Archive for the ‘Portlandia’ Tag

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Variety Sketch Series   Leave a comment

variety sketch

The Best Variety Sketch Series is a new category that only started this year to recognize the sketch comedy from the nightly talk shows considering that they’re underrepresented in the usual Variety Series one.

Let’s begin with perennial nominee Saturday Night Live. Given that it’s the show’s 40th anniversary, it’s weird to know that in its 40-year run, it has only won the Variety categories twice (first in 1976 and again in 1993). While they’re not allowed to submit their special three-hour episode (as it’s nominated in the Special Class Program), they went with one of their funniest episodes this season with the Dwayne Johnson episode. The sketches are strong in that episode and even the Weekend Update was great. it’s a wise submission.

Momentum, however, is with current it-girl Amy Schumer for Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer. The submitted episode is the season opener “Last Fucakble Day” which includes a skit with Emmy winners Patricia Arquette, Tina Fey, and Julia Louis Dreyfus. That alone screams Emmy already. Then you also have the “Milk Lemonade” opening music video. It’s great that Inside went with this and not with the equally great 12 Angry Men parody since this episode features the more traditional variety sketch.

Drunk Ladies, on the other hand, went with its season finale “Drunk Ladies.” It also had featured a lot of guest actors (Courteney Cox, Alis Shawkat, Bobby Moynihan), The thing with Drunk Ladies episode is that it went with a special structured format of having one solid theme instead of their usual city-focused format. I wonder if it’ll affect that.

The season opener “Alien Imposters” was Key & Peele‘s submission for this year. The episode featured different skits starting from alien survivors to a Katy Perry themed final sketch which is creepy and hilarious at the same time.

Lastly, Portlandia went with a short film episodic type of submission by going with “The Story of Tom and Candace”, the 80s inspired drama about women power and rivalry over men with Fred Armisen in drag the whole episode. It’s actually a good submission if you don’t subscribe to any of these shows, as it gives a clearer feel of the series.

The race can be singled out between Saturday Night Live and Inside Amy Schumer. I’m a bit taken aback if they’ll easily go with momentum and reward Amy Schumer especially since she’s the hot in thing (plus an Emmy baity submission to boot). But then, I also can see them playing safe and rewarding SNL as it’s the variety institution show in this group and it benefits from name checking. Hmm I keep going back and forth with this one, but for now I think they’ll reward Amy Schumer elsewhere and SNL wins this inaugural Emmy.

PREDICTION: Saturday Night Live (NBC)
ALTERNATE: Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)

Full rankings:
01. “Saturday Night Live
02. “Inside Amy Schumer
03. “Portlandia
04. “Key & Peele
05. “Drunk History

Click here to see the rest of my 2015 Emmy prediction analysis. You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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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

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

Emmy Comedy Guest Actor

You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s coverage of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, and to day we will be completing the quartet of the guest acting categories by tackling Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. This line up contains two past winners, two previous nominees, and two first time nominated performances. Let’s get the ball rollin!

Becoming the third actor from now president Selina Meyer’s entourage to get a nomination, Gary Cole nets himself a first career Emmy nod for his role as Kent Davison on this HBO comedy. In his episode submission Crate, he has the task of delivering the news to Selina that the president is stepping down and she’s taking her place. Cole wasn’t required anything much to do, but he fits well as a team player of this ensemble, and if goodwill is on this character actor’s side, he might have a shot at the trophy.

The first Saturday Night Live host in this category is Louis C.K. who nets his second nod for his second hosting in the show. While it is arguable which between his two hosting episodes is the stronger one, he appeared in many sketches for this one. In his opening wrap, he had this debate of women being better than men and his usual comedic schtick, then he was in the black Jeopardy act as well. and some throwing of the cake in the “wife meets the boss” one. What’s common about his sketches though are that he isn’t the lead in most of them and he’s usually the supporting reaction in most of them which I think hurts his case.

It’s a bit surprising that if you look at it up, Nathan Lane now has the same number of nominations for Modern Family as regulars Eric Stonestreet and Ed O’Neill. But yes, that’s true. For his third bid for the Emmy for this show, he still plays the over the top always in control Pepper Saltzman who’s in-charge of dealing the mishaps in Mitchell and Cam’s wedding. I’m surprised that Lane decided to submit only the part 2 of the season finale as he’s allowed to submit the first part as well. Sure it was Elizabeth Banks who was the scene stealer in that one, but it’s not as if they’re competing in the same category. I think it’s a loss on his part to do submit only the second part and diminishes his chances for the win.

Steve Buscemi‘s nomination here for Portlandia (and the one for Fred Armisen as well) is surprising considering that they usually resort to SNL hosts when recognizing “sketch shows” here. But upon watching his tape Celery, where Buscemi plays the desperate salesman who can’t keep up with his co-salesmen on making the celery a popular crop, I think he’s the dark horse in this category. We don’t know yet how the panel will respond to this tape and show in general, but I think there’s a possibility (albeit small) that he can Kathy Bates his way to a guest acting win too. I don’t think I’ll be predicting him, but I’m just throwing the possibility out there.

After his win in 2012, Jimmy Fallon is back to having another shot for a double win here as he hosts the Christmas episode of SNL. It is the same winning tape he had two years ago, and I think he is present in all skits here that I think he’s definitely the frontrunner (or co-frontrunner for that matter). Fallon showcased the same winning formula he had when he last hosted, and if anything, the only con he’ll have if we assess his tape is that not-submitted Justin Timberlake is in it as much as him, if not even more, since JT is the musical guest here. If that’s not  a problem to the panel, then I can see giving him another Emmy for such.

Or they might just give it to current champ Bob Newhart for his Big Bang Theory performance as Professor Proton. Sure Newhart doesn’t have the “overdue” narrative on his side after finally winning his first Emmy last year for the same performance, but who says Emmy doesn’t need to catch up on him? After all, in his tape The Proton Trasmogrification, Sheldon deals with the loss of Professor Proton so that’s points for empathy as well. And the thing is, it’s not even a dramatic performance at all since Newhart gets to play dress up playing the soul of Arthur while wearing a Star Wars costume, swords and all, in it. The reason why I refer to Fallon as a co-frontrunner because I think Newhart is in the race the same way he is which leads me to…

…predicting that it will be a battle of the repeat champs. 2012 winner Jimmy Fallon vs 2013 winner Bob Newhart. Fallon has the longer screentime on his side and the lots of sketches in it and you can add the fact that he’s one of TV’s it guys of the moment with his nightly show nominated as well (and likely to win that one as well). Then again you have Bob Newhart who is the last tape voters will see in this reel, playing a character who died in his tape and mixes comedy and drama effectively. And as if I have to bring it still (well I guess I do), but TV legend Bob Newhart who only has one Emmy under his name. If the reception to last year’s ceremony when he appeared is telling, then I’d give the tiny edge over to him. But really, both of them make sense.

Prediction: Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory
Alternate: Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live

Full Rankings:
01. Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory
02. Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live
03. Steve Buscemi, “Portlandia
04. Nathan Lane, “Modern Family
05. Louis CK, “Saturday Night Live
06. Gary Cole, “Veep

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

That’s it! I will be pausing my Emmy analysis for a week to make way for my Cinemalaya coverage, so the next batch of predictions (supporting acting categories) will resume on August 11. 🙂

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