Sunday, August 28, 2016

Emmy Episodes: Bloodline

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. This year, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Bloodline: Season 2, Episode 10 “Part 23” (C+)
Nominated for Best Actor (Kyle Chandler) and Best Supporting (Ben Mendelsohn) in a Drama Series

I thought I had stuck with this show through its third episode, but a look back at my reviews indicates that I didn’t make it past episode two. I watched the season finale which both nominated actors submitted last year, and now, once again, the two of them are back as the lone representatives of their show. I’ll make the important note that as a non-regular viewer, it’s very hard to get into this episode since Netflix doesn’t include “previously on” segments. I’m not sure if Emmy screeners do, but there’s a lot of the plot that is complicated to decipher. What’s interesting about Mendelsohn’s nomination is that he died in the season one finale, so in this case he appears only as a hallucination tormenting his brother John. This is a good showcase for talented Aussie Mendelsohn, showing him in a sympathetic lens dealing with his father’s viciousness and trying to support his son, with the added plus of his flashback scenes being nostalgic due to his death. We don’t see any of the bad behavior that we hear about from his siblings, and that actually makes John seem like the villain. It’s hard to find any sympathy for John, who comes off as very unlikeable. Chandler managed to win an Emmy back in 2011 for the final season of “Friday Night Lights,” but that was a much more beloved role, so I don’t see him having a good shot at winning this year. I’d argue that this is a stronger showcase for either Norbert Leo Butz, who plays Kevin, or Jamie McShane, an unsung supporting player from “Sons of Anarchy,” as Eric O’Bannon. I suspect I’ll tune in to another episode of this show come Emmy time next year, but it just doesn’t appeal. It’s far too dense and uninviting.

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