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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Jmunney’s 2020 Emmy Wish List, Part 2: Comedy

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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.

Yesterday I kicked off my Emmy Wish List coverage with plenty of Drama. Today it’s time to laugh along with the Comedies, and boy, what a year for laughter it was! At the top of my list are those wacky vampires (Vacky vampires? Wacky wampires? Vacky wampires?) of What We Do in the Shadows, which in its second season staked itself permanently in my heart. It’s my winner for Comedy Series and all but one of the acting categories. Too bad it doesn’t have a Supporting Actress, otherwise it would’ve been a clean sweep.

Matt Berry is at the top of the Lead Actor heap thanks almost entirely to the Jackie Dayton episode (which ought to also earn Mark Hamill a Guest Actor trophy). Meanwhile, Mark Proksch slays the Supporting Actor Field thanks to Colin Robinson taking full advantage of his promotion. And Natasia Demetriou is the #1 Lead Actress because Nadja is awesome in every episode.

As for the Supporting ladies, I’ve got a little bit of everything, and ultimately it just felt right to go with the representative of the oldest show on my ballot as the winner.

Some other notables: Never Have I Ever and mixed-ish make the strongest showings of freshman series, Sex Education switches its category placement from Drama to Comedy (and remains worthy of praise), and I’m currently only on Season 2 of Schitt’s Creek, but I’m sure it’s just as good in its final season.

KEY:
Bold=My winner
!( )!=I haven’t caught up to the current season of this show, but I still wanted to recognize it.

Comedy Series
Atypical
Baskets
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Mixed-ish
Never Have I Ever
Sex Education
!(Schitt’s Creek)!
What We Do in the Shadows

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 6/19/20

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Eric Andre: Legalize Everything (CREDIT: Brian Roede/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
You Should Have Left (On Demand) – Blumhouse horror starring Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried.

TV
Sherman’s Showcase Black History Month spectacular (June 19 on AMC and IFC) – Just in time for Juneteenth!
-2020 ESPYs (June 21 on ESPN)
Perry Mason Series Premiere (June 21 on HBO) – The classic defense attorney returns to TV in the form of Matthew Rhys.
Search Party Season 3 (June 25 on HBO Max)
The Twilight Zone Season 2 (June 25 on CBS All Access) – Guest stars include Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, and Billy Porter.

Comedy
-Eric Andre: Legalize Everything (June 23 on Netflix) – Legalize “everything”? Including … ranch?

Music
-Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways
-Neil Young, Homegrown

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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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 7/26/19

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BTS, Bashir Salahuddin as Sherman McDaniels, Diallo Riddle as Drummer – Sherman’s Showcase _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Michael Moriatis/IFC

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

Movies
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Theatrically Nationwide) – Quentin Tarantino keeps getting closer to retirement. Sooner or later, we’re all out of the game.

TV
Jane the Virgin Series Finale (July 31 on The CW)
Sherman’s Showcase Series Premiere (July 31 on IFC) – Sort of a fictional Soul Train.

Music
-Of Monsters and Men, Fever Dream