What better way to mourn the end of summer than to throw ourselves into fall and indulge in the new television season, with the return of our favorite television families and friends and the arrival of potential new stories to throw ourselves into.
There aren’t that many news shows that I’m overly excited for this season (especially when you compare it to last year: Glee, Modern Family, Community), but here’s what I’ll check out:
Boardwalk EmpireContinue Reading »
Because the only thing more exciting than the Emmys is reading a live recap of the event, here’s Unknown Critics liveblog of the Emmys:
11:00pm – Was it just me, or did it seem like the Emmys were rushed?
10:58pm – Wooooow. I really thought Glee had it in the bag, but Modern is the better show. (I kind of start hating on Glee in the second half of last season.) And I love Ty’s bowtie.
10:57pm – Glee or Modern.
10:56pm – Bored to Death represent.
10:51pm – Damnit. Damnit. I love you, Mad Men, but really? Sally Draper looks cute, though. And Jon Hamm, as always.
10:50pm – PLEASE DEXTER PLEASE PLEASE.Continue Reading »
Andy and Nancy Botwin.
Nancy Botwin (of Showtime’s Weeds) is a terrible mother.
A drug-dealing mom that gets involved with gangs, Mexican mafias, trafficking, and so much more? And not to mention neglecting her kids. Yep, that’s Nancy all right.
Weeds started out with so much promise. The premise was simple: a recently widowed wife (played by Mary-Louise Parker, who is also a contributing editor to Esquire, who’ve thought that?) is left with her late husband’s debts and her children to take care of. Thrilling stuff, no? Remember when she married that DEA agent? Remember the crazy gun stand-off? How was she going to get away with the stuff she did?
Nancy thrives on the danger, that much is clear, but she forgets that she is a mother, too. Now, terrible mothers are a thing on television. There’s Mad Men’s Betty Draper (January Jones), the childish, selfish woman who doesn’t know how to interact with her own flesh and blood. What makes Betty different, though, is that Mad Men isn’t just about Betty, there’s Don and the rest of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce gang. Weeds, though, is the Nancy Botwin Show.Continue Reading »
My parents like telling the following story: When I was young, my mother would sit me in front of the television to feed me. During the actual shows, I wouldn’t pay attention–I’d just run around. Once the commercials came on, however, I was mesmerized, and my mother was able to feed me.
That’s not the case anymore.
So what better way to introduce myself than by a little run-down of my favorite shows:Continue Reading »
Isn’t it fitting that my first post here is on the same day they announce the Emmy nominations? It was meant to be.
It’s hard to choose just one actor/actress/television show/fill-in-the-blank when there are so many good shows out there now. I’d argue that, for me at least, television has gotten better and better than films at various points, but that’s something to be discussed at a later time.
Here are my initial thoughts and hopes* for this year’s Emmys**:
- Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO
Modern Family, ABC
Nurse Jackie, Showtime
The Office, NBC
30 Rock, NBC
30 Rock is great and all, but after three wins, it’s time to let another show win. I love Glee and all of its heightened reality drama, but sometimes, and especially in the second half of the season, the show overdid it–too many plots, too many songs that went on for too long, unnecessary themed episodes, and more. Modern Family, on the other hand, didn’t have a disappointing episode that I could think of, and they managed to intertwine plot points flawlessly.
- Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad, AMC
The Good Wife, CBS
Mad Men, AMC
True Blood, HBO
I’ve watched five of the six nominees (Sorry, The Good Wife. Now that I think about it, it’s the only female-lead show on this list, hmm…). I don’t want Lost to win, out of spite because of an extremely disappointing final season and season finale. Mad Men won twice already, so they’ve got enough. I caught up on Breaking Bad this year, and yes, it’s as amazing as everyone says it is. I looked forward to every episode in a tense and uncomfortable way. Despite that, I’m rooting for Dexter, if only for its amazing season finale (I actually yelled at my TV) and for Michael C. Hall and the Emmy’s disregard of Six Feet Under. This one’s for Dexter and David Fisher.
- Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • Larry David as Himself
Glee • FOX • Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester
Monk • USA • Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
The Office • NBC • Steve Carell as Michael Scott
30 Rock • NBC • Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
Alec will probably win this one (is there a name for 30 Rock‘s dominance of the Emmys?), but why not Larry David? Imagine the awkward acceptance speech he’d come up with.
- Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Bryan Cranston as Walter White
Dexter • Showtime • Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan
Friday Night Lights • DirecTV • Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor
House • FOX • Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House
Lost • ABC • Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard
Mad Men • AMC • Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Again, I have the same dilemma I had with the Best Drama Series category. Cranston embodies the role of Walter White completely so much so that Malcolm in the Middle doesn’t exist at all. But I have a soft spot for Coach, a.k.a. Eric Taylor, and his patient ways with his teams, family, and that crazy town of Dillon, Texas.
- Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Glee • FOX • Lea Michele as Rachel Berry
The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell
Nurse Jackie • Showtime • Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton
Parks And Recreation • NBC • Poehler as Leslie Knope
30 Rock • NBC • Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
United States Of Tara • Showtime • Toni Collette as Tara Gregson
Tina’s probably going to win again (the reign of 30 Rock), but after my own personal week-marathon of Parks & Recreation, I’d go with Amy Poehler. After an eh-first season, Poehler gets away from becoming another potential Michael Scott, and becomes her own awkward, motivated, genuine, naive government employee.
Also, I don’t get why Collette, while a wonderful actress, is nominated for a comedic performance. The show’s funny, sure, but the tragic braided personalities of Tara always struck me as more dramatic than anything else. Then again, she did win the Golden Globe last year for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.
- Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
The Closer • TNT • Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson
Damages • FX Networks • Glenn Close as Patty Hewes
Friday Night Lights • DirecTV • Connie Britton as Tami Taylor
The Good Wife • CBS • Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson
Mad Men • AMC • January Jones as Betty Draper
Granted, I haven’t watched most of these shows regularly, but for me, it should be Mrs. Coach a.k.a. Connie Britton all the way. No one else can exhibit love and frustration at the same time like she can, and in so few words. She and Coach Taylor make the perfect television couple. Too bad that’s not an Emmy category.
- Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Glee • FOX • Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel
How I Met Your Mother • CBS • Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson
Modern Family • ABC • Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell
Modern Family • ABC • Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker
Modern Family • ABC • Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Jon Cryer as Alan Harper
Chris Colfer has a way of making you squeal, cry, sympathize, and sometimes cringe at his overeagerness all at the same time.
- Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman
Damages • FX Networks • Martin Short as Leonard Winstone
Lost • ABC • Terry O’Quinn as John Locke
Lost • ABC • Michael Emerson as Ben Linus
Mad Men • AMC • Slattery as Roger Sterling
Men Of A Certain Age • TNT • Andre Braugher as Owen
Despite the Facebook campaign, Zach Gilford of Friday Night Lights wasn’t nomiated in this category. So if it couldn’t be him, let’s go with Michael Emerson, who made a villain worthy of pity and, at times, love, and made the best out of this lackluster season.
- Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Glee • FOX • Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester
Modern Family • ABC • Bowen as Claire Dunphy
Modern Family • ABC • Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
Saturday Night Live • NBC • Kristen Wiig as Various Characters
30 Rock • NBC • Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Holland Taylor as Evelyn Harper
Jane Lynch, hands down, will get this one. It’s hard seeing her as anything but Sue Sylvester nowadays.
- Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Burn Notice • USA • Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen
Damages • FX Networks • Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons
The Good Wife • CBS • Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma
The Good Wife • CBS • Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart
Mad Men • AMC • Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris
Mad Men • AMC • Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson
I’ve only watched Mad Men out of these shows, so I’ll go with Elisabeth Moss, because I identify with her quiet-but-getting-louder pursuit of her true calling.
- Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Glee • Wheels • Mike O’Malley as Burt Hummel
Glee • Dream On • FOX • Neil Patrick Harris as Bryan Ryan
Modern Family • Travels With Scout • Fred Willard as Frank Dunphy
Nurse Jackie • Chicken Soup • Eli Wallach as Bernard Zimberg
30 Rock • Emmanuelle Goes To Dinosaur Land • NBC • Jon Hamm as Dr. Drew Baird
30 Rock • Into The Crevasse • NBC • Will Arnett as Devin Banks
Who’d have thought Mike O’Malley, the former host of GUTS , would make me cry with a speech defending his gay son to the hot football player?
- Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
The Closer • Make Over • TNT • Beau Bridges as Detective George Andrews
Damages • The Next One’s Gonna Go In Your Throat • Danson as Arthur Frobisher
Dexter • Road Kill • Showtime • John Lithgow as Arthur Mitchell
The Good Wife • Fleas • CBS • Alan Cumming as Eli Gold
The Good Wife • Bad • CBS • Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney
Mad Men • Shut The Door. Have A Seat. • AMC • Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper
24 • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM • FOX • Gregory Itzin as President Charles Logan
As soon as John Lithgow waltzed his way into Dexter, I knew he’d win this category. Best Thanksgiving ever?
- Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Friday Night Lights • The Son • Rolin Jones
The Good Wife • Pilot • Michelle King, Robert King
Lost • The End • ABC • Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse
Mad Men • Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency • AMC • Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner
Mad Men • Shut The Door. Have A Seat. • AMC • Matthew Weiner, Writer, Erin Levy, Writer
I want Friday Night Lights to get as many Emmys as it can, and this episode, where the love of my life (a.k.a. Matt Saracen, played by the neglected Zach Gilford) deals with the death of his father in such a devastating way that you just want to hug him. (Again, why wasn’t Gilford nominated for any acting award?)
*This isn’t necessarily who or what show I think will actually win.
**I picked the categories I really care about.
The 2010 Primetiem Emmy Awards nominations were announced this morning in Los Angeles. However, I’m not going to comment on them. Our new television critic, Nadia Chaudhury, will be posting for the first time this evening to share her reactions. Nadia and I were classmates in graduate school, and I’m so excited that she’s agreed to contribute to UC. For more on Nadia, see the About page.
Outstanding Comedy Series
- Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO
- Glee, FOX
- Modern Family, ABC
- Nurse Jackie, Showtime
- The Office, NBC
- 30 Rock, NBC
Outstanding Drama Series
- Breaking Bad, AMC
- Dexter, Showtime
- The Good Wife, CBS
- Lost, ABC
- Mad Men, AMC
- True Blood, HBO
- The Pacific, HBO
- Return To Cranford (Masterpiece), PBS
Outstanding Made For Television Movie
- Endgame (Masterpiece), PBS
- Georgia O’Keeffe, Lifetime
- Moonshot, HISTORY
- The Special Relationship, HBO
- Temple Grandin, HBO
- You Don’t Know Jack, HBO
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
- The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
- Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • Larry David as Himself
- Glee • FOX • Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester
- Monk • USA • Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
- The Office • NBC • Steve Carell as Michael Scott
- 30 Rock • NBC • Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
- Breaking Bad • AMC • Bryan Cranston as Walter White
- Dexter • Showtime • Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan
- Friday Night Lights • DirecTV • Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor
- House • FOX • Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House
- Lost • ABC • Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard
- Mad Men • AMC • Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
- A Dog Year • HBO • Jeff Bridges as Jon Katz
- The Prisoner • AMC • Ian McKellen as Two
- The Special Relationship • HBO • Michael Sheen as Tony Blair
- The Special Relationship • HBO • Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton
- You Don’t Know Jack • HBO • Al Pacino as Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
- Glee • FOX • Lea Michele as Rachel Berry
- The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell
- Nurse Jackie • Showtime • Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton
- Parks And Recreation • NBC • Poehler as Leslie Knope
- 30 Rock • NBC • Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
- United States Of Tara • Showtime • Toni Collette as Tara Gregson
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
- The Closer • TNT • Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson
- Damages • FX Networks • Glenn Close as Patty Hewes
- Friday Night Lights • DirecTV • Connie Britton as Tami Taylor
- The Good Wife • CBS • Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson
- Mad Men • AMC • January Jones as Betty Draper
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
- Capturing Mary • HBO • Maggie Smith as Mary Gilbert
- Georgia O’Keeffe • Lifetime • Allen as Georgia O’Keeffe
- Return To Cranford (Masterpiece) • PBS • Dame Judi Dench as Miss Matty
- The Special Relationship • HBO • Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton
- Temple Grandin • HBO • Claire Danes as Temple Grandin
Full list after the cut:Continue Reading »