Jmunney’s 2020 Emmy Wish List, Part 4: Variety and Reality

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CREDIT: ABC; IFC

The 2020 Emmy nominations will be announced on July 28. As per annual tradition, I have assembled a Wish List for as many categories as I have something to say about. There is no minimum or maximum number per category, nor is there any strict adherence to official Emmy rules. And of course, there is the necessary caveat that I have not seen everything. Even with much of the country shut down for the past few months, that’s impossible.

Now that I have made my way through the avalanche of award-worth Dramas, Comedies, and Limited Series, it’s time to get a little silly with the Variety shows. And this year, I decided to also talk about Reality, as there are enough competition shows that I plainly love to be able to fill out a ballot.

Conan is my top choice among the talkies, as Mr. O’Brien and company adapted quite naturally to the new reality of at-home production and Zoom interviews. The Soul Train/American Bandstand homage that is Sherman’s Showcase is the easy choice in Sketch Series; seriously folks, you gotta check this show out. And while I don’t always include SNL in the field, it earned a spot this year thanks to the resiliency demonstrated in its at-home episodes.

Moving on to Reality, where my Competition Program picks are dominated by game shows, naturally enough. At the top of the heap is the mini-golf showcase Holey Moley, one of the most purely fun and positive shows on the air right now. And Joe Tessitore and Rob Riggle are the perfect silly/serious M.C. pair to present the whole shebang.

KEY:
Bold=My winner

CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot

Variety Talk Series
CONAN
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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ABC Summer Fun & Games: An Appraisal

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CREDIT: Byron Cohen/ABC

Summer 2019 is winding to a close, which means we will soon have to say goodbye for now to one of my favorite programming blocks, ABC’s “Summer Fun & Games.” I’ve been meaning to do an appraisal of how well each show reaches its potential and how thoroughly they strike my particular pleasure centers, and that’s what I’ve done below. I’ve included all the shows that are currently on the block as well as those that have been cancelled or are on hiatus, organizing them into categories worthy of their status.

CREDIT: Heidi Gutman/ABC

The Titans
Celebrity Family Feud
Match Game
It’s your boy Steve Harvey hosting the stalwart program that all the fame-os want to be on. And it’s Master MC Alec Baldwin fully inhabiting the ringmaster role in the perfect venue where celebrity shtick comes to (blank).

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 6/7/19

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CREDIT: Jason Bell/CBS

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Limited Theatrically)

TV
So many game shows!
-73rd Annual Tony Awards (June 9 on CBS)
Celebrity Family Feud Season Premiere (June 9 on ABC)
The $100,000 Pyramid Season Premiere (June 9 on ABC)
Big Little Lies Season 2 Premiere (June 9 on HBO)
Pose Season 2 Premiere (June 11 on FX)
Press Your Luck Reboot Series Premiere (June 11 on ABC)
Card Sharks Reboot Series Premiere (June 12 on ABC)
Match Game Season Premiere (June 12 on ABC)
Baskets Season 4 Premiere (June 13 on FX) – Top-notch FX drama and comedy is burning up the summer!

Music
-Silversun Pickups, Widow’s Weeds

What Won TV? – June 11-June 17, 2017

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In this feature, I look back at each day of the past week and determine what shows “won TV” for the night. That is, I consider every episode of television I watched that aired on a particular day and declare which was the best.

CREDIT: ABC/Lou Rocco

Sunday – The $100,000 Pyramid, for Leslie Jones’ reaction
Monday – Better Call Saul
Tuesday – Downward Dog
Wednesday – Fargo
Thursday – AFI Life Achievement Award for Actress, Director, and Climate Change Denier Diane Keaton
Friday – RuPaul’s Drag Race: Extra Stressful Reunion Edition
Saturday – Orphan Black