Thursday, September 22, 2016

CANON OF FILM: "L.A. CONFIDENTIAL"

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997)

Director: Curtis Hanson
Screenplay: Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson based on the novel by James Ellroy



For much of “L.A. Confidential,” the events all seem random and episodic, until we realize they’re all part of the same labyrinthian mystery, and then the three detectives begin to suspect it. It wasn’t the last film noir, but it might be last great one, and even if it isn't it might as well be. It feels like it, the same way that Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" feels like the last great western. Now universally accepted among cinephiles and critics alike as the best film of ’97 (While the public at large still considers it “Titanic”; [And I'd probably vote for "Good Will Hunting" myself, but it wouldn't be an easy choice) “L.A. Confidential,” feels as familiar in the film noir genre as “The Maltese Falcon,” and “Chinatown”. It feels so much like the 1940s, it’s actually odd to realize it takes place in the ‘50s. It’s also a movie that wouldn’t be made today, if nothing else the cast wouldn’t be affordable. Kevin Spacey was the biggest star in the film at the time, having won his Oscar for “The Usual Suspects,” and most of the rest of the cast money was spent on Kim Basinger for her supporting role. Everyone else, as well known as they are now, were fairly unknown at the time. The story begins with three cops, who are all completely different from one another. Jack Vincennes (Spacey) is the celebrity cop, working on a TV show, “Badge of Honor,” (Obviously, Dragnet) as a consultant. He works with scheming tabloid reporter Sid Hutcheons (Danny DeVito) to catch celebrities in compromising positions, making sure the camera is there to catch him arresting them. Bud White (Russell Crowe) is an aging, overweight but over-passionate enforcer cop. He walks a thin line between corrupt and crazy, and has a mean streak for men who beat on women. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is the son of a hero cop, young ambitious, and by-the-book, he makes more enemies out of the police than the criminals. The three cops’ heads first butt during a Christmas night riot in prison that has to be dealt with or covered up depending on the perspective. The next incident involves the shooting of five people at a cafĂ© called the Night Owl, suspects include African-Americans who are also involved in an unrelated rape. There’s a former cop named Buzz Meeks (Darrell Sandeen) who’s missing. He had been working as a bodyguard for Pierce Morehouse Patchett (David Strathairn), a local smut peddler who runs an exclusive escort service that specializes in hookers that look like movie stars. One of those hookers is a femme fatale named Lynn Bracken (Basinger in her Oscar-winning role), who may or may not know more than she says, and it’s impossible to tell whether she’s seducing or falling in love.

I’ve just given you random details, minor random details in fact. Like all great mysteries and detective stories, it's the process of solving the crime that’s more interesting than the actual result and why. I’ve seen this film more times than I can count, and I have a difficult time recalling every detail of the crime, and the levels upon levels of corruption and conspiracy. A few years back, the BBC aired their masterful “Red Riding Trilogy,” about police corruption in Northern England that lasted decades. The great lost of that wasn’t necessarily the corruption itself, but that it led to many crimes being unsolved and improperly investigated, the most notorious of which being the Yorkshire Ripper, who could easily have been caught if they simply did their jobs. Both "Red Riding..." and L.A. Confidential and period thrillers about police corruption, and three detectives who try to navigate through it in order to solve a crime that seemingly everyone and everything is doing their best to try to make sure they don't solve. James Ellroy’s book is based loosely on the actual corrupt L.A. Police department, but frankly, the story’s better if we don’t think about how it could’ve been real. The movie works better as style over substance, like all film noirs. The fact that it does come together so well is why master writers Hanson and Helgeland (Mystic River) won Oscars for the screenplay. 

Before his recent untimely passing, Curtis Hanson could legitimately be called one of the best directors around, but he was usually one that was too hard to pin down. He’s made other great films, most notably the overlooked “Wonder Boys,” and he’s also made some rather strange and interesting directing choices like “8 Mile,” with rap artist Eminem. He challenges himself by constantly changing genres, from psychological horror like “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” to adventures like “The River Wild,” to the more serene family comedy “In Her Shoes,” to the “Lucky You”, a rom-com about professional poker players, that somehow spent two years on the shelf right in the middle of the poker boom in the mid-2000s. He might occasionally make a forgettable film, but he hardly ever makes a bad one. What I suspect is the main thread that fascinates him is that they’re all about the characters at their core. While we follow the crimes in "L.A. Confidential", we learn about each detectives as they go through their own trials and tribulations and sometimes find a way to complete shock and surprise us; he's at his best when he's allowing the film to evolve and explore his characters. Few directors can create more than one fully-formed character in a film, try doing it with three, and that’s just the protagonists in this one. 



Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016 PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS ANALYSIS! "GAME OF THRONES", O.J. SIMPSON, KATE MCKINNON GET "SNL" AN ACTING WIN! BEN MENDELSOHN UPSET, AND THROWING MARK BURNETT OFF THE ISLAND!



I'm David Baruffi, this is David Baruffi's Entertainment Views and Reviews annual Post-Emmys analysis blog, and what-the H-hell just happened!

My god, the Emmys will pull my hair out one day, I swear. Ugh. As far as predictions go.... LOLOLOLOLOL,Lololo, oh boy. As I've done this for a few years now, on this blog and many, many, many years before that, I've come to conclusion or two about the Award shows. The Oscars, even in the most uncertain years, you pretty much know what's going to happen. There's never a freaky or unexplain-able upset, and for the most, you can pretty much know the feel of how things will or could go. The Emmys are partially that and the other side is, an absolutely wild roller coaster ride where we know absolutely nothing and we're not sure what's gonna happen. Anybody who we think are out of it, could easily win and, we're just... speechless. We watch the episode submissions, we scout and poll the Academy, hell, if we know a voter, we ask a voter or two how they voted, we try to understand patterns and how they might be thinking or have thought in the pass and then. (Fart noise).

We'll go through which awards were as is and which weren't but let's take a look at the show. Um, first off Jimmy Kimmel, eh, I think he was... okay. He wasn't awful, per se, he had funny moments, but...- you know, I gotta be honest I've always been baffled by the popularity of Jimmy Kimmel, and it's not that I don't think he's funny, I actually think in the right spots and moments he can be absolutely hilarious but over a whole show, I tend to find him, just swarmy. I know people compare him to Letterman a lot, but Letterman was always sorta, apoplectic about what they're doing. I mean, the stuff at the beginning, really funny, really witty, really vicious at times. But, he let's off the vicious gear. It feels like it's supposed to be a loving jab, but it always feels like he's roasting whoever he's talking about and I get tired of it after awhile. Here, I appreciate it at that moment, but then he kept on with it at times, and he doesn't really know how to pivot away from that after awhile. Still though, I did like his job hosting, and I thought the show overall was pretty entertaining. He puts on a better show than I think he does, work as a host, that's kinda where I'm at with him. I like him in certain spots more than others. 

Okay, he was good, funny at times thoughout, great opening, I liked how he brought into the joke, other people. Matt Damon coming in, that was good. I liked the Amy Schumer joke that was good. And I'm definitely glad he got the joke in there about Mark Burnett being responsible for Donald Trump, that was genius. I just think it got old as it went on. But, we had more than enough awards craziness to make up for it. 

In Comedy, Louie Anderson pulled off the upset winning Supporting Actor for "Baskets" where he plays Zach Galifinakis's mom. I love that he thanked the FX publicity department, especially since they really earned that. "Baskets" got nothing else and it was just word of mouth + campaigning to get him to earn that win. Kudos for bringing that up.

"Master of None" pulled off another upset as the split vote between "Silicon Valley" and "Veep" and it's a bit annoying to me that now, all the "Parks and Recreation" people are winning, instead of back when the show was on. 

Then, the first shock, Kate McKinnon, not only upsetting Allison Janney, Okay, Janney losing, that's big, but McKinnon's win, is really unprecedented. That's the first time since they've been allowed to submit that a sketch comedy performer has won in a major acting category. (They had won for Guest Performances several times) So, that breaks a major Emmy prognostication rule, and it seemed everything else was just gonna go crazy. 

Well, it didn't. Jeffrey Tambor and Julia Louis-Dreyfus repeated for their lead roles in "Transparent" and "Veep" respectively and Jill Soloway won again for directing "Transparent", and eventually, "Veep" as expected won the Series prize for the second straight year. 

Also repeating, "The Voice" winning Reality series in back-to-back years, first show to ever do that not named, "The Amazing Race" which still amazes me. I wanted that to win in it's first or second seasons, but now that it's unwatchable? (Well, not unwatchable, but just "American Idol Reduxed"?)

Onto the, Let's revisit 1994, for some goddamn reason set of categories they call "Limited Series", the big upset was "The Night Manager" winning Directing as Susanne Bier, probably benefitted from the three nominated "The People v. O.J. Simpson..." directors. Does that mean she has an Oscar and an Emmy now? I guess technically her Foreign Language Oscar for "In a Better World" goes to the country of Denmark and not to her, but that's always been stupid and wrong to me.

The only other non-O.J. winner was Regina King, winning for "American Crime" for the second consecutive year for Supporting Actress. I'm not exactly crazy about that but I guess they'll never give Sarah Paulson that award for "American Horror Story". But, she finally, ended that drought when she won for playing Marcia Clark, and she brought her along for the show, she looked good. So did Paulson, who seems to be doing a Miley Cyrus in J.Lo's dress thing.

(Oh, and yeah, Claire Danes, too much spray tan. Just, sorry. You know I love you.) 

Sterling G. Brown and Courtney B. Vance also won for O.J. and the show won Limited Series. "Fargo" got shut out strangely.

Variety had a few surprising, most touching was Patton Oswalt winning the Variety-Writing Special award for his stand-up special. You can tell he was shocked and it seems like he's still dealing with the grief of his wife's passing and it's nice to see him after years of great work on television and movies finally get rewards. 

"Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver" took over the Variety-Talk Series throne from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report", as expected. Only four shows have won that award in the last 20 years and they're the fourth and it doesn't look like they'll give that up anytime soon.

"Grease Live" won the Directing-Variety Special, to no one's surprise there, beating Chris Rock, who's mock-angry reaction was great,  for directing the Amy Schumer stand-up special and-eh Beyonce's "Lemonade" thing, but live theater on television; yeah it was winning. "Key & Peele" in their last season, got the surprise "goodbye hug" as Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil calls it, as they won Sketch Comedy Series in their final season, and that's the first Emmy the show ever won, so it's nice to see that. I've never been their biggest fan, but they've definitely made me laugh a lot for the last few years. Hell, they were funny as hell in the first season of "Fargo". I just watched that, and boy that was weird suddenly seeing them in that! Like-eh, I guess when Cheech and Chong suddenly show up in Scorsese's "After Hours" weird. Weird, but awesome.

"Game of Thrones" as expected rule the Drama categories, winning Series and Writing and Directing, both for the "Battle of the Bastards" episode. The actors however, split the vote in both their categories. Maggie Smith, got the goodbye hug for "Downton Abbey" winning Supporting Actress, leaving that series it's final Emmy and the most shocking upset of the night, Ben Mendelsohn, a ghost, now on "Bloodline" winning for Supporting Actor for "Bloodline", that got me to just tweet his name and a hundred or so exclamation points after that shock. But the upsets in acting weren't over. Rami Malek became one of the youngest actors ever to win Lead Actor in a Drama Series with his upset win for "Mr. Robot", and then Tatiana Maslany, pulling off the really shocking upset for "Orphan Black", where she plays about 90 or 100 clones. Good performance, definitely, just tough show to get into, at least for me. "Mr. Robot", eh I'm worried about the second season, but Malek does give a great performance. This left "House of Cards" shutout, despite eight acting nominations across the six categories and it didn't win anything else either, particularly shocking considering that was a favorite to many.

But "Game of Thrones" ruled the night. 3 more awards tonight, and a total of, "Game of Thrones" has no surpassed "Frasier" and has won more Emmy awards that any other Drama or Comedy series. Amazingly only two of those are for acting, both for Peter Dinklage, but technical achievements and the last two Series wins, put it over the top. The only show left in it's way, is "Saturday Night Live", good luck with that "Game of Thrones", but I think it'll take more than dragons to take them down.

So, busy Emmy season, great Emmy show, lots of surprises, intrigue, and there's plenty of room to think about next year. Some promising new shows, although I'm not doing another Premiere Week blog but, most of them start debuting this week, so it's time to catch on next year\s Emmys now. Hell, maybe it's already started with "The Night Of" and "Stranger Things". "Game of Thrones" isn't eligible next year, and "Downton Abbey" has ended, so there will be some new winners and new nominees, and lots of potential shows on the air now and those debuting soon that could take their place. Who knows.

But, awards-wise, it's time to start preparting for Oscar season. Me-wise, I got movie to reviews, and scripts to write, lots of other busywork, but the Emmys as always a great reminder of why we love television and are fascinated by this world of film and entertainment and a great break to honor those we most adore! Or at least ones we respect the hell out of even if we don't particularly like. (Shrugs) Eh, some years that would annoy me, but this year, eh, good enough for me, I hope it is for you guys too.

Oh, and Samantha Bee was still robbed! Nominated her next year Variety Series people!

Oh, eh my results, eh, I would talk about them, but my ballot's in a 100 little pieces somewhere off the side of my balcony, so, sorry. (Shrugs) I presume I got them all right, but who knows. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS PREDICTIONS, THOUGHTS AND PREFERENCES!!!!



Happy Primetime Emmys Weekend, Everyone!

I'm way behind in getting around to this, and we got a lot of categories to get through, so I won't go into too much of an opening this year. We're going through every category that they'll announce Sunday Night, as usual, and I'll go over a couple of the Emmys they gave out already at the Creative Arts Awards, which if you wear keeping an eye on the Facebook page, I made predictions for on this site, Facebook page, which you should be following, here:

https://www.facebook.com/David-Baruffis-Entertainment-Views-and-Reviews-602692689824035/?ref=bookmarks

So go follow the site, soon that, and you can just scroll down a bit and you'll find the two prediction posts I made up for the Creative Arts, so you know I'm not lying when I say which ones I got right or wrong, and as always, after the show, I will be posting our annual, Post-Mortem on the show, which we'll call our Primetime Emmy Awards Analysis, so keep an eye out for that after the show. Let's get right into my Prediction for this year, we're starting with Comedy Series nominations, let's get to my PREDICTIONS and if I have one, m PREFERENCE on who I think should win!


COMEDY SERIES

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Black-ish-ABC
Master of None-Netflix
Modern Family-ABC
Silicon Valley-HBO
Transparent-Amazon
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-Netflix
Veep-HBO

I'll make the call now, that this is probably "Modern Family"'s last year getting nominated, at least until they may end they're series; I can already suspect a couple shows that might break in next year and knock them off, especially. Thankfully, ABC's got a pretty good replacement with "Black-ish", but I don't expect an upset, they only got three nominations overall. In fact, only "Veep" and "Transparent" won anything during the Creative Arts Emmys, so it's not as clear-cut as it seems based on them. Gold Derby, surprising has "Silicon Valley", in 5th on their odds, they almost as many nominations as "Veep", so I'm a little shocked their behind that much; I don't think much of the show, but if there's a spoiler, I would look out for "Silicon Valley". "Veep" is, just to big a favorite though, um, maybe "Transparent" can sneak in, but I doubt it, and I will never completely rule out "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" great show, Tina Fey is brilliant, although I liked the first season a little more then the 2nd, but she's pulled it off in weird places, and she already has, like her eighth Emmy win this year, or whatever the number is; we'll get to that, later. If "Louie" has never won, and Aziz Ansari's previous show, "Parks and Recreation" could never win, then I'm not 100% sure that "Masters of None" can win either.

PREDICTION: "Veep"
PREFERENCE: "Transparent" 


LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Anderson-"Black-ish"-ABC
Aziz Ansari-"Master of None"-Netflix
Will Forte-"The Last Man on Earth"-FOX
William H. Macy-"Shameless"-Showtime
Thomas Middleditch-"Silicon Valley"-HBO
Jeffrey Tambor-"Transparent"-Amazon

Six different shows, six different networks in the category, that's weird. Um, here's the thing that's really making everybody wonder, the new voting system. that switch from a primary tape system, which required voters to see the tapes, (Which they still are supposed to do but...) to the more popular system that allows the entire eligible Academy members to vote. So the question that everybody has, "Do the tapes matter?" 'cause there's a lot of categories, acting ones especially, where we're struggling to figure out how the vote will play out. This system was in place last year, and the Academy already has a really close relationship with complacency, but it looks like, this year, may have a lot of repeat winners; more than normal. Is it the most popular nominee, the most popular show, or are they seeking through each of the tapes to really see who submitted well? We'll know more by the end, but most are predicting chalk with last year, and I can't really disagree. This wasn't Jeffrey Tambor's greatest season, although he does have a great episode, but he's vulnerable. Probably not against Forte or Macy, who lost to him last year, but Anthony Anderson is on the show on the rise, that snuck into the Series category kinda out-of-nowhere and he got into this category last year, so... Aziz Ansari and Thomas Middleditch are also knew, and Ansari; he's up for three awards, this year, I suspect he's viable in all of them, but I'm not sure exactly which one he'll win for. Middleditch, he is good on "Silicon Valley", and he's overdue; he was great on "The Office" for years before this, but first acting nomination for that series, and it's been on three years now, it wouldn't shock me, but I don't think it's likely he'll win here, but he's a good outside possibility.

PREDICTION: Jeffrey Tambor-"Amazon
PREFERENCE: Aziz Ansari-"Master of None"


LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ellie Kemper-"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"-Netflix
Julia Louis-Dreyfus-Veep-HBO
Laurie Metcalf-"Getting On"-HBO
Tracee Ellis Ross-"Black-ish"-ABC
Amy Schumer-"Inside Amy Schumer"-Comedy Central
Lily Tomlin-"Grace and Frankie"-Netflix

Alright, we'll pretend for a moment that Julia Louis-Dreyfus isn't winning this, (Spoilers: she's winning again, ugh, and that would be five in a row, and that would be the record; not that she needed another Emmy record to set.) and let's look around. Um, Amy Schumer, until somebody win for a Variety-Sketch Series, I'm not gonna predict it, besides she has other places to win so.... Lily Tomlin, got nominated because she's a popular Board of Directors members and I'm sorry, I'll give "Grace and Frankie" another try at some point, but man is that show disappointingly hard-to-watch. I suspect Ellie Kemper was 7th last year and should've been nominated last year, (And again, I'll explain that later.) but because of that, she's an unknown quantity on a show they Academy does seem to love, and is playing one of the more original characters among the nominees, so I'm not overlooking her, like I suspect others are; I think she might be the one that can pull this off. However, if anybody knows how to win an Emmy over Julia Louis-Dreyfus, it's Laurie Metcalf. I'm glad she finally got in for "Getting On", she's definitely the most fascinating character from that show and she beat Julia, three times a row for Supporting Actress in a Comedy, when she was on "Roseanne"; Julia never won on "Seinfeld" until after Metcalf stopped getting nominated, so Julia's never beaten Metcalf, and not that many people saw it but they seemed to like "Getting On", those who do, and really liked Laurie Metcalf this year, as she got three acting nominations this year overall. As to Tracee Ellis Ross, she's been around forever, breakout show and performance, that got Best Series, sh'es got a legitimate shot, and btw, the last time an African-American actress won this category was, Isabel Sanford in 1981 for "The Jeffersons"! Wait, really? That can't be right, didn't Phylicia Rashad win some year? No? Huh? Did anybody ever actually win for acting in "The Cosby Show"? (Searches emmys.org) Just Roscoe Lee Browne for Guest actor in '86? Wow, I'll be damned. Alright, so there's that possible history. Yeah, it's hard to get too excited though, they were giving this category to Julia back way before they changed the system, there's no reason to really think it'll change now.

PREDICTION: Julia Louis-Dreyfus-"Veep"
PREFERENCE: Ellie Kemper-"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Louie Anderson-"Baskets"-FX Networks
Andre Braugher-"Brooklyn Nine-Nine"-FOX
Tituss Burgess-"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"-Netflix
Ty Burrell-"Modern Family"-ABC
Tony Hale-"Veep"-HBO
Keegan-Michael Key-"Key & Peele"-Comedy Central
Mike Walsh-"Veep"-HBO

The 2% rule was enacted here leaving us seven nominations instead of six, however the only two additions from last year were Mike Walsh for "Veep", a bit of a surprise nomination there, and I can't believe I'm saying this, Louie Anderson for "Baskets". I have heard of it, I have not seen "Baskets" yet, and I am aware that he's playing a woman in the movie, um,- I've been a fan of Louie Anderson for years and I didn't think he would ever hear his name again much less, as an Emmy nominee, although he does have two Daytime Emmys, not for hosting "Family Feud" but for "Life with Louie" the animated series, which I always liked good show, and those were for Voice-Over work too, so he's shown he can win a Performance Emmy before. He's the one big unknown in this category, and I have no idea how many people saw or liked "Baskets", it's the show's only nominations, so (Shrugs). Other than that, Andre Braugher, back again as the only representative from "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", Keegan-Michael Key back again, very surprising; he should be in Lead but... also, his last season, but again, until I see a sketch comedy performer win, I'm not predicting it. Burrell's the only "Modern Family" acting nomination, and that's all that needs to be said there. Tony Hale's got competition from his own show, and that's gonna be interesting, 'cause there were cases of vote splitting throughout the Creative Arts category, particularly when it came to multiple nominees from the same series, unless something/somebody was an overwhelming heavy favorite to win, and that's what the problem is. Tony Hale's won this category twice, but not in consecutive years, and the question is, how big a favorite is he? And, if Matt Walsh can get some votes now that he's got in, and is competitive in the category, and by all account, "Veep" performers seem to be, than I'm suspecting upset, and to me, the most logical place would be Tituss Burgess getting the win. He was the favorite last year, arguably has just as good an episode, (If episodes mattered...) and is probably the second choice on most polls. I suspect this is a closer 3-way race between Anderson, Burgess and Hale than it seems.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE; Tituss Burgess-"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", I'm gonna call the upset here, just to make it a little fun for me.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anna Chlumsky-"Veep"-HBO
Gaby Hoffman-"Transparent"-Amazon"
Allison Janney-"Mom"-CBS
Judith Light-"Transparent"-Amazon
Kate McKinnon-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Niecy Nash-"Getting On"-HBO

So, this category went down from eight nominations, back to the standard six this year, with only Judith Light coming into the category as a new nominee, although Judith Light's been around forever so, not exactly new, although amazingly, only her second Primetime Emmy nomination, although she does have two Daytime Emmys for Lead Actress on "One Life to Live", back when those awards actually mattered. (And yes, back when she won them, they did matter.). Sketch comedy, until I see it, blah, blah, blah, but if somebody's going to win it this year, Kate McKinnon, probably has the best chance. Political year, she played Hillary Clinton in her episode and much of the year, and this is her official breakout year, so if you're looking out there upset, she makes sense. But, it's the last year for "Getting On", and Niecy Nash has been around forever and she proved last year wasn't a fluke, so she can pull it off too. Anna Chlumsky, continuous nominee, keeps running into Allison Janney, and Gaby Hoffman has the biggest problem in that she's splitting votes with her co-star, so that's an automatic worry. And the real kicker is that, "Mom" is really a good show that's gotten better and better each year, it even got into some craft categories this year, so I don't really see Allison Janney going down this year. She's the best actress around, everybody knows it, she's got a better show than the nomination count indicates, everyone knows it, and she doesn't lose even when she has competition.

PREDICTION: Allison Janney-"Mom"
PREFERENCE: Kate McKinnon-"Saturday Night Live"


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Master of None-"Parents"-Aziz Ansari-Netflix
Silicon Valley-"Daily Active Users"-Alec Berg-HBO
Silicon Valley-"Founder Friendly-Mike Judge-HBO
Transparent-"Man on the Land"-Jill Soloway-Amazon
Veep-"Kissing Your Sister"-Dave Mandel-HBO
Veep-"Morning After"-Chris Addison-HBO
Veep-"Mother"-Dan Stern-HBO

They, fine-ally, increase the Writing and Directing nominees to six each for Comedy and Drama Series, and the 2% rule came into play as now, we have, seven nominees, two from "Silicon Valley", three, from "Veep" and one each from "Master of None" and "Transparent". Yikes. So yeah, the popular voting system, they vote for the same shows they and as often as they submit it seems, in these categories. Okay, there's a huge split here across the board, but we've got "Veep"'s "Mother" episode that seems to have gotten nominated everywhere it could've been, so that's the most likely favorite, and "Man on the Land", which I think was the early favorite and still has a huge chance despite Jill Solloway winning the category last year, and the interesting nominee is Aziz Ansari for "Master of None" and his episode "Parents", and I'm trying to figure out if that episode has a better shot at Writing than Directing, but it can go either way. The vote splitting here though, is just really traumatic however. Even Mike Judge's nomination seems like an afterthought with three "Veep"'s up, are the voters really gonna sort through them to put "Mother" over, or can this be where something else can steal it? Gold Derby, is leaning towards "Mother", but it's close.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Transparent"-"Man on the Land"-Jill Soloway


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Catastrophe-"Episode 1"-Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan-Amazon
Master of None-"Parents"-Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang-Netflix
Silicon Valley-"Founder Friendly"-Dan O'Keefe-HBO
Silicon Valley-"The Uptick"-Alec Berg-HBO
Veep-"Morning After"-David Mandel-HBO
Veep-"Mother"-Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck-HBO

Okay, I have seen an episode of "Catastrophe", and it happened to be the one that snuck in this nomination, which I'm calling the "Episodes" nomination, because there's always that one weird nomination for Writing for the show "Episodes" in this category and they weren't eligible this year, so "Catastrophe" which btw, won the BAFTA award earlier this year, so don't discredit it right away, it's in the conversation, but I doubt that many Academy members have seen it. "Morning After," is probably the lesser nominee of the "Veep" noms, so "Mother" I suspect is the heavy favorite, with "Master of None" being the spoiler. I don't really think either "Silicon Valley" episode is in the running, although "Founder Friendly" is most prognosticators' third choice. "Parents", this is the probably the most likely spot where Aziz Ansari would win, especially with that episode it really is in the Writing, and I bet those who see it, especially many of the older members of the Television Academy, will probably fall in love with it's writing as well, but it would have to go one-on-one with "Mother"?

PREDICTION: "Veep"-"Mother"-David Mandel
PREFERENCE: "Master of None"-"Parents"-Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang


GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Larry David-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Peter MacNicol-"Veep"-HBO
Tracy Morgan-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Martin Mull-"Veep"-HBO
Bob Newhart-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS
Peter Scolari-"Girls"-HBO*
Bradley Whitford-"Transparent"-Amazon

The Guest Actor Awards were given out at the Creative Arts already, and if you are familiar with what happened here, then you probably already have an opinion. For those who don't know however, we need to begin with the crossed-out name on the ballot, Peter MacNicol, and it's a damn shame, but you may remember that after a lot of criticism form people purportedly submitting in the wrong categories in order to improve their chances of winning an Emmy, particularly with people like Uzo Aduba, winning in Guest Actress-Comedy Series for "Orange is the New Black", despite appearing in every episode of the season, and other such anomalies, John Lithgow winning for being the villain of the season on "Dexter", is another one, they changed the rules so that Guest Performers had to have appeared in less than 50% of that season's episodes, if it's 50% or more, they must submit in Supporting (Or possibly even Lead, although I haven't seen that brash move yet). Well, Peter MacNicol, when the nominations were submitted, was eligible, but, after the entire season of "Veep" was completed, it turned out that he appeared in five of the season's ten episodes, therefore, when this revelation was discovered by Gold Derby, who then submitted the query to the Television Academy, they had no choice but to disqualify MacNicol. In case you're wondering there is precedent for this, back in 2000, Henry Winkler's nomination for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for "Battery Park" (and, no, I don't remember that show either) was disqualified after it turned out his episode submission didn't air within the qualification period, because the show was cancelled before it's original April air date and the submitted episode didn't air until June, and he was replaced with the next highest vote-getter in the category, that year it was William H. Macy for "Sports Night" being the beneficiary, although he lost to Bruce Willis for his work on "Friends". So, that's what they did, they went back to the votes, and that's how Peter Scolari earned "Girls" only nomination this year. (Deep breath) Okay, so that happened, and now to the predictions, most figured Larry David was the favorite, and I agreed, his portrayal, somewhat surprising portrayal of Bernie Sanders; I didn't remember the-eh, crowd swell for that to happen until suddenly "SNL" did it, not the way, it was with Tina Fey and Sarah Palin, where it was just, flying off the tips of our tongues the second Palin opened her mouth, but I thought he was the favorite, the problem was that he had Tracy Morgan's comeback performance hosting "SNL" after that terrible accident. So he's a sentimental favorite, so is Martin Mull, and this is his first ever Emmy nomination, and he's been around, since "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman", and on the stand-up circuit probably longer; it's amazing he's never been nominated until now; I thought he must've gotten in at least once for "Roseanne" but... (Shrugs, Oh, and he's no longer competing against his co-star, so "Veep" votes go to him) and there's two past winners in the category with Bob Newhart, back again for his won in "The Big Bang Theory" and Bradley Whitford, who won last year for "Transparent", although, curiously for a different role this time around, so that's a bit of a questionable nomination, but Margo Martindale won for a cup of coffee last year and Whitford can probably be big enough to do the same. And Scolari, great story getting in, he's never won and he's been around forever, since "Bosom Buddies" and he and nobody else ever won for "Newhart", but yeah, he finished 7th in the original voting, he's the longest longshot in the field.

PREDICTION: Larry David-"Saturday Night Live"
PREFERENCE: Peter Scolari-"Girls"
*WINNER: Peter Scolari-"Girls"

Okay, so before I move onto the next category, yes, Scolari pulled it off. I have a theory, and this is what I was building up to, um, and it's not that he, got in and got the sentimental vote, had the comeback story, blah, blah, blah, here's the thing, I think this is proof that they aren't nominating enough people in these categories. Hear me out; I know it seems like they nominate a lot already, but the increase the Comedy/Drama series nominees to seven a few years ago, which is fine, more shows should mean more nominees in the category, I'm all for that. Except they kept all the other nominees in the genre at six, and this has never made sense to me, and this is why. I mean, just do the math, if there's enough shows to require a minimum of seven deserving nominees, not counting the 2% rule in place, which adds more nominees if they come within 2% of the votes of the last nominee, then, why are there only six actors, per category, directors/writers per category, (Which again, was five until last year) why six, everywhere else. Think of it this way, say the Academy really admired six great shows, and they decided to nominated them in every category, one nominee each, which is possible, unlikely but not impossible. Most shows can point to a male and female lead, and then they're even more likely to have many male and female supporting actors and actresses and everything else, a show can get nominated for Best Series, and literally get nothing else, and not a single nomination would go to an eighth show. So, what if, they're not nominating enough people? So I suspect Scolari should've been nominated to begin with. It actually less sense the more you realize it, that there's only six actors/category when you realize how many actually do put their names up for consideration compared to the amount of series in the category. Enough for seven shows = only enough for six of everything else? Yeah, that doesn't make sense, and if you really want proof, I can now point to Peter Scolari, who didn't get in, originally, but got a nomination due to a disqualification, and then pulled off the victory, despite not only finishing 7th in the original voting, but not even qualifying via 2% rule. And who know, who was behind him, and who was behind him that might've qualified via 2% rule! So, this isn't as weird as it looks, it just means that the accounting patterns of the Academy, need to come under advisement and make some changes; I suggest requiring all categories under a genre to have the same minimum amount of nominees for each category, whatever that number is. That's my big declaration this year.

(Deep breath) Alright, we still got a lot to do, so next category!

GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christine Baranski-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Melora Hardin-"Transparent"-Amazon
Melissa McCarthy-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Laurie Metcalf-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS
Amy Schumer-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC

Oh-kay, god the Guest Actor categories this year, let's start with the obvious again, why are Tina Fey & Amy Poehler submitted as one nominee? Well, I know some disagree with this, but I actually am fine with it. Essentially they're both "Hosts" for the same episode and are therefore playing the same role, so you can't really separate them. I know, some of you are calling bullshit, but that's not my fault, but there is a precedent, just not at the Emmys. At the 2009, Tony Awards, David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kini Kulish, each won the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical, for playing "Billy Elliot". I didn't agree with it then, but they all played "Billy Elliot," and they alternated days where they played the titular role, so they were nominated together and they won together. Since they're both technically playing, "Host", is kinda makes sense. To give you an Emmys example, the Reality Show Host category has gone through this situation multiple times, originally with Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio nominated together for "Top Chef" and for a few years now, both Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn were nominated as a pair, and even won a couple years ago. I'm not gonna pretend it's not questionable, but they could've not voted for them. Anyway, they're one of the three nominations nominated for "SNL" along with Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy against two from the same episode of "The Big Bang Theory" Christine Baranski and Laurie Metcalf, and Melora Hardin for "Transparent" who was definitely playing spoiler. So, big favorite over competiting co-stars splitting the vote, or are the votes split? Oh, um, one more thing, Amy Poehler has as of yet, not won an Emmy, although, let's all admit, it's a bit shitty that this would be how she could win her first Emmy, on the back of Tina Fey..., it's way overdue, even over Melora Hardin's amazing performance, not to mention her never getting recognized for "The Office"

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Tina Fey & Amy Poehler-"Saturday Night Live"
*WINNER: Tina Fey & Amy Poehler-"Saturday Night Live"-About damn time, congrats, Amy!


DRAMA SERIES

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
The Americans-FX Networks
Better Call Saul-AMC
Downton Abbey-PBS
Game of Thrones-HBO
Homeland-Showtime
House of Cards-Netflix
Mr. Robot-USA

I'm starting to finally get around to "The Americans" and after some reluctance, I'm starting to understand it's appeal. I especially think Keri Russell is great on the show, although honestly, if this is supposedly the Best Drama Series on TV the last four years, eh, I'm nowhere near that standard. I understand, but if it is right, then I suspect this is a very weak era for Drama Series. I don't think it's gonna win. If anything can beat "Game of Thrones", and that's a big "If..." um, I can see "Downton Abbey" getting votes for it's last season, although it did win for miniseries it's first year, so I don't think it's entirely got the sentimental backing behind it. "House of Cards" really underperformed at the Creative Arts, didn't win a single Guest Acting Prize, that was really shocking, it was arguably favored to win at least one, and maybe two. The cool factor show is definitely "Mr. Robot", which I also caught up on, and I liked a lot at first, but the end of the first season, totally lost me. I tend to think of it as, "If "Dexter" was a hacker" to some extent. I think it's very good, especially this season, I'm not particularly with the second so far. But these are honestly stretches however. It's "Game of Thrones" winning, honestly I'm not that crazy about any of these series this year; I actually might argue "Homeland" right now is the most interesting of the shows, if I'm being honest, and I thought that show was overrated the hell back in it's first season, when everybody was praising it to high heaven. Anyway....

PREDICTION: "Game of Thrones
PREFERENCE: "Downton Abbey"


LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Kyle Chandler-"Bloodline"-Netflix
Rami Malek-"Mr. Robot"-USA
Bob Odenkirk-"Better Call Saul"-AMC
Matthew Rhys-"The Americans"-FX Networks
Liev Schreiber-"Ray Donovan"-Showtime
Kevin Spacey-"House of Cards"-Netflix

Since Jon Hamm won the award last year, this award will actually for sure, go to somebody new, for sure. Who wins...? Hmm. This is one of the tougher categories to predict. Kevin Spacey is the obvious choice, at first, because he's the one most overdue, and also, he's the most revered of the names above; he does have two Oscars, but he's lost every Emmy nomination he's ever had. Kyle Chandler is the only person who's shown they can win this category, but I don't think anybody cares about or even likes "Bloodline" anymore; Chandler and Mendelsohn I suspect are getting nominated just on reputation and connections. Rami Malek is currently the favorite, he'd be one of the youngest winners ever in this category. Most people suspected the spoiler to be Bob Odenkirk, based on some of the Creative Arts Emmy results, I'm thinking the one's that's really being underrated is Liev Schreiber for "Ray Donovan". That show getting increased amount of nominations and they got more acting nominations than ever before, including Schreiber's second consecutive nomination. I don't think "Ray Donovan"'s got the insight track for the upset, quite yet though, maybe next year.

PREDICTION: Kevin Spacey-"House of Cards"
PREFERENCE: Liev Schreiber-"Ray Donovan"


LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Claire Danes-"Homeland"-Showtime
Viola Davis-"How to Get Away with Murder"-ABC
Taraji P. Henson-"Empire"-FOX
Tatiana Maslany-"Orphan Black"-BBC America
Keri Russell-"The Americans"-FX Networks
Robin Wright-"House of Cards"-Netflix

I finally did get around to watching an episode or two of "Orphan Black", it's-eh, okay. Maslany is incredibly talented, but other than that, I can't imagine why anybody would watch it. Viola Davis won last year, she's the only major nominee again for "How to Get Away with Murder", which-, I-eh, (Sigh) god, some of these shows, I just do not get how they're popular. She is also the only thing about the show that's sorta worth watching. "Empire" I haven't seen, but they don't seem to like that show either, and this is a popular vote. We already know they'll take Davis over Henson, although, Keri Russell is definitely the most potential spoiler; she's the one who's never been nominated before. That said, I think this is where Robin Wright will come out on top. "House of Cards" may have faltered, but it's clearly the biggest show among the nominees and arguably she's maybe a bigger character than Spacey's is on the show now. Claire Danes, can steal it, but I think they're tired of having her win. Anybody can win this though.

PREDICTION: Robin Wright-"House of Cards"
PREFERENCE: Keri Russell-"The Americans", and no, I never liked "Felicity" I just think she makes this show way better than all the other actors make there's.


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jonathan Banks-"Better Call Saul"-AMC
Peter Dinklage-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Kit Harrington-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Michael Kelly-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Ben Mendelsohn-"Bloodline"-Netflix
Jon Voight-"Ray Donovan"-Showtime

Huh. I just realized that Peter Dinklage has never beaten Jon Voight head-to-head.... Hmm... anyway, uh, not too different from last year, Kit Harrington is the major addition, and Jon Voight is back in the category after not getting in last year for some reason-, man, those "Ray Donovan" nominations out of nowhere, just keep screwing with everything. Um, Gold Derby has Harrington at a 1-2 favorite at the moment, I see where they're coming from, but I'm suspicious of it. I'm really not sold on Harrington winning this; usually when you get eh, multiple actors from an ensemble nominated, they usually, only start the practice of passing the Emmy around to different members of the cast every year, when they really just love the show and want to get everybody in, and "Game of Thrones" has never had that. In fact, this show has done terribly when it comes to acting awards. Peter Dinklage has won twice, sure, but those also happened to be the two years Aaron Paul wasn't eligible to be nominated. (And the first one was from the show's first season, I believe, maybe it's second, but I think it was it's first) so, they like Dinklage unless there's somebody better. (That's why I'm suddenly looking at Jon Voight, but-eh, I don't know, he's not as beloved, even as a veteran legend as some on the outside might think. I don't think it helps that he's a Trump supporter this year either.) If there is a split vote between the "Game of Thrones" guys the most likely scenario is that Jonathan Banks sneaks in, who most think they owe an I.O.U. to anyway, as many had him winning last year. I suspect Michael Kelly can play spoiler here, I, really think Ben Mendelsohn was just a name-check nomination, I cannot imagine the scenario where enough Emmy voters are even watching "Bloodline", (BTW, who does watch that? I tried it, I mean I guess it's not bad, but-um, yeah, I'm a bit baffled by that one to be honest. Maybe I need to look closer at it, just looks something that's trying very hard not to be a family soap opera, but yeah, it seem to just "Antigone" in Florida to me.) I mean, I'm told Harrington's character was popular, um-, I haven't seen the last few seasons, I honestly forget which one he is; which one is he? Jon Snow? Um... (Thinking pause) I-eh, I don't remember him. Which one was he again? Why are you looking at me, like I just said that? No, I really don't remember him? Like, okay, okay... So, he was important and then died, but he's alive now? OH Him, I-, No, I barely remember him. You see, this is what I was talking about, with fantasy having too many characters that nobody can care about or remember them, there's like forty or fifty or so character as is between all these families, in a made-up universe, so it's not like I can read a history book and refresh my memory, and most of them, are not distinctive enough. I'm already struggling trying to learn about the world of these movies, and now I need to remember and keep track of the live characters but now the dead ones are back!?!?!?! I like "Game of Thrones" and even though I'm behind, and only watched three seasons, I can maybe, recall, five characters if I'm really thinking about it. One of them is Tyrion Lannister, 'cause he's one of the few actually interesting ones, so I'm-, I'm not buying Harrington yet.

PREDICTION: Peter Dinklage-"Game of Thrones"
PREFERENCE: Jonathan Banks-"Better Call Saul"


SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Emilia Clarke-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Lena Headey-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Maggie Smith-"Downton Abbey"-PBS
Maura Tierney-"The Affair"-Showtime
Maisie Williams-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Constance Zimmer-"UnReal"-Lifetime

I'm calling it now, "Game of Thrones" loses this category. Clarke, Headey and Williams will split the vote three ways and somebody's gonna sneak, especially since there's legitimates arguments for all three of the other nominees winning this. Maggie Smith, she's won this category before, longtime veteran, they love her, she came back into the category this year, for "Downton Abbey"- (And the only one strangely enough, I definitely expected them to do a lot better and they deserved to.) and the other two nominees, are quite possibly the most intriguing longshots out there. Maura Tierney's nominations, wasn't quite out of nowhere, but "The Affair" had done poorly at the Emmys until now, despite winning the Golden Globe in the show's first season. I watched a couple episodes of it, it's um-, hmm; I don't know whether I think it's any good or not myself, if I'm being completely honest, at least in terms of the first season, it not difficult a story, but it is a difficult show to describe. I guess the closest I can come up with, is something like, imagine "Thirtysomething" was written by Charlotte Brontes. Something along those lines. It's got a weird perspective gimmick as well. It's not bad, but television seems like the wrong for whatever this story is. Maura Tierney though, snuck into the Golden Globes earlier this year, even though they seemed sick of the show as well, won the Globe in maybe the biggest upset of the night, and I suspect snuck in here, very unexpectedly. She's one of those names I kicked myself for not predicting her to get nominated, but this was a crowded field this year, more than normal too. But she got it, and that tells that A. They are watching the show and she is good, and it reminds me that, they like and have for years; she's been working in television since "Newsradio" and she was one of the best characters on "ER" during it's later years, and she's a character actress, so I'm not ruling her out right away. However, she might not even be the big spoiler, and this leads to Constance Zimmer's nominations, maybe not as shocking, as "UnReal" is one of those breakout shows that, I thought should've gotten a Series nomination myself, (And had Shiri Appleby been nominated for Lead Actress, I'd probably be trying to trick myself into predicting she would win) and she's got a similar path, great character actress, been around forever; she's one of those people who's shown up on every great drama series you can think of as some point, finally gets a breakout character on a show people are watching, and on Lifetime, of all channel btw; I think that's the first time Lifetime got an acting nomination that wasn't in the Movie/Miniseries Category since, eh, oh god, probably Blair Brown for the last couple seasons of "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd". and here's the kicker, she plays a flawed and somewhat sociopathetic reality show producer on the series. I'm not gonna say, why actors, might have some affection for this kind of part, but-um, let's just say I'd suspect her character is the one of these nominees that I suspect might be the most relatable to the Academy. Now as to the "Game of Thrones" girls, eh, um, Emilia Clarke's the dragon lady, right. Okay, I got that one, Lena Headey's back and.. (Search IMDB.com) Oh, is she Tyrion's sister? Okay. Sister or mother? And Maisie... how old is this girl, 19? Okay, um... yeah, I'm sold; I think they're splitting their votes.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Constance Zimmer-"UnReal"


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Downton Abbey-"Episode 9"-Michael Engler-PBS
Game of Thrones-"Battle of the Bastards"-Miguel Sapochnik-HBO
Game of Thrones-"The Door"-Jack Bender-HBO
Homeland-"The Tradition of Hospitality"-Lesli Linka Glatter-Showtime
The Knick-"This Is All We Are"-Steven Soderbergh-Cinemax
Ray Donovan-"Exsuscito"-David Hollander-Showtime

Okay, that "Downton Abbey" episode is the Series Finale, so you can't discount that entirely, butlike I said, this is one of those where, vote splitting will happen, unless there's a heavy favorite and "Battle of the Bastards" like, "Veep"'s "Mother" episode on the other side, seems to be the heavy favorite, and while I don't think it's impossible for there to be a weird upset from maybe "Homeland" or from "Ray Donovan", which is a possibility, it's hard to imagine this episode losing one of these categories this year. "Game of Thrones" unlike did do well at the Creative Arts, and by the end of Sunday night, it could pass "Frasier" for most Emmy wins for a Series. It still has to catch up to "Saturday Night Live" for overall for any series, but yeah, it's probably happening unless something bizarre happens.

PREDICTION: "Game of Thrones"-"Battle of the Bastards"-Miguel Sapochnik
PREFERENCE: "The Knick"-"This Is All We Are"-Steven Soderbergh


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
The Americans-"Persona Non Grata"-Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg-FX Networks
Downton Abbey-"Episode 8"-Julian Fellowes-PBS
Game of Thrones-"Battle of the Bastards"-David Benioff & D.B. Weiss-HBO
The Good Wife-"End"-Robert King and Michelle King-CBS
Mr. Robot-"esp1.0_hellofriend.mov (Pilot)-Sam Esmail-USA
UnReal-"Return"-Marti Nixon and Sarah Gertrude Shaprio-Lifetime

In case you're wondering, how do they determine which episodes specifically get nominated for some of these, and I do think there's some regulations regarding how often a person can be nominated for a show in Writing/Directing in a year, a show can submit as many or as few episodes it wants, and for instance I think "Game of Thrones" submitted only one or two, so that's why you get some years where, let's say "The Sopranos" or-eh, "NYPD Blue" of even "Hill Street Blues" if you want to go way back, they might sometimes sweep the nominations in some of these categories. But yeah, you can just put your name in, pretty much and get in. Anyway, ooh, very clever, Emmys picking "Episode 8" the episode before the finale of "Downton Abbey", which was a better written episode, although the Finale was good too, and "End" is of course, "The Good Wife"'s finale episode and the first time they've been nominated in this category in a while too, although that's about it that the show got for it's last season. Man, Margulies, Cumming, even Christine Baranaski didn't get in this year, what the hell? I don't even think much of that show, but it wasn't worth ignoring entirely. Anyway, while I suspect "The Americans" might be in the running as well, the only show that really has a shot at toppling "Battle of the Bastards" is "Mr. Robot". Gold Derby is actually predicting "Mr. Robot", and the Writers do have a tendency more than most to make a more radical pick here. I don't know if that's true in the popular vote age, but you know, I suspect there's already more of a thinking that "Battle of the Bastards" is more of a directing accomplishment than a writing one, and if you don't think Rami Malek is gonna win for acting, this would be where you'd honor "Mr. Robot". 

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Mr. Robot"-"esp1.0_hellofriend.mov (Pilot)"-Sam Esmail


GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Mahershala Ali-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Hank Azaria-"Ray Donovan"-Showtime
Reg E. Cathay-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Michael J. Fox-"The Good Wife"-CBS
Paul Sparks-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Max von Sydow-"Game of Thrones"-HBO

Three "House of Cards" and three respected veterans nominated in this one. Reg E. Cathay won last year for "House of Cards", so he's a favorite, but the question now is, exactly how did they like him last year? It was an upset last time, and he also didn't have this much competition from his co-stars. Michael J. Fox, he keeps getting nominated for "The Good Wife" he wasn't won yet, I don't think he's suddenly gonna win now. Hank Azaria, here's that weird "Ray Donovan" nomination sneaking in again. Well, he is a beloved veteran in a split ballot year, so you never know. That said, Max von Sydow, just the idea of him on "Game of Thrones" is just, badass, in general. If there's any actor who absolutely should just be on "Game of Thrones" at some point, it's him, and shockingly he's never won anything so... well, he's won a couple things over the years but nothing major and he's eighty-something years old, so this would be the time if you were gonna give him anything.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Max von Sydow-"Game of Thrones"
*WINNER-Hank Azaria-"Ray Donovan" 


GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Ellen Burstyn-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Allison Janney-"Masters of Sex"-Showtime
Margo Martindale-"The Americans"-FX Networks
Laurie Metcalf-"Horace and Pete"-Louisck.net
Molly Parker-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Carrie Preston-"The Good Wife"-CBS

Okay, only two "House of Cards" nominees in this category, and there is a definite favorite in Ellen Burstyn for "House of Cards". She's just an Emmy magnet, often winning and getting nominated in weird places, even once famously nominated for fourteen seconds of screen time. And in all due respect to Molly Parker, Burstyn has the material to win this year. The problem is she's up against two other Emmy magnets, and three if you want to count Laurie Metcalf, who seems like an Emmy magnet this year with three nominations, including here, getting the only nomination for Louis C.K. personal project "Horace and Pete". The Academy members should have their copies of that show, they were sent by Louis C.K. himself, at great personal expense to him, 'cause he did that entirely independently and it cost him millions so, hopefully it'll work for Ms. Metcalf, but.... Other than her, Allison Janney, has seven or eight, whatever it is now, and she's won for "Masters of Sex" before, which for some reason can't seem to get any other nominations despite being way-the-hell better than all the Series nominees, and Margo Martindale won this Emmy controversially last year for "The Americans" after winning for less than a couple minutes of screen time; she basically won for a cup of coffee, and purportedly she's even in this episode less that last year so, (Shrugs) maybe they just really like her, who knows. But they all like Carrie Preston, who has also won this category before for "The Good Wife", so three former winners, for performances in their shows in this category, and still Ellen Burstyn seems like a favorite. Most popular show among the nominees, biggest actress, biggest part... pretty inevitable.

PREDICTION: Ellen Burstyn-"House of Cards
PREFERENCE: Laurie Metcalf-"Horace and Pete"
*WINNER: Margo Martindale-"The Americans"-Alright, nevermind, they really just like Margo Martindale, and in a popular vote, the most popular person is just gonna win. Moving on, let's go to Variety.


VARIETY SERIES

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee-Crackle
Jimmy Kimmel Live-ABC
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-HBO
The Late Late Show with James Corden-CBS
Real Time with Bill Maher-HBO
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon-NBC

Well, with "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" not getting nominated, it's clear that John Oliver is the heavy favorite, if there is a potential spoiler, it's definitely James Corden; he did extremely well at the Creative Arts Emmys and his Carpool Kareoke has really caught on, although if I'm being completely honest, I don't really get it. I mean, I do, but to the extent that's become, I-, (Shrugs) eh, I don't really why it's become so hugely popular, but I like Corden, I get that he's doing something a little different a little more Graham Norton than the other talk show hosts, and he's definitely got a lot of skill and talent, but I wouldn't have nominated him, this year anyway. I do love, "Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee", and I am glad that that got in here, and one of the first time a show went from the Short-Format Non-Fiction Category, and then moved to the Long-Form Variety category and got nominated; don't think any other show has done. It's also the first streaming series to get nominated in the category, and btw, Crackle did surprisingly well overall, they didn't get a lot, but they definitely over-achieved. (Also, the nominated episode is the Barack Obama episode, so that might be why it got in)  The two Jimmy's and Bill Maher coming back into the category round up the rest, and no matter the result, this will be a new winner in the category, which doesn't have a lot of them remember. Only "The Colbert Report", "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Late Show with David Letterman" have won this award in the past, like 20 years or so, so somebody new's coming up here. 

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


OUTSTANDING VARIETY-SKETCH SERIES
Documentary Now!-IFC
Drunk History-Comedy Central
Inside Amy Schumer-Comedy Central
Key & Peele-Comedy Central
Portlandia-IFC
Saturday Night Live-NBC

I don't think they have increased the nomination total for the series for this category, so on top of the other five from last year, it seems "Documentary Now!" got in due to the 2% rule, which I'm okay with. I'm kinda surprised that show is popular enough to be honest. Parodying documentaries is-eh, that's not something you except to see much of on American television, especially nowadays. That's an idea, I think I expect more from the ancient days of television, from like Sid Caesar or someone like that back when television was a luxury and not an everyday household item that everyone has in each room of the house. "Inside Amy Schumer" won the annual category last year, and according to Gold Derby, she's the favorite to win again. It did do well at the Creative Arts, but this is "Key & Peele"'s last season, so this is last time for them to be honored, if they're gonna do it. I was gonna predict them, but eh, Amy seems to be on a roll. "SNL" could play spoiler, this is a bounceback year for them. "Portlandia" has it's fans, I'll be honest, I'm not one of them. It's not a bad show per se, but I-eh, I get what they're making fun of, but I think it's a bit limiting myself. Sorta the same with "Drunk History", they feel like gimmicks to me, where you can base sketch comedy around, but it's not necessarily, the most insightful and pointed sketch material out there.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Inside Amy Schumer"


OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL
Adele Live in New York City-NBC
Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo-HBO
The Kennedy Center Honors-CBS
The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Prime Time Special-CBS
Lemonade-HBO

Tough year, Adele vs. Amy Schumer vs. Beyonce, and "The Kennedy Center Honors" usually take this category. I'm actually a bit shocked that James Corden's "...Carpool Karaoke..." special snuck in here, that was basically just, a bunch of the clips that he already played on his show shoved together, most of us can probably recreate watching that accidentally by watching the clips on Youtube if we wanted. It's been awhile since a stand-up performance has won this category and besides they can honor Amy Schumer elsewhere, so I suspect it's between Adele and Beyonce, and, I know I can't stand Beyonce, and I know there are others like me, I can't imagine there's more people who hate Adele, so just based on that, I'm going with Adele. That, and-eh Amy Schumer's special were the only ones of these nominees I sat through more than once, voluntarily so...

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Adele: Live in New York City"
*WINNER: "The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Prime Time Special"-Wow, really? (Sigh) Well, Adele was on the best of those "Carpool Karaoke"'s so, I'm calling this half a correct prediction. Still though, that's, yeah, that's not fair. I mean it was like "SNL"'s fortieth anniversary last year, that was an actual show and even with the old sketch clips it was 40 years of something, this is honoring something that premiered yesterday. I don't get it. 


OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS PROGRAM
The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards-NBC
Grease: Live-FOX
The Oscars-ABC
Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show-CBS
69th Annual Tony Awards-CBS

For those curious, "Special Class Programs" are for programs, usually specials, that don't originate as "exclusively made-for-television" variety events. This includes Award shows, music and dance programs, almost basically, and event that's aired live on television, but not necessarily news or sports, something that doesn't have to be aired. Huh, well that makes me more skeptical as to why "Grease: Live" is in this category, but (Shrugs) oh well.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Grease: Live"
*WINNER: "Grease: Live"

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Inside Amy Schumer-"Madonna/Whore"-Ryan McFaul-Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-"Episode 303"-Paul Pennolino-HBO
The Late Late Show with James Corden-"Post-Super Bowl Episode"-Tim Mancinelli-CBS
Saturday Night Live-"Hosts: Tina Fey & Amy Poehler"-Don Roy King
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon-"Episode 325"-Dave Diomedi-NBC

Don Roy King is back in this category after not being in it, for the first time in forever. Usually he wins this 'cause it's a live show and there's a lot more moving parts that involve a lot of camera work and whatnot than say, "Last Week Tonight..." usually does; it's for all-intensive purposes a guy sitting at a desk staring at the camera, not the most difficult thing to shoot. But, there's always an exception or two, more elaborate specials and episodes like James Corden's "Post-Super Bowl" show probably has a lot going on as well.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Saturday Night Live"-Don Roy King
*WINNER: "Inside Amy Schumer"-Ryan McFaul


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Adele Live in New York City-Beth McCartney-Miller-NBC
Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo-Chris Rock-HBO
58th Grammy Awards-Louis J. Horvitz-CBS
Grease Live-Thomas Kail; Live Television Direction by Alex Rudzinski-FOX
The Kennedy Center Honors-Glenn Weiss-CBS
Lemonade-Kahlil Joseph and Beyonce Knowles Carter-HBO

For those wondering, due to a weird arrangement the Television Academy made with the DGA and the WGA awhile back, they Variety Special Directing and Writing go on the main show every other year, while the Variety-Series Directing and Writing go on the main shows in the other years, so this award will be given out and it's a competitive one and actually this year, it's a fascinating category. "The Kennedy Center Honors" has struggled to win much since the switch to the popular voting system, and it's close too, since the 2% rule applied to increase the nominees to six. Louis J. Horvitz and Glenn Weiss are always favorites when they win for me, 'cause half the time one of them is directing the Emmys in the truck when they win this when it's on the main show but I don't know about this year for either of them. "Grease: Live" won the Variety Special Emmy, that's definitely the most obvious complicated live directing on the show, although the Grammy are tough too. Would be nice to see Chris Rock win for directing, but I don't think that'll happen. Beth McCartney-Miller is up for her 11th Emmy by the way for the Adele special and she's never won; so she's who I'm voting for, but man, "Grease: Live" was a juggernaut this year.

PREDICTION: "Grease: Live"-Thomas Kail; Live Television Direction by Alex Rudzinski
PREFERENCE: "Adele: Live in New York City"-Beth McCartney-Miller


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee-Writers: Jo Miller, Samantha Bee, et. al.-TBS
Inside Amy Schumer-Writers: Amy Schumer, Michel Lawrence, et. al.-Comedy Central
Key & Peele-Writers: Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Jay Martel, et. al.-Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-Writers: John Oliver, Tim Carvell, et. al.-HBO
Portlandia-Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Graham Wagner, and Karey Dornetto-IFC
Saturday Night Live-Head Writers: Rob Klein and Bryan Tucker; Writers: James Anderson, et. al.-NBC

Wow, four sketch comedy series nominated, I know they only separated the categories, but I don't remember the last sketch show to win this category, offhand. It's been awhile, I think "SNL" won, when Tina Fey was head writing it... (Searching Emmy website) yeah, in '02, and before that, "The Chris Rock Show" in '99, but that might be changing in the future as there are more sketch shows nominated for Writing than talk shows, and one of the talk shows didn't even get into the Series category, (Which I'm still pissed off at btw, #SamanthaBeeWasRobbed!) but, eh, not this year.

PREFERENCE/PREDICTION: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"
*WINNER: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo-Amy Schumer-HBO
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid-John Mulaney-Netflix
Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping-Patton Oswalt-Netflix
Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted-Tig Notaro-HBO
Triumph's Election Special 2016-Robert Smigel, David Feldman, et. al.-Hulu/Funny or Die

So, this is basically, the-eh, well, pretty much-eh, the Emmy for Best Stand-Up Special, which should definitely be an Award now, Emmys! I know technically this includes, every kind of Special Variety program, but look at it. No award shows, no Honors or specials, it's basically stand-up specials and I guess the apple in the bag of oranges is Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and his weird thing, which would, I believe be Hulu's first Emmy, first Primetime one at least, I think, yeah, (Checking Emmys.com again.) Yeah, Hulu didn't win it's Visual Effects nomination for-eh, "11.22.63", so this is Hulu's only shot, and they're sharing it with Funny or Die. You know, this has been the trend lately to go to the stand-ups for writing and there are, just too many of them, that I think the Academy needs to separate their own category for them, Variety-Special-Comedy, I don't know what to call it, but there's more of them than ever before, and hell that's not even counting, say stand-up series, those old HBO "Comedy Half-Hour"'s or the nine or ten other version of that that are on television nowadays. So, who's gonna win. Amy Schumer's the favorite, makes sense, it's the only thing that's up for something outside of this category, if there's a sentimental vote however, and I would not be shocked by this, Patton Oswalt. He's overdue for awards in general and with his wife's sudden passing recently, that's where the sentimental votes are going. He's funny as hell too. Tig Notaro, might also scrape in there. Um, maybe John Mulaney's funnier doing stand-up than he was on that horrible abortion of a Fox show he had, although he's almost have to be, but no, I don't see him pulling it off here.

PREDICTION: "Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo"
PREFERENCE: "Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping"- I actually thought Amy's special was better, but she's gonna have a truckload of Emmys when this is over, I'd rather see Oswalt get this one.


REALITY PROGRAMS

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
The Amazing Race-CBS
American Ninja Warrior-NBC
Dancing with the Stars-ABC
Project Runway-Lifetime
Top Chef-Bravo
The Voice-NBC

Okay, eh, "American Ninja Warrior" getting in, especially over "So You Think You Can Dance", which really under-performed across the board, even Cat Deeley didn't get in, that was shocking. I guess it's hard to hate "American Ninja Warrior", there's nothing really hateful about it, and I get why it's possible, to me, it's...- actually what it really reminds me of "American Gladiators". The original one, not the horrible redo NBC tried of that. Only without the gladiators, and it's just the eliminator. It's an obstacle course, I mean, it's impressive, but (Shrugs) anyway, I have to admit that I'm not exactly about any of these particular nominees this year, I think it's between "The Voice" and "The Amazing Race", who've been going back and forth winning this award. I suspect "The Voice" is just more popular, so I think that'll win, but (Shrugs) yeah, reality competition programming, way down. I wonder if this genre is dying?

PREDICTION: "The Voice"
PREFERENCE: "Top Chef"


OUTSTANDING HOST FOR A REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Tom Bergeron-"Dancing with the Stars"-ABC
Steve Harvey-"Little Big Shots starring Steve Harvey"-NBC
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn-"Project Runway"-Lifetime
Jane Lynch-"Hollywood Game Night"
RuPaul Charles-"Rupaul's Drag Race"-Logo
Ryan Seacrest-"American Idol"-FOX

Ryan Seacrest is back in for "American Idol"'s last season, although I doubt he'll win. Jane Lynch, I don't think it should be in this category; it's not a reality show, but to me, it's clearly the best of the nominees, and the won that does the most as the show's host. Good for Rupaul finally getting in, and good for Logo in general, I think this is their first big Emmy nomination, so kudos for them, and it'd be nice to see RuPaul finally win. Bergeron and Klum/Gunn are possibilities as always, and they've both won before so don't count them out but I think the Academy is more or less, "Been there/done that" when it comes to them, and they need a really good excuse to not give it to Lynch again.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Jane Lynch-"Hollywood Game Night
*WINNER: RuPaul Charles-"Rupaul's Drag Race"-Wow! She's more popular than I thought, good for her. 


OUTSTANDING STRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
Antiques Roadshow-PBS
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives-Food Network
Lip Sync Battle-SpikeTV
Mythbusters-Discovery Channel
Shark Tank-ABC
Undercover Boss-CBS

The only new nominee is "Lip Sync Battle", which I suspect has a decent shot at winning, lot of celebrities into it, on it. I'm more or less waiting for them to get as sick of "Shark Tank" as I've gotten so that they can finally award "Antiques Roadshow", but that's probably wishful thinking.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Antiques Roadshow"
*WINNER: "Shark Tank"


OUTSTANDING UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
Born This Way-A&E
Deadliest Catch-Discovery Channel
Gaycation with Ellen Page-Viceland
Intervention-A&E
Project Greenlight-HBO
United Shades of America-CNN

It's always tough to bet against "Deadliest Catch" in this category, it's got a stranglehold on it, but "Intervention" is back, they're a former winner, and "Project Greenlight" they've never won before, but everybody in the industry watches that show when they do do a season, trust me. It's about the film industry, respected in the industry, eh, they've got to be sick of "Deadliest Catch" by now, right?

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Project Greenlight"
*WINNER: "Born This Way"- Okay, didn't see that coming. I'll have to watch that now. Hmm.


LIMITED SERIES/TELEVISION MOVIES

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
American Crime-ABC
Fargo-FX Networks
The Night Manager-AMC
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-FX Networks
Roots-HISTORY

And last but certainly this year, not least. Man, the Limited Series categories absolutely overtook everything else this year, and that's not good for me. I mentioned earlier when I did that Top Ten Miniseries list that I don't tend to get to these shows right away, and it's hurting me here. But, Limited Series and TV Movies, just took over the conversation around all the water coolers. And nothing dominated more at the Emmys and the water coolers than, O.J. Simpson. Dammit, I already lived through the damn thing once, now I gotta live through it again! Thanks Ryan Murphy (Forced smile, thumbs up) And the sad thing is, the little parts of it that I did see so far, it was really good, so.... "Fargo" and "The Night Manager" are in the conversation but... (Shakes head) Congratulations FX, you win.

PREDICTION: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"
PREFERENCE: "Fargo"


OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
All the Way-HBO
Confirmation-HBO
Luther-BBC America
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Masterpiece)-PBS
A Very Murray Christmas-Netflix

Is it mean for me to actually want "A Very Murray Christmas" to win? Eh, alright, um, this wasn't as big as the Limited Series this year, but "All the Way" seems like the safe and expected winner, the one that actually did show up in other categories, but it went 0 for 4 at the Creative Arts and "Sherlock" actually won something, so now we got to worry about more surprise "Sherlock..." upsets now. Sigh. The fact is, nothing in the category is strong this year, so it's really just a crapshoot.

PREDICTION: "All the Way"
PREFERENCE: "Luther"


LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Bryan Cranston-"All the Way"-HBO
Benedict Cumberbatch-"Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Masterpiece)-PBS
Idris Elba-"Luther"-BBC America
Cuba Gooding, Jr.-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
Tom Hiddleston-"The Night Manager"-AMC
Courtney B. Vance-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks

Wow, tough category. This could go anywhere, Cumberbatch has won the category before, Idris Elba's on a role, and he won at SAG recently for "Luther" so not completely out there for him to win again, Cuba Gooding Jr., former Oscar winner, always in contention, but it's likely between Bryan Cranston and Courtney B. Vance. Just based on recent history of reprised Tony winning performances in these categories losing, Vance seems like a lock, plus he's the one with the breakthrough performance, and he's a longtime respected veteran actor, but it's Cranston and if there's a way to honor him, Hollywood will usually try to find a way. 

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Courtney B. Vance-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"


LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Kirsten Dunst-"Fargo"-FX Networks
Felicity Huffman-"American Crime"-ABC
Audra McDonald-"Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill"-HBO
Sarah Paulson-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
Lily Taylor-"American Crime"-ABC
Kerry Washington-"Confirmation"-HBO

Sarah Paulson is once again the heavy, heavy favorite to win a Limited Series Acting race, which means, look out for upsets 'cause she's never won. And there's definitely potential for her to lose out there. Any other year and Kirsten Dunst might've walked away with this, but god this is a loaded category. Audra McDonald, also reviving a Tony winning performance, I don't know there's singing, so maybe. Kerry Washington's overdue, but I don't hear about too many people who really liked that "Confirmation" film. The two "American Crime" actresses however; it's a proven winner show, the show got even bigger this second season, Felicity Huffman is a former winner, but Lily Taylor, is a very frightening nominee if you don't think Sarah Paulson is safe. Longtime actress, been around forever, one of the best in the business, juicy as hell role in that show, this is the perfect storm of a role that could upset Paulson and that's worrisome, if she's way ahead of Felicity, then maybe, but if it's a split vote than Paulson's probably going up against Dunst.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Sarah Paulson-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Sterling K. Brown-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
Hugh Laurie-"The Night Manager"-AMC
Jesse Plemons-"Fargo"
David Schwimmer-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
John Travolta-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
Bokeem Woodbine-"Fargo"

3 from O.J., two from "Fargo", and if there's vote splitting and someone needs a reason to vote Hugh Laurie has never won an Emmy. Yeah, I know, I keep thinking he must've won for "House" at least once, but no, he never did. Well, Sterling K. Brown is the favorite at the moment, but how well-known is he, or does that matter 'cause they've seen the miniseries? He's got two actors from his show competing against, both bigger names, Schwimmer's never won so he's due, and Travolta was never nominated until now, despite being having a memorable Emmy moment when he-eh, accepting Diana Hyland's Emmy for "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" after she passed away years ago. Plus, he's a movie star. Plemons is well-known too, "Fargo" is beloved, people remember him from "Breaking Bad". Man, this is a tough category. I literally think this is a throw a dart prediction to me.

PREDICTION: Sterling K. Brown-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"
PREFERENCE: None


SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Kathy Bates-"American Horror Story: Hotel"-FX Networks
Olivia Colman-"The Night Manager"
Regina King-"American Crime"
Melissa Leo-"All the Way"-HBO
Sarah Paulson-"American Horror Story: Hotel"-FX Networks
Jean Smart-"Fargo"-FX Networks

I feel like I can safely predict that nobody from O.J. Simpson will win this category. I think. Regina King won last year, but Jean Smart is an Emmy magnet and "Fargo" is the second choice to O.J. Simpson across the board. Part of me, is weirdly thinking that Sarah Paulson could pull off the rare double-double and win both Emmys, she finally wins for "American Horror Story," granted in a weak year, but they're voting for her complete work, type of thing; she might pull off a Stockard Channing here. This is a category known for upsets and there's two people she's lost to in the category, including her cast-mate Kathy Bates. Melissa Leo's well-respected, but it just doesn't seem like a year anybody from a TV movie has a shot. Olivia Colman seems like the best shot for "The Night Manager" here though. Hmm.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Jean Smart-"Fargo"


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
All the Way-Jay Roach-HBO
Fargo-"Before the Law'-Noah Hawley-FX Networks
The Night Manager-Susanne Bier-AMC
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"From the Ashes of Tragedy"-Ryan Murphy-FX Networks
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"Manna from Heaven"-Anthony Hemingway-FX Networks
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"The Race Card"-John Singleton-FX Networks

Jay Roach has never lost this category, and Susanne Bier is a great Oscar-winning director, I wouldn't count her out. That said, the three nominations for O.J. Simpson. Good directors too, Anthony Hemingway's a good up-and-coming young filmmaker, and John Singleton, I-, I can't believe he had nothing better to do honestly; he's too talented to be a guest director for a Limited Series, but it makes sense. "Fargo" I can see, honestly, getting it's one win over O.J., here, vote splitting is gonna make this a hard prediction.

PREDICTION: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-"From the Ashes of Tragedy"-Ryan Murphy
PREFERENCE: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-"The Race Card"-John Singleton


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Fargo-"Loplop"-Bob DeLaurentis-FX Networks
Fargo-"Palindrome"-Noah Hawley-FX Networks
The Night Manager-David Farr-AMC
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"From the Ashes of Tragedy"-Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski-FX Networks
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"-D.V. DeVincentis-FX Networks
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"The Race Card"-Joe Robert Cole-FX Networks

(Shrugs, sigh) I-, Yeah, I got nothing, I'm throwing darts blindly here. It's a bunch of O.J.'s a couple "Fargo"'s and "The Night Manager" sneaking in there, basically all the other categories this in the Limited Series genre, wrapped into one. Okay, I promise next year, I will get to the damn miniseries. Watch, next year, it'll all be about the sitcoms and dramas again and I would've seen none of them.

PREDICTION: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"-D.V. DeVincentis
PREFERENCE: None


Alright folks, that's all the categories you need to know for Sunday night, plus a few extras. If you want to check the rest of the Creative Arts winners, you can check these links below:

http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/2016-creative-arts-winners-saturday.pdf
http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/2016-creative-arts-winners-sunday.pdf

Trust me, even if you think the Emmys don't care about the shows you watch, they often do, they're just not on the big show they're on the Creative Arts and often you get to see some nice winner. Congrats, "Archer" for instance! And-eh, they may give you a hint or two on how the main show might play out, so don't discard especially if you want to do well in your Emmy pools.




Monday, September 12, 2016

LENA DUNHAM'S APOLOGY AND THE FAN CULTURE OF DISGUISING MISOGYNY AS OPINION AS AN EXCUSE TO SLUT-SHAME FEMALE CELEBRITIES!



Okay, we need to talk about this, 'cause this-, this shit has gotten out of hand. So, apparently Lena Dunham did something offensive recently and it's caused a few stirs and it's gotten out of hand, so let me back up here, So Dunham has this newsletter called "Lenny Letter" where twice a week, you subscribe via e-mail and get informed of a new, usually an interview, post on her site. (I should really set something up like that here.) So, one of her recent interviews was with Amy Schumer. I subscribe, I have the interview right here:

http://www.lennyletter.com/culture/interviews/a527/the-lenny-interview-amy-schumer/

So, and they're talking about Schumer's new book, and a few other things, and they're talking about being at the Met Ball, and I don't want to misquote, so this is what Ms. Dunham said that got her in trouble.

"I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, "That's a marshmallow. That's a child. That's a dog." It wasn't mean -- he just seemed confused. 

The vibe was very much like, "Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a... yep, it's wearing a tuxedo. I'm going to go back to my cell phone." It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, "This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes." 

They then, move on to talking about how the media takes everything they say out of context, and no, I'm not being ironic, that's literally the next subject they talk about. Anyway, she, a week later, took to Instagram and posted an apology to Beckham, you can find that link here:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJ50WGnAZDk/?hl=en

I know, I've given a lot of praise to Lena Dunham over the years, and all of it deserved, but I'm fair and I don't want to simply go over somebody's actions just because I happen to laid a bunch of praise, I'm not a fan; I'm an analyst, and Lena Dunham, it pains me to say it, did something that she really, really shouldn't have. So, bad Lena Dunham. She shouldn't have done that.

In case you're unsure, I'm talking about the apology, Dunham shouldn't have done that, because there was not a god damn thing she should've apologized for! Yeah, I'm backdooring into this, but I am getting sick of this shit, especially with Lena Dunham, who seems to keeping the brunt of the criticisms, for, nothing. Literally, nothing. Every six months or so, it seems, I hear, about her and a few other talented, but groundbreaking and supposedly controversial comediennes, and I'm getting sick of the just few some, just-, ugh.

Okay, I really did not want to be the one that wrote the article where I'm "defending" somebody, but I gotta tell you, I'm just nauseated at the some of the crap I here, directed at Lena Dunham, or Amy Schumer, or Sarah Silverman, or whoever it is, and it's usually a talented female comic or comedienne, who, I don't know, talks about penises instead of mothers-in-law, and it's such misogyny, and you know, if you actually want to blast who's actually a despicable person, I'm not against that, in theory. I've gone after people before, mostly fans, but a few specific people in the industry. I've attacked Rex Reed for being a shitty film critic, in my early days, I was incredibly critical of Netflix President Reed Hastings, and a critic, I've gone out of my to condemn as bash a few artists myself. Joss Whedon, I've panned, Shane Carruth I've panned viciously. Peter Jackson, Wong Kar-Wai more than once, and plenty of others. However, I don't go after them, personally, or I try not to. If you've followed my personal Facebook page lately, you'll notice that I've gone after a certain Republican Presidential candidate viciously for some his personal and professional actions, but they're for things that he actually did, that either he or somebody else credible confirms they did. And as to the filmmakers and other industry professionals, I criticize them, as what they are. Actors, actresses, businessman, critics, comics/comedienne, writers, producers, etc. I'm criticizing their actual work that they want to be known for and put out on the market. And that can be mean and vicious, but that's the trade, you're allowed to put your work out there, I'm allowed to criticize it. That doesn't mean, I'm not gonna think about them and some of the horrible things some of these people have actually done in their past or present, or might have done in some cases, not those names above in particular, but some people who I criticize, both positively and negatively, in this industry have done some truly despicable stuff. Some of them you might be aware, others you might not be, 'cause there's mostly known within the industry but not necessarily outside of it. And even some stuff that's troubled or not despicable but not necessarily the best thing to do, that's apart of them, and you criticize accordingly, especially if they're a primary artist of the work in question and they're either specifically or indirectly bringing up a cataclysmic moment in their personal life up, either subliminally or literally, within their work.

That's the thing though, Dunham and many others have been getting that kind of personal attacks, at every chance they get and she hasn't done any of those damn things. At least none that I'm aware of.

Oh, you think I'm not aware of the criticism lashed against her, I'm just being naive, you say? Now, I have never met her, and I doubt that I ever will, and maybe I'll hear something from a source who's legitimate who will tell me some story out-of-school otherwise that will make my change my mind about her. That's possible, I'm not claiming she's an angel; I'm claiming that the shits she's actually accused of being are so out-of-context and so overblown, especially a particularly misogynistic group of fans, particularly ones who seem to have a negative to female-based comedy in general, and one last aside here, don't be mislead by the fact that I can list an all-star team of the greatest female comics of all-time who are in their prime or are about to be at this moment, sexism and sexual harassment is alive and well in comedy. Anybody catch this Buzzfeed article?:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/standing-up-to-sexual-harassment-and-assault-in-las-comedy-s?utm_term=.rmPXnAqoxM#.ks5z8kDdJQ

You should read it, it's not as uncommon as you think on the sketch comedy circuits. So yeah, this shit exists and I'm not gonna pretend it doesn't. But anyway, so, Dunham, let's focus on her and her "actions'? or maybe "misbehaviors"? "misgivings"? the criticisms and controversies that have been laid against her and have caused, outrage and contempt from the Press, and specifically from the fans. Especially since she seems to be the one most divisive target of all the leading females of comedy right now, and since she's the one with the latest controversy. Let's start with that one, shall we...

What the hell did she actually do here, that's causing such ire? (Shrugs) She talked about her interaction with another fellow celebrity, from her perspective, in a comedic matter. Did I miss anything? Oh, he was Black, fine that had nothing to do with anything. I showed you the article, I quoted the controversial part. Reportedly, there was one other section about how she was talking about dancing and trying to hook up with, who's name is escaping so I'm having difficult looking up that edited quote, Maybe if I type in "Lena Dunham Racist" into Google. Oh, there's that other thing that brought me to writing this today, the six-year-old supposedly racist tweet, we'll get to that, but, ah, here it is, she talked about trying to dance with Michael B. Jordan at the Ball also, seemingly making fun of herself in the process. She's telling a story about trying to get laid. (Mocking voice)  "Oh my God, a white girl tried to fuck a Black guy and failed!" Is that the outrage?

(Sigh) No, the outrage is that, "She made totally narcissistic assumptions about Beckham's thoughts and presented them as facts." Her words. Um, yeah, that's why the joke was funny! Isn't that comedy works most of the time, sometimes tells their side of the story, and presents it in a comedic way? In this case, discussing, with a fellow friend, who was at the event with her, about the shared experience they had. There's no mention of race, at all. I didn't see any, yes Odell Beckham is African-American, that enhances the story because we know who he is, (For those who don't, he's the very talented wide receiver for the New York Giants) and she made a joke about the Met being to her, the "Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes". Yeah, from her perspective that's what happened, what's the concern? Where's the controversy?  She said things she claimed he thought,- "Ah no, she didn't, she's very clearly what she, from her perspectives, suspects is going through someone else's mind, at that moment; she's not putting words in his mouth and never claimed to be,  Yeah, there's a few bullshit "thinkpieces" here, about her assumption being apart of systematic whatever that's led to deaths of 'causing the deaths of "many extrajudical of innocent black men and boys", which- um... No, it hasn't. Look, I know there's history, but, no, it hasn't. That's from an op-ed by Kristen Root Savali of TheRoot.com that's so preposterous, I'm not even gonna post a link to it, where she's connecting Lena Dunham's actions and statements to Emmitt Louis Till and William Harper and George Stinney, Jr. and the Central Park Five, and. ugh. Okay, no! I'm sorry, there's no racism undertone in any of these actions or statements. If anything, there's an anti-racist undertone, 'cause obviously was so oblivious to her that it could be perceived that talking about a failed interactions with Black men she was trying to get with, would bring up so much history of actual racism, and she's right; it shouldn't have. All the actual fucking racism in this country that still exists constantly, and this what somebody's getting mad at? Eh, no. We're not going through the history books and blaming everything on Lena Dunham failing to get laid at a Met Ball!

Or what she "represents", being a rich, white, privileged, whatever-the-fuck... and that's another layer to this, I keep hearing this criticism about how she, perverts feminism or whatever by claiming to be some kind of voice for the millenials or whatever (She has never done that, btw), and most of the criticisms I hear is that she's some product of some spoiled, upper class society and some this is a justification for trashing her, because this viewpoint is somehow false, or wrong or whatever. It has probably has a lot more to do with the fact that she often writes about people who act like that, but-um, no, that's not an inherent flaw or reason to discredit her. And fine, you don't think she's funny or like her writing, fine, but you don't like what she's writing about, or don't like who she portrays? What do you want her to write about, living the WWII Warsaw ghetto, what the fuck is with this argument?! I don't know what the hell people have against her upbringing, but I have no idea what the hell they're talking about with that, and even if I did, I'm not gonna bash somebody for how they were brought up, A. cause that can't change, and B. In their work, I'm not gonna bash them for portraying that perspective, 'cause what the hell else should they do? It's the Fellini rule, I call it, you don't criticism Fellini for making movies that are too Felliniesque. Dunham is Dunham, she's not X or Y, you want X or Y, go watch their shows.

This is same crap I feel like people smash on things like "Rent" when they say it portrayals characters they don't like? Uh, yeah, but they were based slightly on real people, and even if they weren't is there anything about that show, outside of the obvious, singing and dancing randomly 'cause it's a musical, that's portrays characters unrealistically? Like, "That could never happen" or "These characters could not exist?" Not liking her characters (Which btw, by every account, seems nothing like who she actually is) and not liking her, are two different things; there's no point in combining them, they're not the same thing. That's like saying, Steven Zaillian wrote Amon Goeth in "Schindler's List", therefore, he must be a Nazi!" (Sigh) So, no, that argument, is-, it's just classism, I guess. No, you have to actually come up with a legitimate reason to hate people or persons in a demographic, not blindly hate just to blindly hate. I'm calling bullshit on that.  You have to show that's actually done and thought and/or said these things and that they're with clear intent that she's somehow racist or otherwise illegitimate, and again, I'm going through, all the criticisms and complaints, right now, so let's see if we find them elsewhere, 'cause this isn't it. There's nothing inherently, hateful or wrong here...-

Oh, wait there's one thing, "She's talking about a celebrity encounter" and only telling his side of the story. I dismiss it, but some objected, they've never seen a woman, actually discuss a celebrity encounter with the public that was one-sided and shocking misrepresentative of the person she's talking about before...- annnnnnnnnnnnnnd, you pick the Kathy Griffin clip I should show here. No, you pick it! I can literally think of about thirty off the top of my head! You're really saying, this is problematic, a basic tenant of comedy, that we tell the singular perspective of an event? Eh, no, it's not. Where's her Jerry Seinfeld routine.... I should probably post this Ebony article while I'm searching Youtube, it was actually somewhat intriguing...

http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/lena-dunham-odell-beckham#axzz4JpbKWOxP



And in case some of you are wondering, Odell Beckham finally did respond to this, "controversy", and he didn't say much, 'cause what the hell would he say. "She doesn't know whether or not I was attractive to her, I was trying to bang her all night?" Yeah, that's not what he said. He seems like a nice guy, very calmly, he said, he didn't know enough about the situation. I suspect that he was just embarrassed at his behavior seen through someone else's light, which is understandable, but yeah, I don't expect him to go out with her anytime soon. He didn't say much, 'cause there's not for him to say, what he said makes sense, and I think he probably had other more pressing things on his mind, so... (Shrugs) yeah, here's his response.

http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/08/odell-beckham-doesnt-care-about-lena-dunham-in-the-nicest-way-possible/

He has nothing to say, 'cause there's nothing there that happened, overblowing something that really shouldn't have been overblown. Let's move on to the six-year-old tweet, 'cause I feel like going backwards through time.

Okay, the "Tweets" that have come up, where did this controversy...-? Oh, PerezHilton.com, of course.

http://perezhilton.com/2016-09-06-lena-dunham-racist-tweets-controversy/?from=post

Yeah, I'm never exactly been a fan of Perez Hilton, seems like a nice enough guy, sorta, I don't like a lot of his tactics, some I don't mind, but yeah, he's basically a low-rent Hedda Hopper and to this day, it somewhat baffles me that he's actually got such a following, even within the tabloid journalism world. Okay, to be fair, he's just the first article to come up when I searched the tweets on Google, he's just posting the responses and about the backlash over them, as he's supposed to do. That's his job. The people who looked up her twitter to find supposedly racist remarks, probably should've had better stuff to do.

But, anyway, the two tweets from God knows when, that only I found out 'cause they somebody who's name I won't say. posted one of them in a FB group, mostly so everybody else could you it as an excuse to slut-shame her. (And yeah, that's what a lot of this is, btw, fans slut-shaming people they don't like, but they know are more talented than they'll ever be.) So, what did they say? To quote her exactly:

"Just found my "creativity journal" from 2005. It begins: "I dreamed I was a prostitute and that I molested a little African-American rodent"

I studied this tweet that everybody was using as justification for bashing her as a person, wondering what the hell the problem was for a good twenty minutes or so. This was a Tweet, from six years ago, about a journal entry, she wrote five years before that, so, eleven years, when she was 19; which takes place, in a "dream". (Frustrated breath pause) that's in a "Creativity Journal". We're really shocked and appalled at this? Okay, she dreamt about being a hooker, who molested an African-American rat? Yeah, some may think I'm being blind here, by not seeing how she's supposedly calling African-Americans, "rodents". I read the tweet and thought it was an actual, rodent, probably a rat. What, rats can't be African-American? I don't see why not, there's plenty of examples over the years of species from one place in the world forever altering the ecosystem of some other world locale by being introduced, rats included. Take a mouse from Africa, mouse from America, lock them together... (Okay, maybe not lock them together, maybe, they were out on the town, maybe they go on a blind date, what's it matter, it's rats in a dream!!!) and sooner or later, a bunch of African-American rats. Besides that, it's a dream, who cares! What if I said I dreamed of a black person in a dream, would that be offensive? No. "Oh, but she molested him?" A. It's a dream, and B. you should the things I've done to Halle Berry in my dreams, you'd be a lot more upset at me, and certainly she would be. And if it's not a black person, which I contend it isn't, then it's a tweet about bestiality. A dream, that a character in a creativity journal she wrote had, eleven years ago, about being a hooker that has performed bestiality with a rat. Or a rodent, maybe it's a gopher, who knows? As far as creative people using bestiality as a story device, she's the not the first or last, and if it's good enough for Edward Albee, I don't see why it's a problem for Lena Dunham. So, yeah, this is bullshit, and there's nothing about this tweet that's remotely offensive or proves that's she doing anything other than, doing what a writer does, being a creative artist. I heard one argument by someone who said that "People don't say such things or discuss such thoughts in public and she shouldn't?" Eh, who says? You, fuck you. You can talk about whatever the hell you want, it's how you talk about it, and creative people talk about any and everything they damn well want to. Yeah, she's not living up to your standards, yeah that's stupid. I'm a creative person, I can tell you right now, I discuss and talk about other ideas and random thoughts I have with a lot of people, many of them fellow creative types, they tell me when they think something's a good idea or a bad idea, or whatever else it may be. It's not unusual. So she uses Twitter for it, so, I use Facebook and Twitter. And I'm being ignorant for defending her? What the fuck!

Okay, next tweet, what was this fake problem of controversy? Quoting exactly, again:

"An uncool thought to have: "is that guy walking in the dark behind me a rapist? Never mind, he's Asian." 

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! What, it's funny. She's commenting on the stereotypes that perpetuate our media and ergo our minds, and then satirizing it, by playing off the "fear of the black man" stereotype, by circumventing our expectations and undercutting our ingrained cliched of stereotypes. The fact that we're suddenly calmed by the realization that the person in the dark walking behind a woman, is Asian, is funny, 'cause it wouldn't occur to the laymen, that an Asian person walking is inherently scary. Of course, it's not necessarily scary that a Black person walking behind us is scary, but it's a common conceit, one that many white and Caucasian people worry about. I've even had that fear. I see a few African-American kids walking across from me, and I'm trying to get across the street the other way, so do I cross towards them, or away from them at the intersection. I'm afraid of seeming racist sometimes if I don't cross their path one way, but it's easier and more convenient if I go the other way, since, that's what light's green for me to walk. Yeah, I'll admit this, it's a fear that many Americans have of seeming racist when they're not, it comes up. I've also been scared to death of some white people following me on the street, and there are times where, I'm not thinking about it at all, and I cross the street, not caring, but it happens, and there's nothing inherently wrong with talking about race and the experiences we have with it. Mine experience as much different than most, but I'm not pretending I know more than others, I'm just expressing my thoughts and experiences. Which she is doing. And by the way, she did write that this was, "An uncool thought," so, she's not promoting it, she's simply acknowledging she has it. I'm not condoning or antagonizing someone for admitting their flaws. So, yeah, the argument against this tweet, is also, total bullshit.

(Sigh) What else?

Purportedly she gets criticized constantly for not having more minorities represented on her show, which is, a criticism, and an inaccurate one at that by the way, but (Sigh) look, I don't get two things about this argument, and the first one is that, most of television is severely lacking in minority characters and representative, so why are people constantly picking on her? That makes no sense, and second of all, so what? She's got the right to create her characters and have them be portrayed in any way possible. "Girls" is about characters who are, like her and her world, and that often includes people who may be surrounded by numerous cultural influences outside of their own, and that also includes those who take little or no influence from them. It happens. That's not inherently racist, it's just, well, anthropology; we like to separate ourselves into groups and those groups can be characterized as "People Like Us" and "People Not Like Us". She surrounds herself with characters she surrounds herself with, and many of them happen to be from similar background and have similar or at least have relate-able experiences to ones own. I can think about a hundred shows, comedy and dramas that have the same criticism. There's obvious ones like "Friends" and "Sex and the City" or "Frasier", but how about something like "Good Times"; how come you rarely heard complaints from that show about their never be rich upper-class white characters interacting with J.J.? This is maybe an interesting criticism of her work and the show, but it's not really an inherent negative towards her work, and a lack of minorities doesn't equal racist, or anything of that nature. Of course, the people who make this argument probably also believe the tweets that I I brought up before, are also racist, even though I thoroughly proved they weren't just now. (Sigh)

Okay, what's next, oh shit about her book that got taken out of context. That's also an attack on how "privileged" she is, supposedly. You know, that has bothered me too; every time I hear these attacks on "Millennials" as a whole, she's somehow become a poster child, for whatever the hell problems people find with "This generation".I have no idea what a millennial is, I presume I'm apart of that class, but, I was born in '85, so maybe I'm too late or too early or whatever; I never fit in to whatever group or class I was supposedly in anyway, but yeah, I've starting to lose my tolerance over that kind of argument too. "Your whole generation thinks everything should just be handed to you?" Okay, first of all, no, don't speak for an entire group of people, who just happen to be born around the same time, 'cause I can say for a fact that's not true of all of any age range. Secondly, Dunham's not apart of that, 'cause clearly she works her ass off or else she wouldn't be this successful and you wouldn't know who she is, or why people like me and many others have written pieces about her like so. (Yeah, I don't care where you supposedly begin, or how much it's supposedly easier to be successful enough to get a cable television show today, if you don't actually do the work in this industry, it don't fucking come.) Thirdly, yeah, things should be handed to us. No, I'm not being obnoxious, we should've had a bunch of shit by now; it appalls us that we're fighting for things like universal healthcare and gay marriage among other things, and frankly seeing a do-nothing Congress just saying no to everything the side that wants to get stuff done, makes us think that you guys are calling the kettle black so, (Blows raspberries) yeah, that tired argument that goes from one generation hating the next generation to the other, it's just as stupid and incorrect as it ever was, 'cause we'd argue you guys we're supposed to promise to do the work and did nothing so..... (Hands with fingers going up and down, representing a guy blabbering but not saying much)

Anyway, her book, "Not That Kind of Girl"; I read it. It was good, I highly recommend it. There's two things that keep getting brought up with that book; only one of which is actually, somewhat a legitimate complaint about her, but we'll start with the stupid one. The claim that she is a child molester; which she's not. In the book, she talks about her sister Grace and bribing her with kisses and purportedly molesting her, when she was seven and her sister was one. Okay, I'm not gonna trivialize actual sexual abuse, but yeah, an unknowing curious seven year old playing and exploring her sister's private parts, it's not great, but this is all about intent. She's seven, and I know quite a few people that young who did some weird stupid shit as they shared in the exploration of their bodies, and yeah, according to some literature there are reports of children as young as four or five who have engaged in sexual molestation behavior; at that age, I would suspect that most of that behavior was probably learned behavior from an adult, or something like this, just weird expressions of curiousness from a quirky and unusual kid. Or as Dan Savage put it in one of his tweets, "My little sister and I took baths together until we were five and six; pretty sure we examined each other's junk closely." Thank you, Dan Savage; if you don't know who he is, look him up; great podcast and his "Savage Love" columns are awesome. And, yeah, that's what this is, little kids, not really knowing what's appropriate behavior or not, finding out the way a lot of kids do, by doing something they don't realize is wrong. If she was doing this today with a one-year-old, or if she was having a relationship with a fifteen-year-old or something like that now, then this would concern me and I'd be all over beating the hell out of her every chance I get, but that's not what this is, and trying to make more out of it than it actually is, yeah, that's really, truly obnoxious and overly presumptive. It reminds me of that time, I got into trouble when I was about Dunham's age, because a neighbor kid convinced me to write things with a felt-tip marker around the neighborhood. I didn't know I was graffiting everything; I didn't even know what the hell the term was; hell, he's the one that drew a bunch of pictures, all I could think to do was write my name. I didn't understand what he was convincing me to do and I sure as hell didn't realize people would be upset and I'd have to go around all night, cleaning everything up. It was terrible, but if you don't know, you end doing stuff like that as a kid, and everybody has those moments that in hindsight can be frightening. The context and intent matters, and this is not a context where this behavior means that one person was molesting another. I know that's not always the en vogue thing to think regarding such behaviors, most of the time, if someone accused someone of sexual assault in some way, and se accuser makes some claim that that wasn't his/her intent, I usually don't necessarily believe them either, and whether or not it was, the fact that there's an accusation, clearly means, assuming the accuser isn't just flat-out lying, that something happened that made one of the people involved uncomfortable enough to make such an accusation. That said, her sister, who is the supposedly the victim of this, thinks all of these complaints are insane, as well, which she's said numerous times. Yeah, she was one at the time, but yeah, if I was a sister and found that out and clearly didn't know such things happened or didn't remember at the time, I would cause some shit, but that's not the case. So, yeah, I don't buy the argument here either that people are going after Lena because they're protecting her sister's rights as an abuse victim.

The other account from her book that I actually do think is somewhat suspicious, ironically is Lena Dunham's account of her own rape at Oberlin College, which she describes in her "memoirs". I quote memoirs, there's this one strange thought going around that somehow because she altered names and certain aspects of her memoirs that, therefore, she's lying and is wrong. Well, memoirs or autobiographies of any kind are always subjective and many times they're completely inaccurate. Charlie Chaplin's is a good example, you want to learn about him, don't read his autobiography. Anyway, memoirs are completely subjective anyway, there's one person's account, their viewpoint, and that's the only one you get, and it's not usual for people to retell and re-twist stories to make them look better, like the time I won that Nobel Prize for Literature, on the same day I scored the game winning touchdown for the Eagles in the Super Bowl, yeah, that's not exactly how that happened, but I'm not gonna tell it differently, it's better storytelling. So, anyway, she talks about this, sexual encounter that's ambivalent in terms of whether or not it's consensual or not. It's clear something happened that she wasn't okay with, and...- (Sigh) she describe the person in some detail, but then called the person "Barry". Well, apparently some people looked into the allegation, and they found somebody named Barry who matched the profile, and that person sued for defamation. Well, you see, the name was a pseudonym, 'cause that's what happens in things like that, you change the names, specifically so you don't get sued in cases like this. I'm not gonna reveal the actual guy's name although I've been able to find it myself, and that person's been outed, but yeah, this is a little sketchy. I'm chalking it up to an unfortunate coincidence more than anything, although it's a little weird, Oberlin isn't exactly a large college so, it's a definitely a blame on her part that she picked a name that, one could argue that she used intending to screw over this guy. I wouldn't go that far, just because someone's known on campus doesn't mean he's known to her and blaming somebody for using an accidental pseudonym that matches somebody, it's kinda tough. That's why there's those warning at the end of movies and tv shows about how events that might depict reality are entirely coincidental and unintentional, 'cause some things might be similar to someone else's experience, but it's also just possible that people have parallel thinking, it might not be exactly what somebody else is thinking or how they thought, but... yeah, this is the one thing that's unfortunate that I can kinda see criticism, but really, the worst thing she did is accidentally pick the wrong pseudonym. Yeah, I wouldn't get on her too much for that. I had this teacher that always talked about giving her kids strange names, because she didn't want to see any of her former students in her kids' faces. I understand that, but usually you find names from people you know have met or heard before from somewhere, so when you're writing something and you're making up a name, you come up usually with a somewhat common name, especially if it's a pseudonym, 'cause you don't want a name to be so unusual that almost everyone would presume it has to be a person's real name, and she picked one that ironically matched the description of someone else. It's weird, but I can't say I must bash her for though.

Alright, so, so far, four reasons people hate her, and 3 3/4 of them are total bullshit. What else have people come up with?

(Types "Hating Lena Dunham" into Google)

Redstate.com, it's always these damn conservative sites too, they found eleven reasons. Let's see, she didn't pay entertainers who were at a book signing of hers, where she made $300,000 fr charging, and is therefore a hypocrite, because she criticized a Senatorial candidate who was against the minimum wage? Okay, they were eventually paid, and yeah that was a goof by her and Random House, but still, no, not the worst thing I ever heard happen to performers and lack of payment.

In 2015, she said she was going to dress up as a Planned Parenthood doctor for Halloween. Why is that a reason to hate her, that's a great costume idea, what the hell? Morons.

She's only 28 and wrote an autobiography. That's not a reason to hate someone. She offered money to write a book, she wrote a book? What the-,

They don't like Twitter, and she stopped being on it for awhile. Well, yeah, she puts out these great tweets and she keeps getting insulted for every little thing she says, I'd get off too if that kept happening. That's a reason to hate the asshole who tweet the ugly horrendous thing they say about her, not her! You should check the Twitters of some of the people who do go after her, those are the ones that are scary.

Oh, her "Dog vs. Jewish Boyfriend," that's a problem! That was funny you dumbass! Jesus Christ,-, okay, Gene Wilder just passed away, does anybody think him and Mel Brooks were total racists after "Blazing Saddles". Talking about race, in comedy isn't inherently racist. It's a joke, it was funny, here's a link to it:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/30/dog-or-jewish-boyfriend-a-quiz

Saying "Jewish Boyfriend" is funnier than just saying "boyfriend," it just is, anybody who's ever been in a comedy writers room would get that.

Her constant nudity in public and in her show. (Sigh) Okay, now they're really just bashing somebody specifically because they're "Not like me". So she portrays herself naked and is fine doing that. Why is that a reason to hate her? Cause she's not a typical model, what is this argument?

Brought up that one. #3 on this moron's list, I'm not even gonna mention 'cause of how stupid it is. And I'm not posting a link to it either, you can search for it.

Brought up number 2. Oh, and his number one reason is that she's a pro-Obama Democrat. Yeah, that's a reason to hate somebody, they're political association, thanks Redstate.com, there's a reason your party's the minority that's lost five of the last six popular votes in Presidential elections.

A few more funny tweets that people somehow found offensive, for no reason. Ugh.

Let's see, what else. A bunch of stuff about her using her fame to be a "Feminist icon", and criticism about that, I don't know, It seems like all any of these people do is critique her behaviors, and frankly, her show probably critiques them better than any of these morons would. She's not perfect, and she's not the voice of our generation, she's never claimed that she is. (Sigh)

Yeah, the more I look into Lena Dunham, or any of similar performers who get this much ire and vitriol hatred from fans, all of them women, I find myself thinking that she's not the one at fault and deserves none of this bullshit, and she doesn't. Neither does Amy Schumer, neither does Margaret Cho or Sarah Silverman or Taylor Swift or hell, even Hillary Clinton. This is basically, rampant sexism disguised as opinion. And frankly, I'm not interested anymore in tolerated it from these, "fans", who are just out to humiliate others because of whatever their own insecurities are. They find a lightning rod, and therefore they find every reason to make themselves feel better. I've yet to see a legitimate excuse to hate any of them, and those who do, can go ahead, and keep trying to convince me. I'm open, but you gotta actually have a reason, other than, "You don't like her personally." Believe me, the actual horrible people in the industry, eventually I can find legitimate sources about them and their actions and honestly find real reasons to despise them, even the really talented ones. But I am so sick and tired of seeing people just talk about how trashy or sick or gross or how horrible Dunham and some of these other contemporaries are, when there's absolutely no justification for it. It's misogyny, it's slut-shaming, it's belittling those who didn't grow up as you did, there's so many wrong with this behavior, that it's really some of the most disgusting group fan behavior I've ever seen, and it goes all across the entertainment spectrum. She's not alone, I'm just focusing on her, 'cause she's clearly the biggest lightning rod, and frankly it's insulting to me that I have to write a piece like this, where I actually have to explained how unjustified other people's behaviors towards them are.

And I'm sorry, she's the one who's too elitist to live, and be this successful at this young an age and look like she does and portray herself and her characters the way she does, through her own perspective, so let's find every way to superficially cause her pain and feel superior by insulting her every chance we get? (Sigh)

Yeah, and people wonder why I'm not a fan. Yeah, fuck all of you who do this, and seek out new reasons to diminish and hate.

And Ms. Dunham, if you ever happen to read this, strongly consider not apologizing the next time somebody accuses you making some horrific gaffe that's really just overblown and out-of-context by people who have nothing better to do then be out to get you. If they don't understand or see the place where you come from, that's their problem, not yours and you don't have to justify yourself to these trolls as long as you know who are, and as far as I can tell you know yourself better than probably 99% of everybody I've ever known. Just consider it, seriously, not saying it's something you must do, but the more I see where they come from, the less their actually worth trying to appeasing especially since they're just gonna find a reason to attack anyway, no matter what it seems like you do.

(Deep breath)

Anyway, if you think I'm alone in this crusade, I'm not; while I found a bunch of blurbs about how horrible Dunham was, there was just as many who like me, were completely baffled by all this hate and criticism, my favorite was this one by Kristen Field for "F is for Feminism".

http://fisforfeminism.com.au/why-do-so-many-people-hate-lena-dunham/

and there's plenty of others repeating what I'm saying here, in a much more eloquent manner than I ever would, (Or feel like writing today anyway) but yeah, this condemnation of spewing ugliness and hatred towards young successful female celebrities, that have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of their work and from people who lack the nuance to understand what they're actually doing, I'm not tolerating it anymore.