Monday, July 25, 2022


Um, there's not much really to talk about here. I've been busy lately, and I fear that I'm gonna be busy for awhile still, so sorry if I'm not posting as regularly as I'd like to. Honestly, I think I'm preferring these more sporadic commentary posts, it makes me focus on things I actually want to say and dive more into subjects instead of trying to find things I care about to talk about, which in terms of the film industry has been much more fewer and farther between in recent years. I did get my usual commentor who thinks he's being cool and talked on my Emmys blog about how award shows were about millionaires honors millionaires. (Ugh) I wonder how actually thinks the makeup people actually make.... Like, Jesus, I went after the Emmys hard this year for the actual problems but no, it's that hypocritical argument. Like, seriously, you watch all the shows made by the people who are indeed the millionaire voting on the other millionaires, but you don't think they should honor the best in their field? I don't get it, you watch the great art they create but you can't trust their opinion when it comes to the actual art medium you watch? I genuinely will never get that opinion. 

Anyway, I'm glad it was only one lone strangler comment I could ignore this time. Other then that, not much going on. Movie world's getting excited for the upcoming BFI Sight & Sound's annual Greatest movie lists. Last time they did one, I decided to do a similar poll for television, and that took awhile, and frankly I don't think I'll do that this time. I still do think television in particular needs to be put on a more equal pedestal to film in general, but I hope somebody with more time and resources would take up that mantle instead. I look up my list when I did one back in 2012, I would change a few things now, but personally, I'm mostly hoping that "Citizen Kane" just regains the top spot. Sorry, "Vertigo" fans. 

Anyway, let's get to this latest batch of reviews! 

KING RICHARD (2021) Director; Reinaldo Marcus Green


I don't remember what class this was, but at some point in-, I think it was middle school, I distinctly the teacher bringing up this argument about nature vs. nurture. It was sometime in the late '90s, and right around the time that Tiger Woods and Venus & Serena Williams (Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton) were breaking onto the national sports landscape, as well as their parents. Tiger's father Earl Woods was a constant presence on tour with Tiger, and the Williams Sisters' father Richard (Oscar-winner Will Smith) was often the focal point of conversations regarding them, and basically the discussion was, whether or not these athletes would've been the great athletes they were, at the sports they were athletes at, if not for the pressure and persistence of their father's insistence on it. I don't think race was initially brought up out loud in this discussion, but the undercurrent was there. For whatever reason, I argued that Tiger was a more natural phenom and it wouldn't have mattered as much the environment he grew up in while the Williams' had the extreme pressure from their father meant that they were more nurtured to the sport than natural phenoms. I don't remember why exactly I decided to take that argument, although I think it was because I had remembered seeing clips of a very young Tiger Woods, at around three years old on "The Mike Douglas Show" already a master putter, and I just couldn't imagine a three-year-old being that taken by golf to become that good that young unless there was something ingrained in him to take to it naturally, but in hindsight, I totally would not make that argument now. Of course, the answer to any nature vs. nurture question is always always a little bit of each, but yeah, in both their cases, I have to believe the parents' had more to do with their success now, for whatever that's worth, than their own ingrained natural talent, if for no other reason than the fact than it was parents' ability and determination to provide them with the golf clubs and public golf courses in Tiger's cases, and the public tennis courts and the rackets and balls in the case of the Williams. (For all I know, I could've been the greatest cricketer of all-time, but it wasn't a sport I had access to, and you're more likely to be good at a sport that you're constantly around and able to play than one you're not.) 

Tennis, in paricular, is a sport that's kinda weird. On the one hand, it's a very posh sport traditionally, guarded by the same kind of private exclusive club barriers as other older lawn sports like golf and croquet, but on the other hand, it really shouldn't be, 'cause it's remarkably one of the cheapest of these sports. One that, with two rackets, a ball, a net, and maybe some chalk, basically anybody could play tennis. And traditionally, while tennis has been perpetuated by a lot of white, upper class athletes, they often are, personality-wise, they're kinda the rogue black sheep types from those groups. Not always, obviously, nowadays the sports actually been fairly boring in terms of personalities for years, (Although it's starting to get better, especially on the women's side) especially from America, but back then, tennis was filled with some fringe personalities that made the game fun to watch. And it does say something when Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn), the Williams' first professional coach tells Richard that he's the most stubborn person he's ever met, and he coached McEnroe. 

Actually, I was amazed how much that got brought up, especially at a certain point when Richard is concerned about Venus turning pro because of Jennifer Capriatti's sudden fall into addiction and arrest, but I had totally forgotten just how much of the top up-and-coming female tennis players of that time were complete fuck-ups. (After I watched this movie, I looked up the infamous French Open Finals in '99, between Martina Hingis and Steffi Graf, if you watched this match, you know this match, it was the exact moment that Martina Hingis, who was the youngest number one in the world at that time, became a total heel, spoiled brat fuck-up, and supposed over-the-hill Steffi, who Martina insulted for being old earlier, just wiped the fricking court with her. and Martina never got good again after that! And then, like, the next year, Venus was queen of the court, until Serena came of age.) 

That's the thing though, this movie, first of all, it was produced by the Williams Sisters, so they're telling their own story here essentially, and the story of their father, and his-eh, very much persistent approach to making them tennis superstars.
He worked nights after coaching them on local courts, often populated by Compton gangsters. There's one time where he apparently almost tries to take out a bully who constantly went after him, only to witness somebody else take him out.


I have no idea if this is true or not, it's believable enough, I guess... 


I guess the implication is that, Richard almost lost his dream, for his daughters, by almost killing a guy, but got lucky that someone got their first...? It's dramatic in the moment, but weird if you think about it for more than a minute.

That's kinda what makes "King Richard" somewhat fascinating, it's essentially a movie that gives Richard Williams's nurturing, for whatever it was worth, all the credit for the Williams Sisters. He's the one that started them on tennis at age 4, and he began by writing out an, 85-page plan for their continued progress in the sport, which...- (Sighs) okay, that's just, weird. And kinda fucked up. (Like writing down your goals, that's one thing, writing down your kids goal, eh, questionable, but not concerning, 85 pages at ages 4, on being teenage tennis phenoms? Like, you couldn't do it in like, fifty pages?)

It's also strange in that, after he convinced Cohen to take them on, Venus for free but being paid to teach Serena at first, Richard hated taking the girls to Juniors, which is usually where the younger up-and-coming tennis prospects start up. Venus and Serena were great when they did play, but he mentions hating seeing all the tennis parents there and how much pressure they seemed to put on their kids. I mean, I guess it's a little pot calling the kettle black, but maybe he had a point too, but y'know, that's the thing that makes something like this crazy. Most prospects in any sports don't end up becoming pro and winning grand slams all the time, and even if it the kid's who venture into that sporting direction at first, it's stressful for them, and for their parents who are taking an interest in their future career, that might not happen. You can be training and expertly crafting your game for just as long, and be as great and skilled as you possibly could, and then, you run into Venus, and you get your dreams and future killed. The movie technically climaxes with Venus losing in her first pro tournament, and losing fairly early to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (A woman who herself started tennis young and had some very dubious parents that's led her adult life after tennis to become a complete mess; last I heard she was potentially facing years in jail for tax evasion and fraud). I'm sure there were other contemporaries of the Williams Sisters who turned out fine; I think Kim Clijsters is still playing into her forties like Serena is now, but yeah, it is kinda coincidental and curious how every other tennis great in this story seems to be struggling either handling their successful pro career or are damaged afterwards by their successful pro careers.... Again, tennis is a young sport full of the rebellious black sheeps of upper crust types, but it's still kinda interesting how those are the other names that get thrown around. (Could've been the times too, tennis and sports in general in the '90s, was fucking insane! Remember when Monica Seles got stabbed by a crazed fan in the middle a match? It's shocking how little that gets brought up, but that's how bizarre sports in the '90s was!") 

Still though, like, I guess it worked for the Williams Sisters, skipping over Juniors and not playing competitive tennis for years before turning pro. I know it didn't work for Michelle Wie years years later.... 

I don't know, I'm very conflicted on just the idea of this movie, and that's before we even get into all the subliminal stuff regarding Will Smith and his recent actions. It is not hard to think that Will Smith finally winning that Oscar that we all know he's wanted for years, and he's playing a over-protective helicopter parent father over his future celebrity kids. Yeah, I think he sees a lot of himself in Richard Williams at this point. And like Richard Williams, he may occasionally make an ass of himself at major events like these. (They didn't show Richard Williams jumping over the NBC desk in celebration of Venus winning Wimbledon in the film, but they definitely could've.)  He also kinda smug and obnoxious like he's capable of slapping a comic in the middle of an award show.

I don't know, I guess Will Smith is good here, and besides for all he's done for Hollywood, he probably did deserve that Oscar inevitably. Honestly, I'm surprised the film is actually as good as it is; I credit that to the filmmaking, particularly director Reinaldo Marcus Green, the talented young filmmaker who was behind the multi-narrative "Monsters and Men" film about three different perspectives surrounding an incident where police killed an unarmed black man. I wondered if that debut was more essay than film, but still appreciated it a lot. In that sense, I guess technically "King Richard" is a better movie, but I also have a hard time thinking of this as Green's film. This feels more like a job-for-hire to paint Richard Williams in as positive a light as possible. They don't shy away from his faults, but they often do only show his wife Brandy (Oscar-nominee Aunjanue Ellis) when she is in disagreement with him, but only usually after he makes decisions for the family and the girls. And then there's a scene where she basically outlines all his faults, well, what the movie thinks of as his faults, mostly his other kids. He's had a couple marriages and apparently kids out of wedlock, it's implied that they seem to be doing well-enough, the ones they bring up. While he seemed to do everything for Venus and Serena, arguably maybe had a little too much control over them, he also left his first family of four kids before when the oldest was eight. 

I guess you expect embellishments and negative things left out with all biopics, but even still this is such a weird one to rate. I'm trying to think of a comparable film about a story about a parent being "responsible" for their kids achievements, particularly their athletic achievements like this..., and the parents' influence are shown to be just as extreme but also positively..., I guess "Searching for Bobby Fischer" is kinda close, but even then, that's like, the fourth most interesting plot-thread in that film. Honestly, there's a lot more "Fear Strikes Out" than their are "King Richard"'s. Like, imagine if Venus and Serena's story did turn out negatively after all this; I mean, that could've really screwed up their minds. It'd be like, watching a movie about The Beach Boys that's about how the Wilsons' father was the one most responsible for their success and accomplishments? Like, that's kinda how absurd that would be. 

Yeah, that's the biggest issue with this film, the framing is all wrong; the interesting perspective is Venus and Serena's not Richard's. I mean, he's certainly an important character, but they're the one's on the hero's journey, the father is just a guide for them. But Venus and Serena don't think that and wanted this story to be about him instead, so-, (Shrugs) I don't know, if they think he's this important than who am I to judge them? He's the one who nurtured them, and things certainly turned out alright for them overall, and on that level, I guess it's worth recommending since it's about as decent movie with this premise could be. 

As for this being the film that Will Smith cashed in his Faustian bargain in order to win his Oscar,... (Shrugs) well, we'll see in the future if it was worth it for him. For me, it's a weird, albeit well-made, but ultimately average and forgettable sports biopic, and I guess he was fine in a role that suits him very well. I just wish it was a supporting role instead of a lead; I might've thought higher of performance honestly if that was the case.

NO TIME TO DIE (2021) Director: Cary Joji Fukanaga



So-eh, I-eh,- that ending. I-, I did not see that coming....

Hmm.... Okay. Let's talk about "Casino Royale", for a moment. 

I don't think it was totally understood at the time, but in hindsight I put "Casino Royale" up there with any James Bond film. I tend to be one of those people who only thinks "Goldfinger" is the only true essential Bond movie, and usually the best, but if "Goldfinger" is one, than "Casino Royale" is 1A. It's not entirely the quality of the film, a lot of it is also just how different it was than every other James Bond film. As good as the movies could be, and I'd argue even had been; (I seem to be the only one who no doesn't outright hate "Die Another Day"; I don't really get why that's so much more ridiculous, than, I don't know, "Moonraker", so of the other ridiculous films in this franchise) but the franchise, had long gotten, pretty stale. Despite a few bumps of relevance since it's '60s heyday, the truth is that, the franchise never really set itself out to reinvent itself much, and the formula had gotten cliche, outdated and fairly boring. If you grew up watching the Bond movies from the '60s, you pretty much could rather easily keep up and see the same movie from the '90s James Bond, or the '70s, or the '80s for that matter. But, "Casino Royale" was not different in it's tone and approach to those Bond movies, it was a literal reboot of the franchise, beginning with before Bond earned his double 0 status and it circumvented or mocked much of the traditional tropes of the franchise. Bond didn't particular care how his martini was a prepared, nor was there even a Q character introduced yet, so the high-tech gadgetry was at a minimum, it wasn't his Aston-Martin he was driving, he didn't understand why he had to wear a tuxedo, he was blond and gruff, much more akin to the Bond in the Ian Fleming novel, which, "Casino Royale", was the first of the Bond novels, and also one that somehow had never been officially adapted to the screen before. It was so powerful, that five movies on, when we meet James Bond here, in "No Time to Die" and he's visiting the grave of Vesper Lynn, we know exactly who it is and why he's there, something that, frankly I don't think I could see happening with any other so-called Bond girls. In fact, this reboot is actually shockingly light on Bond girls and their importance and relevance to the tangential story, and that's the other big thing that "Casino Royale" marked, the Daniel Craig Bond movies, were going to have a continuing storyline. 

My biggest fear of this, when that realization started to become apparent was that the films would transition too much from this "Casino Royale" Bond origin story, and eventually go too far and turn Craig and the movies, into, well, more typical and traditional James Bond films. I didn't want that, and, there were times where they slipped a little too far into that. Maybe this is me, but I've never cared much for Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) as a Bond villain. There's no 1A after Goldfinger on my list of Bond villains, let's put it that way, and to be fair, not all the Craig Bonds were great, and I think "Quantum of Solace" was just outright boring and a straight up bad film, but none of them are disposable or unnecessary. They started at the beginning of Bond for a reboot, and they kept telling and we did grow into the characters. They even made one movie that's mostly about M (Ralph Fiennes in this film) just so we can tell a more overall story of Bond. 

And now that Daniel Craig is leaving the franchise, for arguably the first time in the franchise, we get a true conclusion. Don't worry, they'll make Bond movies longer than they'll make Spider-Man movies I assure you, (Or at least they better) but, we get a real ending here, and I won't give it away, but it's truly satisfying. We meet up with a retired Craig as he gets swung back into work after meeting Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) his longtime CIA co-hort who's also been around since "Casino Royale". He's broken up with Madeleine (Lea Seydoux), the girl who, at the end of "Spectre" he believed was his true love, but came to distrust her after another co-ordinated attack on his life, and suspects her as being a traitor to Blofeld. Instead, he's wrapped up in a secret MI-5 program, Heracles, which, apparently was some kind of blood-transmission DNA manipulator who's facility was broken into, not by Blofeld, but by Safin (Rami Malek), a terrorist who actually is out to get Spectre, in vengeance for them killing his family years ago, and with whom, Madeleine, who was a scientist for Spectre, and who's father was also a scientist for Spectre. 

Safin's a motivated villain, and one of the more traditional Bond ones in theory, he's even got his own hideout on an island where the majority of the movie's climax is. Honestly, I found most of the details involving the actual MaGuffin and why he's after it confusing, but basically it was a biological weapon that was supposed to be used for good, and a scientist that was turned developed it to use it for more widespread genocide, and blah, blah, blah, now everybody's pissed at England for their secrets and now Bond has to confront a captured Blofeld, who still was controlling his organization despite seeming like he was going insane, and then get to Safir, who's got Madeleine, and Madeleine's daughter (Lisa Dorah-Sonnet).

As a Bond movie, it's probably in the good-to-very good range moreso than great. In fact, it's downright dreary for much of the ending, albeit it's also intense, and this movie is in fact close to having too little of the old Bond movie influence narratively. Thank goodness for a wonderful shootout sequence involving Craig and a newer-esque CIA agent, Paloma, played by Ana De Armas, who both is a great person who absolutely should have a credit as a Bond girl, and also makes this a delightful "Knives Out" reunion. ("Knives Out" is amazing btw!) As an end to Bond, at least, Craig's Bond, and it's a wonderfully satisfying conclusion, one that takes a character that felt iconic and made him seem more real than ever. "No Time to Die"'s legacy will be that it made all five of the Daniel Craig Bond movies more special, and when you realize just how few of all the James Bond movies, really are special, that's saying something. Kudos to Craig, Barbara Broccoli, director Cary Fuji Fukunaga, and for everybody involved over the years of these five films, for being some of the interesting and compelling over the run of the franchise. 

COMING 2 AMERICA (2021) Director: Craig Brewer


Welcome, once again, to my least loved recurring feature on this blog; yep, it's that time again! It's another edition of "David Has to Review a Sequel to a Movie He Hasn't Watched To Begin With Yet, Because He Didn't Think It Was Important Enough to Get To Originally, and Now, People Think The Sequel's Good Enough That He Has to Watch Both Now!" 

Ugh, man, I hate this segment. But no, I skipped the original "Coming to America", until now. Apparently, that was a mistake, because it's- what is it, July, now, like 33 YEARS LATER, they decide that movie was good and important to make a sequel, and reportedly there was enough people about the sequel that it grabbed my attention. 


So, why did I never get to "Coming to America" 'til now?! 


Honestly, I kinda always thought people considered it second-tier Eddie Murphy at best, to be honest. Granted I'm a little behind on Eddie to begin with, I'm already fearing that there'll be another "Beverly Hills Cop" movie for a later edition of this, but I don't know, I thought the essentials were "Trading Places", "The Nutty Professor", "Bowfinger", "Shrek", eh, "48 Hours", sure, the parts of "Dreamgirls" that don't suck, and-eh, yeah, I'll catch up "Beverly Hills Cop" eventually, and if you want to count them, "Raw" and "Delirious". I always heard "Coming to America" was just kinda ehh. I'm already partially in the minority on "48 Hours", which I don't think is nearly as interesting as people did at the time, but I always grew up in the early '90s, and that was not a good time film-wise for Eddie Murphy. I remember even Gene Siskel interviewing him once asking him about his string of bad movies; I mean that's notable for two reasons, one, Siskel & Ebert rarely did interviews on their show, but also, Eddie Murphy is actually pretty hard, in general, to interview. He doesn't do a lot of talk shows, when he does it's a delight, but he's fairly seclusive for a major Hollywood star, at least when it comes to the public. "The Nutty Professor" was considered a major comeback of his back then, and he had a few other good films after that too. There was a brief point in the '90s where he was almost as big as he was in the eighties. His career overall though, has had some severe ups and downs, in general. Right now, he's in a good peak it seems. 

However, I did have to quickly watch the original "Coming to America" before getting to this, and-eh, honestly I kinda didn't like it. It's got a good joke or two, there's some wonderful little cameos and whatnot and of course Eddie Murphy's talents are on display, but I found it boring. I found it confusing too. I don't think it's aged that well. There's something very weird and off-putting about a foreign country leader, who's so secluded in his own world where he's literally bathed by naked female servants, just feels weird. It's also, very slow, the jokes are very far apart to me. 

Honestly, you know what the movie really needed? Well, a sequel, 'cause I actually liked "Coming 2 America" much more than the original. The multiple layers of conflict help. In the original, the only real conflict was Akeem (Murphy) going to America and how he reacts to their strange ways, it's a weird fish-out-of-water narrative that I don't think is particularly set up well. In "Coming 2 America" we get a lot more of Zamunda. He's still out-of-touch as a Prince of this African nation, but it's a little more modern and realistically so, even if it is over-the-top. I know, I'm always willing to accept anybody who gets Salt-N-Pepa to perform for their anniversary party. But, the main thing I liked was how it expanded and built upon the world of Zamunda. 

We barely saw much of the land of Nexdoria in the first movie; it was so little, I didn't realize how Marx Brothers that joke was, but I was happy to see that the daughter was still hopping on one foot and barking like a dog for Prince Akeem. Anyway, their land is poor, and while the King (James Earl Jones, loving to ham it up) is dying, Akeem and his wife Lisa (Shari Headley) have been ruling Zumanda for years, and have produced three girls, led by the oldest Meeka (Kiki Layne), who is getting prepared to lead and possibly marry a Prince from the neighboring Nexdoria. Instead, we find out that Akeem, has a bastard son in Queens from his trip back at the previous movie. Zamunda law is still old-fashioned enough that he needs a male heir, whether through birth or marriage to take over, and the leader of Nexdoria, General Izzi (Wesley Snipes) is preparing to assassinate him and start a war if Akeem is unable to produce a male heir.

Akeem goes back to America and finds his son Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) eventually taking him and his mother Mary (Leslie Jones) and an Uncle Reem (Tracy Morgan) back to Zamunda where he will get acquainted with his princely duties. There's also some tests to pass, and he ends up falling in love with his groomer Mirembe (Nonzano Mbathe) and there's some typical well-set schtick based around Akeem's now being King and not living up to his promise to change the ways, and now it's his son Lavelle who's backing out of the arranged marriage to pursue true love...- I'm being blase, but I actually like how manic this is when you describe it. Plot-wise, this feels like an older comedy, something the Marx Brothers, or Bob Hope or Bing Crosby would've fallen themselves into, and those films, at their best were just nutty. That's something that I didn't get with the original; it was just too thin. Here, there's a lot all going on, and it's not all sensical, and it's not all PC either, but this movie, should just be as manic as possible. More random dancing girls in obnoxious stereotypical, "outfits", if you can call them that. More soldiers, more Eddie Murphy in makeup. Maybe it has a little too many callbacks to the previous film; I didn't think the McDowell's joke would keep going, but I like that I got to see Louie Anderson one last time. 

Yeah, I'm still not convinced that this is peak, essential Eddie Murphy with either of these films but I definitely enjoyed "Coming 2 America" more, and probably did enjoy it more knowing the first film. It didn't change my opinion on the first, but you really did get the sense that Eddie Murphy really liked that first film, and that he really liked this idea of bringing everybody back and telling a better, richer story than the original film. I can appreciate that he can appreciate it, and that's enough for me. 

LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM (2021) Director: Pawo Choyning Dorji


There's a couple things I found interesting about "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom" before I watched the film. The first is that, it's a rare movie that got disqualified at the Oscars, and then re-eligible. In 2020 is was submitted for the Academy Awards International Feature category, but was disqualified because of a technicality. The nation of Bhutan didn't have an officially recognized Academy voting panel, so the next year, they got the recognition, submitted the same film, and it not only got accepted for eligibility, but it got a surprise nomination. The second thing, was the fact that it was a film from Bhutan. 

Obviously, from the fact that they needed Academy approval for eligibilITy, they're not a country known for their filmmaking; "Lunana..." is only the second film they've ever submitted to the Academy. It's got a bigger film industry than that number would suggest, but it's still in it's primordial stage. The small mountain Buddhist nation is known for being very insular and has only really recently started to take in and expand it's influences beyond they're more friendly neighboring countries, especially India, where much of their cinema was directly inspired by for years. (There's a lot of remakes of Bollywood films in older Bhutanese cinema.)

In fact, the movie is kinda about that struggle with the country right now. Ugyen (Sherab Dorji) is a government worker getting his teaching license, but he wants to move out to Australia and pursue a singing career. Bhutan is a monarchy and also being a Buddhist monarchy, government work is pretty admirable in the country, so not going after it can be somewhat disconcerting; it is to his family and he's looking for a way out. Then, he gets transferred from the city, to Lunana, a more mountainous village in the country that's heavily cut off from the major cities. 
He's not happy about it, but he eventually gets there and begins getting seduced by the area. There's not even a blackboard in the classroom, and he eventually begins adapting and teaching well, and begins liking it. Teachers are highly admired and prized in this remote area and the children love him. 

He also befriends a local, Saldon (Keldon Lhamo Gurung), the daughter of Asha (Kunzang Wangdi) who sings a folk song every day as an offering to the village. Ugyen is intrigued and asks her to teach it to him. Oh, and at some point, she gives him a yak, that eventually gets kept in the classroom with the kids. Honestly, it's not as important to the story as you'd think. 

The story itself is fairly basic, there's plenty of films out there about somebody going out to some obscure part of the world that they don't want to be apart and getting entranced by it and then regretful and forlorn about returning to their normal world, or the world they think they want to be apart of, but it's the setting and context that sell it. The movie has a more emotional resonance than that and could be read as a modern commentary on the country of Bhutan. It's also just an entrancing guide into the country and it's modern conflict within the country as they strive to figure out their place in the world. I don't know if it is that, it could just be a lovely little tale made that happened to be made in an obscure part of the world that makes me think it's more about the country than it is, but it feels that way. "Lunana..." is a delightful and powerful little story about a conflicting young man in a conflicted young country tied between the traditions of the past and the hopes of the future. There's a lot of ways this film could've been hokey or cliche, and while on paper it is, in practice, I appreciated the nuances in the storytelling that made it much more then that. 

HILLBILLY ELEGY (2020) Director: Ron Howard


So, I was taught forks in ninth grade. I forget what the name of the class was, it was when I was at a magnet program that, honestly sucked, at the time, I hear it's run better now, but the class, kinda was an intro and a catch-all class for general knowledge and career path indicators; it's the class that you took those career tests in, those tests that determine your skillset and what kinds of possible future careers you'd be good for based on those results. Anyway, I do actually remember a lot from this class curiously and one of things we were taught was the rules about forks and spoons, and fancy dinners such as they were. Always go left to right from the outside in with your forks, always eat meat with a knife and fork, fish, you can eat with only a fork however, and if you're still not sure, always just use whatever utensil the head of the table is eating, because very often, whoever is actually in that seat, might be just as unknowing and unaware as you are, but he is the one that's big and powerful enough that nobody will tell him no. I'd make an obvious Trump joke here, but the person who wrote the book that "Hillbilly Elegy" is based on, JD Vance, is based on is currently a Republican Senatorial candidate who got Trump's endorsement, so apparently he eventually learned that one, and perhaps maybe we should abandon that rule. Anyway, that's one stressful opening on "Hillbilly Elegy" for our main character, JD (Gabriel Basso) as he's trying to get an interview out of Law School, hopefully a good-paying internship of some kind, learning from his girlfriend Usha (Frieda Pinto) over the phone, what fork to eat with, before returning to some, distressingly frustrating elitist questions from the table about his background. 

"Hillbilly Elegy" was described as one of the books that help explain how someone like Trump could've won in 2016.... (Shrugs) I can kinda see that, like, it is kinda embarrassing to think about how somebody can hear of someone being from Kentucky and immediately ask them if they worked on the coal mines. It's also annoying to hear an old Mamaw (Glenn Close) correct her grandson by saying, they're called "Indians, not Native Americans, like the Cleveland Indians," and yes, it took me so long to get to this movie that the Indians, did indeed change their names because of how racist and insensitive "Indians" was as a name. (And it was and is racist and derogatory, always was, you can look that one up.) The movie itself, well, it's been pretty heavily panned. Glenn Close, pulled off an extreme rare feat with this film, getting both an Oscar nomination, and a Razzie nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Worst Supporting Actress respectively, for the same performance. She lost both awards, but while the movie was heavily panned in general, it was polarizing. There are some who thought the movie, which is based on Vance's own youth, fell into some poverty tropes and stereotypes, some decried the film as "Poverty Porn" in fact, while some others were fairly effected by it, and found the movie quite inspiring and powerful, and a love letter to both his family history, but to an often-overlooked and shunned part of the country. 

Ehh, where am I standing on this? Well, I'm mostly caught in-between. I don't think the movie is "poverty porn" or anything, but I also don't think it's that good either. 

I haven't read the book to double-check what's been changed or altered and/or how, but director Ron Howard, who also got a Razzies nomination for the film, I imagine probably improved the material. It wouldn't be the first time, Ron Howard is a very underrated director, in general, and one of his better skills, is taking material that's not particularly of quality on the page and turning them into some surprisingly quality films. The big one that most will point to is "The Da Vinci Code" and it's subsequent sequels, which, yeah, is pretty cheesy to read, but I actually like the two of those movies I've seen, as absurd as they were. From what I can tell in this case, the main thing he added was a narrative, 'cause the book is far more anecdotal than this film is, with many of his personal stories being used as arguments to help defend or showcase his political views and give explanation for why much of the Rust Belt has shifted from recent years from Democrat to Republican. Some of these observances I think are interesting, if not valid, although I'd to love to argue some of them, but in terms of a narrative, the movie, kinda has to form one, and it's tricky. 

Basically, the whole film takes place with a ticking clock to an interview, and the rest is told in flashback to JD's youth (Owen Asztalos). In the current time, around 2011, he's gone back to his hometown of Middletown, Ohio to collect his mother Bev (Amy Adams) a heroin junkie who's fallen off the wagon again, after years of bad choices and usually bad men that primarily came about mostly after her grandfather Papaw (Bo Hopkins) died. His sister Lindsay has been married to her boyfriend, basically since high school, and has been struggling to deal with her life and kids, while also keeping an eye on their mother and JD's left, first for the Marines, and then for Law School at Yale. The movie jumps a lot in time and narrative, and keeping track of everything after this or within the timeline, basically becomes moot after a while. You do get to see all the major events, but we don't see them necessarily in a particular order, which I can't say is a terrible move here, believe it or not, but it's not really well setup.
That's the other thing, the movie sets us up with the geography of the area, how JD loves the Summers in the Kentucky Appalachia with his Grandma more than his homelife in- well, it's not really a big city, but if you prefer the Appalachia, than I guess it is. Eventually, he does move in with his grandmother, after Bev first begins to struggle and her addictions and messy relationship start really effecting their lives. Mamaw isn't particularly saintly either, we learn, but what really brings this down from somewhat compelling as a narrative to something less compelling is, oddly, how little the geography matters. 

The movie is elegiac about the Appalachia in a sense that the narrator says it's where he grew up and is therefore some place that's apart of him, but the area and his problems, actually have very little to do with each other. His mother's a junkie who goes from man-to-man, his grandparents are old nags who struggle in their old age, his sister's in love, and his father's absent,- honestly, what the hell does that have to do with the hillbilly culture that you couldn't find in the big cities? I know people in rural, urban and suburban environments with basically the same problems growing up; it's not even necessarily a class issue, or even a cultural issue with that area necessarily. His family's fucked up, I'll give him that, and I will admit that I think it's a bit of an accomplishment getting to be as successful as he has after growing up like that, but there's nothing particularly compelling about it that makes me convinced that it was that unique. Maybe it's supposed to not be unique, but-, no, I don't see too many grandmothers light their loved ones on fire for being drunk, so I don't think that's it. 

And frankly, I didn't think his early memories of being a kid in Appalachia were that good either; he's reminiscing about how his family inspired him after he got bullied by neighborhood kids, like what-the-fuck, why is that a positive to you?! 
There is a good idea, somewhere here, in fact I think I do know where it is, and they missed a really sharp storytelling idea here; I won't give it away, but this could've easily been a road movie and that would've solved a lot of it's problems, for both the narrative interest, and for the characters themselves. The movie doesn't take that direction, I get the direction it did take, but it is short-sighted. The whole movie is kind of a short-sighted mess; it's a whole film about how great the area where this kid grew up is, and then the climax is, him leaving it...- that's not how these movies usually go. It's almost like he's trying to justify it to himself that this is where he belongs because this is where he came from..., and I just have severe doubts about this. I mean, there's another running theme of the movie where the kid is interested in politics, and that's from him constantly being thwarted in his attempts to watch the news, like "Meet the Press", which...- like, okay, I was a '90s kids, around the era as him, and I did watch the news very intensely more than most, especially at around that time, 'cause the late '90s, early 2000s, well, it's hard to remember now, but there a lot going on in Washington, but it never comes off as something he would have genuine interest in through any of other actions; it feels much more like something that might've been true, but I suspect he probably also watched "The Disney Afternoon" a lot, and that just didn't make it into the film. 

"Hillbilly Elegy" is well-acted, and probably does improve the material given, but I don't think it does it enough. It's more interesting to reflect on afterwards than it is to watch, and it can be irksome at times. I don't think it's terrible either, and- eh, I guess some of the makeup is kinda Award-worthy, and sure, Glenn Close and even Amy Adams, in an underwritten, tricky role is good, but it's a lot less passionate and inspirational than I believe it's filmmakers think it is. And while it does indeed, see a lot of the problems with the area and the ways of life, it doesn't look at them, and tries to come up with better solutions; it just looks at them with awe in how unfortunate and sad it really is. In many ways I could easily make an argument that I should really be much more frustrated with it than I am, but I guess I'm lenient 'cause I'm somewhat impressed that the movie isn't as bad as it could've been. It could've also been a lot better though. 

ROCKS (2021) Director: Sarah Gavron


I don't think I've ever fully realized just how much Ken Loach's influence is in British cinema has. I guess that's partly because he's a neorealist and you don't usually think of them as being influential, especially in some of the more major filmmaking countries when you look upon their overall film landscape. Italy created Neorealism, but they didn't stick with neorealism. I don't necessarily think of England as a country that stuck with it either, but there's quite a lot of cinema from England that's clearly inspired by his work, or if his work necessarily, the influence of telling tales of some of the downtrodden characters in a post Thatcher society that's somewhat crumbling even today, and is full of fringe characters on the edge of society, often young characters, caught in some of our worst societal sins, economic and otherwise, that's when you do start to begin realizing that the influence is much more pronounced than it first seems. 

I don't how to rank "Rocks" on that scale; I'm not even really sure how much "Rocks" is influenced by Loach. It's the latest from Sarah Gavron, she was the director behind "Suffragette" as loose biopic about the fight for Women's right to vote in the UK. I didn't care for that film; I thought it was trying too much when it could've been sharper. Gavron's new attempt "Rocks" is more universal, and specific, but at the same time, I could see the argument that the story perhaps is too manipulative and generic. Rocks (Bukky Bakray) is the daughter of a Nigerian immigrant single mother who lives with her little brother Emmanuel (D'Angelo Osei Kissiedu), who she takes care of a lot since her mother is apparently busy all the time. We don't get to know how busy she is, because we find out that she's abandoned them one day. Rocks tries to get ahold of her, but to no avail. She was fired from her job a week ago, and we have suspicions, but eventually, things start to get bad. Money runs out, electricity runs out, but she doesn't seek out help.
Sometimes for good reason. a few of her friends thinks she's helping out by calling social services, including getting into an argument with Sumaya but that ends up separating them eventually when, after getting kicked out of a hotel she managed to talk herself into, her friend Agnes (Ruby Stokes) calls them, thinking it was the best idea.

Actually, compared to Loach, this movie, and a lot of other modern British-neorealist cinema, seem to be more inclined to focus on the struggles with the familial dynamics plaguing the country as opposed to just the governmental ones. They're both related of course, but...-, I think if anywhere, that's where "Rocks" really separates itself the most. It's a movie with few adult or parental characters, so we're mostly following these young adults, and the one thing I noticed most everybody agreeing on with this film is that, it's gets teenagers and their behavior, actions, motivations, etc., it gets all that right, which ultimately I think is a good thing. Well, not entirely, there's one hypocritical character, Roshe (Shaneigha-Monik Greyson) who commits fraud through her family's store, taking customer's credit cards, and when Rocks does the same to survive, she publicly out her. Rocks also defends another girl from bullies, causing a food fight in-, what I think was a Home Economics class. (I hate the term Home Economics; I'm glad I took Independent Living in school; except for the fact that my teacher at the end of the year, went back to her ex-husband. True story) And actually, the nice thing about the movie is how, when much of her inner friends circle realize how she's been on her own and ducking social services people, they try to help her out. Even combining their funds to get her to see her brother at his care foster school. It's actually hopeful for the future in my mind to see how good these kids are. They're mostly minority immigrants as well, but not all, and they are from different economic classes as well. 

I suspect that's why the film plays so well in England especially, where class has historically been a major cultural divider and not just an economic one. For me, "Rocks" is good, not great, and doesn't entirely show me stuff that I haven't seen before, but there's really good performances and a hopeful look at modern London youths and how they handle difficult problems, often on their own, and seeing them as being genuinely empathetic and helpful that puts it over the top. This is a weird movie where the only villain, supposedly, is the unseen mother character who abandons her children, but you know, and while that's terrible and there's a lot to be said about the perils of struggling to raise kids on your own in a society that punishes single parents, especially immigrant ones, especially black immigrant ones, the movie might be sad on the surface, but it's overall perspective on the world is hopeful. Don't confuse that for an easy watch, but considering the alternative endings to stories like these, this is not bad. 

PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE (2021) Director: Cal Brunker


I remember reading a profile on Tony Macklin one day; I forget what periodical it was,- Tony Macklin is a famous freelance movie critic based in Las Vegas; he still reviews films and is generally well-respected critic. He's a regular participant in Sight & Sound's yearly poll for instance. Anyway,  I remember reading him back when he wrote for the Las Vegas Mercury, a now-defunct weekly alternative magazine in town, back then there were a few of them. The Mercury had some decent articles and writers in them, but he had some pretty negative things to say about them. One of the things he mentioned was how the editor would send him to review the "Pokemon" movie, which-, yeah, that was not something he should've been doing. I'm not saying that 'cause he's not qualified to have an opinion on it or anything, or that movie critics shouldn't have to be review everything and give them a fair shot, but when you're one of like, four film critics on a staff for a local alternative magazine that's cost, free, to pick up, and you're sending your most knowledgeable and experienced film critic to go see "Pokemon" and write a review of it, you're probably quite inadequate at being a magazine editor who doesn't use the resources he has correctly.  

Anyway, I saw "PAW Patrol: The Movie" this week.


Actually, if I being honest, I actually knew more about "PAW Patrol" going into this than I did "Coming to America". I had seen a few sporadic episodes out of curiosity when I had cable and was stuck in some random hotel rooms with cable and my internet not working. There's nothing on basic cable in the afternoon, so, why not keep something, light and educational on. "PAW Patrol" did get a little bit of news a few years ago when #DefundThePolice was trending, and the nuttiness of right-wingers pontificated that that meant that somehow those people wanted all police taken away, including the PAW Patrol. It got to the point where they had to tweet about it. Also, we really should defund the police, they're terrible and they don't protect us, blah, blah, blah....

However, that said, if the police acted a lot more like the PAW Patrol, I probably would want more of them around. The PAW Patrol are a team of, well, puppies, led by and brought together by Ryder (Will Brisban) a, kid, who, in Adventure Bay, apparently was placed in charged of the local police, fire, and all other emergency sectors and decided to hire puppies to run them. I-, I don't get it either, but apparently it works. They treat everyone equally, they seem to save those who are in trouble on a regular basis. They don't overstep their influence and power, and are mostly there to help others. Honestly, yeah, I'd rather have the PAW Patrol than the regular police. 

Granted, Adventure Bay, doesn't seem to be that populated an area, but in this movie, they take a rare detour outside, or apart, of their jurisdiction-, I actually don't know how the jurisdictional lines work here, but they're called to Adventure City, after a corrupt mayoral race lead to their old rival, Humdinger (Ron Pardo) becoming the new Mayor. They come, to help, because he is a really awful mayor. Yeah, I don't know if he was created in this series, before or after Trump, but yeah, whether on purpose or not, he is a major Trump caricature. He's so selfish and self-absorbed that basically all his idea are disastrous failures plans to show how great he is, that usually injure or hurt himself or everyone else around him. Also, he's more of a cat person. 

Among his disasters, he rushed a fireworks display for his inauguration party, which leads to the fireworks all going through the city instead of up in the sky, he tries to add a loop-de-loop to the subway, he forces the university science department use their weather machine to suck up all the clouds so he could have that fireworks display, and just have nice days everyday while he's in charge, he puts a giant tower on top of the tallest building in order to work at the top of the world's tallest building.... Like, yeah, he just causes havoc and chaos wherever he is. And then get annoyed when puppies have to come and, save everybody from his failures. There's truly many egomaniacal layers to this guy, but we gotta move on.

The major inner conflict in the show involves Chase (Iain Armitage), one of the PAW Patrol, who, in a previous life, had some bad experiences as a young pup in Adventure City. He tries to help on and keep going with the aiding the rescue missions, but while the missions remain successful, his strive for perfection is costing him to make potentially lethal mistakes and Ryder eventually benches him temporarily while they're in town. 

There's also a storyline involving a young female city pup Liberty (Marsai Martin), who is a bit of a fangirl of the PAW Patrol, but also, after she calls them in on the city's latest disaster, and begins helping them on their rescues and guiding them through Adventure City, almost seeming and acting like an Honorary Member of the Paw Patrol at times. At times, she reminded me of Cleo from "Clifford the Big Red Dog"; I was almost convinced Cree Summer was her voice actress before I looked into it. No word from whether or not Care Bear Cousins count as Care Bears right now, but apparently there is room for advancement in the PAW Patrol, and a willingness to recruit outside their base jurisdiction and room for potential expansion and that's good to know. 

Honestly, I rather enjoyed this film. I came in with little-to-no expectation, as was probably just gonna be nice if I thought the movie was good at killing 90 minutes of time, without killing a five-year-old's brain cells, but you know what, I totally get why PAW Patrol are popular and well-accepted in family homes. And the movie's pretty fun; in fact, it got pretty terrifying at the end. It didn't feel just like another episode of the show, but it didn't necessarily go too over-and-above what I'd expect from a preschool series being adapted to a theatrical feature length. It feels like the people involved cared about making this and making it good. I can see myself liking this show if I was a young kid now. I don't know if it's a favorite of mine, or anyway, but it's perfectly suitable, and hey, if in the future, people who grew up on "PAW Patrol" were to use the structure to create a more efficient and less awful actual police and emergency system in this country, one that comes when needed and prepared to help out the people who are the most in trouble on a regular basis, than perhaps this show could possibly do some good. Honestly, this is a movie that should be shown to cops. It shows how helpful they can be, and that it's good to arrest and jail corrupt politicians when they break the law and put the public's lives in danger! It's gotta be better than most of what they're teaching the police now. 

MLK/FBI (2021) Director: Sam Pollard


I must say that it's genuinely weird to think about how many television appearances there are of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and how strange and surreal it is to see some of them. Where he's always stern and serious about the struggles of the negro and their ongoing fights for civil rights, and yet, still being somewhat looser and cordial, even joking and laughing at times and it's weird to think that, basically my entire life, we've had a national day devoted to him. There are people alive today who probably still take January 20th off with pay every year, that cheered when he was assassinated. Oh yeah, he was never beloved or admired, nationally in his life. We do like to think of the '60s as a more liberal and free flowing time, but while it was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, the reality was that the leaders in charge were still very much ideologues that grew up in a time when then thought that African-American were to be kept in their place and shouldn't be so outspoken in general, much less about such liberal and communist ideas. 

Yeah, MLK wasn't a communist, don't let that get twisted, but J. Edgar Hoover definitely thought he was. It's- (Sigh)- look, it's-, it's not like the FBI is entirely legit or whatever right now, as an organization, naturally, some of their actions, supposed or otherwise are gonna have a little shade to and surrounding them, and the fact that they are a policing organization at all is always gonna make anything they do skeptical, but by any measurable standard, they're a helluva lot better now, than they used to be. Not all of that can be contributed to J. Edgar Hoover finally dying, but a lot of it can be. J. Edgar's place in the story of America is, on some level, always gonna just be this bizarre mindfuck of the history books to analyze. In hindsight, a lot of his behavior, well, it does sound very much like Trump. He was paranoid about subversion, and always making claims about certain liberal peoples who he thought of as threats. Hoover was good friends with Roy Cohn, who was one of Trump's mentors, but...- yeah, while you can point to successes of his, especially in his early career, he basically used the FBI that he created as his personal gestapo. And MLK was no different. 

King himself was skeptical of Hoover's full interest in him for awhile, but eventually, it became quite clear that they were wire-tapping him and everywhere King went, their were agents who followed. Even one of the major Civil Rights photographers turned out to secretly be an FBI spy. One of the weird weaknesses of the FBI is that it's basically able to be altered by the person in charge more than most U.S. Government organizations, arguably more than the White House even. He was known for supposedly finding salacious materials on all his enemies and probably several of his so-called friends, which is part of why he stayed in power for so long, arguably the most influential political figure in American history who never ran for elected office of any kind. 

What exactly did his G-men find searching on King? Well, there were definitely threats of his, and they definitely found out about his indiscretions. It's known that King did have affairs and apparently at some point, Hoover tried to use that to stop King, even sent several fake letters from supporters and even one of his tapes to him. King's camp seemed to laugh most of them off as Hoover had a distinct disadvantage in that, he really didn't quite have any good concept of African-American culture, and just how obviously out-of-place some of his attempts to fool him were.
"MLK/FBI" is a pretty good document on the FBI's involvement in King, as well as King himself and how he worked around and handled the threat. It also gives a pretty good breakdown of King over the years. While there's definitely, nuance to him personally, there was also some political nuance from King as well as some of this is showcased. While he worked with LBJ to get the Voting Rights Act passed for instance, Johnson was not particularly pleased with his stance against Vietnam, which was much more of a firestorm than is remembered; even much of the major Northern liberal press took issue with him at that time; this was '67, a year before his assassination, which, the FBI actually went to stunningly grave detail to seek out James Earl Ray and find, although, it is a bit troubling that they followed King for years and were there in the next room when he was shot and didn't do anything.... (Hoover did know how to up the actual investigations into crimes when you know, their reputation was genuinely at stake), but very much still when the Vietnam War, was popular in the country. The war didn't start becoming generally unpopular until after the Tet Offensive in '68, and even then.... We still don't know exactly what they found on King, the official records of the wiretapping won't be made public 'til 2027, and there are some of the more controversial speculations about King that some are kinda concerned about.

 Honestly, I thought one of the reasonable talking heads in the film, and he was mostly a disembodied voice from a recording, was from James Comey, the then-head of the FBI, saying that he suspected that most of what he suspects will be revealed will mainly be proof that King was more complex as a person, and probably more of Hoover's general obsession with the private sex lives of the people he investigated for subversion. Yes, it's weird how Hoover's sexuality, which, is highly discussed now personally for him, was such a key touchstone with him in terms of what he thought of as hypocrisy in general, and yeah, apparently with King, who was married and a minister of course. There is one brief note of the one known FBI note about King being present at a rape in Baltimore, that, based on the descriptions definitely has certain questions regarding it's legitimacy,- and again, the issue is that he was present, he wasn't necessarily involved or participatory, and even then, the account sounds odd.... You gotta remember, most of this wasn't videotaped and probably wasn't photographed, this was people listening to wiretaps and hearing things through walls, there's a decent chance that while a lot of King's transgressions will become more public in the future, that a lot of this might be imagination run amuck.

The big questioned posed with the movie isn't so much what the contents are in the FBI's vault on King, it's more to do with the historical purpose of them, and whether or not they should be used to tell his story. We're gonna learn quite a lot from them I'm sure, but legally and technically, we shouldn't really have them at all,  and what do we make of recordings of King? It's a question that's posed and considered but never answered, although I supposed the film's existence itself is a bit of an answer. Not a complete one, as this is essentially an incomplete film. There's more to the story of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the FBI, and perhaps one will get the complete story. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

74th PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANALYSES! And, why I'm not really caring about the EMMYS this year, and why they need to change. #BringBackBlueRibbonPanels!



I am so sick of the Emmys that I want to vomit.

I know, everybody else, if they're angry at an awards show, it's usually the Oscars, and you know, I've never pretended they're perfect and they definitely have problems, and I don't always agree with them. hell, "Green Book" made my worst film list the year it won, a pick I got criticized for it, but I still stand by it. ("Green Book" is legitimately as bad as everybody thinks "Crash" is.) But, you know, I don't use that standard of "I have to agree with who they pick to begin with...",- like, (Blows raspberries) no, that's-, that's not the problem. Although, no, particularly in the categories I most care about, I haven't agreed with them in a long time, but it's how I don't agree.

And I,-, I just can't take it anymore; I just fucking hate how the Emmys work right now. 

I'm so sick and tired of staring at the Emmy nominees every goddamn year and seeing, not the best shows being nominated, but the most popular shows being nominated. The ones I read the most about, the ones I hear the most about, the ones that are the most popular and the most watched. (Well, the ones that don't have superheroes in them, thankfully.) Starting in 2015, the Emmys got rid of the so-called "blue-ribbon panels" they had, where select voters go to screenings and receive screeners of all the eligible submissions and then nominees. I can't say I always with those picks either, again, this isn't about what I think should win, but I always at least had the knowledge that the people voting, all industry professional and theoretically anyway, voting the categories that they were professionals at. It meant that, even if I didn't agree, I could at least respect whatever decisions they made, knowing that they were at least trying to honor their best in television every year. But ever since they got rid of those panels, and the left the voting to the entire academy to vote, and basically go off of "The Honors Systems".... (Sigh) Even the shows that everybody hates and complains about, seem to not only get nominated every year, but half the time they usually sweep! 

I legitimately can't tell you how much the Primetime Emmys have just depressed me over these recent years, and that's regardless of whether or not I like the choices they make. I want these award shows to at least feel like every year, they're trying to honor the best, whether that's a show that six million people have seen, or whether it's a show that six people have seen, and for all their faults, I still feel the Oscars are actually trying to do that. Maybe they aren't and it's just as much a show as anything, but it's a show that I can buy into, but I haven't believed that for the Emmys for a long, long time now. 

And look, I understand some of the arguments against these voting panels, like how they can have their own voting quirks (I didn't get why they gave Tyne Daly that Emmy for "Judging Amy" either), but mainly the bigger issue now is that, well, television is so big and massive right now, that voting panels would be unreasonable and impossible these days; this isn't the era of just three networks anymore. I mean, in certain categories, there could be like, 250 nomination submissions to sort through! And yes, that is a genuine, real logistical problem with the voting panels, there. 

As a counter-argument though,  I DON'T CARE!!!!! Do it anyway! It was better then! It sucks now!

#BrickBackBlueRibbonPanels!!!!!!  #BringBackScreenings! 

And I'm not saying we should just have voting panels only, I don't want 30 people deciding every category either. Awhile ago, I outline a proposal for a two-prong Emmy voting System that including both blue-ribbon panels and keep the vote open to the entire Academy. The link is HERE

It's not a perfect system but it's more perfect than this one we've been using, and whether I'd agree with the results we'd get from this kind of system, if/when it gets implemented I can honestly claim that I would respects the decisions more and be happier with the Emmys overall because at least I'd feel like they made real efforts to seriously go through all of television and nomination and honor the best.

Right now though, the Emmys feel more and more like the worst popularity contest in Hollywood and all popularity contests suck!

Well, wait a minute, I can think of one way to have a Hollywood popularity contest that would be fun...!


Can we have the Emmys in the Squid Games this year?! Please!? I bet it'll increase the ratings?!


Oh well... Well, now that I did get all that off my chest, we might as well look at the nominees anyway. I mean, these mostly aren't bad shows from what I can tell, and I'm not begrudging the shows for being popular enough to get noticed, and frankly these things can still be good. I hate the system that picks them right now, but let's see how well they actually did pick. We'll start with the Comedy Series categories.


Abbott Elementary-ABC
Barry-HBO/HBO Max
Curb Your Enthusiasm-HBO/HBO Max
Hacks-HBO/HBO Max
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-Prime Video
Only Murders in the Building-Hulu
Ted Lasso-AppleTV+
What We Do in the Shadows-FX


Alright, I get it, I will get around to "What We Do in the Shadows" at some point. (Sigh) Sorry, I- the movie's still stuck on my Netflix queue and-, yeah, yeah.... I didn't think it would show up again, so I put it off again...- Anyway, uh, this is actually a very competitive category. Three former winners in the category with "Barry", "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' and "Ted Lasso", three past nominees with "Hacks" leading the way along with "What We Do in the Shadows" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which-, just seems to always get nominated every year, whenever it decides to have a new season.... In fact, that's gotta be a record now. They got their first nomination in this category back in 2002! There can't have been another sitcom that got nominated in this category, 20 years apart! It's a bit surprising to see ABC, of all networks hold onto their nomination. "black-ish" ended, but "Abbott Elementary" takes its place, giving network it's only hope. Meanwhile, Netflix is shutout here while Hulu's "Only Murders in the Building" replaces last year's "PEN15" nomination. Despite HBO doing really well, the big shocker is "The Flight Attendant" missing the category this year, which-, I'm still in the middle of season 2, but I thought that was the best sitcom last year and still thought it was solid enough to deserve to get in again so far, even in a tough field where multiple perennial nominees came back. "Atlanta" for instance, missed for the first time it was eligible. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", to me, is the best of this bunch, but it missed Writing and Directing nominations, somehow.... (WTF Emmys) but I wouldn't exactly rule that out either. "Ted Lasso" won last year, and gut instinct tells me that it's between that and "Hacks", but in a tough and mostly wide-open field, this is technically as unpredictable this category's been in awhile. 

Donald Glover-"Atlanta"-FX
Bill Hader-"Barry"-HBO/HBO Max
Nicholas Hoult-"The Great"-Hulu
Steve Martin-"Only Murders in the Building"-Hulu
Martin Short-"Only Murders in the Building"-Hulu
Jason Sudeikis-"Ted Lasso"-AppleTV+

"The Great" is another show that I haven't caught yet, although I've heard good things, and despite that also missing Series, got into both Lead categories. Other than that though, good luck. It's up against three former winners in the category, all of which got into Series, and it's up against Martin Short and Steve Martin for their Series-nominated show. Both of whom btw, have never won a Performance Emmy, of any kind. They have both won, but Steve Martin's only Emmy win was as a writer for "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" back in 1967!!!! I'm not sure what the longest time between two Emmy wins by a person is, without another win in the middle, anyway; I'm fairly certain Betty White holds the record between a performer's first and last Emmy (Although technically her first Emmy was a L.A Area Emmy, but whatever...) but between just Emmy wins, of any kind, that'd have to be up there. Martin Short has two Emmys, one for Writing for "SCTV", back in the 1981, but he also has a Producing Emmy for that "A Tribute to Mel Brooks" special. It'd definitely be nice to see either of these television legends get a performance win. Also, weird to think that Sudeikis, last year's winner, is the only returning nominee this year. (Man, those COVID Emmys these last couple years will just look weird in the future) 

Rachel Brosnahan-"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"-Prime Video
Quinta Brunson-"Abbott Elementary"-ABC
Kaley Cuoco-"The Flight Attendant"-HBO/HBO Max
Elle Fanning-"The Great"
Issa Rae-"Insecure"-HBO/HBO Max
Jean Smart-"Hacks"-HBO/HBO Max

Did anybody even realize that "Insecure" had a new season? (Sigh) I do need to catch up on that one but still, I legit didn't even realize that was still a thing. Anyway, Rae and Cuoco are past nominees, joining past winners Jean Smart and Rachel Brosnahan along with Elle Fanning and Quinta Brunson getting their first nominations. Brunson's also a nominee as a writer for the "Abbott Elementary" pilot episode, so they might not need to award her here. It's hard to go against Jean Smart, just 'cause, well, it's the Emmys and they love her no matter what she's in, and "Hacks" just happens to be a great show. Wouldn't be shocked if Kaley Cuoco could play spoiler here; if they actually do watch the tapes, she's got a lot of acting in a lot of those episodes. 

Anthony Carrigan-"Barry"-HBO/HBO Max
Brett Goldstein-"Ted Lasso"-AppleTV+
Toheeb Jimoh-"Ted Lasso"-AppleTV+
Nick Mohammed-"Ted Lasso"-AppleTV+
Tony Shalhoub-"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"-Prime Video
Tyler James Williams-"Abbott Elementary"-ABC
Henry Winkler-"Barry"-HBO/HBO Max
Bowen Yang-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC

Is this Tyler James Williams's first nomination? Wow! That's long overdue. Hey, wouldn't it be cool if he wins and Chris Rock is the present-, actually nevermind. Nope! Forget I thought that! Anyway, Williams joins Winkler, Goldstein and Shalhoub as the past winners in this category. Although, that didn't hurt Goldstein last year either as he won over multiple co-stars, including Mohammed last year. I could see Bowen Yang playing spoiler here if he picks the right episode. "SNL" kinda had a weak year this time around, only three actors across all the comedy categories. I wouldn't even be surprised if they're upset by "A Black Lady Sketch Show" in Variety Sketch this year, which is a category that's once again, has fallen to just two nominees. We'll get to that later. 

Alex Borstein-"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"-Prime Video
Hannah Einbinder-"Hacks"-HBO/HBO Max
Janelle James-"Abbott Elementary"-ABC
Kate McKinnon-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Sarah Niles-"Ted Lasso"-AppleTV+
Sheryl Lee Ralph-"Abbott Elementary"-ABC
Juno Temple-"AppleTV+"-AppleTV+
Hannah Waddingham-"Ted Lasso"-AppleTV+

See this is the kind of thing I'm talking about here, the Supporting categories especially, if you're not in a Best Comedy Series nominated-series, unless that show is "SNL" or some other sketch series that gets shoved into this category, you're probably not getting nominated. In the men, the last time it happened was in 2020, with Mahershala Ali for "Ramy" and Andre Braugher for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", both of whom, just usually get automatically nominated for everything to begin with, and before that you might have to go to when the late great Louie Anderson won for "Baskets". On the Supporting Actress side, 2020 as well with Betty Gilpin for the criminally underrated "GLOW" and Yvonne Orji for "Insecure". It's nice to see Sheryl Lee Ralph nominated for the first time. Really, that's her first nomination, ever!? Wow! Yeah, glad to fix that error, what the hell!?

Atlanta-Hiro Murai-"New Jazz"-FX
Barry-Bill Hader-"710N-HBO/HBO Max
Hacks-Lucia Aniello-"There Will Be Blood"-HBO/HBO Max
The Ms. Pat Show-Mary Lou Belli-"Baby Daddy Groundhog Day"-BET+
Only Murders in the Building-Cherien Dabis-"The Boy From 6B"-Hulu
Only Murders in the Building-Jamie Babbitt-"True Crime"-Hulu
Ted Lasso-MJ Delaney-"No Weddings And A Funeral"-AppleTV+

Okay, congratulation BET+ for your first ever major nomination in these category. It's-, it's the obligatory nomination that's required for a multicamera sitcom but still, good job. You have no shot at winning. Is it weird that the two shows with African-American casts here didn't get into Series? Eh, I probably shouldn't read into that. Anyway, I don't have much else to add at the moment here. Lucia Aniello won the category last year for "Hacks", in kind of a surprise upset over "Ted Lasso", Bill Hader has been nominated every year "Barry"'s been eligible in this category; they're more likely to give an Actor a writing award, but it's not unprecedented. 

Abbott Elementary-Quinta Brunson-"Pilot"-ABC
Barry-Duffy Boudreau-"710N"-HBO/HBO Max
Barry-Alec Berg, Bill Hader-"starting now"-HBO/HBO Max
Hacks-Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky-"The One, the Only"-HBO/HBO Max
Only Murders in the Building-Steve Martin, John Hoffman-"True Crime"-Hulu
Ted Lasso-Jane Becker-"No Weddings And A Funeral"-AppleTV
What We Do in the Shadows-Sarah Naftalis-"The Casino"-FX
What We Do in the Shadows-Stefani Robinson-"The Wellness Center"-FX

Bill Hader's got a second shot at pulling off the rare Acting, Writing, Directing triple, although it's the other "Barry" nomination that got into Directing. That episode along with the "Ted Lasso" and "Only Murders" nominations got into both. Everyone's a Series nominee. It'd be rare for "Abbott Elementary" to get this, a network series hasn't won this category since the finale episode of "30 Rock". It looks like a four-way race right now for series between "Barry", "Hacks", "Only Murders..." and "Ted Lasso" though. 

Jerrod Carmichael-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Bill Hader-"Curb Your Enthusiasm"-HBO/HBO Max
James Lance-"Ted Lasso"-AppleTV+
Nathan Lane-"Only Murders in the Building"-Hulu
Christopher McDonald-"Hacks"-HBO/HBO Max
Sam Richardson-"Ted Lasso"-AppleTV+

I'm really stunned Luke Kirby for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" missed this category; especially since he's won the category in the past and he's got an amazing episode this year. But instead, Bill Hader gets nominated again, this time for "Curb Your Enthusiasm". Huh, okay. Well, except for Jerrod Carmichael, the rest of the nominees are from the Best Series categories. This is Nathan Lane's 7th Guest Acting nomination, but he's yet to win. I'm also partial to Christopher McDonald getting his first nomination. He's been one of those absolutely great character actors for decades now. 

Jane Adams-"Hacks"-HBO/HBO Max
Harriet Sansom Harris-"Hacks"-HBO/HBO Max
Jane Lynch-"Only Murders in the Building"-Hulu
Laurie Metcalf-"Hacks"-HBO/HBO Max
Kaitlin Olson-"Hacks"-HBO/HBO Max
Harriet Walter-"Ted Lasso"-HBO/HBO Max

It's not technically Kaitlin Olson's first nomination, she got nominated for a Quibi show a could years ago, but yeah, it does feel like it os, doesn't it, and that's just- (Sigh) well, it is what it is. I'm sure someday the Emmys will officially acknowledge "It's Always Sunny....", maybe. Anyway, she's one of four "Hacks" nominees, which is, a lot! Especially in a category usually dominated by "SNL"; how'd they get nothing here, was there not a good female host this year? Oh well. Anyway, four "Hacks", one "Ted Lasso" and Jane Lynch showing up for "Only Murders...", also snubbed from "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" oddly enough. Man, I don't get why that show has fallen even the slightest it has.


Better Call Saul-AMC
Euphoria-HBO/HBO Max
Squid Game-Netflix
Stranger Things-Netflix
Succession-HBO/HBO Max

Oh, there you are. Welcome back, Showtime! You haven't been nominated here since "Homeland", but even that was considered a bit of a fluke by that show's fifth season, this is a legit show you. Too bad, everybody else is gonna kill you. I'm still a bit surprised at some of the nominations though, and what got left off. For the last season, "This is Us", just got completely taken out. "Ozark" got in for it's last season though. "Euphoria", really surprises me. I haven't seen the second season yet, but from everything I was hearing nobody was particularly fond of it, but again, it's the shows people talk about, not what's good. (To be clear, I do like "Euphoria") That's only explanation I can keep finding for "Stranger Things", because I just do not get the appeal of that show at all at this point. But the biggest story, the first foreign language series, "Squid Game" to ever get into this category. I'm late, I'm in the middle of it now, and I-, I don't normally like stuff like this to be honest, but I'm getting into it. I have to catch "Severance" and "Yellowjackets" eventually. I'm always way behind on "Succession" but I'm in the middle of that too now. It's not a bad group, but it does feel underwhelming. I'm not sure on what the favorite is right now, I might lean towards "Ozark" out of sentimentality, but keep an eye on whatever gets talked about the most....

Jason Bateman-"Ozark"-Netflix
Brian Cox-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
LEE Jung-jae-"Squid Game"-Netflix
Bob Odenkirk-"Better Call Saul"-AMC
Adam Scott-"Severence"-AppleTV+
Jeremy Strong-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max

This category literally has six completely new nominees, from the year before. Obviously, Brian Cox, Bob Odenkirk, Jason Bateman and Jeremy Strong have all been nominated before. LEE Jung-jae and Adam Scott are the newcomers here. Jeremy won two years ago, but nobody else has won here. I know "Ozark" is ending, and while "Better Call Saul" is also ending, they'll have one more year to honor Odenkirk if they want to, although Bateman does have a win for Directing for "Ozark", and I don't know how much they're under pressure to award him again. If they really like "Succession" still, Brian Cox might have a better shot this year too than previously. And of course, this category has been known for newcomer spoiler winners who might pop up for one year and never again, so, "Squid Game" can't be overlooked here either. 

Jodie Comer-"Killing Eve"-BBC America
Laura Linney-"Ozark"-Netflix
Melanie Lynskey-"Yellowjackets"-Showtime
Sandra Oh-"Killing Eve"
Reese Witherspoon-"The Morning Show"-AppleTV+
Zendaya-"Euphoria"-HBO/HBO Max

"Killing Eve"'s return means the return of both Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh to the category. Interestingly, Jennifer Aniston for "The Morning Show" fell out, but Reese Witherspoon, moved up to her spot. No "The Crown" this year, so Laura Linney gets her annual swan song nomination, and I suspect she's the slight favorite. She's won several Emmys before, but never as a regular lead for a series, they're in Lead for Limited Series, even her win for "The Big C" weirdly enough. It's also really nice to finally see Melanie Lynskey get nominated for something. She's been an amazing actress for decades now and it's about time she gets some credit. I mean, let's be fair, she was always the best part of "Two and a Half Men", always! Boy this "Yellowjackets" show, I haven't had Showtime in a while, what exactly is this series about anyway. (Checks IMDB, turns on trailer)!
WHAT THE FUCK!!!!! Okay, that is very disturbing, holy fuck! I was-, I was kinda hoping it was a good dramedy about former high school mean girls,- that's-eh, eh.... Wowsers! Helluva cast with this show though.

Nicholas Braun-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
Billy Crudup-"The Morning Show"-AppleTV+
Kieran Culkin-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
OH Yeong-su-"Squid Game"-Netflix
PARK Hae-soo-"Squid Game"-Netflix
Matthew Macfadyen-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
John Turturro-"Severence"-AppleTV+
Christopher Walken-"Severence"-AppleTV+

Well, Billy Crudup's back, last year's winner. I'm in the middle of "The Morning Show" myself right now, and it's a pretty weird show to be honest. I'm in the middle of it but Crudup is definitely the most outlandish of the characters on the show, so I can see why he's in, but it's a weird show, and despite the amazing cast, I kinda get why it keeps getting snubbed for Series. So, in the meantime, we get the regular crew of "Succession", we get a couple interesting "Squid Game" nominees, and a show I haven't seen yet, "Severence", which also seems to have a helluva cast. Man, it's the first time Christopher Walken's gotten an Emmy nomination since, eh... (IMDB search) oh, there's a flashback to bad elementary school required reading! Do they still teach "Sarah, Plain and Tall" in school? Anyway, none of the "Succession" supporting players have won yet, but they might all cancel each other out, and who knows how much they like "Squid Game", the first foreign-language series to ever get nominations in the regular series categories. 

Patricia Arquette-"Severence"-AppleTV+
Julia Garner-"Ozark"-Netflix
JUNG Ho-yeon-"Squid Game"-Netflix
Christina Ricci-"Yellowjackets"
Rhea Seehorn-"Better Call Saul"-AMC
J. Smith-Cameron-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
Sarah Snook-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
Sydney Sweeney-"Euphoria"-HBO/HBO Max

Everyone here is in a show up for Series. Julia Garner's won the category the last two times she's been eligible. Somehow this is Rhea Seehorn's first ever nomination in the category; I'm not sure how that happened but glad she finally got in. Like, arguably, she should've won like twice now. I'm glad to know that Christina Ricci is still around, and creepy as ever it seems in that show- fuck! This is what you get for not recognizing how good "PANAM" was people. Patricia Arquette's a past winner, although she won in Lead years ago for "Medium". Glad to see them nominate Sydney Sweeney though; there's a lot of talent in "Euphoria" and yeah, it was definitely if Rue won last time that then somehow Cassie got overlooked, so nice rectify there. 

Ozark-Jason Bateman-"A Hard Way to Go"-Netflix
Severence-Ben Stiller-"The We We Are"-AppleTV+
Squid Game-HWANG Dong-Hyuk-"Red Light, Green Light"-Netflix
Succession-Mark Mylod-"All the Bells Say"-HBO/HBO Max
Succession-Cathy Yan-"The Disruption"-HBO/HBO Max
Succession-Lorene Scafaria-"Too Much Birthday"-HBO/HBO Max
Yellowjackets-Karyn Kusama-"Pilot"-Showtime

"Succession" gets all the directing nods, but some big time names here. Lorene Scafaria, Karyn Kusama, Cathy Yan, Ben Stiller, Bateman's won this category before. There's a lot of pretty talented filmmakers here. This might be where "Yellowjackets" or "Squid Game" have the best shots at winning something too.

Better Call Saul-Thomas Schnauz-"Plan and Execution"-AMC
Ozark-Chris Mundy-"A Hard Way to Go"-Netflix
Severance-Dan Erickson-"The Way We Are"-AppleTV+
Squid Game-HWANG Dong-hyuk-"One Lucky Day"-Netflix
Succession-Jesse Armstrong-"All the Bells Say"-HBO/HBO Max
Yellowjackets-Jonathan Lisco, and Ashley Lyle & Bart Nickerson-"F Sharp"-Showtime
Yellowjackets-Ashley Lyle & Bart Nickerson-"Pilot"-Showtime

Everything nominated for series, except "Stranger Things" and "Euphoria" popped up here, and "Yellowjackets" got the double nomination. Those two shows did show up in Editing, often the biggest predictor category for Series, but this could be a category that predicts the winner this year. 

Adrien Brody-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
James Cromwell-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
Colman Domingo-"Euphoria"-HBO/HBO Max
Arian Loayed-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
Tom Pelphrey-"Ozark"-Netflix
Alexander Skarsgard-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max

Jesus, how many acting nominations is that for "Succession? Jesus, including three more for Guest Actress, they have 14 total! That's is a record btw. Don't really have much thought on the category itself. Although James Cromwell still getting nominated. He's 82, and I'm actually surprised he's that young in hindsight. The guy's a legend. 

Hope Davis-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
Marcia Gay Harden-"The Morning Show"-AppleTV+
Martha Kelly-"Euphoria"-HBO/HBO Max
Sanaa Lathan-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max
LEE You-mi-"Squid Game"-Netflix
Harriet Walker-"Succession"-HBO/HBO Max

Not too much to add here, more "Succession". It definitely looks to repeat. Yeah, the Guest categories on both ends were kinda odd this year, in that they weren't that weird at all. Usually there's at least a few stragglers from some odder shows. 


The Daily Show with Trevor Noah-Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live!-ABC
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-HBO/HBO Max
Late Night with Seth Meyers-NBC
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert-CBS

Seth Meyers finally breaks into this category after years of missing out. I guess after "Conan"'s series ending that you figure somebody would get back in, like Samantha Bee, but honestly, I think this is the right call. Meyers has basically been my go-to after John Oliver for years now, it's about time he got in. 

A Black Lady Sketch Show-HBO/HBO Max
Saturday Night Live-NBC

I was always skeptical of the sketch series boom that lead to the creation of this category, and this was why. I suspect, in a year or two, they're gonna go back and combine these categories. But since were here, (Shrugs) I'll call the upset, this was a weak "SNL" year, "A Black Lady Sketch Show" is great. I haven't seen the new season, but I saw the last one, and any show that dares to do a "227" parody in the 2020s is alright with me. 

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards-CBS
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Fact of Life and Diff'rent Strokes-ABC
The Oscars-ABC
The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent-NBC
The Tony Awards Present: Broadway's Back-CBS

I didn't see the whole list of eligible submissions in this category, and I'm sure there wasn't a lot to choose from, but, did we really have to nominate "The Oscars" this year? Really? This year? And I'm exclusively talking about, you know who, the guy with a Producing credit on a Peacock drama, yeah that one. (I know everybody hated the hosts, but I thought they were okay, and Wanda and Amy were really good in particular, but like everything else, was just bad...). Also, while I do like those "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" shows in the past, um, "The Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes" though, um, those were lousy television shows. And I don't mean now, they were quite shit at the time. In fact, did either of those shows ever get Emmy nominations? (IMDB search) Okay, Charlotte Rae got nominated one year for "The Facts of Life", and they had two technical nominations, so that's three in eight years for them. And "Diff'rent Strokes", never got nominated for anything. Yeah, I'm gonna go out a limb and say this was a bad year for the category and they only had slim pickings to sort though. I wouldn't mind either the Tonys or the Halftime Show winning this year.

Adele: One Night Only-CBS
Dave Chappelle: The Closer-Netflix
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts-HBO/HBO Max
Norm MacDonald: Nothing Special-Netflix
One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga-CBS

Oh boy, we got some stuff to talk about here. Adele vs. Lady Gage vs., um, Harry Potter? Ehh, how the hell did that one end up here. Normally, I'd try to talk about how I think Stand-Up Variety Special should be it's own category, but only two getting in here, and it's two worth talking about. Okay, I did see "Dave Chappelle: The Closer", and I'll say this, I greatly admire Dave Chappelle as a comic and even though I viscerally with a lot of his recent stances, I can respect him as one of the best and most important artists of our time. But I'm sorry, "The Closer" sucked. It's not a terrible special, in of itself, but I thought his "8:06" special was vastly better. Against him representing Netflix, is the Norm MacDonald, who passed suddenly and unexpectedly after surprising everybody with this, what turned out to be his last special. I haven't seen it; I have friends who are huge MacDonald fans, I've admired him more than I liked him, but I'll definitely see this. He was a great and unique comic and he will be missed. It's a shame that he didn't get nominated 'til after his life though. 

A Black Lady Sketch Show-Bridget Stokes-"Save My Edges, I'm a Donor!"-HBO/HBO Max
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-Paul Pennolino and Christopher Werner-"Union Busting"-HBO/HBO Max
Late Night with Seth Meyers-Alexander J. Vietmeier-"Episode 1252"-NBC
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert-Jim Hoskinson-"Artistic Musical Performance By Chance the Rapper; Monologue: Ukraine & Russian War, January 6 Committee Evidence on Trump & Donald Jr.; Guest Beanie Feldstein"-CBS
Saturday Night Live-Don Roy King and Liz Patrick-"Host: Billie Eilish"-NBC

Colbert, what the hell's with the long-ass titles for your episode! You're a 5x week talk show, don't you just use numbers like everybody else?! Well, that's annoying. Anyway, eh, I suspect with Directing, unless it's something special, it'll go to "SNL", since they'relive, but "A Black Lady Sketch Show" or "Last Week Tonight" could steal this.

Adele: One Night Only-Paul Dugdale-CBS
Dave Chappelle: The Closer-Stan Lathan-Netflix
Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel-Bo Burnham-HBO/HBO Max
Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special-Norm MacDonald and Jeff Tomsic-Netflix
The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, And 50 Cent-Hamish Hamilton-NBC

Wow, I just realized that this is the second year in a row where no Award show popped up here, and there's only one Live Directing nomination with the Halftime Show. Both of those are shockingly unusual; this category is normally the mainstay of the Award shows, but in recent years, Variety has become much more artistically-driven. I wasn't the biggest fan of "Bo Burnham: Inside" last year, but I will say that it was a special directing achievement and he won that Emmy in a more loaded field than this. He's here again directing a different stand-up, but he's up this time against everybody else who's up for Outstanding Special. This might just be the Super Bowl Halftime's year.

A Black lady Sketch Show-Head Writer: Tracey Ashley; Writers: Robin Thede, et. al.-HBO/HBO Max
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah-Head Writer: Dan Amira; Senior Writers: Lauren Sarver Means and Daniel Radosh; Writers: Trevor Noah, et. al.-Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-Senior Writers: Daniel O'Brien, Owen Parsons, Charlie Redd, Joanna Rothkopf and Senna Vali; Writers: John Oliver, et. al.-HBO/HBO Max
The Last Show With Stephen Colbert-Head Writers: Ariel Dumas and Jay Katsir; Writers: Stephen Colbert, et. al.-CBS
Saturday Night Live-Head Writers: Michael Che, Alison Gates, Streeter Seidell, Colin Jost and Kent Sublette; Senior Writer: Bryan Tucker; Weekend Update Head Writers: Pete Schultz, Megan Callahan-Shah, Dennis McNicholas, Josh Patten and Mark Steinbach; Writers: Lorne Michaels, et. al....-NBC

Both Sketch series nominees showed up here, keeping out Jimmy Kimmel, and to my mind, shockingly eliminating Seth Meyers, going with Colbert instead. Seth Meyers had been a mainstay in this category, so it's definitely curious that he gets into Series the year they fall out of Writing. That's unusual. It's probably still going to John Oliver, but I wouldn't be shocked by a Daily Show upset here. 

Ali Wong: Don Wong-Ali Wong-Netflix
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Presents: Jordan Klepper Fingers the Globe: Hungary for Democracy-Ian Berger, Devin Delliquanti, Jennifer Flanz, Jordan Klepper, Zhubin Parang and Scott Sherman-Comedy Central
Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel-Jerrod Carmichael-HBO/HBO Max
Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo)-Nicole Byer-Netflix
Norm MacDonald: Nothing Special-Norm MacDonald-Netflix

Well, this is usually where the stand-up will all come out and this year is no exception. Interesting that Dave Chappelle did not get in here for "The Closer" those. Norm MacDonald did, for his final posthumous nomination, along with Ali Wong, Jerrod Carmichael and Nicole Byer. Man, stand-up's literally passing me by. I always thought Ali Wong was what all the criticism I heard about Amy Schumer's stand-up not working, that it really mostly applied more to her, but I think she has gotten better. Jerrod Carmichael's also at the top of his game right now. My main  experience with Nicole Byer is "Nailed It!" which,- ugh, I'm sorry, I think that show is fucking wretched, and I just do not get the appeal of it. Maybe her stand-ups better. Also in here is Jordan Klepper, and he could a little spoiler here. His "Fingers the Pulse" segments, mainly with the MAGA rallies have been big lately (Personally, I just can't watch him, but mainly I can't watch any Trump people, it makes me vomit, so kudos to him for having a better stomach than I do.) and this could be the apple in the bag of oranges. I think Carmichael and MacDonald are the early favorites though. 


The Amazing Race-CBS
Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls-Prime Video
Nailed It!-Netflix
RuPaul's Drag Race-VH1
Top Chef-Bravo
The Voice-NBC

I would've thought with the category going back to six nominees this year, that if they added a new one, "Making the Cut" would've been the easy and obvious pick, but I think after Heidi and Tim Gunn left "Project Runway" the people who would've cared about a fashion-based reality show, just don't care anymore. (I can't blame them entirely, but "Making the Cut" should've still been nominated) Instead, we get the same five as last year, along with another Prime Video series, "Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls"? I didn't check Gold Derby this year, but did anybody see that one coming? Honestly, I started to watch it, and-eh, it's pretty good. I was actually fearing that it was kind of a- weird, big girl version of "RuPaul's Drag Race". (Honestly, I've never fully gotten that show, mainly because, I don't really get the competition aspects of it. I don't know, part of me feels like I don't get Drag, but I feel like there's no real competition, it's just drag people, like,- kind of competing, but really, more just, profiling them, which, I think I kinda would prefer than this competition thing with them?) But actually, it's a dance show and it's about becoming one of Lizzo's plus-sized dancers, which, honestly it looks good. I'm gonna watch that; I tend to like professional dancers competiting shows; (Always hated "Dancing with the Stars", loved "So You Think You Can Dance?") so yeah, this is an interesting idea I can get behind. I don't know if it can win over "RuPaul's Drag Race" which has long-wrestled that perennial winner spot away from "The Amazing Race", but you know what, at least it's an interesting idea for a show. Here's to "Top Chef" possibly playing spoiler again though. 

Antiques Roadshow-PBS
Fixer Upper: Welcome Home-Magnolia Network
Love is Blind-Netflix
Queer Eye-Netflix
Shark Tank-ABC

What in the hell is the "Magnolia Network"!? Ugh, more research.... (Google search) Okay, it used to be the DIY channel, but it got taken over by the people behind "Fixer Upper" which was original on HGTV, and now it's apart of the Discovery+ lineup: I don't have that streaming service, although I have heard humor that they have foreign versions of "Top Chef" on there that I'm interested in, but, anywho, now it's the Magnolia Channel, and it's basically a home construction channel. Magnolia's a flower, why would they...- alright, whatever. Anyway, this category, it basically sucks nowadays. Well, I guess "Queer Eye", "Shark Tank" and "Antiques Roadshow" are still great, and what the hell is "Love is Blind"- a dating show about not seeing who you're going out with, hosted by,- which was one Nick Lachay? He, was-eh, not the one Jessica Simpson, but the other brother from 98°- I don't know why I remember that, or that boy band, from so long ago and not that good, but anyway, him and his wife hosting this...- Man, how are the Lachay's still famous...? I was there, they weren't even that big at the time,- even Jessica Simpson was like, third tier on the teen divas ranking...- I'm getting distracted by this way too much; these people have been famous for way too long and I just realize how disturbing it is to me. Anyway, eh, it's probably "Shark Tank" or "Queer Eye" again, but here's hoping for "Antiques Roadshow" to finally get it. 

Below Deck: Mediterranean-Bravo
Love on the Spectrum U.S.-Netflix
RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked-VH1
Selling Sunset-Netflix

I've seen a little bit of "Below Deck", it's fine. I've heard of the others. (Shrugs) Is it just me, or has reality just become incredibly uninteresting and boring, especially in these alternative categories. I hear "Cheer" is decent, but I have a hard time finding myself interested in any of these. I gave "Selling Sunset" but it mainly just felt like, a far-less interesting "Flipping Out". 

Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness-"Queer Eye"-Netflix
Nicole Byer-"Nailed It!"-Netflix
Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary-"Shark Tank"-ABC
Padma Lakshmi-"Top Chef"-Bravo
Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman-"Making It"-NBC
RuPaul-"RuPaul's Drag Race"-VH1

Another category where there's nobody new here. I'm not sure why Tom Colicchio didn't put his name in alongside with Padma's; they've been nominated together before, and hell, last year, Gail Simmons was nominated as a host as well. I'm not sure what's going on there, but I think of at least Tom and Padma as a pair hosting, but...- I don't know. Anyway, it's probably RuPaul's again; he's won the award the last...- OMG SIX YEARS! He could win seven in a row! I mean, he is a great host, but fuck! He's also, with a combined 11 Emmys, the most-awarded African-American in Emmys history!!!! I-eh, wow! I would never guessed that, but it does make sense. Maybe somebody else should take this though, six in a row is a lot! And there's poor Amy Poehler with one, that she shares with Tina Fey, and Offerman who never got nominated for "Parks and Recreation"! Yeah, sheesh! Oh well. Reality's boring now. 


The Dropout-Hulu
Inventing Anna-Netflix
Pam & Tommy-Hulu
The White Lotus-HBO/HBO Max

Last year was the first time in my memory that the Emmy Awards actually closed the show out with the Limited Series category. I understood it, most of the biggest series, were indeed Miniseries that year, and I don't know but it's probably the first time they've done that, since like, "Roots", I imagine. This is an interesting crop, and the fact that Hulu in particular, is leading the nominees in the category is very interesting, but I hope we go back to either Drama or Comedy Series being the end category, though. Anyway, these are usually the last things I get to, but I'm looking forward to them still... Well, maybe not "Pam & Tommy". I think I lived through that enough without having to see it acted out, I hope. (God, will this '90s exploitative tabloid miniseries shit ever end! There better not be anything on the horizon about Joey Buttafuoco, or else, somebody's getting shot in the head! [Yeah, I dare you to say, "Too soon" on that one.])

Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers-Disney+
Ray Donovan: The Movie-Showtime
Reno 911!: The Hunt for QAnon-Paramount+
The Survivor-HBO/HBO Max
Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas-The Roku Channel


I'm just trying to figure out if "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" is eligible as a theatrical release, for Oscars..., I don't think it is now, which, means, that I probably shouldn't review it...- I have some complicated thoughts on "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" already, and I haven't seen the movie yet,.... I might go into that some other time. Right now, I'm just look at it as, one of the four nominees that are apart of a previous franchise, and whatever Barry Levinson TV movie he made this year. Nice to see "Reno 911!..." get in, and nice to know they're doing movies again. I'm still not sure how or why "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" is still a thing. Oh, congrats on The Roku Channel by the way, they got a decent size amount of nominations this year. Good for them. 

Colin Firth-"The Staircase"-HBO/HBO Max
Andrew Garfield-"Under the Banner of Heaven"-FX
Oscar Isaac-"Scenes from a Marriage"-HBO/HBO Max
Michael Keaton-"Dopesick"-Hulu
Himesh Patel-"Station Eleven"-HBO/HBO Max
Sebastian Stan-"Pam & Tommy"-Hulu

This is a collection of actor that would make a pretty damn convincing list of Oscar nominees if you didn't tell me it was the Emmys. Only two from a Series nominee hear though, Keaton and Stan, but I wouldn't be too surprised if another name pulled it off though. Hamish Patel, in particular is in a good place to play spoiler, based on it's other nomination, it's likely that it just missed squeaking into the top category. 

Toni Collette-"The Staircase"-HBO/HBO Max
Julia Garner-"Inventing Anna"-Netflix
Lily James-"Pam & Tommy"-Hulu
Sarah Paulson-"Impeachment: American Crime Story"-FX
Margaret Qualley-"MAID"-Netflix
Amanda Seyfried-"The Dropout"-Hulu

Arguably one of the bigger underperformers in the category was "Maid", which miss out on Series, but did get Actress as well as Writing and Directing. It's up against three of the series nominee Leads, which includes Julia Garner who's won twice of "Ozark" as well as other regular contenders Toni Collette and Sarah Paulson. I could easily see Margaret Qualley play spoiler here though. 

Murray Bartlett-"The White Lotus"-HBO/HBO Max
Jake Lacy-"The White Lotus"-HBO/HBO Max
Will Poulter-"Dopesick"-Hulu
Seth Rogen-"Pam & Tommy"-Hulu
Peter Sarsgaard-"Dopesick"-Hulu
Michael Stuhlbarg-"Dopesick"-Hulu
Steve Zahn-"The White Lotus"-HBO/HBO Max

"The White Lotus" and "Dopesick" take the majority of these slots. "The White Lotus" is mainly a series without a lead, so that makes sense, but "Dopesick"'s multiple nominations could lead that they're definitely the favorite for the Series win. 

Connie Britton-"The White Lotus"-HBO/HBO Max
Jennifer Coolidge-"The White Lotus"-HBO/HBO Max
Alwxandra Daddario-"The White Lotus"-HBO/HBO Max
Kaitlyn Dever-"Dopesick"-Hulu
Natasha Rothwell-"The White Lotus"-HBO/HBO Max
Sydney Sweeney-"The White Lotus"-HBO/HBO Max
Mare Winningham-"Dopesick"-Hulu

And it's even more here; wow! It's pretty much a battle between these two limited series with everything else seeming as interesting also-rans. It'll be interesting to see how this'll play out.

Dopesick-Danny Strong-"The People vs. Purdue Pharma"-Hulu
The Dropout-Michael Showalter-"Green Juice"-Hulu
The Dropout-Francesca Gregorini-"Iron Sisters"-Hulu
MAID-John Wells-"Sky Blue"-Netflix
Station Eleven-Hiro Murai-"Wheel of Fire"-HBO/HBO Max
The White Lotus-Mike White-HBO/HBO Max

Well, if the recent trends hold up, then Mike White is likely to win this. Not only is he the biggest film name of the group here, but he directed hi entire miniseries while everyone else is up for directing only an episode of their miniseries. Lately, that's led to Emmy wins. Not always, but pretty much, and unless there's something really unique directing wise in one of the other nominees, this look like Mike White's to win.

Dopesick-Danny Strong-"The People vs. Purdue Pharma"-Hulu
The Dropout-Elizabeth Meriwether-"I'm in a Hurry"-Hulu
Impeachment: American Crime Story-Sarah Burgess-"Man Handled"-FX
MAID-Molly Smith Metzier-"Snaps"-Netflix
Station Eleven-Patrick Somerville-"Unbroken Circle"-HBO/HBO Max
The White Lotus-Mike White-HBO/HBO Max

Now, for Writing, this isn't necessarily a sure thing for "The White Lotus". With the Writing category, longer doesn't always mean better, and this category is particularly known for upsets in recent. I could easily see this as a spot for "Dopesick" to win, but I could easily see this going to maybe "The Dropout", especially since this is Elizabeth Meriwether's first nomination; she's the creator of "New Girl", which was never a show I loved, but she's pretty beloved and respected in Hollywood; I could easily see this upset. 


Arcane-"When These Walls Come Tumbling Down"-Netflix
Bob's Burgers-"Some Like It Bot Part 1: Eight Grade Runner"-FOX
Rick and Morty-"Mort Dinner Rick Andre"-Adult Swim
The Simpsons-"Pixelated and Afraid"-FOX
What If...?-"What If... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?-Disney+

Every so often, when I talk about the Emmys, I'd get some people who'd complain that the Emmys never honor the shows they'd watch. That's not really true usually, they don't put everything they honor on the main program, but there's very little they don't cover, and in some cases, some of the stuff they leave for the Creative Arts really should be apart of the main broadcast at this point, and I think Animated is a main one these days. And we got a couple new entries in this one too, with "Arcane" and "What If...?" I still suspect "Bob's Burgers" or "Rick and Morty" are the favorites, but maybe they'll catch up for once. (This category can be a year or two behind occasionally.) 

The Boys Presents: Diabolical-"John and Sun-Hee"-Prime Video
Love, Death + Robots-"Jibaro"-Netflix
Robot Chicken-"Happy Russian Deathdog Dolloween 2 U"-Adult Swim
Star Wars: Visions-"The Duel"--Disney+
When Billie Met Lisa-Disney+

So, two original shows that commonly pop up here, along with two side additions to popular franchises, (Hey, "The Boys" fans, this is where you pop up this time, last year was a pandemic fluke!) And one one-off original short? What's "When Billie Met Lisa"... (Disney+ search) Oh, "The Simpsons". That was weird. Short, but weird. The end credits of that were particularly disturbing. Man, I'd complain more about Disney becoming an ouroboros of itself, but it's not like they're the only ones..., lately. Ugh.

F. Murray Abraham-"Moon Knight"-"The Friendly Type"-Disney+
Julie Andrews-"Bridgerton"-"Capital R Rake"-Netflix
Chadwick Boseman-"What If...?"-"What If... T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?"-Disney+
Maya Rudolph-"Big Mouth"-"A Very Big Mouth Christmas"-Netflix
Stanley Tucci-"Central Park"-"Central Dark"-AppleTV+
Jessica Walter-"Archer"-"London Time"-FX
Jeffrey Wright-"What If..."-"What If... Ultron Won?"-Disney+

Oh man, remember last year, when "Bridgerton" was a thing? Man, what happened there? Anyway, Julie Andrews is one of two nominees here that's not for an animated series, along with F. Murray Abraham. There's also two posthumous nominations here as Chadwick Boseman and Jessica Walter have passed away. Jessica Walter does have an Emmy for a miniseries back in the '70s, but Chadwick never won anything, so if they're sentimental, and there does seem to be people who like "What If...". I think Maya Rudolph, is probably the favorite, she's won the award twice in a row, could easily win it a third. 


The Andy Warhol Diaries-Netflix
The Beatles: Get Back-Disney+
jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy-Netflix
100 Foot Wave-HBO/HBO Max
We Need to Talk About Cosby-Showtime

This is why I love these categories. Wonderful interesting programs where we have The Beatles against Andy Warhol, against Kanye West, and Bill Cosby! And, a surfer. Okay! My instinct is that "The Beatles: Get Back" is probably the favorite, but I could see Cosby pulling this off as well.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman-Netflix
The Problem with Jon Stewart-AppleTV+
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy-CNN
The World According to Jeff Goldblum-Disney+

It's interesting that Jon Stewart's chosen not to submit in his old category of Variety, but instead has put his show into the Nonfiction Series category. He's gonna be the most interesting show to see how he'll do; I haven't watched it beyond Youtube, but so far I've appreciated it, although I know some have found some of Jon's more libertarian stances controversial in recent years. That said, good category. Stewart and Letterman, Jeff Goldblum, weirdly enough, and Stanley Tucci's Italy show, and of course, "Vice", which for all it's faults is still quite a powerful investigative series. 

Controlling Britney Spears (New York Times Presents)-FX
George Carlin's American Dream-HBO/HBO Max
Lucy and Desi-Prime Video
The Tinder Swindler-Netflix
We Feed People-Disney+

Alright, so Brittany Spears, George Carlin, Lucy & Desi, Tinder, and the last one, is Jose Andres the legendary Spanish chef, in a documentary by Ron Howard, in his latest foray into the genre. (Ron Howard's made a lot of documentaries lately.) I don't know who the favorite here is off-hand, it's a very compelling and competitive category. 

Changing the Game-Hulu
Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches-HBO/HBO Max
When Claude Got Shot-PBS

This is a strange category, that even I don't quite understand all the rules to, and there were a few technical changes this year, but basically, this is a category that is for documentaries that aired on television and were released in theaters, but were not nominated by the AMPAS for Oscars. It's-, it's weird. The loosening of some of the Academy standards actually limited this category to three nominees this year, so perhaps were starting to figure out a way, particularly with documentaries to begin avoiding this weird gray spot between television and feature film in the future. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-"Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War"-HISTORY
David Attenborough-"The Mating Game"-"In Plain Sight"-Discovery+
W. Kamau Bell-"We need to Talk About Cosby"-"Part 1"-Showtime
Lupita Nyong'o-"Serengeti II"-"Intrigue"-Discovery+
Barack Obama-"Our Great National Parks"-"A World of Wonder"-Netflix

Well, Obama does have two Grammys, and his production company does already have an Oscar, if not him. (Shrugs) I mean, he's got a great voice for narration, so I don't know why I'm surprised. Anyway, he's up against, W. Kamau Bell, for his Cosby thing, Lupita Nyong'o and David Attenborough for some Discovery+ stuff, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I swear, looking back further down the Emmy nominations can be a very joyful experience. 

The Andy Warhol Diaries-Andrew Rossi-"Shadows: Andy & Jed"-Netflix
The Beatles: Get Back-Peter Jackson-"Part 3: Days 17-22"-Disney+
George Carlin's American Dream-Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio-HBO/HBO Max
Lucy and Desi-Amy Poehler-Prime Video
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy-Ian Denyer-"Venice"-CNN
We Need to Talk About Cosby-W. Kamau Bell-"Part 1"-Showtime

It's nice to see George Carlin's name back on the Emmys sheet. Nice to see it along side Judd Apatow too. Warhol, Beatles, Lucy, Cosby, and Stanley Tucci, and oh, by the way, Amy Poehler's here too with a nomination. This is her 21st total nomination. Only one win so far.... (Sigh). Great category though.

The Andy Warhol Diaries-Andrew Rossi-"Shadows: Andy & Jed"-Netflix
How To With John Wilson-John Wilson, Michael Koman, Susan Orlean, Conner O'Malley-"How To Appreciate Wine"-HBO/HBO Max
Lucy and Desi-Mark Monroe-Prime Video
The Problem with Jon Stewart-Head Writer: Chelsea Devantez; Writers: Jon Stewart, Kristen Acimovic-"The Economy"-AppleTV+
The Tinder Swindler-Felicity Morris-Netflix

I don't know how to gage this one. I can see Jon Stewart coming in and taking this, but I can also imagine that he's the anomaly nominee her; everything else is a more traditional documentary, or a regular series. 


Carpool Karaoke: The Series-AppleTV+
I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson-Netflix
Late Night with Seth Meyers: CORRECTIONS-Youtube
The Randy Rainbow Show-Youtube
Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News-Paramount+

A couple years ago, they combined all the live action short-form categories together, which-, I'm not exactly sure how "Tooning Out the News" is live-action, but whatever, but it leads to some weirdness here. "Carpool Kareoke" is still around, and so it "The Randy Rainbow Show", a guy who makes some mildly amusing song parodies, two late night spinoff series, including one that's just Seth Meyers talking about supposed mistakes he made during the week, and one Netflix show, "I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson" that seems almost like a real short-form series. And it's fairly popular. I'm still surprised "Carpool Kareoke..." is still going on, but who knows.

Between the Scenes: The Daily Show-Youtube
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee: Once Upon a Time in Late Night-TBS
RuPaul's Drag Race Whatcha Packin' With Michelle Visage-VH1
Saturday Night Live Presents: Stories From the Show-NBC
Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen-Bravo

As per usual, this category is populated by sideshows of already established properties. It's nice to see that Samantha Bee hasn't been completely ignored. I hate to say this, but, I love her, and I really hope at some point she does become the first woman to win the Variety Talk Series Emmy, but she should've never apologized to Ivanka for calling her cunt. It really took a lot out of her, and the more time passes, the worst that apology comes off. It's a shame, 'cause she might be the most radical and important of the hosts our there right now, but it's been hard for me to watch her since then. I'm hoping "Last Chance Kitchen" takes it this year, this was a very good year for that show.

Anthony A. Anderson-"Anacostia"-Youtube
Bill Burr-"Immoral Compass"-The Roku Channel
Brendan Glesson-"State of the Union"-SundanceTV
Tim Robinson-"I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson"-Netflix
Ikechukwu Ufomadu-"Words With Ike (Cake)"-FX

I guess Tim Robinson is the slight favorite, seeing as he's the only one here that came from a Series nominee. I've heard of "Cake", and I think this is the first time anything remotely related to that has been nominated. I've heard it's kind of a weird show, but I'll get to it eventually. "Anacostia" BTW, is a Youtube, DC-based melodrama that's been around for six years now! Wow! Nice to see it get in here after such a long time. I'll have to check that out. 

Jacinta Blankenship-"Intersection"-Youtube
Patricia Clarkson-"State of the Union"-SundanceTV
Desi Lydic-"Desi Lydic Foxplains"-Youtube
Rhea Seehorn-"Cooper's Bar"-Youtube
Sydnee Washington-"Bridesman"-Youtube

It's be very strange for Rhea Seehorn to finally win her Emmy and it's for her Youtube side series. It's a good little show, and there's a lot of Youtube series on here actually. Some of them are their own thing, but "Cooper's Bar" is connected to AMC, "Dysi Lydic Foxplains" is from "The Daily Show", "Bridesman" is from, um, Grindr, really? (Shrugs) "Intersection" looks like far and away the most fascinating of the group, but who will win, I have no idea. Patricia Clarkson seems like a strong bet, especially since they're familiar with "State of the Union," a perennial nominee, and she's the biggest most recognizable name here. 


Cowboy Bebop-Netflix
Lisey's Story-AppleTV+
Only Murders in the Building-Hulu

Eh, I thought I was gonna start with the Interactive Program Emmys, but-um, they don't seem to have any this year. Ah, a quick double-check of the rulebook, yes, they have been eliminated and previously eligible shows have been advised to submit in other categories. Okay. As to Main Title Design, good job AppleTV+ I guess. Oh, and live-action "Cowboy Bebop" that everybody apparently hated got something. As to these nominees, I went through all of them, and they're all fairly decent. The only one I didn't love was "Foundation"; I'm kinda sick of sand effects, but I wouldn't mind any of the others win. I liked the "Candy" and "Cowboy Bebop" ones the best. 

The Flight Attendant-Blake Neely-"The Reykjavik Ice Sculpture Festival Is Lovely This Time of Year"-HBO
Loki-Natalie Holt-"Glorious Purpose"-Disney+
Only Murders in the Building-Siddhartha Khosla-"The Boy From 6B"-Hulu
Schmigadoon!-Christopher Willis-"Schmigadoon!"-AppleTV+
Severance-Theodore Shapiro-"The We We Are"-AppleTV+
Succession-Nicholas Britell-"Chiantishire"-HBO/HBO Max

I always keep an eye on the music categories for the EGOT followers who like to see who can be the next to get one. Nicholas Britell for instance, is a pretty renowned composer, who's already got three Oscar nominations and already has one Emmy, but it's nice to see him got more nominations, especially for his quite special work on "Succession".

1883-Brian Tyler, Breton Vivian-"1883"-Paramount+
Moon Knight-Hesham Nazih-"Asylum"-Disney+
Station Eleven-Dan Romer-"Unbroken Circle"-HBO/HBO Max
A Very British Scandal-Nathan Barr-"Episode 1"-Prime Video
The White Lotus-Cristobal Tapia de Veer-"Mysterious Monkeys-HBO/HBO Max

I thought "A Very British Scandal" was last year? What am I thinking of? (IMDB search) Oh, "A Very English Scandal"...? Are these shows related or is that just a complete coincidence? (Google search) Well, it's the same producers but they're different stories. How long can they keep that up? I mean, if they're just doing England, they're screwed, but I mean I guess you could do "A Very Scottish Scandal", "A Very Irish Scandal". What would "A Very Welsh Scandal" be?

14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible-Nainita Desai-Netflix
Lucy and Desi-David Schwartz-Prime Video
Return to Space-Mychael Danna and Harry Gregson-Williams-Netflix
They Call Me Magic-Terence Blachard-Netflix
The Tinder Swindler-Jessica Jones-Netflix

Mychael Danna, Harry Gregson-Williams, Terence Blanchard, more big composer names here. I thought Jessica Jones was some Marvel character, but apparently she's a composer.

43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors-Rickey Minor-CBS
44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors-Rickey Minor-CBS
One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga-Michael Bearden and Lee Musiker-CBS
The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent-Adam Blackstone-NBC
Saturday Night Live-Lenny Pickett, Leon Pendarvis and Eli Brueggemann-"Host: Jake Gyllenhaal"-NBC

Wait there were two "Kennedy Center Honors" this year,- why was there-OH WAIT! I remember. Okay, eh, yeah, they only started introducing this category recently, which is already kinda insane, in of itself, but I don't know, I would've thought instead of just, Rickey Minor twice, they're through in Questlove or Jon Batiste for their respective late night shows. Oh well. Hey what's Kevin Eubanks been doing lately?

"Elliots's Song"-Eurphoria-Music/Lyrics: Labrinth; Lyrics: Muzhda Zemar-McKenzie and Zendaya-HBO/HBO Max
"I'm Tired"-Euphoria-Music/Lyrics: Labrinth; Lyrics: Zendaya and Sam Levinson-HBO/HBO Max
"Maybe Monica"-The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-Music/Lyrics: Thomas Mizer and Curtis Moore-Prime Video
"Corn Puddin'"-Schmigadoon!-Music/Lyrics: Cinco Paul-AppleTV+
"The Forever Now"-This is Us-Music: Siddhartha Khosla; Lyrics: Taylor Goldsmith

Since I don't get any other time to talk about it here, it is complete and total bullshit that this is "This is Us"'s only Emmy nomination for it's finale season. In fact, considering how great this show has been, especially both the acting and writing it's stunning how badly this show has been treated by the Emmys. Unless your name was Sterling K. Brown, you got overlooked every year, and this show was so much better than that. It lasted six years, it should've won the Best Series Emmy at least 2, maybe three times, and frankly I think is gonna to in the future be recognized for having the long-lasting importance and influence that "Thirtysomething", the drama series that I always thought most compared to it, really should've had. Also, who knew Zendaya was a lyricist. She's got three nominations this year, and she's what, 24? 25? And still can play 16 for the next decade! Fuck me! 

Loki-Niatalie Holt-Disney+
Only Murders in the Building-Siddharta Khosla-Hulu
Severence-Theodore Shapiro-AppleTV+
Squid Game-JUNG Jae-il-Netflix
The White Lotus-Cristobal Tapia de Veer-HBO/HBO Max

Oh, I didn't know JUNG Jae-Il did the theme for "Squid Game". He was the composer for "Parasite" among other BONG Joon-Ho's work. Huh. It really is kinda freaky that South Korea was the country that broke through the language barrier, with these award shows. 

Apple iPhone 13 Pro-"Detectives"
AppleTV+-"Everyone But Jon Hamm"
Change the Ref-"The Lost Class"
Meta-"Skate Nation Ghana"
Sandy Hook Promise-"Teenage Dream"
Chevy Silverado-"Walter the Cat"

Should AppleTV+ be eligible for this category? I mean, the iPhone commercial I get, but it's a commercial for a TV channel. Shouldn't that be ineligible? I mean, the Emmys can't win an Emmy-, eh, whatever. Change the Ref btw is a non-profit political group that strives to raise awareness of mass shooting and alleviate the influence of the NRA and promote gun control and safety laws. So, two PACs, three bands knows for their work on computer or the internet, and a Chevy. (Shrugs) 

Anyway, that's all the categories I think people will care about. I guess we'll see how the show will play out, and I don't have any terrible issues with the nominees themselves entirely, but still, I'm looking forward to these Emmys. I'll watch them, and definitely try to watch all these shows, but man, the Emmys have to stop becoming just, the popular-on-tv show and find a way to re-evaluate their voting systems. Look, maybe some people watch award shows just to see their favorites, I like seeing them win too, but I want awards shows that are striving to honor the best in the field, and look-, I'm not saying they correlate occasionally, but historically and traditionally, they just don't, not a regular basis anyway. It's the exception, not the rule. Often it was award honors that helped make some great shows the exception and help them get popular. I don't want the awards to just be a reflection of the general taste of the public; I don't think that should be ignored entirely, but it shouldn't just be that. There better at least variety in the winners to make me think like they're watching everything this year, that's all I'm saying. 

It's a shame, before this I always though the Emmys were the most trusted and consistent of the major awards in the entertainment industry. Oh well.