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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

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15 Best Glee Episodes of the Series   Leave a comment

Admit it. At one point in your life, you’ve been a Gleek. You sing their renditions, followed their fashions styles, and though of throwing a slushie at someone else. Winning Emmys, Golden Globes, and even Grammy nominations, pop culture of the last decade has been hugely influenced by Glee, and despite the show’s continuous battle with relevance nowadays, it already has left its mark in pop culture history. And as the show celebrates its 100th episode this week, we revisit and choose 15 series best episodes the show they have produced in a span of five seasons.

(You can click on the title of the musical moments to lead you to the YouTube clip of such. ;))

S01E01

01. PILOT (Season 1, Episode 1)
Directed by: Ryan Murphy
Written by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan

And it all started with this. Back then, it was a gamble for FOX to lay their cards on a weekly musical show. But this story of misfits and loners who were all combined to form a dying glee club seems to strike a chord with the masses. We were then introduced to the individual stories of the original glee club members in this charming pilot episode.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: Don’t Stop Believin” by Rachel, Finn, Mercedes, Kurt, and Tina. In what remains to be the trademark version from the series, the New Directions’ performance of this Journey hit song not only started their glee club experience, but it ended up to a Grammy nomination for the group as well.

s01e05

02. THE RHODES NOT TAKEN (Season 1, Episode 5)
Directed by: John Scott
Written by: Ian Brennan

The show’s first big guest star happened to be Tony winner Kristen Chenoweth playing April Rhodes, a lost with her life, old colleague of Will Schuester.  Chenoweth’s presence added more prestige and fun to this slowly building buzz show, and it’s one of the best reminders when Glee still manages to incorporate their guest stars properly in the show without being so contrived. After all, this role landed her two consecutive Emmy nods for Guest Actress.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: Somebody to Love” by the New Direction. No, it’s not the Justin Bieber song (though they’ve also covered that come the third season). I’m referring to the Queen song that ended this episode. That high note Mercedes hit is a perfect way to end the episode.

S01E09

03. WHEELS (Season 1, Episode 9)
Directed by: Paris Barclay
Written by: Ryan Murphy

Chosen as one of the five best directed episodes of that particular TV comedy year, Wheels is when things started to show some clear signs in the New Direction. While they did use a storyline that sounded really ridiculous (Quick! Everyone will be on wheelchair this episode!), the whole episode was actually memorable and their Proud Mary in wheels is one of their more creative numbers.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Defying Gravity” by Rachel and Kurt. The show can’t hide its love for Wicked anymore. As if it’s not enough that they had both Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel to guest star in the show’s first season, they even did a diva off of this prominent Broadway staple by showcasing a battling Kurt and Rachel. Jury’s still out, but my vote goes to Miss Berry.

S01E13

04. SECTIONALS (Season 1, Episode 13)
Directed by: Brad Falchuk
Written by: Brad Falchuk

It’s a fact widely considered that if Glee did not work out, it was originally intended to be a 13-episode one season miniseries. This would have been the show’s supposed final episode. And though it still suffered from overstaying in the long run, we’re just happy to admit that at least this wasn’t the last we’ve seen from them. Oh, and they’ve won Sectionals so that’s new.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Don’t Rain on My Parade” by Rachel. Count it as her official slash unofficial arrival, Rachel Berry can’t hide the Fanny Brice in her when she opened their Sectionals performance with a solo number of this Babs classic. I actually think it’s the main reason why they won the Sectionals, though as Will Schuester would probably say it “it’s team effort.” Yeah right.

S01E16

05. DREAM ON (Season 1, Episode 16)
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Brad Falchuk

Dream On has been that rare special episode for Glee standards. For one, it was directed by Joss Whedon, so the episode felt quite different. Add the fact that special guest star Neil Patrick Haris dropped off the tux and his Barney Stinson character to play Bryan Ryan, Will Schuester’s alter ego. This was NPH’s only appearance in the show, and I echo the sentiment that he should have seen more than this time.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Dream On” by Bryan Ryan and Will Schuester. Well what would Neil Patrick Harris be for if he won’t end up stealing the whole episode again. Still his only Emmy acting win, this lung tiring, scream belching Aerosmith classic lives up to the title when handled by these two pros.

S02E04

06. DUETS (Season 2, Episode 4)
Directed by: Eric Stoltz
Written by: Ian Brennan

After the airing of their first heavy episode Grilled Cheesus the week before, this was the perfect equalizer when Schuester divided them in pairs to come up with duet collaborations. And sure they did deliver! It was one of the most fun episodes of the show, as it’s on of the rare instances where it wasn’t the Rachel, Finn, and Kurt show. Everyone got their fair share of the spotlight, and that ending with the Lady and the Tramp reference is the cherry on top of this sweet episode.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “River Deep, Mountain High” by Mercedes and Santana. This one is a bit tricky since it’s an episode full of unforgettable numbers. Whether it’s the sugary sweet Lucky by Sam and Quinn, the hilariously intended Sing! by Tina and Mike Chang, or the hilariously unintended With You I’m Born Again by Finchel, this episode delivered musically.  It’s a nail biting choice between Kurt and Rachel’s Happy Days Are Here Again, but in the end I have to go with Santana and Mercedes’ take on this Tina Turner classic.

S02E07

07. THE SUBSTITUTE (Season 2, Episode 7)
Directed by: Ryan Murphy
Written by: Ian Brennan

In probably the most relevant she has been since winning the Oscar way back in 1999, Gwyneth Paltrow’s first major TV appearance definitely started with a bang. Playing the substitute glee club teacher Holly Holiday, she brought out the fun in every member of the New Direction. This ended up with Paltrow winning the Emmy for Guest Actress that season and made her reach halfway of the EGOT territory.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Forget You” by Holly Holiday. It’s not even a debate anymore. Paltrow’s take became the clear and child friendly alternate to Cee-Lo Green’s explicitly titled original. The impact of this performance reached new heights and ended up with a duet between the two at the Grammy stage back in 2011.

S02E12

08. SILLY LOVE SONGS (Season 2, Episode 12)
Directed by: Tate Donovan
Written by: Ian Brennan

Glee has been fond of doing love themed episodes, but none has been sweeter by far than this sophomore season episode. At a stage in the show’s life when it’s starting to meet the critical backlash, this sugary sweet episode was a perfect reminder of how they can still manage to pull it off perfectly. It’s the second episode from the sophomore season that I’ve listed here, and both of them were episodes without Sue Sylvester in it. Probably a clue of what’s wrong with that season?

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Silly Love Songs” by Dalton Warblers. This is one heavy and musicallys tar studded episode as they tackle MJ and Queen. But of course, this ending performance of this Paul McCartney classic just swept us all off our feet.

S02E19

09. RUMOURS (Season 2, Episode 19)
Directed by: Tim Hunter
Written by: Ian Brennan

By this time, the show has already done a lot of tribute episodes. Whether it’s Britney, Madonna, or The Rocky Horror Picture Show, most of them usually ended  up flat or too much. This one though is where they got it right. Of course it does help that it’s Fleetwood Mac that they’re covering, but at least the connection of the music to the episode felt natural. Plus, it’s the debut episode of Brittany’s “Fondue for Two” segment, so there’s that.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Dreams” by April Rhodes and Will Schuester. Sure Chenoweth can be too much to a lot of people, but in this rare instance where her character was stripped off the theatrics, it’s just a match made in heaven.

S03E03

10. ASIAN F (Season 3, Episode 3)
Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Written by: Ian Brennan

Definitely one of the more underrated episodes of the whole series, Asian F deserves more credit than it actually have. By the third season, it’s like the show has been too tired and has been repetitive with their storylines. So when this episode featured a lot of Harry Shum Jr.’s Mike Chang character, it gave a fresh breath of air to the show. Sure we still got the never ending Rachel and Mercedes feud, but who ever gets tired of the diva off? Definitely not me!

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “It’s All Over” by Mercedes, Will, Mike, Finn, Kurt, Santana, Brittany, Quinn, and Tina. The show has done a lot of copycat movie/Broadway performances, but this reprise of the Dreamgirls classic was totally in synch to the struggle of the episode. If only we could have continued it with Mercedes doing And I Am Telling You…

S03E10

11. YES/NO (Season 3, Episode 10)
Directed by: Eric Stoltz
Written by: Brad Falchuk

Okay so it wasn’t one of the msot perfect episodes the show has ever done, but it’s one that is really memorable. For fans of the series, a proposal from Will to Emma has been so overdue, and this was the right time to do so. And it’s surely as grand as one can get. We’ve seen Will walk in water just to pop the question, and all is well again. Whether it’s a sigh of “finally they’re engaged!” or “finally it’s been three season you know!”, at least it progressed the story of the both of them. Also, Helen Mirren plays as Becky’s inner thoughts. Come on, who doesn’t want a Dame to voice out your thoughts?

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “We Found Love” by New Direction. It’s as lavish and grand as one proposal can get. Jumping off the water, some water acrobatics, and walking on it? It’s too much over the top, but it perfectly suits the Glee environment.

S03E22

12. GOODBYE (Season 3, Episode 22)
Directed by: Brad Falchuk
Written by: Brad Falchuk

There are some shows that lives and dies with their characters, but you’d realize that it’s time to say goodbye to them. This is one of those shows. After three seasons, it’s pretty weird that we still have this near 30 somethings play high school students, and though Ryan Murphy isn’t really technically aware of the world reality, this is one concern that the show consistently gets. So finally, we’ve come to the end of most of the original New Direction members.  And of course they won’t go without a bang.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Roots Before Branches by Rachel. By now, we’ve already been used to the show stopping group performances every season finale, but this solo effort by Rachel gave us not only her usual dependable vocals, but also a reminder now that most of the original cast will be gone by next season.

S04E04

13. THE BREAK UP (Season 4, Episode 4)
Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Written by: Ryan Murphy

The fourth season have shown more of the newbies and less of the original cast, so when an episode that mostly focused on the latter happened, it sure makes its way to the best of the show list. This episode, probably one of the saddest the show has ever produced, dealt with the break up of three longest couples on the show: Finchel, Klaine, and Britana. And as the episode progresses, it just went from sad to sadder and saddest. Definitely one of the “prepare your tissues” moments of the show.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Give Your Heart a Break” by Rachel and Brody Weston. Yes, it has The Scientist number in the end, but this stripped down version duet of the Demi Lovato pop hit bu Rachel and Brody just hits the high point in the tears department. While Finn was watching them perform, you already know that a break up is about to happen and as the song progresses, it simultaneously starts to crumble and you realize that the relationship is slowly faltering right in front of your eyes. 

S04E18

14. SHOOTING STAR (Season 4, Episode 18)
Directed by: Bradley Buecker
Written by: Matthew Hodgson

One thing I appreciate the most about earlier Glee is when they incorporate current issues into their weekly story. Like what happened when they dealt with Dave’s homophobia back in the second season. For this particular episode, they took the rampant school shootings angle and featured some of the most intense moments of the show. The end results and the whole episodes weren’t as pleasing as expected, but you gotta give them credit for at least trying. Also, it’s one of the few remaining episodes in the latter seasons where Sue was given something worthy to do.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: “Say” by New Direction. Well as for starters, there weren’t many numbers in this episode, but this closing number easily wins this title.

S05E03

15. THE QUARTERBACK (Season 5, Episode 3)
Directed by: Brad Falchuk
Written by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan

It’s rare that a show suffers from a  different kind of loss — one that does not involve contracts, salaries, or creative differences. When one of the show’s breakout stars Cory Monteith passed away last year, the show gave a proper send off tribute to him. While in the episode, they discussed the loss of Finn and not the actor himself, you know that all the emotions and sadness from the actors weren’t merely acting. It’s such a shame though that Diana Agron wasn’t present in this episode. The episode, starting with Seasons of Love group number, indicates that this will be a heavy episode but more than anything it was a celebration of one’s life. As a matter of fact, I’d speak for a lot of people when I say that they could have ended the show anymore with this since this episode is basically ending it on a high note.

MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENT: Make You Feel My Love” by Rachel. There’s the aforementioned Seasons of Love and there’s Santana’s if I Die Young, but who wasn’t bawling by the time Rachel was already signing this Bob Dylan classic? No one.

There you have it. I’m actually excited for the 100th episode since the original cast will be back and will be re-doing their favorite numbers from the previous seasons. It’s such a bittersweet feeling since they have lost a member of the original cast, but then again,  hope they’ll incorporate Finn somehow in the story. Anyway, how about you? What are your favorite Glee episodes? How about Glee numbers? From those not mentioned above, I have to include Teenage Dream by the Dalton Warblers, the Rumor Has It/Someone Like You mash up, and Mercedes and Rachel’s Take Me or Leave Me as some of my additional favorites. Happy 100th, Gleeks!

Also, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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

supp actress comedy

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Doris Roberts, “Everybody Loves Raymond[CORRECT]
2006:
Jamie Pressly, “My Name is Earl[WRONG]
2007:
Jamie Pressly, “My Name is Earl[CORRECT]
2008:
Vanessa Williams, “Ugly Betty[WRONG]
2009:
Kristin Chenoweth, “Pushing Daisies[CORRECT]
2010:
Jane Lynch, “Glee[CORRECT]
2011:
Jane Lynch, “Glee[WRONG]
2012:
Kathryn Joosten “Desperate Housewives” [WRONG]

After supporting actor in a comedy series, let’s give the moment to the ladies now by tackling their counterparts: comedy’s supporting actresses. This year, we have a boatload of nominees here, as this category expanded to seven. And despite that, Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter still find herself with no nomination for the show’s fourth season. Poor Lucille.

Anyway, let’s begin with the cable ladies. Merritt Wever picked up a consecutive nod for her performance in Nurse Jackie. Truth be told, this late surge of love for her is something that I did not see coming at all. If anything, this would have made more sense during the show’s first season when the show was nominated for the top award. In her episode Teachable Moments, she wasn’t given much to do, and while she has the occasional snarks here and there, she’s relegated to a weak and unmemorable storyline.

Over at HBO, Anna Chlumsky is another of those who received a surprising nod. With the entire false buzz regarding her back and forth change of submission, it’s nice to see her stick with First Response. In this episode, she gets crazier than usual, as she refuses to let loose when Veep Meyer was in for an interview by Alison Janney’s character. However, this episode appeals more to those actual fans of the show.

Then we have a series of returning kids. Not only that, but they share the same first name as well. First, you have Jane Krakowski who submitted the hour long submission. While this gave her double screentime, it doesn’t put her to much advantage as compared to the Modern Family women who have, unintentionally, two submissions each. To be fair though, her song at the end of her long episode is one that will certainly bring votes her way.

After a year of snub, 2010 winner Jane Lynch is also back in contention. Sadly for her, she has been relegated to near guest-star status in terms of exposure in the show this season. In her episode Feuds though, we get to see her channel her inner Nicki Minaj with her Starship numbers with complete costume, wigs, and shiny lights to boot. Aside from that though, there’s nothing left for her submission to think that it runs for 42 minutes. Not her fault though.

Sofia Vergara has a reputation of a bad Emmy submitter. It all started when she submitted Not In My House in 2010, and it even solidified when she followed it with Slow Down Your Neighbors the following year. To her credit though, she made stronger choices since then such as her Tableau Vivant last year, and this year’s Yard Sale. In this episode, she gets to show some flashback about her beauty pageant years and perform puppetry at the end of her episode. Her only battle though is that the Emmys love her co-star better, so she can play second fiddle to her again.

Speaking of co-star, Julie Bowen is aiming for a three-peat this year. After submitting My Hero, it’s pretty clear that her team already mastered the art of finding what Emmy voters find in her character. In this episode, she has the heart and the laughs. And she is (unintentionally) helped once again by co-star Vergara’s tape. While I wouldn’t hate Julie Bowen just because she’s the one who keeps on winning here, she can be the Brad Garrett to Sofia Vergara’s Peter Boyle.

Lastly, there’s The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik. After being open last year that it was not her choice for a submission and that the networks opted for her, it seemed more in-synch with her this year, as she gets to pretend that she’s sick in her submission The Fish Guts Displacement. This episode is a showcase for her, though I don’t think it’s as strong as it perceived to be. She might benefit from having majority of her scenes interacting with Jim Parsons though, and she does a lot of physical comedy here.

As for who’s gonna win here, while I don’t think it’s out of the realm to see Sofia Vergara or Mayim Bialik pull a win here, it ultimately boils down to Julie Bowen for a three-peat or Jane Krakowski as the show’s farewell acting win ala Megan Mullally in 2006. For the meantime, I don’t see a slowdown of MF domination in the supporting categories, so I’ll be predicting Julie Bowen instead.

Prediction: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family
Runner-Up: Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock

Full Rankings:
1. Julie Bowen, “Modern Family
2. Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock
3. Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family
4.Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
5. Anna Chlumsky, “Veep
6. Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie
7. Jane Lynch, “Glee

To see other Emmy predictions, you can see them here.

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

 

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Writing and Directing in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

comedy writing

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Desperate Housewives, “Pilot[WRONG]
2006:
Arrested Development, “Development Arrested[WRONG]
2007:
The Office, “Gay Witch Hunt[CORRECT]
2008:
30 Rock, “Cooter[CORRECT]
2009:
30 Rock, “Reunion[CORRECT]
2010:
Modern Family, “Pilot[CORRECT]
2011:
Modern Family, “Caught in the Act[CORRECT]
2012:
Girls, “Pilot” [WRONG]

After the guest acting categories, let’s move on to the two vital categories outside of acting: writing and directing.  For this year, only one episode managed to pick up both writing and directing nominations, which probably speaks on how much the writers and directors branch avoid lazy voting among episodes. Let’s first discuss the writing one.

30 Rock has two nominations in this category, apiece for their hour long finale episode. While both Hogcock! And Last Lunch complement each other effectively, one stands out far better when viewed as a single episode than the other. And I think that’s were last Lunch has its advantage.

After some misses here, The Office gets a farewell nod for its final episode. The writers have shown lots of love for the show with a win in 2007 and even a last nod for 2011’s Goodbye Michael. The finale is the longest episode from this bunch and that can work in its favor; however, with two finale episodes here (technically, there are three), sentimentality might not work on its side.

For some reason, the writers branch really like Episodes as it always find its way in the Writing branch. So far, it’s 2/2 when it comes to nominations, but like the last time, the nomination is the show’s reward.

Lastly, there’s last year’s winner Louis CK. He submitted a far much stronger episode this year as compared to his winning one, so that gives him better odds. Louie is one of only two comedy shows nominated this year for writing and directing. It’s definitely competitive for the win.

I can see it going on two separate ways: 30 Rock winning for their finale episode or Louie winning for the second year in a row. But since Louis CK has many other categories to contend it, while Tina Fey does have a far stiffer competition in Lead Actress, I’d go with Tina getting her final Emmy for 30 Rock in this category instead.

Prediction: 30 Rock, “Last Lunch
Runner-Up: Louie, “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 1

Full Rankings:
1. 30 Rock, “Last Lunch
2. Louie, “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 1
3. The Office, “Finale
4. 30 Rock, “Hogcock!
5. Episodes, “Episode 209” 

comedy directing

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Desperate Housewives, “Pilot[CORRECT]
2006:
My Name is Earl, “Pilot[CORRECT]
2007:
Ugly Betty, “Pilot[CORRECT]
2008:
Pushing Daisies, “Pie-lette[CORRECT]
2009:
30 Rock, “Reunion[WRONG]
2010:
Glee, “Pilot[CORRECT]
2011:
Modern Family, “Halloween[CORRECT]
2012:
Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Palestinian Chicken” [WRONG]

Now as for the directing category, one of their favorites in this category is to reward shows for their pilot episodes. But since there’s no pilot in contention this year, let’s see how the category is stacked up. First, you have the finale of 30 Rock. While the two episodes are competing against each other in the writing category, they are combined here in the directing one. Beth McCarthy Miller is still emptyhanded here for all of her previous directed episodes, and this is her last shot to win something for the show.

At the beginning, it’s surprising how Glee suddenly ends up with a directing nod after almost two seasons of snubs from the Emmys altogether. With that said, one needs to know that the reason why Diva is nominated is that its director, Paris Barclay, is DGA’s newly anointed president. If anything, this is just a token for their branch’s new president.

For the fourth year now, a Modern Family episode is nominated in this category. For this year, Arrested is their only nominated episode here which involves Haley Dunphy being arrested at her college for her underage drinking. After winning two consecutive years now, they can easily add another to continue their streak.

Lena Dunham might have been snubbed for her writing duties this season, but her directing duties were surely noticed. For this year, her nominated episode is also one of the more critically lauded ones. In On All Fours, we see a pressured Hannah being visited by her OCD tendencies again. If people are eager to reward her this year, this can be one of the stronger venues to do so.

Lastly, we have 9x nominee Louis CK. It is wise of his team to submit only one episode for directors in contention, and he chose New Year’s Eve which involved Louie’s struggles throughout the holidays. This is their only way to reward him as a director for the show, and that is a double edged sword for him. If voters like the show enough, they’d vote for him regardless. But if not, they might throw their vote elsewhere.

I can see this going into three different scenarios: First, 30 Rock getting an overdue win in this category (after all, they’re still 0 in terms of directing wins). Second, a Louie win to join his writing one last year. But in the end, I’m leaning with the idea that they still will reward Modern Family for the third year. After all, Gail Mancuso still hasn’t won as a director and will likely follow Michael Spiller and Steven Levitan this year.

Prediction: Modern Family, “Arrested
Runner-Up: Louie, “New Year’s Eve

Full Rankings:
1. Modern Family, “Arrested
2. Louie, “New Year’s Eve
3. 30 Rock, “Hogcock!/Last Lunch
4. Girls, “On All Fours”
5. Glee, “Diva

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

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

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

comedy guest actress

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Lupe Ontiveros, “Desperate Housewives[WRONG]
2006:
Blythe Danner, “Will & Grace[WRONG]
2007:
Judith Light, “Ugly Betty[WRONG]
2008:
Carrie Fisher, “30 Rock[WRONG]
2009:
Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live[CORRECT]
2010:
Betty White, “Saturday Night Live[CORRECT]
2011:
Gwyneth Paltrow, “Glee[CORRECT]
2012:
Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live” [WRONG]

And to finally complete the four guest acting categories, let’s go on and tackle the Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Historically, I’ve done really bad in this category unless there’s a frontrunner, and even then, I still sometimes stumble (coughMelissaMcCarthycough). With that said, let’s first give some spots to snubbed performances such as those of Liza Minelli in Arrested Development (what does she have to do to get that late but deserved nod!??), and Parker Posey in Louie. Anyway, let’s begin!

Speaking of Louie, Melissa Leo picks up her second Emmy nod in three years; this time, it’s her comedic turn for Louis CK’s show. In her episode Telling Jokes/Set Up, the aggressive Laurie makes some moves on Louie after being set up by a common friend. Melissa Leo really has some LOL moments in her episodes, and it doesn’t even need much introduction to see the fun in her character. I think she has the most memorable scene among all the tapes in this category. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s an Oscar winner.

Then you have the other Melissa…Melissa McCarthy that is. After her surprising loss for Saturday Night Live last year, her second hosting stint once again gained her a consecutive nod in this category. Truth be told, this wasn’t even comparable to the great pilot hosting stint she had last year, but if Emmys want to play nice and catch up with her, then she’s definitely in the running.

Speaking of SNL, previous perennial Supporting Actress nominee Kristen Wiig hosts the show for the first time after ending her stint as a mainstay on the show. She has the longest episode here, as she appears in all the gags throughout the show. It’s also a different dynamic every time a previous mainstay comes back and host the show. However, as proven many times in the past, Emmys are the least sentimental awards group, and they probably won’t even care for this narrative at all.

Another past SNL mainstay is nominated here, though not necessarily for hosting the show. Molly Shanon picks up a surprise Emmy nod for a somewhat resurgence of love for HBO’s canceled series Enlightened. In her episode The Ghost is Seen, she played the person whom Amy used in order to get their needed files. Shannon comes off as very sympathetic by the end of the episode, and while I won’t be surprised if she somehow wins it, I feel that her odds are relatively small as compared to the other women here.

2007 champ here Elaine Stritch comes back for her last shot for 30 Rock after missing last year here. As a perennial nominee, it’s surprising how she was left off the list last year, but with one win and multiple nods under her belt, it’s one of the easier nods to predict this year. As for her submission My Whole Life is Thunder, let’s just say it puts Coleen Donaghy’s character back to full circle, and this one tugs your heart the most. However, same as Wiig’s case, Emmys are very far from sentimental though let’s see if they give her a free pass for it.

To close this one, we have another perennial nominee: Glee‘s Dot Marie Jones. Jones is on her third consecutive nod this year, and while it amazes me how she still keeps getting nominated, I’m more surprised how voters favor her much. It is wise of her to submit the show’s most buzzed episode Shooting Star, though I don’t think she has any Emmy worthy submission this year, so at least she gave her best shot in it.

There’s a lot of directions this category can actually end up going with. I guess I have to go with Elaine Stritch then. The Emmys usually give farewell wins to shows they really love (Frasier, Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond) and they do it by throwing out acting wins. This can be an easy farewell to both Stritch and 30 Rock the show. If not her, they maybe either one of the Melissas grab the momentum. There are instances when Emmys play catch up so McCarthy might benefit from this, then the movie star in a TV guest stint might be too big to ignore for them and works for Leo. Though with that last part, I’m still adamant with a Louie actor winning for the show and it’s not someone names Louis CK. Stritch then, I guess.

Prediction: Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
Runner-Up: Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live

Full Rankings:
1. Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
2. Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
3. Melissa Leo, Louie
4. Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
5. Molly Shannon, Enlightened
6. Dot Marie Jones, Glee

To check out other Emmy predictions, you can see them here.

Also, you might want to follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

Entertainers of the Year 2012   12 comments

Hey everyone! It’s two days before Christmas, and just eight days before 2012 comes to a halt. With that said, there’s no perfect time than this week to publish year end lists. Just two days ago, I unveiled my picks of the local movie posters of the year. Now this one is a concept that was inspired from Entertainment Weekly’s annual list of Entertainer of the Year. This is usually comprised of anybody in the entertainment industry that made an impact during the past year. Whether it’s from film, TV, fashion, radio and even to anything related to pop culture, as long as I think you made 2012 a memorable one, then you’re in. This is the first time I posted an article about this, though I made a list last year and had Anne Curtis as 2011 Entertainer of the Year.

After careful consideration, here are Tit for Tat’s Entertainers of the Year for 2012:

12. janine tugonon

11. paulo avelino

10. dolphy

09. john lloyd -bea

08. iza calzado

07. jodi sta maria

06. kikay barkada

05. carmina-zoren

04. art acuna

03. janice de belen

02. jessica sanchez

01. nora aunor

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Elizabeth Banks, “30 Rock” (The Return of Avery Jessup)
• Kathy Bates, “Two and a Half Men” (Why We Gave Up Women)
• Margaret Cho, “30 Rock” (The Return of Avery Jessup)
• Dot Marie Jones, “Glee” (Choke)
• Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Melissa McCarthy)
• Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Maya Rudolph)

It’s funny to note how everyone’s supposed frontrunner Ellen Barkin was snubbed for a nomination when she was even predicted to be the winner this year. Anyway, Elizabeth Banks reaped a consecutive nod as Avery Jessup, and I find her submission to be better this year than her baby storyline last year. However, while I’m a fan of her chemistry with Alec Baldwin, I feel that her banters with him can go either way: people appreciating it or people feeling Baldwin owned that scene. Still Emmyless Kathy Bates nabbed two noms this year, and the first one is for her portrayal as the reincarnation of Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and a Half Men. In her submitted episode, she gets to smoke cigar and play the role of Charlie that is reminiscent of the Emmy nominated character. If voters feel that she’s somewhat overdue, I can see them giving her the Emmy in this category. Margaret Cho seems like a very humble character actress who was very elated with her Emmy nomination; however, her material simply does not warrant it. Her total episode screentime reminds me of Ellen Busrtyn’s infamous 2006 nomination. Yes, she gets to play different characters, but even in her submitted episode, it was her co-nominee Banks that stole the show from her. Dot Marie Jones remains to be the sole major Emmy nod for Glee, and her consecutive nod is an assurance that voters really like her character. While her episode tends to be on the dramatic side, she certainly leaves enough impact at the end f her episode, and I won’t be surprised if voters reward her with the trophy. The last two noms are both from Saturnday Night Live; the first one is current Emmy Best Actress Comedy champ Melissa McCarthy. In her submitted episode, she was really memorable especially in the skits that involved tasting a new salad dressing and the one where she keeps on falling the stairs. Those two skits alone can definitely assure her a justified and deserved win, IMO. The other SNL nominated performance belongs to Maya Rudolph who is a past SNL alum. This is the first time she hosted the show, and I’m really happy that she got nominated. The variation of the roles she played from a white trash (with Amy Poehler) to Beyonce to Michelle Obama and Maya Angelou is really memorable, and she blends well with the cast that it’s just pure comic genius that you’re seeing while watching the episode.

In the end, I feel it’s a battle of the Bridesmaids co-stars. At one hand, McCarthy being Emmy champ and the current comedy it girl can reap a second Emmy win, and like what I said, this win is definitely justified if it happens. She also has a bigger chance of winning here than reaping a second Lead Actress Comedy win, so if voters really want to reward her, they might vote for her here. On the other hand, Maya Rudolph also poses as a threat having the longest screentime and most memorable characters played in her episode (her Beyonce skit is Emmy worthy already!). If there happens to be a vote splitting between them, then expect Dot Marie Jones to prevail here with her serious and dramatic episode. But for now, I’m sticking with Maya Rudolph.

Prediction: Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
Dark Horse: Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”

Complete Rankings:
1. Rudolph
2. McCarthy
3. Jones
4. Bates
5. Banks
6. Cho