Monday, January 23, 2017

So, Here are My Oscar Nomination Predictions...

Hey gang, it's about that time again. The Oscar nominations are being announced in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, so here are my predictions for said nominations. The big winner is expected to be La La Land, with probably at least 12 nominations, and the possibility of tying the record of 14 even. Yeah, I enjoyed the film very much, and it did make my top ten list (spoiler alert...coming next week), but Best Picture? Well, it is the kind of film Hollywood likes, so it won't be a surprise. Anyway, another big winner tomorrow will most likely be Moonlight, the one film that could feasibly snatch the eventual Oscar away from La La Land. Other probable big winners tomorrow, include Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, Fences, and Lion. But enough rambling, here are my predictions!

BEST PICTURE

1. La La Land 
2. Moonlight
3. Manchester by the Sea
4. Arrival
5. Lion
6. Hacksaw Ridge
7. Hidden Figures
8. Hell or High Water
9. Silence
10. Fences

Possible spoilers: Loving or Nocturnal Animals

Wishful Thinking: The Lobster

As we can nowadays get anywhere between five and ten nominations in the top category, it is a hard one to predict. At least once you get past the top six or seven. But here we go anyway. I do believe the top six are sure fire nominees. After that, who knows. Hidden Figures has lost steam lately, as has Hell or High Water and Fences, and Silence, though a gorgeous and passionate film, has seemingly not caught on with voters. But hey, here they are anyway. We'll see how many films they nominate. The recent years, say it will be nine once again, so Fences or Silence may be out. Wouldn't it be funny if Deadpool snuck in there? Ha! And hey, whatever happened to the sure thing that was Birth of a Nation?

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Damian Chazelle for La La Land
2. Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
3. Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
4. Denis Villeneuve for Arrival
5. Garth Davis for Lion

Possible Spoiler: Marty Scorsese for Silence

Wishful Thinking: Yorgos Lanthimos for The Lobster

The top four are virtual locks, with number five, an almost sure thing. I would love to see Scorsese sneak in, but it isn't looking very promising in that avenue. As for the Oscar itself, if Chazelle were to win, he will become the youngest Best Director winner ever, and if Jenkins were to win, he will become the first African American to take the award.

BEST ACTRESS

1. Emma Stone in La La Land
2. Natalie Portman in Jackie
3. Isabelle Huppert in Elle
4. Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins
5. Amy Adams in Arrival

Possible Spoiler: Annette Bening in 20th Century Women or Ruth Negga in Loving

This looks like a pretty set bunch of nominees. I suppose one of the spoilers could leap in there, but somewhat unlikely. The real race comes to the Oscar itself. For so long, Stone has been the frontrunner, but suddenly this is a three way race between her and Portman and Huppert.

BEST ACTOR

1. Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea
2. Denzel Washington in Fences
3. Ryan Gosling in La La Land
4. Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge
5. Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic

Possible Spoiler: Joel Edgerton in Loving

No Way in Hell, but Wouldn't it be Awesome: Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

This is a six-way race. I cannot fathom another possibility of someone sneaking in there. When the Oscar is given out, it is going to be great to watch Casey Affleck, probably the best actor of his generation, win his first Oscar. Sure, Denzel could take the prize, but I think this is Casey's year. And, please take notice to no previous mention of Tom Hanks in Sully. Wasn't he the front runner a few months back? Oh well.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Viola Davis in Fences
2. Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea
3. Naomi Harris in Moonlight
4. Nicole Kidman in Lion
5. Octavia Spenser in Hidden Figures

Possible Spoilers: Um...nobody really. Okay, maybe Greta Gerwig in 20th Century Women

An almost sure 5-way set of locks. Yeah, Gerwig could sneak in, but it looks unlikely. Then again, this awards season has been filled with surprises, so who knows? The big thing about this category though, is the fact that it may have three African American nominations, and possibly a winner in Davis. After last year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy, this is a major step in equality in Hollywood. Okay, not actual equality (the country seems to be leaning the other direction these days) but it is at least a step for the Academy.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Mahershala Ali in Moonlight
2. Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water
3. Dev Patel in Lion
4. Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins
5. Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea

Possible Spoiler (and I would love it): Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals

Another category of five almost perfect locks. I would enjoy seeing Taylor-Johnson getting a nod. Nocturnal Animals is one of the best films of 2016 (spoiler alert again...my belated Top Ten is coming next week) and I would love to see some love for it around these parts. Hey, and speaking of which, howzabout a surprise nod for Taylor-Johnson's costar, Michael Shannon?

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. Manchester by the Sea
2. La La Land
3. Hell or High Water
4. The Lobster
5. Captain Fantastic

Other possibilities: Zootopia and/or Jackie and/or 20th Century Women

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. Moonlight
2. Fences
3. Arrival
4. Lion
5. Nocturnal Animals

Other possibilities: Hidden Figures and/or Elle and/or Toni Erdmann

Ultra Spoiler: Deadpool

Finally, a coupla categories where I can put both The Lobster and Nocturnal Animals in there, and not just out of wishful thing. Actually, it could just be wishful thinking after all, since the writing categories tend to have the most surprises of the main categories. Of course then, there is always that damn ultra spoiler. Who knows?

Well, I'm a-gonna stop there. Let's leave all the technical categories to the fates (and just say I had a perfect score on predicting them). I'll be back tomorrow, with my reactions to the nominees, and to show off how well I did in predicting said nominees.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.







Friday, January 20, 2017

Here Are Some Things I Believe In, or to Put it in a Slightly More Grammatically Proper Way, Some Things In Which I Believe

So, since today (the Trump Inauguration is happening as I type these words) is a dark day in my nation's history, I thought I would post a rather positive piece for ya'll to read. Well, at least as positive as one can be on this wicked day. So here ya go. Have at it. Here are some things in which I believe...

I believe that Pluto is, and always will be, a planet.
I believe that Hello Kitty is a kitty, and not a little girl.
I believe that Han shot first!
I believe in Bigfoot, aliens, and ghosts.
I believe the Loch Ness Monster is not actually a monster.
I believe in all those things that go bump in the night!
I believe in Zimmerman
I believe in Father Christmas
I believe in Michael Brown
I believe Oswald did NOT act alone
I believe Jack Ruby was a patsy's patsy
I believe in this post
I believe this post is stoopid
I believe in the right for everyone to get married
I believe people should be able to use whichever bathroom they so desire
I believe Han shot first (did I already say this one?)
I believe Donald Trump has always been a repugnant human being
I believe in Kennedy
I believe in Chubby Checker
I believe in Yoko and Me
I believe in Miracles
I believe that time is non-linear
I believe the future can affect the past
I believe in the wibbly-wobbly and the timey-wimey
I believe in The Doctor
I believe I am The Doctor
I believe there is a cure for AIDS
I believe in Area 51
I believe our Government hides things from us
I believe there are aliens amongst us
I believe I may be one of them (but please don't tell anyone else)
I believe the Truth is Out There
I believe in Mulder and (sometimes) Scully
I believe Marisa Tomei deserved her Oscar for My Cousin Vinney
I believe Marisa Tomei deserves anything she wants
I believe in the ghost of Rutherford B. Hayes
I believe in the Ghost of Xmas Past
I believe in The Plastic Ono Band
I believe Leonard Peltier is innocent
I believe Charlie Manson was railroaded
I believe the Rosenbergs were heroes
I believe we should all look for the union label
I believe the record companies should fuck off
I believe Andy Kaufman is still alive
I believe in Prince
I believe in Bowie
I believe in Absurdism
I believe in Dada
I believe in Gaga
I believe in the Mother Monster
I believe Black Lives Matter
I believe I benefit from white privilege
I believe most white people do not believe they do too
I believe in the holy spirit of Huey Lewis & the News
I believe in Hot Chocolate
I believe in Marriage Equality
I believe homophobes are assholes
I believe the cornfields of Kansas are exploding
I believe the nuclear codes are in the wrong hands
I believe war is a for-profit industry
I believe prisons are too
I believe Seinfeld is the greatest comedy in TV history
I believe there is nothing wrong with that
I believe the New York Times said god is dead
I believe dinosaurs are going to make a comeback
I believe sexy never left (Prince said that)
I believe Marilou Henner is an underrated genius
I believe that last statement was just a joke
I believe in the Rebel Alliance
I believe Order 66 was bullshit
I believe in the all-encompasing power of Alec Baldwin
I believe Tina Fey is one of the sexiest women on TV
I believe Dorothy Parker was wrong about that whole glasses quip
I believe in Barbara Feldon
I believe in cats and dogs
I believe in the awesomeness of Dr. Peter Venkman
I believe that Han shot first! Did I mention that one already?
I believe Joan Crawford never beat her kids with wire hangers!
I believe Michael Jackson never touched those children!!
and
I believe we will all get through this terrible time (sorta)....

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My 10 Favourite TV Shows of 2016

So here we are again. That inevitable end of the year look back at the best, or favourites, if you will, shows of the year. As TV, or what we still archaically call TV,  evolves, so does my annual list. As the best of TV moves away from the networks. and towards cable and pay TV, and even non TV outlets such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, my list does the same. Two years ago, my top ten had two network shows still hanging on. Last year, there was just the one network hanger-on. This year, this list? Not a single network show is left. Sure, there are a handful in the runners-up section, but none on the list proper. What does this mean? I suppose it means the networks all suck. Anyhoo, without any further annoying ado, here are my choices for the best shows of 2016.

1. Stranger Things (Netflix) - Blending together the essence of everything from Stephen King to Steven Spielberg to John Carpenter to Predator and The Goonies and just about every other sci-fi/horror/fantasy moment from the 1980's, this fun and strange little eighties period piece is the perfect nostalgic, loving creature for this Gen Xer. Oh yeah, and it also happens to be a brilliant take on the tricks and tropes of genre film and television, and is designed and filmed (and very well at that) to look like a movie made in 1983. Oh yeah, and it has Winona Ryder too. What more does a grown-up sci-fi loving 80's teen need?

2. Mr. Robot (USA) - This was the surprise hit of 2015 (at least a surprise in my mind), and with it's second season, it got even better. Even darker and deeper down the rabbit hole we went. Rami Malek is a cerebral sensation here, accompanied by some of the sharpest writing on television, and a visual presence that reminds one of Kubrick doing The Matrix, with a tinge of Fight Club. Oh yeah, and it has Christian Slater too. Look at that, Winona and Christian in the top two spots.

3. Atlanta (FX) - I love things that are uncategorizable, and Atlanta is definitely one of those things. Part half hour comedy, part drama or even tragicomedy, part semi-autobiographical narrative, and part self-deprecating satire, Donald Glover's auteuresque cinematic small screen creation plays at almost as many tropes as the actor-writer-director's last effort, Community. Sometimes quite meta (one episode played out as a talk show within a show, complete with hilarious fake commercials mixed in with the real ads) and sometimes quite tragically real, Atlanta was the new shining light of cable television.

4. Game of Thrones (HBO) - This cult favourite show will only be around for two more seasons, and shortened seasons at that, but for this list, we are only talking about season six, and what a season it was, with the season finale rivaling the show's classic Red Wedding in brutality...hell, surpassing it even. This season spent it's entirety, bringing loose ends together, to shape up for the aforementioned final seasons, and the inevitable sharing of the Iron Throne by Daenerys and Jon Snow (spoiler alert...well, at least my prediction), and something like that could have killed a show's creative forces, but it only managed to make the damn hing even better, And that final episode (again), wow indeed.

5. The Get Down (Netflix) - Imagine if Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee, two people who will probably never collaborate, collaborated in the creation of the re-creation of the creation of Hip-Hop. If you did that, you would probably imagine something as cool and funky as The Get Down. Set in The Bronx of 1977, this Netflix series, actually directed by Baz Luhrmann, blends reality with fiction, as we are introduced to the fictitious kids of The Bronx, the kids that will help build the Hip-Hop world, and real life Hip-Hop pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and DJ Kool Herc. Blend the lush Lurhmannesque visuals and funkadelic music, with the underworld intrigue and seventies martial arts vibe, and you can certainly imagine one hell of  show. But no need to imagine such a thing...just go watch the damn thing.

6. Documentary Now! (IFC) - Originally created on SNL, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers, bring the mockumentary genre to IFC. Inspired by This is Spinal Tap, this show, which is introduced by a very serious Miss Helen Mirren (to give it faux gravitas), takes on parodies of famous docs such as Grey Gardens, Salesman, and The Thin Blue Line. The desire to make everything as real as possible, in their take on Nanook of the North, they even took the time to use the actual camera used to film the 1922 movie. This desire for reality, combined with sharp satire, and mocking comedy, makes this one of the best shows of the year.

7. Better Call Saul (AMC) - Breaking Bad may be one of the greatest TV shows ever created, so when this prequel debuted in 2015, I had my doubts. I mean, how could they live up to such a great show? Well, ya know what? They did. They goddamn did! And then came season two this past year, and they managed to get even better. Bob Odenkirk digs deeper down into the depths of Jimmy McGill, nee Saul Goodman, than he ever did before. A brilliantly subversive show that may even get better with the upcoming season three.

8. Westworld (HBO) - Taking a cue from, but not acting as a remake of, the 1973 Michael Crichton film, this astounding HBO series reaches further and further down the rabbit hole of it's own insanity, and surprises at every turn. Westworld is the most watched first season of any HBO show ever...and this is a network that has given us The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, and True Detective. And it's worthy of such success. The writing and directing and acting is all wonderful, and Thandie Newton is the highlight of it all. I cannot wait until the second season....even if that wait is going to go on until 2018 sometime.

9. The Walking Dead (AMC) - I don't know of any major critic who has ever placed this show on their annual best of lists, as it seems to be regularly overlooked (and at all the awards shows as well), and it almost seems as if you cannot be a cool and aloof critic if you like the show. But hey, I never claimed to be all that cool, nor have I ever played at being aloof, so here it is. Granted, last year this show was number two on the list, and the year before, it was in the number one spot, and now it has dipped to 9th place, but this is not a dig at it's quality, especially since this past year's addition of the character of Negan has breathed new life (ironically enough), but just at how many great shows are being made these days. Nonetheless, here it is.

10. Veep (HBO) - With the political ups and downs of Julia Louis-Dreyfus' title character, and (spoilerish alert) the ever-increasingly misnamed show, I really have no idea where this show is going to go in season six, but that is a ponderment for 2017. This past season may have been the best one so far. The straight-up funniest show currently on TV (thanks to the elongated hiatus of Louis), Veep is the closest thing this list has to an actual situation comedy. Brilliant and warped and fast-paced, quick-witted and featuring some of the best comedic performances on television. Veep is better than ever. Now, let's see what we get in season six.

And, if I were to make it a top 20 list (in no particular order): Better Things (FX); The Americans (FX); Bojack Horseman (Netflix); The Night Of (HBO); Orange is the New Black (Netflix); Baskets (FX); Horace and Pete (Hulu); Silicon Valley (HBO); Halt and Catch Fire (AMC); and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX).

And a bunch of runners-up, again in no particular order: Modern Family (ABC); Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW); Archer (FX); Transparent (Amazon); The Flash (CW); UnREAL (Lifetime); Fleabag (Amazon); Doctor Who (BBC); Supergirl (CBS/CW); Last Week with John Oliver (HBO); Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS); American Horror Story: Roanoke (FX); House of Cards (Netflix); Empire (Fox); The Outsiders (WGN); You're the Worst (FXX); Penny Dreadful (Showtime); Jessica Jones (Netflix); Master of None (Netflix); Insecure (HBO); The Night Manager (HBO); Gotham (Fox); and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix).

So there ya'll go. My choices for the 43 best shows on so-called TV.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

2016 Emmy Nominations: My Reaction (and Prediction Results)

So, the Emmy Nominations have been announced, and there are a few surprises. Sure, it was mostly who and what were expected, but there were a few surprises. As far as my predictions from yesterday went, I went 47 for 62, or 76% for the more statistically minded readers out there. Not as good as my annual Oscar predictions (I usually range around 86% to 88% there), but this was my first time officially predicting the TV awards, so give me a break. I did better in the comedy categories (81%), than in the Drama 71%), especially after my pathetic 3 for 6 attempt at Dramatic Supporting Actor. Anyhoo, here are my thoughts, along with a pic of Tyrio...er, I mean Peter Dinklage, holding his Emmy from last year. It seemed appropriate since Game of Thrones led with 23 nominations.

The Good

Even though it meant lowering my prediction percentage, I am glad to see that I was wrong about The Big Bang Theory sneaking back in this year, after their first non-nomination year in five years, last year. I figured with Louie on hiatus, and Parks & Rec gone, it would leave a couple slots open for TBBT, and Parsons for actor since Louis C.K. And Matt Leblanc are on hiatus, and wouldn't be eligible this year. But hey, the show jumped the shark years ago (why is this still on the air? - I know why, just being rhetorical) and does not deserve nomination here. In fact, other than Bob Newhart's nod for Best Guest Actor, the show was completely snubbed. Ha Ha! 

Also in the good is the amount of love toward Game of Thrones (again). Joining prior nominees Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and perennial nominee, and two-time winner of Best Supporting Actor (and current reigning champ), Peter Dinklage, are first time nominees Maisie Williams and Kit Harrington.

I am also thrilled with Constance Zimmer's nomination in Supporting. Her show, Lifetime's UnREAL ,is one of the best shows on TV (yeah, true story, go watch it), and it is good to see some recognition. Granted, I would have loved to have seen it up for Bets Drama and Best Actress for Shiri Appleby, but we can't get everything we wish for.

Oh, and kudos on Sarah Pulson's double nominations, as well as Thomas Middlemarch's Best Comedy Actor Award for Silicon Valley, and Louie Anderson for playing Zack Galifianakis' mother on the criminally underwatched Baskets. Also to The Americans, up for Drama, Actor, and Actress. And a huzzah for Mr. Robot (the best show currently on television?) and it's Best Drama Series and Best Actor nominations.

The Bad

Speaking of Mr. Robot, the lack of a nod for Christian Slater (the goddamn Golden Globe winner!!), is criminal, but the lack of recognition for Michael McKean as Best Supporting Actor on Better Call Saul, after giving one of, if not the best goddamn performance of this past season, should be punishable by death. Ka-Rayzeeeeeeee! Also, not they were to be expected, but the lack of love for shows such as Broad City, Jessica Jones, Penny Dreadful, The Knick, The Walking Dead, and for the most part, Baskets and Orphan Black, is still annoying. And then there is Orange is the New Black. Yeah, season 3 may have been a lesser season that one and two (or the recently released season 4, but still, Uzo Aduba was snubbed? Sacre bleu!

The Ugly

Did I mention the snub of Michael McKean? Yeah.

So, there are my reactions to everything Emmy-wise. I will be back on Emmy Night (Sept. 18th), to do some live-tweeting of the show (and give my predictions of who will win). As for my own choices for the best in TV, that will have to wait until the end of the year, as that is when I (and everyone except the damn Emmy's) hand out my kudos and awards and other such stuff. Seriously, no Michael McKean!!?  

For now though....That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 Emmy Nomination Predictions

So, the Emmy nominations are scheduled to be announced tomorrow. Therefore, it is about damn time I hand out my predictions for tomorrow's said Emmy nominations. So, without further ado, here are those predictions.



Best Drama Series

Game of Thrones (HBO)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Better Call Saul (AMC)
House of Cards (Netflix)
Mr. Robot (USA)
Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Homeland (Showtime)

Possible Spoiler: The Americans (FX)

The Show That Should Get Nominated, But Won't: UnREAL (Lifetime)

My Dream Choice: Jessica Jones (Netflix)

Six of the seven nominees from last year are eligible again this year, and I am guessing all six of them will repeat. But what show will take place of Mad Men? The smart money is on USA'a fabulous Mr. Robot, so that is what I am going with. Oh, and Game of Thrones for the win. Sorry Downton Abbey. Mad Men couldn't pull it off in their final season, and you probably can't either.

Best Lead Actor, Drama

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards (Netflix)
Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul (AMC)
Rami Malek in Mr. Robot (USA)
Liev Schreiber in Ray Donovan (Showtime)
Paul Giamatti in Billions (Showtime)
Bobby Cannavale in Vinyl (HBO)

Don't Count Out: Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey (PBS)

Who Should, But Probably Won't: Clive Owen in The Knick (Cinemax)

Last year's winner, Jon Hamm, is not eligible this time around, so there's gonna be a new sheriff in town this year. I'm guessing Cannavale will take Hamm's place in the nominee list, with Malek slipping in Bloodline's Kyle Chandler's spot (the show ain't what it used to be?), but as for the winner's spot...that will probably be a battle between Spacey and Odenkirk, the latter of which has never ever been better than he was in the second season of Better Call Saul.

Best Lead Actress, Drama

Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)
Taraji P. Henson in Empire (Fox)
Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife (CBS)
Claire Danes in Homeland (Showtime)
Robin Wright in House of Cards (Netflix)
Tatiana Maslaney in Orphan Black (BBC America)

Don't Count Out: Kerry Washington in Scandal (ABC)

Who Should, But Probably Won't: Shiri Appleby in UnREAL (Lifetime)

Dream Pick: Kristen Ritter in Jessica Jones (Netflix)

This is pretty much a repeat from last year, with the surprisingly snubbed Margulies popping back in to take the ineligible Elisabeth Moss' place. As for the eventual winner? It could be last year's winner, Viola Davis, or two timer Margulies (in her final season of the show), but I think this is going to be Taraji's award to win or lose. Go Cookie!

Best Supporting Actor, Drama

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones (HBO)
Jonathan Banks in Better Call Saul (AMC)
Christian Slater in Mr. Robot (USA)
Michael Kelly in House of Cards (Netflix)
Jim Carter in Downton Abbey (PBS)
Michael McKean in Better Call Saul (AMC)

Possible 7th Nominee (cause sometimes they do that): Jon Voight in Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Wildcards: Jussie Smollett in Empire (Fox) and/or Kit Harrington in Game of Thrones (HBO)

Who Should But Probably Won't: Thomas M. Wright in The Outsiders (WGN)

Dinklage, Banks, Cumming, and Carter will repeat this year, with Slater and McKean (one of last year's biggest snubs) filling in the other two slots. As for the win? I love Dinklage (and I wouldn't want those dragons on my bad side) but McKean's work this past season was pure brilliance.

Best Supporting Actress, Drama

Christine Baranski in The Good Wife (CBS)
Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey (PBS)
Lena Headey in Game of Thrones (HBO)
Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones (HBO)
Uzo Aduba in Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Constance Zimmer in UnREAL (Lifetime)

Wildcards: Sissy Spacek in Bloodline (Netflix) and/or Maura Tierney in The Affair (Showtime)

Who Should, But Probably Won't: Sophie Turner in Game of Thrones (HBO)

My Dream Pick: Melissa McBride in The Walking Dead (AMC)

I am picking all five of last year's still eligible nominees, and filling in Christina Hendricks' vacant spot with UnREAL's only real chance at a major nomination this year. As for the winner, Uzo could easily repeat here (and deservingly so), but let's not count out the power of Cersei Lannister, and that spectacular season finale, to put Headey over the top.



Best Comedy Series

Modern Family (ABC)
black-ish (ABC)
Veep (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Wildcards: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) and/or Master of None (Netflix)

Dream Picks: Baskets (FX) & Broad City (FX)

With the ending of Parks and Recreation, and the hiatus of Louie, there are two open spots to join Modern Family, Veep, Silicon Valley, Transparent, and Kimmy. I am guessing they will be filled by a pair of Network shows. Yeah yeah, Network television is a dying breed, but this is the category they are most likely to still live on. I would love to see Baskets or Broad City, but who are we kidding? Oh, and Veep for the win (again).

Best Lead Actor, Comedy

Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Aziz Ansari in Master of None (Netflix)
Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent (Amazon)
Anthony Anderson in black-ish (ABC)
Will Forte in The Last Man on Earth (Fox)
William H. Macy in Shameless (Showtime)

7th Man Award: Don Cheadle in House of Lies (Showtime)

Shoulda, but Probably Ain't Gonna Happen: Zack Galifianakis in Baskets (FX)

With both Louis C.K. and Matt LeBlanc taking hiatus' from their respective shows, we could see last year';s non-nominee, but past winner, Jim Parsons sneak back in. Aziz Ansari is also an obvious choice for this category.

Best Lead Actress, Comedy

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross in black-ish (ABC)
Amy Schumer in Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
Ellie Kemper in Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Wildcards: Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie (Netflix) and/or Constance Wu in Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)

Should but Won't: Gillian Jacobs in Love (Netflix) and Aya Cash in You're the Worst (FX)

Dream Girls: The Broads from Broad City (FX)

I am predicting four repeat customers here. It's an all new game this year. Newcomers Bloom and Ross will join Tomlin, Kemper, and Schumer, in watching Julia Louis-Dreyfus accept her fifth consecutive Emmy (and seventh overall).

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy

Tony Hale in Veep (HBO)
Tituss Burgess in Umbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Louie Anderson in Baskets (FX)
Laurence Fishburne in black-ish (ABC)
Ty Burrell in Modern Family (ABC)
Keegan-Michael Key in Key and Peele (Comedy Central)

And in case they do seven this year: Hugh Laurie in Veep (HBO)

Dream Pick: Hannibal Buress in Broad City (Comedy Central)

A pretty solid line-up, even if we have to stretch it to seven to squeeze everyone in. My favourite pick here is Louie Anderson, who I believe is the rightful frontrunner, and the guy who will beat Tony Hale this year...not that he isn't fantastic in Veep.

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy

Allison Janney in Mom (CBS)
Mayim Bialik in The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Anna Chlumsky in Veep (HBO)
Jane Krakowski in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Judith Light in Transparent (Amazon)
Kate McKinnon in SNL (NBC)

This Category Had 8 Nominees Last Year, So: Julie Bowen in Modern Family (ABC) and Carol Kane in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

I can really see all eight of these ladies' names being called tomorrow morning. 'nuff said.

Well, that's about all I have time for. I could go on and make predictions in the Limited Series Categories (People vs. OJ Simpson, Fargo, Show Me A Hero, The Night Manager, American Crime, Roots) or the actors in said shows (Sarah Paulson, Tom Hiddleston, Kirsten Dunst, Courtney B. Vance, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, Lili Taylor, Hugh Laurie, Lady Gaga, Felicity Huffman, Kerry Washington, Riley Keough, Jesse Plemons, John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jean Smart, Regina King, Melissa Leo, and Sarah Paulson again), but I'm going to stop here. I'll be back tomorrow with some thoughts on how I did.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The 10 Coolest Peeps Born in 1967, Myself Humbly Excluded

So yeah, I was born in 1967. It was a great time indeed. Anyway, the reason for this post is to highlight some of my fellow 1967 birthees. And there were a bunch of 'em. From Pamela Anderson to Dave Navarro. From Vin Diesel to Mark Ruffalo. From Jimmy Kimmel to Tino Martinez to Ashleigh Banfield, Ty Burrell, Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Lisa Bonet, Guy Pearce, Lauren Graham, Paul Giamatti, Mira Sorvino, Lili Taylor, Sheryl Lee, Rhys Ifans, Matt LeBlanc, and Neon Deion Sanders! That's a lot of 1967-birthed celebrity star power right there - and I haven't even gotten to the top ten yet. Oh, and definitely not on that list, are some of the least cool kids born in 1967, Dave Matthews, Chriss Angel, and Vanilla Ice Ice, Baby! But enough of all this preparatory mumbo jumbo. Let's get on with the damn list, already! The 10 Coolest Peeps born in 1967. And yes, I am keeping myself off this list. Ha! So let's get on with gettin' on.

And awaaaaaaay we go...

10. Louis C.K.

There are few stand-up comics who can make me laugh and laugh and laugh, and Louis C.K. is certainly one of them. Yeah, perhaps cool isn't quite the right word here, for Louis (or Louie, if you go by his hit show) is rather geeky and awkward (like me!!), but he should still be on this list. This comic doesn't beat around any bush. He says what's on his mind. Sometimes this gets him into trouble, which I suppose makes him kind of a bad boy, and in turn, kind of cool. So there! He does belong on the fucking list after all.

9. Billy Corgan

My wife balked at Billy Corgan making the list (especially since I left Dave Navarro off, in order to include him), claiming he is just an arrogant has-been. Obviously I have a little more faith in the cool factor of Billy Corgan. Sure, maybe The Smashing Pumpkins didn't change music the way a band like, say, Nirvana did, but hey, he's tall, bald, and has a suitably creepy singing voice. That alone is enough for me to place him on this list...and above Dave Navarro. And hey, I even chose a pic with his kitties. Maybe that way, my lovely wife will possibly accept his inclusion on the list.

8. Benicio del Toro

He's played the Wolfman, Che Guevara, and Dr. Gonzo. How can this guy not be cool? This Puerto Rico-born Academy Award winner has given some pretty stellar performances in some pretty stellar films. From The Usual Suspects to Traffic to Sin City, Basquiat, and Inherent Vice, where he rocks the house once again. And just to make him a bit cooler (at least in my opinion) he made his film debut playing the dog faced boy in a circus, opposite Pee Wee Herman. Howzabout that!?

7. Harry Connick, Jr.

Not only a smooth as silk Jazz pianist and crooner, but Harry Connick, Jr. is also quite the funny comic actor. granted, his Hallmark/Lifetime films are unexpectedly terrible, but hey, when ya need the money, ya need the money. Connick was great as Grace's hapless doctor hubby (and ex-hubby - spoiler alert!) on Will & Grace, but it's his piano playing and cool 'Nawlins breeding that put this guy on the list.

6. Philip Seymour Hoffman

One of two list makers who are no longer with us. I know such a thing sounds a bit corny, but to put it as simply as possible PSH was one of the finest actors of his (and mine, obviously) generation. Seriously though, the guy is indeed just that. His work with Paul Thomas Anderson alone (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Hard Eight, etc) is enough to put this guy on the cool list, but then you add in all the other roles he has played (Talented Mr. Ripley, Almost Famous, Flawless, Doubt, his Oscar winning performance in CapoteJack Goes Boating, which he also directed, the oft-overlooked Synecdoche, New York) and list worthy he damn well be!

5. Carla Bruni

This Italian born singer-songwriter-model, was the first lady of France for a while. She was also the sister-in-law of Louis Garrel for a while too. I can't say there are many first ladies the same age as me (Michelle Obama comes the closest in my home country, but still beat me into the world by three years) and I betchya not many people can claim they share a birth year with a first lady whose nude photos went for $91,000 at auction. Yup. So there. First Lady of France is in da hizzouse! Yeah, I went there.

4. Jamie Foxx

Yeah, he was on In Living Color, and he won an Oscar for playing Ray Charles. He is a rapper and he even beat the crap out of Tom Cruise in a movie once. But hey, the number one reason Jamie Foxx is on this list (other than taking his stage name to honour Redd Foxx) is that he is Django. That's right. He is Django, and Django takes no shit from nobody. Django doesn't wait around for the white man to come and rescue him. Django arms himself, and kicks white southern ass. Django rules. Oh, and by the by, the D is silent.

3. Laura Dern

I've always loved Laura Dern. From Teachers to Mask to Blue Velvet, she was like a dreamy teen angel for the twisted set. Then came her performance in Wild At Heart. That is when she became a sexy powderkeg of raw acting emotion. She loved her Sailor, and she wanted everyone to know.  Hell, the girl even went and kicked some dinosaur ass in Jurassic Park...even when Samuel L. Jackson could not. And she's the daughter of Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. That's some pretty cool lineage.

2. Anderson Cooper

Not only one of the most sought after gay men in the world (and equally loved by the ladies as well) but Anderson Cooper is one of those types of journalists who are quite rare these days - an honest, caring one. With his silver locks and boyish grin, Coop (can I call ya that?) is surely the coolest newsman out there today. Forget Wolf Blitzer (the idiot), it's Anderson Cooper who gives it to us straight. Well, not that kind of straight. You know what I mean. Yeah.

1. Kurt Cobain

It's hard to believe (at least to me) that the guy who helped change the very face of music, is the same age as me. Or at least would be the same age as me, if he hadn't been stolen from us at such a young age (one of those damned 27 club members). Basically, Cobain was one of the coolest guys in rock and roll, ever, no matter what birth year we are talking about. Kurt and Nirvana seriously changed music. Not many people or bands can say that. Maybe Elvis, The Beatles, Zeppelin, Velvet Underground, Madonna, Michael, and Nirvana. That's about it. Here's to Kurt Cobain, the coolest cat to come out of 1967. Huzzah huzzah hey!!

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nights & Days in the Burg: The Life & Times of a Harrisburger

I've been doing this blog for a little over two and a half years, and have had some sort of online presence, via past blogs and websites, for over a dozen years now. Most of the content of these twelve plus years of blogging and reviewing and list-making and what have you, has been about the world of pop culture. Either cinema or TV or comic books or music or other such pop cultury doo-dads. But every now and again, I go local. Every now and again, I post something about my home town of Harrisburg, Pa. Be it an edition of my 11 Question Interview with a local icon, or a list of the most pop cultury things in Harrisburg. And yes, I just used the term pop cultury twice. Or actually three times now. Anyhoo, in keeping with this now and again tradition, I offer up a new (now and again) recurring series, Nights & Days in the Burg.

In this new (now and again) series, I will highlight the things going on in and around my Harrisburg. And yes, the official term for we Harrisburg residents, is indeed, Harrisburgers. I kid not. But I digress, a thing I tend to do quite a bit. This series will touch on the nightlife of Harrisburg as well as the daylight hours. Maybe a look at the dinosaur sculptures strewn about the city during this Dynomite Summer (yes, really) or my take on the coolest things to do in town, or just a close-up look at one of my favourite fellow Harrisburgers. It could be anything, dammit! Anything!! But enough of this rambling on, I have other things to do right now (like post something fresh and new on Instagram) so I'm going to get going. But don't forget to look for the first of this (now and again) series, coming soon(ish). Oh, and look out for other posts coming soon as well. Like maybe my upcoming look at every single member of the Mighty Avengers. Yeah, that's coming up soon. So be here for that. But don't forget about the whole Nights & Days in the Burg thing. Yeah, those are coming too. But for now...I gotsa go! That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.