Jmunney’s 2021 Emmy Wish List, Part 4: Variety and Reality

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot

It’s that time again! The 2021 Emmy nominations will be announced on July 13, which means I’ve got a Wish List for the nommy noms I’d most like to see! In case you’re wondering, I haven’t held myself to any minimum or maximum number of entrants per category, nor do I strictly adhere to official Emmy rules. (I’ve included explanations for my deviations.) And of course, I must mention that I haven’t seen everything, so there are probably some worthy considerations I may have missed. Finally, on Day 4, we wrap things up with Variety and Reality.

Did you know that there’s a talk show hosted by an alien puppet on Disney+? If you didn’t before, you do now. And you’re going to want to watch all of it as soon as possible before you die. It’s called Earth to Ned, and it’s hilarious and boasts a lineup of fantastic guests. It’s got vibes of Jiminy Glick, but it’s much more kind-hearted. It’s a celebration of talk shows as an art form and general phenomenon, and that’s why I believe that it should win the Emmy for Variety Talk Series.

Variety Sketch Series is where the oddballs that don’t slot easily into any other category end up, and thus that’s where the inimitable How to with John Wilson deserves our love.

And as for Reality, my enthusiasm is much the same as it was last year, when I was demanding praise for the first season of mini-golf extravaganza Holey Moley while the second season was airing. And now this year, I’m demanding praise for Season 2 while we’re in the midst of Season 3.

KEY:
Bold=My winner

Variety Talk Series
Conan
Earth to Ned
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
WILMORE

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 6/18/21

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Kevin Can F*** Himself (CREDIT: Jojo Whilden/AMC)

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

Movies
Luca (June 18 on Disney+)
Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It (Theaters)
The Sparks Brothers (Theaters)

TV
Physical Series Premiere (June 18 on Apple TV+) – Rose Byrne gets into 80s aerobics.
Evil Season 2 Premiere (June 20 on Paramount+)
Kevin Can F*** Himself Series Premiere (June 23 on AMC) – Annie Murphy hates sitcom clichés.
Rick and Morty Season 5 Premiere (June 20 on Adult Swim)
College Bowl Reboot Premiere (June 22 on NBC) – Peyton Manning hosts.
Card Sharks Season Premiere (June 23 on ABC)
Conan Series Finale (June 24 on TBS) – Headed to HBO Max.
The Good Fight Season 5 Premiere (June 24 on Paramount+)
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 6 Premiere (June 24 on Paramount+)
When Nature Calls with Helen Mirren (June 24 on ABC) – Something with animals.

Music
-H.E.R., Back of My Mind

Watch And/Or Listen to This: Conan Has A Very Punchable Face

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CREDIT: TBS/YouTube Screenshot

Conan O’Brien has a long and storied history of goofing around with Jeopardy!, so it was only appropriate that this fate should befall him:

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 9/18/20

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Wilmore (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

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

TV
Ratched Season 1 (September 18 on Netflix) – Ryan Murphy sends Sarah Paulson beyond the cuckoo’s nest.
-PEN15 Season 2 Part 1 (September 18 on Hulu)
Wilmore Series Premiere (September 18 on Peacock) – The Comedy Central alum is back to chatting.
-Creative Arts Emmy Awards (September 19 on FXX)
-72nd Primetime Emmy Awards (September 20 on ABC)
-DIY Conan (September 21 on TBS) – Conan O’Brien’s fans make an entire episode of his show.
The Masked Singer Season 4 Premiere (September 23 on FOX)
I Can See Your Voice Series Premiere (September 23 on FOX) – Ken Jeong’s on another wacky singing competition show.

Music
-Neil Young, The Times EP

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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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 11/1/19

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CREDIT: HBO

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

Movies
Harriet (Theatrically Nationwide) – Recommended to history teachers.
Motherless Brooklyn (Theatrically Nationwide)

TV
His Dark Materials Series Premiere (November 4 on HBO) – I might give this fantasy series a shot.
The End of the F—ing World Season 2 (November 4 on Netflix) – I still have to finish Season 1, though!
The Little Mermaid Live! (November 4 on ABC)
CONAN Without Borders: Ghana (November 7 on TBS)

Music
-Cold War Kids, New Age Norms 1
-Jeff Lynne’s ELO, From Out of Nowhere

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 9/13/19

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CREDIT: Amazon Prime Video/YouTube Screenshot

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

Movies
Hustlers (Theatrically Nationwide)

TV
Undone Season 1 (September 13 on Amazon Prime) – A new animated wonder from BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg.
-Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin (September 15 on Comedy Central)
-Ken Burns’ Country Music (Premieres September 15 on PBS)
The Masked Singer: Super Sneak Peek (September 15 on FOX) – There’s an “Egg” costume this season.
CONAN Without Borders: Ghana (September 17 on TBS) Looks like this has been rescheduled!

Music
-Charli XCX, Charli – One of today’s best pop hitmakers.

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 8/30/19

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CREDIT: Kevin Baker/Netflix

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

Movies
Don’t Let Go (Theatrically Nationwide)

TV
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Season 1 (August 30 on Netflix)
CONAN Without Borders: Greenland (September 3 on TBS) – Our preeminent civilian diplomat is at it again.

Music
-Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell
-Missy Elliott, Iconology – As relevant as ever.

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 more 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

Watch And/Or Listen to This: Boliviguay Comic-Con® Is Even Bigger Than San Diego Comic-Con®

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CREDIT: TBS via YouTube

Watch And/Or Listen to This is a semi-occasional column in which I recommend content that I believe is worth watching and/or listening to.

This year’s lineup at Boliviguay Comic-Con includes:

-Lactose Tolerant Girl
-The Flush
-The Incredible Jeff
-The Cast of Chicago Zombie
-Tyrannosaurus Yes
-George R.R.R. Martin

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