Call Me Emmy: The Best in Supporting Performances

Dean Norris

The 68th annual Emmy nominations will be announced at 8:30am Eastern/5:30 Pacific this Thursday, July 10. As I did last year, I’ll be formulating my own ballots in this space in the days leading up to the big announcement.

A few caveats:

1. (Copied from my 2013 Call Me Emmy posts) I’m not paid to watch television. I can only watch what I have time to watch, so I can’t nominate undoubtedly high-quality shows like Game of Thrones, Scandal, The Good Wife, Masters of Sex, Shameless, Girls and Veep, just to name a few. In other cases, I can’t nominate a particular show because I haven’t seen the current season, as with Homeland, Downton Abbey and Modern Family.

2. Boiling down a remarkable season of television into just twenty-four commendable supporting performances is a fool’s errand. I’ve done my best to choose my favorites, but if you ask me tomorrow, I might choose slightly different groups. These awards, as much as they have weight in the industry, don’t dictate my tastes, and they should exist primarily to shine a spotlight on the best that television has to offer in a given year.

Without any further ado, the nominees…

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Up Front at the Upfronts: NBC

Parks

This week in New York City, the four broadcast networks are unveiling their fall schedules, complete with renewals, cancellations and pickups. Though a volley of announcements earlier this week robbed the announcements of much of their suspense, and the very idea of a fixed schedule is irrelevant to a large percentage of the TV viewing public, these announcements remain interesting as the last vestiges of an outmoded business model.

NBC is up first. Notable points:

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“Parenthood”: Campaign Strategy

Parenthood

In this week’s episode of Parenthood, Crosby Braverman (Dax Shepard) bribed a man to vote for his candidate after finding out that he couldn’t register to vote on Election Day. The real fraud in this season of NBC’s ratings-starved family drama, though, has been everything involving Christina Braverman’s monumentally implausible bid for mayor of Berkeley, California. From her discombobulated campaign strategy to her questionable motives, this storyline reeked of transparent manipulation and lacked the unvarnished realism of the show’s previous high points.

“Election Day” resolved this storyline, which has been careening towards a particularly unsustainable outcome all season. How did Jason Katims and his writers choose to conclude the Berkeley mayoral race? Read on to find out.

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The M&M Report, Episode 10: Implausible Delights

Gilmore Girls

Click here to listen to Episode 10.

This week on The M&M Report, Devin and I invited our friend and colleague Rachel Lomot to chat about two sentimental relationship shows starring Lauren Graham.

NBC’s Parenthood is currently struggling with a troublesome story arc, even though many of its other stories are firing on all cylinders. Rachel and I discussed Christina’s implausible bid for Berkeley mayor, Julia’s possible dalliance with guest star David Denman, and the awesomeness of Max Burkholder and Ray Romano as Max and Hank.

Gilmore Girls ended its run a few years ago, but Devin and Rachel had lots of thoughts on it. They didn’t talk nearly as fast as Lorelai and Rory, but they did dissect the show’s less believable storylines and debate what made the show work so well. Devin might have even dropped a profanity. (No promises.)

Next week, Devin and I have lots of exciting topics planned, and another special guest in the works. In the meantime…thanks for listening!

Click through for the time breakdown.

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Fall TV Rewind: “Parenthood,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Michael J. Fox Show”

Trophy Wife

If you’re hungry for my thoughts on the fall TV season as it currently stands, I’ve been contributing to The Rewind, a new weekly feature for The Eagle this semester. Each week, The Scene’s editors and contributors recap and review the most interesting TV episodes from the past week. My thoughts in summary: The Michael J. Fox Show isn’t growing much at all, Parenthood is stumbling in some storylines and thriving in others, and Parks and Recreation is as good and kind as ever.

Click through for links to all of my recent Fall TV reviews, and stay tuned for more Parenthood thoughts plus Trophy Wife and much more.

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The M&M Report, Episode 6: We’ve Got a Great Show, So Stick Around!

Mornin Miami

Here’s the link for Episode 6.

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I dug into the first three episodes of Saturday Night Live Season 39 (THIRTY-NINE!), musing on everything from the show’s diversity issues to its spot-on Weekend Update, great and not-so-great sketches and even a defense of Miley Cyrus! Along the way, Devin directed an epic rant at TV critic Ryan McGee, I professed my undying love for Cecily Strong and neither of us could distinguish between the six new cast members.

(SNL returns next Saturday night with host Edward Norton and Janelle Monae. Make sure to tune in the following week as well – Kerry Washington will host and Eminem will perform.)

We followed up our SNL talk with a check-in on the fall season. We offered praise to lots of shows with Wife in the title, Mark offered some reservations about this season of Parenthood, and we both agreed that 24 hours per day simply isn’t enough to catch up on all of the TV we want to watch.

Comments? Questions? Show ideas? Random thoughts on life? Comment and let us know! Enjoy this week’s show.

Click through for the time breakdown.

00:00 – 19:30 — Saturday Night Live
19:30 – 44:36 — Fall TV: The Good Wife, The Walking Dead, Sleepy Hollow, Trophy Wife, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, Parenthood