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 2/12/21

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Kenan (CREDIT: NBC/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
Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (On Demand) – A new comedy classic.
Judas and the Black Messiah (Theaters and HBO Max)
Minari (February 12 in Theaters, February 26 On Demand)

TV
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Season 8 Premiere (February 14 on HBO)
Momma Named Me Sheriff Season 2 Premiere (February 14 on Adult Swim)
Young Rock Series Premiere (February 16 on NBC)
Kenan Series Premiere (February 16 on NBC) – Kenan Thompson is still on SNL, but he’s also got his own sitcom now.

Music
-The Pretty Reckless, Death by Rock and Roll

The 67 Best TV Shows of 2020

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Clockwise from Top Left: What We Do in the Shadows, Never Have I Ever, Better Call Saul, How To with John Wilson (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots)

Last year, I decided to rank as many TV shows as I felt like recognizing in my year-end list, and that worked out so well that I decided to do it again for 2020. So welcome to my ranking of the 67 Best TV Shows of 2020! Not every show is accompanied by a blurb, just the ones that I felt like I really needed to say something about.

I worked with a self-imposed rule that I had to have watched at least 50% of a show’s 2020 output for it to be eligible, but there were some shows that I’ve only just begun to watch that I wanted to recognize as well, so they’ve got their own Honorable Mention section. And there were also some shows that aired relatively few episodes in 2020 to the point that I didn’t think they should be eligible either, so they’ve also got an Honorable Mention section. And then there’s one more show that’s managed to establish its very own Honorable Mention section, and that’s where we start.

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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 2/14/20

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CREDIT: Chris Johnson, Stuart Collis/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
Fantasy Island (Theatrically Nationwide) – I must watch every horror movie no matter how ridiculous.
The Photograph (Theatrically Nationwide)
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Streaming February 14 on Netflix) – I loved the last Shaun the Sheep movie!

TV
Duncanville Series Premiere (February 16 on FOX) – Is this the next great animated FOX show?
Good Girls Season 3 Premiere (February 16 on NBC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Season 7 Premiere (February 16 on HBO)

Music
-Tame Impala, The Slow Rush

 

The 53 Best TV Shows of 2019

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CREDIT (Clockwise from Top Left): Amazon; Disney; Pamela Littky/FOX; Rhys Thomas/IFC

Under the known laws of physics, it is currently impossible to watch every TV show (or even just every good show) airing new episodes in a given year. But for those of us who treat televisual consumption as a transcendent pursuit, we do our best to fit in as many programs as possible, which means that there are more than ten or even twenty shows worth recognizing in an annual best-of list. So this year, I decided to rank as many shows as I thought were worthy of recognition and provide blurbs for the ones where I really needed to say something.

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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

What Won TV? – July 30-August 5, 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.

Sunday – Last Week Tonight is turning the frogs gay, and making a buck off it.
Monday – American Dad!
Tuesday – Jeopardy!
Wednesday – The Carmichael Show
Thursday – The Gong Show, thanks to the variety
Friday – VICE
Saturday – Orphan Black

What Won TV? – July 2-July 8, 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.

Sunday – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Monday – Jeopardy!
Tuesday – Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, despite ESPN’s sloppy editing
Wednesday – The Carmichael Show
Thursday – The Gong Show
Friday – Jeopardy!
Saturday – Tour de Pharmacy, mostly for the Nathan Fielder bits

What Won TV? – May 14-May 20, 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.

Sunday – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Monday – Jane the Virgin
Tuesday – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Wednesday – Arrow is bringing it back.
Thursday – The President Show
Friday – RuPaul’s Drag Race
Saturday – In memory of a lost rock voice, the SNL Vintage vault busted out one of the best episodes of all time.

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