Emmy nominations: British and US stars’ reactions

17 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

At nomination time, Emmy seems blind to many shows’ virtues.

The biggest surprise of yesterday’s nominations for the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards was the nod for “Orphan Black’s” Tatiana Maslany as outstanding lead actress in a drama.

In an ever-expanding entertainment universe with TV series coming from broadcast TV, cable and now online streaming services, some worthy shows will get overlooked.Among the record 24 nominations the HBO received for this year’s Emmy Awards – more than any other program – were nods for two episodes which garnered widespread discussion, anger and accusations of misogyny for their depiction of violence against women.

Emmy’s judges are all too susceptible to the safe, the familiar, and grinding repetition. (Item: “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, with three wins in a row, is nominated again. It’s an unprecedented nod, one that will give hope to all the great performers on genre shows ranging from “The Walking Dead” to “The Flash” that someone might actually take their work seriously. This in a show already contentious for its portrayal of the pitfalls of being a woman in an environment of easy death, cruelty and widespread exploitation. Item: “Modern Family,” named best comedy series for five years straight, is nominated again.) Without the right blend of buzz and ratings, an actor or a show faces steep odds breaking in with Emmy. The two nominated episodes in question, Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken (nominated for best direction) and the season finale, Mother’s Mercy (best writing and direction), were highly controversial for presentations of a rape and a public, naked, humiliation, respectively.

To get Emmy attention, the program’s quality must hitch a ride on squeaky wheels, which explains those noisy look-at-me campaigns that target judges every Emmy season. One surprising oversight was the lack of a nomination for Starz’s filmed-in-Pittsburgh docuseries “The Chair,” which chronicled the making of two movies by different directors from the same initial story. “The Chair” received nominations in the Television Critics Association Awards earlier this summer, and in February it won a Director’s Guild Award. “The Chair” had good company in being overlooked: Fox hit “Empire” failed to score a best drama nomination, and neither did ABC hit “How to Get Away With Murder.” (“Empire” star Taraji P. The former, where the character Sansa is forcibly assaulted by her sociopathic husband on their wedding night, saw some fans declaring online they would no longer watch the show.

A number of those complainants cited earlier examples of rapes and sexualisation of characters as contributing to their decision, seeing a pattern of behaviour by show runners David Benioff and D. In the outstanding drama category, PBS’ “Downton” will match its stuffy accents against AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” “Game of Thrones,” Showtime’s “Homeland,” “House of Cards,” the final season of “Mad Men” and Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.” FX’s “Louie,” ABC’s “Modern Family,” the final season of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” “Transparent,” Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and HBO’s “Veep” compete for comedy gold. Along with the freshman smash “Empire,” FX’s “The Americans” and the final seasons of NBC’s “Parenthood,” FX’s “Justified” and “Sons of Anarchy” failed to make the drama cut.

Weiss that exceeded the high body count (one estimate has it that more than 60 characters have died in five seasons) and already inflammatory treatment of women in the books by George R. On the comedy side, CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” was banished, while CW’s hopes for “Jane the Virgin” — and its star, Golden Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez — were dashed. Among the complaints were that the depiction of rape was exacerbated by the decision not to show the reaction of Sansa but to focus on the face of a male character, Theon Greyjoy, making it, some said, more about him than her. Along the way, Emmy has stretched and added categories in a desperate attempt to keep up. (Is Emmy doomed to become a TV version of the Grammys?) One big-tent category this year somehow harbors Zach Galifianakis’ online “Between Two Ferns,” the Adult Swim cable channel’s “Childrens Hospital” and NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show.

Her Comedy Central show “Inside Amy Schumer” is up for variety sketch series, her skits go viral and her new film, “Trainwreck,” is poised to crash the box office. That said, there were at the time of the initial screening also comments that not showing Sansa’s face saved the audience from the true horror of the experience and the possibility of more complaints about revelling in the pain of its characters. Set in a small Georgia town, it focuses on a native son who, after 20 years’ imprisonment for rape and murder, is exonerated and returns home, where he is received less than warmly by the locals. The variety series category got split in two (“variety talk” and “variety sketch”) and the Television Academy expanded the number of voters eligible to cast a ballot in the final round of voting that occurs now that the nominations are out.

By network, the top draws included HBO (126 nominations), followed by ABC (42), NBC and CBS (41 each), FX Networks (38), Fox (35), Netflix (34), PBS (29), Comedy Central (25), AMC (24), Showtime (18) and Amazon Instant Video (12). At least, that would explain its aversion to Starz’ “Outlander,” whose romance-fantasy trappings are given gravitas through solid storytelling and a trio of splendid actors: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies as one of TV’s most nuanced blackhearts. Comedy Central re-upped “South Park” for three seasons (10 episodes each), keeping the animated comedy in production through at least 2019, its 23rdseason. Aug. 23. … NBC banished already renewed “Aquarius” and already canceled “Hannibal” from Thursday to Saturday nights effective this week. … Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones star in a “Great Performances” presentation of “Driving Miss Daisy” (9 tonight, WQED-TV). … The hot potatoed “Miss USA Pageant,” which NBC dumped and cable’s Reelz picked up after pageant owner and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial statements about immigrants, logged its lowest ratings ever Sunday night drawing less than 1 million viewers for the live telecast (2.5 million viewers when a repeat telecast is included), according to Deadline.com, down from 5.6 million viewers on NBC last year. … By sometime next year all Comcast broadband customers will be able to opt for a $15-a-month online video streaming plan currently being beta-tested called Stream that will include a dozen networks, including broadcast channels and HBO.

This week’s Tuned In Journal includes posts on the “Shark Week” mascot’s visit to Pittsburgh, the top Comcast VOD TV series, “Joe Dirt 2” and the inaccuracies of “Impastor.” Read online-only TV content at post-gazette.com/tv. Both actors feast on multiple roles as their characters go undercover, and they shine — as does Noah Emmerich playing the beleaguered FBI agent who lives across the street.

This week’s podcast includes conversation about “Zoo,” “Humans” and “7 Days in Hell.” Subscribe or listen to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette podcasts at iTunes or at https://soundcloud.com/pittsburghpg.

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