Jmunney’s 2019 Emmy Wish List, Part 4: Variety

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CREDIT: Rhys Thomas/IFC

The 2019 Emmy nominations will be announced on July 16, and as that annual occasion approaches, I typically put together my own list of which shows and performers I would like to see recognized. But I’ve had some mixed feelings about putting that together this year, as I’ve grappled with the fact that in the era of Peak TV, it becomes more and impossible to capture all my favorites in one place. Ultimately I decided I wouldn’t be too formal or too precious about it. If there are ten shows I really want to see nominated, then I’ll list ten on my wish list. But if there are just two I really like in another category, then I’ll just list two.

I’ve already run through Comedy, Drama, and Limited Series, and you know what? I’ve also got some thoughts on Variety shows, as they are a steady part of my TV diet. For Variety Talk, I am delighted to say that my top choice is the revitalized CONAN, as Mr. O’Brien has rediscovered plenty of his mojo by slimming down a half-hour. And let’s not forget Norm MacDonald Has a Show, a brilliant bit of comedic chaos. As for Variety Sketch, Documentary Now! may just be my very favorite show of 2019

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. My top choices are in bold.

CREDIT: TBS/YouTube

Variety Talk Series
CONAN
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Norm MacDonald Has a Show

CREDIT: Allyson Riggs/IFC

Variety Sketch Series
Documentary Now!
Drunk History
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale

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Jmunney’s 2019 Emmy Wish List, Part 3: Limited Series

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CREDIT: HBO/YouTube

The 2019 Emmy nominations will be announced on July 16, and as that annual occasion approaches, I typically put together my own list of which shows and performers I would like to see recognized. But I’ve had some mixed feelings about putting that together this year, as I’ve grappled with the fact that in the era of Peak TV, it becomes more and impossible to capture all my favorites in one place. Ultimately I decided I wouldn’t be too formal or too precious about it. If there are ten shows I really want to see nominated, then I’ll list ten on my wish list. But if there are just two I really like in another category, then I’ll just list two.

Now that I’ve gone through the regularly scheduled Comedy and Drama, I’m moving onto the categories that really have to make their case to fit themselves into my viewing schedules. Limited Series come and go, and that transience is clear in my relative lack wishes. But boy do I love those who I’m wishing for! Florence Pugh is my favorite up-and-coming actress, and I thought I would totally be pulling for her little spy routine in The Little Drummer Girl, but then Michelle Williams came along and was totally undeniable as Gwen Verdon. And it is in this field that we find my most off-the-wall wishes, as Justin Theroux was rewardingly unmoored in Maniac and Wanda Sykes got to kill it with her take as Weezy Jefferson in one of the most “who’d-a thunk it” moments of 2019.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. My top choices are in bold.

Limited Series
Fosse/Verdon
The Little Drummer Girl
Sharp Objects

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Jmunney’s 2019 Emmy Wish List, Part 2: Drama

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CREDIT: FX/YouTube

The 2019 Emmy nominations will be announced on July 16, and as that annual occasion approaches, I typically put together my own list of which shows and performers I would like to see recognized. But I’ve had some mixed feelings about putting that together this year, as I’ve grappled with the fact that in the era of Peak TV, it becomes more and impossible to capture all my favorites in one place. Ultimately I decided I wouldn’t be too formal or too precious about it. If there are ten shows I really want to see nominated, then I’ll list ten on my wish list. But if there are just two I really like in another category, then I’ll just list two.

Yesterday I discussed Comedy, and I just couldn’t contain myself to the prescribed number of nominees per category. But now that I’m looking at Drama, I’m struggling to fully flesh them out. Partly that’s because I watch more comedy than drama, and partly it’s because some of the dramas I do watch had off-years.

But I still watched some good, juicy dramas! And tops among them was most definitely Pose, which is my #1 choice in just about every category. Billy Porter is pretty much showmanship personified, and all the main ladies are undeniably compelling. Sex Education also gets my endorsement. I initially thought it was mis-categorized, but since my drama choices are relatively sparse, I won’t complain. And let’s not sleep on The Orville, which has been consistently putting out some intellectually satisfying hard sci-fi without too much fanfare.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. My top choices are in bold.

Outstanding Drama
Better Call Saul
Homecoming
The Orville
Pose
Sex Education

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Jmunney’s 2019 Emmy Wish List, Part 1: Comedy

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CREDIT: Scott Patrick Green/Netflix

The 2019 Emmy nominations will be announced on July 16, and as that annual occasion approaches, I typically put together my own list of which shows and performers I would like to see recognized. But I’ve had some mixed feelings about that this year, as I’ve grappled with the fact that in the era of Peak TV, it becomes more and impossible to capture all my favorites in one place. Ultimately I decided I wouldn’t be too formal or too precious about it. If there are ten shows I really want to see nominated, then I’ll list ten on my wish list. But if there are just two I really like in another category, then I’ll just list two.

I’m kicking things off today with Comedy. Before I get to my selections, I’ve got some thoughts to share, mainly about the new entrants. Among freshman shows, The Other Two mixed affecting family dynamics with the silliness of fame, while What We Do in the Shadows was just so wonderfully goofy. But it’s a couple of sadly cancelled high school-set sophomore shows that have my most love: Netflix’s poopy mockumentary American Vandal and NBC’s sharp and lovable A.P. Bio.

Among the actors, Young Sheldon‘s ensemble has really been a welcome part of my weekly life, and with that in mind, it’s been a while since either the Academy or I have recognized Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory, and you know what? I’m going to recognize him for his final year. Among names that you may not recognize (yet), let’s all keep in mind What We Do in the Shadows‘ Kayvan Novak for our future comedy endeavors.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. My top choices are in bold.

Outstanding Comedy
American Vandal
A.P. Bio
Barry
GLOW
The Goldbergs
The Good Place
Jane the Virgin
The Last O.G.
The Other Two
Speechless
What We Do in the Shadows

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Watch And/Or Listen to This: Shangela’s Spirit Award Best Feature Drag Medley

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CREDIT: Film Independent/YouTube

If you’re not watching the Spirit Awards, this is what you’re missing.

91st Oscar Predictions/Preferences

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CREDIT: Carlos Somonte/Netflix

Here’s my final rundown of who I will think will be taking home the little gold men on Sunday, February 24, 2019, and whom I would vote for if I had a ballot.

Best Picture

Prediction: Roma is tied for the most nominations, and it’s won the most noteworthy precursor awards.
Preference: BlacKkKlansman is absolutely electric, a quality that is all too rare in Best Picture winners.

Best Director

Prediction: Expect Alfonso Cuarón to continue the recent Mexican dominance in this category.
Preference: A win for Spike Lee would have lifetime achievement oomph, and it would also be deserved in particular for BlacKkKlansman.

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Kevin Hart Doesn’t Know How the Internet Works

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After watching Kevin Hart’s appearance on Ellen on Friday, I’m not sure if he should host the Oscars, but I am sure about one thing: for someone who uses social media as prolifically as he does, he really doesn’t know how the Internet works. He is astounded by how much effort someone put in to dig up something he tweeted eight years ago. But if you know what tweet you’re looking for, it takes about five seconds to locate it. Hart seems to think it’s like finding a needle in a haystack, but when you can ask your favorite digital assistant to find that needle for you, it’s not as difficult as it’s historically been.

I’ll be generous and give Kevin Hart the benefit of the doubt and believe that he really has changed and that he is sincerely sorry for his past homophobic remarks. His apologies have perhaps left something to be desired, but maybe he is having trouble expressing himself (otherwise-decent people often do when asked to atone for their mistakes). The trouble is that he is misunderstanding the context. He has framed himself the victim, thinking that trolls are out to ruin his career. But most of the coverage I’ve seen in response to him being offered the Oscar hosting gig has been LGBTQ people and their allies expressing concern, not vindictiveness. Hart may be frustrated that he is being asked to apologize for something he’s already apologized for, but there are probably people who never heard his original apology in the first place (or found it lacking).

Hart is encouraging people to move on, which is a good idea, so long as the correct lessons have been learned. It looks likely that Hart has decided for good not to host.He is worried that his presence will be a distraction, but there could’ve been (and still could be!) an opportunity for him to change the narrative. Don’t ignore the controversy: address it, and then move into a more celebratory, more inclusive direction. If Hart somehow changes his mind again, he could spend part of his opening monologue spotlighting notable queer films of the past year, invite up-and-coming queer filmmakers to be presenters, and donate part of the money he makes from the gig to LGBTQ-focused charities. Marginalized people could always use more allies and cheerleaders.

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