Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tune In or Tune Out: The Fall (2013)S

The Fall (BBC 2-Available on Netflix)
Created by: Allan Cubitt (Murphy's Law, The Runaway)
Starring: Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, and Laura Donnelly

Americans watch out not only have the Brits dominated in the film acting world, but they are taking over television as well.  The British Invasion was a phrase used to describe The Beatles dominance in the world of American Rock and Roll.  Recently the Brits have had a tremendous influence on American audiences as shows like Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Luther, Torchwood, and Orphan Black (to name a few) have made their mark on American audiences.  This time the Northern Irish and BBC 2 are making their mark!

The Fall is about the PSNI (Police Service Northern Ireland) investigating a series of murders which have targeted a series of women who look similar.  After the police can't track down their killer they bring in an outside police office to help attempt to get the job done.

While the premise sounds rather basic this show is a tremendous study in the human mind of a killer.  The first episode jumps right into action as the serial killer is revealed right away; he is Paul Spector (Jaime Dornan).  American audiences may know Dornan from his brief role as the Huntsman/Sheriff in the ABC series Once Upon a Time.  Dornan's work as this methodical killer is an incredible study in human introspection.  Spector is a psychologist by day whose psyche is truly troubled by night; he stalks his victim in the day while with his children.  A truly dark an methodical process, which only becomes more intense as the second episode begins.

Gillian Anderson, plays Stella Gibson, is the Detective Superintendent (the outside police officer) brought in to investigate the case.  Stella sees many partners within this case the PSNI do not want to see, but there is something the people in charge do not want, these murders to be linked, and this to be seen as a serial killer in Belfast.  Anderson whose largest role was Agent Scully in the FOX television series The X-Files is always brilliant, shows a quiet restraint within this role.  Anderson has never hit the mainstream, other than X-Files, but she always takes on fascinating roles.

The Fall was the highest rated show on BBC2, and is now available on Netflix.  The first episode of this show proved intriguing, and kept me wanting me.  This five episode series (now in the middle of episode two) is going to be one those shows that will keep proving that the Britis, and now the Irish just know how to do things right.  This show is intriguing, well shot, and has sharp writing.

Tune In!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Season (Series) Finales the Best and the Worst 2013 (Spoilers Inside)

Best Series Finale 

The Office-One of the most perfect and emotional series finales I have ever seen.  I laughed, cried, and almost ran out on my husband with Ryan...wait, well maybe not that.  A year after the doc aired, Dwight was manager, Kevin and Tobey fired (about time), and people retiring and moving on from Scranton.  The show has always handled the transient characters so well, and this episode proves nothing less.  Michael Scott's return was handled so well, and his first line being "that's what she said"was perfect. There are so many great lines, and great cries it makes me want watch the episode over and over again!  One of my favorite series finales of all time.

Honorable Mentions:

Smash, The New Normal, Happy Endings...and all the other shows NBC put to sleep

Biggest Letdown

NBC- Last year it was one show (How I Met Your Mother) this year it's a whole network!  NBC renewed only two comedies, and basically is going to overhaul most of their line-up, while this may be a smart decision on their part it may just be plain stupid.  If the network actually paid money, and did better marketing and advertising their shows, they would not be in this situation.  This is why everyone including Jon Stewart makes fun of you on a regular basis, and you know if you are in the same company as CNN, and FOX news its trouble!

Worst Season Finale (Comedy)

Community (NBC) In what was meant to be the shows potential second series finale, Jeff graduates and the gang battles with their characters from the darkest timeline.  While this was one of, if not the best episode of the season, this show has lost it big time, and without Dan Harmon, is just not the same show.  What happened to the plan between Chang and City College, it's just hanging out there, and if this episode was supposed to tie up the loose ends, how could they have let that hang out there?  Without Dan Harmon this show lost its groove.  I am guessing Chevy is not coming back for the fifth season.

Worst Season Finale (Drama)

Glee (FOX) Rachel tries out for musical, Brittany leaves the school, and Regionals is at the end of the season so they can drag things out more?  I hate to say it but with a school shooting, and cat fish like episode this is just not a comedy, this is a drama with snarky comments.  This once great show which made people into musical shows and films once again is a bust.  The new characters are boring the jump from location to location is jarring, and the adults are more juvenile than the students.  This finale was more of the same ole same crap.  This show has lost the spark, it's not special, and this closing episode proves the emotion is just not there anymore.

Best Season Finale (Comedy)

New Girl-Jess and Nick going back and forth in a Ross and Rachel like way, Schmidt at a cross roads with both his lady loves.  This show had a great second season, and honestly loved the way it ended, although there not enough great or memorable season finales for comedy series.

Best Season Finale (Drama)

Revenge-This was a tough call, but after a bad second season Revenge takes the crown for the second year in a row.  It could have gone to Scandal with the final moments revealing Olivia's father had been around all along, or Good Wife's election results, and Alicia striking out on her own, but Revenge going back to the basics, and amping the drama, with the most shocking death (Declan), Nolan's arrest, Victoria's son showing up at the door, and Emily's reveal to Jack that she is actually Amanda (my jaw dropped).  This show knows how to leave you hanging.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Emmy Dream Ballot: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2012-2013)

One week after the Supporting Actors, it's time for the ladies, and like the men this was a tough category to narrow down, at one point in the year I had 9 or 10 women vying for the topic six spots in this category.  These six women became the no brainers.  Not only are these some of the strongest women on television, but they provide some great layered female characters, which are hard to find!

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife 

Diane navigated the potential break up of her firm, the choice between career and love, and at the end of the day did so with poise.  While everyone loves Kahlinda Diane stole this season making her one of the most valuable pieces to The Good Wife family.  Watching her fight to keep her firm was like watching a parent fight for a child, Diane battled to keep the firm, and made sure that at the end of the day she and Will kept control of their baby.  Diane is the most underrated character on the show, and Baranski plays her like no one else could; she is strong, and one of the most commanding female performers on television.

Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan in Dexter 

Boom, you find out your brother is a serial killer, go!  Carpenter's acting skills have grown throughout the years, and while everyone has paid attention to Michael C. Hall they often have forgotton about Debra.  Watching Debra cope with finding out about the "dark passenger" was one of the most amazing story lines, and Carpenter gave incredible performances week after week.  I think the most heart breaking moment was within the last episode where (spoiler) she killed Laguerta instead of Dexter.  The ramifications of this act are going to be interesting but Carpenter proved that Deb, not Dexter was the most interesting character this season.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys "Khaleesi" Targaryen in Game of Thrones

Over the years Clarke has grown into her acting much in the same way Lena Headey grew into character in Thrones.  Khlaeesi is the "mother of the dragons"she is becoming a force to reckoned with, and the growth of her character has been chronicled well this season.  As Khaleesi grows Clarke's strong performance is something powerful, and that should be recognized.  In the past this story line, often was my least favorite, but as Clarke's determination and power grow her performance becomes 
impressive time and time again.  I love the way she not only commands her army, but the screen.

Anna Gunn as Skylar White in Breaking Bad 
Skylar may not have spoken much, her grief about the way she and Walt handled themselves and their fake business got the best of her.  I always hated this character, and to be honest I still do, but Skylar's portrayer Gunn has taken this once shrill character and made her layered, and given a new depth to her, which never existed.  Whether its watching her disgust for Walt, in a more subtle manner or empowering herself Skylar is a different women after a year (the time passed in the show).  Gunn has turned in the most spectacular performance this past season, namely because you can't imagine someone working through the complexity of a husband who makes and deals meth.

Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes in House of Cards

House of Cards who be nothing without the foil to Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey), Ms. Zoe Barnes.  Zoe is young naive, driven, selfish, and I could use many more adjectives to describe this young woman.  At the beginning of Cards Zoe is ready to do and be anything in order to get ahead.  As the season passes by Zoe grows more and more hesitant about the path she has chosen, and the darkness within the political realm which has made into something she never expected.  There are times when you believe Zoe and Frank are cut from the same clothe, but in reality this character is the millenial opposite, biting off more than she can chew.  Mara is fantastic in this role.

Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman in Parenthood 

This was one of the most personal stories told on television this year.  My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, I am glad that diagnosis came after watching Potter's Kristina Braverman go through the experience.  Kristina's cancer story line was one of the driving forces of this season of Parenthood, and one of the most believable journeys of a family to cope with disease.  Potter's performance throughout the season was both beautiful and heartbreaking, I may have cried several times.  Whether you were laughing with her when she got stoned, or crying as she went into septic shock Potter nailed every moment this season.  At the heart of things beyond this story line Kristina is a great mom in the show and together all of these things play out because of Potter.

Runners Up: Abigail Spencer-Rectify, Olivia Munn-The Newsroom, Morena Baccarin-Homeland

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cannes Awards the Palm d'ore La Vie D’Adele – Chapitire 1 & 2 (Blue Is The Warmest Colour)

Today the Cannes jury led by Steven Spielberg completed the awards process by naming the French language film La Vie D’Adele – Chapitire 1 & 2 (Blue Is The Warmest Colour).   The film was directed and written by Abdellatif Kechiche.  

There was a lot of stiff competition at the festival this year, and most of the reviews from the films were pretty glowing.  Based on the review, and pedigree I am most excited about three films which took home other honors.  At the top of my viewing list is Inside Lleywn Davis, from the Coen Brothers, I have not met a film of theirs I did not love, and with this taking them down a different path I am excited.  Le Passe (The Past) from Asghar Farhadi who directed the brilliant Iranian film A Separation. Le Passe took home the Best Actress award for Berenice Bejo a Supporting Actress nominee for the the Oscar winning film The Artist.  The last film on my list is the Alexander Payne film Nebraska.  I was not in love with the The Descendants, but this film looks to go down a slightly different path, so I have hope.  Bruce Dern won the actor prize for Nebraska.  The rest of the winners are listed below.

  • Palme d’or: La Vie D’Adele – Chapitire 1 & 2 (Blue Is The Warmest Colour) by Abdellatif Kechiche
  • Grand Prix (Second Place): Inside Lleywn Davis by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Prix du Jury/Jury Prize: Soshite  Chichi Ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son / Tel Père, Tel Fils) by Kore-Eda Hirokazu
  • Prix de la Mise en Scène/Best Director Award: Amat Escalante for Heli
  • Best performance by an actor: Bruce Dern – Nebraska by Alexander Payne
  • Best performance by an actress: Bérénice Bejo – Le Passe (The Past) by Asghar Farhadi 
  • Prix du scénario/ Best screenplay: Jia Zhangke for Tian Zhu Ding (A Touch Of Sin)
  • Palme d’or du Court Métrage/Palme d’or for Best Short Film: Safe by Moon Byoung-gon
  • Court Métrage Special Mention: 37°4 S by Adriano Valerio
  • Court Métrage Special Mention: Hvalfjordour  (Whale Valley / Le Fjord des Baleines) by Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson 

The Bluth Family is Back! Arrested Development Returns in Top Form

The Bluths are back!  After a seven year absence one of the most dysfunctional television families has returned.  Arrested Development lasted three seasons on FOX, but the network made a huge mistake, they cancelled the show, and did not see the long range fan base.  Throughout the the seven year after the show was cancelled the fan base has grown and grown, and there were talks of making the show into a film a la Sex and the City.  Instead of a movie something even better has happened, the ever growing Netflix has brought the show back!

One of the most amazing things about this show is the way it rose the visibility of the stars from the show.  Development marked a return to form for child star Jason Bateman, and after this show he has never worked more; his most recent film Identity Thief made 130 million domestic.  Will Arnett has had several different sitcoms, and was a recurring guest star on 30 Rock.  Jessica Walter lends her voice to Archer, and so on and son.  I am excited to see them come back to their routes, and like that they seem just as happy to return to working on this show.

After only watching the first four episodes of the show (I had to eat sometime), seeing the countless tweets, and facebook status updates the show has maintained the laughs and the love it has built up throughout the years.  At the moment my favorite thing i have seen is Lucille figuring out how to smoke in her smoke free apartment, no spoilers, but it is one of the funniest things I have seen.  The show also knows how to continue to use its recurring guest stars.  Time to go back to the show, and continue the laughs with one of my favorite television families.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Kings of Summer is an Fun Flick Avoiding the World of the Summer Explosions and Exploring the Angst of Adolescence

 The Kings of Summer (3 1/2 Stars Out of 5 Stars)
Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts 
Written by: Chris Galleta 
Starring: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullaly

As a teenager, my parents frustrated me all of the time.  I used to remember being a social outcast, teased, and sometimes tormented by other students, but never wanting to talk about that with my parents.  My dad would always come home from work asking "How was your day?"  I remember how annoyed I would get by this question, I just wanted alone time, and did not want to talk about how bad my day was.  This film captures that moment in time where the disconnect between parent and child is greatest, and you want to runaway and escape.

Summer follows three young boys who make a home for themselves in the woods when they runaway from their homes. Two of kids have been best friends for years Joe (Robinson) and Patrick (Basso), and they end up randomly getting a tag a long Biaggio (Arias) whose quirks are just hilarious.  Joe and his dad Frank (Offerman) are constantly at war, there disconnect happened when Joe's mom passed away.  Meanwhile Patrick's parents including Megan Mullaly give him hives.  When comes to shove these two kids get pushed too far, and they decide to escape to the woods, and make their own house, along with Biaggio.

For their both Vogt-Roberts and Galleta's first major film they achieve something incredibly humorous and heartfelt.  This film has an element missing from many films today, that intangible element which makes you laugh, but care about the characters and their development.  There are times when the emotional weight and connections are too thin, and the laughs are too quirky, but not ever enough to ruin this film.  Galleta's script does a great job exploring the concept of family, being a man, and that everlasting bond of friendship at such a young age.

Friendship and adulthood are key elements to this script.  Joe wants to be seen as a man so he can be on his own, but all he really wants is the love of the parent he lost; he thinks he knows what it means to be an adult, but soon discovers adulthood can be a lonely place.  Joe's friendship with Patrick and Biaggio help delve into the way friendships grow and develop as well proving that there is more than just playing fort.  The films script is not all about the serious, in fact its quite clever and one incredibly funny film. Vogt-Robert's direction brings out the best in the script, fleshing out the humor and getting some great performances on the screen.

For such a small film this cast is fantastic, with not only Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly, but Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Alison Brie.  These four actors along with the three young male leads round out an incredible ensemble.  I will say one of the problems with the script is that while you are supposed to hate and grow to love Offerman's Frank you never hate him, because he is hilarious and just too damn funny.  Of the adults, he is the best.  Nick Robinson is a star on the rise he played Joey with so much angst, heart and vulnerability it was one of the best performances I have seen so far this year.  Watching Joe grow throughout the film provides you with a deeper richer meaning when you think about your own maturation, and the girl who broke your heart, or when you started to get your parents.

While the script and the and acting elements standout, the technical aspects of this film bring everything together.  Ross Riege's lensing helps capture the beauty and stark reality of the nature the boys call home.  Films like this are rarely given credit for the technical aspects, but this film knows how to not only place you in the environment but within a young boys mind.  The fractured (intentional) editing helps make you feel as though you are looking at things like you are a 15 year old boy, especially the Super Nintendo referenced scenes cutting back and forth between the real world, and the video game influence. 

At the end of the day the cast shines, the film is beautifully shot, and this is a fun film.  Together all these elements make for a special experience providing a summer escape from the explosions, allowing audiences to commune with nature, nature, laugh, and remember just how tough it was to be a teenager again.  This was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had at the movies all year.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines is an Engrossing Journey of Fathers and Sons, along with the Haves and Have Nots

The Place Beyond the Pines (3 1/2 out of 5 Stars)
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine)
Written by: Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), Ben Coccio (The Beginner), and Darius Marder
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, and Ryan Gosling

Prior to watching this film I knew that some of it was filmed in my home town Schenectady, New York, but I did not realize the film was set in that town.  Watching the film, and seeing a police car chase on Brandywine Street, through the cemetery, and onto State Street, places I have seen many times created a built in connection to this film.  Along with this scene there were glimpses of Trustco Bank, my bank, a small bank in the capitol district of upstate New York.  The setting of this film feels like one of the characters, and ironically connects with the title.  Schenectady is Mohawk for "place beyond pine plains."  This setting helps create the backdrop to an interesting one intensely rich film.

Pines weaves together three different story connecting from start to finish the role which status and family play within different people lives.  Luke (Gosling) is with what looks like a traveling fair which goes from city to city; he is an expert motorcycle rider, riding around on his bike in a cage with others.  After meeting Romina (Mendes) years later the two have a one night stand.  Luke returns one year later to find that he has a son.  Luke quite his job in order to attempt to take care of his son, while Romina has moved on with someone else.  As Luke becomes desperate he starts to robs bank leading his story to connect with police office named Avery (Cooper).  Without giving away the direction of the film, the story spans a long period of time in which the sins of fathers come back to haunt their sons.

Throughout time there have been numerous books from the Bible to Shakespeare which give meaning to the adage of the sins of the father.  The adage I am most familiar with comes from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice which states  "The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children."  This is one of the common themes throughout the film which the three screenwriters explore within Pines.  While Luke is almost laden in mystery we do know that he grew up without a father, and he wants to help be there and raise his son because he grew up messed up and he attributes it to his father being absent.  On the other hand Avery's father has almost too much of an active role in his life defining him to be someone of merit and value, putting this invisible pressure on him which permeates throughout the film.  

The father son element of the film is handled excellently, especially in the third act as you get to watch Luke and Avery's sons experience their father's have or or have not done for them.  The scripts exploration of the "haves" versus the "have nots" is also handled well.  Luke comes from nothing as does Romina.  Meanwhile while Avery and his family do have money their power and influence within the system (at the beginning of the film) provide them with a launching point, which provides them with tons of opportunities.  The city of Schenectady plays a great role in creating this class distinction.  Schenectady, an old industrial town provides the vantage point of creating the great class divide, something transparent for people who do not call the place home.

Cianfrance's other work Blue Valentine is a little bit tighter with developing the relational divides, and building to the disconnect than Pines.  As the film winds down to the third act, and the focus is on both Luke and Avery's sons there is obviously still and interest in the impact of "the sins of the father" but the film starts to lose the steam momentum that penetrates throughout the beginning of the film.  I believe this lack unraveling also has to do with the young boy playing AJ (Emory Cohen) who like his film father (Cooper) loses believability with their emotions.  Cooper wowed in Silver Linings Playbook, but I lost him in this film, and his internal struggle was overwrought and conveyed too much with over the acting at times.  Meanwhile like Luke (Gosling)  both he and his film son Jason (Dennis DeHaan) exuded this ferocity within their facial expressions and quiet performances.  Gosling is a master at conveying his acting with the look (see Drive, and Blue Valentine).

The film conveys a deep emotional experience that connects you with their characters, and the journey they are which seems for all unfortunately pre-destined.  In an era where we want to break free of the class chains this film exposes the powerlessness most succumb to, and the way in which our lot in life determines our place.  Pines is a great drama, with a solid script emphasizing the way in which society and the people around us especially our fathers can define the experiences people face.

The Big Bang Theory, Horror Story, Parks and Rec, Good Wife, Game of Thrones and The Americans Lead 2012-2103 TV Critics Nominations

Interesting nominees this morning with former favorites Modern Family, Community (last years winner) and Mad Men all shut out of most of the races.  With each show only receiveing one nomination.  Modern Family is hitting a plateau creatively, Mad Men's drug induced episodes and angry Don are sliding out from under their feet, and Community star Danny Puddi saved this season.
Good news for Comedies The Big Bang Theory and Parks and Recreation!  Bang received 6 nominations, the show is consistently good, and one of the only Chuck Lorre shows I can stomach, namely because of the acting.  I think it should win Outstanding Comedy Series at some point at the Emmy Awards.  Parks and Recreation came in at a close second with 5 nominations, and has maintained its favorite status with critics even longer than The Office did!  The rest of the Best Comedy Series nominees were Louie (4 nominations), The Middle (2 nominations), New Girl (4 nominations), and Veep (2 nominations).  Interestingly enough Girls was snubbed from this category, I am guessing the second half of the second season through off the critics.  
On the Drama side there is a four way tie between The Americans, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, and Game of Thrones, which each had 4 nominations a piece.  I need to get back into The Americans, I gave up on it, but maybe I missed something.  The other three shows deserve this credit, Wife is beyond underrated, and Game of Thrones is knocking it out of the park, and Breaking Bad is well, Breaking Bad.  The rest of the nominees were Downton Abbey, which had its weakest season (1 nomination), and Homeland (3 nominations, how they snubbed Mandy Patinking is beyond me.
Some surprise/fun nominees this morning were Sutton Foster for Bunheads, Jeremy Sisto for Suburgatory, Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black, and Abigail Spencer for Rectify.
In the movie/mini-series category American Horror Story: Asylum cleaned up with its massive cast tieing The Big Bang Theory as the most nominated with 6 nominations.  Other nominees are Behind the Candelabra (3 nominations), The Crimson Petal and the White (1 nomination), The Hour (3 nominations), Political Animals (4 nominations), and Top of the Lake (5 nominations).
The Big Bang Theory
The Middle
New Girl
Parks and Recreation
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation)
Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory)
Laura Dern (Enlightened)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Sutton Foster (Bunheads)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory)
Alex Karpovsky (Girls)
Adam Pally (Happy Endings)
Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation)
Danny Pudi (Community)
Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory)
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory)
Sarah Hyland (Modern Family)
Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory)
Eden Sher (The Middle)
Casey Wilson (Happy Endings)
Melissa Leo (Louie)
David Lynch (Louie)
Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory)
Patton Oswalt (Parks and Recreation)
Molly Shannon (Enlightened)
Patrick Wilson (Girls)
The Americans 
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Damian Lewis (Homeland)
Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead)
Timothy Olyphant (Justified)
Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Keri Russell (The Americans)
Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Michael Cudlitz (Southland)
Noah Emmerich (The Americans)
Walton Goggins (Justified)
Corey Stoll (House of Cards)
Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter)
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Regina King (Southland)
Monica Potter (Parenthood)
Abigail Spencer (Rectify)
Jim Beaver (Justified)
Jane Fonda (The Newsroom)
Martha Plimpton (The Good Wife)
Carrie Preston (The Good Wife)
Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones)
Jimmy Smits (Sons of Anarchy)
American Horror Story: Asylum
Behind the Candelabra
The Crimson Petal and the White
The Hour
Political Animals
Top of the Lake
Benedict Cumberbatch (Parade’s End)
Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra)
Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra)
Toby Jones (The Girl)
Al Pacino (Phil Spector)
Dominic West (The Hour)
Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta)
Romola Garai (The Hour)
Rebecca Hall (Parade’s End)
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Asylum)
Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake)
Sigourney Weaver (Political Animals)
James Cromwell (American Horror Story: Asylum)
Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake)
Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story: Asylum)
Sebastian Stan (Political Animals)
David Wenham (Top of the Lake)
Thomas M. Wright (Top of the Lake)
Ellen Burstyn (Political Animals)
Sienna Miller (The Girl)
Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Asylum)
Lily Rabe (American Horror Story: Asylum)
Imelda Staunton (The Girl)
Alfre Woodard (Steel Magnolias)
Duck Dynasty 
The Moment 
Pawn Stars
Push Girls
Small Town Security 
Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan 
Face Off 
Shark Tank 
So You Think You Can Dance 
The Voice
Tom Bergeron (Dancing With the Stars)
Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance)
Gordon Ramsay (Hell’s Kitchen/Masterchef)
RuPaul (RuPaul’s Drag Race)
Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)
Kurt Warner (The Moment)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 
The Ellen DeGeneres Show 
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Adventure Time 
Phineas and Ferb 
Regular Show 
The Simpsons 
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Monday, May 20, 2013

Emmy Dream Ballot: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012-2013)

This is the best line-up I have seen in this category in a long time, and everyone of the 6 actors could be named a winner.  These six men come from a variety of worlds, some as royalty in King's Landing, others attempting to be kings of DC.  There are of course those who restraint tries to help keep calm within their world whether they be killers helping sell meth, or protectors of the news.  This year is filled with some incredibly complex men who may be the support, but within their shows, but they were some of my favorite performances of the year.

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut in Breaking Bad

In previous seasons Mike was merely the hired gun, but once Gus went goodbye, and Walt started to run the show we got a deeper look into Mike.  Banks quiet desperation as he tried to be a grandfather while avoiding being hauled into jail was incredibly well played.  Yet in this very season this love able grandfather was terrorizing Laura Fraser's character, threatening her life and attempting to take her away from her daughter.  Gilligan knew how to add layers to Mike, but it was Banks performance which sealed the deal.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones

Tyrion aka Peter Dinklage always gets most of the credit for the acting chops in this show, and he he was close  to making this list, but Nikolaj has knocked it out of the park as Jaime this season.  Jaime went from being this monster who pushed a child out a window to someone giving a beautiful soliloquy while held captive, to Brienne.  This shows Jaime's vulnerability more than ever.  Jaime's connection with Brienne has not only brought the best in Jaime, but with Nikolaj's acting; he is cocky, but has shed that one note level creating a depth to his character that will jump into a bear pit.  Nikolaj has had a great season.

Walton Goggins as Boyd Cowder in Justified

Boyd and Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) have one of the best dynamics on television, you want to route for the them both, but you just can't, the same way you can't route for Patrick Dempsey and Josh Lucas in Sweet Home Alabama.  Boyd's battle to get Drew Thompson lead him and Ava down the rabbit hole and forced him to lose something so valuable to him.  Watching boyd beaten down at the end of the season to the point of no return, the way he was as a child was some of the best acting.  Goggins is a pro, and one hell of a scene stealer; he is one of the most under appreciated actors working in television.

Corey Stoll as Representative Peter Russo in House of Cards

One of the most complex roles of the 2012-2013 television season, while make talk about Francis Underwood, watching Corey Stoll tackle Peter Russo's decline is one of the most brilliant supporting performances ever.  Peter is just a like able guy trying to right by his family, his constituents, while doing blow and succumbing to DC's political games.  Watching the yo-yo effect of Petter Russo was brilliant, and thanks to Corey Stoll handled with great aplomb.  Stoll hits the high and low notes with little effort; he makes you want Peter to succeed, you route for him because of Stoll's performance, and yet in the end you can't help but realize you knew outcome.

Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson in Homeland

How can you not love Saul; he is the rock of this show.  Saul is there for Carrie when he needs her most, a surrogate father at work always look after her.  Saul is an incredible character, and while some may miss the great acting, it's because Mandy Patinkin is that good.  Patinkin's effortless style helps you to get lose in triumph of the creation of this character.  Saul is a truly supporting character; he watches as things happen, but often is the one who provides that insightful wisdom.  Watching Saul try bargain with the woman who was going to attempt a terrorist attack, was such a gut wrenching moment, realizing he was never going to succeed, and seeing the sorrow within his face, was all the proof Patinkin is the most under rated character in this show.

Sam Waterston as Charlie Skinner in The Newsroom

Charlie Skinner is the heart of this new Sorkin show, and was always my favorite part week after week.  Charlie is a tough talking, whiskey drinking, old school television guy.  Charlie believes the news has meaning, and he fights for Will (Jeff Daniels) and his team to put together the news the way it should be done, as actual news.  Charlie reminds of me of the Leo McGarry type character, the wise friend to the central character.  While he may be reminiscent of an old Sorkin archtype Charlie is brilliantly formed by Waterston's give em hell performance.  Watching him fight Fiona (head of the network), or dealing with the change in the news cycle this man has been around for years, and Waterston plays him pitch perfect.

Runner Ups: Noah Emmerich-The Americans, Kevin Rahm-Mad Men, and Peter Dinklage-Game of Thrones