2020 Emmy Awards

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Sabin » Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:34 pm

This has become my de facto catch-up thread as I check out things I missed in the past year:

I'm not quite done with Mrs. America but it's A LOT better than I was anticipating. All I knew was that it was a Ryan Murphy production with Cate Blanchett as Phylis Schlafly. I knew nothing of the structure, which is very effective. Mrs. America is told is chapters, taking us mostly year by year through the 1970's, profiling one woman per year while threading a larger narrative involving all of them. Some, like Shirley Chisholm or Jill Ruckelshaus, really just take stage in one chapter/year, while others (Schlafly, Steinem, Abzug) show up consistently throughout. I think it does a really great job of bringing this history lesson to light. It's never too campy or too dry.

I would imagine that Cate Blanchett has to win the Emmy over Regina King, if only because villains tend to win more than heroes. But also it's such a good part. The series portrays Schlafly as corrupt rather than a true-believer. She can't get anyone to take her seriously as an anti-Kissinger nuclear crusader so she pivots to women's rights because she can find political advantage in that arena. It's never entirely clear how much of a true believer she is. She's a very manipulative person who uses her smile, manners, and linguistic cunning to stay on top of the pecking order. It's always clear when she's bullshitting her way out of confrontation. And yet she is always entirely human as this disempowered woman who goes after power by running a campaign on denying women power. There's a great moment where Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale, excellent) confronts Schlafly's lackeys by accidentally making them realize that in employing them in her crusade she's turned them into working women. And yet Blanchett never quite feels like a revelation in the role. It's just too tailor-made. There's almost a degree of inevitability about her excellence here.

Very good stuff thus far.
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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Sabin » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:04 pm

Okri wrote
Sabin, how long did you take to watch it? And this might be presumptious, but what did you think of the graphic novel?

I watched it pretty much within a span of 24 hours. I wish I didn't because I think it would play substantially better broken up week by week to give the mind a chance to race and wonder where it might go next, so then its pivots would be more welcome surprises rather than slightly unsatisfying. So, that's on me. But in truth, I think I'm really just talking about episode 7.

I've read Watchmen many times. The first time must have been somewhere in the late 90's when it was already a sacred cow . Crazy to think when I read it, it had only been in print for a decade and some change. I think the 1980's were the best time to read it because the fears of nuclear anxiety were very real (I grew up past that) and the idea of a complete, alternate history of superheroes was more groundbreaking than a novelty. It felt a bit retro to me and I suspect that most people who read the book will also find it retro. Maybe even quaint. What it felt instead was classic, in the best sense. As a 90's kid reading Marvel crap (and largely it was crap), I was used to the medium of comic books being told to NOT tell a story: to keep interest by teasing things that would never happen, angsty superheroes posing ridiculously, convoluted plot-lines, and mega-events nobody asked for. But mostly no progress. Watchmen was A STORY. And I wasn't used to reading stories. I found it entertaining and occasionally unsettling (especially in the tragedy of Rorsach's arc). And in the years since, I've still never found it groundbreaking. Simply classic, and justifiably.
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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Okri » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:50 pm

Sabin, how long did you take to watch it? And this might be presumptious, but what did you think of the graphic novel?

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:32 pm

From what I understand, the voting period was much shorter than normal, meaning there wasn't time for voters to see all of the programs. That said, if limited series are the same as regular series, the actor (or their representative or their studio) chooses one episode to submit for consideration. It's where the concept of the Emmy Episode came from. For example, Helen Hunt was submitted for one season of Mad About You for the episode in which she gives birth. That's a fairly commonplace submission at the Emmys for comedy.

Of all the happiness I feel over Schitt's Creek's nominations, I'm even more happy for D'arcy Carden finally getting a nomination for The Good Place. She's been the best performer on that show since the beginning and it's nice to finally see her recognized, even if it's a bit late.
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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby mlrg » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:26 pm

The real question is whether or not Regina King will win. I haven't seen enough of the other projects (yet) to say if she will but my hunch is that she won't for the wrong reasons. Her performance is too strong, shouldering... she spends (in some ways) the second half of the series reactive or submersed. This role already feels iconic, I can already see outrage when she loses, but even without seeing Mrs. America (and Cate Blanchett's first nomination), I can just very easily see voters using Best Actress as a way to honor that series as a whole. I can't ignore the fact that supervillains (Phyllis Schlafly) are so much more fun than superheroes (Sister Night).


It’s a shame that Sarah Paulson is not nominated because she really gives the best performance of the series. I wonder if voters bothered to see all 9 episodes because she really shines in episode 8. I still haven’t seen Watchmen but Blanchett deserves an Emmy just for the final minute of Mrs America.

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Sabin » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:58 pm

Just watched Watchmen. I have a lot of complicated thoughts about it. I found the pacing of it to be annoyingly side-steppy, although a case could be made that it would play better in a non-binging capacity and that because it's simultaneously interested in being a sequel, a reboot, a remake, canon, and non-canon that I never quite felt rooted in the story because it was always everything and nothing at the same time. In a pre-Trump/quarantine/BLM world, I would wonder if anyone could feel invested in this series. However, how could they not be with the tragic origin story of Hooded Justice, with the emotional (and penultimate episode) re-origining of Dr. Manhattan? I can't shake the feeling that this is a series more interested in ideas than interpersonal drama, especially considering that it starts off as a pilot that shows no interest in re-contextualizing its source material and ends up... well, not a slave to it, but a master to it? I found its approach remarkable in subject matter (in the idea that a uniting false flag operation is fundamentally white supremacist because it doens't take racism into account) but slightly disingenuous in execution because... well, it's still pretty nerdy, isn't it? Still the Hooded Justice episode just floored me.

I think it's clearly going to win Limited Series, Writing, and probably Directing (because the Hooded Justice episode is too powerful for even a Lynn Shelton posthumous win). Will it win any acting awards? Irons is too silly (and a leading nomination is ridiculous). My gut tells me that the supporting actors will cancel out. Gossett, Jr. might have the best chance but his motivations are mysterious for just too long and it never entirely feels like he's playing who he is playing. He feels disconnected. Jean Smart might represent the best chance but that's because she feels like a cameo from a world that's having a better time. Still, I wonder if they'll just utilize that category to honor a different project.

The real question is whether or not Regina King will win. I haven't seen enough of the other projects (yet) to say if she will but my hunch is that she won't for the wrong reasons. Her performance is too strong, shouldering... she spends (in some ways) the second half of the series reactive or submersed. This role already feels iconic, I can already see outrage when she loses, but even without seeing Mrs. America (and Cate Blanchett's first nomination), I can just very easily see voters using Best Actress as a way to honor that series as a whole. I can't ignore the fact that supervillains (Phyllis Schlafly) are so much more fun than superheroes (Sister Night).
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Sabin » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:52 pm

dws1982 wrote
I agree that Succession is probably the one to beat in Drama Series, but Brian Cox seems like one of the last things people talk about when they talk about that show. I think Cox definitely can win, but I think Jeremy Strong might be able to pull off the win here. And honestly someone like Carell wouldn't be surprising either--he's playing against type, and he's definitely doing a lot of acting.

You might be right. Certainly Steve Carell deserves an Emmy for something. I just honestly wonder who The Morning Show honestly is for. I suppose "Emmy voter" would be at the top of that list.
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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby dws1982 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:27 am

I've watched so few of the things nominated this year, I'm at a position of extreme ignorance, even more than normal. The only show I watched regularly this season was Survivor, which had one terrible installment with a very good winner in the fall, and one very good installment with an all-time great winner in the spring.

Glad to see Paul Mescal get nominated for Normal People, though. One of the best performances I've seen on TV or film in quite awhile.

Strangest nomination: Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins for Cinematography for Apollo 11?!?!?!?

Tough day for Reese Witherspoon: Three shows she produced and starred got nominations this year, and she didn't get a single nomination for any of her performances, although she will have a nomination for producing Little Fires Everywhere.

Sabin wrote:On the Drama side, Succession seems to have this one and Brian Cox is probably one of the best bets of the night for Best Actor.

I agree that Succession is probably the one to beat in Drama Series, but Brian Cox seems like one of the last things people talk about when they talk about that show. I think Cox definitely can win, but I think Jeremy Strong might be able to pull off the win here. And honestly someone like Carell wouldn't be surprising either--he's playing against type, and he's definitely doing a lot of acting.

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby mlrg » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:53 am

Mrs America is worth a watch although the first four episodes are rather lame. Just noticed that Sarah Paulson was not nominated for it. I think she gave the best performance of the series.

Unorthodox is also very good.

Although not a miniseries I can’t stop recommending Succession, Dead to Me and The Kominsky Method.

The Great is also very interesting. Written by the same writers of The Favourite it’s really worth the watch.

Hollywood is dreadful

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:46 am

Reza wrote:I rarely watch any of the sitcoms or drama series but like to watch the Limited series/Movies. Of this year's nominees I have only seen Hollywood. Almost all are readily available to watch and will be watching them soon.

What are your views on the nominees? Any special recommendations?



I've only seen Bad Education and wholeheartedly recommend it.

I've never cared for Hugh Jackman whom I've always found to have a very limited range so I was taken aback by how brilliant he is in Bad Education. The film was actually made for the big-screen but when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year HBO out bided all he film distributors so it went straight to the small screen.

The film is very cinematic and Hugh Jackman would have deserved an Oscar nomination for his career best performance.

Have to admit I'm not that interested in any of the other titles nominated. I've heard nothing but bad things about Hollywood and I generally find most things associated with Ryan Murphy to be pretty terrible (American Horror Story Series One being the exception - though I still haven't gotten around the others).

Having said all that I believe Mrs. America & Unorthodox are very well regarded but personally I'm really picky when it comes to watching television/streaming content. There is just too much too choose from.

Given cinema is on it's last legs I'll probably start watch more small screen content.
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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Reza » Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:49 am

I rarely watch any of the sitcoms or drama series but like to watch the Limited series/Movies. Of this year's nominees I have only seen Hollywood. Almost all are readily available to watch and will be watching them soon.

What are your views on the nominees? Any special recommendations?

Limited Series

“Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)
“Mrs. America” (Hulu)
“Unbelievable” (Netflix)
“Unorthodox” (Netflix)
“Watchmen” (HBO)

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeremy Irons (“Watchmen”)
Hugh Jackman (“Bad Education”)
Paul Mescal (“Normal People”)
Jeremy Pope (“Hollywood”)
Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”)

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”)
Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”)
Regina King (“Watchmen”)
Octavia Spencer (“Self Made”)
Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere”)

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Dylan McDermott (“Hollywood”)
Jim Parsons (“Hollywood”)
Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend”)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen”)
Jovan Adepo (“Watchmen”)
Louis Gossett Jr. (“Watchmen”)

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Holland Taylor (“Hollywood”)
Uzo Aduba (“Mrs. America”)
Margo Martindale (“Mrs. America”)
Tracey Ullman (“Mrs. America”)
Toni Collette (“Unbelievable”)
Jean Smart (“Watchmen”)

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Sabin » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:36 pm

Considering these might be the only predictions we get to make this year. Full disclosure: this has been an impossibly busy year for me so I'm not remotely caught up. I plan on doing so over the next two weeks as I finally have some vacation time.


Everyone I know is obsessed with Schitt's Creek. I think it could win a lot. It's been very meaningful comfort food during the past year while also delivering uplifting, meaningful stories. I'd be so amazed if it lost. I'm torn between Ramy Yousef and Eugene Levy for Best Actor. Ramy was a breakout star (also Ali is nominated), but the series itself wasn't nominated and I could see a lot of older voters just voting a straight Schitt's Creek ticket. Also, Levy is an industry vet who hasn't won since the SCTV days. Catherine O'Hara will probably win over Rachel Brosnahan and Issa Rae. Dead To Me had a good showing but I think the actresses will likely cancel. I sure hope William Jackson Harper wins for Best Supporting Actor. Chidi is such a wonderful character. I don't have a handle on this race. I think Mahershala Ali probably makes the most sense because he's such a high profile actor on a major winning streak but I'm not sure about how much they love Ramy as a series. Right now, I'd pick Dan Levy. Likewise, Annie Murphy seems like a sure thing for Best Supporting Actress. Obsession over her character Alex is at an all-time high. There are supercuts of her saying "David" everywhere as well as lengthy breakdowns of her song "A Little Bit Alexis" (okay, let's calm down). I could really see a world where the whole cast wins.

On the Drama side, Succession seems to have this one and Brian Cox is probably one of the best bets of the night for Best Actor. I've always been a little skeptical of Jennifer Aniston and The Morning Show's chances going into the ceremony. I think they might give it to Olivia Colman or Laura Linney. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I think Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook could take supporting as well. I guess Meryl Streep has to be considered some kind of favorite for Big Little Lies but season 2 was by all accounts a ruinous dumpster fire.
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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby mlrg » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:39 pm

Really liked The Kominsky Method as well

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby Jefforey Smith » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:56 pm

Schitt's Creek...YES!!!

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Re: 2020 Emmy Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:26 pm

Schitt's Creek is a terrific show and all of the actors deserved their nominations. I'm glad the Emmys finally discovered the film, even if it was way too late.
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