Wednesday, September 25, 2019

CANON OF FILM: "GHOST WORLD"

GHOST WORLD (2001)

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Screenplay: Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes



Over the years, I’ve found many reasons to find myself drawn back to “Ghost World”. I’ve always loved the movie, sure, but there always seemed to be something mysterious in it, something that I kept seeking out, but wasn’t sure I could actually find. I kept going back to it periodically, at one point recently, I even went so far as to read the graphic novel it was based on, which I rarely do, especially with comics. I liked it, but it only resembled the movie in tone; it was even more sardonic and episodic than the movie I remember; for something that I think of as being distinctly narrative, the book was more comic strip-like almost; it felt more reminiscent of say, the TV show “Daria”, which makes sense considering the time period, and comparing anything to “Daria” is a good thing in my book.

I’ve seen it airing on TV a lot lately; when I had cable I used to watch all the time when I’d run into it, but I can’t watch it much these days. I know the movie too well and it’s just chopped to shit on regular TV. I don’t mind the language being edited but a lot of the TV edits just seem to completely miss the jokes or the irony or nuances of the film. Like they keep the scene of Enid (Thora Birch) dying her hair green while listening to punk rock and they show her in a brief glimpse of her Sex Pistols-inspired punk rock get-up, but they’d leave out the speech where she explains to an idiot that she gets her classic Indian musicals from, that she’s wearing the clothes ironically, and is the only one who seems to understand that?! Missed details like that happen enough to where I just gave up watching it on TV anymore. Still though, I kept finding myself drawn to it though, and I finally think I know why.

I’ve always related to Enid, the young high school outcast who’s sardonic, arm’s length view of the world was what was tripping her up and events changed in her life that she couldn’t control, or that she would sabotage. This is true enough; I knew people like her, hell I was, perhaps still am someone like her, complete with a female friend who seems to also share those inspirations, but is also prettier, and more willing to go out to the world. In Enid’s case it’s Rebecca, (Scarlett Johansson) and she’s even planning her and Enid getting an apartment after the summer, after Enid has to stay behind and take a Summer art class just to graduate. I related to the absurdity of the graduation ceremony, the struggles of an adult world trying to relate to teenager, completely misunderstanding just how absurd everything truly is, and therefore into a sardonic undertone not as irony or rebellion, but as self-defense.

Now however, almost 20 years on, I realize that I much more relate to Seymour. (Steve Buscemi) An aging fast food regional employee who’s bored by his own fascinations and habits that he ultimately could never find anybody else to relate to. He’s in his 40s and is filled with useless information on aged delta blues singers that nobodies heard of and collections of records and other strange items that make his living room look like a museum to someone who died years ago; the kind of stuff you’d expect to find at a yard sale that nobody would buy, and yet, the seller is still reluctant to sell. It never quite dawned on me that perhaps, on top of being a love interest and fascination to Enid, Seymour might also represent a warning for Enid. One that I don’t think she ever realizes or for that matter, understands that he is the representative of what she might end up becoming, or perhaps is destined to become. His fascination with old blues records becomes her fascination, but how different is that then her unique interest in old obscure Bollywood musicals? She’s already so dispirited with the rest of the world that she can’t even bare to put a price on her old items as she tries to have a yard sale, just like Seymour periodically does. She ostracizes all her friends and potential love interests, Seymour doesn’t have that many of those and of those, he finds them as boring as he finds himself as he struggles to navigate through a world that doesn’t quite fit him as well. It seems like he was always a loner, but perhaps he also had some friends who simply outgrew him or he decided not to grow up.

This isn’t exactly just these characters being introverts, there’s more to it than that. There’s the kind of introverted behavior that is a fear of going further, putting oneself out there, but then there’s being an introvert because of the general disgust one has with the outside on top of that. It’s not simply that they can’t navigate around it, they foresee it too well just how they don’t fit in. What’s natural behavior for everybody else, or seems that way to them, are just other characters in their observant play that they’ve placed into their own universe. I feel this way a lot, and it’s crippling; it’s bad enough that I can easily see myself filing a missed connection ad, but I can see myself answering it too, both seriously and for laughs, like Enid does.

I guess the word would be ennui, and this movie gets ennui way more than perhaps any other I’ve seen. This sense of trying to be apart of the world, but because you’re so dismissive of the world, you insist on only going through it on your own terms; it’s vile and can truly stunt one’s emotional growth, and these are two characters who are emotionally stunted and they’re so far gone that don’t even fear the problems with that. Seymour’s practically given up and basically just accepts it and the other is still so in her own world that she doesn’t even realize that she should fear it. She thinks she’s trying to help out Seymour, which, yeah, comparatively, she’s the one who should be pushing him, but she should’ve been getting help too. And she rejects it when she had the opportunity, like with the art teacher, (Ileana Douglas) and with everybody else, including Rebecca and Seymour. Including her father (Bob Balaban) and her father’s on-again off-again girlfriend (Teri Garr).

The film was directed by Terry Zwigoff, the wonderful filmmaker behind “Crumb”, the documentary on the great underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, the cartoonist behind Fritz the Cat among other noteworthy projects. Reportedly, Zwigoff was a friend of Crumb and the only reason the film got made was become Zwigoff was on the brink of having a nervous breakdown and Crumb was concerned that he might be suicidal so he reluctantly allowed him to start filming. Roger Ebert’s review of “Ghost World” notes that Buscemi’s Seymour character has a lot of similarities to Zwigoff himself. His character is not prominent in the graphic novel and the whole main plot between him and Enid is nearly entirely made up. I wonder if he found himself in Clowes’s comic version of Enid and decided to expand Seymour’s role and create him as sort of a warning to her. The movie has a famous open-ending where Enid boards a bus, a bus that, once upon a time, was noted for not running anymore, until suddenly, and without warning, it started running again. She has no high school diploma, she’s no longer friends with Rebecca and is so frustrated with how everything in the town has changed so drastically that she finally leaves. I used to think it was ultimately a happy ending; I know that she has no real prospects personally, but what about emotionally? Will she just find a new but similar world that she can’t grasp and can only observe at arm’s length? That she can’t ultimately go maneuver her way through? Did Seymour make a similar decision to leave wherever he was from to come here? It’s been almost twenty years; I wonder what does happen to her and everybody else. I don’t normally want to see a sequel to anything but I kinda think I do want to see one for “Ghost World”; I’m sure it wouldn’t be as great, but it could be decent like Peter Bogdanovich’s “Texasville” for instance, his good-but-forgotten sequel to “The Last Picture Show” that looks in and checks on these characters twenty years down the line. See how they struggle to survive in a new world they can’t seem to grasp and are still disgusted with it and can only observe the absurdity in everything. Perhaps Enid finds a way out of her own insipidness, or perhaps she ends up like Seymour, having taken a simple job at some fast food place and just never bothered finding anything else or improving anything else about her and now, she’s been there for twenty years, and collects old records.

I know these are two characters who I distressingly relate well to, too well perhaps. Perhaps I read the film as more of a warning now then when I originally did, and yet, I still want to seek it out more, and I’m usually happy when I do. Maybe Enid and Seymour might be onto something after all. Perhaps the world is so diametrically opposed to them, and keeps not getting or understanding or finding a decent place for them, then, maybe they should be rejecting it and all it’s conventions?   

I mean, maybe somebody should pick up that pair of jeans that’s been on the sidewalk forever; who knows, they might actually fit somebody, if only somebody tried to put them on.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

CREATING A HYPOTHETICAL ENTERTAINMENT CRITICS' ENTRANCE EXAM (FILM CRITICS EDITION): This is a JUST FOR FUN EXERCISE, don't be too serious.



Todd in the Shadows did a joke once about how hating Styx was on the Music Critics Entrance Exam, which I found very funny, especially since Styx is notorious for being hated by critics. (And I'm not a big Styx fan either) Mostly though, I like the idea that there’s an exam for people to become art critics, which of course there isn’t. Anybody can become a critic, especially these days. Hell, I did.

Maybe I shouldn’t have though. I’ve been very critical in the past of certain film and entertainment critics, some of them are people who names you’d know (Or should know), others, perhaps not so much. There's a couple links below of me doing that. 

https://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2016/12/yes-but-is-it-criticism-reflections-on.html
https://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2013/02/rex-reed-is-untalented-ahole-who-knows_21.html

Just so we’re clear, I don’t think “agreeing with me”, makes somebody a good critic; some of the most interesting critics I seek out I find myself vehemently disagreeing with quite often. But I do differentiate between people who are true critics, and people who have an opinion. They say everyone’s a critic, but that’s not true; everyone has an opinion, that’s true, but not everyone who has an opinion, is a critic. At least to me. I know some who disagree with that…- perhaps a more proper term instead of critic, would be pundit. I am not a “Film Critic”, I am a “Film Pundit”? (Shrugs) Eh, that’s sounds too weird. Yeah though, in a world where it’s actually quite easy to, well, do what I did, get a blog, or a Youtube channel or whatever and regurgitate your thoughts on the films you’ve just seen, perhaps it shouldn’t be that easy.

Besides, I have nothing better to talk about anyway, but, let’s do a little thought exercise, shall we? What if we actually did form an Entertainment Critics Entrants Exam? What makes a critic good or bad? Especially if it’s not, “I Agree with se critic”, which, believe me, nobody agrees with a critic 100% of the time. Should it be, somewhat arbitrary, like being listed on Rotten Tomatoes? I agree that gives you credential as a critics, despite what some idiots think, but I don’t think that’s a top standard; there are plenty of great critics who aren’t on there for one reason or another. (And no, I’m not counting myself in that.) 

Before I continue, this is, ahem,  JUST FOR FUN!!!! 

I want that in big letters, ‘cause I don’t want anybody thinking this is an absolute. That said, I created an exam. An exam for critics. (Well, an outline of an exam) Let’s say for the sake of argument that a good critic, whether I agree or disagree with you, should be able to self-analyze and in a sense, criticize themselves, and be willing to have their standard as “Critic”, challenge by answering these question. They’re not all questions that have a definitive answer, many of them are essay questions, okay. Again, while I do believe a critic needs knowledge of the art they’re criticizing, I don’t believe a critic needs to agree with me, or with you, or with anybody.

This test is not an absolute; if you think a question is not worth asking or answering, tell why or why not, and if you think there’s a question that should be on here, but isn’t, feel free to add to it and explain why. This is essentially just a general list of things, I look for in a critic, it doesn’t mean, it’s the only questions that a critic should be able to answer or the things that you might look for in a critic. 

Again, this is  JUST FOR FUN!!!! 

Think of it like Mad Libs for critics, or something. Don’t take it too seriously. For those wondering, I will try to answer as many of these as I can. Some of them, I won’t be able to, ‘cause, like one of them just says “90 Questions Film History Quiz”! I’m not writing 90 questions on film history for this blogpost, and then answering them, okay?  (Besides one person shouldn't write the test alone anyway, you'd only have to be as knowledgeable as that one guy; what's the sense in that?) Some I don’t want to give answers away to others, if you or some critic you know might want to take the quiz. For instance, here’s another question: “Name ten female directors?”. I can do it, but I don’t want to give answers away.  This is an outline or diagram of what a Movie Critics Exam, might, hypothetically look line. (And I don't know exactly how well I'd do either; I might do bad on this quiz myself in your eyes for all I know.) 

So let’s look at this, my, thought experiment on what a “MOVIE CRITICS LICENSING EXAM” would look like, early, early, brainstorming draft edition, that’s not-at-all complete or exact or serious, or whatever! 



Q1: What is the technical craft of moviemaking that you find the most fascinating and why?

All critics and moviegoers have biases. They pay attention to details differently. Some people care about the acting, some the directing, some the writing, some the editing, hell, I know people who watch any movie and immediately comment firstly about the film’s musical score. There is nothing wrong with any inherent answer here, but there has to be some avenue that peered your way into film, and not just the seeing people on screen aspect. You should have some basic interest in at least one distinct craft in film. You should have an interest in nearly all, but one should also be primary. For me, while I care a lot about several aspect of filmmaking; I have a writing background and with this is an inherent bias, with all else being equal, I will probably prefer whichever movie that I feel is better written. (And even what qualifies as good writing can be subjective, but that’s my primary area of focus.)


Q2: What is the difference between what films you like and what films are good? BONUS POINTS: Do not list any examples of either.  

To me, this is the ballgame. This is how I was taught to analyze literature of all kinds, and in a world where, as Pauline Kael once said, one must appreciate great trash in order to appreciate great art, you also need to know this distinction. You can like anything you want. Same way you can hate anything you want, but neither is actual criticism. One must be able to defend why something is good, and recognize it and defend it quality-wise as good, and not simply because they like it. That’s just, being a fan. If you’re just here to tell me what you like and what you don’t like, to me, you’re not a critic.

If I’m being entirely honest, I think the best examples I’d use for this are probably more books than movies. For instance, I can’t stand William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”; I’ve tried reading it recently, I know it’s technically good, ‘cause of what he’s doing… (If you don’t know, he tells a story through three perspectives, and the first perspective is told by, for lack of a better word, an idiot, and it feels like it’s written by an idiot.) but, I can’t get through it. I realize it’s creative, I realize it’s important and inventive, especially at the time, but ask me to sit down and go through and explain the events, and I’m just gonna look at you dumbfounded. As much as I do preach this, in comparison, movies are generally not that complex. There’s a few examples I can think of though, mostly they’re the ones I’ve talked about before in some way. Hell, I’m not that big on “Vertigo” personally, but any idiot can tell it’s one of Hitchcock’s greatest films. To me, this is the view I take when I’m defending or criticizing a movie most often, I’m challenging whether or not something is good or bad, regardless of personal preference. 

I’ll add this caveat though, just because I, as a critic, and come at art with this perspective, doesn’t mean that other critics should be required too. I think other critics should be able to, however. Big difference. If I can tell, that one can make that argument, then I can accept listening to other defenses that one critic might have.  

Q3: What are your biases, good and bad, and what steps have you taken or plan to take in order to adequately criticize a movie that includes or embraces those biases you have.

This is like preparation for the previous question. Are you willing and able to separate, and what are the things you distinguish in movies. Do you prefer certain genres, movements, styles, actors, etc. Is there films you seeks out above other things. For me, I can tell you that, I am not particularly adept or a natural fan of the horror genre. That’s a bit strange, ‘cause I actually am pitching a horror movie script around right now, but it’s something that I take into consideration; just because something isn’t my genre doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t watch that genre or try to accept the genre on it’s own terms. Now, I do have several other biases I can list, I hate certain filmmakers, I hate certain actors, etc. etc.  some are understandable, some are just stupid; the reason I’m mentioning horror is that I think it’s the one that I will always struggle the most with over time,  but as a critic one should always be cognoscente and aware of how they see the world, and realize that you’re not just writing for yourself. Again, just because I may not like something doesn’t mean that it’s not good. We are giving advice afterall, and just I might not like something, doesn’t mean that a reader who enjoy that movie, shouldn’t get the sense to watch it, just because I write a negative review of it.


Q4: List three times you have been incorrect about a movie.

Critics are not always right, even the best ones look back and have a different reaction and observation from later.

I’ll say the most recent one is that I revisited “Badlands” recently. I always considered it a minor Terence Malick, but now I recognize it as one of his very best films.

The big one that I was wrong on however was a documentary called “House of Numbers” that I watched while judging movies for a film festival. I really was brought in by the movie and instead should’ve done more homework on it. For those who don’t know, it’s an “AIDS is a Conspiracy” movie, and yes that’s something that exists, people who don’t believe in AIDS, and frankly it was convincing for me. As filmmaking propaganda, I would argue it was really well done and convincing; at the time, while it didn’t make me outright join this far-off sector of the conspiracy nutjobs, it got me thinking about a lot of it. I now know a lot better and frankly, I would absolutely tell people to avoid it now.

The third one, um, you know, I really shouldn’t admit this, but I hated “Oldboy” the first time I saw it, the original one. There are still aspects to it that I’m not crazy about, but the more I thought about that film, and while there are really troubling aspects about it personally for me, as a power piece of cinema, I have a tough time denying it, and now properly consider it among the best films in this current New Wave of Korean cinema we’ve have for the last twenty years or so.


Q5: What makes your voice or opinion distinct or different from others? What makes your opinion distinct or different from other critics?

This is the tough one. Why do you matter as a film critic? What can you bring to the table that I can’t get somewhere else and better? 

Okay, I’ll start with me. Despite my primary focus in writing now, I didn’t come at film from a creative background. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Film Studies from UNLV, but I came primarily from an intellectual background. I was a studious student and learner who seeked out knowledge of all kinds from several sources. Despite all this, I also grew up in a video store and believe that entertainment of all kinds is the most important and necessary aspect of humanity. They say the birth of modern humans, started on the coast of Southern Africa when humans started shaping personalized designs into their spearheads and arrowheads; you can literally mark the moment when homo sapiens stopped basing all their actions and movements towards survival with a need to keep themselves entertained and the need to create for the sake of creating. I also grew in Las Vegas, a tourist town known for trying to keep our guests as entertained as possible, so to me entertainment is a powerful and essential part of our lives and I find it particularly frustrating when we come home or take a break from the normal everyday struggles of work and family, to want to sit down and find something to keep you entertained, only to find truly abhorrent excuses for entertainment to come across your eyes. I have a weird combination of a MENSA-level IQ, complete with an audio-visual learning ability and an obsessive need and desire to learn and seek out more and more knowledge of the world and of film, with a particular slant towards caring deeply about what we are allowing ourselves to be entertained by during those off-moments from work. I think a lot of times, when I seek out critics, even those I admire, you don’t always see this combination of perspectives and I believe it is valuable to put something like that out there into the world of film criticism, which is why I feel that it should be added, and so, I did that. 

Other may not agree, and my perspective and background is definitely gonna be different from everyone else’s but you gotta for certain why you would do this, and not just because you think you can. Trust me, nobody would actually be a film critic unless they really love cinema and wanted to do this; it ain’t worth it unless there’s both passion for cinema and something unique and distinctive about you that makes you want to write about it like this.

Q6: Write the most scathing and truthful NEGATIVE review you can for one of these seven movies:  

“Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”
“2001: A Space Odyssey”
“A Clockwork Orange”
“Barry Lyndon”
“The Shining”
“Full Metal Jacket”
“Eyes Wide Shut”

Yes, you have to be able to trash at least one Kubrick movie, and no, it has to be his later work. No going after “Killer’s Kiss” or some other easy targets. If you can’t find one in this list to truthfully trash, even if you personally don’t agree with it, then you’re not a critic. (For me: I’d go after “The Shining”, and I could do it for “Full Metal Jacket” if I wanted to as well and possibly if pressed for “A Clockwork Orange”.) This will weed out obsessive cinephiles, film school fanatics and people who just say they “Love Movies” from the actual critics. Not that critics don’t love movies, but critics are critical and there are times where you will have to go after the best filmmakers out there, including the ones you absolutely love. To me, Kubrick is the most sanctimonious one who it seems like nobody is allowed to get away with panning, especially any of these movies, so, that’s what you gotta be able to do. You may even consider this the, “Write a good review and a bad review for a film” exercise as well, if you honestly love all these movies, but you still have to be able to critically go after a film.

Q7: Name ten female directors. 

This one shouldn’t be hard.

Q8: Who are your favorite film critics to read? Give 5 names, and your favorite examples of their work and why?

And I do mean, “Read”. While there are wonderful critics on Youtube, you have to be inspired as much, if not moreso by people who write about movies and are paid for it. You don’t have to dig into everything that Pauline Kael or Roger Ebert or whomever ever wrote or said, but you have to have a background in studying written criticism.

Q9: Identify five famous film movements, match them with a film, filmmaker and distinctive characteristic of se films.

That one’s fairly self-explanatory and goes into the next section pretty well.

Q10-100: Film history Quiz.

You don’t know have to know everything, but you have to have a certain base knowledge in film and film history. I’d add that depending on the home country of that critic, that this should be slanted to where 60 of the 90 questions should be about the critic’s home country, where they’re from or where they’re primarily working as a film critic, and 30 questions about film history from elsewhere. For instance, I don’t think an Indian critic needs to know x amount of Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy movies, but I definitely expect them to know more about Indian Cinema than I do.

Q101:   Explain the Auteur theory and is it a good approach to analyzing film? Why or Why Not?

This probably could be in the Film History Quiz part, but I still think it needs to be distinguished here. You don’t have to believe in it or even use it as a system of determining authorship or as some form of guide to critically analyzing film, but you should know what it is and why it’s important.

Q102-122: Film Making Quiz:

Again, you don’t have to know everything; I forget the difference between a gaffer and a best boy too, but let’s say 20 questions on film making, and you need to get about 12 right. Stuff like, what’s the 1st AD's job? Or what are the benefits of a wide-angle lens? Or, what's the difference between a tracking shot and a dolly shot? What are apple crates?  Etc., etc., this can be random, and again, you don’t need to know everything, but you should have enough of an idea of the process. What’s “Cutting to Continuity” mean, things like that.

Q123: Appreciating great trash challenge: Name five films that are great trash and why you appreciate them?

Pauline Kael said you have to love great trash in order to appreciate great art. I know every class I ever had in film school, one of the questions would always be about what my favorite films were. I guess there is some ability to sort through this question and see it as a look into the soul of a person, and for that, I assume it’s good, but personally I don’t like that question. I have a lot of favorite movies, and in fact, narrowing it down to one or even a few favorites is just troubling to me. Like, does having “Casablanca” as a favorite movie, which is the only movie I admit to being a quote-unquote "favorite",  define who I am or truly says about me? Or you, whatever your favorite film is, does that accurately describe you, or say everything about you? (Shrugs) 

So, instead, I want this question. What are your great trash movies; I think this says more about you as a critic. I won’t explain, but I’ll give mine. Um, “Smokey and the Bandit” is probably at the top of my list. “Psycho Beach Party” that’s a favorite. “Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy”, I enjoy that more than I should. “Striptease” I still contend would be funny if Demi Moore wasn’t so badly miscast in it, so I guess I’ll say that one. And, I have an affection for “Chasers” when I really shouldn’t.

That’s all I got so far. I don’t know if this is complete, incomplete, a dumb idea, or if I had two many questions or not enough, or didn’t ask the right ones for such a list, but that’s what I’m leaving it up for you guys to consider.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

71st PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANALYSIS, PREDICTIONS AND PREFERENCES! Yeah, I'm combining them into one blog this year, and I might not do a post-mortem on the show; just letting you guys know.



Alright, Everyone. I’m doing this a little differently this year. Obviously I’m late due to unfortunate circumstances with a post-morten on the nominations, and obviously this time, I’m unusually early with my Predictions. In fact, I’m so early, I made it a point to put this up before the Creative Arts Emmys, because I feel a lot of those awards are often ones that we care about and are just as interesting as the ones that make it to the main show. I’m combining everything I can here, and if I have a Prediction/Preference along with any major or minor thoughts I have on the categories, I’m gonna give them.


2019 PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS

COMEDY SERIES
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Barry-HBO
Fleabag-Prime Video
The Good Place-NBC
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-Prime Video
Russian Doll-Netflix
Schitt’s Creek-PopTV
Veep-HBO

Where the fuck did “Schitt’s Creek” come from? Seriously, like, I’ve heard rumors that apparently people in the know suspected that it might sneak in, but this is still really befuddling shocking to me. For one thing, it took out “GLOW” , which I was certain was getting in, staying in and was probably gonna do better this year, but boy did that prediction go out the window. It also probably took out past nominees “The Big Bang Theory” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” for their finale seasons, which is kind of a shame, ‘cause I thought both of those seasons had really spectacular finales. And honestly, I guess now I have to watch more of it, and I’m still getting around to that, but, I guess it’s okay. I like the actors fine, but I still mostly thought it was a simplistic premise; basically just a cute but easily disregardable TBS comedy that feels like rejected “National Lampoon” movie plot, along with jokes that would’ve been funny back when those movies were funny. And I’m not sure I’m entirely wrong, ‘cause even TBS disregarded the series which later got picked up by, PopTV? Did TNA Wrestling get nominated too? Yeah, this show didn’t get nominated because of PopTV’s great promotion; I bet most voters caught it on Netflix or something. The same thing probably happened to “The Good Place” a show that also sneaks in for the first time and that’s a show I always feel like I should hate more than I do. It’s kind of the same problem I have with “Russian Doll”, where basically it’s just a sitcom based around a storytelling gimmick that kinda has a very limited ceiling, but-, I don’t know, in both those show’s cases, they kinda won me over and wore me down. I still suspect “Russian Doll” is maybe a one-season wonder, but “The Good Place” has proven to be far more inventive than it really should be, and I hear that it does have a set end date pre-planned, so I guess if you are gonna do a show like that, they’re doing it right. I suspected that one would get in, but I’m not entirely sure why “Fleabag” came in now. Like, I would’ve expected that in here like, two years ago for its first season, but now? And I wasn’t sure I liked it then, but it still fascinated me enough to where I couldn’t deny its quality. They always catch the Amazon shows, after I’m over them. Watch, next year, they’ll all finally discover “One Mississippi”, and nominate it for everything before they realize it ended three years ago.
Anyway, this is a 3-way race, between “Veep”, the winner two years ago, last year’s runaway winner when “Veep” was absent, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, and the somewhat surprising over-achiever, “Barry”. I’m always been a skeptic on “Veep”, but it’s its last season, but that’s probably a bad thing. Only ‘Barney Miller” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” won the Comedy Series Emmy in their finale seasons, and “Veep” really underperformed as much as “Barry” overperformed. Tough call here.

PREDICTION: “Barry”
PREFERENCE: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

I like both these shows a lot, they’d be my one-two as well, and I think only “Veep” has a shot at playing spoiler here. Possibly, “Fleabag,” although I always thought that was too strange to win a series. Honestly, they didn’t do terribly this year in the category, bizarre “Schitt’s Creek” anomaly aside.


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Anderson-“black-ish”-ABC
Don Cheadle-“Black Monday”-Showtime
Ted Danson-“The Good Place”-NBC
Michael Douglas-“The Kominsky Method”-Netflix
Bill Hader-“Barry”-HBO
Eugene Levy-“Schitt’s Creek”-Pop TV

Okay, it’s confirmed, Don Cheadle’s name just gets checked off no matter what Showtime series he’s in. (Although I actually did like “House of Lies” a lot. Also, confirmed Kristin Bell doesn’t get nominated no matter how good the show she’s in. [And thankfully, neither for the bad shows she’s in….]) “The Kominsky Method” took the “Grace & Frankie” place this year where the shows get almost nothing outside of major acting nominations, which I think was a shame ‘cause I liked “The Kominsky Method” a lot; I thought that could’ve gotten into Series, even though this is a crowded year. Despite everything, I am happy to see Eugene Levy get nominated for once; he’s been around forever and deserves some praise even if I’m not big on the series, and the same goes double for Catharine O’Hara. I wish they’d bring “SCTV” back. Everything else is paint, although “black-ish”, seemed to fall out of favor the second I started kind of accepting it. Donald Glover wasn’t eligible I should also note here, “Atlanta” didn’t have a season this time around. Ted Danson btw, increases his record for most nominations in the category with 13; amazingly he never got nominated for “Becker”, which was a really big oversight in my opinion, so he really should have at least one or two more, which in hindsight is really ridiculous. Huh, No Bill Macy? Was “Shameless” eligible this year?

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Bill Hader-“Barry”

I don’t think I really have a preference here; I’m kinda taking Bill Hader by default, ‘cause I think he’s the most interesting and toughest to play character on the list. Plus, he did win last year and “Barry”’s a bigger show this year/


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christina Applegate-“Dead To Me”-Netflix
Rachel Brosnahan-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Julia Louis-Dreyfus-“Veep”-HBO
Natasha Lyonne-“Russian Doll”-Netflix
Catherine O’Hara-“Schitt’s Creek”-Pop TV
Phoebe Waller-Bridge-“Fleabag”-Prime Video

I thought that since Phoebe Waller-Bridge didn’t show up last season that she didn’t have much shot of showing up now, but I guess not. Actually, I think she could play spoiler here. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a win away from every record imaginable, and now she’s got the story behind her too. Although Natasha Lyonne’s comeback is worth noting as well, and I’m happy to see Christina Applegate back as well. My Mom’s been raving about “Dead to Me” and I do think I’ll try to watch it soon. It’s been a long time since somebody won in this category being the show’s only nomination; I think you gotta go back to either Melissa McCarthy or Toni Collette, and I just don’t see that happening here.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Rachel Brosnahan-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

I think this is a close race between Brosnahan, Louis-Dreyfus and Phoebe Waller-Bridge maybe playing spoiler. It’s all gonna depend on whether or not they’re tired of giving Julia winning Emmys, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say yes, this, this is the year. I think if they really liked “Veep” this year they would’ve gotten it more nominations.


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alan Arkin-“The Kominsky Method”-Netflix
Anthony Carrigan-“Barry”-HBO
Tony Hale-“Veep”-HBO
Stephen Root-“Barry”-HBO
Tony Shalhoub-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Henry Winkler-“Barry”-HBO

Wow! They loved “Barry” this year, Winkler winning last year was a long overdue career award as much as anything else, but getting Carrigan and Stephen Root in really makes it seem like “Barry” is a favorite. Hale’s won the category twice, so never count him out, and never count Tony Shalhoub out, ever. I think he did upset at SAG so that could happen again here.

PREDICTION: Tony Shalhoub-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
PREFERENCE: Stephen Root-“Barry”

I might change my prediction a couple times here, this is a tough category. I’m definitely cheering for Stephen Root though; he’s been one of the best solid TV actors for years and it’s nice to finally see him get nominated for something. He’s also been long overdue.


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alex Borstein-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Anna Chlumsky-“Veep”-HBO
Sian Clifford-“Fleabag”-Prime Video
Olivia Colman-“Fleabag”-Prime Video
Betty Gilpin-“GLOW”-Netflix
Sarah Goldberg-“Barry”-HBO
Marin Hinkle-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Kate McKinnon-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC

Well, I think we’re officially in the middle of the Olivia Colman moment that I’d been hearing about from my British entertainment fans for a few years now. Boy, “SNL” didn’t do great this year in the Supporting categories, only 2-time winner Kate McKinnon coming back. Marin Hinkle getting in is a nice surprise and Sarah Goldberg being recognized and both big clues that this is a “Barry” vs. “Maisel” year. I still am thinking that the old guard is probable to repeat here; that usually happens in an eight-way race, usually the expected favorite and I would say that’s last year’s winner Alex Borstein. Chlumsky could surprise here, and I wouldn’t rule out Betty Gilpin completely. I hate that she’s the only one on “GLOW” that gets recognized, ‘cause there’s a lot of good performances on it, but she does have a few really great episodes that if they saw them….

PREDICTION: Alex Borstein-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
PREFERENCE: Betty Gilpin-“GLOW”


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Barry-“The Audition”-Alec Berg-HBO
Barry-“ronny/lily”-Bill Hader-HBO
The Big Bang Theory-“The Stockholm Syndrome”-Mark Cendrowski-CBS
Fleabag-“Episode 1”-Harry Bradbeer-Prime Video
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-“All Alone”-Amy Sherman-Palladino-Prime Video
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-“We’re Going To The Catskills!”-Daniel Palladino-Prime Video

Tough category this year. For those unfamiliar of why “The Big Bang Theory” is here, other than deservedness, there’s a new Academy rule with this category where there has to be at least one nomination given to a multicamera TV series. I think it’s a good rule actually, ‘cause it is a distinct and different skillset than simply directing with a single camera like a movie. That said, I can see a few scenarios here. I could see the “Barry” and “Maisel” votes get split and “Fleabag” stealing it; but I think something’s gonna break out.

PREDICTION: “Barry”-“The Audition”-Alec Berg
PREFERENCE: “The Big Bang Theory”-“The Stockholm Syndrome”-Mark Cendrowski

I don’t think they want to give the Directing Award to an actor again and despite the two really good “Mrs. Maisel” entries here, I think that means “Barry” will pull away. But yeah, if I had vote, I’d go for “The Big Bang Theory” here for their finale episode. Cendrowski is the one who pushed for that new rule and I think they should get something here.


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Barry-“ronny/lily”-Alec Berg and Bill Hader-HBO
Fleabag-“Episode 1”-Phoebe Waller-Bridge-Prime Video
The Good Place-“Janet(s)”-Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan-NBC
PEN15-“Anna Ishil-Peters”-Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle and Stacy Osei-Kuffour-Hulu
Russian Doll-“Nothing In This World Is Easy”-Teleplay/Story: Leslye Headland; Story: Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler-Netflix
Russian Doll-“A Warm Body”-Allison Silverman-Netflix
Veep-“Veep”-David Mandel-HBO

Leave it to the Writing Branch to completely confuse you. What the hell is “PEN15”? I mean, other than, something that looks like the word PENIS when typed out? Somehow “Mrs. Maisel”, missed this category completely, which is why I think “Barry” is ultimately the favorite for Series. The two “Russian Doll” nominations are striking though. With those and “The Good Place” nomination, the writing seems to like more experimental stuff this year. It would be funny if Amy Poehler finally wins for Writing and she’s sharing it with another actress though. That said, I think it’s between, “Barry”, the finale of “Veep” and I suspect, “Fleabag”, might be in play here. Especially if they want to give Phoebe Waller-Bridge something, this might be the best place.

PREDICTION: “Fleabag”-“Episode 1”-Phoebe Waller-Bridge
PREFERENCE-“The Good Place”-“Janet(s)”-Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan

Boy, I really am shocked “Mrs. Maisel” missed that category; I could think of like five episodes I would’ve thought it would’ve won outright for Writing this year. Perhaps they over-submitted; that’s the only theory I can think of right now; “This is Us” suffered that problem before. To be continued.


OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Matt Damon-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Robert De Niro-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Luke Kirby-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Peter MacNicol-“Veep”-HBO
John Mulaney-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Adam Sandler-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Rufus Sewell-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video

So, this is where “SNL” got all the nominations this year. Four “SNL” and only three of those BTW are hosts, De Niro got in for playing Robert Mueller in much the same way that Tina Fey won for Sarah Palin and how Baldwin won for Trump. Baldwin’s lack of a nomination is a bit of a surprise in Supporting Actor, only because he’d been regularly nominated. Despite this, you can call this an underperforming year for them. They’re up against two from “Mrs. Maisel” and Peter MacNicol who nominated in this category a few years ago but had it rescinded after he appeared in too many episodes; that was the year, his replacement Peter Scolari, won for”Girls”. He does have an Emmy already; he won years ago for “Ally McBeal”, but they might want to correct that. Tough call here.

PREDICTION: John Mulaney-“Saturday Night Live”
PREFERENCE: Luke Kirby-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

A bit of a tough category to predict; I would like Luke Kirby for his portrayal of Lenny Bruce to get in, and he does have a great episode, but if I have to predict an “SNL”, and Mulaney was a surprise winner last year for a stand-up special he did, which was well-deserved btw, and the Academy seems to like him.


OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jane Lynch-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Sandra Oh-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Maya Rudolph-“The Good Place”-NBC
Fiona Shaw-“Fleabag”-Prime Video
Kristin Scott Thomas-“Fleabag”-Prime Video
Emma Thompson-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC

Two from “SNL” and two from “Fleabag” curiously. And two returning nominees, both Maya Rudolph and Jane Lynch reprised some roles for these nominations. I don’t think Jane Lynch won last year, this is oddly the only time they could honor her since she surprisingly didn’t get a Reality Host nomination this year, more on that crazy category this year, later. I believe Sandra Oh, is the favorite in Drama Series Actress, so I don’t think they need to give it to her here, but they do owe her, so they might overcompensate too.

PREDCITION: Sandra Oh-“Saturday Night Live”
PREFERENCE: Maya Rudolph-“The Good Place”

I’ve just going off a gut-instinct here. I was thinking of predicting Fiona Shaw, but bet against “SNL” in Guest categories at your own risk. I guess I would normally want Jane Lynch to win, but I think she had a better episode last season. I don’t remember if Emma Thompson’s ever won, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she pulled the upset here, but I guess I’ve cheering for Maya Rudolph here, who is funny as hell on “The Good Place”.



DRAMA SERIES

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Better Call Saul-AMC
Bodyguard-Netflix
Game Of Thrones-HBO
Killing Eve-BBC America
Ozark-Netflix
Pose-FX Networks
Succession-HBO
This Is Us-NBC

Jesus Christ, they fit in eight this year! What the hell even is “Bodyguard”?! Okay, it got this, and it took the “Ray Donovan” Writing nomination away, and that was literally it? No, seriously, just two nominations, total!!! Well, nothing else is a huge shock; I had “Killing Eve” getting in, I expected “Ozark” to improve I wasn’t sure about “Pose” or “Succession” but I knew something weird would sneak since “The Handmaid’s Tale” wasn’t eligible this year; except it kinda was in other categories, and we’ll get to that insanity later. Despite mixed-at-best reaction even by fans though, “Game of Thrones’ is the huge frontrunner, a record 32 total nominations. I think it’s possible it can lose here, but something’s gotta come up and take over as the alternative. I think the most likely scenario is “Killing Eve” pulling it off, it’s the only other series with both a Writing and Directing nomination this year, with the exception of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and again, we’ll get to that insanity later. Maybe “Better Call Saul” and “This is Us” could be sneaking in here, but I doubt it.

PREDICTION: “Game of Thrones”
PREFERENCE: “This is Us”

I’ve always been lukewarm on ‘Game of Thrones” and certainly have never thought it deserved a Series win, but I do think it’s an important show that will inevitably go down as influential, for mostly good reasons, although I fear what negative influence it’ll have. I have to catch up on a few of these other shows, so I’m gonna stick with “This is Us” for my preference, which did have a very good season, although that said, I caught up to three seasons of “Better Call Saul” recently; I will say this, if more prequel series were that good, I might actually encourage the idea in the future. Not quite there yet, but just saying, that might sneak up, maybe a year or two from now?


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jason Bateman-“Ozark”-Netflix
Sterling K. Brown-“This Is Us”-NBC
Kit Harrington-“Game of Thrones”-HBO
Bob Odenkirk-“Better Call Saul”-AMC
Billy Porter-“Pose”-FX Networks
Milo Ventimiglia-“This Is Us”-NBC

Okay, so Kit Harrington’s in Lead now. (Shrugs) Okay. I don’t think it’s gonna help him, especially this year. In fact, despite holding every Emmy record you can think of, outside of Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” actually have a terrible record with acting Emmys. And frankly, there’s other options, and I am really tempted here, ‘cause I know for a fact that, Milo Ventimiglia has a couple really great episodes to chose from. I usually worry that he’s submitting in the wrong category half the time, but he might steal this. I would’ve thought Bateman might’ve had a chance this year, but Laura Linney missed, and that’s a bit alarming to me, although Julie Garner did get in for Supporting, and they could honor him for Directing if they wanted to, although I think he has a better shot here. Plus, there’s a % of #MeToo people who aren’t crazy about him at the moment, but I don’t know; I might be underestimating him, but the competition’s tough this year. Billy Porter is the real wild card here. I don’t know much about “Pose” yet, but I wish the series got some other actor in. From what I can tell, this isn’t exactly a Tatiana Maslany situation so…- (Sidenote: If that show wasn’t just one actress playing all those roles, would anybody actually “Orphan Black”? Just a thought.) I think this might finally be Bob Odenkirk’s year. Well-deserved too if it is.

PREDICTION: Bob Odenkirk-“Better Call Saul”
PREFERENCE: Milo Ventimiglia-“This Is Us”

Normally I would be preferring Odenkirk, but-eh, boy-um, if you saw “This Is Us” this year, then-eh, it’s gonna be hard to vote against Milo.


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Emilia Clarke-“Game Of Thrones”-HBO
Jodie Comer-“Killing Eve”-BBC America
Viola Davis-“How To Get Away With Murder”-ABC
Mandy Moore-“This Is Us”
Sandra Oh-“Killing Eve”-BBC America
Robin Wright-“House of Cards”-Netflix

About time Mandy Moore got in; I’m not sure what the holdup on that was. (Might be that “The Crown” wasn’t eligible this year,- when’s that coming back BTW? I gotta look into that.) Also, with all due respect to Viola Davis, who truly is one of the great actresses of our time, why the hell is “How To Get Away With Murder” still on the air? She is great, but I’m kinda baffled how that show is still around. Even for an over-the-top soap opera kinda thing, like, I have a hard time sitting through an episode of that. Like I know “Empire” is soapy over-the-top trash, but I can put it up with that ridiculousness, but “How To Get Away With Murder” just seemed ridiculous from premise. Oh well. Um, I can see Emilia Clarke finally pulling it off here, but the fact that “Killing Eve” got two in here is really indicating that they are the second choice this year. Getting Sandra Oh in last year was considered a major win last year, getting a second female lead-, in fact, when’s the last time that’s happened in this category? I’ll look it up, but-um, “Cagney & Lacey”, maybe; that just doesn’t happen often, and it doesn’t happen out of nowhere, and with this recent voting system, while there are occasional exceptions, the more nominations a show has in the category, particularly acting categories, the more likely I think they’ll win. Oh, and I guess we’re still feeling empathy for Robin Wright’s situation. That’d be a good story, but look, I bailed on “House of Cards” before most people did, correctly so I might add, but despite a couple spare nominations, I can’t see it winning much here.

PREDICTION/PREFERNCE: Sandra Oh-“Killing Eve”

I think Sandra Oh will make history becoming the first Asian actress to win in this category, and it’s long deserved. I was the one who complained when she wasn’t getting enough attention for “Arli$$” so yeah, I think she might the lock of the night and I’d genuinely be shocked if anybody else won this year.


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Alfie Allen-“Game of Thrones”-HBO
Jonathan Banks-“Better Call Saul”-AMC
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau-“Game of Thrones”-HBO
Peter Dinklage-“Game of Thrones”-HBO
Giancarlo Esposito-“Better Call Saul”-AMC
Michael Kelly-“House of Cards”-Netflix
Chris Sullivan-“This Is Us”-NBC

The two Lannisters are paired with a Greyjoy from “Game of Thrones”, “Better Call Saul” got a second nomination also, this time for Giancarlo Esposito, who you could argue is owed an Emmy, since he lost the one time he was nominated from “Breaking Bad”. Granted he lost to his castmate Aaron Paul, but still, oh but, Jonathan Banks is also owed an Emmy after being a presumed favorite a few times now. Both of those are long-time veteran great actors, and if Esposito wins, he’d be the first Mexican-American to win. Little surprised Michael Kelly snuck back into the category, and really delighted to see Chris Sullivan get in. I totally forgot about him when considering this category, even among the “This Is Us” cast, but he has a great episode. His nomination was a rare delightful surprise from the Academy this year, as oppose to the mostly annoying surprises that encompass everyone else’s nominations.

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

Um, I’m just not betting against Dinklage until somebody in this list beats him.


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Gwendoline Christie-“Game Of Thrones”-HBO
Julia Garner-“Ozark”-Netflix
Lena Headey-“Game Of Thrones”-HBO
Fiona Shaw-“Killing Eve”-BBC America
Sophie Turner-“Game Of Thrones”-HBO
Maisie Williams-“Game Of Thrones”-HBO

Jesus Christ, four actors from “Game of Thrones”! We really gotta adjust the voting system for the Emmys. Anyway, if I have to distinguish between these, um, I suspect either Lena Headey or Maisie Williams are the favorites of the “G.O.T.” bunch; Headey’s the longtime veteran who might get the sympathy vote, but they do like Maisie Williams; they’ve nominated here long before most noticed and apparently this year people really noticed her. Whatever that entails.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Fiona Shaw-“Killing Eve”

I think this is hard to split, so I’m taking the apple in the bag of oranges here. The fact that Fiona Shaw got in here and for “Fleabag”, means that they want to find an excuse to award her and a 4-way splits between a show could do it; anybody who didn’t love “Game of Thrones” will be looking somewhere else.


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Game of Thrones-“The Iron Throne”-David Benioff and D.B. Weiss-HBO
Game of Thrones-“The Last of the Starks”-David Nutter-HBO
Game of Thrones-“The Long Night”-Miguel Sapochnik-HBO
The Handmaid’s Tale-“Holly”-Diana Reid-Hulu
Killing Eve-“Desperate Times”-Lisa Bruhlmann-BBC America
Ozark-“Reparations”-Jason Bateman-Netflix
Succession-“Celebration”-Adam McKay-HBO

Okay, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, let’s talk about this. So, Hulu, does this thing where they put a new episode on their streaming service once a week, similar to what you would expect from a normal network. Crackle I believe also does this, but this is in contrast to Amazon and Netflix’s streaming practices of airing the season of shows at once. Last year, “The Handmaid’s Tale” entered late, and got just enough episodes in to be eligible for Series, but a couple of their episodes ran after the due date. Those episodes were ineligible for awards, although they counted for the series. Now, “The Handmaid’s Tale”’s new season did not make the deadline this year, they’ll be eligible next year, however the few episodes from last year that were ineligible are now eligible. They don’t have enough episode to be eligible for Series or most of the acting categories, but they’re eligible for anything else, and therefore they snuck into both Writing, Directing and two Guest Acting spots. In fact, despite a few episodes of eligibility, they got 11 total nominations, so don’t misconstrued these as anomaly nominations, they’re a player here and look out next year, ‘cause they’re probably the favorite for Series next time. (BTW, there is some previous precedent for this; “Six Feet Under” ran into this issue a few times over their run, which is probably why it often underperformed more than it really should’ve at the Emmys.) All that said, I think we’re looking at a “Game of Thrones” episode winning here, now to figure out which one. I think if there is a possibility of something else, it might be “Succession, Adam McKay is the biggest directing name here and they like big film directors to win this category occasionally. Not always though. “Succession” I think will be a stronger player next year, but if they want to honor it this year, this is the only major spot that makes sense. I wish it had at least an acting nomination though to be sure to go with it.

PREDICTION: “Game of Thrones”-“The Last of the Starks”-David Nutter
PREFERENCE-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-“Holly”-Diana Reid

My preference aside, “Game of Thrones” is easily the toughest directing job of these shows, although “The Handmaid’s Tale” can play spoiler, but I’m not seeing it.


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Better Call Saul-“Winner”-Peter Gould and Thomas Schauz-AMC
Bodyguard-“Episode 1”-Jed Mercurio-Netflix
Game Of Thrones-“The Iron Throne”-David Benioff and D.B. Weiss-HBO
The Handmaid’s Tale-“Holly”-Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder-Hulu
Killing Eve-“Nice And Neat”-Emerald Fennell-BBC America
Succession-“Nobody Is Ever Missing”-Jesse Armstrong-HBO

Well, not much to say here, six series, five of them nominated for Series, and “The Handmaid’s Tale”, which probably would’ve gotten in if it was eligible. This is where I suspect “Game of Thrones” is vulnerable, it’s trying to figure out what steals it from them that’s tricky. “The Handmaid’s Tale” would make sense here, in fact that episode might be the most nominated episode across all nominations. I’m tempted to also consider either “Killing Eve” or “Better Call Saul”; if it was a Phoebe Waller-Bridge nomination of “Killing Eve”, I’d lock it in right away, but they can honor her in Comedy. “Better Call Saul” is a perennial nominee here, I wouldn’t rule that out right away either.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “The Handmaid’s Tale”-“Holly”-Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder

Playing a hunch, they can honor “Game…” elsewhere, but they might not be able to honor “Handmaid”’s elsewhere.


OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Michael Angarano-“This Is Us”-NBC
Ron Cephas Jones-“This Is Us”-NBC
Michael McKean-“Better Call Saul”-AMC
Kumail Nanjani-“The Twilight Zone”-CBS (CBS All Access)
Glynn Turman-“How To Get Away With Murder”-ABC
Bradley Whitford-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu

Well, somebody owns a CBS All Access account. Bradley Whitford is probably the spoiler here, although I can easily see Michael McKean, long overdue, taking this as well. Not sure why now, they decided to nominate him, but better they finally get that right I guess. Ron Cephas Jones is also someone who might be due, after he lost when he was a regular on his series originally. Kind of a weird year for the Guest categories in general.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Michael Angarano-“This is Us”

This is where it makes the most sense for “This Is Us” to win something and while it’s tempting to look at McKean or Whitford here, Michael Angarano probably has the best episode.


OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Laverne Cox-“Orange Is The New Black”-Netflix
Cherry Jones-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
Jessica Lange-“American Horror Story: Apocalypse”-FX Networks
Phylicia Rashad-“This Is Us”
Cicely Tyson-“How To Get Away With Murder”-ABC
Carice Van Houten-“Game of Thrones”-HBO

So, on top of “The Handmaid’s Tale” things, “American Horror Story”, also ended up switching categories this year because of a technicality since apparently this is the season they have a continuation from a previous season? I-, I don’t know, I honestly have never cared for “AHS”, but fine, whatever, it’s in the Drama Series category this year, and why not, Limited Series looked crowded anyway. Jessica Lange is the past winner for the show, so you can’t quite overlook her either. Cicely Tyson is also back, and so is Laverne Cox, who I’m fairly certain they’re gonna keep nominating until she wins at this point. She’s probably still good; I gotta go back and catch up on “Orange…”-, my mother likes prison shows more than she should and it’s skews my opinion on them sometimes; I gotta go back and watch that show without undue outside influences. (Ugh! That reminds me, she wants my library to carry more “Oz” DVDs; I better ask about that next time I visit) Anyway, Phylicia Rashad is probably the most interesting name here. I have to double-check, but I don’t think she ever won for “The Cosby Show”, which sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, at least to people who know their TV history and don’t think about anything else regarding Bill Cosby anymore, but I seem to remember that the show never did too well with acting wins. Nominations, yes, especially for a show with so many kid actors but wins though were few and far between, at least in my memory. Even if she has a win though,  I can see Rashad winning, especially if that’s the case. I can also see Cicely Tyson winning, and I can see Cherry Jones winning too. I think those are the top three, but there’s an argument for each of these nominees. Lange is the only person that’s won for “AHS”, that can continue, Cox keeps getting nominated, that can continue, and then the “Game of Thrones” factor.

PREDICTION: Cherry Jones-“The Handmaid’s Tale”
PREFERENCE: Laverne Cox-“Orange Is The New Black”

Rashad is good, but I think I’m at the point where I just want to see Laverne Cox finally win. I know it’s still popular, but it seems like it’s the last vestige of “Orange…”’s award importance and, you know, if she has been this good for this long on the series, than I’d just like to see her win it at this point. That said, I’m gonna go out on “The Handmaid’s Tale” limb here, she is “Holly” after all….




VARIETY

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah-Comedy Central
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee-TBS
Jimmy Kimmel Live!-ABC
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver-HBO
The Late Late Show With James Corden-CBS
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert-CBS

Same lineup as last year, and I think I’m finally just accepting that Jimmy Kimmel’s always gonna be in the category now. Frankly, I think James Corden’s nomination is the strange one now, especially with Seth Meyers out there who I think has been at the top of his game for the last couple years. Meyers gets into Writing so people are split and notice that, but I guess too many people just like that damn “Carpool Kareoke”. Anyway, I don’t think there’s too many surprises upcoming here.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”

Samantha Bee could spoil here, but “Last Week Tonight…” is definitely still the top.


OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
At Home With Amy Sedaris-truTV
Documentary Now!-IFC
Drunk History-Comedy Central
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman-Hulu
Saturday Night Live-NBC
Who Is America?-Showtime

I’m honestly a little surprised Sarah Silverman hung in here despite her show getting canceled. To be honest, as much as I do love her, I’m not big on “I Love You, America…”. That said, they did squeak this category to six this year with “Who is America?” being the “Portlandia” replacement, and you know, I am tempted to pick it here. “SNL” underperformed overall, so it’s vulnerable. “Documentary Now!”  did make it into writing and directing and “Who is America?” and “Drunk History” got into directing. Normally I’d be looking for the series that got into both, but “Who is America?” might not be a great writing series since, like “Drunk History”, it’s more improvised. It was also big this year; I’m definitely tempted on this one. It’s the big question though, is it big and important enough to take out “SNL”?

PREDICTION: “Documentary Now”
PREFERENCE: “Saturday Night Live”

I’ve changed my mind a couple times on this one; I’m leaning towards “Documentary Now” winning in its finale season, but don’t count out “Who is America?” either pulling off the upset.


OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL (PRE-RECORDED)
Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool-CBS
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette-Nanette
Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce-Netflix
Springsteen On Broadway-Netflix
Wanda Sykes: Not Normal-Netflix

At some point, I’m suspecting that they’ll create a Variety Special Stand-Up Category, but until then… Actually this is an interesting category, this year. The two stand-ups got into Writing, the other three got into Directing, however the only one that got into both was, “Carpool Kareoke”, which even with Sir Paul involved, I am so over this winning in this category; if for nothing else because they’re basically glorified clip shows for “The Late Late Show…” and that bothers me.

PREDICTION: “Carpool Kareoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool
PREFERENCE: “Springsteen on Broadway”

I can’t go against the Boss personally; I have too much family in Jersey. 


OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL (LIVE)
The 61st Grammy Awards-CBS
72nd Annual Tony Awards-CBS
The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards-NBC
Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s “All In The Family” And “The Jeffersons”-ABC
The Oscars-ABC
RENT-FOX

Variety Special got split into categories now? Actually not really, they had a different name for this category before, I think it was “Special Class Program”, which nobody understood what the hell that was, so they clarified it this year, and there’s a few places where the Emmys did that actually. I’m okay it, since Live TV is becoming more and more prevalent in Primetime outside of the Award shows, although, yes, there’s four award shows. Let’s see, the Oscars sucked this year; the Tonys were fun, I love “RENT” to begin with. I’m actually kinda surprised the Norman Lear thing didn’t sneak into any of the acting categories; unless they changed that rule this year, I kinda had Marisa Tomei written in for Supporting Actress for a Miniseries or Movie, but I guess it was too loaded a category this year.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s “All In The Family” and “The Jeffersons”

Maybe the Tonys could steal this too, but I’m leaning towards Normal Lear getting something. BTW, now that I’m thinking about him, shame on the Academy for never nominating “One Day At A Time” btw, and shame on Netflix for canceling it too.


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Documentary Now!-“Waiting For The Artist”-Rhys Thomas-IFC
Drunk History-“Are You Afraid of the Drunk?”-Derek Waters-Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver-“Psychics”-Paul Pennolino-HBO
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert-“Live Midterm Election Show”-Jim Hoskinson-CBS
Saturday Night Live-“Host: Adam Sandler”-Don Roy King-NBC
Who Is America?-“Episode 102”-Sacha Baron Cohen, Nathan Fielder, Daniel Gray Longino, and Dan Mazer-Showtime

Okay, normally Don Roy King is the easy write-in here, but we do have the strange “Who is America?” crew here to consider. I was never big into Nathan Fielder’s “Nathan For You” series; I watched an episode or two and I-, I honestly think he was more making fun of the people than trying to help them; I know that’s the joke but that kinda just annoyed me, there’s people seeking out help there and he’s just playing a joke on them and I just never found it funny even when it was objectionably good, and when it was bad I think it was unwatchable, but it is an interesting directing dynamic that’s more distinctive than everything else here. That’s something him and Sacha Baron Cohen have in common, so, I can see this upset happening.

PREDICTION: “Who Is America?-“Episode 102”-Sacha Baron Cohen, Nathan Fielder, Daniel Gray Longino and Dan Mazer
PREFERENCE-“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”-Jim Hoskinson


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool-Ben Winston-CBS
Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce-Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Ed Burks-Netflix
Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s “All In The Family” And “The Jeffersons”-James Burrows and Andy Fisher-ABC
The Oscars-Glenn Weiss-ABC
Springsteen On Broadway-Thom Zimmy-Netflix                

I forget if this is one of those years where this category is on the main show or the technical awards. It’s an interesting category though. Beyonce can become the first African-American woman to win this award. Her special did much better than I thought it would, so they might want to honor it some-, oh shit, James Burrows is nominated! Nevermind.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s “All in the Family” and “The Jefferson”-James Burrows and Andy Fisher

I guess Beyonce could win this, Glenn Weiss is always a threat too, but James Burrows is the greatest TV director of all-time and they haven’t had a real excuse to honor him in a while, and now he’s directing “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons”? Yeah, I’m not betting against that.


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Documentary Now!-John Mulaney and Seth Meyers-IFC
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee-Head Writer: Melinda Taub; Writing Supervisors: Ashley Nicole Black, Joe Grossman and Allison Silverman; Writers: Samantha Bee, et al.-TBS
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver-Senior Writers: Dan Gurewitch, Jeff Mauere, Jill Twiss, and Juli Weiner; Writers: John Oliver, et. al.-HBO
Late Night With Seth Meyers-Seth Meyers, Alex Baze, et. al.-NBC
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert-Head Writer: Opus Moreschi; Writers: Jat Katsir, Aaron Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Barry Julien, Matt Leppin, et. al.
Saturday Night Live-Head Writers: Michael Che, Colin Jost and Kent Sublette; Senior Writer: Bryan Tucker; Writing Supervisors: Fran Gillespise, Sudi Green and Streater Seidell, Weekend Update Writers: Megan Callahan, Dennis McNicholas and Katie Rich, Writers: James Anderson, et. al.

John Mulaney and Seth Meyers are actually up against themselves here as Mulaney got listed as an “SNL” writer this year too. I can see a scenario where Samantha Bee takes this, but I’m weary of betting against the top here.

PREDICTION: “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
PREFERENCE; “Late Night with Seth Meyers”

Yeah, as much as I love John Oliver and all these shows actually, Seth Meyers has been right up there with writing lately, and I’m still amazed that it didn’t break into Series this year. Of the everyday Variety-Talk Series, he’s the one I make it a point to watch.


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh-Adam Sandler-Netflix
Amy Schumer Growing-Amy Schumer-Netflix
Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool-Head Writer: Matt Roberts; Writers: James Corden, et. al.-CBS
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette-Hannah Gadsby-Netflix
Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce-Beyonce Knowles-Carter-Netflix
Wanda Sykes: Not Normal-Wanda Sykes-Netflix

Four stand-ups, and goddamn “Carpool Kareoke…”. Oh, and Beyonce snuck in here, somehow. Has she always gone with the hyphenated name since she married Jay-Z? Apparently, I just noticed that. Anyway, I’ve seen two of the stand-up performances so far, Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer’s, both were great and definitely not surprised to see them nominated up here. I have to look up Hannah Gadsby though, ‘cause it is sometimes the name I don’t know in this category. It was the win here that introduced me and much of America to Eddie Izzard for instance. Also, Netflix sure took over HBO’s space for stand-up didn’t they?

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “Wanda Sykes: Not Norman”-Wanda Sykes

She’s overdue for an Emmy win and this is a great spot for her, plus there’s sympathy since she was on “Roseanne”’s writing staff before all that mess happened. And frankly I think she deserves, that was the Stand-Up special of the year for me.




REALITY

OUTSTANDING COMPETITION PROGRAM
The Amazing Race-CBS
American Ninja Warrior-NBC
Nailed It!-Netflix
RuPaul’s Drag Race-VH1
Top Chef-Bravo
The Voice-NBC

Okay, first thing is, the name change. It’s no longer “Reality-Competition”, it’s just Competition. I get why they did this, but I’m not big on this change. It’s actually a complaint I’ve had for awhile regarding Game Shows being mixed in with Reality-Competition shows; to me, there’s a very big difference between playing between a contestant on “Match Game” and being a competitor on “Survivor”, one is a physically reality-based sociological experiment for of a competitive documentary, and the other is just playing a simple game and hoping to win money and prizes and perhaps see Caroline Rhea trying way too hard to get her jokes in. Now, this mostly has applied to the Hosting category in recent years, but I thought the people who hosted game shows should just submit their name for Outstanding Game Show Host at the Daytime Emmys. And there’s precedent for that BTW, Regis Philbin actually won that category for hosting “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” when the show was on Primetime television. Now, there’s quite a few game shows on Primetime now and I guess this is the way they’re trying to put them into this category, it didn’t quite work though. The only major change from last year, and unfortunately it’s one I sorta predicted, and that’s “Project Runway” falling out, replaced by something called “Nailed It!” that admittedly looks pretty decent, so I think I’ll check that out soon. That said, I suspect when Tim & Heidi’s new Amazon show goes on next year, they might end up coming back replacing “Project Runway”, which- you know I still contend “Project Runway” is the Best Reality-Competition Program of all-time, and it is an embarrassment that it never won this award, ‘cause it absolutely should’ve won on several occasions, but I think I am okay with having it be left off here this time. I’m not even certain it got in under the wire anyway, but yeah, it might be time for it to move on by now. As to the other nominee, I do have to watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” at some point; I gotta find a way to catch up on that, and-, this is me, but I’m sick of “American Ninja Warrior”. That was cute for a minute, but they’re not even doing anything, they’re just going through an obstacle course! It’s a hard and impressive obstacle course, but I don’t care how emotional the backstory to who’s doing it is, it’s just an obstacle course and frankly I kinda want that to go away now.

PREDICTION: “Rupaul’s Drag Race”
PREFERENCE: “Top Chef”

I think it’s a weak reality year, maybe “Nailed It!” could pull off the upset, but I’m gonna say RuPaul retains this year.


OUTSTANDING UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
Born This Way-A&E
Deadliest Catch-Discovery Channel
Life Below Zero-National Geographic
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked-VH1
Somebody Feed Phil-Netflix
United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell-CNN

I like that “Somebody Feed Phil” snuck in here, that’s kinda funny. Um, how many side-series does “RuPaul’s Drag Race” have? Jesus! There’s a Short-Form Category where two other RuPaul shows got nominated. Am I the only know who remembers when she had her talk show on VH1? I don’t think it’ll win here. “Born This Way” won this category last year; it’s always a risk to bet against “Deadliest Catch”, eh, maybe “Life Below Zero” can sneak in here, but National Geographic doesn’t usually do great in these categories.

PREDICTION: “Born This Way”
PREFERENCE: “Somebody Feed Phil”

I don’t have many thoughts on this category this year.


OUTSTANDING STRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
Antiques Roadshow-PBS
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives-Food Network
Queer Eye-Netflix
Shark Tank-ABC
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo-Netflix
Who Do You Think You Are?-TLC

I’m gonna have to look up “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”; she shows up a few times here, so she could play spoiler. Other than that, “Queer Eye” got in this year; I do like that Reboot, I wish it wasn’t on Netflix though. I don’t think that shows works for binging and streaming personally. If it was on every week, I think I would prefer it more. And I wouldn’t be so upset with “Who Do You Think You Are?” showing up here if in the documentary category, “Finding Your Roots” would show up once or twice. I love both shows, I prefer “Finding Your Roots”, but…, eh, oh well. Also, are we not done with “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” yet? And why the hell aren’t we? I mean, okay, I do get it, but I think we can drop this next year, don’t you? I’ve spent a Friday or two watching a marathon too, but that doesn’t mean I want to be reminded that I do that.

PREDICTION: “Queer Eye”
PREFERENCE: “Antiques Roadshow”

I think “Shark Tank” is finally vulnerable this year. I do love the show, but I am getting a little tired of it. At least “Undercover Boss” finally fell out, but “Antiques Roadshow” has to win this at some point, right? I hope so. And-eh, maybe that Tidying Up thing can play spoiler.


OUTSTANDING HOST FOR A REALITY OR COMPETITION PROGRAM
James Corden-“The World’s Best”-CBS
Ellen DeGeneres-“Ellen’s Game of Games”-NBC
Marie Kondo-“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo-Netflix
Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman-“Making It”-NBC
RuPaul-“RuPaul’s Drag Race”-VH1

Well, this just became easier for RuPaul to repeat! What the hell happened here? No, Alec Baldwin, no Jane Lynch, the only game show that snuck in is, “Ellen’s Game of Games”, which as much as I love Ellen, I’m starting to think that she just likes this way of convincing people to be tortured by her on TV. Has anybody seen Portia lately? Maybe somebody should check to make sure she hasn’t been tied up in their sex dungeon longer than she should’ve been. Oh, like they aren’t kinky that way, c’mon deep down, you know they are, right? (Ellen, Portia, I’m just joking, please don’t sue or hurt me. Although seriously Ellen, what is it with you with seeing people almost getting injured for a wrong answer?) Did anybody like “The World’s Best”, ‘cause I kinda just thought that was, just okay for Youtube clips but not much else? I am happy and shocked to see Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman here for “Making It”, which I did see and liked although I thought it was canceled a little too quickly to be remembered, but glad it showed up here. I don’t know if it can win, but it would be funny if Amy Poehler wins and she then has to share the award with another actor-, okay, seriously how does that keep happening with her! Are we just not letting Amy win on her own? (Sigh) Well, I’m cheering for them, if for nothing else, for Nick Offerman’s long overdue Emmy win.

PREDICTION: RuPaul-‘RuPaul’s Drag Race”
PREFERENCE: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman-“Making It”

It’s a RuPaul world, we just live in it.


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A REALITY PROGRAM
The Amazing Race-“Who Wants a Rolex”-Bertram van Munster-CBS
American Ninja Warrior-Minneapolis City Qualifier”-Patrick McManus-NBC
Queer Eye-“Black Girl Magic”-Hisham Abed-Netflix
RuPaul’s Drag Race-“Whatcha Unpackin?”-Nick Murray-VH1
Shark Tank-“Episode 1002”-Ken Fuchs-ABC

Well, I don’t have too many thoughts on this category. Whichever one’s the most directed, probably.

PREDICTION: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”-“Whatcha Unpacking”-Nick Murray
PREFERENCE: “Queer Eye”-“Black Girl Magic”-Hisham Abed

I’m just going with a guess here. I do think “The Amazing Race” is incredibly well-edited and I’m in awe of their cameramen, they’re truly some of the great athletic freaks of our industry, but I don’t know how well, directed that makes them.




LIMITED SERIES/MOVIE

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
Chernobyl-HBO
Escape At Dannemora-Showtime
Fosse/Verdon-FX Networks
Sharp Objects-HBO
When They See Us-Netflix

Competitive category this year. Arguably “Sharp Objects’ might be in fifth place and that was the presumed favorite for awhile, but it underperformed with nominations while “Chernobyl”, “Escape at Dannemora” and “When They See Us”, all overperformed. “Fosse/Verdon”, was about as expected, but this is a tough category this year. My only real observation is to guess by popularity which would probably be “Chernobyl” which also benefits from recency bias, but I can see a couple upsets here. The reason I always put these category last, of the major groups of categories anyway, is because it’s usually the genre I know the least about, so I’m spitballing a bit here and don’t have real strong preferences. Just going by instinct…

PREDICTION: “Chernobyl”
PREFERENCE: “Sharp Objects”


OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
Bandersnatch (Black Mirror)-Netflix
Brexit-HBO
Deadwood: The Movie-HBO
King Lear-Prime Video
My Dinner With Herve-HBO

“Black Mirror’ is usually the wild card entry, but this didn’t seem to be too popular this year. The show only got two nominations and the other one was in the Interactive Program category. For some reason “Deadwood” of all things came back too, and it was pretty popular. I never really got the appeal of that show the first time around but I probably do need a new viewing, but the movie was popular and despite a couple snubs, it’s the easy favorite as the only movie that got more than two nominations.

PREDICTION: “Deadwood: The Movie”
PREFERENCE: “King Lear”

Well, I guess it’s time for me to check out those “Deadwood” DVDs my library has.


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Mahershala Ali-“True Detective”-HBO
Benicio Del Toro-“Escape At Dannemora”-Showtime
Hugh Grant-“A Very English Scandal”-Prime Video
Jared Harris-“Chernobyl”-HBO
Jharrel Jerome-“When They See Us”-Netflix
Sam Rockwell-“Fosse/Verdon”-FX Networks

“A Very English Scandal” I suspect was the sixth one out of the nominations, so normally that’d be where I’d look for an upset or two, but Mahershala Ali might be the exception. I was the one who didn’t love “True Detective”’s first season the way everybody else did, and after the second season flopped by everybody else, I basically dismissed the show entirely, but Mahershala Ali has a way of getting people people back to shows and it did okay returning to the Emmys prominence this year, much better than “A Very English Scandal” actually. This is a tough category though. Jared Harris is owed a win after not getting it for “Mad Men”, Sam Rockwell played Bob Fosse which is a fascinating combination of things Hollywood beloves. “When They See Us” overperformed, especially in acting and Jharrel Jerome’s a very good young actor who can be a spoiler here. This one’s tough.

PREDICTION: Sam Rockwell-“Fosse/Verdon”
PREFERENCE: Hugh Grant-“A Very English Scandal”


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Amy Adams-“Sharp Objects”
Patricia Arquette-“Escape At Dannemora”-Showtime
Aunjanue Ellis-“When They See Us”-Netflix
Joey King-“The Act”-Hulu
Niecy Nash-“When They See Us”-Netflix
Michelle Williams-“Fosse/Verdon”-FX Networks

Hulu is slowly finding creaks into the Limited Series categories but I think their two acting nominations for “The Act” are their awards .Patricia Arquette was a surprise Globe winner awhile back; frankly I’m just ecstatic that Regina King’s no longer in the category to play spoiler, although Niecy Nash could fill that role. She’s overdue. Amy Adams is long overdue for anything significant, so is Michelle Williams for that matter and she’s got a TV background to credit for history. I think it’s between Arquette and Nash and I’m gonna take a shot here and say that “When They See Us” might be stronger in other categories.

PREDICTION: Patricia Arquette-“Escape at Dannemora”
PREFERENCE: Amy Adams-“Sharp Objects”


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Asante Blackk-“When They See Us”-Netflix
Paul Dano-“Escape At Dannemora”-Showtime
John Leguizamo-“When They See Us”-Netflix
Stellan Skarsgard-“Chernobyl”-HBO
Ben Whishaw-“A Very English Scandal”-Prime Video
Michael K. Williams-“When They See Us”-Netflix

Yeah, this is where I suspect “When They See Us” can take an acting prize. Three nominations, all of them good and popular actors. I’m just gonna take a shot and go with the nominee that’s probably most due to the Academy members.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Michael K. Williams-“When They See Us


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Patricia Arquette-“The Act”-Hulu
Marsha Stephanie Blake-“When They See Us”-Netflix
Patricia Clarkson-“Sharp Objects”-HBO
Vera Farmiga-“When They See Us”-Netflix
Margaret Qualley-“Fosse/Verdon”-FX Networks
Emily Watson-“Chernobyl”-HBO

Patricia Arquette’s got a better shot in the other category. After that, it’s another toss-up. This is probably where “Chernobyl” was it’s best shot at an acting win and Emily Watson’s been a bit overlooked lately. Patricia Clarkson does have an Emmy, but that was years ago for “Six Feet Under”. Vera Farmiga is also due after never winning for “Bates Motel”, which, she was really good in, even if the show was just batshit insane. The fact that she and her co-star got in for “When They See Us” leads me to think of them as the favorites.

PREDICTION: Vera Farmiga-“When They See Us”
PREFERENCE: Emily Watson-“Chernobyl

I can also see Patricia Clarkson or Margaret Qualley playing spoiler here.


OUSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Chernobyl-Johan Renick-HBO
Escape at Dannemora-Ben Stiller-Showtime
Fosse/Verdon-“Glory”-Jessica Yu-FX Networks
Fosse/Verdon-“Who’s Got the Pain”-Thomas Kall-FX Networks
A Very English Scandal-Stephen Frears-Prime Video
When They See Us-Ava DuVernay-Netflix

There’s a few big names here. Usually it’s the directors who take on the whole miniseries lately and are fairly big named directors and we have a few of them here. I think it’s a two-way race between Ben Stiller for “Escape at Dannemora” and Ava DuVernay for “When They See Us?” I suspect DuVernay’s the favorite though, they don’t usually give actors directing awards at the Emmys, even though Stiller’s has been directing about as long as he’s been acting, but I think “When They See Us” is still ahead. Stephen Frears might be an upset possibility, but I’m not seeing it. If they didn’t give the category to David Lynch last year, as popular as “Twin Peaks” was, then I’m not certain I can see Frears pulling it off. Maybe Johan Renick for “Chernobyl”. It “Chernobyl” can steal a win here or in writing, then I would imagine it’ll win Limited Series for sure.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “When They See Us”-Ava DuVernay


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Chernobyl-Craig Mazin-HBO
Escape At Dannemora-“Episode 6”-Brett Johnson, Michael Tolkin and Jerry Stahl-Showtime
Escape At Dannemora-“Episode 7”-Brett Johnson and Michael Tolkin-Showtime
Fosse/Verdon-“Providence”-Teleplay/Story: Steven Levenson; Story: Joel Fields-FX Networks
When They See Us-“Part Four”-Teleplay/Story: Ava DuVernay; Story: Michael Starrbury-Netflix

Four episodes nominated against, one “Chernobyl”. Personally, I like the idea of Michael Tolkin getting the win here, he’s the guy who wrote “The Player” years ago so I’m a fan of his, but I think “Chernobyl” is out ahead. It’s not always a one-to-one ration of the more writing, or the more complete work winning, but I do think it reads more impressively.

PREDICTION: “Chernobyl”-HBO
PREFERENCE: “Escape At Dannemora”-“Episode 6”-Brett Johnson, Michael Tolkin and Jerry Stahl



ANIMATION

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PROGRAM
Big Mouth-“The Planned Parenthood Show”-Netflix
Bob’s Burgers-“Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now”-FOX
BoJack Horseman-Free Churro”-Netflix
Come Along with Me (Adventure Time)-Cartoon Network
The Simpsons-“Mad About the Toy”-FOX

Well, I know some “Bojack Horseman” fans are finally happy to see it get in here after getting admittedly, surprising snubbed for a good while. I imagine in this case, it wasn’t the show being on Netflix, but it finally getting repeated on Comedy Central that did the trick. That said, I generally have a difficult time getting through the series. I don’t know why exactly; I do like it, but I think I just have a hard time liking too many of the characters to get into it. I kinda have the same issue with “Veep”. I’ve also gotten around to watching a little “Adventure Time”, again, I can see why people like it, but I wasn’t overly enthused personally. I’m more of a “Steven Universe” guy. I’m going to have to catch “Big Mouth” at some point though, that one I’m not familiar with. Pretty decent list though, no real complaints, just minor critiques, and I do think “South Park” was a bit snubbed here; I thought they had a really strong season and I’m a bit surprised they fell off.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “Bob’s Burgers”-Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now”

I will say that, at some point, they really have to not have single run animated programs mixed with long-running regular series; that generally pisses me off. Admittedly, there’s not always enough of those to separate into their own category, but I think it’s time for this to become an “Outstanding Animated Series” category.


OUTSTANDING SHORT FORM ANIMATED PROGRAM
Love, Death & Robots-“The Witness”-Netflix
Robot Chicken-“Why Is It Wet?”-Adult Swim
SpongeBob Squarepants-“Plankton Paranoia”-Nickelodeon
Steven Universe-“Reunited”-Cartoon Network
Teen Titans Go!-“Nostalgia Is Not A Substitute For An Actual Story”-Cartoon Network

I know people love the Short-Form Animation as much as they love the long-form these days, so I’m putting this category here, instead of the miscellaneous section. Not familiar at all with “Love, Death & Robots”, so that’s a bit of a mystery to me. Other than that, it’s the expected group. Just playing a hunch, but I think it’s a “Teen Titans Go!” year.

PREDICTION: “Teen Titans Go!”-“Nostalgia Is Not a Substitute For An Actual Story”
PREFERENCE: “Steven Universe”-“Reunited”

I’ve seen one episode of “Steven Universe” and I have to get around to watching the rest at some point, ‘cause I loved it, so I hope that keeps getting better as I suspect it will.


OUTSTANDING CHARACTER VOICE-OVER PERFORMANCE
Hank Azaria-“The Simpsons”-“From Russia Without Love”-FOX
Alex Borstein-“Family Guy”-“Throw It Away”-FOX
Eric Jacobson-“When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special”-HBO
Seth MacFarlane-“Family Guy”-“Con Heiress”-FOX
Kevin Michael Richardson-“F Is For Family”-“The Stinger”-Netflix

I believe Alex Borstein won this category last year when she went on the run that led to her also getting the Supporting Actress Comedy Series Emmy. She was overdue. This year, I wonder if they’ll go somewhere else. Azaria’s won the category before, so has McFarlane a few times; but I don’t know if anybody is familiar enough with “F Is For Family”. This category does have a tendency for somebody out of nowhere to pull a win here; Anne Hathaway guest starring on “The Simpsons” comes to mine. I might take a shot in the dark on this one.

PREDICTION: Eric Jacobson-“When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special”
PREFERENCE: Seth McFarlane-“Family Guy”-“Con Heiress”

What the hell, everybody loves  “Sesame Street” and they love finding a reason to award it, even the Primetime Emmys do it a lot.


DOCUMENTARY/NON-FICTION

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY OR NONFICTION SERIES
American Masters-PBS
Chef’s Table-Netflix
Hostile Planet-National Geographic
Our Planet-Netflix
30 For 30-ESPN

People who talk about how they don’t watch the Emmys because they never honor the shows they like; I find are often talking about these documentary series, which, yeah, they don’t make the main show, but they do honor them. That said, those people do have a point. A lot of these are great series that are extremely popular and often have just as big and important mark on the pop culture and world at large than the Sitcoms or Drama Series we give preference to. So, yeah, they should be honored here and mentioned, and for the most part, most of these are pretty good shows. I’m not big on the nature documentaries but other than that, these are shows that are really great and often really important to the zeitgeist.

PREDICTION: “Our Planet”
PREFERENCE: “30 For 30”


OUTSTANDING INFORMATION SERIES OR SPECIAL
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown-CNN
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee-Netflix
Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath-A&E
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman-Netflix
Surviving R. Kelly-Lifetime

Wow!. Look at this. First off, with a move to Netflix, apparently “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” also had a genre change. I believe this marks the first time a series that had a nomination for Outstanding Variety-Talk Series switched to the “Informational Series Or Special” category. And no, before you ask, I’m not entirely certain why the five shows about are more or less informational than the five shows in the previous category. But, we have Seinfeld, going up against David Letterman! Then, we have a recent past winner with Leah Remini’s series, which I am utterly infatuated with btw. I never realized how much great television can be made from dissecting how truly awful Scientology is. Now, that, is up against, “Surviving R. Kelly”! I’m not through that whole thing yet, but yikes! That might be the biggest and most impactful show of the year arguably among any genre; I mean, he’s in jail right now, so, like, yeah…- And just when you think this category is easy, there’s the perennial past winner, and now with a sympathy vote, the late great Anthony Bourdain. I just actually read Bourdain’s “Medium Raw”, his audiobook of it in fact, we lost one of the great storytellers of our time with his suicide, and-, it’s just-. (Sigh) Anyway, I can any this vote going in any direction and I would not want to vote in this category this year. It’s loaded, and they’re all great shows. Whew!

PREDICTION: “Surviving R. Kelly”
PREFERENCE: “Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath”


OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY OR NONFICTION SPECIAL
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened-Netflix
The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley-HBO
Jane Fonda In Five Acts-HBO
Leaving Neverland-HBO
Love, Gilda-CNN
Minding The Gap-Hulu

And another loaded category. You have an Alex Gibney documentary, an Oscar-nominated documentary that was really good itself, you have Jane Fonda, you have Gildra Radner, and you have, Michael Jackson. And, apparently this FYRE party or whatever that flop was, was also a big deal, ‘cause there’s multiple docs about it, and multiple ones that earned Emmy nominations.

PREDICTION: “Leaving Neverland”
PREFERENCE: “Love, Gilda”

When all else fails, I’m gonna pick the biggest and most important one and I think the Michael Jackson one has had the biggest impact, and yeah, suddenly we hate Michael Jackson again now. (Well, the rest of the world; I honestly never stopped, because I do know more about this than I will let on, and yes,I’m 100% convinced he’s a pedophile and that these guys are telling the whole truth. Just putting that out there.)


EXCEPTIONAL MERIT IN DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING
Divide And Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes-A&E
Hale County This Morning, This Evening-PBS
RBG-CNN
The Sentence-HBO
Three Identical Strangers-CNN

Don’t ask me how this category gets separated from the others either. This is pretty much the category for films that are eligible for the Oscars, along with several of the other ones. (Sigh) I swear, the Academy and the Emmys have to get together and figure this out sooner rather than later.

PREDICTION: “RBG”
PREFERENCE: “Three Identical Strangers”

When all else fails, go with the Best Picture nod. Little surprised that didn’t get into Song though, hmmm.


OUTSTANDING NARRATOR
Sir David Attenborough-“Our Planet”-“One Planet”-Netflix
Angela Bassett-“The Flood”-“First Pulse”-National Geographic
Charles Dance-“Savage Kingdom”-“Fall Of The Queen”-National Geographic
Anthony Mendez-“Wonders Of Mexico”-PBS
Live Schreiber-“The Many Lives Of Nick Buoniconti”-HBO
Juliet Stevenson-“Queens Of Mystery”-“Murder In The Dark: First Chapter”-AcornTV

This isn’t exclusively a documentary category, although it entirely is this year for some reason except for “Queens of Mystery”, which I think is actually a drama series of some kind. I have a hard time keeping up with Acorn even though I want to. Anyway, I include it here since it’s often the primary genre it represents. Live Schreiber’s won this in the past and I wouldn’t entirely rule out anybody with the last name “Attenborough”, but this category can go anywhere.

PREDICTION: Sir David Attenborough-“Our Planet”-“One Planet”
PREFERENCE: Angela Bassett-“The Flood”-“First Pulse”


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DOCUMENTARY/NONFICTION SPECIAL
Free Solo-Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyl & Jimmy Chin-National Geographic
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened-Chris Smith-Netflix
Leaving Neverland-Dan Reed-HBO
RBG-Julie Cohen and Betsy West-CNN
Three Identical Strangers-Tim Wardle-CNN

Another loaded category. “Free Solo” won the Best Documentary Oscar and it showed up in quite a few technical awards although it strangely didn’t make either of the Documentary Films categories above, but I do think it’s strong here, and while I wasn’t big on it, I’m sure the directing branch will appreciate it if no one else will.

PREDICTION: “Free Solo”-Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyl & Jimmy Chin
PREFERENCE: “Three Identical Strangers”-Tim Wardle


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A NONFICTION PROGRAM
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown-“Kenya”-Anthony Bourdain-CNN
The Case Against Adnan Syed-“Forbidden Love”-Amy J. Berg-HBO
Fyre Fraud-Julia Willoughby Nason and Jenner Furst-Hulu
Hostile Planet-“Grasslands”-Bruce Kennedy-National Geographic
Out Planet-“Jungles”-Huw Cordey, Keith Scholey, Alastair Fotherfill and Sir David Attenborough-Netflix
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men-“Episode 1”-Paul Greenhouse, Sacha Jenkins and Peter J. Scalettar-Showtime

I’m just gonna take a shot and say that this is where they honor Anthony Bourdain here. Even in a tough field, they’re gonna want to give him something and writing is his best skill and gift.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknow”-“Kenya”



SHORT-FORM

OUTSTANDING SHORT FORM COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES
An Emmy For Megan-anemmyformegan.com
Hack Into Broad City-Comedy Central
It’s Bruno!-Netflix
Special-Netflix
State Of The Union-SundanceTV

It’s nice to see “Broad City” getting something I guess, way too late and still can only barely sneak into the Short-Form categories. I’m not certain why that series didn’t get in for it’s final season; I liked it a lot. I’m a little familiar with “An Emmy For Megan” which is a show about Megan, trying to win an Emmy. I think it worked last year. (Shrugs)

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE:“Hack Into Broad City”


OUTSTANDING SHORT FORM VARIETY SERIES
Billy On The Street-FunnyOrDie
Carpool Karaoke: The Series-Apple Music
Gay Of Thrones-FunnyOrDie
Honest Trailers-YouTube
The Randy Rainbow Show-YouTube

Well, I’m gonna have to figure out what the hell, “The Randy Rainbow Show” is now, this could be frightening. I do watch “Honest Trailers”, but I’ve never been as big on them as I suspect I’m supposed to be. They’re okay I guess, I think it’s still just me getting frustrated over people obsessed with trailer releases and discussions that holds me back on that. I’ve written two blogs about how stupid a practice that it, and it never seems to work; people still obsess and care about trailers. I guess that means I should appreciate the joke and humor of it, but I don’t know, I feel like it’s feeding the beast when it should be trying to starve it to death. And I’ll be honest, I don’t really care for “Billy On The Street” that much either. It’s interesting that that fell into the Short-Form Variety Series category after getting a main series nod a couple years back, but I don’t. know. Maybe I’m just being misanthropic lately; I seem to be not liking a lot of things all over this thing. (Sigh) Yeah, I think “Game of Thrones’ push will actually push “Gay Of Thrones’ over here. They’ve definitely promoted that as much as HBO promoted “Game…”. 

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: “Gay Of Thrones”


OUTSTANDING SHORT FORM NONFICTION OR REALITY SERIES
Creating Saturday Night Live-NBC (nbc.com)
Fosse/Verdon (Inside Look)-FX Networks
Pose: Identity, Family, Community (Inside Look)-FX Networks
RuPaul’s Drag Race’s: Out Of The Closet-VH1
RuPaul’s Drag Race’s: Portrait Of A Queen-VH1

Seriously, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, you have way too many side series.

PREDICTION: “Pose: Identity, Family, Community (Inside Look)”
PREFERENCE: “Creating Saturday Night Live”


OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A SHORT-FORM COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES
Ed Begley Jr.-“CTRL ALT DELETE”-Vimeo
Jimmy Fallon-“Beto Breaks The Internet”-NBC (YouTube)
Ryan O’Connell-“Special”-Netflix
Chris O’Dowd-“State Of The Union”-SundanceTV
Patton Oswalt-“An Emmy For Megan”-anemmyformegan.com

I’m gonna have to look up “State of the Union”, that seemed to overperform in the Short categories. I just realized that this is the only nomination Jimmy Fallon got, him or his show. Man, did he fall out of favor quickly. That’s a shame, ‘cause he is incredibly talented but I really can’t blame them. His show has just not been that good lately and you know, he can really use a “What The Hell Were You Thinking?!” moment. That said, he is playing Beto O’Rourke, he might break though here.

PREDICTION: Chris O’Dowd-“State Of The Union”
PREFERENCE: Ed Begley, Jr.-“CTRL ALT DELETE”

I also wouldn’t look past Patton Oswalt getting another surprise Emmy here, just on him being himself and being beloved.


OUTSTANDING ACTRESS INA SHORT FORM COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES
Ilana Glazer-“Hack Into Broad City”-Comedy Central
Jessica Hecht-“Special”-Netflix
Abbi Jacobson-“Hack Into Broad City”-Comedy Central
Punam Patel-“Special”-Netflix
Rosamund Pike-“State Of The Union”-SundanceTV

Well, just based on the vote splitting odds, I guess Rosamund Pike would be the favorite here. I do like her a like and hope she would win something; I think she gets overlooked at times. They seem to like “State of The Union” too, although I can’t hide my alliance here; I really hope one of the “Broad City” girls finally wins something.

PREDICTION: Rosamund Pike-“State Of The Union”
PREFERENCE: Ilana Glazer-“Hack Into Broad City”



INTERACTIVE

OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE PROGRAM
Conan-TBS
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah-Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver-HBO
The Late Late Show With James Corden-CBS
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert-CBS
NASA and SpaceX: The Interactive Demo-1 Launch-YouTube

You know I usually included the Interactive categories anyway, in my miscellaneous category just because I figure some people probably looked into them, but this year, the category really blew up and now it’s just huge. Too huge for me to not section it off. Basically interactive is what it sounds like, it’s the shows or programs, usually over/on the internet where you’re connecting with the program, you the audience. What happened here was that, the Emmys usually focus on, well, other TV shows and their interactive side projects, which you get quite a few of here, but not much else, some they expanded to multiple categories. I’ll get to the others below, let’s take a look at this one. Five Late Night guys, nice to see “Conan” getting something. He’s really gotten the shaft lately, but I get the feeling that he’s doing more of what he wants to do though, so I guess I’m ultimately happy for him. This would be where they’d honor him, but I’m not sure it’s a easy call here.

PREDICTION: “NASA and SpaceX: The Interactive Demo-1 Launch”
PREFERENCE: “Conan”

I think either James Corden or John Oliver could also win here, but I’m going with the one that’s outside the bunch.


OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL INTERACTIVE PROGRAM
First Man VR-Windows Mixed Reality
HQ Trivia x Warner Bros.: A Live and Interactive Animated First-HQ Trivia
NASA InSight’s Mars Landing-NASA TV
Traveling While Black-Oculus
You Vs. Wild-Netflix

So these are Interactive Programs that are, specifically just interactive original programs and not things that are connected in some way to something else. I’d just be taking guesses here. I think I’m just going to guess which one’s the most popular.

PREDICTION: “You Vs. Wild”
PREFERENCE: “HQ Trivia x Warner Bros.: A Live And Interactive Animated First”


OUTSTANDING CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN INTERACTIVE MEDIA WITHIN A SCRIPTED PROGRAM
Bandersnatch (Black Mirror)-Netflix
Game of Thrones-“Fight For The Living: Beyond The Wall Virtual Reality Experience”-HBO
The Good Place-“Interactive Fan Experience”-NBC

See, this is how distinctive we’re getting, we’ve now got a category for Interactive Media, within a scripted program, and one for Interactive in an Unscripted Program below as well. Obviously, these are a little more difficult to do, once something’s scripted, it’s hard to find an Interactive avenue, interactive is far easier with unscripted material, so these are in their ways impressive.

PREDICTION: “Game Of Thrones”-“Fight For The Living: Beyond The Wall Virtual Reality Experience”
PREFERENCE: “The Good Place”-“Interactive Fan Experience”


OUTSTANDING CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN INTERACTIVE MEDIA WITHIN AN UNSCRIPTED PROGRAM
CONAN Without Border-“Japan & Australia”-TBS
Free Solo-“360”-National Geographic
The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2019-CBS
The Oscars-“Digital Experience”-ABC

Kind of a tough category here. My mind tells me that they’re just giving it to “Carpool Karaoke” no matter what, but eh, I can see “Free Solo” stealing this. Now, I wasn’t particularly big on the film, but I can definitely imagine an interactive approach to it being something that the Academy members who do like it, appreciating.

PREDICTION: “Free Solo”-“360”
PREFERENCE: “CONAN Without Borders”



MISCELLANEOUS

OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S PROGRAM
Carmen Sandiego-Netflix
A Series Of Unfortunate Events-Netflix
Song of Parkland-HBO
Star Wars: Resistance-Disney Channel
When You Wish Upon A Pickle: A Sesame Street Special-HBO

I’m not sure why “Carmen Sandiego” is considered a quote-unquote “Children’s Program”, unless of course they mean, children of all ages. I mean, what adult doesn’t love shows about world famous criminal masterminds whose crimes also happened to get us to learn about world geography; I mean, that’s not a kid’s thing. That’s everybody who loves that! But-eh, I have a feeling that “Sesame Street” is a little hard to beat here. I wouldn’t be too surprised if “Song of Parkland” pulled an upset too though.

PREDICTION: “When You Wish Upon A Pickle: A Sesame Street Special”
PREFERENCE: “Carmen Sandiego”

Yeah, “Carmen Sandiego” got screwed, that should’ve gotten a lot more nomination. It’s a crime show, about GEOGRAPHY! DETECTIVE MYSTERY and GEOGRAPHY lessons! How is this not, the greatest thing ever?! (Sigh)


OUTSTANDING COMMERCIAL
iPhone-“Shot On IPhone XS—Don’t Mess With Mother”
Macbook-“Behind the Mac-Make Something Wonderful”
Netflix-“A Great Day in Hollywood”
Nike-“Dream Crazy”
Sandy Hook Promise-“Point of View”

It would be funny if Netflix won for a commercial before it won either Drama or Comedy Series, wouldn’t it. I mean, the streaming channel with no commercial, winning for a commercial, wouldn’t that be something?

PREDICTION:  Netflix-"A Great Day in Hollywood"
PREFERENCE: Nike-"Dream Crazy"

Honestly, I watched all the nominees, there's some good commercials here; I hope it's between Netflix and Nike, but I really hope that Sandy Hook one doesn't win though. It's possible, but it's disturbing and a little too manipulative if you ask me, but it might be the one everyone sees as the most important? I hope not though. 


OUTSTANDING MAIN TITLE DESIGN
Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes-Netflix
Game of Thrones-HBO
Star Trek: Discovery-CBS (CBS All Access)
True Detective-HBO
Warrior-Cinemax

This is always a fun category. Little confused as to why “Game of Thrones” is on here; I guess they had a slightly different opening for it’s finale season. I’ll double check these before I make a true prediction. There’s usually a random surprise winner here though. Although, I do remember “Stranger Things” winning it recently, which kinda shocked me. Nostalgia-wise, I guess it was a cool title, but I thought there were more inventive and tougher opening titles than that one. That show hasn’t popped up anywhere; I’m guessing it wasn’t eligible, but I’m not missing it to be honest. I’ve never really thought much of that series and was genuinely shocked it got major nominations last year.

PREDICTION: "True Detective"
PREFERENCE: "Warrior

I looked at the nominees in this category too, honestly, I wasn't overly impressed, and I'm really noticing how similar every show's opening credits are now. I want somebody to do something a little more interesting in the future, perhaps with the actors in the opening, just living their lives for instance. I hope more are inspired by say, the old "Get Smart" opening in the future than some of these recent HBO drama series openings. 


OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC AND LYRICS
“Antidepressant Are So Not A Big Deal”-Crazy Ex-Girlfriend-“I Have To Get Out”-Music/Lyrics: Adam Schlesinger and Rachel Bloom; Lyrics: Jack Dolgen-CW
“Holiday Party (I Did A Little Cocaine Tonight)”-Documentary Now!-“Original Cast Album: Co-Op”-Music: Eli Bolin; Lyrics: John Mulaney and Seth Meyers-IFC
“Father & Son”-Flight Of The Conchords: Live In London”-Music/Lyrics: Bret McKenzie & Jermaine Clement-HBO
“The Upper East Side”-Saturday Night Live-“Host: James McAvoy”-Music: Eli Brueggemenn; Lyrics: Bryan Tucker and Leslie Jones
“Beautiful Things Can Grow”-Song of Parkland-Music: Mark Sonnenblick; Lyrics: Ashley Paseltiner and Molly Reichard-HBO
“This One’s For You”-72nd Annual Tony Awards-Music/Lyrics: Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban and Shalina Taub-CBS

Again, I will go through these before making a prediction, but there’s some interesting ones here. “Flight of the Conchords” was beloved by the Academy, they can easily win this. I’ve love to see Sara Bareilles win personally, and I do remember liking that song from the Tonys. That said, I am a late, late, late-comer to “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”. I’m not in love with it yet, myself, but I do appreciate it, and one of the big things that got me to give it a fair shot were the song nominations it kept getting every year. I look up other Rachel Bloom stuff, before and after the show, and yeah, I definitely get her now. That “Fuck Me Ray Bradbury” song was what really did it; that song is this generation’s “I Made Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles”.

PREDICTION: "Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal"-Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"
PREFERENCE: "Father and Son"- "Flight of the Conchords: Live in London"

I'm not entirely sure how this one's gonna play out honestly. I've heard all the songs, my guess is that, it's between "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", "Flight of the Conchords" and "SNL", but I could see this going anyway. Nothing was bad, but I can't say anything really blew me away . Even the Tonys number, I ultimately found forgettable, and I'm a huge Sara Bareilles fan, but for the Tonys, it was understated. Tough category this year.


OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MAIN TITLE THEME MUSIC
Castle Rock-Thomas Newman-Hulu
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend-Rachel Bloom, Jack Dolgen and Adam Schlesinger-CW
Good Omens-David Arnold-Prime Video
Our Planet-Steven Price-Netflix
Succession-Nicholas Britell-HBO

Again, I’ll look over these. I guess “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” changed their theme too. I’m not sure I’m big on shows changing theme songs for their last seasons honestly, but once I hear it, I’ll probably like it. There some good composers in this category though. 

PREDICTION: "Succession"
PREFERENCE: "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

I listed to them now, and how did some of these end up in the Main Title Design? "Good Omens", 
"Our Planet" and "Castle Rock" were way better openings and songs than many of the Mait Title Design nominees. Music wise, I didn't like "Our Planet" but I liked everything else. I'm barely preferring "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" over "Good Omens", but the others were quite good and compelling too. 


OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSTION FOR A SERIES (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)
Barry-“What?!”-David Wingo-HBO
Game of Thrones-“The Long Night”-Ramin Djawadi-HBO
The Handmaid’s Tale-“The Word”-Adam Taylor-Hulu
House of Cards-“Chapter 73”-Jeff Beal-Netflix
This Is Us-“Songbird Road: Part One”-Siddhartha Khosla-NBC

I’m not sure I’ll make predictions or preferences for these categories, but I wanted to show them anyway, especially for those people who love following the future potential EGOT winners. It’s the music categories that usually produce them since they’re usually the ones most likely to get a Grammy, but those sneaky Emmy wins help to. Robert Lopez’s Emmy is for a Daytime Soap for instance.


OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR SPECIAL (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)
Chernobyl-“Please Remain Calm”-Hildur Guanadottir-HBO
Escape At Dannemore-“Episode 5”-Edward Shearmur-Showtime
Good Omens-“In the Beginning”-David Arnold-Prime Video
True Detective-“The Final Country”-T Bone Burnett and Keefus Clancia-HBO
When They See Us-“Part Two”-Kris Bowers-Netflix

I didn’t know T-Bone Burnett did “True Detective”. Hmm. How close is he to the EGOT? I’ll have to check, I know he’s got a Grammy and Oscar. Hmm….


OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION FOR A DOCUMENTARY SERIES OR SPECIAL (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)
Free Solo-Marco Beltrami and Brandon Roberts-National Geographic
Game of Thrones: The Last Watch-Hannah Peel-HBO
Hostile Planet-“Oceans”-Benjamin Wallfisch-National Geographic
Love, Gilda-Miriam Cutler-CNN
Our Planet-“One Planet”-Steven Price-Netflix
RBG-Miriam Cutler-CNN

If Steven Price doesn’t win for the opening theme, this could be a spot to honor him. Poor Miriam Cutler though is up against herself. I imagine she’s probably got a better shot at “RBG”, but I don’t know. I did like “Love, Gilda” personally. CNN really has decided to compete in documentary categories all over in recent years, haven’t they?


OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION
Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul-Rickey Minor-CBS
Fosse/Verdon-“Life Is A Cabaret”-Alex Lacamoire-FX Networks
Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce-Beyonce Knowles and Derek Dixie-Netflix
The Oscars-Rickey Minor-ABC
Q85: A Musical Celebration For Quincy Jones-“Part 1”-Greg Phillinganes-BET Networks
Saturday Night Live-“Host: Adam Sandler”-Lenny Pickett, Leon Pendarvis and Eli Brueggermann

This is actually interesting, a totally new Music category; Music Direction. I’m a little shocked this didn’t exist before, but I guess it makes sense; there’s kind of a limited amount of programs that even have music directions in the past. This isn’t composing necessarily, this is more organizing and preparation of music, the putting together of the music, although there is often a live factor involved. Rickey Minor for instance, is up for both “The Oscars” and that Grammys Honoring Aretha thing, and normally when you think of a musical director, you usually think of live heads of orchestras at Award shows, or Late Night musical directors who are often just the heads of the house band. Doc Severinson, Paul Shaffer, Kevin Eubanks, Max Weinberg, etc. etc. G.E. Smith, and of course, now Lenny Pickett, who’s up for “SNL”, but there’s a couple others that snuck in that are interesting. Beyonce wiggled her way into this, and “Fosse/Verdon”, that’s obviously a production where the music is important, since it’s about Broadway musicals. I could see this being a fun category in the future.

Alright, there we go. The Primetime Emmy nominations analysis, and very early predictions. Well, for some of these; the Creative Arts are tomorrow, so they might be outdated by then. But, I'm looking forward to the main show anyway. Who's hosting this year anyway? 

(Search internet)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2019/08/07/emmys-2019-awards-show-wont-have-host-fox/1944856001/

Oh Goddammit! Not another fucking awards show with a HOST!?!?!?! And, it's on Fox this year!? SONOFABITCH!!!!!!

Well, maybe it's better this year that I'm not keeping the closest eye on them.