Monday, September 24, 2012

'HOMELAND' DETHRONES ‘MAD MEN’; ‘MODERN FAMILY’ RULES ON


The new competition at the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards proved to be the winners of the night after all, while the Emmys lacked a ‘wow’ factor when it came to the entertainment of the show...

The cast of MODERN FAMILY
Jimmy Kimmel was not bad at all as host of the Primetime Emmys this year. In fact, he brought the stand-up comedy from his late night show to the stage at the Nokia Theater. However, even while the jokes with which he opened were pretty funny, I think I’ve kind of been spoilt by grand musical openings, montages and audio-visual sequences that announce that the annual show has arrived. I especially called it ‘the biggest night for television’ because that’s what it is. It’s supposed to award the best in television. Hell, it even has categories in which it can give or refuse awards to the grand Academy Awards! But with an opening like the one we saw last night, I was disappointed. It was light, fun and entertaining, but I expect better from an event that takes place once in the year, to award shows that I’ve literally been watching all year round, especially when the last two hosts, Jane Lynch and Neil Patrick Harris had raised the bar to considerable heights.

The cast of HOMELAND
There’s one more observation I’ve made, not just from the Emmys, but award shows in general. I feel like they rush into some important categories, and while they have nothing as exciting, except for the biggest (Outstanding Series, in this case) awards, left after just an hour into the show, they drag out the rest, till the last five minutes. The Emmys made a mistake of clubbing all the comedy and drama acting, directing and writing awards together in the beginning. Instead, they should have interspersed it better with variety and mini-series/movie.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Moving on to the awards… I was happy to see that MODERN FAMILY stayed on as the big winner in comedy. It wasn’t surprising at all to see the supporting acting awards going to Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet, both for a second time. I was thrilled that Julia Louis-Dreyfus got her due for her outstanding portrayal of ‘Madam Vice President’ in VEEP, but I was disappointed to see Jon Cryer win for TWO AND A HALF MEN, given his competition. I didn’t expect the Academy to overlook the others in this category, after having ignored the others in the supporting category the year that Cryer won there. THE BIG BANG THEORY could have won Outstanding Comedy Series, but it’s perfectly fine that MODERN FAMILY did it again.

Damian Lewis
Drama did present a few surprises. It’s good that MAD MEN didn’t win again, because there were better shows nominated, and the Academy impressed me by giving Outstanding Drama Series to HOMELAND, which truly deserved it. DOWNTON ABBEY’s inclusion in the main categories did, in fact, turn out to be the Academy’s only recognition of its brilliance. However, DOWNTON did score a very well deserved win for Maggie Smith, who was unfortunately not there. Aaron Paul’s speech while accepting his Emmy for BREAKING BAD was honest and emotional. Another good speech was Damian Lewis’. His win came as a very pleasant surprise, especially in the year that everyone thought it would be Bryan Cranston or finally Jon Hamm. It’s sad, yes, that Cranston lost out, but he’s won before and Lewis has been exceptionally outstanding in HOMELAND. Claire Danes was a predictable winner, but everyone knows she deserved to be up there. GAME OF THRONES, as expected, didn’t make the cut.

Aaron Paul
It was good to see GAME OF CHANGE sweeping the mini-series/movie categories, and when I saw Tom Hanks there, it was almost a given that he would have his moment on the stage during the evening. The best acceptance speeches were probably those by Damian Lewis, Aaron Paul, Julianne Moore and Steve Levitan, who had the privilege to make one really funny speech, while winning his directing Emmy, as well as a more serious one while accepting Outstanding Comedy Series. The funniest moments of the show for me were the video featuring the cast of MODERN FAMILY and how they were 'tormented' by baby Lily, and the Louis-Dreyfus-Amy Poehler speech mix-up, even if it was staged. With the results so satisfactory (almost all), one could ignore the fact that the show itself was otherwise not all that great.


I got 7 predictions out of 11 major categories correct. How many did you get? Share your views on the Emmys and the results, as we get set to enjoy the new TV season 2012-13!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

THE BIGGEST NIGHT FOR TELEVISION


After a hiatus of four months, TV TALK is back to celebrate everything television, with the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Here’s a look at the most promising nominees and who will most likely win big, according to me.


This year, the Emmys will be a little different from how they’ve been in the last few seasons. The reason simply being: There are so many new shows that have been breakthrough successes and show a lot of promise, threatening reigning shows, namely MAD MEN and MODERN FAMILY. Let’s get into the top categories here…

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Girls
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep


MODERN FAMILY took it away two years straight, but this year, we have GIRLS and VEEP that have made waves with their success. Could these HBO comedies change the path ahead for MODERN FAMILY? Perhaps, but I think that the Academy will stick with MODERN FAMILY. We know they’ve stood by their idea of the best series over years, with shows like MAD MEN and 30 ROCK, so I’m pretty sure that this year will see everyone from Jay to Lily up on stage!

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
Mad Men

 Going by what I said above, it’ll probably be MAD MEN again, especially since the last season was so good by a lot of people’s standards. However, dark horse BREAKING BAD has received tremendous acclaim too, and I have a feeling that it has a Best Series Emmy in its cards for it before the show ends next year. But this year, I would give it to HOMELAND. The show was baffling right from the first twenty minutes and it would deserve it. DOWNTON ABBEY’s a very promising contender, but I have a feeling that its move from Mini-Series/Movie to Outstanding Drama will prove to be the Academy’s way of recognizing its brilliance. GAME OF THRONES didn’t make the cut last year, and I’m quite sure that it wouldn’t have even come close to the above.

Outstanding Miniseries or Made for Television Movie
American Horror Story
Game Change
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Luther
Sherlock

I don’t know much about the nominees in this category, but I sure hope SHERLOCK wins. Even as someone who’s never been a big fan of the world’s most famous detective, I think the show is excellent, the highlight being its presentation. However, from what I’ve read so far, it seems like GAME CHANGE or HATFIELDS & MCCOYS will win here.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock"
Don Cheadle for "House of Lies"
Louis CK for "Louie"
Jon Cryer for "Two and a Half Men"
Larry David for "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory"


Jon Cryer took on quite a challenge when he entered his name as a contender for Lead Actor this year, given the stiff competition he’s up against. He may have won for a supporting role, but I don’t think he’s even close to winning, if he’s considered a lead actor. Jim Parsons should win it again, but Louis CK has been generating a lot of buzz, and I think he might just win.







Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville for "Downton Abbey"
Steve Buscemi for "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall for "Dexter"
Jon Hamm for "Mad Men"
Damian Lewis for "Homeland"

While I was terribly disappointed that Hugh Laurie was stripped of his final chance at an Emmy for HOUSE MD, I was happy to see Damian Lewis up there. But he won’t win. Kyle Chandler was a surprise win last year, but I think that Bryan Cranston will reclaim his position in this category this year. However, going by what critics have said about Jon Hamm’s performance this year, he could win his first Emmy for MAD MEN this year.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel for "New Girl"
Lena Dunham for "Girls"
Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey for "30 Rock"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "Veep"
Melissa McCarthy for "Mike & Molly"
Amy Poehler for "Parks and Recreation"


This is a very tight category! However, awards-favorite Tina Fey won’t come close this time, and even though Melissa McCarthy won last year, I doubt she’ll win again. Edie Falco is a strong contender, but Zooey Deschanel has the new popular appeal, and Lena Dunham has been praised tremendously for her work. However, I think the Emmy will go to Amy Poehler or Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I would love to see Louis-Dreyfus win!





Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates for "Harry's Law"
Glenn Close for "Damages"
Claire Danes for "Homeland"
Michelle Dockery for "Downton Abbey"
Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife"
Elisabeth Moss for "Mad Men"

Another tight category, and again I don’t think last year’s winner (Julianna Margulies) will win again, especially because Claire Danes is a clear frontrunner. I still say it’s tight, because I think Elisabeth Moss’ great performance in MAD MEN may provide stiff competition for Danes. But still, I think it’ll be Danes.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell for "Modern Family"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson for "Modern Family"
Max Greenfield for "New Girl"
Bill Hader for "Saturday Night Live"
Ed O'Neill for "Modern Family"
Eric Stonestreet for "Modern Family"

This category is surely absolutely incomplete without MODERN FAMILY. Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell have both won, and many say that it’s probably going to be Ed O’Neill’s turn. I agree, but I still think Burrell should win it again, especially because of the Disneyland episode.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jim Carter for "Downton Abbey"
Brendan Coyle for "Downton Abbey"
Peter Dinklage for "Game of Thrones"
Giancarlo Esposito for "Breaking Bad"
Jared Harris for "Mad Men"
Aaron Paul for "Breaking Bad"

If Peter Dinklage wins again, I won’t be surprised, and I’ll even be happy. However, I think it’ll be Aaron Paul this year.





Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik for "The Big Bang Theory"
Julie Bowen for "Modern Family"
Kathryn Joosten for "Desperate Housewives"
SofĂ­a Vergara for "Modern Family"
Merritt Wever for "Nurse Jackie"
Kristen Wiig for "Saturday Night Live"

Julie Bowen won last year, and she’d deserve it if she wins again. Sofia Vergara definitely deserves an Emmy for her work on the same show. However, I would love to see Mayim Bialik take it away, because of the delightful brilliance she brings to BIG BANG… with her character. I’m not sure if the Academy favors posthumous contenders, but if they do, Kathryn Joosten could be given the honor and she’d deserve it. I say… Bialik!








Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christine Baranski for "The Good Wife"
Joanne Froggatt for "Downton Abbey"
Anna Gunn for "Breaking Bad"
Christina Hendricks for "Mad Men"
Archie Panjabi for "The Good Wife"
Maggie Smith for "Downton Abbey"

Strongest contenders here are Christina Hendricks and Maggie Smith. THE GOOD WIFE nominees are both brilliant, and while Archie Panjabi has won before, and  I would love to see Baranski winning, I strongly feel it’ll be Smith.


Who do you think will win? Please share your comments below. I’ll be back after the Awards to break down the list of winners and the show itself.