The Emmys may provide performers with the best chance of earning an award.
Its multiple acting and technical categories mean a dozen or so actors can receive an Emmy in a given year while only four can get as Oscar or eight a Tony.
The surprise when looking at this year’s nominees is how many come from the same show. It looks as if the entire casts of “Succession,” “White Lotus,” “Ted Lasso,” “Abbott Elementary,” and “Squid Game” were nominated.
Those shows certainly dominate the award in the drama and comedy categories although my personal favorites, “Ozark” and “Better Call Saul,” and their stars, are also in contention.
The narrowness of the field seems a fitting description of television today. Amid all of the generic shows, the series that are variations of a single plot, the food spots, the sports events, and reality junk, outlets such as HBO, Apple+, Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Paramount manage to present a decent percentage of programming that has quality and exemplifies some of the best acting and writing in entertainment today.
The best way to talk about awards is to look at them category-by-category.
First, some housekeeping. The most important of the Emmys will be bestowed tonight during a ceremony that begins 8 p.m. Monday on NBC and Peacock. The host is “Saturday Night Live” alumnus, Kenan Thompson, who, I think, has potential in the role.
Some technical Emmys were given out on Saturday. Others, including awards for actors in guest roles, were handed out on September 4. The recipient for Best Male Guest in a Drama was Colman Domingo for “Euphoria.” Best Female Guest is a Drama is Lee Yoo-mi from “Squid Game.” Best Male Guest in a Comedy was Nathan Lane for “Only Murders in the Building.” Best Female Guest in a Comedy is Laurie Metcalf for “Hacks.”
Ru Paul, Adele, and Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary, “Get Back,” also earned a significant number of Emmys on September 4.Best Drama: The field is strong, even if I don’t like “Squid Game” and don’t understand “Yellowjackets” over “Yellowstone.” Prediction: “Succession.” Preference: “Better Call Saul.”
Best Comedy: I should see an analyst about why I hate every program based in Philadelphia except for “Cold Call.” “Ted Lasso” gets some competition here from “Hacks” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Prediction: “Ted Lasso.” Preference: “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Best Actor in a Drama: Jeremy Strong from “Succession” might take the award from paternal figure Brian Cox. I am hoping “Better Call Saul’s” Bob Odenkirk is finally recognized, a tough call considering how much I admire Jason Bateman’s work on “Ozark.’
Prediction: Strong. Preference: Odenkirk.
Best Actress in a Drama: Laura Linney astounded in the last two seasons of “Ozark.” A sterling actress in general, Linney could be surpassed by Zendaya in “Euphoria” or Jodie Comer from “Killing Eve.”
Prediction: Comer. Preference: Linney.
Best Actor in a Comedy: In a good field, only one actor stands out for doing exceptional work, and it’s not a personal favorite, Nicholas Hoult from “The Great.” It’s Jason Sudeikis, who leads the wonderful cast of “Ted Lasso” by example.
Prediction: Sudeikis. Preference: Sudeikis.
Best Actress in a Comedy: This category boasts so many performances where personality comes t the fore. I adore Elle Fanning in “The Great” and love Rachel Brosnahan in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The performer who impresses me with acting, though, is Jean Smart, who, in every performance, lives up to her name.
Prediction: Smart, for “Hacks.” Preference: Smart.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: Why not just honor the entire cast of “Succession?” Wouldn ‘t that be easier than nominating five of them in this category? While “Squid Game’s” Oh Young-soo might slip through, the “Succession” actor I’m banking on is Matthew Macfadyen.
Prediction: Young-soo. Preference: Macfadyen.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: Another amazing bunch with three nominees from “Succession.” Personally, I would love to see Rhea Seehorn recognized for her work as Kim Wexler on “Better Call Saul.” As I write that, can I deny the lustrous Julia Garner from “Ozark” or ignore the shrewd Sarah Snook from “Succession?”
Prediction: Snook. Preference: Seehorn.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Here “Ted Lasso” takes the place of “Succession” with three nominations, possibly leaving room for Tony Shalhoub from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” or Bowen Yang from “Saturday Night Live” to sneak through.
Prediction: Brett Goldstein from “Ted Lasso.” Preference: Goldstein.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Three more from “Ted Lasso,” two from “Abbott Elementary,” the lone over-the-air show to make much Emmy headway, Kate McKinnon from “Saturday Night Live,” Alex Borstein from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and Hannah Einbinder from “Hacks.”
Prediction: McKinnon. Preference: Juno Temple from “Ted Lasso.”
“White Lotus” is the “Succession”/”Ted Lasso” among “special” series. I don’t understand why, and I prefer “Inventing Anna” though “Lotus” will win. The Best Actor will be Michael Keaton for “Dopesick.” I prefer Andrew Garfield for “Under the Banner of Heaven.” Julia Garner should win Best Actress for “Inventing Anna,” but Sarah Paulson is strong in “Impeachment.” Mare Winningham is my choice as Supporting Actress for “Dopesick,” but “White Lotus’s” Jennifer Coolidge has a chance. I concede to “White Lotus” the Best Supporting Actor award to Murray Bartlett, but I prefer Michael Stuhlbarg or Will Poulter in “Dopesick.”
Philly bombs on ‘America’s Got Talent’
Philadelphia’s stake in this season’s competition on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” dimmed mightily last week when the two local contestants were eliminated from participating in the show’s finals.
Neither rapping magician Mervant Vera nor opera singer Merissa Beddows, who moved from classical arias to shrewd imitations of pop stars were among those voted by viewers to continue to this week’s live performances that will determine “AGT’s” Season 17 winner.I was hoping Vera or Beddows would be chosen by one of the judges for his or her “save.”
Meanwhile, both performers now have national exposure and may have attracted agents, producers, and an audience. Vera was slick with sleight of hand and did a clever rap as he was manipulating his deck of cards. Beddows, whose education at Curtis Institute was sponsored by a fund in memory of Media resident Eula Mae Pharis, showed great poise and moxie as she moved from Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” to the sounds of Celine Dion, Ariana Grande, Cher, and Stevie Nicks.
Justified odds-on favorite to take the “AGT” title Tuesday night is country singer Drake Milligan, who showed star quality in everything from music to charisma from the moment he hit the “AGT” stage.
Deaths on the news
Two deaths last week underscored the difference in current news presentation and coverage from a news era that is a decade or more past.
All of the news outlets did an admirable job in announcing and providing details surrounding Thursday’s passing of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
Reporters were to the point and respectful. Commentators centered on the affection the world had for the late monarch and the overall legacy of her pivotal 70-year reign.
As I mentioned in speaking on radio to WPHT (1210 AM)’s Dom Giordano on Friday, the objectivity, seriousness, and thoroughness of the coverage recalled bygone era when news organizations were professional and solid in the way they brought a major story to the public.
I also mentioned to Dom that after this wave of admirable straightforward journalism, the brickbats would be coming.
I didn’t have to wait long. MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and “The View’s” Sunny Hostin were quick to jump on the topic that would elicit a negative side to Elizabeth’s reign, Britain’s colonialism.
In what I call a “100 percent world,” by which I mean a person or situation has to be judged by 100 percent of what is known, including perspective about historic periods, realities, and options of a time.
Colonialism has a place in any discussion of British, or European, even American history of the last several centuries.
The disappointment about the way Velshi and Hostin made their cases in they broke the tone of the general coverage regarding the Queen’s death and resorted to the hostile, smug, resentful, and self-consciously superior style that characterizes so much of today’s news delivery that, to my mind, mitigates the news.
Anger, accusation, and the sense that the Queen, or any representative of Western leadership, is to be judged only by Velshi or Hostin’s limited, and perhaps prejudiced, meter is typical of today’s mode of coverage and is not in keeping with having a mature discussion or bringing up another side to what is, if one is to apply the ‘100 percent’ rule, a larger story.
Velshi and Hostin were not interested in the proportion and perspective that is so missing in news presentation today. Their aim was to show what they knew that was different from what anyone else was saying. Their aim was to get attention.
One expects such crassness from MSNBC, which I call Progressive Central, and “The View,” which I refer to as the home of ignorant hysteria. The disappointment comes because the stories and commentary about Queen Elizabeth rekindled the old-fashioned civility that was a hallmark of television news in the Cronkite-Huntley-Brinkley-Jennings days. Velshi and Hostin’s outlooks were not without a point, and one that is an integral part of any conversation about 70 years of modern history. They were made a brash, crass manner that was wrong for the occasion and, in my view, wrong for journalism, period.
In essence, television news deserves to be proud of its reporting of Elizabeth II’s death and Charles III’s coming to the throne on Thursday.The unusual high quality of reporting was good to see. It reminded me the will, and capability, to do good work is extant on some level in spite of the general everyday disgrace wrought in the name of news by MSNBC, Fox, CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS.
Thursday’s other death creates an occasion to remember a more responsible, considerate period in television news history.
Bernard Shaw was CNN’s first prime anchor. He presided over the first and most important of cable newscasts in its nascent years when there was still promise that a national 24-hour report would add to the edification and intelligence of a nation.
That promise, alas, was never kept and has now devolved into a mélange of gossip, propaganda, and untrustworthy commentary no one should take seriously.
Shaw’s time was a brighter day. He began when news was meant to provide objective, untainted information. He lasted to the current era when anything you hear on the news requires personal research to see if it has any validity.
To remember Shaw is to remember a more professional time that had standards of accuracy and priority that are just not part of broadcast news in this century.
Bernard Shaw deserves praise for his tenure at CNN. His passing not only marks the end of an accomplished person’s life but the departure of one more person who contributed to the better, more laudable days of television news.
Neal Zoren’s television column appears every Monday.
Source: Berkshire mont
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