Monday, September 19, 2016

TV: 68th Primetime Emmy Awards

The 68th Emmys occurred on ABC last night and while I tuned in for a good bit, watching television is taking a lot of time lately as is apparent from the impressive showing of all the television shows that were nominated and awarded last night. I could have predicted a large amount of the winners but there were some surprises and informed me of shows that I haven't watched but need to make more time to watch at some point soon. In my short analysis, I'll start with the big awards and work my way down and address as many as I can.

Outstanding Drama Series: Game of Thrones (HBO)
My favorite show also took home the biggest award of the night and as Game of Thrones pushed passed George R.R. Martin's novels, the show became full of surprises that left me on the edge of my seat and jumping up in the air. This HBO epic brings much needed attention to the fantasy drama and has risen from a long shot to a sure thing. The directing awards also went to Game of Thrones for that amazing episode of Battle of the Bastards, possibly my favorite episode that I've ever watched on television. Mr. Robot is probably the show that came the closest to stealing the Throne as it performed well at the Golden Globes. I like the show but as the second season has arrived with a slower set of episodes, it may have suffered while Thrones is at the top of its game. Better Call Saul and House of Cards are both fun shows to watch but nothing that really stuns though Cards tries hard at it, this wasn't its best season. The Americans and Homeland are both awesome spy dramas, The Americans could have its day with the last season on the horizon and Homeland is great but it's a packed field. I never watched Downton Abbey.

Outstanding Comedy Series: Veep (HBO)
Veep is a show that I have heard a lot of good things about and have watched a few of episodes of the first season, but I'll have to work on adding this show to the top of my viewing list. Master of None is another show that I would have rooted for heavily, Aziz Ansari was great. Silicon Valley and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are also shows I've loved this year but it looks like it will take a lot to get awarded. Modern Family has triumphed plenty of times before and Blackish is a new one, but I just don't have the free time to watch network television.

Outstanding Limited Series: The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story 
This category grew bigger this year with some amazing prestige shows. OJ Simpson was probably one of my favorite shows of the year and has a reserved space in my top ten no matter what happens. Sarah Paulson and Courtney B. Vance also won acting awards for their roles as Marcia Clark and Johnnie Cochran respectively. These actors elevated this show to another level, but all around, great television.

 Fargo is also a spectacular show and added with the Americans and all the other awesomeness coming from FX, this channel is doing great things. Other great shows I saw this year were The Night Manager and Roots. I have yet to watch American Crime.

Outstanding Variety Talk Show: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
I have really enjoyed John Oliver's weekly late night comedy. I've felt like it has a much more informed approach to comedy though it has the advantage of only coming on once a week. I haven't watched it as much as I used to but still enjoy every episode I catch. The only other comedy show is Real Time with Bill Maher, but I've heard good things about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Key & Peele (Comedy Central)
Key & Peele ended their television run as they have moved to movies with the great Keanu. Inside Amy Schumer was another great Variety Sketch series that could possibly be over this year due to some controversy. I did not watch the other shows yet.

I only saw All the Way in the movie category, and I don't watch reality television.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot (USA)
Rami Malek was brilliant in the first season of Mr. Robot and continues to shine in the second. He was well-deserving of the award and brings recognition to a show that is working towards being one of the best shows on television in a new era of television. All of the actors in this category were amazing, Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan is brooding and great to watch. I will be writing a review of the fourth season right after this post. Kevin Spacey is great in House of Cards. Bob Odenkirk and hilarious as Jimmy McGill and brought new depth to the Saul Goodman character. Matthew Rhys deserves recognition for his role in The Americans and I hope he wins it next year. Kyle Chandler was enjoyable but definitely at the bottom of the list of these actors. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (BBC America)
I've caught the first two season of Orphan Black and witnessed Tatiana Maslany's brilliance. I don't know what the last few season have added to it, but this show and character are brilliant because of this great actress. Claire Danes is great in Homeland and has been nominated multiple times before and won twice so she'll be in as long as she stays in this role. Keri Russell has also delivered in The Americans.

I didn't see either of the comedy award winners and need to put some time into both Transparent and Veep, a takeaway from this year Emmys. The big winner is the Limited Series Category, especially American Crime Story, which I'm excited to see what it offers next. Game of Thrones has established itself as extraordinary and I hope it will remain so until the end. Mr. Robot is the rising star and The Americans deserves recognition in its last year and Fargo should get some love at some point. 

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