Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Emmy Catch-Up: Self Made (Series Finale)

Every year, I watch the six submitted episodes of every series I don’t regularly watch that’s up for one of the Emmy series prizes. This year, I’m watching the entire season of every series nominated in the top category, as well as this one, which netted a lead actress bid for Octavia Spencer but missed the main limited series race.

Self Made: Season 1, Episode 4 “A Credit to the Race” (B+)

This episode again skipped forward to show a wondrously successful Sarah living next to John D. Rockefeller and contemplating the next steps to cement her legacy. Desiring to have a convention at her own home was an interesting way of celebrating all she had accomplished, inviting people in to the way she lived to commemorate all that she had done. The appearance of protestors outside her door was less expected, but the drugstore deal that she had hoped for her entire life turned out to have some unfortunate implications for those who had worked tirelessly to sell her products on their own, aware that they were a crucial part of the fabric of the operation that would be irreversibly transformed by a move like this. Her prognosis only made her more stubborn and set on doing things her way, and it didn’t seem like she was going to cave to anyone else’s demands. But she ended up doing just that, realizing the value of her employees and even deciding that she wasn’t going to let her husband’s uselessness bother her anymore, despite the fact that Dora was clearly trying to profit off her name and use it to sell products. Her admission to Addie that she did steal her formula was an interesting point since the character of Addie is based in part of the real-life Annie Malone and its only suspected that part of their rift was to do with stolen products, though none of that is confirmed. This was still a worthwhile and emphatic closer to a short limited series that I found to be well-acted and well-costumed. I don’t think Octavia Spencer has a shot at winning an Emmy but I’m glad that I watched this show.

Series grade: B+
Series MVP: Octavia Spencer as Sarah

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