Emmys celebrate TV’s best, but are viewers overloaded?

19 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Can these Emmy losers finally break their winless streak?.

In case you hadn’t heard, we’re living in a golden age of television, an era when there are so many high-quality scripted shows from so many outlets that finding the time to watch them all has become the ultimate First World Problem.LOS ANGELES: Will blood-splattered fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” finally take home top television honors, or will voters instead offer sentimental favorite “Mad Men” and its retro-cool advertising execs a golden send-off? But the excitement that has surrounded television for the last decade hasn’t always translated to the Emmy Awards, an institution that tends to honor a handful of favorites — while making the same galling oversights — year after year. But throughout all the predictable names, some strong new ones have shown up this year: “Transparent,” “Better Call Saul,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Empire” particularly stand out.

Perhaps aware of Emmy’s fuddy-duddy image, the TV Academy instituted new rules this year, clarifying the definition of drama vs. comedy, expanding the series categories to a possible seven nominees and, in the most potentially radical change, opening up the vote from small “blue-ribbon panels” to all the eligible members in each branch of the organization. One big question on everyone’s minds for this year’s 67th Primetime Emmys, television’s version of the Oscars, is: will Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” finally win on his eighth try for his work as troubled ad man Don Draper? That network seemed like it was struggling, but once they picked up ‘Mad Men,’ which a lot of networks passed on, [AMC] was on fire,” said Rentrak media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. We may not know the outcome yet, but here are a few things to keep in mind while watching Sunday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Andy Samberg and airing on Fox at 8 p.m. 1.

The nominations announced in July already included some pleasant surprises (hurray, Tatiana Maslany!), and Sunday night’s telecast on Fox could bring still more. Nominees are decided by a popular vote of Television Academy’s 18,500 members, while (until this year) the actual winners were decided by small volunteer panels, made up of predominantly older members. We can debate quality and buzz vs. actual number of viewers until the end of the time, but let’s face reality: This show was groundbreaking, and it should win the biggest prize in its final award show. It’s different than what he called the box-office bump that Hollywood studios get after winning an Oscar. “The competition, and just the level of quality in production and writing in TV today is unparalleled,” Dergarabedian said. “So if you’re a Netflix or Amazon or Hulu and you want to get into this game, it’s important that you gain this level of recognition.

When those panels pick their favorites (see “Modern Family’s” five-year streak), their category stable mates are left to continuously plaster on their best gracious-loser faces. “Sometimes actors who are popular enough to get nominated every single year, for whatever reason, they’ve never submitted an episode that has appeased that particular [voting] panel,” says Daniel Montgomery, senior editor at awards predictions site goldderby.com. “And those panels don’t seem to be sentimental. And yet, with zero wins to date out of 14 nominations spanning three categories, the “Mad Men” star is one of Emmy’s most famous losers — a distinction he has embraced as the co-host, with another perennial also-ran, Amy Poehler, of a yearly “Losers Only” party. If people are going to play in the sandbox, they want to play with the kid with the best toys.” This year, it seems like Time Warner Inc.’s TWX, -0.87% HBO is that kid. Hamm has missed out on the lead actor in a drama series Emmy a whopping seven times for his masterful portrayal of tortured advertising executive Don Draper, a character as crucial to TV’s current renaissance as Tony Soprano or Walter White. Henson for Fox’s music melodrama “Empire.” “Most of the experts are picking Viola, but Taraji is certainly in the hunt and we will see an overdue milestone happen in that category,” O’Neil said.

In 2013, Jon Hamm (then an 11-time Emmy loser) and Amy Poehler (nine-time Emmy loser) poked fun at themselves by preplanning a “Losers Lounge” after-party at Soho House in West Hollywood, Calif. — with invitations that instructed no winners would be admitted without making a charitable donation. Henson told Entertainment Weekly that she was praying for a win for either Davis or herself at Sunday’s ceremony, to be hosted by comedian Andy Samberg. “Here we are in 2015, and we’re still saying things like ‘First African-American,’ ‘First woman this’,” Henson said. “I just pray to God … and it’s not even about me. The success of Netflix Inc.’s NFLX, -1.53% “House of Cards” has helped boost the streaming giant’s clout as it delves deeper into original content. Or take soap star Susan Lucci, who became the de facto symbol for the perennial Emmy loser in the 1980s and ’90s (even mocking herself in a “Saturday Night Live” monologue) after being nominated 19 times for ABC’s “All My Children” before finally garnering a Daytime Emmy win in 1999. It’s the trio’s last chance to finally win Emmys for their performances as Don Draper, Peggy Olsen, and Joan Holloway, respectively, in AMC’s “Mad Men.” They’ve all been nominated several times, but none have ever won. (Hamm eight times, Moss five times, and Hendricks six.) The show, which ended in May, has won four times. 3.Will Taraji P.

Even his behind-the-scenes contributions to “Mad Men” have gotten the shaft: The show hasn’t won a series Emmy since he became a producer in its fifth season. But many are predicting new winners in the comedy categories, and perhaps even a big Emmy win for online retail giant Amazon and its “Transparent,” about a family patriarch who comes out as transgender. “Actor Jeffrey Tambor of ‘Transparent’ delivered a fantastic performance as a transgender woman and really sparked the national conversation long before the name Caitlyn Jenner, so I think he is certainly considered a walk to win in the comedy actor race,” Birnbaum said. Her eventual victory after nearly two decades of being snubbed — her acceptance speech admitted she “truly never believed this would happen” — should give this year’s Emmy losers hope, too. Not only has Hamm never won an Emmy for “Mad Men,” which ended its run on AMC in May, neither has anyone from the cast, despite 34 acting nominations. Some are also tipping HBO’s “Veep” — a political satire about a female vice president (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who surprisingly becomes head of state — to ride the buzz of the 2016 White House race and dethrone “Modern Family.” “’Veep’ has been a tremendous hit for HBO and considering that we are going into an election season, everyone is talking about political issues right now,” Birnbaum said.

The excellent Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss are both nominated in their respective categories this year, but Hamm looks like the best bet for a “Mad Men” acting win — particularly now that Bryan Cranston is finally out of the running. Henson is nominated for her role as Cookie in Fox’s “Empire,” and Davis for Annalise Keating in ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder.” 4.Or will Jeffery Tambor? If he wins for Outstanding Lead Actor, Comedy, for his role in Amazon’s “Transparent,” it’ll be the first Emmy ever won for the portrayal of a transgender person. Cheadle has won several Golden Globes and even an Oscar, but the Emmy has remained elusive, with past losses as guest actor on “ER” in 2003 and supporting actor in the Showtime movie “Things Behind the Sun” in 2002 and the HBO movies “The Rat Pack” and “A Lesson Before Dying,” both in 1999.

Always nominated, Baranski is the unshakable constant in the always-shifting universe of “The Good Wife.” And her Diane Lockhart is criminally overlooked as one of the most powerful female characters on television. After six nominations for playing spunky copywriter Peggy Olson on “Mad Men” — and one for starring in the Sundance Channel miniseries “Top of the Lake” (2013) — Moss has learned to manage disappointment like a pro. “It’s a mistake to ever go into any of these situations hoping that you will win,” she told the New York Times last month. “It’s just not healthy to do that.

It wasn’t until 1982 that a woman of color (“Fame’s” Debbie Allen) even made the drama actress shortlist, and they’ve been scarce in the decades since. The category is so overflowing.” Spacey is again nominated (his third time) for his portrayal of power-hungry politico Francis Underwood, as well as for being an executive producer of the Netflix series, which is up for best drama. While the final season of the Amy Poehler sitcom wasn’t the strongest, it’s ridiculous that the delightful, ratings-challenged show was only nominated in this category twice during its seven seasons.

And while Anthony Anderson also has a shot as the star of a broadcast sitcom, Forte could edge him out with a bit more critical buzz as the literal last man on Earth in Fox’s quirky comedy. This is, after all, such a jammed field that 2014 winner, Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,” failed to make the cut this year — as did two-time nominee Kerry Washington, the actress many predicted would be the one to make Emmy history. Also, Schumer’s officially a movie star thanks to the buzzy “Trainwreck,” and voters love that. (See: Melissa McCarthy’s post-“Bridesmaids” win four years ago.) In all seriousness, “Inside Amy Schumer” was the breakout TV hit of the year (even in its third season) with some deceptively brilliant commentary about gender issues wrapped in parody songs such as “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup.” Has the “Veep” star ever been considered a dark horse for anything? This could make up for Krakowski – who plays Kimmy’s delusional, wealthy boss – never winning for “30 Rock.” Rewatch the show, Jenna’s the real star. This season sparked a backlash from fans and critics alike for its depiction of brutal violence against women and children, and was viewed by some as the show’s weakest to date.

As anyone not living in an underground bunker surely knows — sorry, Kimmy Schmidt — the last two years have brought huge changes to the world of late-night TV. Voters eager to embrace late night’s younger generation could reward Jimmy Fallon for reinvigorating “The Tonight Show,” or critical darling John Oliver for “Last Week Tonight’s” pioneering blend of comedy and muckraking.

Despite plenty of love for Letterman and his “Late Show,” “The Daily Show” would appear to have the edge: The satirical show won the variety series Emmy for 10 years straight from 2003 to 2012, and also scored a writing nomination this year. Or maybe the Emmys will split the difference between old and new and give a third straight Emmy to the departed “Colbert Report,” whose spirit (and host) now lives on at “The Late Show” on CBS.

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Finding the ‘Joy’ in Jennifer Lawrence

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Joy’ review: Jennifer Lawrence cleans up in enjoyable biopic.

Writer-director David O. Their latest collaboration — following in the footsteps of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle — is a biographical picture about the life and times of Joy Mangano.Jennifer Lawrence groans when she’s asked about singing the classic Nancy and Frank Sinatra duet Something Stupid with co-star Edgar Ramirez in her new film Joy. “David [O Russell, the movie’s director] texted me last night to ask if he could put it on the soundtrack and this is what I texted him back,” the actor says as she digs around for her mobile phone and reads out her response verbatim. “‘David, no!!!’ and it is three exclamation marks.In a very abbreviated nutshell, that actually happened to Joy Mangano, 59, the fabulously successful Long Island entrepreneur/inventor and HSN pitchwoman whose rags-to-riches journey started with the invention of a mop.

Russell has made three kinds of movies: offbeat romances (“Flirting With Disaster”), surreal comedies (“I Heart Huckabees”) and dramas about dysfunctional yet appealing families (“The Fighter”). In real life, Mangano is the Long Island housewife and inventor who became famous and eventually rich after bouts of near-bankruptcy, by creating and marketing her Miracle Mop. Out Boxing Day in Australia, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence in the fictionalised life story of Joy Mangano, a single mum from Long Island who made her fortune selling a mop. On Christmas Day, “Joy,” a movie inspired by her struggles as a divorced, single mother turned mogul by way of that mop, will open at movie theaters across America.

This was before she hooked up with the giant Home Shopping Network, becoming their most effective pitch person and eventually selling her parent company, Ingenious Designs, to HSN. Gross, I can’t listen to it; I have to go to bed.’ And I said yes, but it’s a groaning, reluctant yes.” It’s the kind of unfiltered moment you come to expect when interviewing Lawrence, who may now be one of the most famous actors on the planet but still blurts out whatever she’s thinking with such self-deprecating charm it’s impossible not to be, well, charmed.

Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Miracle Mop inventor and QVC pitchwoman Joy Mangano glues the movie together, but it threatens to unravel at any time. Lawrence, 25, looks genuinely surprised when complimented about how unchanged she seems from our earlier interviews before the fame and Oscars. “But there would be no reason to change,” she says with a shrug. “I just have a job and I love my job. In the film, Lawrence’s Mangano is a colourful character, a single mom with a unique relationship and friendship with her ex-husband, and an enterprising woman who parlays her creativity into an incredibly successful business.

Mom (Virginia Madsen) stays in her bedroom and watches soap operas, until she falls for a Haitian plumber (Jimmy Jean-Louis) who fixes a hole in her bedroom floor. She landed minor roles on TV shows such as Monk, Cold Case and Medium before her 2010 indie film Winter’s Bone led to her becoming the second youngest best actress Oscar nominee in history. This is true even when the film tilts off its rocker with a bit of Russell-esque madness built into the screenplay, and with the director failing to always keep the energy going. That resulted in not only a string of critically acclaimed films, an Academy Award and another Oscar nomination, but also her very own mega-franchise as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

Joy’s grandma (endearing Diane Ladd) delivers messages of empowerment and smooths over constant fights, but she’s opposed by the money-grubbing rich woman (Isabella Rossellini) who dates Joy’s dad and sends negative messages about her. Lawrence’s endearing habit of speaking her mind resulted in a controversial essay she penned on Lena Dunham’s website about her discovery during the Sony hacks that she was being paid less “than the lucky people with dicks” on her recent films, including American Hustle. “I completely understand when people say actors shouldn’t talk about politics and things they don’t know about, but this was my gender at stake and it was being threatened with unfairness and I thought, ‘What is the point of having this voice if it’s not to speak out for myself and for everyone else who can’t?’,” she says unapologetically.

Upon learning that Lawrence would be playing her mom, Miranne says, “I braced myself so I wouldn’t fall on the floor.” As for Mangano, she says Lawrence playing her “made me feel old, number one. Lawrence hangs out with a posse of celebrity girlfriends, including Amy Schumer and singer Adele, but the reason is simple. “The friendship gets expedited a lot when you meet someone you know beyond a shadow of a doubt has no agenda,” she says. Draining her savings and taking out loans, she started off small, selling her mops to local boat owners. “She persuaded QVC to take a thousand, but sales were poor and they tried to send them back,” says Mason. “She suggested letting her demonstrate it herself, and the channel agreed.” Sales skyrocketed and Mangano’s career as a QVC pitch woman was launched. That’s so amazing there aren’t even words.” Mangano and her three children didn’t view “Joy” until the Dec. 13 premiere in Manhattan, though a family outing to see “Trainwreck” included a trailer.

This is, after all, the self-confessed reality-show junkie who confessed in a recent Vogue interview that on the night of her 25th birthday party, friends surprised her with a visit from reality queen Kris Jenner, who presented her with a cake inscribed, ‘Happy Birthday, you piece of shit!’ The only time she seems tongue-tied is when asked about her relationship status, after a four-year stint with X-Men: First Class co-star Nicholas Hoult and a year with Coldplay singer Chris Martin before their breakup earlier this year. “Next!” Lawrence says in a no-nonsense voice, pausing as she decides if she’ll continue that thought. For one thing, Mangano’s childhood is not that interesting for a film, despite some flashbacks to her as a youngster (when she is played by 10-year-old Isabella Cramp, who does actually look like we imagine Lawrence could have at the same age). A satire on the acquisitiveness of the public? (Here, QVC foists unnecessary things on gullible viewers who could better save their money.) Russell doesn’t seem to know. And, of course, the grave ending would be a lie: Mangano is very much alive at the age of 59, still inventing, still pitching products, still a superstar of the American home shopping universe. There’s the Clothes It All luggage system, essentially a rolling suitcase with a removable garment bag, and the Super Chic vacuum, which releases fragrance into the air.

If I even casually say something to a reporter, that quote haunts me for the rest of my life,” she says, “so I am never, ever, ever talking about boys again!” I don’t think any of us brought enough tissues!” A good portion of the film was shot last winter in Boston, and though the always-busy Mangano was twice scheduled to visit the set, snowstorms made travel impossible. He has mixed genres successfully before, as in the anti-war comedy-drama “Three Kings,” but the blender often grinds to a halt in “Joy.” Just as we’re getting used to the realism of Mangano’s fight for respect, Russell photographs Rossellini as if she were a gargoyle.

One of her creations, the thin and velvet-covered Huggable Hanger, remains a bestseller for HSN, at more than 300 million sold, and was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Yet in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Cooper, De Niro and Russell all supported her with fine work; here they lay back and make the movie a one-ring circus where she has to be acrobat, bareback rider and clown.

He had a presence all of his own.” At one point, Miranne says, “Jennifer grabbed Joy’s hand and said to David, ‘Look at the nails, a French manicure.’ ” (That manicure is a Mangano signature.) Lawrence revealed that in studying for her part as Joy, she watched recordings of the inventor’s early pitches on HSN, including ones for “Huggable Hangers” and found her so compelling that she wanted to buy them on the spot. There is something special when creative people get together.” Mangano’s take on Lawrence? “She’s beyond her years, so brilliant, hysterical and so talented.

Critically, Russell’s sense of wonder and beauty turns elegiac moments — especially when Joy Mangano becomes fully realized as a woman and as a business executive — into scenes of great beauty. Lawrence recently said on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” that the movie was “half Joy Mangano’s story and half [Russell’s] imagination and other powerful, strong women who inspired him.” The director mined much of his Mangano material by phone.

The cast includes Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Susan Lucci (in a mock TV soap opera that gives Joy some of its silliness) and even Melissa Rivers as her late mother Joan Rivers. There’s no situation Joy cannot overcome or circumvent.” At a Newsday photo shoot at Mangano’s luxurious but serene 42,000-square-foot mansion on 11 acres in St. As for parting advice for the ambitious? “If this movie inspires even just one more person to believe in themselves and to go after their dreams, then it’s made a very special impact in this world.

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