Sunday, February 24, 2013

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE OSCARS 2013 – AWARD SEASON REVIEW PART IV


Hollywood’s biggest night unfolded with music, entertainment, some real tongue-in-cheek jokes, and a healthy mix of wins. Here’s why I thought it was a great show…


I may have predicted that Lincoln would win Best Picture, but I am glad that Argo won. It truly was a more gripping film and deserved all the acclaim it has gotten throughout the award season. And while on that, I personally found Ben Affleck’s speech while accepting the prize to be one of the best of the night, because of its simplicity. I always wondered why so many award winners racked their brains to remember all the names of people they had to thank and that it would be so simple to just say thank you to everyone involved with the film, because even if all the important people were thanked, there are always so many people who deserve to be thanked. And Affleck did just that! And it didn’t come from being lazy or not being bothered; it was heartfelt and sincere. Adding to that, it was endearing when he spoke of how he’d never imagined being up there again after winning all those years ago. And Argo also made Oscar history in a special way, being only the fourth film ever to have won Best Picture without even a nomination for directing—something that last happened twenty-three years ago.

Among other speeches that really impressed me was Quentin Tarantino’s, because he made a strong point about creating memorable characters, finding a really impactful way of thanking the actors who make the characters memorable. Anne Hathaway’s speech ended beautifully, with her hope that stories like Fontine’s would one day just be stories and not a reality. Adele’s speech was sincere as well, and simple. She maybe one of the most celebrated contemporary musicians, but it’s nice to see that winning an Oscar is still a big deal for her. And speaking of Adele, her performance of the Oscar-winning ‘Skyfall’ was one of the best performances of the evening. However, my favorite was the performance by the cast of Les Misérables. The impact that it made, with all the big names together on the stage, singing a song that was truly the soul of such an epic film, was magnificent and exactly what an Oscar night performance should be. Some say that it was lip-synced, but going by the close-up shots of the actors while they sang, it sure did look like they were giving it their all, right there and then. Among other performances, I enjoyed Catherine Zeta Jones’, even though it had a lot less energy than she put into the performance of ‘All That Jazz’ in the film itself. I actually liked Jennifer Hudson’s performance at this Oscars better than hers in the film, where I thought she had overacted.

Moving on to the awards… Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway winning surely was no surprise. In screenplay, Django Unchained was a good choice, and when Argo took the Oscar for adapted screenplay, I could just imagine it inching closer to the Best Picture prize, overtaking Lincoln in the process. And when Ang Lee won for Life Of Pi, Argo’s win was certain. And given how close the race was this year, while Ang Lee’s win was well-deserved, it did take me by surprise. As did Jennifer Lawrence’s…I thought Emmanuelle Riva’s was a stronger performance, even though Lawrence was excellent, and I’m happy that she won. Life Of Pi turned out to be a big winner (with a total of four Oscars), which came as no surprise to me, with its wins in categories like cinematography and visual effects being definite all along. Les Misérables also deserved its three wins, including sound mixing and make-up and hairstyling. Clearly, I expected Lincoln to win more than one Oscar other than best lead actor, but a win for production design was expected for sure. Argo took away two other than Best Picture, both of which were quite big wins.

As a show, the Oscars this year were very entertaining, I would say. The Academy has tried hard to get a fresher appeal in recent years, though daring and younger hosts (having only been successful with Hugh Jackman four years ago). However, this year, they got just what they needed. I’m sure host Seth MacFarlane wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he sure did grab everyone’s attention. He made some distasteful jokes for sure, like perhaps the dig at Rihanna and Chris Brown. He even hit below the belt (and not in a funny-deprecating way), when he joked about Jean Dujardin’s career. And he even hit a sensitive spot when he said that the actor that truly got into Abraham Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth. But I thought that his comeback after the audience reacted unfavorably was excellent! “One hundred and fifty years, and it’s still too soon?!” A few obvious jokes, like saying that Meryl Streep needed no introduction, and then actually not giving her an introduction, were still funny, I thought. What did get annoying was when he was talking to the teleprompter like he was checking with someone whether he should seriously make a certain joke at some point. Also, he could have controlled his laughter a little in the middle of a joke. Although, some might’ve enjoyed how casual and relaxed that made the show. I truly enjoyed it—from the dance routines in the beginning, to the all the subtle and not-so-subtle references to things. I especially liked the reference to The Sound Of Music, when MacFarlane called on ‘the Von Trapp family singers’ before calling presenter Christopher Plummer to present. In a show where they were only paying tribute to contemporary musicals, I thought that was nice way to bring in a little something to remember one of the classic musicals of all time. The presenters were also effective and varied, with even the big surprise of Michelle Obama being among them. It surely was an evening full of entertainment, with a fair mix of Oscar recognition. I enjoyed the show! 


Did you enjoy the Oscars? How many predictions did you get right? I got 12 out of 18 categories. See the ones I got right here. And do share your thoughts on what you thought of the Oscars this year…

Saturday, February 23, 2013

THE OSCARS 2013 – PREDICTIONS

The grand finale of Award Season 2012-13 is tomorrow night! Here’s look at nominees of the 85th annual Academy Awards, as I pick out the most likely winners, based on how the Academy works, as observed over the last decade or so.


Here is a poster for the 85th Academy Awards that I have made. 
I thought I’d share it with you.
For the first time in years, this year, I have managed to watch all the films that have been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, as well as most of the films nominated in the other categories as well (except for animation, documentary, short film, documentary short, short animation and foreign language). Although, among the foreign language films, one can safely say that Amour will win, because it’s the only nominee nominated for Best Picture as well. The competition this year is fierce, and the race for the Oscars has been more exciting than it has been in recent years. There weren’t many surprises among the nominations this year, except for maybe a category or two. For instance, I guess there just wasn’t enough room in the directing category for all likely contenders this year. Therefore, unfortunately, people like Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Ben Affleck (Argo), Tom Hooper (Les Misérables) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) were not nominated.

Usually, the directing nominees (five in number) divide the list of Best Picture nominees into those contenders more likely to win, and those that’ll have to make do with simply being nominated. For at least the last fifteen years, there hasn’t been even one Best Picture winner that hasn’t been nominated for directing as well. And from among the last fifteen Best Picture winners, eleven have also won the Oscar for directing. Moreover, the last time that a film won Best Picture without even being nominated for directing was back in 1990, when Driving Miss Daisy won. (Interestingly, that was also the year that Daniel Day-Lewis—the most likely best actor winner this year—won his first Academy Award for My Left Foot.) Now, twenty-three years later, there’s Argo, a definite frontrunner for Best Picture, which hasn’t been nominated for directing. So the question is: is it going to be that year, when a film beats the odds and becomes an exception to the general trend? I think it very well could! Argo won the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama, the Critics’ Choice and the BAFTA for Best Picture, the Screen Actors Guild for Best Ensemble, and the equivalent top prizes at all the other guild awards—Producers, Directors, Writers… Now that certainly does put Argo right ahead in the race for the big prize at the Oscars. Yet, one can’t be completely sure.

Lincoln, which was the frontrunner, and the one that everyone thought would win, before Argo swept all the other awards this season, could still win. It’s a powerful film about one of America’s most celebrated presidents, a film by Steven Spielberg, the film with the maximum number of nominations (twelve), and it’s the frontrunner that has been nominated for directing. And that shows that in many ways, the odds are still in its favor. And if the last three years offer any indication, it still will win. The Hurt Locker won in 2010, when everyone thought it would be Avatar. The King’s Speech won in 2011, when everyone thought it would be The Social Network. And in 2012, a major frontrunner—The Descendants was beaten by The Artist. Popular belief didn’t stand a chance. So this year, I’m still putting my money on Lincoln.

And here are all my predictions for Hollywood’s biggest night…



Best Picture
Most likely to win: Lincoln
Could win: Argo
Should win: Lincoln


Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis was outstanding in every way and this is probably the easiest prediction this year. However, if it wasn’t for Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln being in the race, I’d have bet on Jackman, and he would deserve it.
Most likely to win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Could win: Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Actress in a Leading Role
Jennifer Lawrence has emerged as a frontrunner over the award season, even stronger than another frontrunner Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty). However, Emanuelle Riva played the role of a paralyzed woman so convincingly that I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t win. And I hope she attends the Oscars tomorrow. It will be her eighty-sixth birthday!
Most likely to win: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Could win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Should win: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour



Actor in a Supporting Role
Here’s a category in which all the nominees have won before. I would say it’ll go to Christoph Waltz, but Tommy Lee Jones does stand a strong chance.
Most likely to win: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Could win: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Should win: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained



Actress in a Supporting Role
I was torn between Anne Hathaway and Sally Field, but ultimately, I decided that it should be Hathaway, and not just because she’s an award season favorite, like Daniel Day-Lewis, this year.
Most likely to win: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Could win: Sally Field, Lincoln
Should win: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables



Directing
This is another predictable category, but Lincoln is the frontrunner and Spielberg, most deserving.
Most likely to win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Could win: Ang Lee, Life Of Pi
Should win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Screenplay – Adapted Screenplay
I would be surprised if Lincoln doesn’t win this one as well, but I would be happy to see Silver Linings Playbook getting recognized for its brilliant writing.
Most likely to win: Tony Kushner, Lincoln
Could win: Chris Terrio, Argo
Should win: David O Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Screenplay – Original Screenplay
I really want Django Unchained to win this one, and even though Amour was well written, I’d say that Django… would have been a more challenging screenplay to execute, and it was executed perfectly.
Most likely to win: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Could win: Michael Haneke, Amour
Should win: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained


Film Editing
Argo’s thrill and excitement depended heavily on snappy and effective editing, and it achieved just the right cuts required, even though Zero Dark Thirty came close.
Most likely to win: Argo
Could win: Zero Dark Thirty
Should win: Argo

Sound Editing
I’m no expert, but with all the special effects that Life Of Pi was made of, the sound editing was outstanding and contributed towards everything coming across as real (as a real tiger).
Most likely to win: Life Of Pi
Could win: Skyfall
Should win: Life Of Pi

Sound Mixing
I’d say Life Of Pi would deserve this one too, but I hope Les Misérables gets it for its groundbreaking song recording, with fabulous results.
Most likely to win: Les Misérables
Could win: Life Of Pi
Should win: Les Misérables

Music – Original Score
This is a tough category. Life Of Pi won at the Golden Globes, but I think the Academy will go in a different direction. I hope Alexandre Desplat wins it for Argo. His soundtrack was so varied and exciting.
Most likely to win: Lincoln
Could win: Skyfall
Should win: Argo



Music – Original Song
It would be nice to see the delightful number, performed by Norah Jones, from Ted win; however, I think in this category, the Academy will agree with the HFPA and give it to ‘Skyfall’.
Most likely to win: ‘Skyfall’ from Skyfall
Could win: ‘Everybody Needs A Best Friend’ from Ted
Should win: ‘Skyfall’ from Skyfall

Cinematography
Again, a key element of Life Of Pi, which the cinematographers got just right. Lincoln comes very close.
Most likely to win: Life Of Pi
Could win: Lincoln
Should win: Life Of Pi

Visual Effects
It would be a huge shocker if Life Of Pi doesn’t win this one, considering how brilliant it was as a technical masterpiece of filmmaking.
Most likely to win: Life Of Pi
Could win: NA
Should win: Life Of Pi

Production Design
I think that Les Misérables should win this one, but Lincoln is a more likely contender. Life Of Pi is strong as well.
Most likely to win: Lincoln
Could win: Life Of Pi
Should win: Les Misérables

Costume Design
The costumes were probably the best thing about Anna Karenina, and it should win here for sure.
Most likely to win: Anna Karenina
Could win: Les Misérables
Should Win: Anna Karenina

Make-Up and Hairstyling
I would be happy to see Les Misérables win, especially because of Helena Bonham Carter and Hugh Jackman’s make-up and hair, but I think Hitchcock deserves it for how the make-up artists transformed Anthony Hopkins into Alfred Hitchcock.
Most likely to win: Les Misérables
Could win: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey
Should Win: Hitchcock


So there you have it! I’m prepared for Hollywood’s biggest night with my personal ballot sheet, to tick off my correct predictions. Are you?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

THE TV TALK BEST OF 2012 – RESULTS


After about a month of voting on the polls for the TV TALK BEST OF 2012, I bring to you the results. The Readers’ Choice are in bold and the TV TALK BEST OF 2012 are in blue.


These certainly were difficult choices, but eventually, I chose, and the reasons for my choices are explained below each category.

Series – Drama
BREAKING BAD
DAMAGES
DEXTER
DOWNTON ABBEY
THE GOOD WIFE
GREY’S ANATOMY
(Readers’ Choice)
HOMELAND
HOUSE MD
MAD MEN
THE NEWSROOM

The team behind DOWNTON ABBEY does an exceptionally brilliant job of putting together a period drama that portrays a shift in eras, the class distinctions and socio-cultural phenomena of the early 1900s, and a whole lot more from the past. In the last year especially, the series has beautifully reflected how Britain and Europe grew in the aftermath of World War I, telling compelling stories of people affected by the war, and how it all affected families and nobility, as they moved into the 1920s. The exceptional writing and packaging make it a well rounded TV series worthy of all the acclaim that it gets.


Series – Comedy/Musical
THE BIG BANG THEORY
(Readers’ Choice)
GLEE
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
MODERN FAMILY
WEB THERAPY

MODERN FAMILY has been extremely consistent since its first season, and the writers have not given anyone the opportunity to say that it’s not what it used to be, which is usually the case with most sitcoms. On the contrary, the last year has seen MODERN FAMILY evolve, with Cam and Mitch wanting to expand their family, Haley going off to college and coming back, Gloria’s pregnancy, Lily growing up into more of a character and so much more. The writers have handled it well, storylines have been fresh and exciting, and even the actors have delivered excellent performances.


Performance by an Actress in A Leading Role – Drama
Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kamp
in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes in DAMAGES
Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons in DAMAGES
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in THE GOOD WIFE
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in GREY’S ANATOMY
(Readers’ Choice)
Claire Danes as Carrie Matthison in HOMELAND 
Carrie Matthison’s bi-polar disorder and passionate desperation to save her country is brought to life in a compelling manner by Claire Danes. Especially in season two, when she succumbs to her illness, but gets drawn back into the game. Danes’ physical acting, her screaming and her hysterics reflect Carrie’s illness well, while Carrie’s vulnerabilities are also conveyed strongly by her.


Performance by an Actor in A Leading Role – Drama
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in BREAKING BAD
Michael C Hall as Dexter Morgan in DEXTER (Readers’ Choice)
Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in ELEMENTARY
Damian Lewis as Nicolas Brody in HOMELAND
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy in THE NEWSROOM
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in SHERLOCK 
While Damian Lewis did a great job as the closeted terrorist in HOMELAND’s first season, he did an even better job playing Brody in season two, bringing him to his knees, showing him in all his vulnerability and internal conflict, before Brody turns and becomes a double agent. His feelings for Carrie, his frustrations and his helplessness while not being able to do the right thing by his daughter were all portrayed brilliantly by Lewis.


Performance by an Actress in A
Leading Role – Comedy/Musical
Beth Behrs as Caroline Channing in 2 BROKE GIRLS
Kaley Cuoco as Penny in THE BIG BANG THEORY (Readers’ Choice)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in VEEP
Lisa Kudrow as Fiona Wallace in Web THERAPY 
Lisa Kudrow is spectacular in portraying the sarcasm and condescending nature of Dr Fiona Wallice, in the therapy scenes. Her flirtation with Austen Clarke, and her frustration while interacting with Kip’s mistress are also handled excellently by Kudrow, who does a fine job of maintaining Wallice’s composure and subtlety, which makes it even more hilarious.


Performance by an Actor in A
Leading Role – Comedy/Musical
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in THE BIG BANG THEORY (Readers’ Choice)
Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Breckin Meyer as Jared Franklin in FRANKLIN & BASH
Matthew Perry as Ryan King in GO ON
Michael Urie as Louis in PARTNERS 
Jim Parsons has been incredibly consistent in his portrayal of Sheldon Cooper. Especially in the last year, with Sheldon’s wisecracks towards Howard, who kept talking about being an astronaut, Sheldon’s developing relationship with Amy, and with storylines like those with his new assistant and his parking space.


Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Drama
Anna Gunn as Skyler White in BREAKING BAD
Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan in DEXTER
Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley in DOWNTON ABBEY
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma in THE GOOD WIFE
Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robins in GREY’S ANATOMY (Readers’ Choice)
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris in MAD MEN 
Jennifer Carpenter had some really touchy material to work with in DEXTER this last year, with the incest angle, Debra finding out Dexter’s secret, revealing her feelings to him and then trying to protect him from getting caught…and her stellar performance gave us some shocking, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching moments in what was definitely one of the best seasons of the show.


Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in BREAKING BAD
Larry Hagman as JR Ewing in DALLAS
Rob James Collier as Thomas Barrow in DOWNTON ABBEY
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in GAME OF THRONES
John Slattery as Roger Sterling in MAD MEN
Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (Readers’ Choice) 
Jesse Pinkman is impulsive, rash, arrogant, stubborn, childish, irresponsible, and yet he is vulnerable and has his own version of a moral compass, and Aaron Paul has done a tremendous job of bringing all of those dimensions to life, especially in the last year, as things went downhill for Jesse and Mr White, and with him committing a murder and then being scared for his life.


Performance by an Actress in a
Supporting Role – Comedy/Musical
Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Cobie Smulders as Robin Sherbatsky in HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (Readers’ Choice)
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy in MODERN FAMILY
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Pritchett in MODERN FAMILY
Ellen Barkin as Jane Forrest in THE NEW NORMAL 
Bialik gets this a second year in a row, because she has continued to be exceptional as Amy in THE BIG BANG THEORY over the last year, as Amy’s relationship with Sheldon has evolved, with Bialik doing a fantastic job of portraying intellectual stimulation, a need for attention, jealousy and even lust in an endearing and hilarious way.


Performance by an Actor in a
Supporting Role – Comedy/Musical
Kunal Nayar as Raj Koothrappalli in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Simon Helberg as Howard Walowitz in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson in HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (Readers’ Choice)
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker in MODERN FAMILY
Nolan Gould as Luke Dunphy in MODERN FAMILY
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy in MODERN FAMILY 
In the last year, Mitch and Cam’s growing concerns about parenting their daughter, and the depth of their relationship that we saw when their attempt to adopt a second child failed, was all handled exceptionally well by Stonestreet. It was a demanding year for him, and he delivered, even as he generally continued the great job that he does on the show.


Performance by a Guest Actress in a TV Series – Drama
Martha Plimpton as Patti Nyholm in THE GOOD WIFE
Zuleikha Robinson as Roya Hammad in HOMELAND
Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing in THE NEWSROOM
Alfre Woodard as Dee Bennett in PRIVATE PRACTICE
(Readers’ Choice)
Kate Burton as Sally Langston in SCANDAL
 Fonda certainly made a big impact with her short stint in THE NEWSROOM. Her subtle glances in the conference room, her demeanor and her powerful dialogue delivery, to show that Lansing was indeed the boss and powerful enough to do real harm to Will McAvoy, were all outstandingly carried out.


Performance by a Guest Actor in a TV Series – Drama
Andrew Leeds as Christopher Pelant in BONES Jason Beghe as Det Voight in CHICAGO FIRE
Michael J Fox as Louis Canning in THE GOOD WIFE (Readers’ Choice)
Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn in HOMELAND
Jason Ritter as Mark Cyr in PARENTHOOD
Ray Romano as Hank Rizzoli in PARENTHOOD 
Michael J Fox does a fantastic and a very memorable job of playing Louis Canning, the attorney who’s always up against Alicia, Will and Diane. His shenanigans in court, the games he plays, with his condition, his speech and movements are spot-on, because of the brilliant job that Fox does.


Performance by a Guest Actress in a
TV Series – Comedy/Musical
Sarah Jessica Parker as Isabelle Wright in GLEE
Kate Hudson as Cassandra July in GLEE (Readers’ Choice)
Meryl Streep as Camilla Bowner in WEB THERAPY
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Shevaun Haig in WEB THERAPY 
Camilla Bowner was annoying and frustrating, yet funny and charming. Her naivety and bigoted beliefs were brought to life beautifully and hilariously by Meryl Streep, who just can’t seem to do anything wrong!




Performance by a Guest Actor
in a TV Series – Comedy/Musical
Iqbal Theba as Principal Figgins in GLEE (Readers’ Choice)
Matthew Broderick as Dave in MODERN FAMILY
Reid Ewing as Dylan in MODERN FAMILY
Alan Cumming as Austen Clarke in WEB THERAPY
David Schwimmer as Newell L Miller in WEB THERAPY 
From his charm while wooing Fiona Wallice, to his irritation towards Kip Wallice, and his arrogance about being rich and powerful, Austen Clarke was portrayed excellently by Alan Cumming. I certainly hope we see more of him on WEB THERAPY.


Writing
DAMAGES
DEXTER
DOWNTON ABBEY
THE GOOD WIFE
HOMELAND
MODERN FAMILY 

DOWNTON ABBEY shows us British high society in the early 1900s, as well as the working class, with all the distinctions made very clear, while also portraying how much respect even the nobility have for their servants. The finer details of the time, like the demeanor, language and actions, are beautifully highlighted, while the lifestyles are elegantly portrayed. Along with that, the dialogues are even witty and entertaining when required; and who can forget the Dowager Countess’ priceless one-liners! All of the above is only achieved through excellent writing.


Character Development
DAMAGES
DEXTER
GREY’S ANATOMY
HOMELAND
PARENTHOOD 
In a season when Debra found out Dexter’s secret, when Dexter found someone he could be himself with, when Debra revealed her secret feelings for Dexter, and when they both had to make some very tough choices, the writers handled the development of their characters with finesse, and with the subtleties that were required for it all to make sense, and to make for a brilliant season.


Art Direction
BREAKING BAD
CHICAGO FIRE
DOWNTON ABBEY
GAME OF THRONES
GREY’S ANATOMY
MAD MEN


The library, the drawing room, the bedrooms, the dining room, the servants’ dining room, the kitchen, the fairs, the cricket camp, the train stations and trains, the streets, the hospital and even the offices that we’ve seen in DOWNTON ABBEY are all put together to reflect the show’s era with perfection, down to the vintage cars and telephones.


Costume Design
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
DOWNTON ABBEY
GAME OF THRONES
GOSSIP GIRL
MAD MEN 
The subtleties in the socio-cultural change that we’ve seen in the years that DOWNTON ABBEY has portrayed have been reflected beautifully through costume design. Whether it’s the Dowager Countess’ traditional attire, or the more modern dresses from the flamboyant twenties that the younger women wear, DOWNTON ABBEY gets it all just right, including the menswear!


Make-Up & Hair –
Prosthetic/Non-Prosthetic
DEXTER
DOWNTON ABBEY
MAD MEN
GREY’S ANATOMY
GAME OF THRONES
HOUSE MD 
When it comes to make-up, the people behind the scenes at GREY’S ANATOMY leave no stone unturned, to show scars, wounds, injuries, growths, rashes, abrasions, skin abnormalities and all the other conditions that we see in the ER and ORs of Seattle Grace Mercy West, making them look so real. And no one else does it like they do!


Music – Background Score
CHICAGO FIRE
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
DEXTER
DOWNTON ABBEY
THE GOOD WIFE
HOMELAND 
Fast-paced action and chase sequences need an effective background score to give them a tone like nothing else can. While composers can go overboard with it, I feel that in DEXTER, the music lent to not just the scenes that are action packed, but also those that are more pensive, is ideal. Very few shows are scored as well as DEXTER is.


Music – Compilation
THE GOOD WIFE
GOSSIP GIRL
GREY’S ANATOMY
PRIVATE PRACTICE
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES 
The songs in THE GOOD WIFE are few and far in between, but they capture the mood of the scenes that they are featured in, with brilliance. The first few episodes of the latest seasons, especially, began with catchy tracks that did so, very well, setting the tone perfectly for the episodes.



Titles – Opening & Closing Credits
DOWNTON ABBEY
DEXTER
ELEMENTARY
GAME OF THRONES
THE NEWSROOM
PARENTHOOD 

The three-dimensional map of the Westeros and the kingdoms featured in the fictional world that GAME OF THRONES is set in, are shown in perfection in the opening credits of the show. The mechanics and gears, the landscape and climatic conditions are all reflected beautifully, with a haunting opening theme in the background, capturing the kingdoms in all their glory.


Fine Print
▪ The eligible series are those that I follow (2 BROKE GIRLS, 90210, AMERICAN IDOL, THE BIG BANG THEORY, BLUE BLOODS, BODY OF PROOF, BONES, BREAKING BAD, CASTLE, CHICAGO FIRE, DALLAS, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, DAMAGES, DEXTER, DOWNTON ABBEY, ELEMENTARY, FRANKLIN & BASH, GAME OF THRONES, GLEE, GO ON, THE GOOD WIFE, GOSSIP GIRL, GREY'S ANATOMY, HOMELAND, HOUSE MD, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, MAD MEN, MODERN FAMILY, THE NEW NORMAL, THE NEWSROOM, PARENTHOOD, PARTNERS, PRIVATE PRACTICE, REVENGE, SCANDAL, SHERLOCK, SUITS, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, VEEP, WEB THERAPY, WHITE COLLAR) ▪ The episodes being judged are those that have aired in the year 2012 ▪ The maximum number of nominees for Best Series (Drama and Comedy/Musical) is 10 ▪ The minimum number of nominees for Best Series (Drama and Comedy/Musical) is 5 ▪ The maximum number of nominees for all other categories is 6 ▪ The minimum number for all other categories is 4 ▪ The ‘Readers’ Choice’ is based on the polls alongside ▪ The other ‘Best of…’ are according to my judgment ▪ The ‘TV TALK Best Of 2012’ is only an expression of what I considered as excellence in television in the year 2012 ▪



Who did you vote for? Did your TV favorites of 2012 win the polls?