Newhart for The Big Bang Theory, and I think it will be an easy repeat of nomination for the both of them. Then there’s Louis CK coming back for a consecutive nod for SNL as well. Louis CK is one the Emmys love to nominate and he has been beating his own record the past few years already, so another nod here isn’t surprising at all. I think James Earl Jones will get nommed as well since Big Bang managed to pull of a win for an overdue veteran last year, so they know how to headline their vets to get awards traction. As for Nathan Lane, it’s really hard to argue against him especially if he managed to get in for a cameo-like performance last year. And he even had meatier role this year. The last spot I reserve for that “dramatic” performance that usually gets in every year (Eli Wallach and Bobby Cannavale for Nurse Jackie, and Idris Elba for The Big C the past four years), and this year I think Louie is the show getting that slot, and my bet is on 2x Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. His performance is very dramatic and no comedy element to it at all, but his sheer star power can and Oscar pedigree can give him an Emmy nod as well.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Guest Actress

• Sarah Baker, “Louie
• Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black
• Joan Cusack, “Shameless
• Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live
• Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live
• June Squibb, “Girls

Seventh nominee: Ellen Burstyn, “Louie

Despite her SNL guesting going mediocre over the years, it’s hard to bet against Melissa McCarthy getting in once again so that’s one slot. The same can be said for Tina Fey who got in the last three years she was eligible here. In a fair world, none of them are getting nominated. And with Shameless shifting to the Comedy categories , it’s easier to get confident with Joan Cusack’s chances. If she can get in every single year in a more competitive Drama, this one is an easier path to a repeat nomination. And then we have Oscar nominee June Squibb. La Squibb is in contention for three different performances in this category: Girls, Glee, and Getting On. My bet is on Girls though since it’s her baitiest one (she’s on the brink of death, voters!!!). Then as for the last two spots, I have reserved one for an Orange is the New Black. My bet is on Laverne Cox since it’s more of a statement of some sort for someone like her to get awards recognition and her episode submission is basically where her character is the focus of it. But then again, I really wouldn’t be surprised if she missed instead for co-star Uzo Aduba. Aduba has been the viewer favorite character all along, and she’s been working the circuit the past few months. And then the last slot I’m giving to a Louie lady. I went with Sarah Baker with the same reasoning of why I went with Laverne Cox: her episode is the more buzzed Louie one. But then again, she’s up against Oscar winner and Emmy semi-fave Ellen Burstyn. Last year, the Emmy went with the popular Oscar winning actress (Melissa Leo) over the online favorite (Parker Posey), and I won’t be surprised if they follow the same format this year with Burstyn getting in over Baker.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Supp Actor

• Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine
• Ty Burrell, “Modern Family
• Adam Driver, “Girls
• Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family
• Tony Hale, “Veep
• Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family

Seventh nominee: Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family

So will Modern Family get four actors again? I won’t be quick to say that again. Last year, Stonestreet missed a year after winning, so I won’t be too easy in thinking they’d get all of them in as well. Let’s get with the easy ones: Ty Burrell is making it in. I think he’s the last standing survivor when the Emmys start to drop it. And for some reason, they have a hard on for Jesse Tyler Ferguson. He’s the only other guy aside from Burrell to get in the past four seasons, so I think he has the other advantage as well. And then of course we have current champ Tony Hale from Veep who probably has a huge chance of repeating that win. I’m also predicting Andre Braugher. I mean if he can get two nods out of Men of a Certain Age, they won’t let the opportunity of nominating him for a comedic role pass by. And of course he’s good in it. I’m going back and forth with Girls’ Adam Driver since he seems like a one time thing, and I’m expecting a decline of nods for the show in general, but between his film projects and his recent Star Wars casting, he’s slowly building the clout to have a strong résumé. The last spot I’m reserving for the two Modern Family men. Ed O’Neill can easily go on for his fourth consecutive nod here, but my hunch is that like Jane Lynch’s comeback last year, Eric Stonestreet will have his this year especially since it’s a crucial season for his character.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Supp Actress

• Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory
• Julie Bowen, “Modern Family
• Anna Chlumsky, “Veep
• Allison Janney, “Mom
• Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black
• Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family

Seventh nominee: Merrett Wever, “Nurse Jackie

Unlike the men of Modern Family, the women have an easier time getting in annually just because there are only two of them in this category. Thus, it’s easy to say that both Julia Bowen and Sofia Vergara will be back as nominees again. And the same can be said for The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik who even got an individual SAG mention earlier this year which pretty much indicates that there’s a level of support for her performance. If only for the reason that she’s in Veep, and I’m sensing an upward trajectory in terms of its overhaul nod, I’m predicting Anna Chlumsky this year too. She doesn’t have a winning season or a winning tape, but I don’t see her being a one time deal here (even if she makes sense as one). And since her last nomination eight years ago, it’s nice to finally see Allison Janney back in the race, even doing some sort of the record Edie Falco had (by winning a Lead Drama and Comedy Actress Emmy) only this time, she’ll do the Supporting one for her role in Mom. This has been some sort of a banner year for Janney in TV if her double wins at the Critics Choice Awards is too looked at. And lastly, we have current champ Merritt Wever versus Kate Mulgrew. It’s quite odd that Wever isn’t a shoo-in when she beat those four ladies I’m predicting as “sure bets” in this category, but it’s the Emmys we’re talking about here, and a surprise of some sort usually happens. The reason I predicted Kate Mulgrew over here there though is that because Mulgrew is a respected veteran who hasn’t been nominated for any Emmy yet, and she seems poised as the most logical supporting actress from Orange to make some sort of impact in this race.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: 

Comedy Actor

• Don Cheadle, “House of Lies
• Louis C.K, “Louie
• Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes
• William H. Macy, “Shameless
• Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory
• Andy Samberg, “Brooklyn Nine Nine

Seventh nominee: Robin Williams, “The Crazy Ones

TALK. ABOUT. BARREN. Oh god this category can’t even get any more lively after Alec Baldwin’s exit last year. Well let’s begin with Jim Parsons, as surely he’s one of the two I’m 100% confident in. The other is definitely Louis CK. While his is not the type of performance they usually reward here, a nomination is another thing. So whatever happens in this category (may it be a revamp or the same old line up), those two would manage to be in the final line up. We also have Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg who benefits from a  weak line up. If we still have the Carells and the Baldwins here, I’m sure he would be struggling to get a nomination to be honest. And that’s coming from someone who LOVE him in Brooklyn Nine Nine. Just like his show, Matt LeBlanc seems to have his fans in the voting Academy that I won’t be surprised if he gets in again. I mean I had him as an alternate last year and look at what happened. You also get to predict Don Cheadle at this point even if his show stopped making sense a long time ago simply because we have to fill in the six slots here. Oh my god that was very boring to type. And in a certain surprising turn of events, Shameless suddenly decided to shift genres this time, and if there’s one benefit I see happening from that, it’s that William H. Macy can take advantage of this line up to finally get himself a Lead Acting nom. I mean if not him, who else is there? Thomas Middleditch in a show no one cared about? Jonathan Groff in a show everyone cared about… to trash? Canceled sitcom stars Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox? This is so barren that Macy can consider himself lucky. Sadly the same can’t be said about his co-star Emmy Rossum.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Actress

• Lena Dunham, “Girls
• Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie
• Anna Faris, “Mom
• Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep
• Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation
• Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black

Seventh nominee: Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project

I mean at this point who even cares? Let’s just send the Emmy to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ home and we’ll be done with this. Or not. Maybe because she’ll give an extremely awesome speech the way she did the last two years. But yes, Julia’s winning this easily so let’s just see the five other clappers in this category. First we have Edie Falco. Nurse Jackie‘s sort of semi-comeback among awards show contenders means only two things: 1. the show is having some creative resurgence or 2. the field is so empty. I guess I’ll leave the answer to you then. Then we have Lena Dunham in possibly the best season she had as an actress of the show. I think that if the field continues to be this weak here, Dunham can manage to survive one to two more Best Actress nods under her belt regardless of the show’s reception. And then there’s forever the bridesmaid Amy Poehler. At this point, Poehler had done everything to win the Emmy, but voters aren’t really responding to these type of Michael Schur characters (I mean hello Steve fucking Carell). In the past, she already submitted a two parter, achieved a nod when her show is a Series nominee, got Writing and Acting nod the same year and yet none of those still worked. So I guess a nomination would suffice again this year. Then this year’s newbie is filled by Taylor Schilling as the core character from the huge ensemble of Orange is the New Black. That last spot I can see can go to Mindy Kaling (who’s a past nominee for Writing) and her announcing the Emmy nods might be an obvious indicator of that, but I guess I wouldn’t just underestimate Chuck Lorre at this point so I’m going with Mom‘s Anna Faris for the last slot.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Series

• The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
• Brooklyn Nine Nine (NBC)
• Louie (FX)
• Modern Family (ABC)
• Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
• Veep (HBO)

Seventh nominee: Girls (HBO)

And we’re here at the final stretch. Okay let’s get the obvious ones out of the way. Modern Family is soooo getting in so there’s Slot 1. Veep is easily making it for Round 3 so there’s Slot 2. Orange is the new Black is too big to ignore that if there’s only one room for a newbie here, that would be it. So there goes Slot 3. Louie’s msot recent season has been more dramatic than comedic, but it has the critics rallying up behind it that it’s gonna be surprising if it suddenly missed after finally penetrating last year’s line up. And then there’s the fourth slot. The Big Bang Theory hasn’t achieved the same critical and commercial buzz it had last year (and yet it was used to no avail since they did not win Series), so even if their chances somehow weakened, a series nod is still manageable. Now there’s five slots already.  As for that sixth slot, it starts to get tricky. On one hand, there’s Brooklyn Nine Nine a.k.a Fox’s only contender in this category. On its side, it’s a freshman show who has some sort of buzz, it’s Fox’s #1 priority here, and it’s a traditional comedy from a broadcast network. However, it’s ratings aren’t something to write home about, it doesn’t have a Tina Fey or an Alec Baldwin in its side, and that Orange is the more buzzed freshman show. Then on the other, there’s Girls. On its hit stride, voters can easily just vote the recurring nominees from last year’s batch and it can easily make it, it’s still getting awards and mentions, and its third season has been some sort of a creative resurgence from critics and fans alike. But then again, it’s not HBO’s priority, and all its buzz has dwindled so fast it’s not even the watercooler show of the season nor of this line up. Of course with the new 2% rule, there’s a possibility that we might get seven nominees in the end, but let’s stick to the current six line up. Now who do I think gets in that coveted last slot. I guess I’m going with Brooklyn Nine Nine by a hair over Girls. I think there’s more buzz for the former and traditional comedy shows still has their hold in this category despite the slow HBO dominance the past few years. Plus, the shelf life for female-led/centric shows are just two seasons and they easily drop them off. Sure Sex and the City is an exception, but Ally McBeal and Glee were lucky enough to get two nods while the likes of Desperate Housewives and ugly Betty have to settle for their only pilot season series nods. So yeah, i’m going with Brooklyn in this one.

Now there you have it. Do you think Allison Janney is finally making that Emmy comeback? Will Shameless shamelessly moving to the comedy category finally catch another acting nod aside from Joan Cusack? And how many Modern Family actors can survive this season? Tomorrow, the last part as we tackle the drama categories! Thanks for reading!

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

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

supp actor comedy

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Peter Boyle, “Everybody Loves Raymond[WRONG]
2006:
Jeremy Piven, “Entourage[CORRECT]
2007:
Jeremy Piven, “Entourage[CORRECT]
2008:
Jeremy Piven, “Entourage[CORRECT]
2009:
Neil Patrick Harris, “How I Met Your Mother[WRONG]
2010:
Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family[CORRECT]
2011:
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family[CORRECT]
2012:
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family[WRONG]

After discussing the directing and writing categories, let’s go back to the acting ones. For now, we’ll be discussing the supporting categories in a comedy series. As for the actors, the final list of nominees ended up shocking the prognosticating world, as it gives the most extreme inclusions and exclusions. Some of the snubbed were current titleholder Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family, Max Greenfield for New Girl, and Will Arnett for Arrested Development. All three were predicted to be sure locks to receive nominations here, but it obviously did not materialize. As for those who were actually nominated…

While not all four Modern Family guys received nominations this year, three of them still managed to do so. 2011 winner Ty Burrell is back for another nod, and this year, he submitted Mistery Date which was the episode that involved a gay Matthew Broderick confusing a date with Burrell’s character. Burrell is one of the few MF stars who have multiple episodes to choose from, so this episode is a hit or miss for others. On one hand, this has the typical Phil funny stuff, but on the other, Broderick’s snub here might be telling of the Academy’s perception of the said episode.

Then we have Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Despite having no wins yet, it is actually surprising that Jesse Tyler Ferguson is one of the four actors from the cast (and the only one aside from Ty Burrell among males) that managed to receive nominations for all four previous seasons of the show. I think this indicates some passion on his character. While his episode The Wow Factor shows a competitive Mitchell; his attempts to beat young kids might not be as comedic as one would assume.

Ed O’Neill’s best tape was two years ago for the episode The Kiss during the show’ sophomore season. However, this year, he’s probably one who can benefit from the “multiple tape format” among co-stars. His original planned tape “The Wow Factor” was changed because it was co-star Ferguson’s submission already. This gives him an advantage to submit another tape of his liking which was the season opener Bringing Up Baby. The common factor among his chosen tapes was that they were all heart-tugging and it might work well for him in the end.

For his final season in SNL, Bill Hader receives a farewell nod from the Academy. This year, he submits the first episode with Seth MacFarlane. I personally think that this is a solid submission with his Clint Eastwood bit as arguably the most memorable among all the episodes in this category. As Kristen Wiig proved last year (and Steve Carell the year before), they mostly don’t care if you are leaving the show already and that they aren’t as sentimental as expected. The only downside of his submission is that there’s no sight of Stefon.

As per the Emmy rulebook, a person who has two continuing roles in a series can’t be campaigned for both, so they must choose one that will be for consideration. That’s the risk that paid off for Tony Hale this year by going with his current show Veep rather than sticking for Arrested Development.  Obviously, it’s a good call knowing that AD very much underperformed while Veep overperformed. As for his submission Running, I think it gives him a lot do in terms of showcasing his comedic skills and is the perfect submission for him. In fact, I’d rank him as the contender with the best possibility to overcome the Modern Family guys.

Lastly, there’s Adam Driver. It’s one of the nominations I root for but certainly did not expect to happen. This is really a surprise because all the talks prior to the nominations have been for the supporting actresses, so Adam Driver being the first one outside of Lena Dunham to get an acting nod means something. In his tape It’s Back, he stands out because of the show’s tone among the other programs in this category. With that said, it can go back and forth with him, though I don’t see him winning this year.

With no Eric Stonestreet this year, this category is very up in the air. However, for the past ten years, series shows with three or more acting nominations has better odds of winning because it gives their actors more tapes and episodes as submissions. This has happened to The West Wing in 2002, Sex and the City in 2004, Desperate Housewives in 2005, Grey’s Anatomy in 2007, and Modern Family here for the past three years. I think the same will still happen this year, and the combo of their three submissions puts Ty Burrell in an advantage over his two co-stars. The only scenario I see where in someone NOT from Modern Family winning is if there is a fatigue on the show already. In that case, Tony Hale wins from a bunch of Veep and Arrested Development supporters.

Prediction: Ty Burrell, “Modern Family
Runner-Up: Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family

Full Rankings:
1. Ty Burrell, “Modern Family
2. Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family
3. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family
4. Tony Hale, “Arrested Development!
5. Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live
6. Adam Driver, “Girls” 

To check my complete Emmy predictions, you can see them here.

And, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl