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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

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

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

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Directing

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

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

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

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Writing

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

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

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

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Guest Actor

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

Seventh nominee: Andy Samberg, “Saturday Night Live

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

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Guest Actress

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

Seventh nominee: Ellen Burstyn, “Louie

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

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Supp Actor

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

Seventh nominee: Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family

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

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Supp Actress

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

Seventh nominee: Merrett Wever, “Nurse Jackie

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

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: 

Comedy Actor

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

Seventh nominee: Robin Williams, “The Crazy Ones

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

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Actress

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

Seventh nominee: Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project

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

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:

Comedy Series

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

Seventh nominee: Girls (HBO)

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

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

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

15 Best Modern Family Episodes of the Series   3 comments

It was the television season of 2009-2010 when we were first introduced to three different families: the Dunphys with control freak mom Claire and happy go lucky dad Phil, the Pritchetts with sexy and loud Latina Gloria and a much older husband Jay, and gay couple Mitchell and Cameron. Four years later, with four Comedy Series Emmys, stars as household names, and a hundred plus nominations from different TV award giving bodies, Modern Family is definitely one of the landmarks of TV comedy this generation.

And as the show celebrate their 100th episode this week, let’s take a visit down memory lane and check the show’s fifteen best episodes from the first 99 ones:

All photos are courtesy of abc.go.com/shows/modern-family/photos

1.01 Pilot

01. PILOT (Season 1, Episode 1)
Written by: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd
Directed by: Jason Winer

I’m very lenient when it comes to pilot episodes of comedies since it needs a certain amount of time before the show can finally find and settle with the direction of where it wants to go. With that said, Modern Family is off to a good start by coming up with one of the funniest pilot episodes in years. The show gave a clear background of all the characters and introduced us to their world instantly. And of course, who would ever forget the Circle of Life moment which is like one of the best use of the song since…well…uhm… The Lion King?

1.09 Fizbo

02. FIZBO (Season 1, Episode 9)
Written by: Paul Corrigan, Brad Walsh
Directed by: Jason Winer

Eight episodes later, and we had the first birthday of the show when Luke Dunphy had his animal themed birthday. Between Gloria jumping as the men drools over her, Claire trying her best in the bead section of the party, and the introduction of Fizbo the clown a.k.a. one of the most memorable alter egos in the show, it’s definitely one of the show’s strongest episodes.

1.15 My Funky Valentine

03. MY FUNKY VALENTINE (Season 1, Episode 15)
Written by: Jerry Collins
Directed by: Michael Spiller

Valentine episodes are common among comedy series, so it’s hard to come up with a memorable one, but the show’s first take on it is its best one yet. If Cameron has Fizbo, then Phil and Claire has Clive and Julianna as their alter egos. This also addressed the initial observation between Jay and Gloria’s age differences, but in a very comedic manner. Now if only the show’s succeeding Valentine-themed ones were as great as this one…

2.02 The Kiss

04. THE KISS (Season 2, Episode 2)
Written by: Abraham Higginbotham
Directed by: Scott Ellis

As I mentioned above, one of the best things about Modern Family is how they address the issues about the show and the characters in it. During the first season, the show received some flack for not showing any kisses between gay couple Cam and Mitch.  And with this second episode from their sophomore season, they finally managed to answer all back in a very heartfelt manner. Kudos, guys!

2.03 Earthquake

05. EARTHQUAKE (Season 2, Episode 3)
Written by: Paul Corrigan, Brad Walsh
Directed by: Michael Spiller

During its first airing, it was a pretty weird theme as it was up against Glee‘s Grilled Cheesus episode. Both involved religious themed storylines, and we saw both of it in the same week. But this one is probably more consistent, as it showed three different storylines, all funny as they revolve around one incident: the earthquake. If Gloria killing a rat isn’t enough for you, then maybe Phil surviving a cabinet fall while Claire is stuck with the plumber might do the trick.

2.05 Unplugged

06. UNPLUGGED (Season 2, Episode 5)
Written by: Steven Levitan
Directed by: Michael Spiller

Definitely what I consider as my most favorite episode of Modern Family ever, I have probably lost count on how many times I’ve seen this episode. On one hand, you have Cam and Mitch battling it out with a lesbian couple for a shot at an exclusive school. On the other, you have Gloria’s rowdy fight with her neighbor’s dog. And over at the Dunphys, a contest on who can stand away from technology the longest is happening. If Earthquake managed to bring three storylines with one relation, then this one had three separate storylines all working effectively. I still howl like a mad man everytime Gloria mentions that “jar of pickols“.

2.06 Halloween

07. HALLOWEEN (Season 2, Episode 6)
Written by: Jeffrey Richman
Directed by: Michael Spiller

Winner of the Emmy for Best Directing in a Comedy Series, the show’s first Halloween episode is definitely a riot in almost any aspect. You have Mitchell being stuck in the bathroom of his office donning a Spiderman costume, Phil and Claire’s over the top Halloween preparations, and Gloria’s accent issues are the highlight of this episode. As the show went on, Modern Family have become some sort of formulaic wit their treatment of the episodes, but this belongs to the earlier ones where everything is still fresh and clicking.

2.08 Manny Get Your Gun

08. MANNY GET YOUR GUN (Season 2, Episode 8)
Written by: Danny Zuker
Directed by: Michael Spiller

It’s safe to say that one of the show’s secret weapons is its great use of its ensemble. That’s why storylines that involve the whole cast is such a joy to watch. For the show’s second season, it’s Manny’s turn to celebrate his birthday and while this would have been a perfect time for a celebration, the opposite happens to be the case for each of the family’s feuding issues. With that said, how the show managed to still end up on a sweet note is what earns the “aww” after watching this episode.

2.13 Caught in the Act

09. CAUGHT IN THE ACT (Season 2, Episode 13)
Written by: Steven Levitan, Jeffrey Richman
Directed by: Michael Spiller

It is no secret that most of the stories featured in the show were from real life experiences of the writing group. That’s why it’s even funnier when Caught in the Act was shown primarily because of them admitting who are responsible for what stories. It was writer Jeffrey Richman’s own experience on what happened to Cama nd Mitch’s spilling issue, while show creator Steven Levitan is guilty of the Dunphy’s. If you still need more evidence on why this episode is one of the show’s best, one simply has to remember that uncompromising position between Phil and Claire at the start of the episode to prove my point.

3.04 Door to Door

10. DOOR TO DOOR (Season 3, Episode 3)
Written by: Bill Wrubel
Directed by: Chris Koch

Moving on to the show’s third season, this is the first episode that particularly clicked with me. That “door to door” montage of Claire, Jay and Manny, and Cameron and Gloria is one of the best edited scenes of the whole series. This episode shows us the fatherly side of Jay, which is a rarity in the show and with his character. Plus points to that Streetcar Named Desire reference in Gloria and Cam’s story.

3.17 Leap Day

11. LEAP DAY (Season 3, Episode 17)
Written by: Danny Zuker
Directed by: Gail Mancuso

The leap day narrative has been done in at least three shows the week this was aired, but what made this one memorable is that they connected it with a character, as it was revealed that it was Cam’s birthday.  Just the mere fact that Cam is in denial that this is his 40th birthday, as compared to his claim that it’s his 10th one is already a hoot. Then you also have Phil’s wish for this day to be special which is so typical of his character to do, and of Claire to be the thorn in his rose of plans. Gloria and Jay’s was the filler one here, but as expected, they managed to wrap this up in the end with a heart-tugging celebration that involved the whole ensemble.

3.24 Baby on Board

12. BABY ON BOARD (Season 3, Episode 24)
Written by: Anraham Higginbotham
Directed by: Steven Levitan

Modern Family has a habit of screwing up their season finale episodes. In the first season, I would have preferred it if Hawaii was their last episode. In the second one, See You Next Fall made more sense as the season closer. But for the show’s third season, they finally managed to hit it the right way. As the episode began, it seemed like it’s your typical episode with all the comedy already. But it went to be more dramatic as it progresses, and it just ended on that bittersweet moment with Cam and Mitch under the stars. Also, it’s their first time to do a cliff hanger story with Gloria’s revelation.

4.07 Arrested

13. ARRESTED (Season 4, Episode 7)
Written by: Becky Mann, Audrey Sielaff
Directed by: Gail Mancuso

Current winner of the Directing in a Comedy Emmy, Arrested is a perfect throwback to the older Modern Family. At this stage in the show, they have already managed to pair up all possible combination in their ensemble, but it’s still refreshing to see them do it by threes instead. Also, it’s great that they focus some of their major storylines to the kids in the show (particularly Haley in this one, since the kids have already built a fanbase of their own, and has shown multiple times in the past that they are capable to deliver as well) since it’s always the adults who take up the credit in terms of the show’s acting.

4.24 Goodnight Gracie

14. GOODNIGHT GRACIE (Season 4, Episode 24)
Written by: Steven Levitan, Jeffrey Richman
Directed by: Steven Levitan

Now we’re even when it comes to season finales. If the first two finales were underwhelming, the latter two definitely were much better ones. Goodnight Gracie is a very dramatic arc to say the least, we’re attending a funeral after all. But if there’s one show that manages to bring the optimism in cases such as this, it’s definitely this one. It felt like an effective throwback to the first season where in the characters are not playing exaggerated versions of themselves (a habit most sitcoms are guilty of), and the sweetness isn’t totally forced. I also noticed how the spotlight in the series finales isn’t limited to one person only, and Alex giving that speech is a worthy way to end an uneven season.

5.02 First Days

15. FIRST DAYS (Season 5, Episode 2)
Written by: Paul Corrigan, Brad Walsh
Directed by: Steven Levitan

As for the show’s current season, what I particularly love about this episode is that it makes the show feel as if it’s a character in the episode as well. With this one, it’s as if the show is on its first day as well, as it tries out new approach in its storytelling. From the stories in the actual episode, up until the delivery of the “lesson” at the end and the transitions in between stories, this is Modern Family doing a different approach. And I’m sorry but I can’t let my discussion of this episode pass without mentioning that hilarious Gloria and Phil moments as commercial extras.

There you have it! Are you excited for the episode this week? And did you love their new OBB? Don’t forget to watch Modern Family this Wednesday, 9 PM on ABC.

Also, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

 

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

supp actor comedy

PAST PREDICTIONS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If I’m an Emmy Voter…   4 comments

Photo courtesy of emmys.com

Now that I’m done making my predictions for the Emmys tomorrow, I’ll try to fill the shoes of those who were tasked to judge the actual Emmy categories and be in a voter mood just this time. If I happen to vote on all the categories that will be presented tomorrow (plus the four guest acting awards), here’s how my ballot will look like:

DRAMA SERIES: Homeland (Showtime)

Mad Men has four already, and while they indeed had a great season again, I’d rather spread the wealth this year. Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones’s first seasons were better than the second one, I’ll wait for Breaking Bad’s series to end, and I think Homeland just brings the good week in and week out that I don’t see them topping this perfectly balanced first season; thus I’m throwing Homeland my vote.

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”

This is pretty much a non contest. Both Cranston and Lewis deliver Emmy winning performance. The only difference is Cranston was rewarded thrice already, yet Lewis has none. I’m giving Lewis my vote.

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA: Claire Danes, “Homeland”

I’m happy Danes is getting the surge in her career post-Temple Grandin, and that her wonderful acting abilities is put into good use. She might have won just two years ago, but she deserves this quick of a follow up.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”

This was tough. Esposito was the villain of the season and he was actually good in Breaking Bad. This is also the last chance to reward Harris for years of consistent performance, but I can’t resist to vote for Aaron Paul who perfectly compliments Bryan Cranston every single time in Breaking Bad.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA: Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

It’s really a bull that Mad Men is still Emmyless in terms of acting categories. Holloway owned this season like no other, so I’m giving my vote to her. Christine Baranski is a close second, but I’m totally voting for Miss Holloway.

GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”

After watching his episode, he totally gave me Hannibal Lecter creeps. That’s enough to give him my vote.

GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Joan Cusack, “Shameless”

What is she even doing in this category? I think she’s a solid supporting actress in her show. With that said, I’ve loved how she embraced this character perfectly and that tape just rocks on so many level.

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7)

After Homeland’s The Weekend shoutout here, I’m going with Fellowes Oscar-worthy screenplay for the Christmas episode. This is totally the saving grace of an uneven second season.

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Vince Gilligan, “Breaking Bad” (Face Off)

From start to finish, the episode is riveting. Simply riveting.

COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family (ABC)

No Louie and Parks and Recreation on the list. I like both Girls and Veep, but I think they still ahsn’t developed the highest points of their series runs. Big Bang was more of a Big Blah this season. 30 Rock has had its shares of a threepeat here. Curb is a hit or miss for me. Easy vote goes to Modern Family.

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

It’s between Louis CK and Larry David, but the perennial nominee deserves it based on the long pedigree of consistent performance in his show. It’s actually too overdue to happen, but I would’ve voted for him in a heartbeat.

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”

I love you Amy Poehler, and I’m happy you won the Pawnee elections, but the Veep had my vote.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”

By a mile, the only consistent and still refreshing cast member for the third season. He really deserves the Emmy.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: Kristin Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”

Bleh batch of nominees. Where’s Jane Krakowski? She should have been winning this thing. Srsly. With that, I’ll go for our favorite bridesmaid.

GUEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live”

It’s not even a competition. Fallon owned everybody in his category, and I’m ecstatic he actually won.

GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”

I love you Kathy Bates, and I’m happy you can now call yourself an Emmy winner, but the moment Beyonce did Maya Rudolph is already a win worthy in my book. Distant second is Melissa McCarthy’s dress tasting skit.

WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Chris McKennan, “Community” (Remedial Chaos Theory)

I’m still over the moon with this nomination, and this only comes once in a blue moon, so why waste your time to not vote for it. This is the best nomination this whole Emmy season.

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Louis CK, “Louie” (Duckling)

A.K.A a vote for all of his work for the show.

REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM: The Voice (NBC)

I have three favorite reality/competition shows: The Amazing Race, Top Chef, and The Voice. The first two ahve Emmys on their mantle already. It’s time to add a third companion on the list.

REALITY HOST: Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance” 

Only Deeley shows enough personality that sets her apart from being just the “instruction giver.” Other hosts should really take notes.

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (PBS)

I really don’t have any vote here. So anything other than American Mess Story is fine by me.

LEAD ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”

This is the perfect Sherlock performance that’s less mainstream and more convincing. Iron Man, take notes.

LEAD ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”

Say what you want about the quality of the whole TV movie but Kidman stand out front and center in this enriching performance that shows why she’s one of her generation’s top actresses.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Martin Freeman, “Sherlock”

Meh batch of nominees. Don’t think Harris is the stand out at all, and the others aren’t even close. Give O’Hare some props though.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sarah Paulson, “Game Change”

We all know Lange is winning and she deserves it, but Paulson is the real definition of a supporting actress in Game Change. She gets my vote.

How about you? Who will you be voting for if you were an Emmy voter? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

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

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” (Lifetime Supply)
• Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family” (Leap Day)
• Max Greenfield, “New Girl” (Control)
• Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Katy Perry)
• Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family” (Baby on Board)
• Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family” (Treehouse)

Current champ Ty Burrell can easily go for a repeat win in this category, thanks to having a “moment” in all four Modern Family tapes this season. While his episode submission that dealt with him thinking that there’s something wrong with his health is strong itself, it also does not hurt him that over the top characters and scene-stealers are well loved in this category and even rewarded with multiple Emmys (e.g. Everybody Loves Raymond’s Brad Garrett and Entourage’s Jeremy Piven). Jesse Tyler Ferguson benefits from the fact that he is the most consistent if you take a look at the performance of the cast season-wise. In his submitted episode, he deals with his plans to surprise Cam with a birthday celebration with plans ranging from a Wizard of Oz theme to a party in the deck. If voters want to spread the wealth and reward all Modern Family cast first, then I can see Jesse Tyler Ferguson taking home the Emmy this year. First time Emmy nominee Max Greenfield instantly managed to make it to the final Emmy list this year. That is probably why his character Schmidt is also one of the most popular and most loved in the series. It also helps him that his submission gave him screen time, range, and impact when the character of Zooey Deschanel confronted him with his OC condition. His only hindrance from the trophy is that he has to overcome four Modern Family men with four Modern Family tapes. Bill Hader should be proud of the fact that he is the first male regular Saturday Night Live cast member to get nominated in this category since they started competing here in 2008. Also, since cast member Kristen Wiig officially exited the show last season, he’s the only possible nominee from the show to return next year. His surprise nomination (over the likes of Chris Colfer and Nick Offerman) is most likely due to his  famous Stefon skit, and he rightfully submitted an episode that highlighted that. However, I don’t think this will bring him anywhere to the Emmy podium next month. Two time nominee Ed O’Neill seems to suffer from the fact that he had a weak season altogether, so he has lesser options than last year where in I’m pretty sure he came in second. This year, he submitted an episode where in he helped his granddaughter overcome stage fright by dancing with her. While it tugs to the heart, his exposure was so short and he must just rely with the episodes submitted by his co-stars. All in all, I think he just have to sit this year out and wish for better material next year. 2010 winner Eric Stonestreet had a hit or miss season in totality, but he’s lucky that he got a winning tape with his submission. In “Treehouse”, he took a bet that he can manage to get a single woman’s number and convince her that he’s straight. What’s good about this episode is that it puts Cam front and center and far from the usual Cam and Mitch bickering. However, his role is somewhat polarizing and if viewers are mixed on loving and hating it, that won’t necessarily end with a second Emmy for the actor.

It is noteworthy to mention that once a single show receives three or more nominations in a single field, the winner usually comes from that show as proven by Sex and the City in 2004, Desperate Housewives in 2005, Grey’s Anatomy in 2007, and Modern Family the past two years. With that said, I’m expecting that the winner comes from Modern Family again this year. If they choose to spread the wealth, expect Jesse Tyler Ferguson to win. If they go with overdue factor, Ed O’Neill might pull off an upset. If they based it on a single episode, Eric Stonestreet might repeat. But if they take into consideration all factors, then Ty Burrell gets a repeat win. I’m currently betting on that.

Prediction: 
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Dark Horse: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Complete Rankings:
1. Burrell
2. Ferguson
3. Greenfield
4. Stonestreet
5. O’Neill
6. Hader