Over the past few years men like Spielberg, and Scorsese have brought things to life on the small screen from mini-series like Band of Brothers, to dramatic series like Boardwalk Empire. This year there was a one two punch from Beau Willimon (Ides of March) and David Fincher (Seven, The Social Network, Fight Club) with the Netflix original series House of Cards. Cards, not only put Netflix on the map, but the show upped the ante making the political arena one of the most interesting. Willimon's creation of Franic Underwood feels as though you are in the intimate reality of DC, and Fincher's direction takes direction of a television series to a whole new level, making this intimate series feel much more large scale, an impressive feat for both men.
Some writing was a bit more controversial, namely television producer/writer Aaron Sorkin who has also made a name for himself in film writing both The Social Network and Moneyball, Network scored him a win, and Moneyball a nomination. Aaron Sorkin was praised for his television series The West Wing, but his newest creation The Newsroom received mixed reviews. Newsroom was seen by some as misogynistic, and manipulatively liberal. While watching this series I could see the critiques having merit, but this show was just too compelling, and Sorkin's writing style is too brilliant to ignore. Sorkin creates an accurate representation of the real life news world. Even seasoned news anchors like Dan Rather praised the show, for being realistic, that's an impressive affirmation.
Sorkin is not alone in the world of transitioning from television to film seamlessly; he is joined by writer/director Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick). Johnson made his first foray into television in 2010 directing episodes of Breaking Bad, and Terriers. Johnson has returned this year to Breaking Bad directing the season finale entitled Fifty-One. In Fifty-One Johnson creates a sequence mirroring the genius story transition of the film Goodfellas. Johnson shows his mastery of the show through elegant, but gritty direction, which highlights the show perfectly. The episode takes television to a higher level raising the the bar for style and substance like no show, proving once again television has become an elevated art form.
Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
Breaking Bad- Fifty-One-Sam Catlin
The Good Wife-Red Team/Blue Team-Robert King and Michelle King
House of Cards-Chapter One-Beau Willimon
Justified-Decoy-Graham Yost & Chris Provenzana
The Newsroom-5/1-Aaron Sorkin
Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series
Breaking Bad-Fifty-One-Rian Johnson
Dexter-Are You….? -John Dahl
Game of Thrones-The Rains of Castamere-David Nutter
The Good Wife-What’s in the Box? -Robert King
House of Cards-Chapter One-David Fincher
Homeland-Q & A- Leslie Linka Glatter