2014 Emmy Reactions

The 2014 Emmy season is upon us.  Nominations were broadcasted this morning at 8:30 AM EST/5:30 AM PST.  While most people probably slept through the nominations, I was up with baited breath just hoping this would be the year that some of televisions most talented performances weren’t overlooked.  Unfortunately, every award show comes with a handful of snubs, the academy omitting some of the most outstanding work on television today.  Accordingly, exceptional work by some stellar people was recognized this year.

The Snubs

orphanblackTatiana Maslany (Orphan Black): Hands down one of the most marvelous actresses on television is none other than Tatiana Maslany and her work on the BBC American show Orphan Black.  Tatiana has taken on the role of on not one, not three, not five, but eight different clones throughout the series.  Only in its second season, Maslany has continuously showcased just how unique one person can make eight different characters.

shamelessShamelessEmmy Rossum, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Allen White: Bumping Shameless into the comedy category proved well for the Showtime series as William H. Macy was finally recognized for his work as alcoholic, deadbeat dad Frank Gallagher.  Although Macy’s nomination was a nice surprise, Frank’s shenanigans on the show have taken a backseat to the younger cast of Shameless.  Emmy Rossum (Fiona) hands down carries the series, while Jeremy Allen White (Lip) and Noel Fisher (Mickey) pulled out some amazing performances this year.  It can be argued that Shameless isn’t fit for the comedy category — this past season went to some pretty dark places — but a nomination for Macy may lead to further recognition down the road for this very talented ensemble show.

Dean Norris (Breaking Bad): Perhaps one of the most infuriating snubs of the season as Norris’ eligibility for an Emmy ended this year with the last season of Breaking Bad.  The standout character development of DEA agent Hank Schrader was above and beyond this past year.

Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation): No explanations needed.  Offerman’s Ron Swanson has been overlooked for the past six years.  A real travesty for the comedy category as his portrayal is perhaps some of the most excellent comedic work on television to date.

mcbrideMelissa McBride (The Walking Dead): A standalone performance on a continuously overlooked show.  Melissa McBride’s portrayal of Carol on this season of The Walking Dead outshone her fellow cast members.  Carol’s ultimate sacrifice of [spoiler] killing Lizzie, the psychotic child she had sworn to protect, was phenomenal.  It’s no surprise TWD and its acting was once again passed over as series star Andrew Lincoln and once cast member Jon Bernthal have been just as deserving of a nomination in the past.

hannwillHannibalMads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Raul Esparza: NBC’s Hannibal falls into an interesting category.  It’s horror and horror is not something the academy often moves towards.  But with the continuous recognition of American Horror Story, Hannibal is finally in a place to deserve a fair chance at recognition.  Although the show can be gory and over the top, the acting continues to be absolutely stellar.  Titular character Mads Mikkelsen shatters any doubters as Hannibal Lecter, while Hugh Dancy’s struggling Will is harrowing.  Guest actor Raul Esparza (Dr. Chilton) maintains a manipulative yet funny presence on the show.  The direction cinematography are not like any other on TV today.

Arrow stunt work: A random and underrated addition.  But Arrow’s leading man, Stephen Amell, does all of his own parkour-esque stunts.  This comic book inspired show is a hotbed for incredible stunt work.

The Well-Deserved:

The Normal Heart (various nominations): No surprises here.  The HBO movie was absolutely out of this world.  From the story to the acting, The Normal Heart may be this years best few hours of television.  Stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomber, Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, and Alfred Molina all garnered nominations for their performances.  The movie is sure to win best TV movie and will probably dominate in the acting categories as well.

ahscovenAmerican Horror Story: Coven (various nominations): QUEENS.  Is there any other word to describe the handful of women all nominated for their acting in the third installment of American Horror Story? Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates all held their own this year on the miniseries.

William H. Macy (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Shameless): As stated above, Shameless‘ move into the comedy category proved worthy.  Macy has continuously given life to patriarch Frank Gallagher.

Amy Poehler (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Parks and Recreation): If Parks and Recreation has to continuously face being ignored by the voters then at least leading lady Amy Poehler’s nomination can give some light to the underrated comedy.

oitnbOrange is the New Black (various nominations): The Netflix comedy’s inaugural season was not surprisingly given high praise and high recognition.  As well as the show as a
whole, actresses Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red), Natasha Lyonne (Nicky), Laverne Cox (Sophia), and Uzo Aduba (Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’), were all bestowed accolades for their work on the show.  And that’s just for season one.

freddyhocReg E. Cathy (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – House of Cards): A House of Cards fan favorite.  Freddy and his BBQ joint were highlighted in a devastating way during HOC’s second season.  Cathy’s performance was a gut-wrenching look into the inner city of DC, one that left audiences heartbroken and angry.

Breaking Bad (various nominations): No explanation needed.  The AMC drama’s swan song season was some of the best television ever made.  All the performances (including nominees Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn) were top-notch and the series once again proved that television can be a real piece of art.

The Originals (Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series): Because of reasons.

originals

What Can Be Done:

Implementing a separate sci-fi/horror/genre category: Shows like Orphan Black, The Walking Dead, and Hannibal continuously fall onto the short list.  Over the years, television has jumped leaps and bounds, making way for groundbreaking shows that don’t exactly fit into a drama or comedy category.  Shows that implement a horror, sci-fi, or otherworldly story house some of the best talent on television today.  The Emmy voters have slowly taken note, continuously commending the work on Game of Thrones and American Horror Story, but there are so many more deserving pieces of work out there.  An additional category to single out these series and performances would make way for some new faces.  Television is ever evolving and the Emmy’s should follow suit.

Summer Watch List

Remember those hot summer days when we had nothing to do for two (or more) months but relax, sit indoors in the air-conditioning (or outdoors, if that’s your thing), and spend countless hours doing nothing? Well, maybe that’s still true for the lucky few of you.  Me on the other hand, I like to pretend those are still my summers.  I like the spend my down time doing something people don’t really consider too crazy anymore: binge watch television shows.

This summer I’ve binged watched six shows so far, with a few more up on the docket.  Some shows I watched for the very first time and some shows I watched all the way through for my second (or third, shhh, don’t judge me) time.  All of these shows come high on my list of recommendations.  So, without further ado, I bring you:

Erin’s Summer Watch List 

The New Shows

orphanblackOrphan Black (BBC Aamerica): #CloneClub for life! Orphan Black is by far the number one show I’ve recommended to people over the past few months.  I’ve been trying to convert as many members to the “Clone Club” as possible.  In short, the show centers around a girl named Sarah who discovers that she is, you guessed it, a clone!  Sound kind of cheesy? It’s not. This BBC America sci-fi show boasts some of the best acting I’ve seen from one person (still pressed over Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy snub).  The supporting cast is just as talented and the show does an amazing job at making you believe that Maslany is actually seven+ clones.  The show has ended its ten episode freshman season and is poised to be back in 2014 for season two.

Hannibal (NBC): This show came to my attention after the members of ONTD fawned over the series throughout its first season run.  I was apprehensive at first since a second season for the show hung by a thread for a few months.  I didn’t want to get completely enamored by the show if it wasn’t going to continue on.  The series is fashioned from the infamous Hannibal hannibalLecter character and books, focusing on protagonist Will Graham.  Graham, a criminal profiler with a “gift” to emotionally understand serial killers, befriends psychiatrist Lecter after they are brought in to work together on a case.  The relationship becomes tumultuous as Lecter begins manipulating Graham and taking advantage of his special skills.  The show is equal parts creepy and thought provoking.  For NBC, the series could also be considered pretty gory, not taking away from the horror that is Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Mads Mikkelsen (Lecter) and Hugh Dancy (Graham) lead a talented bunch of convincing actors.

Orange is the New Black (Netflix): During the writing of this blog I decided to give OITNB a shot after hearing rave reviews from everyone who had watched.  My one episode trial turned into a full oitnbseason binge watch. The show is based off of the real life accounts of Piper, a white, affluent, woman who gets sentenced to a fifteen month prison stay after her past catches up with her.  Piper, though, can be considered the “Trojan horse” of the show as the assemble of diverse women are just as largely focused on throughout the thirteen episode first season.  Each character becomes relatable through flashbacks.  Every woman does an excellent job of bringing just the right amount of pain and sympathy to their characters.  In the end, it’s hard not to root for almost all of them.

New-ish Shows

New Girl (FOX): If you asked me to watch a random episode of a show when its right smack dab in the middle of its season I would probably laugh at you.  Not because I don’t trust your judgment on shows, but because I like to start fresh from the beginning so I’m not left newgirlasking a million questions.  Fortunately in this case I have some pushy friends who insisted I would love New Girl.  They were right.  After watching a random episode in the middle of the second season, I fell in love with the sophomore show.  I continued to watch all the way to the season finale of the second season and then went back to the beginning and marathoned the whole series to date.  The show is charming, funny, and ridiculous.  Quirky Jess moves into an apartment with three very different guys who are all best friends.  What ensues is your typical Zooey Deschanel comedy, but the show has a lot of heart.  The relationship between Jess and her roommate Nick (Jake Johnson) is really what sealed the deal for me.  The FOX comedy is an easy watch that will suck you in.

Re-watches

hocHouse of Cards (Netflix): This re-watch came only a few months after I first watched the Netflix hit’s first season.  I had the lucky opportunity to be an extra on the show (filmed in and around my home city) and experience the amazing production of the political thriller.  Kevin Spacey (now nominated for an Emmy for his role) plays House Majority Whip Frank Underwood.  What ensues throughout the show is a whirlwind of dark manipulation through Washington D.C. and its politics.  Spacey takes the lead with an outstanding supporting cast that will have you crying buckets by seasons end.  The second season will be available next year on Netflix and is sure to bring even more craziness than the first season.  (side note: You can also catch me as “sweaty background extra #48” in season 2, episode 5 next year!)

Being Human US (Syfy): I think I’ve spoken about this show ad nauseam by now, which is funny since only several months ago in an earlier blog I referred to the SyFy series as “okay.”  The re-watch of the current three seasons also came on a whim.  I was testing the bhcast2Netflix app out on my iPad and thirty-nine episodes later…well, here I am. The show takes the premise of the beloved UK series and follows the turmoils of a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost as they try to make their lives human-ish as roommates.  The first season of the US remake takes a handful of storylines from the UK’s first season while adding their own twists to it all to accommodate their thirteen episode seasons.  The show veers in its own direction by season two and season three does an amazing job with their ability to make all characters, main and supporting, compassionate.  It’s also fun to note that the cast regularly interacts with fans through social media, conventions, etc. and is one of the most genuine and hilarious casts of a show I’ve witnessed.