Tag Archives: Television

Emmy Nomination Thoughts


Actress in a Comedy Series

Laura Linney – The Big C

Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie

Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation

Melissa McCarthy – Mike and Molly

Martha Plimpton – Raising Hope

Tina Fey – 30 Rock

  • Obvious Picks: Fey, Falco, Linney
  • Snubbed: Lea Michele (but I’m not that sad about it, to be honest. She was grating this season on Glee)
  • It’s great to see Poehler nominated for the second year running. I think she could be a darkhorse to win the category.
  • Plimpton is great on Raising Hope, and I’m pleasantly surprised by her nomination
  • I don’t watch Mike and Molly, but McCarthy seems like the biggest surprise in this category. She was hilarious in Bridesmaids, though, so I’m sure she’s deserving.

Actor in a Comedy Series

Matt Le Blanc – Episodes

Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory

Steve Carell – The Office

Johnny Galecki – The Big Bang Theory

Louie C.K. – Louie

Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock

  • Obvious Picks: Baldwin, Carell, Parsons
  • Snubbed: Matthew Morrison, I guess? (Though I was never sure why he got nominated last year)
  • LeBlanc and especially Louie C.K. are slightly surprising since their shows are pretty under-the-radar
  • I like that Galecki finally got some recognition, too.
  • Since it was his last season on The Office and he’s never won, this will probably be Carell’s year. It’s a bit of a weak year for this category, so he doesn’t have a lot of competition.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Jane Lynch – Glee

Betty White – Hot in Cleveland

Julie Bowen – Modern Family

Kristen Wiig – Saturday Night Live

Jane Krakowski – 30 Rock

Sofia Vergara – Modern Family

  • This was a fairly predictable category, but pretty deserving all around (But Hot in Cleveland? Really?)
  • I think this category is actually pretty wide open. Lynch wasn’t featured as much on this season of Glee, and they turned her character into more of a caricature. Plus, the show is obviously losing traction with the Emmy’s. No one else has won before, so it could be anyone. Forced to predict a winner, I’d go with Vergara. (I don’t particularly like her on Modern Family, but other people seem to.)

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

John Cryer – Two and a Half Men

Chris Colfer – Glee

Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Modern Family

Ed O’Neill – Modern Family

Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family

Ty Burrell – Modern Family

  • Obvious Picks: Colfer, Stonestreet, Burrell
  • Snubs: Neil Patrick Harris, Nick Offerman (Whyyyy! He’s so good!)
  • Ugh, I have some beefs with this category. Are we seriously still nominating Two and a Half Men for stuff? Is this some kind of pity nomination for Cryer because he had to work with Charlie Sheen all of these years? He’s funny on the show, but that show is way past its “prime”, and he already has his Emmy.
  • I’m happy to see Ferguson, Stonestreet, and Burrell all get nominated, but I was fine with snubbing O’Neill last year. I really don’t like him on the show.
  • If Burrell, Ferguson, or Colfer win, I will be a very happy camper. They are all fantastic.
  • I’m going to predict Burrell for the win (wishful thinking?), but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Colfer won.

Comedy Series

Glee

Parks and Recreation

The Office

Modern Family

30 Rock

The Big Bang Theory

  • I LOVE that Parks and Recreation got recognized. It was on fire this season.
  • I understand nominating Steve Carell, but The Office totally doesn’t deserve this nomination. I didn’t watch much of it this year, but I was extremely unimpressed from what I did see. It’s been on the decline for a few seasons now, and it hit a new low this year IMO.
  • Community may have been a bit inconsistent this year, but it would have been a way more deserving nomination. I’m not that surprised that it got snubbed, but I’m sure all the fanboys are fuming right now.

Random thoughts on the other nominations (because I am uncultured and don’t watch any fancy drama shows):

  • Big thumbs up to Matt Damon getting nominated for Guest Comedy Actor on 30 Rock. Zach Galifianakis is also deserving for his hosting stint on SNL.
  • Mad Men is definitely deserving of its mountain of nominations. All four nominated actors are great!
  • It’s great to see Friday Night Lights finally get nominated for Best Drama Series (I’m only at the third season, though, so I can’t say whether or not it deserved its nomination this year. But I’m going to guess yes.) Any chance Kyle Chandler and/or Connie Britton can beat out all the Emmy vets and win for their last season?
  • CAT DEELY for Best Reality Host!!! Yay! She was long, long overdue. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (who was a lovely, hilarious judge last night on So You Think You Can Dance) was saying that he hoped she’d be nominated, so I imagine there will be much shoulder-patting on tonight’s show.
  • And speaking of SYTYCD, they picked some great routines in the choreography category. Stacey Tookey’s “Mad World”, Tabitha and Napoleon’s “Outta Your Mind”, and Travis Wall’s “Fix You” were all very memorable.
  • Nice to see Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon in the variety series category (Colbert, too, but that was less surprising)
  • I really enjoy the fact that the “Jack Sparrow” song from SNL is nominated in the Original Music and Lyrics category (as is “I Just Had Sex” and “3-Way”)

My Emmy Wishlist

The Emmy nominees are announced tomorrow, so here’s a list of the eligible shows that I watch, and which nominations I hope they’ll receive. It’s mainly for my own reference, but here goes.

Names marked with an asterisk are the ones who I predict will be nominated.

30 Rock

Outstanding Comedy Series*

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Alec Baldwin*

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Tina Fey*

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Jane Krakowski*

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Matt Damon (“Double-Edged Sword”)*

The Big Bang Theory

Outstanding Comedy Series*

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Jim Parsons*

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Kaley Cuoco

Community

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Joel McHale

Friday Night Lights

Outstanding Drama Series*

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Kyle Chandler*

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Connie Britton*

Glee

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Chris Colfer*

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Jane Lynch*

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Mike O’Malley – Glee (“Furt”)*

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – Dot-Marie Jones (“Never Been Kissed”)*

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – Kristen Chenowith (“Rumours”)*

Mad Men

Outstanding Drama Series*

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Jon Hamm*

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Elizabeth Moss*

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – John Slattery*

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Christina Hendricks* (She really came on strong this season)

Modern Family

Outstanding Comedy Series*

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Ty Burrell* (I love so many of the guys in this very tough category, but Burrell is my choice to win. His physical comedy is unmatched.)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Eric Stonestreet*

Parks and Recreation

Outstanding Comedy Series*

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Amy Poehler*

Outstanding Supporting Actor in Comedy Series – Nick Offerman* (I really, really hope he gets nominated)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Aubrey Plaza

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Will Forte (“Time Capsule”)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Mo Collins (“Harvest Festival”)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Megan Mullally (“Ron and Tammy: Part Two”)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Pamela Reed (“The Bubble”)

Raising Hope

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Garrett Dillahunt

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Martha Plimpton

Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Bill Hader (He’s not going to be nominated because this category is overstuffed, but he would be completely deserving for his “Stefon” character alone)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Kristen Wiig*

Party Down: Season One Review

I just finished the first season of Party Down, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a pretty fantastic show. This kind of offbeat, often crude, sometimes mean-spirited humour would never make it onto network television, so I have to give Starz a lot of credit for allowing a show like this to exist. It’s got really distinct, funny characters, and the humour is so consistently sharp.

For those who don’t know, the show follows the lives of six people who work for a catering company in Hollywood called Party Down. The boss, Ron (Ken Marino), is a reformed party animal with aspirations of owning a “Soup R Crackers” franchise. So when his old friend, Henry (Adam Scott), comes looking for a job after his acting career permanently stalls, Ron hires him on. The other employees include an aspiring comedienne (Lizzy Caplan), a struggling actress (Jane Lynch), a delusional young actor (Ryan Hansen), and a sci-fi writer (Martin Starr). Each episode takes Party Down to a new location, and increasingly ridiculous and irreverent situations ensue.

With the different locations of each episode, it makes each instalment somewhat self-contained. Of course, there are character arcs that develop over the season and running jokes throughout, but it all happens in front of ever-changing backdrops. Since there were only ten episodes in the first season, let’s break the season down one episode at a time (Spoilers ahead, obviously, so if you haven’t watched the season, I don’t recommend reading this).

Episode 1 – Willow Canyon Homeowners Annual Party

The catering crew works a party in a repressive housing subdivision. As in most television pilots, the plot here takes a backseat to introducing the characters. But this pilot did succeed in making me laugh out loud twice (a rare thing). The “helpful gay pirate” exchange between Henry and Casey (Caplan) got me, as did this:

Casey: Thanks, new guy…I totally forgot your name.

Henry: That funny, because people usually remember it.

Casey: Why’s that?

Henry: It’s Scrotum Phillips.

Episode 2 – California College Conservative Union Caucus

While hosting a young republicans convention, Ron learns that Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to appear, and that he is in charge of the gift they plan to give him. Unsurprisingly, things go horribly wrong with said gift. Things got a little bit too manic and over-the-top for my liking in episode two. Ron’s desperate need (and failure) to be perfect is a running theme, but here the series of unfortunate events during the party (ending with the utter desecration of an American flag) seemed a little too crazy for a show that can pull off some truly witty low-key humour.

Episode 3 – Pepper McMasters Singles Seminar

The crew works at a seniors self-help seminar where Constance (Lynch) runs into an old flame (Ed Begley Jr.). It’s not the most memorable episode overall, but the whole subplot of smoking weed in the bathroom was pretty hilarious (“Pot made his foot fall off?”). We also get the beginnings of the Henry/Casey romance in an unexpectedly unromantic way.

Episode 4 – Investors Dinner

This is definitely one of my favourite episodes. While working a party for potential big-wig investors, the crew realises that the host is planning to swindle all of his guests, and Ron. The way that they discover this is really clever, and the resolution is silly without going too over-the-top. I also really like the storyline with Kyle (Hansen), who ditches his newfound friend after seeing him being rude to Constance. The characters on Party Down can be pretty unlikeable, but it’s the little moments like this and the friendships between them that make you care about them in the end.

Episode 5 – Sin Say Shun Awards After Party

This episode relied a bit too heavily on its premise – catering the after party for an adult entertainment awards show. Ron getting caught up in some skeevy porn deal was kind of funny, but I mostly felt bad for him. I think that’s my problem with some of these episodes. Ron is a character who is relentlessly beaten down, and unless he gets some kind of vindication (which he does in some situations), I have trouble finding his humiliation funny.

Episode 6 – Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen

Probably the best episode of the season. There’s a lot going on here, but it all works, somehow. You have J.K. Simmons guest starring as an abrasively foul-mouthed father, Henry’s awkward dancing, Breckin Meyer (I really liked Josie and the Pussycats back in the day, alright?), and even a warm-hearted message about being popular (which, in true Party Down style, gets dashed by the end of the episode). Ron finally finds some friends in pot-smoking rappers, and Henry and Kyle both miss out on acting opportunities, but it all comes together and makes the Party Down crew an even more likeable rag-tag group.

Episode 7 – Brandix Corporate Retreat

It’s trouble in semi-paradise for Henry and Casey thanks to a surprisingly funny Rick Fox playing himself (is it sad that I only know who he is because of Dancing With the Stars?). We finally see Roman’s (Starr’s) crush on Casey reach a boiling point, and he teams up with Henry to get to the bottom of her possible fling with Rick Fox. Her and Henry’s affair is revealed to the rest of the crew, making things awkward between her, Henry, and Roman. It’s not the funniest episode, but it does offer some nice character development.

Episode 8 – Celebrate Rick Sargulesh

The plot here is a bit similar to “Investor’s Dinner”, but it works nicely. The crew discovers that the man whose party they are catering has been acquitted for murder, but suspect that he might have a hit out on one of the other guests. Meanwhile, Constance finds her one and only fan in the possible victim, while Henry tries to avoid ruffling feathers after making out with the murderer’s girlfriend. I really like how Henry and Casey semi-resolve their issues, and all of the storylines work together really nicely.

Episode 9 – James Rolf High School Twentieth Reunion

It turns out that Ron is both catering and attending his high school reunion, which faces him to come to terms with some memories and friends from his past. One friend, Donnie (Joe Lo Truglio, who is hilarious here) also serves as a cautionary tale for Henry, who is thinking about moving back in with his parents. I loved the Casey/Henry stuff her, and the way that she asked him to stay felt very realistic for their relationship. But this episode also featured a lot of Ron-beating, and his explosive return to drinking at the end was mighty uncomfortable to watch. I understand that’s partially the goal, and watching the other crew members react to the debacle was surprisingly sweet, but it’s still not my favourite direction for the show to take.

Episode 10 – Stennheiser-Pong Wedding Reception

With Ron off the wagon, Henry has to take charge at a gay wedding run by a rival catering crew. Adam Scott has some great acting moments here, and he’s proven to be a very capable dramatic actor during brief moments all season. When Casey leaves at the end of the episode, you feel Henry’s pain. But that pain is eased by Kristen Bell, who guest stars as the leader of the rival crew. I’ve never been 100% convinced about Bell, but I guess the fact that Craig Ferguson likes her should have been my hint. Because she is hilarious here. I hope she comes back in the second season.

And so ends season one. Despite a few quibbles, it was a really strong ten episodes of comedy television. I’m starting season two soon, and even though I know there are some changes (Megan Mullaly replaces Jane Lynch – who, to be honest, never totally worked for me in the first season, anyways – Henry’s in charge, and Lizzy Caplan gets a bad hair cut), but I’ve heard that it’s just as good as season one. Are we having fun yet?

Grammy Wrap-Up

Call me crazy, but I actually really enjoyed the Grammys on Sunday night. I know that it’s cool to hate on the Grammys (I’m guilty of it), and to say that they’re irrelevant, but I liked way more of the performances than I expected to. Maybe I was just more open-minded, or maybe mainstream music has just gotten better. And the actual awards themselves weren’t the disaster that I’d expected, either. Here are a few quick thoughts on some of the key performances:

  • The Aretha Franklin tribute was nice, but it felt a bit forced. Jennifer Hudson gave the most impressive performance, vocally, but Florence Welch also brought something refreshingly different to her rendition of “Think”. Everyone was trying to one-up each other to sometimes comical effect.
  • Lady Gaga’s performance of her new song, “Born This Way” showed her typical showmanship. I like the song, and her performances are always interesting.
  • The Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars and B.O.B. performance was very lively. Mars’ vocals were wonky on “Grenade”, but the dude wore half a dozen hats (figuratively speaking) in that extended number, so I have to give him credit for that. And it was another great example of Monae’s showmanship.
  • I may have officially lost it, but I actually liked Justin Bieber’s performance. I certainly could have done without Jayden Smith popping out from beneath the stage (with copious shots of Will and Jada smiling smugly in the audience like they were at the world’s most prestigious school Christmas pageant), and the weird spoken-word intro with Usher. But when it was just Bieber, I thought he sounded really good. I think I like his voice more now that it has deepened.
  • I was definitely the most excited for the Avett Brothers/Mumford & Sons/Bob Dylan performance. The transitions between songs were a bit awkward, but individually, they were really strong. Once Mumford & Sons got into the last half of “The Cave”, it was really powerful. The Avett Brothers were a bit more low-key, but great, as usual. And the finale sing-a-long of “Maggie’s Farm” was great.
  • Was it really necessary to have Gwyneth Paltrow and The Muppets join Cee-Lo for “The Song Otherwise Known as ‘Forget You'”? Not really. Cee-Lo sounded fantastic on his own. But Paltrow offered some really impressive vocal moments, so I really didn’t mind it.
  • I LOVED Norah Jones, John Mayer, and Keith Urban’s stripped down version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. It had an intimate, impromptu vibe to it that was totally different from the rest of the show’s “bigger is better” ideology. I respect all three artists individually (though I don’t really actively seek out their music), and together it was kind of magical. Mayer and Urban are really fantastic guitarists, and Jones and Urban both sang really well (didn’t think Mayer’s vocals were as strong).
  • My biggest knowledge gap in current music is probably with rap music. It’s not that I don’t like it, I’m just not…drawn to it, I guess? But by my judgement, Eminem KILLED it in his performance with Rihanna, Dr. Dre, and Skylar Grey. Everyone sounded good, but Eminem sang with the kind of conviction that reaches through the television, grabs you, and makes you listen. It was beyond performing. While other artists prance around the stage or dodge ninjas (I said I liked Biebs’ performance, but that was a bit much), Eminem is just living in his music.
  • The Katy Perry/Russell Brand wedding album? No, thanks. Her performance was fine, but forgettable.
  • Mick Jagger is amazing. The dude is ancient, and he didn’t even look winded after his high-energy take on Soloman Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”.
  • Arcade Fire are also amazing. “Month of May” was great, but their post-win performance of “Ready to Start” was something really special.

Award Talk:

  • ARCADE FIRE. YES. YES YES YES.
  • It’s sappy and all, but I do like Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”. Them winning Song of the Year was acceptable (given the nominees), but I didn’t really need to see them up there three times, to be honest.
  • I’m glad Eminem won Rap Album of the Year. He’s had an impressive comeback, considering that a lot of people thought that he was out of the game. I went through a phase when I was twelve when I sort of got into his music, thinking that I was a badass, so it’s cool to follow his career since then. And even though he may be incapable of smiling, I liked his speech. I thought it was gracious of him to thank Rihanna, because (as he acknowledged) her chorus on “Love the Way You Lie” definitely helped boost his recent popularity.
  • Muse winning Rock Album of the Year? Bleh.

Entertainment Weekly Answers Today’s Burning Question…


Where’s Adam Scott?

Amidst the excitement of Parks and Recreation gracing the cover of Entertainment Weekly, many fans were quick to question the absence of Adam Scott (a newly appointed P&R regular). Well, Entertainment Weekly has defended themselves, explaining on their website that Scott had been stuck in New York while filming Friends With Kids (a movie slated for 2012 release with Jon Hamm and Megan Fox) due to a snow storm. They also included the following statement from Scott (which was the real reason behind me posting this thing):

“Being a lifelong New Yorker (I grew up in Northern California and live in Los Angeles), when Entertainment Weekly called and begged me to be on the cover of their magazine (the show I’m on, Parks and Rec, was going to be on the cover, and thus I would ride its coattails) and that the shoot would be anywhere but Manhattan, I, of course, said no (yes).

To even consider leaving my fair city (I’ve never lived here) makes me literally vomit (not literally, actually not at all). So the decision was easy: I’d triumphantly stay in New York (I’m working on a movie here, and due to a giant storm, all flights were cancelled) while my fellow castmates mug it up in EW (I’m a subscriber). Victory (devastation)!!!

Mine (yours),

Nick Offerman (Adam Scott)”