Monday, August 25, 2014

Tally Time

It turns out that Doris and I are not so good at predicting Emmy's...of the 23 categories we predicted, I got 9 correct and Doris got 10. My narrow loss to Doris is a trend that goes all the way back to the third grade spelling bee (I believe the word "jewelry" eventually felled me), but I still had fun watching and complaining. We'll be back with more inaccurate predictions in a year! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Our 2014 Emmys Predictions

On Monday, August 25th, Seth Meyers will be hosting the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC. (No, we don’t know why it’s on a Monday either.) We here at PopPen are nothing if not TV fiends, so hold on tight as we, Irene and Doris, obsess over our predictions for this year’s winners!


Best Comedy Series
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Modern Family"
"Orange Is the New Black"
"Silicon Valley"

Will Win
Irene: Will this be the year Emmy voters finally give up on Modern Family? I think so! It’s well past its prime, and there are several viable alternatives here. My prediction is Orange is the New Black: It’s buzzy, highlights important “issues” without being overbearing, and is, above all, entertaining.
Doris: Modern Family hasn’t been good in a while… but that hasn’t stopped it from winning this the past four years straight. Orange is the New Black might be too cool/new for Emmy voters, so I’ll stick with the old standard.

Should Win
Irene: Although there’s some category confusion, I think Orange is the New Black is the strongest of any of these shows. The acting is stellar and the backstories provide important motivations for characters on both the comedic and dramatic sides of the story.
Doris: I actually don’t watch any of these shows (anymore), having dropped Modern Family this past season; I’ve only seen some sporadic episodes of The Big Bang Theory. Ironically, these are the only two shows I do not want to win.

Irene: The Middle is a truly underappreciated show (although it gets decent ratings.) It’s remarkably funny and consistent, and it’s been much better than Modern Family for at least three years. This wasn’t the strongest season of Parks and Recreation, but it’s still worthy of a nomination. And of course, I would be thrilled to see the perpetually snubbed Community here.
Doris: Pretty much all of the shows I watch have been snubbed: New Girl, The Mindy Project, Community, Parks and Rec, etc., not that I really expected any of them to be nominated.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, "Girls"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
Melissa McCarthy, "Mike & Molly"
Amy Poehler, "Parks & Recreation"
Taylor Schilling, "Orange Is the New Black"

Will Win
Irene: I will always predict Amy Poehler to win this category, just because she has been so great on Parks and Rec for so long. I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus might have won a few too many times to be a contender this year, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if Melissa McCarthy wins.
Doris: Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the third year in a row. Emmy voters like consistency.

Should Win
Irene: Amy Poehler. Seriously, how has she not won an Emmy yet?
Doris: Amy Poehler, queen of my heart.

Irene: The Mindy Project still needs work, but Mindy Kaling is hilarious and not afraid to make Mindy Lahiri be unlikeable.
Doris: Personally, Mindy Kaling and Zooey Deschanel (of New Girl) always make me laugh, but with such stellar competition, this is definitely a challenging category to get into.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Ricky Gervais, "Derek"
Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes"
Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
Louis C.K., "Louie"
William H. Macy, "Shameless"

Will Win
Irene: Doris, is it just me, or is it a really bad year for lead comedy actors? (Drama is another story, but we’ll get there soon enough.) Jim Parsons, I guess?
Doris: This category always seems weak to me, actually. Jim Parsons has won 3 out of the 4 past years, so I’d go with him again, too.

Should Win
Irene: I’ll go with Louis C.K. Louie might not enthrall me every week, but at least Louis C.K. is trying to do something interesting.
Doris: Honestly, the only shows of these I’ve seen is The Big Bang Theory, so I really have no opinion.

Irene: Adam Scott did great work on Parks and Recreation, as always. (Who can’t wait to see Ben be a dad?!) Also, Chris Messina’s dancing on The Mindy Project completely won me over.
Doris: In addition to those two men, let’s not forget Jake Johnson (Nick on New Girl), whose crazy antics always brings the laughs, and the underrated Josh Radnor (Ted on How I Met Your Mother), whose ability to convey chemistry with any and every female actress on the show is what makes the whole series work.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory"
Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
Allison Janney, "Mom"
Kate Mulgrew, "Orange Is the New Black"
Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live"
Anna Chlumsky, "Veep"

Will Win
Irene: Mom doesn’t get the greatest reviews, but I think it’ll be Allison Janney since she’s seemingly great in everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if Anna Chlumsky had a random win, much like Tony Hale last year.
Doris: This could go to anyone- Julie Bowen for a third time, or repeat nominees Mayim Bialik or Anna Chlumsky. I’ll say Anna Chlumsky since I’ve heard she’s great.

Should Win
Irene: Kate McKinnon.
Doris: I've loved Kate McKinnon ever since she (as Ann Romney) talked about shaking “Jon Voight’s cold lizard hand” on Weekend Update.

Irene: After Rashida Jones left Parks and Recreation, Retta had an increased role and proved that she should have gotten that screentime seasons ago. Over on ABC, Eden Sher continues to do some of the best physical comedy on TV in The Middle.
Doris: Cristin Milioti had an enormous task to fulfill on How I Met Your Mother as the titular “Mother” whom we’ve waited for for 9 seasons, and she was definitely everything we’d hoped for and more. (Also, her performance of "La Vie En Rose" was the most beautiful thing ever.)

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, "Brookiyn Nine-Nine"
Adam Driver, "Girls"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family"
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Fred Armisen, "Portlandia"
Tony Hale, "Veep"

Will Win
Irene: This is a weird category, with no clear frontrunner in my opinion. I’m guessing it will be a previous winner, so I’ll go with Tony Hale.
Doris: Last year’s winner Tony Hale seems like the best bet here.

Should Win
Irene: I’ve never seen Portlandia but I always liked Fred Armisen on SNL, so I’ll pick him.
Doris: Jesse Tyler Ferguson has never won for Modern Family, and Mitch is/was my favorite character, so I’d root for him.

Irene: Even though I’m still mad about the How I Met Your Mother finale, I’m sad that Neil Patrick Harris never won an Emmy for his role as Barney Stinson. More pressing: how has the iconic Ron Swanson (aka Nick Offerman) never been nominated?
Doris: Agreed. Also, Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris on New Girl and Adam Pally on The Mindy Project are all great. (See a pattern here?)

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols in "Orange is the New Black"
Uzo Aduba as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in "Orange is the New Black"
Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset in "Orange is the New Black"
Tina Fey as Host in "SNL"
Melissa McCarthy as Host in "SNL"
Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson in "Shameless"

Will Win
Irene: Laverne Cox: Not only did she do great work in her “flashback” episode of Orange is the New Black, but she’d also have a historic win.
Doris: Any one of the OitNB actresses, I imagine.

Should Win
Irene: This is a seriously strong category: I’d be happy with any of these actresses winning. But since I’m forced to choose, I’ll go with Uzo Aduba. She has an incredible sense of Suzanne’s physicality and forces the audience to sympathize with her slightly unhinged character.
Doris: Having never seen OitNB (I guess I should get on that!), I’ll always support Tina Fey in everything.

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Bob Newhart as Arthur in "The Big Bang Theory"
Nathan Lane as Pepper Saltzman in "Modern Family"
Steve Buscemi as Marty in "Portlandia"
Jimmy Fallon as Host in "SNL"
Louis C.K. as Host in "SNL"
Gary Cole as Kent Davison in "Veep"

Will Win
Irene: Bob Newhart got his “oops we didn’t give you an Emmy for your iconic role” apology award last year, so it won’t be him. For some reason, I feel like it will be Steve Buscemi.
Doris: I really don’t know. Maybe Bob Newhart again? Double apology?

Should Win
Irene: Louis C.K. Why not?
Doris: Either Louis C.K. or Jimmy Fallon.

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
Episodes • Episode 305
Written by: David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik
Louie • So Did The Fat Lady
Written by: Louis C.K.
Orange Is The New Black • I Wasn’t Ready (Pilot)
Written by: Liz Friedman & Jenji Kohan
Silicon Valley • Optimal Tip-To-Tip Efficiency
Written by: Alec Berg
Veep • Special Relationship
Story and Teleplay by: Simon Blackwell & Tony Roche; Story by: Armando Iannucci

Doris: If forced to blindly guess, I’d say Orange Is the New Black, but having never watched any of these shows, I’d go with whatever Irene says.
Irene: “So Did the Fat Lady” ignited the internet (true to millennial form, I skimmed a couple think pieces on it but didn’t watch), but this doesn’t really translate to Emmy wins. I’m predicting my beloved Orange is the New Black.

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
Episodes • Episode 309
Directed by: Iain B. MacDonald
Glee • 100
Directed by: Paris Barclay
Louie • Elevator, Part 6
Directed by: Louis C.K.
Modern Family • Vegas
Directed by: Gail Mancuso
Orange Is The New Black • Lesbian Request Denied
Directed by: Jodie Foster
Silicon Valley • Minimum Viable Product
Directed by: Mike Judge

Doris: I’m surprised to see Glee here. But given that I just spotted Jodie Foster’s name, I’ll go with her episode for Orange Is The New Black.
Irene: Jodie Foster. But, I have to give Gail Mancuso credit for directing my favorite episode of Modern Family this season.


Best Drama Series
"Breaking Bad"
"Downton Abbey"
"Game of Thrones"
"House of Cards"
"Mad Men"
"True Detective"

Will Win
Doris: I will be upfront and say I am generally averse to dramas, so I will be basically useless from here on out. I’ll go with Breaking Bad for what I hear was a spectacular final season.
Irene: All of these are really solid nominees, except Downton Abbey. It will probably be Breaking Bad or True Detective, but I’ll officially predict the former for a repeat win.

Should Win
Doris: I’m cheesy. I like to reward shows for their final seasons, so Breaking Bad it is.
Irene: Breaking Bad. One of the best final seasons I’ve ever seen.

Doris: The only drama I consistently watch nowadays is Elementary, not that I expect it to be nominated for anything.
Irene: I would have loved to see my new obsession, Orphan Black, listed here, but I have to admit that’s a pretty long shot.

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Lizzy Caplan, "Masters of Sex"
Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Kerry Washington, "Scandal"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"

Will Win
Doris: Robin Wright. She’s an established, acclaimed actress and that kind of thing matters.
Irene: Another great selection of nominees. (Except Michelle Dockery: nothing against her, but this was a weak season of Downton Abbey from what I’ve heard.) I think House of Cards will win something, so why not Robin Wright?

Should Win
Doris: It would be cool to see Kerry Washington or Lizzy Caplan (Janis Ian!!) win, but I kind of doubt either would.
Irene: I’ve heard great things about The Good Wife, so I’ll go with Julianna Margulies.

Doris: I don’t watch Mad Men but even I know that Elisabeth Moss is usually a nominee. What happened?
Irene: I don’t know! It’s weird not seeing her here: She’s been nominated often in the past and she had a lot to do this season. (Much more than Christina Hendricks, who didn’t really merit a nomination this year even though she did a great job with the little she was given.) I’d also love to see Tatiana Maslany here for Orphan Black.

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Woody Harrelson, "True Detective"
Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"

Will Win
Doris: Since Bryan Cranston hasn’t won since 2010, I’ll pick him for his last season as Walter White.
Irene: I feel like the Emmy voters would have already given Jon Hamm an Emmy if they wanted to (see also: Steve Carell’s inexplicable losing streak.) I don’t think Jeff Daniels can repeat a surprise win, and I’m guessing the True Detective leads will cancel each other out. This leaves Kevin Spacey and Bryan Cranston. I’ll go with a repeat win for Bryan Cranston.

Should Win
Doris: All of these men are pretty worthy nominees, I think.
Irene: Just give Jon Hamm an Emmy already.  

Doris: Jonny Lee Miller has a surprisingly good take on Sherlock on Elementary.
Irene: Honestly, everyone I’d like to see is already here.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series
Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad"
Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"
Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones"
Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife"
Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
Joanne Froggatt, "Downton Abbey"

Will Win
Doris: Either Anna Gunn, Christine Barnaski, or Christina Hendricks seem reasonable… let’s go with last year’s winner Anna Gunn, again for her last season.
Irene: For some reason, I’m feeling like Christine Barnaski will win this one.

Should Win
Doris: Any of the three I mentioned above seem worthy. Lena Headey and Joanne Froggatt are kind of random nominees, to be honest, and Maggie Smith, although consistently perfect, is on a sinking ship.
Irene: I’m going to pretend I didn’t read what you wrote about Lena Headey, who’s getting some much-overdue recognition for playing an almost thoroughly unlikeable character on Game of Thrones.

Irene: It would have been neat to see Kiernan Shipka here for Mad Men.
Doris: “Suri” (via Suri’s Burn Book) is obsessed with her! I will say she has a very precocious understanding of fashion and style.

Supporting Actor, Drama Series
Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"
Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey"
Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"
Josh Charles, "The Good Wife"
Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland"
Jon Voight, "Ray Donovan"

Will Win
Doris: I’m going to guess Aaron Paul for his final season, which would be his third win.
Irene: I’m feeling Aaron Paul for this one too.

Should Win
Doris: Aaron Paul. Also, can we talk about the fact that he looks so much like Draco Malfoy Tom Felton?
Irene: I’d be happy with an Aaron Paul win, although it would be great to see Peter Dinklage repeat for Game of Thrones.

Irene: I don’t know what category Charles Dance was in for Game of Thrones, but he’s been great on the series and it would be nice to see him recognized for his [SPOILER ALERT] last season. Dean Norris never got nominated for Breaking Bad, which is a shame.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Margo Martindale as Claudia in "The Americans"
Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell in "Game of Thrones"
Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes in "House of Cards"
Allison Janney as Margaret Scully in "Masters of Sex"
Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing in "The Newsroom"
Kate Burton as Sally Langston in "Scandal"

Will Win
Doris: I honestly have no idea. There are several big names here. Maybe Kate Burton, best known (to me) as Meredith Grey’s mom on Grey’s Anatomy?
Irene: I’ll go with Allison Janney. It seems more likely that she’ll win for this than Mom, even though I guess I’ve predicted her to win both.

Should Win
Doris: I’m going to say Allison Janney because she’s too cool to win for Mom.
Irene: Diana Rigg for Game of Thrones. I would watch a show that was just her and Natalie Dormer scheming.

Outstanding Guest Actor in Drama
Paul Giamatti as Harold Levinson in "Downton Abbey"
Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney in "The Good Wife"
Reg E. Cathey as Freddy in "House Of Cards"
Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper in "Mad Men"
Beau Bridges as Barton Scully in "Masters of Sex"
Joe Morton as Rowan Pope in "Scandal"

Will Win
Doris: Oh gosh. Uhh, maybe Beau Bridges! He’s in everything!
Irene: I feel like the Emmy’s won’t shut out Downton Abbey entirely, so I’ll go for Paul Giamatti.

Should Win
Doris: I honestly have no idea, as I haven’t even heard of the majority of these actors. I’ll let Irene take this one.
Irene: Robert Morse, if only for this moment.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • Ozymandias • AMC
Written by: Moira Walley-Beckett
Breaking Bad • Felina • AMC
Written by: Vince Gilligan
Game Of Thrones • The Children • HBO
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
House Of Cards • Chapter 14 • Netflix
Written by: Beau Willimon
True Detective • The Secret Fate Of All Of Life • HBO
Written by: Nic Pizzolatto

Doris: I haven’t seen any of these, as per usual, but I’ll pick Vince Gilligan for “Felina,” which Wikipedia tells me is the show’s series finale.
Irene: I really hope it’s “Ozymandias,” and I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually wins.

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire • Farewell Daddy Blues • HBO
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Breaking Bad • Felina • AMC
Directed by: Vince Gilligan
Downton Abbey • Episode 1 • PBS
Directed by: David Evans
Game Of Thrones • The Watchers On The Wall • HBO
Directed by: Neil Marshall
House Of Cards • Chapter 14 • Netflix
Directed by: Carl Franklin
True Detective • Who Goes There • HBO
Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Doris: Vince Gilligan for “Felina” again. See above.
Irene: I think Vince Gilligan will win. But where was Rian Johnson for “Ozymandias”?!


Outstanding Animated Program
“Bob’s Burgers”
“South Park”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project”

Will Win
Doris: I would guess any of them except TMNT. Futurama seems like a good stand-by.
Irene: I know people who really like Archer...which is really all the criteria I have for a prediction.

Should Win
Doris: A friend of mine (hey Cali!) is a big fan of Archer. However, I keep seeing funny gifs of Bob’s Burgers on Tumblr, which makes me think I should check out the show.
Irene: I’ve heard good things about Bob’s Burgers too - let me know if you decide to watch it!

Outstanding Reality - Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

Will Win
Doris: I don’t really care, but I figured we should throw this in to be comprehensive. The Amazing Race has won 9 times, so let’s go with that.
Irene: ^ I second Doris.

Should Win
Doris: The only shows I’ve seen are Project Runway and SYTYCD. Both are cool, although the only reality TV show I have been obsessed with beyond one season (S1 of the former and S2 of the latter) is, embarrassingly enough, America’s Next Top Model. Don’t judge me.
Irene: I really liked the first season of The Voice...and that’s all I can say about any of these shows.

Outstanding Variety Series
“The Colbert Report”
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Real Time With Bill Maher”
“Saturday Night Live”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Will Win
Doris: Let’s all take a moment to laugh at that one time The Colbert Report won (last year), thus breaking The Daily Show’s ten-year streak, probably because Jon Stewart was away from his show to shoot a movie. Don’t feel bad, John Oliver. I suppose we’ll be resuming the usual routine now?
Irene: I will be a contrarian and predict that Colbert wins for what will sadly be the first part of his last season.

Should Win
Doris: We should acknowledge Jimmy Fallon for giving us epic lip sync battles with the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Stone. I think someone deserves a “Thank You Note.”
Irene: I was on the fence, but after you reminded me that those exist I’ll have to go with Fallon.

Outstanding Miniseries
“American Horror Story: Coven”
“Bonnie & Clyde”
“The White Queen”

Will Win
Doris: The latest series of American Horror Story, maybe?
Irene: Fargo seems to be popular on the interwebs...

Should Win
Doris: Fargo features my favorite Martin Freeman from Sherlock (more on that later), so… yeah.
Irene: I love the movie Fargo, and apparently the TV show is pretty good too.

Outstanding Television Movie
Killing Kennedy
Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
The Normal Heart
Sherlock: "His Last Vow"
The Trip to Bountiful

Will Win
Doris: Sherlock is amazing but not technically a TV movie. The Normal Heart is about HIV-AIDS, directed by Ryan Murphy, highly critically acclaimed, and ridiculously star-studded. Dammit.
Irene: The Normal Heart won the moment its cast was announced.

Should Win
Doris: SHERLOCK! And it should sweep all of its categories. Or else.
Irene: Ignoring the fact that Sherlock is actually a mini-series, it would be nice to see it win.