We finally have arrived at the 2014 Emmy Nominations and the internet is buzzing about the latest in an attempt to recognize the greats in the world of television.
As usual, there were many things that Emmy voters nailed, but even more things that they totally screwed up.
Never fear, I’m here to correct them (sorta) with my own personal (correct) Emmy nominations for the last year in what can truly be called the golden age of television.
Before we begin though, there are a couple very important things to go over.
I am well aware of how much of a nerd (or loser) I am for watching enough TV where I can come up with enough nominees for these categories. That being said, watching TV is more of a hobby for me, between college and jobs and other commitments there are only so many hours in a day for me to completely waste when I could be doing something productive.
There are a lot of shows that I just didn’t get around to watching for whatever reason. For obvious reasons, those shows aren’t going to be appearing on this list. This is what makes this incomplete, but I can only judge what I have seen so just deal with it.
I’m sure “Mad Men” is just as good as everyone says it is but I just never found the time to commit to that many seasons. “Downtown Abbey” looks OK I guess, but I can never really seeing myself getting into it, same with “Homeland” While “Bates Motel” “Luther” and especially “Orphan Black” are in my que and will be watched soon enough.
On the comedy side, I just haven’t been able to see the highly acclaimed “Veep” and a smattering of others. Basically as a general rule of thumb, if you think a show is super awesome and you don’t see it show up on here it’s probably because I don’t watch it. But feel free to tell me what I’m missing and I will add it to my list.
Another important thing to note is that a lot of things about the Emmy’s are fucking stupid and I’m not going to follow them.
For instance, the guest actress nominees include Natasha Lyonne as “Nicky” who appears in I believe every episode of the series “Orange is the New Black” and is a series regular but no totally she’s a guest actress and can appear along side Tina Fey for hosting one episode of “SNL” this year.
So the guest categories are out, as well as “Best Miniseries or Movie.” Shows like Fargo and American Horror Story will have to fend for themselves in the drama categories. Other categories will be omitted as well that I just don’t care enough to do or haven’t watched enough shows in that category to be able to competently make a list.
I’ll also be making up some of my own because I can do whatever I want.
Without further ado let’s get down to business.
(* indicates it was also nominated for a real Emmy, ** means it was nominated for an Emmy but in a different category )
Best Drama Series
Game of Thrones*
Considered: House of Cards, Arrow, 24: Live Another Day, Sherlock
Analysis: You really missed out if you didn’t catch the two awesome miniseries that ran this spring in “Fargo” and “True Detective.” They were able to bring in high quality A-list stars like Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey, and Billy Bob Thornton because they only filmed for a limited amount of time, and that along with the awesome writing in the two series made them huge freshman standouts this year.
FX had another standout series “The Americans” which is one of the most underrated shows on TV and got totally snubbed at the Emmy’s again this year. Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys (who you’ll see later) do an amazing job of portraying russian spies during the Cold War who have to balance their lives working with the KGB, with trying to raise their children and live a “normal” american life. It’s truly captivating, (albeit sometimes confusing) and improved tenfold this season from its first.
I admit I originally had “House of Cards” nominated in this category, but I just couldn’t keep the astonishing “Rectify” out after watching the latest episode. It’s truly heartbreaking, riveting, television that centers around a man being released from death row to a hometown who still believes he is guilty.
“Game of Thrones” had a weaker season in my estimation than the outstanding Season Three, but it still was easily one of the ten best shows on TV, and really packed a punch it’s last three episodes.
Meanwhile what can be said about “Breaking Bad” that hasn’t already been said? It was a show that didn’t seem like it could possibly top itself in Season Five’s second half as compared to the first, but it managed to pull it off in the most explosive way possible.
Best Comedy Series
Parks and Recreation
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Considered: Orange is the New Black, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother
Analysis: I think this category might be the toughest one for me to call.
“Parks and Recreation” was its usually Parks and Rec self this year with plenty of charm and laughs, along with an incredibly funny and deeply talented cast.
“Community” saw the return of Dan Harmon and had perhaps it’s best season to date even without Chevy Chase and Donald Glover for large portions of it.
“Louie” was barely a comedy, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t outstanding television. Talk about a show with incredible writing, Louis C.K. is proving he is capable of not only performing standup but producing amazing television. “Elevator Part 4” might be my favorite episode of TV this year sans “Ozymandias.”
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” will never win an Emmy but it deserves to maybe more than any show that will never be nominated. After a two season funk, the last two seasons of It’s Always Sunny have been absolute masterpieces led by the not so subtle take down of award shows in “The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award.”
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” shocked everyone by being a finely tuned machine in its first season even winning a Golden Globe. Andy Samberg works as an NYC cop doesn’t sound at all funny, but the show works perfectly thanks to The Lonely Island front-man’s impressive chops and a hilarious supporting cast.
I had “Orange is the New Black” booked in the final spot here until I started watching “Silicon Valley” this week, and realized I just couldn’t leave it out. I haven’t finished the season yet, but from the six episodes I’ve seen, “Silicon Valley” is one of the most refreshing comedies of the last few years, and it’s ultimate “hey, it’s that guy!” cast along with Mike Judge at the helm make it a can’t miss series.
Best Lead Actor in a Drama
Martin Freeman: Fargo**
Aden Young: Rectify
Matthew McCoughnahey: True Detective*
Kevin Spacey: House of Cards*
Bryan Cranston: Breaking Bad*
Matthew Rhys: The Americans
Considered: Woody Harrelson: True Detective, Benedict Cumberbatch: Sherlock, Kieifer Sutherland: 24: Live Another Day, Stephen Ammel: Arrow, Andrew Lincoln: The Walking Dead
Analysis: This is a ridiculously loaded category and I will flip out if Jeff fucking Daniels wins again. In a regular year any of these guys could easily win.
Martin Freeman won’t get enough recognition for his work on Fargo, especially from those who know him from some of his less dramatic roles, but he was truly incredible as Lester Nygard who turns from lovable loser to Walter White esque in shocking fashion in just a ten episode span.
As Daniel Holden, a death row inmate accused of murder suddenly released to the public, Aden Young is complex, mysterious, and even in some ways cruel, but he is somehow empathetic on “Rectify.” I don’t know where Aden Young came from, but he is absolutely tearing it up.
McCoughanhey and Harrelson had wonderful chemistry on “True Detective” and despite all the crazy theories they were what made the show really work. Just try to think of McCoughahey as anything BUT Rust Cohle after watching the series. McCoughanahey is the clear standout and has a legit chance of winning (both in real life and here) but it was still very hard to keep Harrelson off the list.
Spacey is the best big bad on TV right now now that Walter White has hung up meth making boots. Frank Underwood may end up going down as the greatest TV villain of all time by the time that show ends.
Cranston is Cranston. It’s been said in a million ways how amazing he was as Heisenberg, but it’s incredible to me that he was perhaps able to reach his peak in the final eight episodes of the series. “Tread lightly” Walter White was my favorite variation of that character, and there’s a lot to choose from.
Finally, Rhys may seem out of place with the rest of those heavy hitters, but anyone who watched “The Americans” knows he more than held his own. If you’re not familiar at all with Rhys’s work, watch this show and prepare to be blown away by his incredible range. The cool thing about “The Americans” is that Rhys’s character spends so much time undercover that it allows him to show many different sides of his ability.
Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Robin Wright: House of Cards*
Sarah Paulson: American Horror Story: Coven**
Anna Gunn: Breaking Bad**
Allison Tolman: Fargo**
Mariska Hargitay: Law and Order Special Victims Unit
Kerri Russell: The Americans
Considered: Nicole Beharie: Sleepy Hollow
Analysis: Wright was given much more screen time as Frank Underwood’s equally enthralling wife, Claire in this season of “House of Cards”, and she totally stepped her game up to prove she can hang with Spacey in any scene.
Paulson was one of a few bright spots in a total dud of a season of AHS, but even she has had better moments frankly.
Gunn is a likely winner of the supporting actress category at the real life Emmy’s but I don’t get how she isn’t a lead actress in “Breaking Bad.” Regardless, while many hate her character, Skylar White is without a doubt one of the most polarizing females on the small screen in recent memory.
Tolman went from being a basic unknown to completely dominating “Fargo.” In a show that featured heavyweights like Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton, it was Tolman’s portrayal of Officer Molly Solverson that stole the show in this miniseries.
I admit to not watching much of Law and Order SVU nowadays, but I did watch enough to know that not only does Olivia Benson still have it, but that Hargitay is perhaps doing her best work while almost all of her original co-stars have since moved on.
Like Rhys, Russell shines in many different roles on “The Americans.” It is her continued belief in the cause of working for the KGB vs. Rhys’s character’s sympathy toward North American life that make up the show’s best dynamic and most intense (and brilliantly acted) scenes.
Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
James Roday: Psych
Louis C.K.: Louie*
Joel McHale: Community
Danny McBride: Eastbound and Down
Glenn Howerton: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Andy Samberg: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Considered: Thomas Middleditch: Silicon Valley, Josh Radnor, How I Met Your Mother
Analysis: I barely watch any of the programs that produced nominees for this in the real Emmy’s. “Derek” is on my list, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get into “House of Lies” or “Episodes,” while I know that I am not going to go into how much I despise “The Big Bang Theory.”
Roday wasn’t at his best in the final season of “Psych” nor was the show, but he is long overdue for getting recognized for his comedic genius as Shawn Spencer on the long-running USA Network show.
C.K. toned down the stand-up this year and showed that he has legitimate acting chops deserving enough of an Emmy win.
McHale was once again the standout on “Community” and should have been recognized for it a long time ago.
McBride is probably the singular funniest man on this list as Kenny Powers, and made “Eastbound and Down” a delight to watch in its final season.
Howerton’s Dennis Reynolds is legitimately a sociopath but in a hilarious way, trust me. Only Charlie Day rivals Howerton for the funniest character on a show that is filled with them.
Finally, Samberg, who pulled off a tremendous upset in the Golden Globes, didn’t even get a nomination for the Emmy’s, but he should have. There are many typical Sambergisms in Jake Peralta, but Samberg does a masterful job of not overdoing it and playing well into the tremendous writing and ensemble cast.
Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschannel: New Girl
Cobie Smulders: How I Met Your Mother
Taylor Schilling: Orange is the New Black*
Amy Poehler: Parks and Recreation*
Melissa Fumero: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Mindy Kaling: The Mindy Project
Analysis: Could you tell I was reaching here? I legitimately could only think of three lead actress worthy of being nominated when I came to this category, (something something sexism) so I had to scrape the barrel to come up with enough. I’m sure Julia Louis-Dreyfus is probably great on “Veep” but I’m not going to nominate a show I’ve never watched. Amy Schumer was another potential nominee, but I’m not sure how I feel about sketch shows being lumped in with scripted shows.
Deschanel got in here basically by default, but I do think she handled the breakup of her character Jess, with Jake Johnson’s Nick well and had her usual ability to create laughs with her off-the-wall character.
Smulders had I think her best season on How I Met Your Mother despite being forced to stretch out Robin’s wedding for the entire season. She showed a lot of unexpected nuances in Robin that we didn’t get to see until now including her troubled relationship with her parents and insecurity about Barney (which was proven to be accurate to an extent).
Schilling gets some heat for being unlikeable as Piper Chapman on “Orange is the New Black” but I thought she stepped up this season and really had a phenomenal performance as Piper continued to grow inside the prison.
Poehler continues to be a mainstay of hilarity and great acting on “Parks and Recreation” as her and Ben continue to be the best couple on TV. This season we got to see Leslie Knope go through a pregnancy, lose her best friend, and get voted out of office, which gave Poehler plenty of material to work with.
Fumero won’t get much recognition but she is genuinely funny and likable in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and has powered her character through being more than just Peralta’s love interest.
I admit to only watching a few episodes here and there of “The Mindy Project” but when I have caught it, Mindy Kaling has proved to be able to carry the show with her comedic chops.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
Aaron Paul: Breaking Bad*
Dean Norris, Breaking Bad
Norman Reedus: The Walking Dead
Charles Dance, Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage: Game of Thrones*
Billy Bob Thornton: Fargo
Considered: Noah Emmerick: The Americans, Pedro Pascal: Game of Thrones, Bob Odenkirk: Breaking Bad/Fargo, Martin Freeman: Sherlock
Analysis: This is another beast of a category to choose from. I really really thought about putting Odenkirk in just because he managed to be equally as impressive on “Fargo” as he was as Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad” but I just couldn’t take any of the six out.
It certainly is a testament to Vince Gilligan and the writing staff that basically every actor on the show could be nominated for an Emmy, and we see two more here. Paul has won in the past but it’s arguable that he was out done by Norris in the final eight episodes. Once Hank finally found out about Walter’s secrets, Norris was able to really unleash fury on his brother-in-law.
Reedus was the male standout from this season of “The Walking Dead” a show that’s always needed the actors to carry it sense the plot is often plodding and dull (sorry Walking Dead fans). However, he pulls that off big time in the fourth season . Sure Daryl is a fan favorite, but he’s much more than that, and Reedus deserves the credit for taking him there.
“Game of Thrones” could probably have six or seven nominees in this category. Pedro Pascal as Oberynn Martel is the one that I thought of first but Kit Harrington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Aidan Gillen could also have been considered.
It’s a bit odd that Dinklage got a real nomination but Dance didn’t, since so many of their best scenes play off each other. Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister had the standout moment in the court room scene, but Dance is consistently incredible and drove home many of the biggest moments of this season.
I won’t place odds on my own decision making but Thornton would probably be considered the “dark horse” here. He’s up against some top notch competition, but no one has been more cold, calculated, and flat out disturbing in recent memory than Thornton in his betrayal of Lorne Malvo.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Lena Headey: Game of Thrones*
Massie Williams: Game of Thrones
Danai Gurira: The Walking Dead
Holly Taylor: The Americans
Michelle Monaghan: True Detective
Abigail Spencer: Rectify
Considered: Molly Parker: House of Cards, Yvonne Strahovski: 24: Live Another Day, Jessica Lange: American Horror Story: Coven
Analysis: Again “Game of Thrones” puts up multiple actresses and could have even gotten more. Massie Williams, one of two adolescents in this category has been able to hold her story arc down much better then say, Sansa or Bran since they have split up. Headey meanwhile is off the charts as the venomous, icy, Cersie Lannister.
Michelle McBride has received much of the attention from “The Walking Dead” fans for his supposed snub for her portrayal of Carol, but in my mind Danai Gurira was the real standout. This season we dipped much more into the background of Michonne and Gurira showed she can do a lot more than just swing a sword and carry around walkers.
The other teen nominated here is Holly Taylor from “The Americans” who portrays the Jennings’ daughter Paige. This season Paige is much more of the focus as she becomes enthralled with a christian group and rebels against her parents. Next season she will be even more important as **SPOILER ALERT** she gets recruited into joining the KGB against the Jenning’s wishes.
Monaghan does what she can with her screen time on “True Detective.” While Rust Cohle and Marty Hart are the core of the show, Maggie Hart is in ways equally as important in showing what the effects of the job and Marty’s behavior can have on his family.
Apparently “Rectify” wasn’t eligible for nomination this year in the Emmy’s, but if they were, Abigail Spencer better have been nominated. Spencer plays Daniel Holden’s passionate sister Amantha, and she absolutely nails it. “Rectify” might be the most heart-wrenching show on TV, and no one pulls off that emotion better than Spencer. Here’s to hoping she gets the recognition she deserves next year.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher: Brooklyn Nine-Nine*
Charlie Day: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Adam Scott: Parks and Recreation
Nick Offerman: Parks and Recreation
T.J. Miller: Silicon Valley
Ty Burrell: Modern Family*
Considered: Neil Patrick Harris: How I Met Your Mother, Terry Crews: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chris Pratt: Parks and Recreation, Dule Hill: Psych, Max Greenfield: New Girl, Jon Lajoie: The League, Christopher Evan Welch: Silicon Valley
Analysis: Another category that’s totally loaded. If I wanted to I could probably give a nomination to everyone on “Parks and Recreation” or “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
Twenty years after his work on “Homicide Life on the Street” Andre Braugher is back in a huge way playing the hilarious, gay, stone faced captain Ray Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Easily the best, most consistently hilarious character on the show.
Glenn Howerton is great, but no actor from It’s Always Sunny leaves me in tears from laughter more often than Charlie Day. He should have won six or seven Emmy’s by now if the voters just bothered to pay attention to the little show that could.
Aziz Ansari and Chris Pratt are budding stars who certainly shined on “Parks and Recreation” this year, but it’s the consistent Nick Offerman and the impressive Adam Scott who score the nominations in the Remmy’s.
It was tough to beseech NPH and Chris Pratt, but T.J. Miller does so as the standout on “Silicon Valley.” Miller is the zany, stoned, and quite frankly dumb Erlich Bachman but Miller finds a way to not only make him funny but actually seem like he somewhat has earned his fortune despite his behavior.
“Modern Family” isn’t nearly as bad as some people like to make it out to be, but it’s also not nearly as good as Emmy voters would like you to believe. I kind of gave up on it mid-way through this season, but when I did tune in, it was always Ty Burrell’s portrayal of Phil Dunphy that was the bright spot.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Natasha Lyonne: Orange is the New Black**
Kate Mulgrew: Orange is the New Black*
Lorraine Touissaint: Orange is the New Black
Aubrey Plaza: Parks and Recreation
Gillian Jacobs: Community
Kaitlin Olson: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Considered: Danielle Brooks: Orange is the New Black, Yael Stone: Orange is the New Black, Allison Brie: Community, Julie Bowen: Modern Family
Analysis: My goal was to not nominate more than two actors or actresses from the same show in a particular category, but OITNB’s strong ensemble and lack of depth in this category (at least among shows I watch) made that impossible.
Also, I love Kate McKinnon, don’t get me wrong but as I mentioned above I don’t feel she should be up for this category. Acting on a sketch show is way way different than a scripted show. Amy Schumer is great too, but it’s totally different, they should create a sketch comedy actor/actress category if they want to honor SNL performers.
One more thing to rant about here, how is Natasha Lyonne (and Uzo Aduba) considered “guest actresses” in “Orange is the New Black?” They were in every single episode of the season and are series regulars, but they’re up against Tina Fey and Melissa McCarthy for hosting one episode each of “Saturday Night Live.” It makes zero sense.
Anyways, choosing just three “Orange is the New Black” cast members for this spot was difficult as they each shined in different ways. At the end of the day, I went with Nataha Lyonne for “Nicky” because she is one of the few actual legitimate funny characters on a show that considers itself a comedy. In addition Kate Mulgrew as “Red” went through some huge changes this season and grew into an essential character to the show, while her enemy “Vee” played by Lorraine Toussaint was an absolutely viscous and conniving antagonist.
Aubrey Plaza is right on par with Amy Poehler for funniest female on “Parks and Recreation” as she uses her deadpan delivery perfectly to generate laughs.
Gillian Jacobs narrowly edged out her co-star Allison Brie for the “Community” representative in this category, so she’ll be happy to know she didn’t Britta her nomination.
Finally, Kaitlin Olson deserves some kind of recognition for playing poor poor Sweet Dee for nine seasons on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” “The Gang Breaks Dee”, the story of the rest of the crew tricking Dee into thinking she has become a successful stand up comedian is peak Dee punching bag status.
Remmy Original Categories
Since it’s my own version of the Emmy’s, I’m not going to follow the categories exactly as the are in the real deal.
As much as I love and appreciate the writing and directing of TV shows, I don’t know enough about them nor do I wish to make up enough to b.s. about them to include them here.
There are a TON of categories like best children’s show, best narrator, best reality tv host etc. that I just don’t have the knowledge or patience to get into. The guest acting thing seems odd to me, I haven’t seen enough miniseries or reality shows to qualify, and there are some categories that I think are better/more interesting to write about anyways, so here are my original category nominees.
Best Late Night Talk Show Program
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon*
The Daily Show with John Stewart*
The Colbert Report*
Jimmy Kimmel Live!*
Considered: The Late Show with David Letterman, The Pete Holmes Show
Analysis: The Emmy’s do “best variety show” but I have a separate category for sketch shows that I will get into later on.
“Last Week Tonight” benefits from being a once a week deal, but John Oliver just crushes it every week and there’s no doubt he’s on par with John Stewart and Stephen Colbert at least when it comes to monologue. That being said, even with “The Daily Show” growing another year older it doesn’t feel any less stale, and “The Colbert Report” hasn’t gone down a single notch since Colbert announced he would be leaving to take over David Letterman’s job next year.
In terms of the more standard late night talk shows, Fallon has the most fun with his guests without a doubt and the most viral videos that you’re likely to be talking about the next day. Kimmel excels at his bits, and is the most natural during interviews, and Conan night after night has my favorite monologue. Really though you can’t go wrong in any direction and I will largely watch whatever show I think has the most interesting guests.
Best Animated Show
Analysis: Yes, I know this is a real Emmy category but it fit in better down here with the Remmy originals.
“Family Guy” hasn’t been great in about eight years, but when I tune in I still can always find a laugh or two in every episode (which is more then I can say about “The Simpsons) and the show has proven with the “death” of Brian that when it wants to it can bring out real emotions in its characters.
“Futurama” ended (?) on a high note once again this season. Time will only tell if we have really seen the last of Fry and the gang, but if it is over it ended beautifully. Even if you know nothing about “Futurama” just read this paragraph about the final scenes of the series finale, and you can see why this show is one of the greatest animated series of all time.
“With the world theirs alone, Fry and Leela conduct their wedding themselves and spend what is, for them, decades wandering the world romantically. A mysterious glimmer bothers them from time to time, however. In old age, they go to the top of the Vampire State Building to drink the champagne Fry had laid out there before the button was destroyed. The glimmer finally reveals itself to be the Professor, who was not killed, but instead rotated into another time dimension orthogonal to the familiar one. He has been trying to find the button and, since Fry has kept the pieces, is able to rebuild it with one key modification: the next press will revert the universe back to the time before the Professor conceived of the device, and no one will have any memory of what has happened since then. Despite having enjoyed growing old together, Fry and Leela both agree to “go around again” and the Professor presses the button.”
I admit that I don’t watch as much “Archer” as I should, and need to catch up on the series. I know enough to know however that there are very few funnier shows on television, animated or not.
“American Dad” has benefitted from its move to TBS, and when it takes a less political tone, can also be surprisingly heartfelt.
“South Park” meanwhile continues to have the best social commentary of not just an animated show, but any show out there. Not to mention, even after 16 years, Trey Parker and Matt Stone find a way to make each episode side-splittlingly hilarious.
Like “Archer” I’m not totally caught up on my “Bob’s Burgers” but with impeccable voice acting led by H. Jon Benjamin (who also leads Archer), and a heart of gold, it’s not hard to see why “Bob’s Burgers” has turned itself into a cult classic.
Best Sketch Comedy Show
Saturday Night Live**
Key and Peele**
Inside Amy Schumer**
Nathan for You
Considered: Whose Line is it Anyways?, Portlandia
Analysis: It wasn’t a particularly strong season for SNL, but there were certainly a few standouts and great sketches along the way. Kate McKinnon, Taran Killam, and Cecily Strong look poised to be the breakout stars from the current crop of performers.
The rest of the shows here are all products of Comedy Central, showing its resurgence in the last number of years.
“Kroll Show” isn’t always a riot, but it’s consistently very good and pubLizity with Kroll and Jenny Slate never fails to make me laugh.
“Key and Peele” is a show every needs you may know it for its famous East West College Bowl sketch but that is only a small sampling of the genius of Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele comedically. It didn’t hurt either they had a memorable stint together as detectives on “Fargo.”
Admittedly, I’m not the target audience for “Inside Amy Schumer”(because I am a male) so that may be why the sketches don’t always resonate with me, but there’s no denying her skill as a comedian, performer, and especially, interviewer.
“Nathan for You” is just on a whole different level of anything anyone has tried to do with the genre. If Nathan Fielder wasn’t a comedian, he would probably be a serial killer, because he is a sociopath (I somehow mean that in a good way). The things he can convince people to do and say, all with his brilliantly subtle approach is amazing. Even if some of the sketches on the show aren’t 100% authentic, Fielder has done many real life twitter pranks to show he isn’t just all talk.
“Review” isn’t for everyone, and sometimes it doesn’t click. However, when it does, it can be an insanely funny show. Andy Daly reviews different things in life and gives them a grade. It is such a mundane concept, but Daly finds a way to make it memorable.
Best New Show
Considered: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
Analysis: I always thought it would be a good idea to have a “rookie of the year” type of Emmy to give out to the show which make the biggest impact in its freshman season which isn’t always fair.
I’ll refer you to the “Best Comedy Series” for “Silicon Valley” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” write-ups. Also, if you’re wondering why you don’t see “Fargo” or “True Detective” here, it’s because I think it’s a little unfair to judge a show that got to start and complete its narrative in one season with these shows that are just starting off trying to get the ball rolling for longer endeavors. For a category like “Best Drama” it’s important to have the best shows no matter what, but here the concept is a little different.
“Sleepy Hollow” was better then it had any business being and was a huge hit for Fox. The story of Ichabod Crane being sent 250 years into the future to fight off demons seems cringe worthy at first glance, but thanks to a strong writing staff, and great chemistry between Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, the show is actually a suitable replacement for “Fringe” fans looking for a replacement for the beloved sci-fi show.
“The Leftovers” on the other hand was a show with huge expectations that has missed the mark thus far. Still, it’s done enough to secure a nomination here, with the hope that it continues to improve and explore more angles of the mystery at the core of the show. Admittedly the last episode, revolving around the character of Matt Jamison was absolutely gut-wrenching and brutal to watch.
“Almost Human” was unfortunately cancelled after just one season, but I believe it has the promise to become a cult hit in time among fans of shows like “Dollhouse” and “Firefly.” The story arc never really got going (not that it had time to) but it’s monster of the week type stories were always enjoyable especially due to the strong performance of leads Karl Urban and Michael Ealy.
After seeing only one episode of “The Strain” I still feel strongly enough to include it on this list. The pilot, geared by famed director Guillermo Del Toro, felt more like a movie than any show I have seen, which is a good thing. It showed tremendous promise, and could definitely be the next “it” sci-fi television show.
*Note this category is for main networks, not cable channels.
Analysis: Not a strong year in any way for network television. In the real Emmy’s, all the “Best Drama” series were on cable (likewise here at the Remmy’s) and only two of the “Best Comedy
nominees were on network TV.
As the shift continues to go towards cable more and more for scripted television, networks have been largely reduced to procedurals, reality shows, or hacky sitcoms. Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still a few standout programs for the major networks.
Now that “How I Met Your Mother” ended, I can’t say I watch any scripted show on CBS. I have “Extant” saved on my que, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to it. I applaud them for at least taking a shot with “Under the Dome” but that show has been largely a failure. Still, they’re worth considering for the awesomeness alone of “Survivor.”
ABC was once looked at as the home of a network willing to take some chances on shows with a lot of promise, but they have adapted a much safer model in recent years. They have a smash hit and a solid show in “Modern Family” and I enjoyed the freshman season of “Marvel Agents of SHIELD” despite its flaws, but other than that ABC doesn’t have much to offer me personally.
NBC once had a killer comedy block of “30 Rock” “Community” “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” but now Parks and Rec is the only one left standing. NBC should absolutely not have cancelled “Community” and should have been more forgiving with the ratings of Parks and Rec considering how often its time slot was moved around, but they do get some credit for at least having those shows on their schedule. In the drama section, they have the ever reliable “Law and Order SVU” still trucking and I have heard nothing but great things about “Hannibal.”
Fox likes to take risks with science fiction shows, and for that I applaud them. Sometimes like with “Sleepy Hollow” and “Fringe” they work out, while other times like with “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Dollhouse” they don’t. They went one for two this year with the aforementioned “Sleepy Hollow” being a surprise hit, but “Almost Human” being cancelled.
Other than that genre, they still have a solid comedy block on Sunday nights, and Tuesday’s were great with “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “New Girl.” There was also the excellent return of the “24” franchise, with its miniseries “24: Live Another Day.” Overall, a tremendous season for Fox.
The CW….I admit I only watch one show “Arrow” but I still feel like it should be thrown in here. For what its worth, “Arrow” is awesome, and I have high hopes for “The Flash” as well. If The CW, can continue to grow its niche as the place for the superhero genre, they will grow a larger fan base.
Best Cable Network
Analysis: While the networks have struggled, the cable channels continue to dominate this era in television history.
HBO is the gold standard of cable networks, and they continued to show that this year. Along with “Game of Thrones” they also had a standout freshman critical hit in “Silicon Valley” and have expanded their late night past Bill Maher with “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” There is also the ambitious new drama “The Leftovers” and although they aren’t my cup of tea, “Boardwalk Empire” and “Girls” are critically acclaimed hits on the dramatic side. “Veep” and “Eastbound and Down” round out a standout list of programs on the subscription based channel for 2013-14.
Like I mentioned in the sketch comedy section, Comedy Central is experiencing a revival. There has always been “South Park” “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” to anchor the station, but with the focus on promising young comedians, their sketch programs have erupted as well. “Kroll Show” “Review” “Key and Peele” “Nathan for You” “Inside Amy Schumer” and even “@Midnight” are all building blocks that can bring the network success for years to come.
USA will never be in the same section for original programs as some other networks, but for what they do, they do it very well. I really would like to start watching “Suits” after hearing such good things. “Psych” and “Burn Notice” ended their runs this year after successful runs that lasted almost a decade each. “Royal Pains” and “Graceland” have solid fan bases, and they have a soft spot for me airing “Monday Night Raw” every week.
If HBO is the gold standard for cable, FX is hot on their heels. The last decade has had a number of hits for the network including “Resuce Me” “The Shield” and “Damages” and they haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. “Archer” is a brilliant comedic series, that can be paired with “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia” “The League” and “Louie” as bonafide hits (yes we’re including FXX with FX for now). In terms of dramatic series there is “American Horror Story” “The Strain” “Fargo” “The Americans” “Sons of Anarchy” “Justified” and “The Bridge” which build a deep selection that any channel will have a hard time matching up with.
Does Netflix count as a cable channel? I’m not sure, but I’ve decided to throw them in here anyways because of their two huge success stories in terms of original programs, “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.”
Finally, AMC, which seemed like it had the promise of taking over as the go-to channel, has fallen considerably after a series of misses. “Halt and Catch Fire” hasn’t developed into anything close to a hit, “Turn” came and fizzled out without much fanfare, and “Low Winter Sun” was a colossal failure. Still, AMC has “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” which may be enough still to propel it to a win in this category.
Best Theme Song
The Walking Dead
Parks and Recreation
Game of Thrones
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Considered: How I Met Your Mother, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community, Survivor
Analysis: Is this category bullshit? Possibly. But I don’t think enough credit can be given for a show to have a perfect theme song.
Hell, half the reason people still talk about shows like “The Brady Bunch” “Happy Days” and “Cheers” all these years later is because the song is just as memorable as the shows and characters.
All of these shows manage to capture the theme of their show in a 30 second or less opening (a little heavier for Game of Thrones) and I think that’s something that deserves to be recognized.
If a show has a horrible theme song (NEW GIRL ALWAYS NEW GIRL) it can contrarily turn people off to the show even before the episode starts. It’s all psychology people.
So there you have it guys! The 2014 Remmy Nominees. I will be putting out another blog post with the winners in about one week. Let me know what you think whether you love it or hate it and make sure you tell me what shows I’m missing out on. Thanks for reading.