Category Archives: television

The Emmys.

Who will win, who should, and who weren’t even invited. 

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With the 2015 Emmy Awards, covering the best of the 2014-2015 television season, airing tomorrow night — I thought I’d to take a look through the categories and weigh in with some subjective, biased, and fanboy thoughts on those who deserve recognition for some of the truly excellent television to which audiences were treated this past year. Back when the nominees were announced earlier this summer, we found ourselves in the same internet-fuelled uproar that arises every single year — in which we absurdly expect the voters to miraculously start getting everything right. As the Academy is comprised of those who actually create television — an incredibly consuming endeavour — and with the proliferation of platforms and all the original content being produced, one can somewhat understand that the voting body as a whole lacks the in-depth knowledge of the entire marketplace that critics enjoy (as reviewing all that content is their primary function) and often defers to more popular, publicized series, regardless of the merits of such shows’ current offerings. And beyond that, the older, more established, and predominantly male demographics which constitute the majority of the voting block are (often like the Oscar voters) somewhat out-of-touch and at odds with what is fresh, original, and perhaps the most deserving. But at the very least, the yearly uproar around the Emmys gives amateur and professional critics alike the opportunity to focus the landscape, provide agreement or dissent, and create a kind of cultural sphere that defines what, by and large, really is considered the best. And it’s perhaps within this wider critical sphere, that the “most deserving” shows, writers, and performers should find the most valuable recognition. Adding to the endless articles with the same premise popping up this past week, you’ll find my thoughts on the major categories after the jump. I’ve picked my projected winners, my personal favourites, and what I consider to be the biggest omissions from the dance.

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Late to the President’s Ball.

Scandal, binge-watching, and embracing a post-Bartlet White House.

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Turns out everyone was hanging out without me… and having a hell of a time doing it. Over the past two weeks, I dove headlong into Shonda Rhimes’ insane world of Scandal in anticipation of it’s 4th season premiere this Thursday. For the longest time, friends, co-workers, and reviewers had all insisted that Scandal was the most fun they were having on TV — and for whatever reason, whatever preconception, whatever excuse I had, it just never made it onto my priority list.

Don’t make the same mistake I did.

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American History XX.

American Horror Story, empowered feminism, and the sins of the South.

The latest iteration of Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk’s shocking, disturbing, yet wildly entertaining American Horror Story has arrived. The third self-contained season, premiering the other week with the subtitle Coven, focuses on a sisterhood of persecuted witches, their bloody feud with a Voodoo priestess, and the long-buried sins of New Orleans, Louisiana — a sweaty melting pot of racism, debauchery, and despair. What’s immediately striking about this installment is its clear focus on feminine identity, power, and agency.

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Estate of Disrepair.

Jon Stewart, The Newsroom, and the failure of the Fourth Estate.

The well-documented descent of modern journalism into sound-bite driven, cable news sensationalism has finally demonstrated its very real, very scary impact on society with its integral role in the current shutdown of the U.S. government. The absurdity of the news has been slowly but surely infecting the functional systems of governance over the past decade, but with the Tea Party caucus forcing a government shutdown, the extent of its damage has become clear. 

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Live Together, Die Alone.

Damon Lindelof, Twitter Hate Culture, and the legacy of The Island.

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof wrote an op-ed in the Hollywood Reporter this week which set out to comment on the Breaking Bad finale. However, what ended up getting published was a much more personal piece focusing on how deeply affected he’s been by the public backlash to the finale of Lost and how it has all but consumed his self-image in the years since it aired.

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Change has come to America.

Mr. White, The American Dream, and the death of the Frontier.

“Chemistry is the study of change.”

From its pilot episode, Breaking Bad has defined itself as a narrative of transformation. Vince Gilligan’s original pitch for the show was that it would be the first to witness its protagonist, slowly but surely, step by incremental step, transform into its antagonist – from pushover, beta-male husband to dominant outlaw, from mild-mannered educator of young minds to fearsome drug kingpin, or as Gilligan famously phrased it, “from Mr. Chips to Scarface.” Breaking Bad’s ever-growing audience bought into that concept and has been by equal measure thrilled and unsettled watching the process unfold.

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