Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Directing and Writing in a Comedy Series

The Comeback LIsa Kudrow HBO SeasonComedic television about women, and gay men (plus Louis C.K.) rule!  I have an odd feeling
 that my dream ballot for writing and directing in a Comedy series will look nothing like the Emmy nominations, but dare to dream.  

This year The Comeback made well, a comeback to HBO.  In the final episode we see Valerie Cherish get "what she really wants."  Cherish represents different aspects of women working in the industry today, and it was in this final episode we got to see every level of her humanity.  This character's journey had a perfect climax (I hope), and the last episode of the season, maybe series, was easily the best written episode of comedic television this year.

Women were represented better than ever in comedic television this year, just look at the range of great performances that could compete in Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.  Yet there was one show that represented women better any television series this year, Jane the Virgin.  Jane and its female characters represent the depth and breadth of a variety of cultures and personalities.  There are few shows with perfect first years, but but Jane is one of them.  This show's wit, and heart channel and energy that is often missing in television.  

On a closing note Parks and Recreation was the only network television show to make this list, and not many on network TV hold a candle to this series.  Network television has made a jump in quality on the dramatic  side, but many outside of CBS have left comedy in the dirt.  Network television needs to step up their game if they would like to compete.

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
The Comeback-Valerie Gets What She Really Wants -Michael Patrick King
Jane the Virgin-Chapter One-Brad Siberling
Getting On-The 7th Annual Christmas Card Competition-Becky Martin
Looking-Looking for a Plot-Andrew Haigh
Parks and Recreation-Leslie and Ron-Beth McCarthy-Miller
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-Kimmy Goes to a Party! – Nicole Holofcener

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
Broad City-In Heat-Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer
The Comeback-Valerie Gets What She Really Wants -Michael Patrick King and Lisa Kudrow
Jane the Virgin-Chapter One-Jennie Snyder Urman
Louie-Bobby’s House-Louis C.K.
Parks and Recreation-Leslie and Ron-Michael Shur
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-Kimmy Goes on a Date-Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Directing and Writing in a Drama Series

Breaking Bad left a void that needed to be filled, and it seems like another final season 
from an AMC show was up to the task.  While the first two or three episodes of Mad Men's final season were a bit off, the home stretch was of the best television this year.  Jared Harris played Lane Price in front of the camera for a few seasons, but it was his work off camera that began the major shift in tone for this season.  "Time & Life" ushered in the end the agency, and the beginning to closure for this show.  In the writing department Person to Person credited solely to series creator Matthew Weiner was one of the best series finales of all time with more closure than expected.  The finale drove me into the place I wanted to be when this show came to a close, their was heart, humor, and Don as a vulnerable human.  This show was a masterpiece, and these two episodes are shining examples of brilliant television.

As one show ends, many new shows found their groove, Better Call Saul (AMC), Empire (FOX), Daredevil (Netflix), The Affair (Showtime), and Transparent (Amazon).  This is the most new blood (show wise) I have included in my dream ballot since the year 24, Alias, Six Feet Under, and The Shield premiered.  Each of the new shows this year were special in their own way, but the show that struck the largest cord with me was Transparent.

Before I delve deeper into the emotionally complex show, about about a person fully realizing their identity, I will state that I consider Transparent a drama.  Like Orange is the  New Black last year, I will buck Emmy category placement, and say that Transparent has some funny moments, but in the in end it should be placed in the drama categories, but that's my person opinion.  Transparent is a brilliant show starring Jeffrey Tambor as Maura.  Tambor was born male with body parts, but over the course of his life starts to identify as a woman.  Tambor's journey as this character allows audiences to see the heartfelt struggle of coming out trans, while dealing with other aspects of life, like family, friends, work, love, and many other things.  I can't wait to continue this journey with Maura.

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series
Daredevil-Daredevil-Steven S. DeKnight
Empire-Pilot-Lee Daniels
Game of Thrones-The Dance of Dragons-David Nutter
Mad Men-Time & Life-Jared Harris
Orange is the New Black-Thirsty Bird-Jodie Foster
Transparent-Pilot-Jill Solloway

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
Transparent-The Wilderness-Jill Solloway
The Americans-Stingers-Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
The Affair-1-Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi
Mad Men-Person to Person-Matthew Weiner
Orange is the New Black-We Have Manners, We’re Polite-Jenji Kohan
The Good Wife-Oppo Research-Robert and Michelle King