Category Archives: Award Shows

Screen Actors Guild Awards – Television Winners and Thoughts

This will be brief, as I am entering an extremely hectic period in terms of work and the like, but I thought I’d react to this evening’s Screen Actors Guild Awards from a Television (series) perspective. It may only be an hour in, but all six major television awards have been given out, so let’s take a look at the trends.


Best Actor – James Gandolfini (The Sopranos)

Best Actress – Edie Falco (The Sopranos)

Best Ensemble – The Sopranos

Well, there’s not much room for analysis here: while the Golden Globes might not have been feeling the love for the departing HBO drama, the SAG was certainly feeling reflective when they handed out their awards. I hate to continue to see Michael C. Hall lose awards for his fantastic portrayal, but it’s hard to argue with any of these winners. The only thing I would have liked to see what some love for Mad Men, but the nominations alone indicate that people are paying attention. The series also recently picked up a DGA win for Alan Taylor’s work on the pilot, so its future remains bright.


Best Actor – Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Best Actress – Tina Fey (30 Rock)

Best Ensemble – The Office

It looked as if two series might be completing a sweep of the awards, but it was not to be: despite having the best male and female performers of the year, it was the expansive and diverse Office cast which took home their second straight trophy for Best Ensemble. I’m happy for them, honestly, as they remain an extremely good cast as a whole – however, I also hate to see 30 Rock, which is also a great ensemble, get hung out to dry just a little. Apparently Baldwin wasn’t even at the ceremony, which is a disappointment; Fey was, however, and was as self-deprecating as ever.

At a certain point, though, she’s going to have to drop the charade and fess up to being pretty damn good. She’s now won two major acting awards, so it’s not as if there is nothing to back up such claims. It is also telling that this is an award from actors; she is well respected in all guild circles, mind you, but for the actors to embrace her this fully demonstrates her genuine likability. It’s awards buzz like this which will ultimately get the show renewed for a third season, especially when you consider that NBC was the first network to ditch pilot season.

For the full list of Screen Actors Guild Award winners in Film, Television and TV Movies, click here. 

All in all, a decent set of winners, none of whom make me want to wretch. This makes for a good awards show, and I can sleep well tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll be back with some brief thoughts on Lost, and then watch for reviews of House’s first new episode in quite some time, ABC’s new drama Eli Stone, and of course Lost’s fourth season premiere. So stay tuned!

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The “Winners” and “Losers” of the 2008 Golden Globes Awards

Last night, the 2008 Golden Globes were a ludicrous and fascinating experiment of NBC’s incompetence (Sepinwall tears them a new one here) and a sense that what we were watching was memorable not due to any of the winners but rather because it was just difficult to watch. I tried to LiveBlog it, which was a horrible mistake in every possible way, but it did get me thinking about something.

You see, usually we consider the concepts of Winners and Losers in terms of who won awards, but that really isn’t the question here. The real concern is that by not airing the awards, some of the Golden Globes buzz which could benefit these performers in their future award races or in their future ratings/DVD sales. The lack of hoopla actually hurt some of the winners, dampening the effect of what would have been an entertaining surprise victory.

So let’s look at a bit of an unconventional concept of “winners” and “Losers” after last night’s intriguing events.

Winner – 30 Rock

Yes, it lost Best Comedy Series. And yes, it also ludicrously lost Best Actor in a Comedy Series when David Duchovony beat Alec Baldwin. But Tina Fey’s victory shows that an American-made, New York shot comedy series with little to no connection to the international markets (Although Interrogation Bear might differ) is capable of winning even when it’s not Alec Baldwin, which may end up as all of the respect that the HFPA has to give.

Loser – Mad Men

I would have paid money to see the stunned reaction of the partying attendees to Jon Hamm’s win as Best Actor in a Drama Series, but instead we got Billy Bush’s quip about how it was humorous for an actor to have the name “Hamm.” The impact was entirely gone – it was a great endnote for critics and those who enjoy fine television, but the general population will easily shrug off both Hamm’s win and the series’ eventual triumph in Best Drama Series. Still, this is a qualified sense of loser – it’s a winner in my mind, certainly.

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And the Winner is…The 2008 Golden Globe Awards LiveBlog

9:00pm: Welcome to the “Golden Globes Winners Special,” which is just a terrible name for this thing. Also of note: someone from NBC is in Nova Scotia (I, for the record, am also in Nova Scotia), which means that nominee Ellen Page is most certainly winning this evening. That’s good to know.

9:01pm: A seriously melodramatic opening here which leads to…the tackiest set ever with Access Hollywood setpieces. That’s…ugly.

9:03pm: It’s now time for analysis straight from the morning talk shows, as the cast of Access Hollywood begin with the nominees for Best Supporting Actress. And, wow, these graphics are awful. It’s Blanchett, Roberts, Ronan (Atonement), Ryan, Swinton – it’s Ryan or Blanchett in this case, methinks.

And the winner is…Cate Blanchett for I’m Not There, a strong precursor for her when she struggled in the critics’ prizes.

9:04pm: Billy Bush just totally said that Cate Blanchett can’t win for playing a man – this commentary is ridiculous. And now Television Supporting Actor, which gets no time for me to write down each candidate. And the winner is…

Jeremy Piven for Entourage? Frak, people, stop giving him awards: I love Piven, I really do, but this is getting ridiculous. Dillon is more noteworthy, and for that matter so is Ted Danson. People need to stop doing it, immediately.

9:06pm: Oh wow, I can’t type this fast: Lead Actress – Drama. Arquette, Close, Driver, Falco, Field, Hunter, Sedgwick. Who’s going to take this one home: it’s Glenn Close for Damages, which is somewhat surprising in a tough category. And we get more commentary regarding these people, which is really offputting…yet fascinating.

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The 2008 Golden Globe Awards – TV (Comedy) and Film Predictions

At 9pm EST this evening, viewers across America will tune into NBC (Or E!, or TV Guide Channel) and enjoy the coverage of the 2008 Golden Globe Awards News Conference. Yesterday I covered the TV Drama side of things, and this afternoon I’ve got the Comedy and Film awards. I’ll be posting live from the press conference (aka Live from the TV Lounge where I’ll be watching the press conference) this evening, along with my thoughts on The Amazing Race. I’ll probably post tomorrow night about Sarah Connor Chronicles, which debuts post-Football tonight on FOX – you can read my thoughts on the pilot from August here, and I’ll have my thoughts on tomorrow’s second episode in its regular slot (Mondays at 9) sometime over the next couple of days.

Comedy Series

  • Californication
  • Entourage
  • Extras
  • 30 Rock [Myles Choice / Predicted Winner]
  • Pushing Daisies

There are some occasions where the Golden Globes’ focus on newness cannot possibly overcome the power of a sophomore series just getting its due. Considering that 30 Rock was left out last year in favor of Ugly Betty, now is the time for the Globes to honour its growing success and hilarity. Out of the two new series in the category, I’d say Pushing Daisies would have the advantage, and obviously it would also be a deserving winner. Still, I think that Tina Fey and Co. have this one, although this is in no way a definitive prediction.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Alec Baldwin, [30 Rock] [Myles’ Choice / Predicted Winner]
  • Steve Carell, [The Office]
  • David Duchovny, [Californication]
  • Ricky Gervais, [Extras]
  • Lee Pace, [Pushing Daisies]

He’s certainly the best actor in the category, even amongst a fairly decent crowd, but history is against Alec Baldwin picking up this trophy again – the Globes don’t tend to like repeat winners. In terms of other options, Duchovony has a certain mystique about him and Pace is starring in the “it” show of the moment. However, let’s not leave out Carell, who still does great work on The Office, and Gervais DID win the Emmy. I think it’s the gluttony of other options which convinces me that we can forget tradition – Baldwin is too great on 30 Rock, and too big a star, to lose this award.

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The 2008 Golden Globe Awards – TV Predictions – Drama

I watched Friday Night Lights last evening, but I felt too ill to really put my thoughts onto paper. Suffice to say that I agree with Sepinwall in that any show in its right mind would not put Tim Riggins’ fingerprints on a gun and have him steal a load of cash just after it got dragged down from a frustrating murder storyline. The rest of the episode I think I enjoyed more than Alan did, but on the whole it feels like we’re going in circles. And, in the preview for next week, did they seriously show Tim Riggins going after LYLA again? That just feels unnecessary.

But, either way, let’s settle into the big TV story this weekend: The now truncated and airing on multiple stations Golden Globes: News Conference Edition. It’s been a wild ride of sorts, and now comes word that the press conference won’t be picketed as it will be aired on multiple networks and not just on NBC. Variety has the full (And ludicrously complicated) story, but the end result is the same: TV personalities will be announcing the winners in an hour-long block at 9pm EST tomorrow. This should be an interesting experience, but since stars will be able to attend (due to the lack of pickets) there might be some excitement. I’ll look at drama nominees today, and comedy tomorrow. And maybe some film predictions – I’m weak like that.

Drama Series

  • Big Love
  • Damages [Predicted Winner]
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • House
  • Mad Men [Myles’ Choice]
  • The Tudors

It’s the biggest TV award of the evening, really, and it’s one that is kind of tough to decide. The two network series are more or less out of contention, their popularity being their only saving grace in an environment that likes new series. Big Love and The Tudors are just not quite unique enough to stand out, and Damages is buzzworthy due to strong performances and a compelling narrative. It also has the most nominations out of any show, although an upset is always possible. Meanwhile, what is lacks in star power Mad Men makes up with quality and a strong awards push – it’s both my choice and a potential spoiler.

Best Actor in a Drama Series

  • Michael C. Hall [Dexter] [Predicted Winner / Myles’ Choice]
  • Jon Hamm [Mad Men]
  • Hugh Laurie [House]
  • Jonathan Rhys-Meyers [The Tudors]
  • Bill Paxton [Big Love]

This is a category that comes down to two people, really, with Jon Hamm just being too much of an unknown to really break through against two heavyweights. Hugh Laurie has won the award already, while Hall has been criminally unrepresented for his fantastic work on Dexter. It is my hope, and my prediction, that this is rectified by the HFPA, and hopefully it can wake up Emmy to his genius. Seriously, Emmys, James Spader? However, you just watch: the Globe will go to Bill Paxton, who isn’t wholly undeserving but still, just to spite me.

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The 2008 Golden Globe Awards – TV Preview

I have a lot of fond memories of the Golden Globe awards, although none of them are really fond for the reasons that Dick Clark and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association would like them to be. For example, Elizabeth Taylor’s drug-induced reading of “Gladiator” remains in my view the definitive way of vocalizing the title of the film – I seriously doubt that this was supposed to be the definitive moment of my Golden Globes experience, but there you have it.

The Golden Globes are perhaps the only major awards that people want to give away, as seen when Ving Rhames tried to hand his off to Jack Lemmon a number of years ago. They have some value as a precursor to the Academy Awards, and they certainly provide a nice party for the guests in attendance, but the awards themselves have obviously taken a backseat to the spectacle. As a result, the recent decision to cancel the award show itself due to the writers’ strike really kind of kills whatever fun existed in this process, and allows us to focus solely on the awards themselves.

To be honest, it’s fairly bizarre: it becomes about winners and losers, without the added bonus of seeing who is the most intoxicated. Something about that just feels wrong, but I’m willing to go with the flow – while I will refrain from extensive film-analysis at what is ostensibly a TV blog, I’ll probably end up covering the Oscars in greater detail. With the Globes, however, let’s focus on television.

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Because They Won’t Complain About Themselves – The 2008 Golden Globe Nominations

I won’t lie – there are many things that are capable of interrupting my academic productivity and resulting in a lengthy blog post. As of late, this list has been shrinking with the loss of original programming, and with some of that original programming just becoming uninteresting (Heroes, I am looking in your direction). However, there’s nothing like Award Shows to get my blood boiling, and my fingers typing – you can read Cultural Learnings’ other Award Shows coverage here, of which there is an extensive amount.

Cultural Learnings post-dates last year’s Globes (Which means our 1-year anniversary is coming up, so stay tuned!), which means that this is my first time to REALLY complain about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to stick with the Television nominees from an analysis-standpoint, but I’ll probably end up offering predictions on both the film and television side of things come January (Ironically, when I will have even less time). Of course, this is all dependent on the WGA offering the Golden Globes a strike Waiver.

[Speaking of the WGA, their nominations were revealed last night: Mad Men, which you might see more of over the weekend, leads the way with three nominations in Drama, while The Office has four nominations on the comedy side of things. Pushing Daisies also grabbed two nominations, as did 30 Rock and Dexter.]

Anyways, onto the Globes!

Drama Series

  • Big Love
  • Damages
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • House
  • Mad Men
  • The Tudors

Can I get a woot for Mad Men? It’s clear that the series will be getting some January Awards love, based on the WGA and Golden Globes love. I’m very pleased – the show is fantastic, and hopefully the Emmys remembers it as well. Otherwise, interesting that the other new series on the docket are relatively not new Big Love and the Tudors, along with Damages which…I liked enough, I guess. Missing is Lost and Heroes, which was the big new series last year.

Comedy Series

  • Californication
  • Entourage
  • Extras
  • 30 Rock
  • Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies and Californication are the new series, bumping The Office from the list. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I do know that Pushing Daisies and 30 Rock have an advantage in this category. 30 Rock is a rare show that despite being “new” last year, its star is rising – compare to Heroes, which has dropped off the radar entirely in its 2nd year. Ugly Betty, last year’s winner, is also no longer new, and thus no longer nominated.

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Highlights and Lowlights: The Emotional Rollercoaster of the 2007 Emmy Awards

I won’t attempt to claim that I am any different than the myriad of television writers out there: I was never going to “like” the outcome of the Emmy Awards. My cynicism was front and center when it came to reacting to the winners, and even the more positive moments were passed off as exceptions to the rule, not a sign of changes to Emmy’s usual stagnation.

But even weighing this predisposed opinion regarding the validity of the ceremony, last night’s award show was perhaps the most emotionally manipulative in some time. By the end, it actually had us cynics doubting the most well-established prediction of the entire evening: The Sopranos winning Best Drama Series. Of course, David Chase’s departing HBO series won that Emmy, but I actually for a second doubted that.

And I don’t know if it’s good or bad: the emotional rollercoaster that the night represented hit so many inversions that anything seemed possible. Perhaps I am simply extremely malleable, but I was right along with them with my own emotional corkscrews and loop-to-loops. And, as such, I use those emotions to feature the highlights and lowlights of the 2007 Emmy Awards.

Disbelief FOX Pre-Show Uses Britney to Push Ratings

This rumour that Britney Spears would appear and apologize for the VMAs incident fascinated me. Not because I was interested in Britney, of course, but rather I was fascinated that anyone actually believed it. The fact that FOX would prey on that public misconception throughout the pre-show, as if they didn’t know whether she was present, shouldn’t surprise me…but that was the reaction it elicited. [Sidenote: Why was there no actual Countdown on the Countdown to the Emmys?]

Discomfort – Awkward and Inappropriate Jokes and Cuts

Early on, the Emmys hit a rather unfortunate stride: an awkwardly impersonal opening animation act from Brian and Stewie from Family Guy, a questionable cut from a joke about Isaiah Washington to T.R. Knight within said segment, and then Neil Patrick Harris’ unfortunate jailbait joke regarding Hayden Pannetiere – all within about fifteen minutes. It continued on into the rest of the night (Brad Garrett, anyone?), and even Seacrest had some borderline “humour” in his repetoire.

Nostalgia – Emmy Rewards People for the Past

Terry O’Quinn. Jaime Pressley. Katherine Heigl. Conan O’Brien. These four are, amongst others, representing a particular trend: deserving performers who really should have won their respective awards in previous years. O’Quinn was robbed for his turn on Lost’s first season, but remains deserving this year, and the same can be said for Pressley even if my heart was with Jenna Fischer. And Late Night with Conan O’Brien had never won a single Emmy, so its victory in Writing was a long-deserved one.

But Heigl, despite her radiance and grace on stage, really deserved to be recognized for last season’s arc with Denny, as opposed to this season’s whiny George/Izzie period. Her character became one-dimensional and one-note, and even if she remained strong I don’t see that as a worthy winner of this award.

Confusion – The Sopranos go Broadway

I am still trying to decipher just why we had a musical tribute to the Sopranos from the cast of Jersey Boys. The music didn’t particularly relate to the series, and it seemed like a simple video tribute (Maybe asking various stars their thoughts on The Sopranos) and then the curtain call would have been both shorter and more fitting. The theatrical and broad is not, although FOX may disagree, necessary in every single situation.

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Filed under 30 Rock, American Idol, Award Shows, Brothers & Sisters, Emmy Awards, FOX, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, My Name is Earl, Television, The Amazing Race, The Office, The Sopranos, Ugly Betty

Emmys 2007: What Sally Field Said to Get Bleeped by FOX

On tonight’s Emmy broadcast, Sally Field was giving an impassioned speech about mothers and war after winning for “Brothers & Sisters”. After stumbling, she ended with the following comment, paraphrased:

“If mothers ruled the world, there would be no god-damned war.”

For viewers in Canada, this was heard verbatim. For viewers on FOX in the U.S., the conclusion was bleeped out.

While there remains issues over the use of god, for obvious reasons, it raises an important question:

If this was on any network other than FOX, run by Rupert Murdoch, would it have been bleeped out at all?

We’ll see the fallout from this over the next few days. At the end of the Emmy broadcast, Sopranos creator David Chase joked that “If gangsters ruled the world…maybe they do.” Will it be a laughing matter in tomorrow’s papers? Only time will well.


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Liveblogging the 2007 Primetime Emmy Awards

Welcome to Cultural Learnings’ LiveBlog for the 2007 Emmy Awards! We’ve done a week’s worth of coverage leading up to this moment, and now it’s time to see how the awards turn out, starting with the one-hour pre-show and moving into the three-hour broadcast. So stay tuned to see just how much the Academy is going to miss The Sopranos during tonight’s Emmys broadcast.

[With the show now over, Cultural Learnings has posted its Highlights and Lowlights post that summarizes a lot of the feelings within this LiveBlog. Admittedly, there isn’t 7000 words there, so it’s a bit easier to digest. – Myles]

6:57 pm: Everything is set – admittedly, I’m watching on my snowy antenna connection, but it’s more than adequate to be able to tell Ryan Seacrest from Brian Dunkleman.

7:00pm: And we’re here with…Mark Steines! And…Laila Spencer? Someone from The Insider. And it is Ellen Degeneres to open the show, which is perhaps fitting considering her nomination in Individual Performance in a Variety Series. Her prediction: Tony Bennett. I really want Colbert to jump her at this point. However, I do believe she is quite good at this: she called Elaine Stritch beating her a few years back. Doesn’t bode well for Colbert.

7:02pm: Oh, I hate this person! Ugh, poor Kate Walsh, has to deal with this Britney Spears question. She does not deserve this type of idiotic punishment. Are they seriously going to try to milk this entire preview pretending Britney Spears is going to publicly apologize to the ENTIRETY of humankind? Because no.

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Filed under Award Shows, Emmy Awards, Entertainment, Entourage, FOX, Lost, My Name is Earl, Television, The Amazing Race, The Office, The Simpsons, The Sopranos