Archive for the ‘emmy 2014 awards’ Tag

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Series

Today we’ll be finishing the Emmy 2014 analysis series here at Tit for Tat by doing the remaining two categories left for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards before envelopes are opened on Monday night. And with no further ado, let’s begin with the drama programs of the past season.

When it seemed like it’s gonna go downhill from the first season, House of Cards went on and even beat their nomination tally of their previous season. While that showed potential that voters aren’t giving up on the show anytime soon, I don’t think Netflix has completely managed to pull off the win in here as well. Mad Men stays for another year and is likely to join the club of shows nominated for all their eligible seasons, but it has been back in 2011 when they still won any Emmy so at this point, it’s a filler at best. Game of Thrones was screwed by another HBO being campaigned here, and while the show’s chances would increase, the genre bias against a fantasy show is still hard to overcome, even if with overwhelming reviews. Downton Abbey might have lost Hugh Bonneville this year, but gained Joanne Froggatt back again. All it lost is a Directing nom, so if anything, I think it indicates that it will still be nominated in the succeeding years. Breaking Bad seemed a confident frontrunner all season though it doesn’t have the benefit of airing a current season during Emmy voting. MeanwhileHBO must have too much confidence in True Detective to even consider ruining the small chance of Game of Thrones. After all, this is a now or never moment for the Emmys to reward this season. But then again, a cultural phenomenon like Breaking Bad doesn’t deserve to end with only one Drama Series Emmy in its mantle. Just like its previous cable show successor The Sopranos, the show is too big to resist to be denied of a second Drama Series; thus, I’m predicting it to win again.

Prediction: Breaking Bad
Alternate: “True Detective

Full Rankings:
01. “Breaking Bad
02. True Detective
03. “House of Cards
04. “Game of Thrones
05. “Downton Abbey
06. “Mad Men

Emmy Comedy Series

And lastly, we’re now on the comedy series. Last season, when it had critics rallying around it and it continuing to be a dominating force ratings wise, The Big Bang Theory still wasn’t able to do any big moves in the race, and I think it has already peaked when it comes to its chances of winning the top plum now. Louie, in its most dramatic season, would never also find its way near to the podium so the fact that it even got nominated for such is already a feat of its own. Not only did it manage to pick up a series nod, it also swept writing and directing nods so that bodes well for Silicon Valley but this show is too alienating for a broad amount of voters to prevail. It also doesn’t help that even if its on HBO, its ratings are nothing to be proud of. Sadly, the same applies for the other HBO show Veep, though to its benefit, it has Julia Louis Dreyfus maintaining the buzz for the show and the guilds totally supporting it. Maybe it’s a slow burner? In the end, I see this as a close fight between 4x champ Modern Family and newbie series Orange is the New Black. On one hand, Modern Family lost some of its key nominations (primarily two acting nods for its ensemble), but then again, it’s still the broadest show in this line up that I don’t think it will have any problem winning for a fifth one. It also submitted its best set of tapes, so it’s really not wise to dismiss this show altogether. Stealing its thunder, however, is the new Netflix show picking up 15 nominations and winning already three. The Orange ensemble is campaigning like crazy, and despite being on Netflix, the show has done a good job of making others aware of it. While I don’t think it’s a shoo-in, it’s also helped by its second season delivering (like how Breaking Bad was helped last year) unlike other female-oriented nominated shows before. In the end, I’d give the odds to them crowning a new champ now, but I’ll be wary since Modern Family is very much still in this race.

Prediction: Orange is the New Black
Alternate: “Modern Family

Full Rankings:
01. “Orange is the New Black
02. Modern Family
03. “Veep
04. “Silicon Valley
05. “The Big Bang Theory”
06. “Louie

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

There you have it! Let’s see how many of these will I get correctly or how badly I will do this year. For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Lead Actress

Hi there! We’re already nearing the end of Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy Awards predictions coverage, and it’s now time to do the last acting category of the year. Yesterday, I mentioned how Drama Lead Actor seems like the closest category as it’s between Bryan Cranston and Mathew McConaughey. The dramatic ladies, however, provide the opposite as this category can really go anywhere. Really. ANYWHERE.

We really would not have this problem at all had Robin Wright decided to submit Episode 17 of House of Cards. But then she didn’t. Instead she went with the season finale where she has a breakdown scene at the stairs for more or less 45 seconds. Sure it puts the usually icy Claire Underwood some heart, but this doesn’t win you an Emmy. To be fair to Miss Wright though, many have won with lesser tapes before, so it’s not as if her chances are already floating dead on the water. But it made her frontrunner status really, really vulnerable.

After surprisingly missing last year, Julianna Margulies is back for her fourth Emmy nod for the role of Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. This year, she submitted “The Last Call” which had Alicia dealing the horrible news of Will Gardner’s death. Like her winning episode “In Sickness“, Margulies does a lot of crying here which could work well in her favor. She comes off as really sympathetic in the episode, and the voters will have no problem feeling for the loss she had. She also does have a conversation with her daughter about God and existence and I can see that appealing well to the voters. Had the Good Wife manage to do their Emmy comeback with a bang and not a whimper, Margulies would have been a frontrunner here for sure.

Speaking of dealing with loss and grief, three time nominee Michelle Dockery has the same story as she copes up with the loss of her husband in the fourth season opener of Downton Abbey. In here, Dockery’s dealing of his death is more subdued as she becomes cold and distant to her family and to the servants at the house. It takes a breakdown and confrontation scene with Jim Carter for her to soften out. With this being an almost two hour tape, Dockery wasn’t stolen of screentime as she was in it ample enough to complete in this category.

And since they always come in threes, current champ and 2x winner here already Claire Danes is nominated for Homeland once again. And in her submission, the season finale “The Star“, she intends to save her lover Brody in Tehran, but as the plan faltered along the way, she instead witnessed his fate ending. Unlike the two other grief stricken submissions, Danes did not deal with the aftermath alone in her episode, as we witness the whole thing in the episode. This is also probably Carrie’s most sympathetic story yet among Danes’ past Emmy reels and is one where voters get to sympathize with her. However, is she really gonna go three-peat for a show that the Academy has already bowed out of?

While Masters of Sex wasn’t able to penetrate (pun intended) the major Emmy drama categories, Lizzy Caplan is the exemption to the rule, as her Virginia Johnson role brought her first Emmy nomination. It is wise of her to go with the pilot episode where we witness her character go through certain lengths (pun intended…again) in order to work for Michael Sheen’s Dr. Masters. The whole episode also showed how Dr. Haas becomes quite obsessed with her which ended to a confrontation in a party and a heavy slap scene between Virginia and him. I think it’s a wise submission on her part to go with the pilot since it showed Virginia’s journey and it has that slap scene confrontation which brings the OMG drama in it.

Now while Caplan brings the OMG drama aspect in her show, Kerry Washington brings the OMGDRAMA in hers. Of course it has to be in bold letters because (and I suggest you read this using Kerry’s slow enunciation and delivery for more dramatic flair and effect) “THIS.IS.WHAT.SCANDAL.IS.ABOUT.” Last year, Washington did submit the show’s buzziest episode regardless of her acting in it. This year, however, she went with an episode that highlighted her so she submitted “The Fluffer.” In it, Olivia did her duties as a daughter to her father helping him take out B613, her duties as a lover to President Fitz by confronting Mellie’s lover, her duties to her group by sleeping with Jake in order to get the password. It’s a competitive tape especially if voters can get over the drama theatrics nature of the show.

I really don’t know what to do with this category anymore. If only Robin Wright did not screw up her submission. then I guess it’ll be one of the easier calls of the night. But I guess that these three grieving ladies will battle it out for the most desolate actress on TV thus leading the way for Lizzy Caplan out of nowhere victory here. She and her arc stands out from all the drama (including Kerry’s lip quivering) so might as well go take the risk and predict Janis Ian for the Emmy.

Prediction: Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex
Alternate: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
01. Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex
02. Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife
03. Claire Danes “Homeland
04. Kerry Washington, “Scandal
05. Robin Wright, “House of Cards
06. Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey

Check 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 Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Lead Actor

And we’re now down to the last male acting category for this year’s Emmy analysis special here at Tit for Tat. After Jeff Daniels’ out of nowhere win last year, this is surely a contended race and definitely one of the nail-biters come Emmy ceremony. Let’s discuss Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Despite winning two Oscars and a few SAGs under his belt, Kevin Spacey still hasn’t won an Emmy (and a Golden Globe for that matter) despite having multiple nominations already. This year, Spacey is nominated once again for House of Cards, and he submitted the season finale “Chapter 26” to the panel. In it, we see Vice President Frank Underwood doing some saving after his allies find out his backstabbing plans. He then turns tables around to fix it which led to a chilling ending for his character. This is really a great arc for Spacey and he was given a lot to do with it making him feel empowered, defeated, vindicated all in one episode. He talks to the camera, he does a narration, he connives, and he is vile in it. I really am surprised that he hasn’t won any award for this role so far, but with lesser competition next year, maybe that’s when he’ll start to actually dominate the race.

Now going to his seventh nomination with no wins still, Jon Hamm has become one of the perennial losers in this category even surpassing Hugh Laurie and Michael C. Hall already. While it seems like the Academy doesn’t like the acting on Mad Men, it also didn’t help that he submitted “The Stretegy” which wasn’t his strongest episode this season. As opposed to the previous episodes, voters get to sympathize with Don Draper this time upon realizing that his marriage is falling apart and has to convince Peggy that he’s helping and not sabotaging her. But really, it’s all moot. Maybe he can take advantage of the empty crowd next year with the show’s final season in play.

People surely underestimated him last year and at the nominations last month, but it seems like Jeff Daniels is here to stay…for this year at least. Refuting to be a one hit wonder, Daniels picks up a consecutive nod to regain his title and had “Election Night Part 2″ to help him achieve that. In this episode, we see a more personal story from Will as he tackles his relationship with MacKenzie ending with a proposal. While this is not at the same level of the speech he gave in his winning episode last year, I think he has stronger competition this year to do a repeat of his win.

In one of the best episodes submitted ever in this category. Bryan Cranston in “Ozymandias” is certainly the best tape he has submitted in this category including all his three winning tapes here before. He is on fire for the whole episode here with a nod to his earlier Walt at the start of the episode up until that confrontation with Anna Gunn in the end. There’s no denying that this is a powerful tape and one that can easily win again since his last victory four years ago. If only he had weaker competition, I’d be very easy to say this will be an easy one for the books but then comes…

True Detective. Both the leads of the show got nominated here and let’s start with Emmy winner Woody Harrelson. Woody was wise to submit “The Locked Room” which had him dealing with his family’s reaction to his work. Due to his covering of the case, he has forgotten about his family which ended with him breaking down when confronted by his wife. There’s also a scene with his mistress near the end where he demands that she sees no other man aside from him. As for his co-star’s tape, he benefits from it since it’s the finale episode of the series.

Lastly, coming off from an Oscar win last March, Matthew McConaughey is now on the hunt for the Emmy as well as the other actor of True Detective. While his submissions is arguable to most people (majority felt he should have went with “The Secret  Fate of All Life” or Who Goes There“), his submission of the series finale “Form and Void” isn’t really something to be ashamed off. In it, they’ve finally put the pieces of the puzzle together which ended with a creepy chasing scene at the maze. In the final scene, McConaughey delivers a really strong monologue which can seal the high rankings from the panel. He also benefits from Harrelson’s tape, as it showcased a different side of Rust so that’s two tapes from him.

I guess it all boils down to Bryan Cranston and Matthew McConaughey. Cranston submitted his consensus tour de force tape while others are meh on McConaughey. But then again, he has two tapes which shows his range, and it’s the last two they’ll be seeing when they watch the Lead Actor reel (since episodes are arranged on the tape alphabetically of the show’s name). When you have two great tapes competing, that’s when the outside factors in, and I think McConaughey is ahead of that. He’s basically Hollywood’s “go to” guy now after his career turnaround the past few years. While Cranston aims to tie the record of Dennis Franz in this category with four wins, this is their only chance to reward McConaughey for this performance. If ever there’s someone who’ll be tying Dennis Franz though, it’ll be Bryan Cranston, but I think this is the case where Cranston’s three previous Emmy wins hurt his chances when pitted against showbiz’ poster actor in a one time performance.

Prediction: Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
Alternate: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad

Full Rankings:
01. Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
02. Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
03. Kevin Spacey, ‘House of Cards
04. Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
05. Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom
06. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Comedy Lead Actress

Hi there! We now approach the last comedy acting category for this year, as we save the best ladies for last. Today, I’ll be sharing my thoughts with regards to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ Emmy. Is she really a sure thing? Can Amy Poehler follow her Globe win with an Emmy? Is Taylor Schilling the next Orange acting Emmy winner? Or will Melisa McCarthy snoop it out of nowhere like in 2011?

I guess let’s begin with 5x nominee here and still Emmy empty Amy Poehler. For this year, she submitted “Recall Vote” where in everyone was shocked to see that Leslie will lose by a landslide. This caused much stress to her and led her to get drunk with Ben instead and consider of getting a couple tattoo with him. Through the help of best friend Ann, Leslie gets up to her senses and made the most out of her remaining 30 days in position. This is a good submission by Poehler seeing the contrast of fun and wacky Leslie to the responsible and ideal one. However, the bias against Greg Daniel shows’ lead characters (filed under Carell, Steve) is always present. It also doesn’t help that Poehler had literally submitted anything during her previous four bids to no avail. I think the time has passed already to win for this role, at least.

After missing out last year, Melissa McCarthy comes back for her third nomination for Mike and Molly. Her episode “Mind Over Molly” is a classic and traditional competitive Emmy submission as it plays the laughter and the emotion when she dealt with her deceased father over therapy. While her 2011 victory can be credited to her breakout soon to be Oscar nominated role in Bridesmaids, her summer film Tammy panned out this year which doesn’t help her chances. That said, this is really a great episode and she represents the traditional comedy sitcom in this line up that it’s hard to dismiss her.

It was good that Netflix was easy to switch genres even before campaigning (though they flubbed at the Globes) since Taylor Schilling has no chance in hell to win, let alone be nominated in the drama category. In comedy, however, she is really competitive. While I was expecting her to submit the show pilot since it makes sense for her character, she went with the broader comedic episode of The Chickening. While she managed to avoid the darker material of her character, she really wasn’t able to showcase the comedic ones as well. That said, Schilling is one of last season’s breakout stars that if there’s a really sudden surge of love for the show, she’s a fitting representative to be rewarded.

Edie Falco continues her reign of nomination here after her victory in 2010 for Nurse Jackie. Not only is she reaping Emmy nods, but she’s coming back again to be nominated at the Globes and SAG as well. As for this year, she went with “Super Greens” which has Jackie mixing her personal and work life as a mother, worker, friend, and wife in it. It’s a serious episode which had Falco resort again to her meds and see her sponsor again. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s front and center in her episode, though  this is more dramatic than her winning one four years ago.

Like her on-screen partner Adam Driver, Lena Dunham had a better tape this year with “Role-play” but decided to go somewhere else and submitted “Beach House” instead. I call this the Tina Fey syndrome. in 2007, Fey had a competitive tape via The C Word but went with her written episode Up All Night. Alas, it led to America Ferrera winning the Emmy. Lena is one of the three writers of Beach House, and to her credit, it’s probably up there in the best episodes the show has produced. However, it’s too much of an ensemble work and doesn’t give her plenty of moments to shine. I guess she’s counting on the overall strength of the episode to get her high rankings from the panel, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to take home the trophy.

But then again, most of these talks are moot since it’s Julia Louis Dreyfus’ world, and we’re all just living in it (and deservedly so). For her role as Vice President Selina Meyer in Veep, not only does Julia and her team know how to play the game, they’re even running the game at this point. Her submitted episode, Crate, showed a gamut of emotions when news is delivered to Selina about her presidency dreams. This happens after she was already down and lashed out to her team for being ineffective. It also doesn’t hurt that Veep is now in an upward trajectory at the Emmys garnering a writing nomination and a fourth acting one for the acting team. Julia’s domination the past few years is on an all level high, and this will definitely be one of the easier calls of the night.

At this point, I don’t know if “people sick of Julia” is existent. I mean Helen Hunt won 4 consecutive times and Candice Bergen won five times in a seven year span. Besides, after 12 different winners for 12 different years from 2001-2012, we’re bound for some repeat wins again here….at least for this year. What’s probably the most exciting thing about this more than the race is what Julia’s speech will be like this year. I mean the expectations are high after the speech mishap in 2012 and bringing Tony Hale with her last year no?

Prediction: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep
Alternate: 
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly

Full Rankings:
01. Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep
02. Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly
03. Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black
04. Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation
05. Lena Dunham, “Girls
06. Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie

Check 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 Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Comedy Lead Actor

And we’re off to the last week of our Emmy analysis coverage here at Tit for Tat. With only six remaining categories left, let’s begin analyzing the lead acting races this week and start with the comedic actors to figure out if Jim Parsons can tie that record of most number of wins in this category, or if Louis C.K can add an acting Emmy to his mantle, if Shameless‘ switch to comedy genre is fruitful, and if Matt LeBlanc be the third Friend to be an Emmy winner.

Now on his third consecutive nomination, Don Cheadle still is aiming for his first career Emmy win. This year, for House of Lies, he opted with the season opener entitled “Wreckage“, his character dealt with his company decision and his confusing romance with co-worker Jeannie. There’s a scene in the middle of the episode where he talks directly to the audience while everything else is frozen. They also touched some relationship issues between him and his son. personally speaking, I’ve don’t dig House of Lies‘ humor, but I don’t think even that will affect when I say I don’t think Cheadle is winning.

After four seasons, 2x Emmy winner William H. Macy manages to get his first ever acting nomination for Shameless, thanks to their shift from the drama to the comedy category. However, it could not have come to a more awkward season since this was the show’s most dramatic season by far. In his submission “Lazarus“, Frank adjusts from the aftermath of his liver transplant surgery. While both his daughter and his new wife battle over custody, his son takes him out to Chicago where he gave him a bottle of whiskey after learning he can’t drink anymore. This is the most dramatic episode of the bunch and a stand out literally among all these comedic fares. He also has a monologue at the end, though prior to that, there’s nothing much worthy to see in his hour-long episode.

For his fourth nod in a row, Louis C.K has submitted “Model” which is a different approach from his usual submissions. This is arguably his funniest submission by far. The first half of the episode had him doing a flop opening for Jerry Seinfeld in a charity event. While his jokes aren’t really funny, it provides the opposite effect to the viewers who find the unfortunate moment hilarious. The latter part of the episode is the more humorous one when he leaves with a model and they had the unfortunate sex incident of him accidentally punching her. While this is a competitive submission from Louis C.K, there is still an existing bias regarding the type of this comedy in this category as proven by the no Emmy acting wins for Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, and I don’t think this will change any time soon.

Since that upset win he did in 2007, Ricky Gervais is back to provide he’s no fluke, as he’s now nominated for the Netflix show Derek. He submitted the second season finale where in he tries to learn how to ride a bicycle, goes on a date, and deals with his father’s condition. In it, Gervais displays the perfect Emmy winning recipe of having range, impact, laughs, screentime, and empathy. The only con I can see his way is that if voters aren’t really digging his character or if they find the acting really off in it. That said, there’s a real possibility that he’d go 2/2 in this category this year.

At this point, 3x Emmy champ Jim Parsons probably knows that his ticket to an Emmy is by Sheldon getting drunk as proven by his two Emmy winning Emmy submissions. Does it really come in threes? Well in his episode “The Relationship Diremption“, Sheldon deals with some sort of a life crisis and attempts to change some perspectives in it unintentionally including getting drunk with Penny. We then see the after effects of such with all the crazy things he has done the night before. This follows the same prototype of his winning submissions, so it isn’t much of a stretch to say that he can be rewarded again for it.

And lastly we have Matt Leblanc in his third nomination for Episodes. In Episode 306, we witness Matt (playing himself the actor) ranting about the British invasion in Hollywood after losing a coveted role to one. This follows to him seeing a young hot girl on set and had a sexual intercourse with her only to find out who that girl was. The bit about the British invasion hits too close to home that I can see it garnering him some votes. It also helps him that there’s a Friends reference in the middle of the episode where he mentions his famous catchphrase “How you doin?” Leblanc has been nominated six times in this category now (three each for Friends and Episodes) and if voters are in a rewarding mood, then he might just luck this year.

I’ve always had a spotty record here the past few years. The one time that I predicted Jim Parsons was the year he lost to Jon Cryer. The three times that he did though, I predicted Larry David, Steve Carell, and Alec Baldwin respectively. So I highly advise you do the opposite this time around. But then again, we’re talking about a historic tying an Emmy record fourth win here, and with Big Bang Theory still having three seasons left of it, are they really rushing to give Parsons a fourth one? I’m inclined to think no; thus, I’m going with Ricky Gervais. He managed to pull off the upset in 2007, I’d say with his tape this year, he can achieve the same feat. If not him, then this somewhat weak of a category can be ripe for a Matt LeBlanc overdue upset.

Prediction: Ricky Gervais, “Derek
Alternate: Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes

Full Rankings:
01. Ricky Gervais, “Derek
02. Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes
03. Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory
04. Louis C.K, “Louie
05. William H. Macy, “Shameless
06. Don Cheadle, “House of Lies

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

 

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Directing in a Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

As we lead to the final six days of our Emmy analysis coverage here, we move on to the two Directing categories for this year.

Emmy Comedy Directing

For the comedy category Silicon Valley went with the pilot of the show which is always the safe bet for some sort of a recognition. That was obvious this year as it lead them to a nomination, but with almost no buzz for it, I think the nomination is the reward this time. Louis C.K continues his streak of nominations as well, and this year he chose the finale of his six part Elevator episode. I can see this being some sort of a dark horse in this category given that his direction was a standout here. I think we just have to accept from hereon that Glee will get a mention here (though we only have one season left!). To be fair, this wasn’t as random as last year since it’s one of their two event episodes of the season (the other being The Quarterback) and had Paris Barclay at the helm so this should have been given already. Episodes is the first episode that voters will check in its reel, and with this surprise nomination, I think it’s really well deserved. There’s a lot of obvious direction at play in this episode and while I don’t think it’ll win, it can be one who’ll find itself in the middle rankings a lot. I see this race as a two woman race (hurray!). On the left corner, we have current champ Gail Mancuso in Modern Family’s Las Vegas which is the most “obvious” showcase of direction here. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the season’s best episode with the direction at the forefront. It’s some sort of a homage to the classic Frasier episode The Ski Trip. But then we also have Jodie friggin Foster for Orange is the New Black’s most emotional episode of its pilot season. I mean I could already really stop with the name recognition as I think it’ll be in play here; thus I’m going with it. But really, don’t be surprised if Modern Family wins its fourth consecutive direction nod since it’ll be more deserved than its last two wins in this category.

Prediction: Orange is the New Black, “Lesbian Request Denied
Alternate: Modern Family, “Las Vegas

Full Rankings:
01. Orange is the New Black, “Lesbian Request Denied
02. Modern Family, “Las Vegas
03. Louie, “Elevator Part 6
04. Silicon Valley, “Minimum Viable Product
05. Episodes, “Episode Nine
06. Glee, “100

Emmy Drama Directing

As for the drama side, let’s begin with Downton Abbey‘s season almost two hour season opener. In the tradition of its usual one episode for season submission, the show really knows what episode it has to submit, and that’s the reason why it’s on its third nomination in this category. Sadly for them, I think they’ll have the same fate as their last two tries. Meanwhile, Boardwalk Empire continues its hold in this category by getting its fifth nomination here in a span of four seasons. This year, they’ve submitted the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. Remember when the show pulled off that upset two years ago? While I don’t see them repeating that this year, it’s really unwise to discount the show’s chances overall. Chapter 14 of House of Cards is nominated for both its writing and directing which is quite of a surprise, but between the two, directing is where its more obvious since that talked about scene in the episode is as showy as one can get. After all, they are the current champ in this category so there’s that in play. After two years of snubbing here, Game of Thrones finally gets its second directing nod for The Watchers on the Wall. While there is no denying of the show’s directorial achievement, its last two years of snubs quite indicate that they really aren’t over the moon about the show’s direction, and I think that affects its chances. And like in writing, I guess this will be between Breaking Bad and True Detective. The former is hoping for its first win here after five chances with their finale helmed by the show creator and 2x nominee in this category, Vince Gilligan. However, True Detective has the most talked about shot this year with its seven minute long tracking shot at the end of the episode. I don’t know if we can call this a lock, but I’d say that’s more than enough to declare Cary Fukunaga the victor here.

Prediction: True Detective, “Who Goes There
Alternate: Breaking Bad, “Felina

Full Rankings:
01. True Detective, “Who Goes There
02. Breaking Bad, “Felina
03. Boardwalk Empire, “Farewell Daddy Blues
04. Game of Thrones, “The Watchers on the Wall
05. House of Cards, “Chapter 14
06. Downton Abbey, “Episode One

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Writing in a Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

After the supporting categories the past week and before we move on to the lead acting next week, let’s take a break in between and cover both the writing and directing categories. First up, the pen owners a.k.a the writers get the spotlight today as we tackle the two major writing categories. 

Emmy Comedy Writing

Louis CK was the frontrunner in this category for a long time now, but it seemed like So Did the Fat Lady lost quite its buzz after Sarah Baker’s exclusion in the Guest Actress category and from Louie’s six episode submission this year. While I don’t think it’s necessarily wise to exclude Louis CK here especially after his win two years ago, he’s no sure thing either. Silicon Valley manages to get in for its season finale with the very witty masturbation joke but I think this type of cool jokes doesn’t end with wins but simply with nominations (see: Community’s nod two years ago). Episodes seem to have its core fans in the writing branch as it’s 3/3 so far getting in here for all its eligible season. Thus, I won’t be surprised if they suddenly give it a win. But then again, maybe it’s just a show they love to nominate and not give wins with. After submitting a lot this year, predicting Veep for either writing or directing seemed unwise, but the fact that they manage to nab one here indicates a really strong support for the show. Lastly, pilots are like instant Emmy baits for writers, and Orange is the New Black’s lauded series opener is very much a spoiler here. If they really love the show, I won’t be shocked if this gets carried to a win as well But for now, I’m leaning on the hip semi-Emmy favorite who’s on an onward trajectory with Emmy love so I’m going with Veep’s “Special Relationship to win.

Prediction: Veep, “Special Relationship
Alternate: Orange is the New Black, “I Wasn’t Ready

Full Rankings:
01. Veep, “Special Relationship
02. Orange is the New Black, “I Wasn’t Ready
03. Louie, “So Did the Fat Lady
04. Silicon Valley, “Optical Tip-to-Tip Efficiency
05. Episodes, “Episode Five

Emmy Drama Writing

As for their dramatic counterpart, it’s such a surprise to find out that Breaking Bad hasn’t won in this category yet, but they have two contenders here to change their fate. First, they have Ozymandias which is probably the most lauded episode in the show’s history and such a tour de force hour in television. And then, they also have the series finale Felina written by Vince Gilligan. In the same manner that series pilots are very baity to reward, the same can be said for series finales (see: Friday Night Light’s upset win here for its finale in 2011). While it seems more logical that they get rewarded for their direction, Game of Thrones continue to rake in nomination for its writing instead. The season finale The Children is their nominated episode this year; however, if their previous event episodes the past season like Baelor and The Rains of Castamere wasn’t able to factor in, I don’t think it will be any different this year. True Detective only is eligible for one episode this year, but they managed to submit their best written episode, and if voters don’t really like to reward Breaking Bad here, I think this is the show that will benefit from that the most. To complete the nominees, we have the season opener of House of Cards which contained a big shocker in the middle of the episode. In the end, I think we’re bound to see a Breaking Bad writing win in play, so it’s between its two nominated episodes already. While Ozymandias is the more popular choice among the internet community, I don’t think they can resist the chance of awarding showrunner Vince Gilligan an Emmy here, so I say Felina wins in the end.

Prediction: Breaking Bad, “Felina
Alternate: Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias

Full Rankings:
01. Breaking Bad, “Felina
02. Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias
03. True Detective, “The Secret Fate of All Life
04. House of Cards, “Chapter 14
05. Game of Thrones, “The Children

Check my other 2014 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 Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series   1 comment

Emmy Drama Supp Actor

After assessing the races for both supporting actress in a drama and comedy series, we now move on to the guys and predict one of this year’s toughest acting categories. This year, once again, is no exception as there is no sure contender to win this one. Let’s now go over their chances one by one.

Despite the Homeland shutout, Mandy Patinkin manages to stay for another season of a nomination. This year, he submitted “Gerontion”, it showed two sides of Saul: the first one as the fierce competent team player of the CIA and the other as a devoted husband to his wife. Patinkin’s tape, while totally not a showstopper, is really good, but in a competitive race like this, tape alone won’t bring you any close to a win. After all, it seems like he’s not much of an Emmy darling lately missing a nod for the show’s first season and losing last year when he’s a frontrunner. This year, I think his nomination is his reward.

Doing a comeback after his first and only nod three years ago, Josh Charles final season on The Good Wife is one of the most buzzed characters of the past TV season. That said, he avoided that storyline altogether and submitted what is considered as the best episode the show has ever done. In Hitting the Fan, Will discovered that Alicia and Cary are starting their own firm and taking away some of their big clients which caused ruckus in the whole office. While most episodes usually end up with something shocking in their submissions, Charles does the opposite by starting it with one. Literally, the first dozen minutes or so of the episode is a highlight for him, and I think this will appeal well to the voters.

Downton Abbey continues to show its strength to its voters via Jim Carter‘s third consecutive nomination. And while the last two years haven’t been really competitive for him, this year marked his first real great submission via Episode 1 of the fourth season. In this almost two hour episode, we see him deal with a significant person from his past, his former song-and dance partner Mr. Grick, whom he had a falling out with. And in true old movie film fashion, the reason for such was a love triangle. Of course, things were patched up in the end via an emotional trains station meet up. I’m inclined to think that in a weaker year, Carter would have stood a chance of even winning for this stuff. Unfortunately for him, this is one of the most competitive ones in recent years, and while I don’t dismiss his chances altogether, he’s lurking on the outside in terms of Emmy talk.

Winning the Golden Globe earlier this year is Ray Donovan‘s Jon Voight. With the chance of him earning his first Emmy, he submits Fite Nite which had him in most of the episode in cuffs. This is an intense episode where both he and guest star Rossana Arquette were tied and a hitman deciding their fate. This ends up with a death of a character and the revelations before that mentioned death, and Voight goes on a gamut of emotions in it. There’s also a certain level of physicality in lay as he’s being tied in the most crucial scenes of the episode. While Ray Donovan clearly wasn’t embraced by Emmys, his status as a Hollywood veteran might make up for that.

2011 champ Peter Dinklage aims to win his second Emmy for his role as Tyrion Lannister after winning for the show’s first season. In one of the most acclaimed episodes of the season, he chose the to submit The Laws of God and Men which had his trial after being accused as responsible for the death of King Joffrey in the prior episode. Nothing says Emmy bait like a trial, and here, Dinklage was indeed exceptional. He goes on a speech before the episode ends especially after his lover was used as a witness against him. That said, his first appearance comes within the last 20 minutes of the episode and that’s too much for voters with short patience.

Lastly, aiming to be the most rewarded actor in the history of this category, Aaron Paul is in hunt for a historic third win here for Breaking Bad. And he’s surely in the hunt again with his episode submission Confessions. After being grilled by hank about his involvement in all the drug trafficking in their place, Saul bailed him and gave him a new identity. But this did not sit well with him, as he ran amok and attacked him before going to Walt’s house. Talk about intense, the last 10 minutes of the episode is acting with a capital A for Aaron who’s loud and showy acting is really present. This can go well or not with the voters, and while no other actor has won twice before, it was Paul who managed to defeat the no repeat winner record in this category for 15 years. So if there’s one who can break another record, it’s probably him.

Like what I said, this is really a difficult category as a lot of these actors make sense and all of them would have been frontrunners or automatic winners in any other year. While I won’t be surprised if Dinklage wins, I’m putting him at fourth here. I think his tape is great, but the lack of appearance during half of the tape will affect him. I’m putting Voight at third because it’s a very Emmy thing to reward him in a crowd like this. Plus, the reasons I mentioned above. I think it’s a choice between Charles and Paul and while both of them are on their last possible nominations for their respective roles, 2 Emmy wins for Paul in the past as compared to none for Charles will seal the deal here. Thus, I’m going with Josh Charles for the win.

Prediction: Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
Alternate: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad

Full Rankings:
01. Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
02. Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
03. Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan
04. Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
05. Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
06. Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland

Check 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 Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Comedy Supp Actress

Yesterday, the dramatic supporting actresses took the spotlight in our analysis. It’s now time for their comedic counterparts to shine as we tackle the Emmy for Comedy Supporting Actress. We’re bound to get a new winner this year since current champ Merritt Wever of Nurse Jackie was snubbed for a nomination (alongside Sofia Vergara of Modern Family).

Let’s begin with three time nominee Mayim Bialik. Solidifying her case as THE supporting actress from The Big Bang Theory, Bialik submits The Indecision Amalgamation in which her Amy plays total support to boyfriend Sheldon as he decides which gadget he’ll buy. As opposed to her previous submissions, Bialik doesn’t have a “scene” this year which is probably good for her chances as most pundits usually overrate those and her chances in general. In this episode though, she shares a dinner scene with Parsons where she plays over the top and that can probably get her some votes. She’s also coming fresh from a solo SAG nod and while that did not help Vanessa Williams or Sofia Vergara before, it indicates somewhat of a support for her.

The only previous winner in this category, 2x champ Julie Bowen firmly maintains her hold as one of the three remaining Modern Family cast to be nominated. This year, she has the opportunity to be the third person in history to have 3 Emmys in this category. Her submission, “The Feud“, is probably her weakest though. In it, she discovered that she got lice from her niece Lily, and she deals with its effect while closing a transaction with a developer. While it highlights Bowen’s strength in physical comedy, I don’t think it was able to maximize her acting skills at all. That said, far more surprising things have happened before, so I don’t think she’s necessarily out now.

Now on her second consecutive nomination, Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky submitted Detroit for this year. Opposite to her submissions last year where she plays in total control freak mode, Chlumsky is more subdued in this episode as she was relegated to the funny one liners. This ended with a confession from Selina to her character Amy and one that also touched her physical comedy with her massage scene at the end of the episode. Chlumsky’s weak spot is that Veep has perfected its use of its ensemble that a character like hers really find it hard to totally stand out. But at leas we see some range here and some “clip” material in her episode.

Gunning for a possible 2/2 this year, Allison Janney shows a different dynamic devoid of her subtle acting in Masters of Sex with her nomination for Mom. Playing the hip mother Bonnie, she submitted the episode Estrogen and a Heart Breakfast which dealt with her menopause. Ding ding ding! We have a winner. More often than not, this is an Emmy winning storyline that has given wins to many actresses before. In her episode, Janney was funny, riotous, dynamic, and just goes on a lot of range that is very different from her only Emmy winning role. It’s also a category that loves big flashy characters such as hers so it makes her case stronger. Her main con though is that Mom isn’t necessarily a well received show by the Emmys, and she’s competing with five other actresses who all belong to Series nominated shows.

Following the footsteps of Amy Poehler, Kristin Wiig, and Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon became the fourth cast member of Saturday Night Live to be nominated in the supporting category. While I didn’t think that Emmy would recognize her quickly, winning is an altogether different thing. In her episode hosted by Anna Kendrick, McKinnon actually appeared in a lot of sketches starting with the cold open and a slot with Colin Jost in the Weekend Update. In between, she also sang in the Dongs All Over the World, and this is a good submission per se. However, I’ll probably start to predict an SNL regular for a win once somebody starts to win. I still think they stick out like a sore thumb in the midst of all these other shows and that doesn’t work well in their favor.

And to complete it, we have veteran actress Kate Mulgrew receiving her first Emmy nod for Orange is the New Black. She submitted the episode Tit Punch in which the flashback focused on her character Red, and how she ended up in prison. While it mostly is dramatic, her range was undeniably present in this episode as we watch her character switch back and forth to flashback and present time. It’s also a complete arc for her character, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s in the most nominated comedy this year.

There’s a strong case to make for both Allison Janney and Kate Mulgrew here. It really depends on what the assigned panel will like since both make sense as the likely winner here. Mulgrew is the veteran who is in the more loved show and has the longest screentime among all nominees here. Janney, on the other hand, comes back with a bang and I’m really not buying the spread the wealth thing between her two nods since thoe are two separate panels voting in here and in Drama Guest Actress and the chance of a person voting into both is slim to none. After all, the last person who won two acting Emmys the same year is Janney’s West Wing co-star Stockard Channing a dozen years ago. In the end, I guess I’ll go with Janney here. At times, the writing is already on the wall and that Emmys will just go with it (think of Maggie Smith in 2012 as for starters). Mulgrew is a close second though. The other four are really interchangeable it doesn’t even matter anymore…unless we get a Merritt Wever win again.

Prediction: Allison Janney, “Mom
Alternate: Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Janney, “Mom
02. Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black
03. Anna Chlumsky, “Veep
04. Julie Bowen, “Modern Family
05. Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory
06. Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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