Jmunney’s 2020 Emmy Wish List, Part 1: Drama

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

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.

I’m kicking off my Emmy Wish List discussion with some Drama this year. The top shows in this field are absolutely-without-a-doubt Pose and Better Call Saul. The former was nearly my favorite show of 2019, while the latter is right up there for 2020. And you know what? I just couldn’t pick between the two of them for Outstanding Drama Series, so I’m calling a tie! Nor could I pick between Bob Odenkirk or Billy Porter for Lead Actor, so it’s another tie! (I’ll probably pull for Bob come the night of the ceremony, as he’s yet to win, while Billy is the reigning champ.)

The Albuquerque and ballroom crews are dominating most of the acting categories, especially Rhea Seehorn, who I believe was a co-lead this season though she was once again submitted as Supporting. Stunningly, she’s yet to ever be nominated; that had better change this year. Meanwhile, also on BCS, Tony Dalton made an undeniable impression as Lalo Salamanca in his first full season as a regular cast member.

Over in Supporting Actress, I’ve got the ladies of Pose all stacked in there, much as the Game of Thrones ladies were last year at the actual Emmys. And also much like the actual Emmys, my top pick is actually from another show; in this case, Carly Chaikin, who got to do her most complicated work yet in Mr. Robot‘s final season.

Other notables: Evil makes a strong impression in its first season, Rosa Salazar shows up for a rotoscoped performance, and my Guest picks come almost entirely from The Mandalorian.

KEY:
Bold=My winner
!( )!=I haven’t caught up to the current season of this show, but I still wanted to recognize it.
*=I have placed this nominee in a different category than the Emmy ballot.

Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Evil
!(The Good Fight)!
The Mandalorian
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mr. Robot
Pose
Stargirl
Undone

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Best TV Shows of the 2010s

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

As a voracious consumer of Peak TV, I could have easily filled my list of the Best TV Shows of the 2010s with hundreds of entries. But instead, I chose to zero in on a golden set of 25 that I am absolutely sure I love and will continue to love for years to come. These are the shows that affected me profoundly when I first watched them and that continued to linger in my brain and my soul as the decade marched on.

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Best TV Episodes of 2019

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CREDIT: TBS

If you were cryogenically frozen in suspended animation for all of 2019 and want to get caught up on all the great TV you missed as efficiently as possible, well boy, do I have some suggestions for you…

1. American Dad!, “Rabbit Ears”
2. Watchmen, “A God Walks Into Abar”
3. South Park, “Band in China”
4. Barry, “ronny/lily”
5. Mr. Robot, “whoami”
6. Documentary Now!, “Batshit Valley”
7. The Other Two, “Chase Drops His First Album”
8. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “The Gang Chokes”
9. The Twilight Zone, “Blurryman”
10. Pose, “Never Knew Love Like This Before”
11. The Twilight Zone, “Replay”
12. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “Thunder Gun 4: Maximum Cool”
13. American Dad!, “Top of the Steve”
14. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “The Gang Texts”
15. Momma Named Me Sheriff, “TV”
16. John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch
17.
Riverdale, “Chapter Sixty-Five: In Treatment”
18. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Inescapable”
19. mixed-ish, “Let Your Hair Down”
20. Legion, “Chapter 25”

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 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 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.

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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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

Best TV Episodes of 2018

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CREDIT: Guy D’Alema/FX/FX Networks

If you’re still catching up on the best TV of 2018, the following playlist would be a great way to go about it.

1. Atlanta, “Teddy Perkins”
2. Saturday Night Live, Donald Glover/Childish Gambino
3. Atlanta, “Barbershop”
4. Mystery Science Theater 3000, “Mac and Me”
5. Big Mouth, “The Planned Parenthood Show”
6. BoJack Horseman, “The Showstopper”
7. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “The Gang Solves the Bathroom Problem”
8. The Assassination of Gianni Versace, “A Random Killing”
9. Barry, “Chapter Eight: Know Your Truth”
10. Pose, “Giving and Receiving”
11. Joe Pera Talks With You, “Joe Pera Talks to You About the Rat Wars of Alberta, Canada (1950–Present Day)”
12. BoJack Horseman, “Mr. Peanutbutter’s Boos”
13. Murphy Brown, “Thanksgiving and Taking”
14. Atlanta, “Woods”
15. Murphy Brown, “#MurphyToo”
16. Better Call Saul, “Winner”
17. The Last O.G., “Swipe Right”
18. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “Mac Finds His Pride”
19. South Park, “A Boy and a Priest”
20. Sharp Objects, “Milk”