Thursday, July 14, 2011

Emmy Nominations make me Squeal!

New faces, new blood. Its a whole new Emmy world.  Gone are the days when the categories are the same year after year, with maybe one different nod.  So much newness this morning as my good friends Pacey and Sookie (Joshua Jackson and Melissa McCarthy) announced with delightful chuckles the 2011 Prime Time Emmy nominations at 6:35am this morning and I was up and ready!  I squealed with delight more times  watching this morning. than any other time in my loooong obsession with Movies, TV and Award shows! 

My loudest squeal?  Cat DeeleyCat Deeley - by far, my favorite reality TV host - finally gets a nomination - her first.  Jesse Tyler Ferguson (himself a nominee this morning) as guest judge on last nights broadcast - acknowledged that he really hoped Cat got nominated this morning and she turned the greatest shade of red.  I was hoping too!  I was hoping too!  Now, I'm really hoping she wins it.

Runner-up squeals:

Josh Charles - you'll always be Dan Rydell to me - but how I love you as Will Gardner on the Good Wife - the tension works with Julianna Margulies because of you and not everyone can go toe to toe with her.  First Time nominee - yay!

Friday Night Lights, Friday Night Light, Friday Night Lights!  First time nomination in the Best Drama category - this show is going out with a bang!  Its Final season was fantastic and I have loved this series from the very beginning.  And - I know they were nominated last year - but so happy to see Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler back on the list.  Connie Britton's Tami Taylor remains one of my all-time favorite wife/mothers on television.  And Kyle Chandler - well - he is one of my all-time favorite EVERYTHINGs.   Coach Taylor, Sheriff Lamb, Gary Hobson  and never has blowing up looked so good - as when Kyle Chandler did it as Dylan Young on Greys.

Melissa McCarthy - Sookie is nominated for an emmy - fresh off her hilarious turn in Bridesmaids - Melissa McCarthy is nominated for Mike & Molly - and really she does an amazing job with mediocre material. I've always thought her to be funny - really funny. And since she was announcing this morning - she gave her best guffaw at her own surprise nomination - and became quite disheveled... in that moment, I squealed and thought she's either really surprised or a really good actress.

Ed O'Neill - when pretty much every major actor on Modern Family was nominated last year, Ed was left off the list.  And while it may not be shocking to some that he was never nominated for Married...With Children, the Academy has corrected this gross over-look from last year.  Ed's portrayal as the Patriarch of this Modern Family is hilarious.  Yay for his first ever nomination!

So You Think You Can Dance finally gets nominated in the Best Reality show competition category.  Finally!  My favorite one gets some acknowledgement.  Also - I have to admit - I squealed at Travis Wall getting nominated for best choreography!  He was a contestant on this show not too many years ago - but he really is a fantastic choreographer on the show now.  Good luck as he goes head to head with Mia Michaels, Tabitha & Napolean, Stacey Tookey, Mandy Moore and Mark Ballas.  My hope is for Nappy Tabs or Travis - though Mia's brilliance will probably win it.  All these choreographers and Cat Deeley - it was a good morning for SYTYCD!

Dot-Marie Jones! amazing as Coach Biest on Glee.  She is the reason, I'm so glad that Glee was nominated for Best Casting.  Her first and well-deserved nomination.  There could be no one else who could play Coach Biest!

Johnny Galecki - First Time nominee, Johnny Galecki - love him as the "straight" man, Leonard to Sheldons hilarious OCD craziness on The Big Bang Theory.  I love the steady growth in popularity on this show.  I love these nerds.  Never before has geekiness been so cool.  Jim Parsons and the show are also nominated.  I'm totally pulling for a repeat win for Parsons - and I never want repeats...that is how much I love his Sheldon.

Kathy Bates, Oscar winner - shes no stranger to award shows - in fact - if you go to her imdb page you have to scroll down quite a long way to even get to the Emmys section of her awards page- she's been nominated for a few emmys for mini-series and guest roles, but never won.  I love her as Harry's Law - somehow I love it even more -knowing Harry was written for a man and she made it work and all her own. She has me wondering how many other Oscar winners have been nominated for Emmys this year.  Kate Winslet, Paul Giamatti, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cloris Leachman, Maggie Smith, William Hurt, Matt Damon, and Melissa Leo off the top of my head are all Oscar winners and are nominated for 2011 Emmy...lots of Oscar nominees are among the Emmy nominees - And lots of Oscar nominated actors now up for Emmy: Laura Linney, Taraji P Henson, James Woods, Joan Cusak, Elizabeth McGovern, Mare Winningham, Tom Wilkinson, Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Diane Lane, Greg Kinnear and Christopher Plummer to name a few and suddenly I'm realizing that Oscar and Emmy winner Sally Field is not nominated this year.  And hey, there are a few Tony winners in these nominees 2 on The Good Wife: Christine Baranski and Alan Cumming,  Kristin Chenoweth and Nathan Lane obvious Tony winners as well and there are probably a few more. Now, I wonder are there any Grammy winners?  At least one - my boy (yes, I do call him, my boy), JT, Justin Timberlake and more I'm assuming. Hmm...I may do some research on all this award show in-breeding.

Okay, so what if there are only 2 Best Dramas from Network TV nominated for Best Drama - so what if there are 4 from Cable!  Cable TV is taking over!  But, I have to say, I'm not really a cable show viewer - so it make my picks that much easier.

So much new blood in this race - welcome to many other first time Emmy nominees: Paul McCrane (seriously - I love this guy - even if he did scare me on ER), Zach Galifinakas, Joan Cusak, Elizabeth McGovern, Guy Pearce, Brenda Strong (finally, an emmy nod for the best part of Desperate Housewives, her amazing voice overs - show would not be the same without her), Julia Stiles, Elizabeth Banks, Evan Rachel Wood, Bruce Dern, Peter Dinklage, Loretta Devine (How divine!), Taraji P Henson, Greg Kinnear,  Melissa Leo  and Gwyneth Paltrow to name a few!  Whew!

I love this stuff!  I love the nominees.  I love the new blood, new faces.  Only thing to have made this morning better - were if my beloved Cougar Town had received any love at all...Any...especially that Courteney Cox and Busy Phillips.  I can't even bring myself to consider any other snubs this morning - I'm too happy!

PS - Wow!  Cloris Leachman was nominated for her 22nd time this morning and has won 8 Emmys.  Betty White is not far behind her with her 17th nod with 5 wins, and surprisingly Alfre Woodard received her 16th commendation this morning and has won 4 times. Talk about Emmy LOVE!

Major category nominations listed below...and a few of my personal favorite - NOT major categories below that.

Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory


Modern Family

The Office

Parks and Recreation

30 Rock

Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire


Friday Night Lights

Game of Thrones

The Good Wife

Mad Men

Lead Actress in a Comedy

Laura Linney, The Big C

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly

Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope

Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Lead Actor in a Comedy

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Steve Carell, The Office

Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory

Louis C.K., Louie

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Lead Actor in a Drama

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Hugh Laurie, House

Timothy Olyphant, Justified

Lead Actress in a Drama

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU

Mireille Enos, The Killing

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law

Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Jon 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

Supporting Actor in a Drama

John Slattery, Mad Men

Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

Walton Goggins, Justified

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Josh Charles, The Good Wife

Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

Supporting Actress in a Comedy

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

Supporting Actress in a Drama

Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Michelle Forbes, The Killing

Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

Margo Martindale, Justified

Mini-series or Made-for-Television Movie

Cinema Verite

Downton Abbey

The Kennedys

Mildred Pierce

The Pillars Of The Earth

Too Big To Fail

Variety, Music or Comedy Series

The Colbert Report


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Real Time With Bill Maher

Saturday Night Live

Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or movie

Edgar Ramirez, Carlos

Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys

Barry Pepper, The Kennedys

Idris Elba, Luther

Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood

William Hurt, Too Big To Fail

Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or movie

Diane Lane, Cinema Verite

Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey

Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story

Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow

Deadliest Catch


Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List


Undercover Boss

Reality Competition

The Amazing Race

American Idol

Dancing With The Stars

Project Runway

So You Think You Can Dance

Top Chef

Host of a Reality Program or Competition

Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race

Ryan Seacrest, American Idol

Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars

Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can

Jeff Probst, Survivor

Outstanding Choreography

Dancing With The Stars • Routines: Jive “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” / Viennese Waltz “Hedwigs Theme (Theme from Harry Potter)” / Slow Waltz “My Love” • ABC • BBC Worldwide Productions
Mark Ballas, Choreographer

So You Think You Can Dance • Routines: Alice in Mia-Land “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” / “When We Dance” / “This Bitter Earth - On The Nature of Daylight” • FOX • Dick Clark Productions in association with 19 Entertainment
Mia Michaels, Choreographer

So You Think You Can Dance • Routines: “Mad World” / “Sundrenched World” / “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” • FOX • Dick Clark Productions in association with 19 Entertainment
Stacey Tookey, Choreographer

So You Think You Can Dance • Routines: “Collide” / “How It Ends” / “Fix You” • FOX • Dick Clark Productions in association with 19 Entertainment
Travis Wall, Choreographer

So You Think You Can Dance • Routines: “Scars” / “Fallin” / “Outta Your Mind” • FOX • Dick Clark Productions in association with 19 Entertainment
Tabitha D'umo, Choreographer
Napoleon D'umo, Choreographer

So You Think You Can Dance • Routines: “Oh Yeah” / “Boogie Shoes” / “I Surrender” • FOX • Dick Clark Productions in association with 19 Entertainment
Mandy Jo Moore, Choreographer

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series

The Big C • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Sony Pictures Television, Perkins Street Productions, Farm Kid, Original Film
Iris Elba as Lenny

Modern Family • ABC • Twentieth Century Fox Television
Nathan Lane as Pepper Saltzman

Saturday Night Live • NBC • SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video
Zach Galifianakis, Host

Saturday Night Live • NBC • SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video
Justin Timberlake, Host

30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Matt Damon as Carol

30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Will Arnett as Devin Banks

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Big Love • HBO • Anima Sola Productions and Playtone in association with HBO Entertainment
Bruce Dern as Frank Harlow

Brothers & Sisters • ABC • ABC Studios
Beau Bridges as Nick Brody

The Good Wife • CBS • CBS Productions
Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning

Harry's Law • NBC • Bonanza Productions, Inc. in association with David E. Kelley Productions and Warner Bros. Television
Paul McCrane as Josh Peyton

Justified • FX Networks • Sony Pictures Television and FX Productions
Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Glee • FOX • Ryan Murphy Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes

Glee • FOX • Ryan Murphy Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Dot-Marie Jones as Coach Beiste

Glee • FOX • Ryan Murphy Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holliday

Raising Hope • FOX • Twentieth Century Fox Television
Cloris Leachman as Maw Maw

Saturday Night Live • NBC • SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video
Tina Fey, Host

30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Elizabeth Banks as Avery

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

The Closer • TNT • The Shephard/Robin Company in association with Warner Bros. Television
Mary McDonnell as Capt. Sharon Raydor

Dexter • Showtime • Showtime Presents, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Chip Johannessen Productions
Julia Stiles as Lumen Pierce

Grey's Anatomy • ABC • ABC Studios
Loretta Devine as Adele Webber

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Randee Heller as Miss Blankenship

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Cara Buono as Faye Miller

Shameless • Showtime • Showtime Presents, John Wells Productions, Warner Bros. Television
Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson

True Blood • HBO • Your Face Goes Here Entertainment in association with HBO Entertainment
Alfre Woodard as Ruby Jean Reynolds

Outstanding Casting For A Comedy Series

The Big C • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Sony Pictures Television, Perkins Street Productions, Farm Kid, Original Film
Julie Tucker, CSA, Casting Director

Ross Meyerson, CSA, Casting Director
Glee • FOX • Ryan Murphy Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Robert J. Ulrich, CSA, Casting Director
Eric Dawson, CSA, Casting Director

Modern Family • ABC • Twentieth Century Fox Television
Jeff Greenberg, CSA, Casting Director

Nurse Jackie • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Lionsgate Television, Jackson Group Entertainment, Madison Grain Elevator, Inc. & Delong Lumber, A Caryn Mandabach Production
Julie Tucker, CSA, Casting Director
Ross Meyerson, CSA, Casting Director

30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Jennifer McNamara-Schroff, Casting Director
Katja Blichfield, Casting Director

Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire • HBO • Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Ellen Lewis, Casting Director
Meredith Tucker, Casting Director

Game Of Thrones • HBO • Bighead, Littlehead, 360 Television, Grok and
Generator Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Nina Gold, Casting Director
Robert Sterne, Casting Director

The Good Wife • CBS • CBS Productions
Mark Saks, CSA, Casting Director
The Killing • AMC • Fox Television Studios
Junie Lowry Johnson, Casting Director
Libby Goldstein, Casting Director
Stuart Aikins, Casting Director - Canada
Corrine Clark, Casting Director - Canada
Jennifer Page, Casting Director – Canada

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Laura Schiff, CSA, Casting Director
Carrie Audino, CSA, Casting Director

Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special

Cinema Verite • HBO • A Pariah Productionin association with HBO Films
Randi Hiller, CSA, Casting Director

Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) • PBS • A co-production of Carnival and Masterpiece
Jill Trevellick, CDG, Casting Director

Mildred Pierce • HBO • A Killer Films/John Wells Production in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and HBO Miniseries
Laura Rosenthal, Casting Director

Too Big To Fail • HBO • A Spring Creek and A Deuce Three Production in association with HBO Films
Alexa L. Fogel, CSA, Casting Director

Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece) • PBS • A co-production of BBC Wales and WGBH Boston
Andy Pryor, CDG, Casting Director

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Kinder, Gentler Idol

Once there was Simon, Paula and Randy...and they fought and flirted and one-upped each other and made ridiculous fools of themselves all while trying to crown Americas favorite singer.  Then came Kara.  Simon, Paula, Randy and Kara was a lot of talking, and made all the shows go too long.  Then Ellen stopped by and made everyone chuckle a little...and its almost 'A Whole New World'.  Cue the magic carpet.  Randy, Jennifer and Steven....well...its certainly a different dynamic. 

First - I love Aerosmith.  I do.  I know what Janie's got...I know what happens in an elevator and I know that Ben Affleck don't want to miss a thing.  I love me some J-Lo.  The Wedding Planner has got to be somewhere on my list of most delightful movie fluff...and hey, My Love Don't Cost A Thing either.  And, initially, I thought - this will be brilliant!  Idol will be brilliant!  Real artists!  And maybe at the start it was a little. (Yes, this does imply that I never thought Paula Abdul to be a real artist...though I maintain - I miss Kara and I thought she knew her stuff).  

After the first few long audition days, J-Lo seemed to be able to cut to the chase and get the weirdos and untalented on their way...and Steven, well Steven was just entertaining...everyone seemed to be waiting on the edge of their seats for the bleep machine to be required.  My early observations about the dynamic were how it all seemed more creative.  The audition rounds seemed to be less "crazy-psycho-get-on-TV-thrillseekers" and more "great story, good singers, watch how these famous musicians play nice with the contestants" - which for me is far more enjoyable.  First time in 10 seasons, I actually wanted to watch the early audition rounds.   I loved the way Steven and Jennifer would groove with the singers and get into it and sometime audibly sing along- it made the IDOL experience seem entirely more artistic.  Artists appreciating musical art.  I kind of liked it.  And, at first, at least - I really thought - that at the very least - Jennifer Lopez was somewhat discerning.  And though there wasn't a Simon among them.  Idol was still there and I liked it.   A kinder, gentler version emerged of Idols once bipolar craziness.

THEN - Vegas.  In Vegas, our superstar judges got to know the contestants, got to love them, had to make the more difficult decisions.  Jennifer Lopez had a teary breakdown at having to cut the contestant with one of this seasons most heart wrenching stories - but - the guy didn't sound great.  He just didn't - but because she knew the story - it was emotional.  This should have been the first indicator of what was to come.

As the weeks progress, far less judging is happening.  I thought for a time maybe they were just playing cheerleader roles - but now its just seeming ridiculous.  It doesn't help that for the first time ever, each song for each contestant is getting "produced" causing some of the sparkle of idol to vanish.  There is a certain magic in watching an amateur with an amazing voice figure it out.  Amateur is all out the window.  On the very first week - the singers had 'back up singers' and were releasing singles!  The year Ruben Studdard won (and I voted my heart out for Clay) - back up singers didn't show up until the finale.  Contestants were left to fend for themselves up until the end.  Now - each contestant is subjected to lots and lots of pre-preformance - music-industry - know-it-all-ness...and only the strongest and most self-defined contestants have dared waiver from those opinions.  It feels over-produced.  It just does.  OVER. PRODUCED.  Take a week off Jimmy Iovine!

I wonder if some of this was born from Adam Lambert.  Kris Allen may have been victorious but Adam Lambert changed Idol.  He was and wanted to be so innovative with his performances - lighting, costuming, staging - all his ideas - and they seemed authentic and not forced (still love his voice - and no comment on his post-Idol idiocy).  Now they are forcing the contestants to be performers from the start...expecting Adam Lambert - caliber performances - but it is all somebody elses creation - it feels so forced and the audience just isn't getting to experience the transformations - it is all happening behind the scenes.  Kudos to Casey and James for trying to do their own things - but really - whose idea was the pyrotechnic piano?

Back to the judges.   They just love everyone - its a sad day when the most discerning judge is name-dropping 'dawg' Randy!  Steven never says a mean thing - but at least the accolades he offers are interesting.  Probably my all time favorite Steven moment this season - was after James Durbin finished a great karoke version of Bon Jovi's "Its My Life" and Steven looked at him and said "don't go too "pop"-y on me"!   As Steven seemed to be extending an offer as mentor to his new protege in James.  Steven loves music and it is obvious - and he likes it and he wants to like it.  He gets into it...and it can be fun to watch -but he doesn't offer any kind of judgement.  Jennifer is emotionally involved.  She is trying to offer helpful critique, but she too often gets swept up in the emotion and offers that of an endearing fan, rather than a genuine popstars assist.  Randy is still Randy...with maybe a bit more responsibility.  It seems he senses the responsibility he has to make sure the "Simon" voice is still least it seemed that way at first - but by now - he's just same old Randy - king of the "dawg pound".

This kinder, gentler, undiscerning idol is really absent a critical voice.  And I think it is showing in the voting.  I'm happy they introduced the judges SAVE.  If for no other reason - than it gave me 2 more weeks of Matt Giraud - the first SAVE recipient.  And, I have to say, I was happy they SAVED Casey.  This competition would not be the same without the versatile Casey... but, they had to SAVE him, because I think America needs a Simon.  They need someone to help them wade through their own emotion - and get to the nitty gritty...they need someone to notice what isn't good - when it all seems so right.  And since there isn't any - the audience gets confused.  But, not too confused - on the most recent results show - all of the 'voted off' top 12 contestants did a horrific group number - that served to hi-light that Paul McDonald really can't carry a tune (but hey, emotional me - still crazy loves him!) and that really only Pia of that group is a stand out.  Too many words and wandering thoughts later - all I really need to say is: I miss Simon.  The Idol voting America needs a Simon.  Steven and J-Lo are fun...but a kinder, gentler idol also makes for a bit more of a boring idol too.