Tue, 21 July 2020
It's been a minute.
The AwardsWatch Emmy podcast return and at the top asking how my guests, Kevin Jacobson and Amanda Spears, have been coping as we enter the 5th month of sheltering in then out then in place and how it's changed or altered their lives. We then go into the realistic chance of what the Primetime Emmy telecast might actually look like with the Television Academy already canceling the Governor's Balls and turning the two-night Creative Arts Emmys into virtual events.
We tackle the Comedy, Limited Series and Drama categories (about an hour each) including all acting. So much to unpack here with the newly expanded categories (eight in series and supporting roles for drama and comedy) and how the the loss of Game of Thrones opens up the race tremendously. Does that mean a long-standing bystander like Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul) finally gets in or was she never that close to begin with? What does Lead Actor in a Drama Series look like, which has been on a clear path of rewarding only first and last season performances with wins? How will Apple fare in its first Emmy season with The Morning Show and Defending Jacob?
Watch out for full written predictions including writing and directing throughout this week.
There is a slight glitch between 1:54:00-1:54:15 while Amanda is doing her Supporting Actor in a Drama Series predictions that couldn't be fixed in editing.
This podcast runs 3h 5m 50s with intro and outro.
Opening: Pose opening (FX)
Closing: Schitt's Creek main and end title medley (by Maribeth Solomon and Geek Music)
Thu, 18 June 2020
What if you had the chance of opting into a second life after death? In the Amazon original series Upload, Robbie Amell plays computer programmer Nathan Brown, a handsome but self-centered computer programmer who dies under suspicious circumstances and finds himself in Lake View, a utopian virtual after-life. As Nathan acclimates himself to his new existence, he befriends Nora Antony (Andy Allo), his virtual handler. Nathan and Nora grow closer as they work to solve the mystery surrounding Nathan’s untimely demise. Upload is a sweet and whimsical comedy, with profound observations about technology, love, class and the meaning of life.
Amell, who’s made the sci-fi genre his playground with roles on Netflix's Code 8 and the CW series' The Tomorrow People and The Flash was immediately drawn to creator Greg Daniel’s futuristic vision in Upload. Amell shares "When Greg and I talked about the script and the show he said if this digital after-life was created by people then it would have the same problems the real world has with division of wealth and income inequality.”
Amell also shares his audition process in landing the role of Nathan, why fans are rooting for Nora and Nathan to be together and why the idea of a virtual afterlife appeals to him.
Fri, 15 May 2020
Patti LuPone’s been busy. Between starring in the new Ryan Murphy Netflix show Hollywood, performing in Zoom concerts, giving no-holds-barred interviews in her signature outspoken fashion and giving us regular video updates from her basement, there’s no question that 2020 – coronavirus be damned— has already been Patti LuPone’s year.
But to many of us, EVERY year is Patti’s year. My love for the legendary diva spans decades of seeing her perform in countless shows and settings, including an evening almost 10 years ago when I got to see her sing at a Barnes and Noble in New York City to promote her deliciously honest memoir. Watching LuPone in that intimate setting solidified my love and admiration for this woman and was an evening I’ll never forget (partly because I was also seated right next to the late, great Zoe Caldwell— but that’s a story for another day.)
So you can imagine how thrilled and honored I was to get a chance to talk to her briefly in the midst of her busy quarantine schedule. Patti filled me in on the challenges of trying to stay productive while stuck at home, chatted about the current state of the arts in general and theatre in particular, filled me in on how she prepared to play a female studio executive in 1947 Hollywood, and, yes, gave me some insight into those basement videos that have turned her into a full-blown Twitter legend.
Thu, 2 April 2020
In this era of quarantine it's time for some levity.
Kevin Jacobsen and Amanda Spears return for this podcast, covering the Comedy categories and it's a bit of a Schitt fest. With so many contenders not in the race this year, like Veep, Barry and Russian Doll, everything is much more open than usual. Plus, how will the extended Emmy voting period and inability to host FYC events impact this year's awards?
We cover Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Lead Actor, Lead Actress and Comedy Series where, in many races, looks like Schitt's Creek vs The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in nearly all but Lead Actor. Dan Levy vs Tony Shalhoub, Alex Borstein vs Annie Murphy and Catherine O'Hara vs Rachel Brosnahan. But what about Merritt Wever in Run? Is the final season of Modern Family rearing its ugly head?
We close with an interesting conversation on the theory of 'vote-splitting,' which I generally don't believe is a real thing, or at least used correctly as a descriptor. But between Kevin, Amanda and myself - and using last year's Drama Directing race as an example - I think we land on a mutual understanding.
This podcast runs 1h 29 with music.
Opening: Theme from The Good Place by Geek Music/Symphonic Distributor
Closing: End theme from Schitt's Creek by Maribeth Solomon
Thu, 26 March 2020
Last week, Kevin Jacobsen, Amanda Spears and I tackled the Limited Series categories for the year's Emmys but today it's all about the DRAMA.
Starting with Supporting Actor first, we look at the likely returning nominees like Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid's Tale) and David Harbour (Stranger Things) as well as who could break in for the first time like Josh O'Connor for The Crown, Kieran Culkin for Succession and Tom Pelphrey for Ozark.
With Game of Thrones gone, that opens up a whopping four spots in Supporting Actress, which finds HBC (Helena Bonham Carter) as HBIC for The Crown, with the newest winners here - Julia Garner in Ozark, Thandie Newton in Westworld and Ann Dowd in The Handmaid's Tale - ready to give her chase. Plus, Big Little Lies is now here so you know what that means: Meryl Streep and newly minted Oscar winner Laura Dern. Can Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn finally catch a nom here?
Lead Actor could be a wild set of nominees with two of its most recent winners - Billy Porter in Pose and Sterling K. Brown in This Is Us - on weirdly shaky ground. Could Succession pull double duty and get both Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong in? Perennial nominee Bob Odenkirk is in for Better Call Saul, Jason Bateman is surely a lock for Ozark and b's Tobias Menzies seems safe too. Can Al Pacino break in for the critically divisive Hunters? Is there a world were former winner and Oscar winner Rami Malek makes one final nomination for Mr. Robot?
There isn't going to be a more bloody fight this season than Lead Actress in a Drama Series (which Kevin breaks down here) with Oscar winner Olivia Colman in The Crown, previous Emmy and new SAG winner Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show and last year's surprise winner here, Jodie Comer in Killing Eve (which premieres late in April). Then you still have Emmy favorite Laura Linney (in her best season of Ozark), previous winner here Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale (and having a great year in film). What about previous winners in their final seasons like Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) and Claire Danes (Homeland)? Can Sarah Snook sneak in for Succession or is this the wrong category for her?
We end with Drama Series, another category looking for a brand new winner now that four-time champ Game of Thrones is gone (check out Amanda's breakdown here). Will HBO's Succession take the crown or will it be, well, The Crown? How will previous nominees like Pose and Westworld fare here? Can Big Little Lies make the jump from Limited Series to Drama Series successfully and will Apple TV+ score its first series nod with The Morning Show?
All of these questions and more are answered in this 33rd Emmy podcast, which runs 1h 23m 45s with music.
Opening: Theme to Succession by Nicholas Britell
Closing: Theme to The Crown by Hans Zimmer
Thu, 19 March 2020
Podcasting in the time of corona.
The AwardsWatch Emmy Podcast returns and this week I am joined by Kevin Jacobsen and Amanda Spears to talk about the Limited Series categories and the state of television in the ever-changing landscape the coronavirus pandemic has created.
We open by talking a bit about our own personal experiences with the outbreak, the lockdowns and our existential thoughts. My sincere apologies for any of my coughing that comes through, I've been battling a severe dry cough (no fever!) and did the best I could to stifle it.
Even with the new season of Fargo out of the mix (production had to halt because of the virus and it won't make its April debut), the Limited Series races are jam packed with great content, most especially the lead actress and supporting actress categories. Full of Oscar winners and nominees, Emmy winners and nominees, both are set to be the most exciting of the season.
This podcast runs 47m 15s with intro and outro.
Opening: The trailer for HBO's Watchmen
Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan
Mon, 13 January 2020
That's that, the Oscar nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards are in and Joey Moser from Awardsdaily and I have some words to say about them.
From Joker's 11 nominations to the dearth of non-white acting nominees to no female director nominees there's a lot we have to talk about. Is the Academy regressing? Why are there so many 'dad' movies in Best Picture this year?
Is it all bad? Definitely not. Some strides were made even as setbacks were like a tidal wave over them.
We try and end on a positive note of our favorite nominations of the morning (Parasite! Honeyland x2! Great short noms!) and include some words of wisdom and advice from a snubbed contender to help right the ship.
This podcast runs 1h 10m with music.
Opening: John Cho and Issa Rae intro to the morning's Oscar nominations
Closing: "New York City by Day" from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan by Thomas Newman
Thu, 2 January 2020
In what might be the wildest Golden Globes in a while, with so many categories open and without a true frontrunner, returning guest Kyle Buchanan of the New York Times and I try to figure out who's going to win this Sunday and who might go home empty-handed.
There's a lot of Oscar talk in this podcast too, especially as this shortened season pushes everything so much closer together. Oscar nomination voting just kicked off yesterday so we could the impact of this Sunday's Globe winners felt when Oscar noms are announced on January 13th.
Kyle and I do agree on a few locks of the night, like Brad Pitt for Supporting Actor, but we differed on who's going to take Best Actor - Drama...well, at first. I've been in the Adam Driver seat all pre-season but, as often happens during a good podcast, I have gone over to the dark side and wound up agreeing with Kyle that it's probably Joaquin Phoenix's to lose. Especially if Joker is going to give us an upset in Motion Picture - Drama...
Amazingly, Best Motion Picture - Drama might be the most open category and we make the case for almost any of the five nominees to be able to win.
Support for this podcast comes from NEON, presenting PARASITE, the film that the New York Times has called “the movie of the year.” Featured on over 100 Top 10 lists, Parasite is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, seven Critics Choice Awards and three Golden Globes Awards. Visit www.neonguilds.com to find screenings.
This podcast runs a zippy 48m with music.
Opening: “Modern Fashion” by AShamaluevMusic
Closing: “New York City By Day,” by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan