Monday, September 30, 2019

Pilot Review: Sunnyside

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Pilot Review: Carol's Second Act

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: The Good Place (Season Premiere)

The Good Place: Season 4, Episode 1 “A Girl from Arizona” (B+)

It’s wonderful as always to have this show back, with the sad knowledge that it’s the final season made halfway decent by the fact that it’s lasted this long and it will have the opportunity to go out with a full sense of ending its story in the right way. It’s fun to see Eleanor taking charge, concocting the best way to achieve her noblest aims, and this is excellent evidence that, despite how good Ted Danson is, he really shouldn’t be the only actor nominated for an Emmy from this cast. Tahani didn’t have much of a role, but I like that Jason is actively competing with Derek for Janet’s affection, a distraction that’s threatening to derail all of their progress because Derek is indeed quite the formidable foe prepared for his own rebooting. The challenges they’re facing are steep, and while it was good that the judge intervened to discipline Sean for sending a demon in disguise by making Chidi one of the saveable people, the others don’t seem to be close at all. Brent is pretty terrible, and not even in an innocent, dumb Jason way, and Simone presents a completely different obstacle since she’s convinced that everything around her is a projection of her unconscious mind. It’s interesting seeing Kirby Howell-Baptiste in this role now after watching her with an American accent on “Why Women Kill,” and I hope that Chidi is able to win her over enough with upsetting Eleanor. I’m very much on board for this final season and eagerly look forward to experiencing every minute of it.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Pilot Review: Perfect Harmony

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Pilot Review: The Unicorn

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: Why Women Kill

Why Women Kill: Season 1, Episode 7 “I Found Out What the Secret to Murder is: Friends. Best Friends.” (B+)

I know that the opening and ending song had to with little white lies, but I felt like this episode was actually much more about illness and how it affected the residents of this house in each generation. The truest and most concerning development was related to Karl, who had finally been headed towards happiness as he stressed over what to wear for his date with Hector, and now is dealing with news about his health that he doesn’t want to share with an otherwise very happy Simone. That dramatic turn of events contrasted interestingly with the comedy of Simone rushing over to Naomi’s so that she could distract her before she read Tommy’s diary, something that may have encouraged a romantic trip overseas for them that surely can’t go as well as it seems it will right now. Beth Ann and Sheila were celebrating the end of April’s affair, but her calling the office repeatedly and then showing up at the house were signs that she wasn’t going away. Her pregnancy is indeed worrisome, and Beth Ann lying about having cancer is certainly going to backfire and only drive her husband away more eventually. Despite Jade’s coaching, Eli did not do a good job hiding his drug use, which was initially humorous and almost slapstick in nature until it quickly got very serious. Taylor threatening to walk out was made worse by Jade deciding to stay with him, leaving her as the lone party with both her parents united against her, which definitely is not good.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Pilot Review: Stumptown

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: Four Weddings and a Funeral (Penultimate Episode)

Four Weddings and a Funeral: Season 1, Episode 9 “Four Friends and a Secret” (B)

This second-to-last hour was full of over-the-top theatrics, mostly related to Craig and Andrew’s storylines. After freaking out about how her party wasn’t going as she wanted in the previous episode, Zara actually stepped up to help Craig in a very selfless way, making her case to Julia and enabling Craig to come to his daughter’s soccer game and develop a relationship with her. Andrew getting up the courage to change his vote – and his political future as a result – was a long time coming, and it took a while to get there, with a familiar proposal scene that felt like it was right out of “Love Actually” as a moderately endearing stepping stone on the way. I called the Gemma-Duffy romance a while ago, and I guess Duffy will have to settle for being the eternal punching bag, forced to accept that Gemma wasn’t actually running back to proclaim her affection for him but instead rushing to tell him the major gossip about Maya and Kash, who were inevitably going to get caught by pretty much everyone before Maya had the chance to break the news to Ainsley. It was quite a leap for Kash to just decide that he was going to move to New York to be with Maya, prompting a predictable message of support from his father, and somehow he’s going to be able to fly back and forth all the time without a job when he was so concerned recently about making enough money to support his family. After making it all seem lighthearted, and Ainsley getting to a good place with Bryce, the news about Maya and Kash couldn’t have come out in a worse way. I don’t know how the final episode is going to make everything okay, but I have a feeling that sappiness and universal love will prevail.

What I’m Watching: This Is Us (Season Premiere)

This Is Us: Season 4, Episode 1 “Strangers” (B)

This episode felt closest to the very first hour of this show, bringing in a bunch of new characters and connecting them only in a way that made sense in the very last scene. The only familiar faces we followed through the course of the episode were Jack and Rebecca as she introduced her new boyfriend to her parents. Her father talked about Vietnam right away but then later did Jack a favor by encouraging him to hide the tag that was showing on the jacket Miguel had generously encouraged him to take without paying for it, but then he undid all that kindness by diagnosing Jack as too broken for his daughter. Getting her to sing when they went for their solo date was a wonderful way to cap an unfortunate evening, and it was very effectively paired with the heartfelt performance by the blind guy who turned out to be none other than Jack, Kate and Toby’s grown-up son. I recognized Asante Blackk, an Emmy nominee this year for “When They See Us,” as Malik, who seems ready to make Deja happy, and his parents were played by his Netflix limited series costar and fellow Emmy nominee Marsha Stephanie Blake and Omar Epps. I’m not entirely sure how strong the connection will be with veteran Cassidy, played by Jennifer Morrison from “Once Upon a Time” and “Back Roads.” These new characters should at least prove intriguing, though I’m really not sure just how much they’ll be featured beyond this framing introductory hour.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Pilot Review: Emergence

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Pilot Review: Mixed-ish

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: The Conners (Season Premiere)

The Conners: Season 2, Episode 1 “Preemies, Weed, and Infidelity” (B)

This show concluded its first season back in January, and at that point, it wasn’t yet known if it would be back for another year. I had hoped it would be, and I’m glad that it is. Its humor continues not to be overly complex or ambitious, but it’s still enjoyable. The cast seems to be having fun, which is the best asset, demonstrated most in the scene where Darlene and Jackie kept shaking pillows to pretend that they were looking for Harris’ good earrings while she confided in her aunt about the two relationships she was carrying on at the same time. It definitely won’t be long before Ben finds out that she’s not telling him everything, and I’m not sure if we’re going to be seeing a lot of David or not now that Johnny Galecki is freer with “The Big Bang Theory” having ended. I recognized Lucy Punch from “Ben and Kate” as the mom whose son was Harris’ unfortunate client, even without her natural British accent. This episode did seem to have a much stranger showcase for veteran Estelle Parsons, who is managing to drive everyone crazy as the matriarch of the family. Things seemed like they were going to be getting serious when Becky’s water broke way ahead of her due date, but fortunately it seems like everything’s okay. Naturally, her choice of a name would be unusual, with the middle name Rose as the sole reference to the departed character and actress who used to be the centerpiece of this show. I’m not sure I find watching this show urgent by any definite, but it’s good light, dependable fun.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Pilot Review: Bluff City Law

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: Our Boys

Our Boys: Season 1, Episode 8 “Defendants 2 and 3” (B+)

There are a few people on this show who actually seem capable of seeing a world larger than themselves. Simon is one, Hussein is another, and I’d actually argue that Avishai is as well, even those he has certain trouble relating to other people and communicating how he truly feels without a sense of nervousness and embarrassment only sometimes related to his stutter. Avishai is rightfully devastated about his current state, and wants to talk to Simon because the kindly agent understands that he feels remorse for what he did, which doesn’t seem to be true for Yinon. I’m not sure why anyone would have thought it was a good idea to send Yochi in so that he could continue to fuel Yinon’s extremism and work with his colleagues on the outside to send a message to Simon through his very upset brother, Rami, who was easily identifiable due to Simon’s questionably thin cover identity. It was extremely difficult watching Hussein and Suha’s faces as they heard Uri read the indictment, and Yosef Haim declaring loudly that he is the Messiah makes it seem like he’s trying to play into an insanity claim since his prior actions indicated a fervent zealotry but not delusions of grandeur. Dvora impressively refused to cave to pressure from Rabbi Ben-David, addressing only him and never looking at his or answering the questions of his manipulative lawyer, played by Menashe Noy, a standout performer films like “Gett: The Trial of Vivianne Amsalem” and “Working Woman.”

Pilot Review: Prodigal Son

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Pilot Review: All Rise

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Pilot Review: Bob Hearts Abishola

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: The Righteous Gemstones

The Righteous Gemstones: Season 1, Episode 6 “Now the Sons of Eli Were Worthless Men” (B)

This episode felt like a bit of a lull in its return to the present after last week’s flashback, but I think it’s just the quiet before the storm. It’s unclear why Amber isn’t pressing her husband more on why he deliberately ran a van off the road, and Jesse having the van brought into the Gemstone compound seems somewhat foolhardy. For however overly cocky and terrible he is, it’s still impressive to see him when he’s in his element, responding to Scotty’s taunting with an unwavering resolve not to be blackmailed any longer. That likely won’t work, especially given that Scotty was bold enough to drive up to the gate and ask for his good friend Gideon by name. Jesse going in to profess his affection for his son, completely with the word “like” many times over and some awkward handshake-hug combinations, comes at a strange time that might make Gideon reconsider whether he should be trying to take down his father after all. Johnny Seasons shutting down his church felt rather melancholy, and I wonder if he’ll return in some form to take down what he sees as false prophets. Baby Billy trying to tap into Judy’s sense of resentment towards her father to make himself more relevant is intriguing to watch, and I think that Eli is only half-right that he’s using her for his own aims. Judy does have a spark that occasionally lights up, and it’s so interesting to see how BJ is just right for her in some ways and completely wrong for her in others.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Affair


The Affair: Season 5, Episode 5 (B-)

It shouldn’t surprise me that yet another person is being given a perspective, one who I honestly care nothing about, even after watching her life play out from her point of view for half an hour. I do think that there’s a longer piece to be written about this show and how it’s evolved over the years, aiming to look at the many people affected by one indiscretion through an increasingly widened lens that’s narrowed thanks to each person being the one to experience the story. at the moment, I’m finding that hard to remember, since there were few truly worthwhile moments in this particular episode. What stuck with me most was how Sierra felt unsympathetic even in her own portrait of events, asking Helen for help and getting a rather unforgiving reality check from the woman whose husband she slept with before he died. Helen, naturally, saw that as a lazier, less desperate plea from someone who just didn’t want to be bothered. We also got to learn how Sierra was affected by the relationship she had with her own mother, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, whose voice I recognized from her initial phone call and who played a character someone in between her roles on “Atypical” and in “The Hateful Eight,” leaning more towards the latter. Sierra crashing the car with her baby in it was a miserable ending to that focus, while Helen being made to feel like a horrible person by Vic’s mom for moving on wasn’t much better. It’s also clear that, while Noah is a toxic option who just won’t go away, Sasha isn’t much better, expressing such anger at his stepdaughter that seemed to visibly shake Helen. We didn’t get our expected five minutes of Joanie in the future this time, and right now no one seems headed for a happy ending.

Round Two: Undone

Undone: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Hospital” (B+)

I’m so glad that I decided to watch the pilot of this show even though I don’t usually check out animated fare. I was already intrigued enough by Alma’s outlook on the life and the relationship she had with both her sister Becca and her boyfriend Sam, and then the end of the episode which featured the car crash made it only more interesting. I love time travel more than almost anything else, and even though it’s presented in a purposely non-narrative format here, I’m absolutely hooked. I liked how Jacob kept pulling Alma in and demanding that she agree to help him before repeatedly sending her back to experience the same events over and over when her mom and sister proved to be less than sympathetic to her condition when she woke up from her coma. In addition to her seeing herself pushing the elevator button and then showing up as the other her the next time, she managed to learn how she could better interpret the intent of those around her and accept what she’d knew they’d say instead of fighting it. It was mesmerizing to watch Jacob invite her to experience her life in a normal way, showing her the birth of her child, the death of her mother, and her eventual death, before rewinding it all with the alternative option of doing it without a narrative approach. The notion of him going back so that he wouldn’t die and leave her alone on Halloween is pretty incredible, and I’ll be glued to the screen as I check in with the rest of this show each week.

Round Two: Unbelievable

Unbelievable: Season 1, Episode 2 (B)

I wanted to give this show another shot after watching the very disturbing pilot, which featured a number of triggering flashbacks to the assault endured by its protagonist. I’ve been a fan of Kaitlyn Dever for a while after her work on “Justified” and her breakthrough comedic turn in the film “Booksmart.” This is a harrowing performance, one that finds her character so isolated because of the harm that this act has done to her and has resulted in her doubting her own memories and perception of what’s real. Following the fallout from her alleged lie is relatively miserable, and this second episode sought a wider perspective as it introduced a new investigator looking at an entirely different case that only we as viewers suspect is actually related. There’s such a difference in how Karen spoke to Amber compared with how all of the male detectives, who weren’t even so terrible, and how she understands that the matter needs to be dealt with in a compassionate and human manner that doesn’t further destroy someone’s mental state. Merritt Wever, a two-time Emmy winner for “Nurse Jackie” and “Godless,” is a formidable actress, and this is a great role for her that she handles masterfully. Danielle Macdonald, who plays Amber, is also very talented, delivering a similarly accessible turn to her recent parts in “Skin” and “Paradise Hills.” We only got to meet Grace at the very end, and she seems like someone who won’t give up until she’s truly chased down all the leads. I’ll look forward to her inevitable partnership with Karen and getting to see more of the great Toni Collette onscreen as I continue watching this show.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Pilot Review: Criminal

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: Why Women Kill

Why Women Kill: Season 1, Episode 6 “Practically Lethal in Every Way” (B+)

The device at the beginning of each episode keeps changing, and this one was more grounded by the introduction of the three characters featured at some point during the hour. I recognized Analeigh Tipton from “Hung” and “Manhattan Love Story” as Mary, who came into focus in the sharpest way, and whose role continues to support my theory that it’s not the husbands who actually die in all cases, with her husband, played by Scott Porter from “Friday Night Lights,” feeling like the surest candidate since he’s abusive and he got Beth Ann to stand up for someone in an unprecedented way. Rob responding by blaming her for the death of their child was hardly kind, and that makes me think that he is the one who’s going to bite the dust. Simone and Karl seem to be on a relatively even playing field after the disaster that was meeting Brad’s family, which also included the accidental outing of his sister. Going to her hairdresser to try to set up an arrangement of some sort was unexpected, and I’m curious to see what comes of that. In the present, the starkest development was Jade’s response to Eli begging for pills so that he could continue to write. She’s been this aloof woman of wonder up until this point, but she demonstrated a true vulnerability and dependence that seemed to shake Eli since he’s really committing to taking care of her. More importantly, Taylor was rightfully furious that Jade had become Eli’s muse and been allowed to read his unfinished work after just a short period of knowing her, and she won’t soon forgive that even if Eli brings legitimate concerns about their new partner’s wellbeing to his wife.

What I’m Watching: Four Weddings and a Funeral

Four Weddings and a Funeral: Season 1, Episode 8 “Game Night” (B-)

This show is getting sappier, and it’s also including some pretty absurd developments. Ainsley isn’t terribly perceptive, but it’s still a stretch to think to believe that she would somehow perceive that Maya had a crush on Marcus, her colleague who she so clearly hates and who hates her back just as much. The game night was a silly excuse to bring everyone together, with Marcus, Andrew, and Bryce all showing up because they were invited by someone because of their feelings about another that had yet to be properly expressed. It seemed like Tony was just being a jerk to Andrew, and the revelation that he doesn’t have his papers and his potential boyfriend is sponsoring a bill that might get him kicked out of the country helps to explain some of his hesitation in that department. I like that Bryce shut the door when Ainsley came to deliver a big speech largely comprised of insults, and something tells me he won’t give up. Kash and Maya have gotten very close recently, and knowing that she had to show up at the wedding is a good sign for their relationship and a bad sign for the future fury that Ainsley will evidently express if her reaction to her even going to his show was any indication. It’s a wonder Kash held onto his job this long, and hopefully his father can accept his new choices in life. Marrying Maya down the road will certainly help. Zara’s Nosecrets board game was indeed a flop, but it’s nice that she and Craig will soon be welcoming a baby into the world – a plot twist not spoiled by this show’s title!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Emmy Reactions

Well, that’s a wrap on an Emmy season that felt like my most invested in a while since there were so many shows I didn’t regularly watch contending. My score was considerably worse than last year’s, when I ranked 15th out of almost 3000 on GoldDerby, whereas this year, I’m 1738th. I got only 12/27, which is down from 18/26 last year. That said, I’m pretty happy overall with a lot of the winners.

I just watched season two of “Fleabag” two weeks ago and loved it. Even though I think that “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was excellent and could also have won, it still took home four acting trophies, which is not nothing. I’m happy that “Veep” wasn’t rewarded since it already has been, and I’m fine with Bill Hader repeating. “Fleabag” winning so much is really wondrous, especially after being shut out for season one.

Game of Thrones” was always going to dominate, but it took only two expected awards tonight. I’m not fond of “Ozark” or “Succession,” but good for them for getting in some wins for hard work. I was thrilled for Billy Porter, who showed up in a big way, and I couldn’t be more excited about being wrong in my prediction for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series since Jodie Comer is absolutely incredible and totally deserved to win.

I tune out the variety and reality categories, and in the limited series races, my two favorites that I actually watched all the way through, “When They See Us” and “A Very English Scandal,” each only scored one win apiece, which was expected for the latter but not as much for the former. Jharrel Jerome’s speech was superb, and it was very affecting to see the Exonerated Five in the crowd. I backed the wrong Patricia Arquette performance to win, and I do enjoy it when there are multiple people in the same category with the same first name (like Patricia Clarkson, the predicted favorite). Tonight, I expected to hear Tony Hale called but instead it was Tony Shalhoub, which wasn’t a surprise to many.

What I didn’t love about the show is how certain categories were rushed through, announced by an unseen voice and then interrupted to bring in and introduce the presenters. There’s no consistency, and so one category featured clips and then the next didn’t for no discernable reason. This show is best as a platform for underseen programs to be exposed, so bring on the clips! What’s not necessary, however, are spoiler-filled tributes to two departing HBO series that ensure that any viewer will now how they ended, and that weird tribute to other departing shows including “Gotham.” No thanks.

I did love seeing Bill Hader and Phoebe Waller-Bridge present together and joke about being the tallest people there, presenting “most limited actor in a cancelled series.” Maya Rudolph and Ike Barinholtz pretending to have had Lasik surgery and mispronouncing every nominee except Ted Danson was pretty hilarious. And Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel taking down the no-host concept with references to Applebee’s and Jason Bateman’s boring vacations was a lot of fun too.

And just like that, it’s time for all the new fall pilots to start beginning tomorrow. I’ll be posting a whole host of Minute with Abe pilot reviews along with regular written reviews of my returning favorites. Things will also be getting started back up on Movies With Abe as I start to see more movies. Thanks for reading, and stick around!

Final Emmy Winner Predictions


Tonight, I’ll be in southern Oregon fresh from an early start at Crater Lake National Park, watching the show from the comfort of my hotel room. It might not be as social as previous years, but I’m looking forward to an intimate opportunity to relax and enjoy what I hope will be a rewarding and engaging ceremony.

I feel like a good number of the categories are looking somewhat set, but there’s still a lot of chance for surprises. I’m up one from last year in terms of the guest acting categories that have been handed out, correctly picking Bradley Whitford for “The Handmaid’s Tale” but not foreseeing Cherry Jones, who I hadn’t remembered had only about a minute of screentime, for the same show. Since that series didn’t actually air this season, it’s only a threat in the directing and writing categories, though I can’t understand why “Holly” was chosen over the far superior season finale. On the comedy side, Luke Kirby and Jane Lynch both won for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which is a big deal given that it’s the defending champion, even if most of their competition was from “Saturday Night Live.”

It’s hard to imagine anything defeating “Game of Thrones” for Best Drama Series, though I’d be thrilled if the least likely candidate – “Bodyguard” – pulled it off. Even though I didn’t want it at first, I’d also be happy for “Pose,” though that seems just as unlikely. On the comedy side, it would be wonderful for it to be “Fleabag,” though I loved “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and would be happy as long as “Veep” doesn’t take it for its final season. In the acting races, there’s no one I’m rooting for as strongly as in years past, though Phoebe Waller-Bridge would be a great choice. I’m mostly playing it safe and would love to be pleasantly surprised in a few races (Jodie Comer would be a great example). I just want it to be interesting and to see a diverse crowd of deserving actors rewarded.

In the limited series categories, I’ve actually watched a full hour of all the top nominees, and “When They See Us” is the only one I watched until the end. I’d love to see that pick up victories along with the underrated “A Very English Scandal,” which missed out on the top category despite directing and writing bids. I’ve seen exactly zero of the nominated TV movies, and will be watching those with only minimally more interest than the reality races.

As always, I’m excited for the show, and will post some brief reactions either immediately afterwards or the next morning. Enjoy the show, and leave your thoughts in the comments! For detailed predictions in all applicable categories, click on the hyperlinked category name.

No guts, no glory:
Marin Hinkle eclipses Alex Borsteing for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

DRAMA SERIES:
Game of Thrones

DRAMA LEAD ACTOR:
Billy Porter (Pose)

DRAMA LEAD ACTRESS:
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)

DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones)

DRAMA DIRECTING
:
The Long Night (Game of Thrones)

DRAMA WRITING
:
The Iron Throne (Game of Thrones)

COMEDY SERIES:
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

COMEDY LEAD ACTOR
:
Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)

COMEDY LEAD ACTRESS:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)

COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR
:
Tony Hale (Veep)

COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

COMEDY DIRECTING:
All Alone (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

COMEDY WRITING
:
Episode 2.1 (Fleabag)

LIMITED SERIES:
When They See Us

TV MOVIE:
Deadwood: The Movie

TV MOVIE/LIMITED ACTOR:
Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us)

TV MOVIE/LIMITED ACTRESS:
Patricia Arquette (Escape at Dannemora)

TV MOVIE/LIMITED SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal)

TV MOVIE/LIMITED SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects)

TV MOVIE/LIMITED DIRECTING:
When They See Us

TV MOVIE/LIMITED WRITING:
When They See Us

COMPETITION PROGRAM:
RuPaul’s Drag Race

VARIETY TALK SERIES:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES:
Saturday Night Live

VARIETY DIRECTING:
Saturday Night Live

VARIETY WRITING:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Comedy Series


I've already gone through and looked at the six episodes submitted by each of the nominees for Best Comedy Series, and for a full survey at their chances, check out my complete rundown of the category for The Film Experience.

Emmy Episode Analysis: Best Comedy Series


This year, I’m splitting my top two category predictions into two posts each. I went through the statistics and chances for each show for The Film Experience, and in this post, I’ll be looking at the submitted episodes for each show, with titles are in parentheses. Beware of major spoilers for listed episodes.

BARRY
The Show Must Go On, Probably,” “What?!,” “ronny/lily,” “The Truth Has a Ring to It,” “The Audition,” “berkman block

For its second season and second consecutive bid, this show selected six of its eight episodes. There’s only one that I really didn’t like, and that one - “ronny/lily” – scored bids for directing and writing, so obviously I’m in the minority. Omitting the second and third installments, which feature more exposition, isn’t a problem, and while this show may still be too violent for voters, this showcase offers a fairly accessible and formidable summary of what the show has to offer.

FLEABAG
Episode 2.1,” “Episode 2.2,” “Episode 2.3,” “Episode 2.4,” “Episode 2.5,” “Episode 2.6

This is the only show in this category that aired just six episodes, for its second season, and therefore has them all included as submissions. I loved every bit of this season, as I think most did, and there’s a certain style to the way each episode is introduced that should invite first-time viewers into its weird world. The season premiere and finale are particularly strong, but each episode is immensely watchable, and the only issue will be if any viewers unfamiliar with this brilliant show are turned off by its decidedly odd nature.

THE GOOD Place
Everything is Bonzer: Part 1,” “Everything is Bonzer: Part 2,” “Jeremy Bearimy,” “Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By,” “Janet(s),” “Pandemonium

This show is here for the first time for its third season, selecting six of its thirteen episodes. Among them are its two-part premiere and its finale, both of which serve as strong reboots to the show’s existing narrative and may be good access points for new viewers. Both “Jeremy Bearimy” and “Janet(s)” are fun, creative episodes, while “Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By,” while a great installment, might be more attuned to knowledgeable fans. These episodes are all great, and a shocking victory for them is unfortunately way too far outside the realm of possibility.

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
Simone,” “We’re Going to the Catskills,” “Midnight at the Concord,” “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy,” “All Alone

The defending champion in this category submitted six of its ten second season episodes, including its standout premiere and finale. Its fourth and fifth episodes are wonderfully Catskills-centric, a high point of the arc featured this season, and the sixth was all about the fallout in a great way. The penultimate episode comes closest to the pilot in terms of its presentation of its title protagonist’s comedy material. It’s hard to beat these episodes, since they’re all so immersive and committed in their portrayal of the time and characters. This show has a great case to win again.

RUSSIAN DOLL
Nothing in this World is Easy,” “The Great Escape,” “A Warm Body,” “Alan’s Routine,” “The Way Out,” “Ariadne

This freshman Netflix dramedy submitted six of its eight episodes, starting with the pilot that first finds its protagonist dying over and over again on her thirtieth birthday. The next three episodes are involving in showing how she begins to deal with this new, constantly restarting reality, and then the seventh and eighth installments fast-forward to a more problematic time as events converge and inevitabilities threaten to set in. It’s a decent way to get into this show and its unique energy, but there’s something that feels much more fleeting about these episodes than lasting. I don’t think it will be able to garner enough votes to propel it anywhere close to a win.

SCHITT’S CREEK
The Crowening,” “Love Letters,” “Rock On!,” “Meet the Parents,” “The Hike,” “Cabaret

This is the first time that this fifth-season comedy has been nominated, submitted six of its fourteen episodes. This was my first time encountering the show, which is accessible enough even if some of the background information isn’t there. The first two episodes of the season were decent enough, as was the penultimate installment that featured some major developments, but I wasn’t as taken with the sixth and eleventh, along with the finale, which was a bit overstuffed. This show’s inclusion in the race is its victory – it would be truly appalling if this show somehow managed a win here.

VEEP
Iowa,” “Pledge,” “South Carolina,” “Super Tuesday,” “Oslo,” “Veep

The seventh final season of this show, which won this award three years in a row before missing the eligibility window last season, had seven episodes, meaning that all but its second installment are here. The best among them are “South Carolina” and the series finale, while the others juggle staying relevant in today’s absurd political world with decidedly outlandish parodies of current events. These episodes aren’t as strong as the last set which won this award, though they’re better than season five’s list. These episodes are obviously indicative of what this show is like, so if voters are on board with that, these episodes should do just fine.

What should win (based on entire season):Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “The Good Place,” or “Barry
What should win (based on individual episodes):Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” or “The Good Place
What will win: Check out my next post with statistical data and my rundown of each show’s overall chances!

Next up: That’s a wrap!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Drama Series


I've already gone through and looked at the six episodes submitted by each of the nominees for Best Drama Series, and for a full survey at their chances, check out my complete rundown of the category for The Film Experience.

Emmy Episode Analysis: Best Drama Series


This year, I’m splitting my top two category predictions into two posts each. I went through the statistics and chances for each show for The Film Experience, and in this post, I’ll be looking at the submitted episodes for each show, with titles are in parentheses. Beware of major spoilers for listed episodes.

BETTER CALL SAUL
Smoke,” “Breathe,” “Something Stupid,” “Coushatta,” “Wiedersehen,” “Winner

For its fourth nomination in this category, its first bid since its third season was nominated in 2017, this show chose the first two and last four episodes of the ten-episode season. They’re all winning submissions which chronicle protagonist Jimmy’s attempts to stay relevant without his law license, featuring magnetic scenes with him spinning masterful lies, often with his far more ethical partner Kim by his side. These choices are as good as they’ve ever been, though there’s nothing particularly showy about the storyline as compared with the three equally strong previous years.

BODYGUARD
Episode 1,” “Episode 2,” “Episode 3,” “Episode 4,” “Episode 5,” “Episode 6

While this show merited only two nominations, I’d say it easily has the best showcase when it comes to episodes. It’s one of two shows which has its entire season represented given that it was comprised of only six episodes, and each one of them is more enticing and action-packed than the next. There’s plenty of suspense, but where this show – and each of its episodes – truly excels is when it catches viewers off-guard, including a major development halfway through that represents its sincere commitment to viewer satisfaction. If episodes were all that mattered, I’d put my money on this show having a chance to upset.

GAME OF THRONES
Winterfell,” “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” “The Long Night,” “The Last of the Starks,” “The Bells,” “The Iron Throne

Like the previous show, this one has all six of its episodes submitted, though none of them are only an hour, giving it yet another advantage over its competition. Its episodes feature a lot of greetings, talking, action, talking, action, and moderate resolution – in that order. The final season was highly divisive but Emmy voters have embraced it wholeheartedly, and it’s actually likely that the few voters unfamiliar with the show will be more impressed than devoted fans with what these episodes have to offer. Writing-wise, episodes two and four are strong, while episodes three and five feature staggering production values that make for one hell of an engaging viewing experience. It will be hard to beat these.

KILLING EVE
Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body?,” “Nice and Neat,” “The Hungry Caterpillar,” “Desperate Times,” “Wide Awake,” “You’re Mine

This show’s first nomination, for its sophomore season, comprises six of its eight episodes. Interestingly, one of the two omitted is actually star Jodie Comer’s submission. I wasn’t overly fond of the first four episodes of the season, which track the fallout from the season finale, and appreciated the last two much more when unexpected partnerships and relationships had started to build. This show is definitely weird and not for anyone, and I’m not sure that any of these episodes, taken two at a time, would be able to win over voters.

OZARK
Reparations,” “The Precious Blood of Jesus,” “Outer Darkness,” “One Way Out,” “The Badger,” “The Gold Coast

This show’s first nomination, for its second season, includes the first two hours, the sixth and seventh, and the ninth and tenth (the finale). I’d weight them all equally, featuring some decent performances and a whole lot of moodiness. Regular viewers are certainly invested in the storyline, but it’s hard to access that by checking in to these episodes. To me, what’s most disappointing is that there are always more miserable obstacles rather than any true progress achieved. I’m not sure that’s different than season one, but this desolate series doesn’t feel like a winner to me.

POSE
Pose,” “Access,” “Giving and Receiving,” “The Fever,” “Love is the Message,” “Mother of the Year

This freshman FX series submitted six of its eight episodes, opting for the first four, the sixth, and the eighth. As someone who wasn’t enthralled by the pilot because the subject matter isn’t of particular interest to me, I found myself much more engaged upon returning to the show to sample the remaining five installments. In addition to the fantastical nature of the ball scene, this show does human drama very well, and these episodes make a great case for spotlighting this particular underrepresented portion of the world. There’s an emotional case for this show to upset, but I don’t think it’s quite universal enough for all viewers, sadly.

SUCCESSION
Celebration,” “Which Side Are You On?,” “Austerlitz,” “Prague,” “Pre-Nuptial,” “Nobody Is Ever Missing

I watched the pilot of this show and wasn’t into it, and when I came back to watch the rest of the submissions, I was surprised to find myself skipping all the way to episode six. The decision to select episodes six through ten along with the pilot is an intriguing one, though I did find the plot extremely intriguing if still considerably over-the-top. Evidently, this is a case where a show might take longer for viewers to get into, and smart submissions showcase the best of what it has to offer, which is a large and talented ensemble portraying chaos as well as they can. This show is definitely watchable, but these episodes do still feel a bit off-the-rails.

THIS IS US
Vietnam,” “Sometimes,” “Songbird Road: Part One,” “Our Little Island Girl,” “Waiting Room,” “R and B

This show, back here for the third time in a row, had the most episodes to choose from, with eighteen at its disposal. I’m actually not impressed with those selected, with only the last one, the penultimate hour of the season, as a smart choice. “Vietnam” was too flashback-heavy in a way I found pointless, and both “Sometimes” and “Songbird Road: Part One” continued the melancholy focus on Jack’s brother without much success. The last three were a marked improvement, dealing instead with strong characters like Beth and Kate, but this show isn’t going to win with this slate.

What should win (based on entire season):Bodyguard” or “Better Call Saul
What should win (based on individual episodes):Bodyguard” or “Pose
What will win: Check out my next post with statistical data and my rundown of each show’s overall chances!

Next up: Best Comedy Series

What I’m Watching: Our Boys

Our Boys: Season 1, Episode 7 “Chapter 7: Judging by Its End” (B+)

This was a very tough episode to watch, though it was done very well. I mentioned when I first started watching that this was a personal subject for me since it’s something I remember playing out a few years ago and which I watched closely because I was coordinating youth trips to Israel that left on the day that the three Israeli boys were found. This show’s focus has been much more on the aftermath of those murders, and seeing the devout faith that has been twisted into notions of harming other people in God’s name is deeply unnerving. I know the melody that Yosef Haim was singing to his child after buying the gasoline, and my wife and I cringed when Yinon told Avishai that he should take off his yarmulke because it was for the sake of “pikuach nefesh,” or saving a life, when they were about to go out and abduct someone. The commission of the crime was almost casual, and Yosef Haim saw it as clear-cut revenge, invoking the names of Israeli killed as he beat Mohammed to death. I wasn’t sure what the purpose of the reenactment was, but it turned out to be a vivid way to understand Avishai’s worldview and how he believed that there was a distinction between what he did and the act of murder. This was a hypnotic, self-contained episode, one whose implications are sure to be felt as Avishai’s cooperation becomes official testimony and leads to severe consequences for all involved.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Writing for a Comedy Series


Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by show. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Alec Berg and Bill Hader, Barry (ronny/lily)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag (Episode 2.1)
Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, The Good Place (Janet(s))
Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle and Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Pen15 (Anna Ishii-Peters)
Leslye Headland, Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler, Russian Doll (Nothing in this World is Easy)
Allison Silverman, Russian Doll (A Warm Body)
David Mandel, Veep (Veep)

This is the sixth year in a row that Berg is nominated thanks mostly to previous bids for “Silicon Valley”, and Hader returns from last year. Both are also nominated for writing. Hader, Waller-Bridge, and Lyonne are all nominated for acting. Mandel has two previous writing bids for his show. This episode of “Fleabag” is also up for directing. Poehler has plenty of previous nominations, with one bid in this category from 2012 for “Parks and Recreation and three for writing for the Golden Globes. Only “Pen15” isn’t nominated for Best Comedy Series. “Veep is the only previous winner in this category nominated this year with a trophy from 2015. A show with two nominations hasn’t won since 2013.

What should win:Fleabag” or “The Good Place
What will win: It’s far from a sure thing, but this is where Fleabag may just be able to pull off a victory.

Next up: Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series!

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Directing for a Comedy Series


Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by show. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.
Alec Berg, Barry (The Audition)
Bill Hader, Barry (ronny/lily)
Mark Cendrowski, The Big Bang Theory (The Stockholm Syndrome)
Harry Bradbeer, Fleabag (Episode 2.1)
Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (All Alone)
Daniel Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (We’re Going to the Catskills!)

Sherman-Palladino won this award last year for her show’s pilot. Cendrowski was nominated last year, and now contends for the series finale of his show. Hader was nominated last year and contends again for acting on his show. Berg has a previous directing bid and five previous writing nominations for “Silicon Valley.” Hader and Berg are also nominated for writing “ronny/lily” and the same installment of “Fleabag” is also up for writing. Only “The Big Bang Theory” isn’t nominated for Best Comedy Series.

What should win: These are all fine choices, save for Hader’s episode, which I really didn’t like. I’d probably pick “Fleabag” or either of the “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” hours.
What will win: I’m picking Sherman-Palladino to repeat for “All Alone.”

Next up: Best Writing for a Comedy Series

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Writing for a Drama Series


Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by show. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Peter Gould and Thomas Schnauz, Better Call Saul (Winner)
Jed Mercurio, Bodyguard (Episode 1)
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones (The Iron Throne)
Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder, The Handmaid’s Tale (Holly)
Emerald Fennell, Killing Eve (Nice and Neat)
Jesse Armstrong, Succession (Nobody Is Ever Missing)

This is the seventh time that Benioff and Weiss, who also contend for directing the series finale of their series, have been nominated. They won twice, in 2015 and 2016. Schnauz was nominated in 2013 for “Breaking Bad.” This is the third consecutive bid for Miller, who won in 2015 for the pilot of his show and who now contends for a “hanging episode” from the second season. “Killing Eve” was nominated last year in this race. Pilots and series finales do tend to win this award often, which bodes well for “Bodyguard” and “Game of Thrones,” respectively.

What should win: I’d love for it to be “Bodyguard,” but I don’t see that happening, sadly.
What will win: I’m not sure any of these are strong enough to topple the juggernaut that is The Iron Throne.

Next up: Best Directing for a Comedy Series

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Directing for a Drama Series


Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by show. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones (The Iron Throne)
David Nutter, Game of Thrones (The Last of the Starks)
Miguel Sapochink, Game of Thrones (The Long Night)
Daina Reid, The Handmaid’s Tale (Holly)
Lisa Br├╝hlmann, Killing Eve (Desperate Times)
Jason Bateman, Ozark (Reparations)
Adam McKay, Succession (Celebration)

The only returning nominated director from last year is Bateman, who, once again, is also contending for his performance on the show. Sapochnik won this award in 2016 for “The Battle of the Basterds,” and Nutter, who was also nominated for “The Sopranos” in 2006, won in 2015 for “Mother’s Mercy.” Benioff and Weiss won for writing those two “Game of Thrones” episodes, and are also nominated for penning the series finale this year. This marks the fourth season in a row that “Game of Thrones” has at least two bids, and it contends this year for half of its final season. “The Handmaid’s Tale” earns a nomination for the third year in a row despite only being eligible for the last three “hanging” episodes of its second season. It won this award two years ago.

What should win: I think I’d give it to “The Long Night” over the rest of these.
What will win: It’s really just a question of which “Game of Thrones” episode wins. I’m picking The Long Night to triumph over the series finale. It could also be the “Succession” pilot, but I doubt it.

Next up: Best Writing for a Drama Series

What I’m Watching: The Righteous Gemstones

The Righteous Gemstones: Season 1, Episode 5 “Interlude” (B)

I wasn’t prepared for this flashback episode, one that took place almost entirely in the past and wasn’t particularly necessitated by anything that happened in the previous hour. I will say that it was worthwhile to see the fantastic performance from country singer Jennifer Nettles, who embodies Aimee-Leigh with a truly kind energy, something that has been lost in the way that even Eli interacts with the people around him, both his family and his flock. We also got to understand how Baby Billy ended up in the place he did, sidelined by Eli after doing the same to him on purpose because he thought that Eli was trying to encourage his sister not to tour with him after she found out about her surprise pregnancy. The scene where they performed the song and dance was spectacular, and represents a much more wholesome vibe than the Gemstones now emanate. Baby Billy casually mentioning that he had already sold some of the land without talking to her was a crucial turning point, and that was also likely the loss of innocence on Eli’s part since he had to go to bat for his wife, whose eventual death turned him into a much less friendly and happy man. Both Jesse and Judy were recognizably horrible, with Jesse openly complaining about how much he hated the idea of getting a younger sibling and Judy shouting down anyone, including her parents, who dared to give her a birthday present that didn’t satisfy her. I’m eager to return to the present in the next outing to see where everyone is now after this moderately helpful and informative trip to the past.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Affair


The Affair: Season 5, Episode 4 (C+)

This show is beginning to go off the rails again, and I’m not seeing any semblance of coherence anytime soon. The different perspectives were valuable because they portrayed the same events from conflicting viewpoints, but now it seems that they’re just designed to showcase separate storylines. I’m not sure we’ll ever hear from Janelle, and now we get to see the world’s brattiest character, Whitney, who inherited only the worst characteristics from her father, as she has the chance to offer her take on the world because, you guessed it, she’s having an affair. Little about her world is interesting, and the fact that Jonathan Cake’s Furkat is obsessed with her and her horrible boss, played by Perrey Reeves from “Entourage,” only notices her when she sees how that connection should be useful, were far from saving graces. Furkat begging for forgiveness was cringe-worthy, and somehow Whitney is still going to marry her future husband who can’t share his artwork with her. I’d much rather be learning more about Joanie, who again only got five minutes at the end of the hour, which merely confirmed something that is hardly a shock: Noah is dead in the future. He’s not doing too well in the present, furious at his representatives because they’re foregoing protecting his interests in favor of Sasha’s, and the worst possible thing he could do is partner with Margaret to help her execute the absurd plan of planting sex toys in Sasha’s bedroom to cause a rift between him and Helen.

Pilot Review: Undone

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Pilot Review: Unbelievable

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Pilot Review: The I-Land

I'm trying something new with my pilot reviews, so from now on, check out video takes on each new series, which I'll embed below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series


Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy)
Borstein won this award last year. She is also nominated for voicing “Family Guy” characters for the third time, another award she won last year. I thought Borstein was funniest when she was nearly killed by hapless thugs in the season premiere (costar Marin Hinkle’s submission), but she chose the penultimate hour which found her experiencing some difficulty with her number one client. Trying to get everyone she knew – and even those she didn’t – to vouch for her star act is undeniably appealing, and might be just what Borstein needs for a repeat win.

Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer, Veep (Pledge)
This is the sixth nomination for Chlumsky, whose show took the season off last year. She’s contended for all but one of her show’s seasons, and now she has her final shot for a funny episode in which she, rarely one to keep her emotions in check, gets truly angry and shouts down abortion clinic protesters in a way that could only occur on this show. She’s still far from the central part of her show, something that could hurt in a very crowded field this year.

Sian Clifford as Claire, Fleabag (Episode 2.3)
This is Clifford’s first Emmy nomination. Her portrayal of the title character’s sister is definitely fantastic in each episode, though I found the season premiere to be the stronger showcase of her work. Having Fleabag help her in a professional setting was a wonderful way, however, to draw out some of her angst in the best possible way, and anyone watching the show and the episodes closely might be compelled to choose her over her showier and much more well-known costar.

Olivia Colman as Godmother, Fleabag (Episode 2.4)
Colman, who surprised to win the Oscar for Best Actress for “The Favourite” this past year, was nominated for an Emmy in 2016 for “The Night Manager.” Colman is indeed superb in this show, but she doesn’t play a huge part in season two, and certainly not in her submitted episode. This will ultimately be a test of if voters care about the episodes, since Colman, who’s likely to win the drama actress award next year for “The Crown,” doesn’t deserve to beat the other nominees in this category for her selected episode.

Betty Gilpin as Debbie Eagan, GLOW (Mother of All Matches)
Gilpin was the only acting nominee from her show last year when it was nominated for Best Comedy Series, and now she’s the only major nominee from the show as a whole. In its second season, this show has gotten away from the wrestling matches as the inspiration for each episode and shifted them, at least in this case, to the climax, and so this installment provides a great opportunity for Gilpin to shine as Debbie tries to rid herself of all remnants of her ex-husband. She won’t win without her show being nominated, but she does deserve to be here.

Sarah Goldberg as Sally Reed, Barry (The Audition)
This is Goldberg’s first nomination. She’s definitely here in part because of the popularity of her show, but she absolutely deserves her place. Though it wasn’t always relevant to the main storyline, Sally’s arc expanded in season two, and she could have picked from a number of excellent samples of her work. Her choice of an episode that finds her about to make it big and still ready to deliver a nonstop rant is very good, and, if enthusiasm for her show is really strong enough, she could emerge victorious from this field.

Marin Hinkle as Rose Weissman, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Simone)
This is the first nomination for Hinkle, the only member of her show’s cast to be newly recognized for its second season. While often a background character in season one and even in a good part of season two, Rose is front and center after making a huge life change without much of her family noticing. To me, it’s one of the best submissions in this category, but she’ll have a hard time besting costar and defending champion Alex Borstein, who is also heavily featured in this hour in a great way that Hinkle just isn’t in hers.

Kate McKinnon as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Liev Schreiber)
This is the sixth consecutive nomination for McKinnon, who won twice, in 2016 and 2017. Last year, I wrote that not playing Hillary Clinton was a disadvantage, but she opens her submitted episode this year so strongly as Jeff Sessions that it’s easy to see how voters could choose her again this year. Her episode is one of the strongest of all the selections in this category, and could catapult her to a third win.

Who should win (based on entire season): Borstein, Clifford, or Goldberg
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Hinkle, McKinnon, or Goldberg
Who will win: It could be Colman, but I’m betting on two in a row for Borstein.

Next up: Best Directing for a Drama Series

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series


Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Alan Arkin as Norman Newlander, The Kominsky Method (Chapter 2: An Agent Grieves)
Arkin has four previous Emmy nominations, earned between 1967 and 2003. He earned Golden Globe and SAG bids for his portrayal of a loyal agent who turns to his best friend after the death of his wife, which occupies the majority of his submitted episode. Arkin is a hugely respected veteran of the industry, and he’s not phoning anything in here. His show missed the cut in the top race after winning the corresponding Golden Globe, which doesn’t bode well for the show’s overall chances, but Arkin might still manage to prevail.

Anthony Carrigan as Noho Hank, Barry (Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday)
I chose Carrigan as my winner in this category last year, but this is his first Emmy nomination. In the show’s second season, friendly mobster Noho Hank has to contend with taking the reins of his people and trying to maintain his relationship with the increasingly distant Barry. In his submitted episode, he has to deal with a new threat and approaches it with his typical sunny optimism. Unfortunately, even if he deserves it, Carrigan won’t be able to beat out his two more well-known costars.

Tony Hale as Gary Walsh, Veep (Veep)
This is Hale’s sixth nomination, returning to this race after his show took last year off. He won for the second and fourth season of the now-concluded comedy. Though I would have picked other members of the cast to be honored this season, Hale continues to be excellent, particularly in the series finale that finds his loyalty to the woman who constantly demeans him tested. His show isn’t represented too well compared to previous years, but that never stopped him in the past. He’s a good bet to win again.

Stephen Root as Monroe Fuches, Barry (berkman > block)
Astonishingly, this is Root’s first Emmy nomination. He was on my list in the past for both “True Blood” and “The West Wing,” and seems to be most famous for his portrayal of Milton with the missing stapler in “Office Space.” In the second season of the HBO hitman comedy, Root took on a more prominent role as Fuches tried to stay relevant. The season finale has both comedy and drama for Root to display, though he’s not likely to beat his showier costar Henry Winkler.

Tony Shalhoub as Abe Weissman, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (We’re Going to the Catskills!)
Shalhoub was nominated for this role last year, and previously won three out of his eight consecutive bids for starring as an obsessive-compulsive detective on “Monk.” He recently won the SAG Award, beating out two of his fellow nominees here and two leading contenders. There’s no argument that his show is wildly popular, and there isn’t a much better showcase for the perfection of his performance than watching Abe try to relax in his familiar Catskills confines. I predicted him to win last year, and he might actually do it this time.

Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau, Barry (What?!)
Winkler won this award last year after five previous acting nominations for “Happy Days” and guest acting. Winkler was celebrated by the audience when he took the stage last year, indicating that there is great reverence for the seasoned actor, who is a great fit for the role of a self-involved acting teacher on HBO’s well-liked comedy. In a season that frequently featured Gene dealing with a devastating loss, his submission focuses more on his fractured relationship with his son, which isn’t as compelling. He could repeat, but I think his fellow nominees have stronger showcases.

Who should win (based on entire season): Shalhoub or Arkin
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Shalhoub or Arkin
Who will win: It could be Winkler again or Shalhoub, but I’m picking Hale for a third career victory.

Next up: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series


Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones (A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms)
This is the first nomination for Christie, who submitted her own name for consideration when HBO didn’t include her in its campaign. She’s a fan favorite who’s done reliable work throughout the years, but nothing matches her emotional turn in a dialogue-heavy episode close to the show’s end that sees her achieving an unexpected rank as mortal danger looms. It’s a formidable submission, and may just be what she needs to defeat her three costars with bigger roles.

Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore, Ozark (The Gold Coast)
This is the first nomination for Garner, who also contended for an individual SAG Award this past year. She’s definitely a very memorable part of her show, demonstrating a real inner rage that manifests itself externally multiple times an episode. I was actually more impressed with her work in earlier episodes, while the season finale emphasizes a dramatic arc relevant to her character that might have seemed like good awards bait. With four actresses from one show likely to split the vote, she’s got a good shot, but she’s far from a sure thing.

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones (The Bells)
This is Headey’s fifth consecutive nomination, with a staggering three costars nominated alongside her after she was her show’s sole female nominee last time. I thought she was definitely going to win for the show’s fifth season finale, but now she has the chance to be rewarded for all of her work for the swan song. Many seem to think she can win, but I don’t think that her final showcase is all that strong since she plays such a minimal, inactive role in her submitted episode, which I believe features stronger performances from her nominated costars Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams.

Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens, Killing Eve (Nice and Neat)
This is the first time Shaw has been nominated for an Emmy, and she also contends for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for “Fleabag.” Though she’s not one of the two lead characters on her show, Shaw still stands out as the savvy, sarcastic boss who knows much more than she’s letting on. Shaw smartly submitted an episode that demonstrates her deadpan skill, especially in sharing scenes with Sandra Oh. A nomination for Shaw makes sense, but a win seems like a bit of a stretch in this crowd.

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Game of Thrones (Winterfell)
This is the first nomination for Turner, who has been a series regular on her show since the beginning. Turner, facing competition from three of her costars, picked a smart episode to showcase Sansa, the season premiere in which she puts on a steely front to the arriving queen who wants to take over her kingdom. She’s definitely not the strongest of the actresses of her show, and it would be pretty shocking if she managed to eclipse any of them to take this award home despite a solid episode choice.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, Game of Thrones (The Long Night)
This is the second nomination for Williams, who was previously nominated in 2016 for the sixth season of her show. I personally think she was the most valuable player next to Peter Dinklage, and she could have chosen a few different episodes to showcase her superb work. Her selection of the intense extended third hour was very smart since she plays a key role in its final scene. For some reason, she doesn’t seem to have the buzz she needs to win, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if she won for a deserving and impressive final effort.

Who should win (based on entire season):
Williams or Garner Who should win (based on individual episodes): Williams
Who will win: I’ve been wanting to say Williams, or maybe even Garner, but I think that Christie is going to pull it off.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series