Tag Archives: Emmy Awards

Assessing the Contenders: Entourage – “The Day F*ckers”

[As the Top 10 Comedy and Drama series contenders have been released, and since Gold Derby has been kind enough to grab us the episode titles, I’m going through each submission judging its quality and its potential on the panel. As I prepare to write about the second Comedy series in contention, you can check out some great Spy reports gathered by Tom O’Neill and Boomer over at Gold Derby (One, Two & Three).]

Entourage (HBO)

Episode: “The Day F*ckers”

Synopsis: With both lovelorn Eric (Struggling to get over his ex-girlfriend Sloan) and Turtle (Who’s never been very good with dating) in slumps, Vince and Drama turn their rush to get laid in a casual fashion into a contest; meanwhile, Ari (Jeremy Piven) struggles to get his son into a private school despite his poor reputation.

My Thoughts: I’ll let my thoughts back when the episode aired to do a bit of the talking for me, although I’ll break into further analysis after the break.

That’s not to say this was a terrible episode of Entourage; as far as these really light and inconsequential episodes go, this one wasn’t particularly awful. But it just had no purpose: Ari’s storyline has been drawn out and neither funny nor dramatic, Eric’s love life has never been entertaining (Although Sloan remains attractive), and Turtle and Drama’s antics were just as ludicrous as ever. The episode just kind of sat there, not doing anything except advance Eric’s love life that tiny little baby step forward.

And when reading over this, and watching the episode, I have to agree: in context of this race, the episode gets even worse.

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Assessing the Contenders: Boston Legal – “The Court Supreme”

[As the Top 10 Comedy and Drama series contenders have been released, and since Gold Derby has been kind enough to grab us the episode titles, I’m going through each submission judging its quality and its potential on the panel. Here’s the first Drama Series in contention, a nominee last year that looks to return.]

Boston Legal (ABC)

Episode: “The Court Supreme”

Synopsis: Having gained a reputation as a staunch opponent of the death penalthy, Alan Shore (James Spader) is approached by a young attourney whose client, a mentally disabled man from Louisiana convicted of raping a child, is appealing the death penalty at the highest level: the Supreme Court of the United States.

My Thoughts: There’s quite a few who are labeling this episode as Emmy bait, and they would not be wrong. For a show that is never afraid to quite literally throw its politics in the audience’s face, this goes even further than we’re used to. James Spader is likely to pick up his fourth Emmy for his performance here, and the show is more than likely guaranteed a nomination.

That doesn’t, however, mean I liked it.

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Assessing the Emmy Contenders: Curb Your Enthusiasm – “The Bat Mitzvah”

When Emmy released the Top 10 lists of the potential nominees for both comedy and drama series, they took the wind out of my sails in terms of putting up my own predictions. However, their work and the work of Tom O’Neill over at Gold Derby getting the episode submission titles means that interested parties can have their own private screening of the 10 comedy and 10 drama episodes that the blue ribbon panels are viewing this weekend. So, following a suggestion by GoldDerby Forum poster jss0058, I figured I’d offer my thoughts on the submitted episodes in alphabetical order as we approach the July 17th nominations.

First off, two caveats:

  • For the sake of not ruining plot-heavy series, I have no intention of watching the submitted episodes from The Tudors or The Wire. I’m currently on the fence with Flight of the Conchords, but chances are I’ll be fine with it.
  • I probably won’t rewatch some of the episodes that I’ve already reviewed/watched extensively, but I’ll try to at least take a fresh perspective.

And with that out of the way, let’s get onto the first series, Larry David’s improvisational comedy hit that finished off its sixth season late last year.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

Episode: “The Bat Mitzvah” (Directed by Larry David)

Synopsis: Larry (Larry David) has a tickle in his anus, and a rumour spreads that it’s the result of a gerbil finding a way into that particular cavity.

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Academy Reveals Emmy “Top 10s” for Comedy and Drama Series

Earlier this week, Tom O’Neill over at The Envelope’s Gold Derby revealed that the Academy planned, for the first time, to reveal the official Top 10 qualifiers for the Series and Acting prizes. These are the shows that will be screened in front of panels, and then used to decide 50% of the final nomination process. These lists are the cutoff point – if you don’t make the list, you cannot get nominated for an Emmy.

Now, the Academy is making their unprecedented decision a little bit more tentative; they’ve announced the Top 10 Series in both Comedy and Drama, and are going to re-assess the situation tomorrow after they see the critical and industry response to these revelations. This is fair, I guess, but let me be the first to say that as a wannabe TV critic I love this news, and think that it’s only helpful to the process. Yes, it will make a potential nomination for a show like The Wire less surprising (Where before people would have presumed that it wouldn’t even make the Top 10), but now people are actually kind of excited going into the process.

Now, Tom has asked that the list of episode submissions be kept to his blog, but the Top 10 lists are floating around. So, here’s the link to Tom’s list, and then I’ll provide the full list of shows and go into some commentary on the choices, and why releasing the acting lists is still a viable option.

Gold Derby: Emmy Drama/Comedy Top 10 Submissions [Link]


“Boston Legal”
“Friday Night Lights”
“Grey’s Anatomy”
“Mad Men”
“The Tudors”
“The Wire”

The Big Surprise: The Wire, which in its fifth season finally captured a little more of voters’ attention. The show is actually HBO’s only show in the category, trouncing their more heavily promoted In Treatment.

The Big Snub: While one could argue that Big Love’s absence from the list is a surprise, the real surprise is that Heroes (nominated last year) didn’t make the Top 10. That the Academy so clearly judged the second season’s quality correctly gives me high hopes.

The Sentimental Favourite: It’s gotta be Friday Night Lights, which squeaks its way into the category with an uneven, but still quality, second season.

After the break, the comedy list.

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60th Primetime Emmy Awards Preview: Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Achieving success in the Supporting Actress in a  Comedy Series takes one of three things: having a recognizable name, being on a popular show, or being on a show that has won Emmys in the past.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself why I would take the time to isolate these three categories since they should (by and large) encapsulate 90% of nominees. The reason is that this is a category where there are some great contenders that won’t be recognized in favour of those who are part of the Emmy elite, or part of shows that give them more exposure. I’m not saying that these are not worthy contenders, but rather that there’s a few others who did fantastic work this season who won’t be recognized for it.

Instead, this is a race designed for last year’s contenders: from the surprise winner to the resurgent veteran, all sides are staging a battle that could prove one of the toughest predictions of the night – if only predicting the Top 10 was just as challenging.

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60th Primetime Emmy Awards Preview – Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

If there’s something to say about the Supporting Actor category for comedy series, it’s that it has far too many candidates, largely due to the nature of television comedy. There are just a lot of male comic performers who steal their respective shows, emerging from the spotlight of the “stars” if you will. When there are three of television’s biggest comedies with two contenders each, you know that the competition is going to be extremely difficult.

And yet, when it comes to narrowing the category down to winners, it’s been a bit too predictable in recent years: since 2002, only three people have won the award (Brad Garrett with 3, David Hyde Pierce with his fourth, and Jeremy Piven with two in the last two years). The result is that it’s not the kind of category that really opens itself up to new talent, even when like last year it had it staring in its face with nominations for Rainn Wilson, Kevin Dillon and Neil Patrick Harris.

But the hope is that history won’t repeat itself: with 30 Rock emerging with a few new candidates, a breakthrough comic role for a drama specialist, and a few fringe contenders, Piven’s reign might just be over as Emmy voters decide to go with something fresh and new. Or, if I know Emmy voters, Piven will walk with his third trophy, not undeservedly but unfortunately.

[Sorry for advance for a lack of YouTube links: Entourage clips are limited and NBC is uppity about clips thanks to Hulu, which I’d use if I could access it from Canada. My apologies!]

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60th Primetime Emmy Awards Preview: Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

In the Emmy Awards’ smallest acting category, there’s not much in the way of wiggle room. The small numbers should mean more of a chance of grabbing a nomination for newcomers, like Pushing Daisies’ Anna Friel or Miss/Guided’s Judy Greer, but it’s also one of the most tightly contested of the major categories. This is because there’s a lot of forces at play here: you’ve got the power of the four Housewives, the heritage of Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and Married…with Children, and the credibility of awards-show favourites like Mary-Louise Parker or Tina Fey.

Combine all of this with last year’s winner America Ferrera, and you have a category where making the Top 10 isn’t enough; you need to have something special that’s going to make you overcome the logjam that could lead to the category’s five nominees. On the one hand, this shuts out a lot of good candidates who probably deserve a shot, as they won’t rank highly enough in the popular vote to have a chance.

However, the one good spinoff is that for the candidates who do have that name recognition, it’s going to be a race that is decided by who has the best tape. The seven or so candidates who have a chance of cracking that Top 5 will have to put forward their best material of the season, and the result is a race that’s going to be very close even if there’s so many “real” contenders.

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