That’s Auntertainment! Episode 19: What We Do in the Shadows

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What We Do in the Shadows (CREDIT: John P. Johnson/FX Networks)

Jeff and Aunt Beth have developed a taste for blood recently, so they decided to become friends with the vampire roommates of the mockumentary media franchise What We Do in the Shadows. Guest Patrick Cotnoir (The George Lucas Talk Show) joins them to bite into it all.

 

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 4/10/20

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CREDIT: FX/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
SNL at Home (April 11 on NBC) – A remotely produced new episode of Saturday Night Live.
Insecure Season 4 Premiere (April 12 on HBO)
Killing Eve Season 3 Premiere (April on AMC and BBC America)
-NBA HORSE Challenge (April 12 on ESPN)
American Dad! Season 17 Premiere (April 13 on TBS) – Still one of the most consistent shows on the air!
Mrs. America Series Premiere (April 15 on Hulu) – Starring Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly.
What We Do in the Shadows Season 2 Premiere (April 15 on FX)

Music
-The Strokes, The New Abnormal

Podcasts
A couple of great-so-far podcasts have recently launched:
The Darkest TimelineCommunity co-stars Joel McHale and Ken Jeong answer your questions.
Oh, Hello: the P’dcast – Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland have discovered a new medium in which to deliver their tuna.

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 1: Comedy

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CREDIT: Scott Patrick Green/Netflix

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 that 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’m kicking things off today with Comedy. Before I get to my selections, I’ve got some thoughts to share, mainly about the new entrants. Among freshman shows, The Other Two mixed affecting family dynamics with the silliness of fame, while What We Do in the Shadows was just so wonderfully goofy. But it’s a couple of sadly cancelled high school-set sophomore shows that have my most love: Netflix’s poopy mockumentary American Vandal and NBC’s sharp and lovable A.P. Bio.

Among the actors, Young Sheldon‘s ensemble has really been a welcome part of my weekly life, and with that in mind, it’s been a while since either the Academy or I have recognized Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory, and you know what? I’m going to recognize him for his final year. Among names that you may not recognize (yet), let’s all keep in mind What We Do in the Shadows‘ Kayvan Novak for our future comedy endeavors.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. My top choices are in bold.

Outstanding Comedy
American Vandal
A.P. Bio
Barry
GLOW
The Goldbergs
The Good Place
Jane the Virgin
The Last O.G.
The Other Two
Speechless
What We Do in the Shadows

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 3/22/19

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CREDIT: John P. Johnson/FX Networks

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

Movies
Us (Theatrically Nationwide)

TV
Happy! Season 2 Premiere (March 27 on SyFy)
Jane the Virgin Season 5 Premiere (March 27 on The CW) – Final season of one of TV’s best shows!
What We Do in the Shadows Series Premiere (March 27 on FX)

Best Films of 2015

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best-movies-of-2015-collage

Clockwise from Top Left: Inside Out; Spotlight; Ex Machina; The Big Short (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots)

Box office records kept falling in 2015, and some of the biggest blockbusters were actually among the best films of the year! This is appropriate enough, as bigness was the name of the day in 2015, with Big Emotions and Big Ideas all over this list. Whether it was through muckraking journalism and statesmanship, the birth of new heroes, or the burning desire to make personal connections, the makers of the best films of 2015 made sure audiences heard what they had to say.

This top 10 list was originally posted on Starpulse in December 2015.

1. The Big Short – Spoiler alert: as the wild ride of Adam McKay’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’ bestselling nonfiction thriller about the players who anticipated the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble settles into its conclusion, the epilogue reveals that every Wall Street fraudster was imprisoned and new stringent legal regulations have been implemented to prevent another crisis. Except, of course, that didn’t happen. This is an esoteric topic, but the audience for “The Big Short” knows it has been screwed. The level at which this swindling occurred is astounding and ridiculous, and the filmmaking that captures it is just as absurdly gut-wrenching.

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