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Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 10 Films of 2014

I've come to realize that I absolutely hate doing year-end movie lists at the very end of the year. While I do watch an unnecessary amount of films, I tend to really finish watching all of the "good" films as the Academy Awards draw near. That's a good solid two months of film watching, and films worth putting on lists like these, that I miss out on the first time around. One of my favorite films of 2013 was Nebraska (currently streaming on Netflix *wink wink*). I didn't have a chance to watch the film in 2013, so I left it off of my initial list. I am confident that I will do the same this year, especially considering I need to see films like Whiplash, Birdman, and Boyhood. I'll post my "true" best of 2014 list some time in late February or early March, but for now, here is my list of the Top 10 Films of 2014.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Way Too Early 2015 Starting Pitcher Rankings

1) Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
2) Felix Hernandez (SEA)
3) David Price (DET)
4) Chris Sale (CWS)
5) Max Scherzer (???)
6) Corey Kluber (CLE)
7) Madison Bumgarner (SF)
8) Jose Fernandez (MIA)
9) Adam Wainwright (STL)
10) Yu Darvish (TEX)

An Everyman's Movie Review: Foxcatcher

When I first saw the trailer of Foxcatcher I was instantly hooked. After Moneyball, I was in on director Bennett Miller, I was in on Steve Carell doing his best to win an Oscar, I was in on Channing Tatum trying to expand his range, and I was in on a stylish, creepy movie about a creepy fucking dude. I was so excited about this film, that I ranked it as my #2 most anticipated film of this fall season. In that column I wrote, "I actually can't imagine a scenario where Foxcatcher is bad 'per se' but I can envision a scenario where the film is just not as good as I am hyping it up to be."

As it turns out, Foxcatcher is bad. I mean really bad. It's not Troll 2 or Saving Christmas bad, but it is not a good movie. I could take a movie with great performances that's not very engaging or a movie in which I am self-aware enough to know that I don't like it because my expectations were set way too high (because at least then I can re-watch the film), but neither is the case with Foxcatcher. The film's main problem (among many) is that there is no conflict. For the vast majority of this movie, these characters just exist. They're there, and that's it. I could actually take that if Bennett Miller was properly setting mood and tone to help the audience feel uncomfortable surrounding a creepy situation, but that doesn't happen either. What's most infuriating about the story that's been chosen to be told is that natural conflict should arise. The whole reason this story deserves to be made into a movie is rife with conflict, yet that barely shines through.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 10 Best Singles of 2014

I think this year in mainstream pop culture will be remembered for two things: that it was absolutely dominated by females artists (at least seemingly more than normal), and that it was a really bad year for music. Now don't get me wrong, the two are not mutually exclusive. It is absolutely NOT the case that because there was more mainstream female artists with popular songs that that was the reason music this past year has been bad. I think that's just coincidental (especially considering Adele and Lorde is going to dominate my half-end year in review). But the fact remains, the past 12 months have not been very good, especially at the top. There was no clear but #1 song of the year, and even creating a top 5 was difficult. But with all of that being said, there still was some quality nuggets among the garbage that are worth talking about and worth listening to over and over again. Here are those nuggets and my list of The 10 Best Singles of 2014:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The 14 Best TV Shows of 2014

Television programs and programming is in a weird place right now. The Golden Age of Television is long gone (although its official death came when Breaking Bad ended last year) and in its wake we're seeing a huge crop of quality TV shows from a variety of different sources. Yet despite the gross number of quality programming, there isn't a show like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad anymore. Hell, there isn't even a Lost anymore. You'd think with more traditional and non-traditional service providers cropping up that at least one of them would give us The Next Big Thing, but it hasn't happened yet. Instead, what we're left with is a shit ton of really-good-but-not-Holy-Shit-amazing shows. While the "Top 14 of 14" sounds like a gimmick, it's sort of not. There's just that much good television shows to talk about that I need to expand my list beyond a Top 10, but I had a difficult time going past 14. So without further ado, here is my list of The 14 Best TV Shows of 2014:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Interstellar Review and The New Norm For Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time. I will blindly go see any movie the man makes. Hell, I went to see Man of Steel in part because his name was attached to it. It was my blind faith that I even went to see Interstellar in the theaters at all. Nolan was coming off of his worst movie since his debut of Following, The Dark Knight Rises, and the trailers made Interstellar seem horrible and boring as shit. I was neither looking forward to nor excited to see Interstellar. But this was still a Christopher Nolan film, and as such, I needed to go see it.

And bow howdy am I glad I did.

The reason I will go see any movie that Christopher Nolan makes is because between 2000 and 2010, the director had one of the greatest runs in the history of American cinema. You would have never guessed that a man responsible for the 1998 indie film Following would go off on the hot streak that Nolan did. (At one point, and it still might be, Following was streaming on Netflix. I watched the first half hour of it and I had to turn it off because it was so bad and it was not compelling).

Why The Hunger Games Represents The Best of the Young Adult Adaptations

I'm going to go on the record and say that I enjoy The Hunger Games franchise. They're not great movies by any stretch of the imagination, but they're mind-numbingly enjoyable as shit. Now I most certainly am not a fan of all movies that are adaptions of YA novels, but I do enjoy The Hunger Games. I think I like the franchise so much because it fills the void that Harry Potter left behind. As a man in his late 20's, I grew up on Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released when I was 10, the movie adaptation was released when I was 14, and the 8th and final film came out when I was 24. The Harry Potter books and films have literally been a part of half of my entire life.

The Harry Potter franchise works because it fulfills that innate desire that we all have to want to be destined for something better, especially among little kids. As a young boy, the character Harry Potter was not only told that he's a wizard, but he's the child of two extremely popular and skilled wizards and that he defeated THE most powerful wizard known to wizard-kind. Harry Potter was not only famous in the wizard world, but he was wealthy beyond his wildest imagination. Harry Potter was an incredible athlete, would constantly get away with rule-breaking (and often get rewarded for it), and ended up saving an entire civilization. What little kid reading a book series like this wouldn't be enchanted and compelled by this world? The Harry Potter franchise gave you hope that you could be whisked away into another world where your best wishes are granted.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why Nightcrawler Is The Better, Improved Version Of Gone Girl

There are a lot of similarities between David Fincher's Gone Girl and Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler: both star a career-best performance by their A-list leading man, both are a dark, twisted tale brought on by a sociopath, and both are a scathing satire on the relationship Americans have with the media. The only difference is that Gone Girl is directed by an experienced director with a rookie screenwriter, whereas Nightcrawler is directed by a first-time director with a veteran screenwriter. While we like to think as movies as the director's forum (whereas TV is the writer's playground), the reality is that if you do not have a great, or even good script, there's nothing even the best directors can do to tell a masterful story.

That's the main problem with Gone Girl. While David Fincher is at his best in his latest film, and he probably does some of the best directing work of his career, Gone Girl is just an average movie. There's nothing that Fincher could have done to save Gillian Flynn's script, and in fact, Flynn's script in the hands of almost every other director is a flat out bad movie. It is not that Flynn is a bad screenwriter, it's that her original story (Flynn also wrote the book Gone Girl) is so bonkers, bat-shit crazy that I'm surprised it ever became popular enough as a book to get Hollywood's attention. You can read my full review of Gone Girl here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gone Girl and the Legacy of David Fincher

In my mind, there are two main directors who have heavily influenced my generation, Generation X- Christopher Nolan and David Fincher. Nolan got a late start and didn't hit his stride until the mid-2000's, when we were in college and beyond, as it was David Fincher that affected us early on. He freaked us out early with Se7en as we asked ourselves what was in the box and it was Fight Club a few years later that filmed just exactly what a "generation of men raised by women" felt like. After Fight Club in 1999, Fincher entertained us (Panic Room), challenged our notion of storytelling (Zodiac), and pandered to the elderly / artsy-fartsy (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). But once Nolan solidified his prime and made the case that he's Gen X's one-true director, Fincher released The Social Network and sucked us right back in. A story like The Social Network shouldn't have worked. It was a gimmick concept (the story of Facebook) being told over two different depositions. Yet David Fincher managed to make it work. In ten years, we will all be asking ourselves how The Social Network lost to The King's Speech at the Oscars the same way we ask ourselves how Goodfellas lost to Dances With Wolves. We will cry out what a shame it is that Fincher never won Best Director at the Academy Awards the same way we all did with Martin Scorsese before 2005.

However, the release of 2014's Gone Girl proves that Christopher Nolan will always have a leg up on Fincher. Nolan's Interstellar gets released later this year, and that could completely change mine and my generation's perception on him, but Nolan's stretch run of Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception is a run that might never be broken. Fincher has had the same highs as Nolan and Fincher's floor is higher than Nolan (Fincher has never made a movie as "bad" as Insomnia or The Dark Knight Rises), but I'm very doubtful that Fincher will ever have the same consistency that Nolan has. To David Fincher's credit, his films are always interesting and watchable. Gone Girl falls along those lines- interesting and enjoyable, yet it's not even close to becoming an instant classic.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

2014 MLB Wrap Up Special and Post Season Predictions

While the extra wild card makes the regular season more fun and intriguing, it makes that first wild card play off a bitch to predict, and I won't do it. Anything can happen in one game; it's so random. The cream tends to rise to the top in a five game and seven game series; however, that doesn't tend to happen in a one game series. So you're damn right I'm doing my predictions after the results of the Wild Card Round.



American League

Los Angeles Angels def Kansas City Royals
Detroit Tigers def Baltimore Orioles

National League

St. Louis Cardinals def Los Angeles Dodgers
Washington National def San Francisco Giants


Detroit Tigers def Los Angeles Angels

Washington Nationals def St. Louis Cardinals


Washington Nationals def Detroit Tigers





WHO WILL WIN IT: Clayton Kershaw (LAD)


WHO WILL WIN IT: Felix Hernandez (SEA)


WHO WILL WIN IT: Clayton Kershaw (LAD)




WHO WILL WIN IT: Billy Hamilton (CIN)


RUNNER UP: Chris Archer (TB)


RUNNER UP: Julio Teheran (ATL)



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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy and Why The Oscars Need To Add A Best Soundtrack Category

As amazing of a film as Pulp Fiction is and will always be, it was a big loser at the 1995 Oscars. Sure, Quentin Tarantino won Best Original Screenplay, but Pulp Fiction lost the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Lead Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. However, if the Oscars had come to their senses a while ago and had a Best Soundtrack category back then, maybe Pulp Fiction would have had added at least one more Oscar to their resume.

Music has always been prominent in Quentin Tarantino's films- Pulp Fiction in particular. From Dick Dale's Miserlou in the opening credits to John Travolta and Uma Thurman dancing to Chuck Berry's You Never Can Tell to Urge Overkill's version of Neil Diamond's Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon, you can't think of Pulp Fiction without thinking about the music QT used in the film. Think about Tarantino's other films and you'll reminded of what a genius he is when it comes to blending music and movies. Rick Ross's 100 Black Coffins in Django Unchained, David Bowe's Cat People (Putting Out The Fire) in Inglorious BasterdsNancy Sinatra's Bang Bang and The 5, 6, 7, 8's Woo Hoo in Kill Bill Vol. 1, and that great opening credit scene in Reservoir Dogs where there's the slo mo of the gang walking away from the restaurant while Little Green Bag by George Baker Selection fills your ears. However, the most iconic musical moment in a Quentin Tarantino film comes from the aforementioned Reservoir Dogs when Michael Madsen is about to chop off the police officer's ear while he's dancing to Steelers Wheel's Stuck In The Middle With You. All of these incredible and indelible moments were made because of the use of pre-existing music. The fact that these songs (sans 100 Black Coffins) were made before Tarantino even wrote the script to his films is irrelevant to impact it had on the film itself and its influence within pop culture.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

10 Most Anticipated Fall Films of 2014

10) Gone Girl / Insterstellar
Release Dates(s): Oct 3rd / Nov 7th
Directed By: David Fincher / Christopher Nolan
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, NPH, & Tyler Perry / Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, & Jessica Chastain
Excitement Level: 5

MY THOUGHTS ON THESE FILMS: I grouped Gone Girl and Interstellar together because these films: are made by the two best filmmakers of my generation, led by actors who were complete jokes five years ago, and both look boring as shit. If you didn't tell me who directed these films and just showed me the trailers, these films wouldn't even make my list. But David Fincher and Christopher Nolan will 100% get the benefit of the doubt, and because these men are extremely talented, I'm sure the films will truly be great. Gone Girl is based upon a book by Gillian Flynn, and both my mother and wife tell me it's phenomenal. Great source material + David Fincher's direction should equal genius movie, but these trailers sure don't make it seem that way.

Interstellar is not based off of anything but the brilliant mind of Christopher Nolan. While he is coming off of the first creative dud of his career since Insomnia (The Dark Knight Rises), Nolan easily has the best start to any directorial career ever with Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception. Nolan has an excellent eye for big budget science fiction, but if the movie is anything like the trailer, then Insterstellar will be Matthew McConaughey waxing poetic for two and a half hours. And despite the McConaissance, McConaughey's projects themselves have been up and down. Mud was solid but not great, The Wolf of Wall Sreet was incredible (although he's barely in it), The Dallas Buyers Club was just OK but it's fault lay with its indie budget and limited worldview, and True Detective is gorgeous and well-acted, but boring as shit. I just hope I don't say Interstellar is gorgeous and well-acted, but boring as shit.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Former Prosecutor's Take on Domestic Violence and Ray Rice

Ray Rice’s domestic violence situation has dominated the news this past week. There are so many different aspects to this story, but the one I want to focus on today is the non-NFL, legal side of this case. In May of this year, Rice entered into a plea bargain with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Rice would enter into a diversionary program to help with his anger issues as well as he needs to stay out of trouble for a year and in exchange, the prosecutor would drop all charges if Rice successfully completed his end of the deal. This pleaagreement was heavily criticized. Seemingly, everyone agreed this penalty was too lenient, with many clamoring that Rice deserved jail time.  Due to public outrage, this past week the NewJersey State Senate opened up an investigation into the Atlantic County prosecutor’soffice for how they handled Ray Rice’s case. I’ve read a lot of articles regarding Ray Rice, and none really delve into the nuance of his legal proceeding or domestic violence legal proceedings in general. I wanted to do that today and share my experiences as a prosecutor handling domestic violence cases.

To give you some of my qualifications, I am a licensed attorney in the State of Illinois and have been since November of 2012. During my last semester of law school, I interned at the local State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) in the domestic violence division.  After law school, I spent about a year working as a prosecutor in a small Illinois county. While working at that SAO, my job was essentially to prosecute everything that was not a felony (a felony is a crime which, if sentenced, could land you more than a year in jail). I prosecuted everything from dog bite cases to DUIs to, yes, domestic battery cases. I have since left that SAO and I am now working as a private criminal defense attorney. Oh, and I’m a huge NFL fan.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

10 Tips For Rookie Fantasy Football Auction Drafters

I remember the first auction fantasy draft I competed in. It was about five years ago and it was for fantasy baseball. The Commissioner wanted to do something different and he heard great things from doing auction drafts. I remember bitching and moaning about switching from a snake draft to an auction. I hated it, and I thought I'd do terribly in the format. But then I drafted.

Immediately I loved doing auction drafts. After doing my first auction draft, I imagine I had the same feeling that meth heads get when they first try Crystal Meth. It was euphoric. Since that draft some five years ago, I can't go back to snake drafts. Once you go auction, you never go... back? I need to work on a new catchy phrase, but the point still stands. I love auction drafts. If for some reason you're unlike me and still don't enjoy or are not good at fantasy football auction drafts, follow my 10 Tips for Rookie Fantasy Football Auction Drafters:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Final Predictions for the 2014 Emmy Winners


OUTSTANDING WRITING: Vince Gilligan for "Felina" (Breaking Bad) 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION: Cary Joji Fukunaga for "Who Goes There" (True Detective)


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS: Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR: Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)


Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings Update: Late August Edition

Immediately after the NFL draft, I released my initial fantasy football rankings. A few weeks ago, I updated those rankings for my Mid August Update Edition. I am now updating my rankings one more time before the first major draft day weekend. I update my rankings because things change and situations are fluid. My rankings are both a combination of how I personally feel about players as well as how I feel you should be treating these players. For example, I have Marshawn Lynch ranked as my 6th best running back. However, when push comes to shove, I probably won't draft him, but I can't in good conscious move him down in my rankings because he's just that good of a player. These rankings are based upon my post-draft rankings, and any player highlighted in red is a player who has moved down since my mid-August update, and any player highlighted in green is a player who has moved up since my mid-August update. 


1) Aaron Rodgers (GB)
2) Drew Brees (NO)
3) Peyton Manning (DEN)
4) Cam Newton (CAR)
5) Andrew Luck (IND)
6) Robert Griffin III (WAS)
7) Matthew Stafford (DET)
8) Colin Kaepernick (SF)
9) Russell Wilson (SEA)
10) Tom Brady (NE)
11) Tony Romo (DAL)
12) Nick Foles (PHI)
13) Matt Ryan (ATL)
14) Jay Cutler (CHI)
15) Andy Dalton (CIN)
16) Philip Rivers (SD)
17) Johnny Manziel (CLE)
18) Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
19) Eli Manning (NYG)
20) Alex Smith (KC)
21) Jake Locker (TEN)
22) Carson Palmer (ARI)
23) Joe Flacco (BAL)
24) Josh McCown (TB)
25) Geno Smith (NYJ)

Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Busts

Personally, I am not a big fan of the terms "sleeper" and "bust". I think there's a certain connotation to those terms that the every day fantasy football players misconstrues. I prefer the term "undervalued" and "overvalued". Every football player has value, and good drafting comes down to knowing where that values lies. You may personally have a distrust for Arian Foster or Doug Martin or DeMarco Murray, but if these players are sitting in the 4th round of your 16 team draft, you would pick them up immediately. If, however, you have the 6th pick in your draft, the value may not be there for you for any of those players. But that being said, The Internet loves the terms "sleepers" and "busts" so those are the terms I will be using throughout this post. Here is my personal list of players who I think are undervalued (aka "sleepers") and are overvalued (aka "busts") as well as players I overall love and kind of hate:



Robert Griffin III (WAS)

Truthfully, RG3 is probably appropriately valued. Both ESPN and Yahoo! have the Washington QB ranked as the 7th best QB, and he's 6th on my personal board. However, I just want to go on record to say that I absolutely love Robert Griffin the Third this year. While you may think he's a "mobile" quarterback because he's run before and because he's Black (you racist), but he's actually a really good passer and just a sub-par runner (That's why he's always getting hurt). RG3 now has Jay Gruden has his head coach. Gruden is not only responsible for making Andy Dalton a top 5 fantasy QB in 2013, but he's stated that there will be very few designed runs for his quarterback. A lot of people might be weary of RG3 this year because he's coming off of an atrocious 2013 campaign; however, Griffin was the 5th best fantasy QB in 2012 and all reports say he's fully healthy this year whereas he was obviously hurt last year. Gruden is going to throw, throw, throw and Griffin has one of the best receiving corps in the game with Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Jordan Reed. I think RG3 is going to be a beast in 2013.

Andrew Luck (IND)

A man who is ranked behind RG3 according to some sites (Yahoo!) is a man who I personally have ranked as the 5th best quarterback this year- ahead of the man who went 2nd to him in the 2012 draft. From a real life perspective, I think Luck is a special, special talent. He's probably the 2nd or 3rd best QB prospect of all time behind John Elway and maybe Peyton Manning, and he'll only be 25 coming into the 2014 season. I just think Andrew Luck is going to get better and better as he gets further into his NFL career. ESPN's Numbers Never Lie did a great segment about why Andrew Luck is going to take a huge leap forward this year. From a fantasy perspective, Andrew Luck was the 9th best fantasy QB in 2012 and the 5th best fantasy QB in 2013- and I think he's only going to get better. 

Johnny Manziel (CLE)

I absolutely need to clarify my position on Johnny Football. I currently have Manziel ranked as my 16th best QB behind Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, and Andy Dalton. While recent history suggests QBs drafted in the first round like the aforementioned RG3 and Andrew Luck can be great fantasy football players, I don't truly believe Manziel will be in that class- at least not yet. I personally didn't like the pre-draft scouting reports I saw on him, and he is not having a very good training camp so far. However, the reason I have Manziel on the "sleepers" list is because I think he is a must-own if you decide to be the last person to take a QB in a 12 team league or deeper. Personally, I'm going to be one of the first people in my league to draft a quarterback, but if you are not going with this strategy, you need to draft a handful of QBs- one of which needs to be Manziel. The non-zero chance that Manziel becomes a top 10 or even a top 5 fantasy QB means he needs to be one of the players you take a chance on assuming he hits. I think if you draft Manziel, Jay Cutler, and 3rd QB of your choosing in a deep league, at least one of them will be fantasy stud for you.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Initial 2014 Bad Quarterback League Rankings

There are so many versions of fantasy football that you can play. There's the normal fantasy football that everyone knows and loves, there are three team leagues, there are eliminator challenges, and the list goes on and on. However, probably my favorite version of fantasy is doing a Bad Quarterback League. gave this format its inception, and as I far as I know, they are the only website that will give you weekly scoring for free (Grantland also has a format where you can play your BQBL for free, but I wouldn't recommend it. Personally, I find tallying each members score by hand the best method. While it can be a bit time consuming, it's also free, easy, and efficient.) Click here to see the full scoring, and how to specifically set up a league.

I have found that what really wins you this league and what you really want are two things: 1) turnovers and 2) mid-game, non-injury QB changes. However, what you really want to target is just terrible performing quarterbacks. Because Grantland is also half pop culture, there are some "fun" categories like "Penis Picture on Blog" and "Arrested", but I don't think any quarterbacks have gotten these points since the league began. Because of what I call these "scandal points", Cam Newton was drafted during his rookie year. As you know, Cam Newton was a monster on the playing field and was terrible in this format. While it may be fun to take quarterbacks who you think will be a nuisance off of the field, they are essentially useless for your league. I highly recommend just targeting overall bad quarterback play. So with that being said, here is my Bad Quarterback League rankings:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings Update: Mid August Edition

Immediately after the NFL draft, I released my initial fantasy football rankings. Of course, things change, situations are fluid, and my rankings need to be updated. My rankings are both a combination of how I personally feel about players as well as how I feel you should be treating these players. For example, I have Arian Foster ranked as my 6th best running back. However, when push comes to shove, I probably won't draft him, but I can't in good conscious move him down in my rankings because he's just that good of a player. These rankings are based upon my post-draft rankings, and any player highlighted in red is a player who has moved down since my post-draft rankings, and any player highlighted in green is a player who has moved up since my post-draft rankings. 


1) Peyton Manning (DEN)
2) Aaron Rodgers (GB)
3) Drew Brees (NO)
4) Cam Newton (CAR)
5) Andrew Luck (IND)
6) Robert Griffin III (WAS)
7) Matthew Stafford (DET)
8) Colin Kaepernick (SF)
9) Russell Wilson (SEA)
10) Tom Brady (NE)
11) Nick Foles (PHI)
12) Matt Ryan (ATL)
13) Andy Dalton (CIN)
14) Philip Rivers (SD)
15) Jay Cutler (CHI)
16) Tony Romo (DAL)
17) Johnny Manziel (CLE)
18) Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
19) Eli Manning (NYG)
20) Alex Smith (KC)
21) Jake Locker (TEN)
22) Carson Palmer (ARI)
23) Joe Flacco (BAL)
24) Josh McCown (TB)
25) Geno Smith (NYJ)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Predicting the 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Television Show



* Breaking Bad (AMC)
* Downton Abbey (PBS)
* Game of Thrones (HBO)
* House of Cards (Netflix)
* Mad Men (AMC)
* True Detective (HBO)

SURPRISED IT'S NOT NOMINATED: Masters of Sex (Showtime)



Monday, August 4, 2014

Analyzing The MLB Trades At The Deadline

The non-waiver wire trade deadline has come and gone, and there were a litany of players that have switched teams. Let's now analyze those trades and see how well each team did at the deadline. Truthfully, we will never know how well trades have turned out until we look back on this day in 2024 (or even later), but that won't stop us from playing Monday Morning Quarterback anyways!


Key Additions
- 1B/OF Allen Craig
- OF Yoenis Cespedes
- LHP Edwin Escobar
- RHP Joe Kelly
- RHP Edwardo Rodriguez

Key Loses
- LHP Jon Lester
- RHP Jake Peavy
- LHP Felix Doubront
- RHP John Lackey
- LHP Andrew Miller

The Red Sox were extremely busy before the trade deadline blowing up their entire rotation (plus Andrew Miller) and playing for next year. While the AL East is decently wide open, I think the Red Sox smartly realized it wasn't worth it to try and make a push, and decided to play for 2015. Jon Lester is a free agent by the end of the year, so the Oakland A's rented him for the final few months, and in exchange, the Red Sox received All-Star Yoenis Cespedes, who is under contract both this year and next year. I believe that Lester will sign with the Red Sox this offseason, which means Boston gets Lester AND Cespedes in a year which they will compete. The Sox also tighten up their outfield with Allen Craig, whose power is sure to come once he leaves Busch Stadium and calls Fenway home.

Not only do the Red Sox bolster their offense for next year, but also their pitching in the future. John Lackey and Jake Peavy are worthy players, but they're expendable as well. They're worthless to the Red Sox, and Boston can get pitchers who are just as good, if not better, than either Peavy or Lackey this winter. By shipping them away, they receive a great back end of the rotation guy in Joe Kelly, and a top pitching prospect in Edwin Escobar. To add to their pitching depth, they traded away failed starter Andrew Miller to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Edwardo Rodriguez, a player who is surely going to be stable for the Boston rotation in a few years.

The Boston Red Sox solidified their offense and added pitching depth for the future, and is likely to have a strong rotation come Opening Day thanks to moves the team will make in the off season. When you're not playing for this year, it's easy to win the trade deadline.


Key Additions
- SS Addison Russell
- OF Billy McKinney
- RHP Dan Straily
- LHP Felix Doubront

Key Loses
- RHP Jeff Samardzija
- RHP Jason Hammel

When the Jeff Samardzija trade happened, I wrote that it was a huge win for the Cubs. Even though Samardzija is under contract for both this year and next year, the Cubs aren't even remotely going to compete then, so they sold their best two pitching assets in exchange for the Oakland A's first two draft picks from the past two years. Addison Russell is going to be a stud and Billy McKinney could be really good. The Cubs have also had great success turning failed pitchers like Jake Arrieta, Scott Feldman, and Jason Hammel into really good pitchers, and I'm confident either Straily or Doubront (or both) will be the next Jake Arrieta. The Cubs are just stockpiling minor league hitters, can get stud starting pitchers off of the waiver wire and turn them into really good players, and these deadline trades help the North Siders on both accounts.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Predicting The 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Actor



* Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
* Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
* Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
* Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
* Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
* Woody Harrelson (True Detective)

SURPRISED HE'S NOT NOMINATED: Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey)

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Martin Sheen (Masters of Sex)


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Predicting The 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Actress



* Claire Danes (Homeland)
* Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife)
* Kerry Washington (Scandal)
* Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)
* Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
* Robin Wright (House of Cards)


For five straight years, Elizabeth Moss has earned an Emmy nomination for her work on Mad Men. She was great in Season 7(a)'s penultimate episode "The Strategy" and 2014 should have made it 6 years in a row for Moss.

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)


* Claire Danes has won this category twice in a row and I see no reason why she won't make it 3 for 3. The biggest problem with Danes' performance is that the show runners gave her horrific story lines (i.e. having Carrie Mathison be in the psych ward as a "ploy") but Danes did the absolute best with the material she was given.

* I think Kerry Washington is normally a good actress in general, but I don't think she's very good on Scandal. I also don't think Shonda Rhimes is a very good show runner. Washington's Olivia Pope is portrayed as a "Gladiator In A Suit" but she always seems trapped in a corner making her "Oh Shit" face over, and over, and over again. In fact, Washington and Claire Danes are the masters of making that "Oh Shit" face.

* Robin Wright's Claire Underwood had a pretty powerful story line this season as she made her rape by an Army general public on National Television and had to deal with rumors of her own infidelity. Unfortunately for Wright, none of those aspects of her story line are prevalent in her Emmy submission episode- the Season 2 finale. It's extremely difficult to to win three acting Emmy's in a row, and Wright had episodes that could have rivaled Danes, but the Season 2 finale is not even close to being one of those episodes.

* Not surprisingly, Masters of Sex virtually received no nominations this year, but Lizzy Caplan fought her way through the toughest and deepest field to earn one. Appearing nude in virtually every episode probably had a lot to do with that, but even if she kept her clothes on throughout Season 1 of the Showtime drama, she still would have been worthy of a nomination. Caplan's Virginia Johnson played a woman in the 1950's who was comfortable with her body and confident enough to get what she wants- both personally and professionally. Caplan could play the other side of the spectrum as well being vulnerable and horrified if needed. There was nothing Caplan couldn't do in Season 1 of Masters of Sex.

* Another actress who played vulnerable and confident to perfection this past season was The Good Wife's Julianna Marguiles. Like her co-star, Marguiles also chose "The Last Call" as her Emmy submission episode. It's a character driven episode where everybody deals with the aftermath of That Thing That Happens To Will. It's a powerful episode and an incredible showcase for Marguiles. Alicia Florrick has to grieve over the loss of her good friend and significant-other-in-another-life while also trying to hide her former tryst. Season 5 of The Good Wife was an excellent season, and it's nice to honor the show by honoring its lead.

* With Elizabeth Moss, Tatiana Maslany, Keri Russell (The Americans), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), and Connie Britton (Nashville) all failing to earn a nomination this year, it's insulting to have Michelle Dockery be in this category. Can we just be done with Downton Abbey already!

WHO WILL WIN: Claire Danes (Homeland)

WHO SHOULD WIN (ACTUAL NOMINEES): Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife)

WHO SHOULD WIN (ENTIRE ELIGIBLE FIELD): Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)



* Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
* Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
* Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
* Lena Dunham (Girls)
* Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
* Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black)


I have no idea if Anna Faris was even all that good on Mom or not, but "the 6th nomination spot" was up in the air and Anna Faris was the leader in the clubhouse to win it

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Ilana Glazer (Broad City)


* This category comes down to Veep vs. Orange Is The New Black, so we'll start with the incumbent. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has four total Emmy wins, one for her work on Seinfeld, one for her work on The New Adventures of Old Christine, and two for her work on Veep. She's very good on Veep because Julia Louis-Dreyfus is just a great comedy actress, but I'm very dubious that she'll earn her a third Emmy win for Veep. She was the reason I looked into how difficult it was to win three straight Emmys in a row, and I feel like the odds are stacked against her.

* I thought the first season of Orange Is The New Black was phenomenal and apparently the Emmy voters agreed with me as they gave the Netflix show a butt load of nominations in 2014. Taylor Schilling is the star of the show and plays Piper Chapman, a privileged, upper-middle class white girl who smuggled drugs once ten years ago. Piper may not be your favorite character, but that's only because Jenji Kohan and crew purposefully wrote her that way. Piper's annoyance is a sign of Schilling's incredible acting. The Emmy's love rookie shows (look at how many wins Homeland received a few years ago) and I think Schilling has to be the favorite to win this award. Really, the only thing going against her is her sub par Emmy submission episode "The Chickening".

* Girls is probably the only show that consistently gets Emmy nominations that I regret not seeing. I make no apologies for not keeping up to date on other shows like Downton Abbey and Veep, but I do apologize for not seeing a significant amount of Girls episodes. I saw the pilot and it was pretty bad so I bailed. So that being said, I can't comment on Lena Dunham's acting or Season 3 of Girls as a whole. Although, considering Dunham failed to earn a directing and writing nomination this year and the show itself failed to earn an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination this year, it's safe to say Emmy voters bailed as well.

* I love Amy Poehler on Parks and Recreation. She's so fucking great every single season (sans the terrible first season). The only complaint I have about Poehler is that Leslie Knope was offered a job in the U.S. Department of the Interior, and spent like 10 episodes deciding whether she wanted to take it or not, when in reality, Leslie Knope would have taken that job immediately with no hesitation. However, that's not a commentary on Poehler's acting, but Michael Schur's storytelling abilities. Leslie Knope and Amy Poehler can do no wrong.

* Melissa McCarthy is a really funny actress, a former winner in this category, and is a legit superstar. Plus, these nominations were released before everyone knew just how awful Tammy was. That's why it was dumb of me and everyone else to think McCarthy wouldn't get the "open sixth nomination spot". On this past season of Mike and Molly, the show tried to do their best to make Molly more like McCarthy's crude characters in Bridesmaids and The Heat. I think the writers failed miserably, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I enjoy McCarthy's toned-down comedy stylings, and I think she does a really good job on the CBS sitcom.

* Edie Falco is without a doubt a great actress, and I'm sure she does incredible work with a character that's addicted to pain pills while also being a hospital nurse. However, with so many great shows airing on television, here's how I feel about even attempting to watch Nurse Jackie.

WHO WILL WIN: Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black)

I was a lot more confident with this prediction before I realized what Schilling's Emmy submission episode actually was. 

WHO SHOULD WIN: Taylor Schilling



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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Predicting the 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Supporting Actor



* Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
* Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)
* Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)
* Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
* Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
* Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

SURPRISE HE'S NOT NOMINATED: Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire)


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Predicting The 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Supporting Actress



* Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
* Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
* Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
* Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey)
* Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
* Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

SURPRISED SHE'S NOT NOMINATED: Michelle Monaghan (True Detective)

It's not that Michelle Monaghan is a good actress (she's not) or that she was good in the 8 episodes of True Detective (she wasn't), but she did have a solid Emmy submission episode. Plus, this is a weak field and it was a widely held belief that a rising True Detective tide would lift Monaghan's boat. 

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Molly Parker (House of Cards)

Out of the ten million undeserved House of Cards nominations the Netflix show received this year, a nomination for Parker would have given the show at least one deserving nomination. 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Greg Maddux Should Be In The Hall Of Fame As An Atlanta Braves

Last Sunday, the incredible Greg Maddux was officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was a well deserved honor for one of baseball's greatest pitchers, and one of the best pitchers to ever play the game during my young lifetime. However, Maddux refused to be inducted with a logo, refusing to have either an Atlanta Braves or a Chicago Cubs logo on his plaque. As Maddux said during his induction speech:
People ask why my Hall of Fame plaque has no logo. I spent 12 years in Chicago and 11 in Atlanta, and both cities are very special to me. Without experiences in both cities, I wouldn't be standing here.
I understand Maddux's sentiment, and the Hall of Famer can do whatever he damn well pleases. However, his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame is immortal, and generations of fans will reflect on Maddux without knowing that is true contribution to baseball was when he was on the Atlanta Braves.

Predicting the 2014 Emmy Winners: The Miniseries and Movie Categories

FX's Fargo, HBO's The Normal Heart, and PBS's Sherlock: The Last Vow make up about 70% of the 4 major categories (sans Outstanding TV Movie and Outstanding Mini Series). Since those are the only three programs I've seen in these categories, those are the only ones I will be discussing. However, since they make up such a large percentage of the nominees, I feel fairly confident writing a post on this subject matter. Plus, I'd rather have this post than neglect it completely.



* Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: His Last Vow)
* Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dancing On The Edge)
* Idris Elba (Luther)
* Martin Freeman (Fargo)
* Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart)
* Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo)


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Predicting the 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Direction



* Cary Joji Fukunaga "Who Goes There" (True Detective)
* Carl Franklin "Chapter 14" (House of Cards)
* David Evans "Episode 1" (Downton Abbey)
* Neil Marshall "The Watchers on The Wall" (Game of Thrones)
* Tim Van Patten "Farewell Daddy Blues" (Boardwalk Empire)
* Vince Gilligan "Felina" (Breaking Bad)

SURPRISED HE'S NOT NOMINATED: Rian Johnson "Ozymandias" (Breaking Bad)


James Whitmore Jr. for "Hitting The Fan" & Josh Charles for "Tying The Knot" would also be acceptable choices to be considered snubs if The Good Wife were smart and made each director eligible. However, CBS made a grave mistake, and there's a reason the show didn't earn a nomination here. That just leaves Rian Johnson as the biggest Emmy snub of 2014


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Predicting the 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Writing



* Beau Willimon "Chapter 14" (House of Cards)
* David Benioff & D.B. Weiss "The Children" (Game of Thrones)
* Moira Walley-Beckett "Ozymandias" (Breaking Bad)
* Nic Pizzolatto "The Secret Fate of All Life" (True Detective)
* Vince Gilligan "Felina" (Breaking Bad)

SURPRISED HE'S NOT NOMINATED: Matthew Weiner "Waterloo" (Mad Men)

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner "The Strategy" (Mad Men)


Friday, July 25, 2014

Predicting The 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Guest Actor



* Beau Bridges (Masters of Sex)
* Dylan Baker (The Good Wife)
* Joe Morton (Scandal)
* Paul Giamatti (Downton Abbey)
* Reg E. Cathy (House of Cards)
* Robert Morse (Mad Men)


SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Robert Forster (Breaking Bad)

Although, for some reason, Forster and/or Breaking Bad didn't make the actor eligible to be nominated in this category, so I'll change my answer to Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones)


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Predicting the 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Guest Actress



* Allison Janney (Masters of Sex)
* Diana Riggs (Game of Thrones)
* Jane Fonda (The Newsroom)
* Kate Burton (Scandal)
* Kate Mara (House of Cards)
* Margo Martindale (The Americans)

SURPRISE SHE'S NOT NOMINATED: Carrie Preston (The Good Preston)

Not only does The Good Wife dominate these guest actor categories (Preston is the reigning champion of this category!), but I don't know how you can watch Preston's Elsbeth Tascioni and not immediately fall in love. I love her upbeat, perky attitude contrasted with her vicious attorney skills. Plus, her reaction to being called a "dirty, stinking Jew" by a man in a bear costume on the streets of New York is priceless.

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Patricia Arquette (Boardwalk Empire)

Arquette's Sally Wheet was Nucky's connection both to the Miami port and to being a normal human being. In an up and down season for Boardwalk Empire, Arquette was one of the highlights.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Overrated Dez Bryant

People's love for Dez Bryant is just astounding to me. My friends can't stop raving about him. Yahoo! has Bryant ranked as the 3rd best wide receiver over both Chicago guys and A.J. Green. ESPN is a little better and has Bryant ranked 4th. Even still, Bryant at best needs to be 5th maximum. So for all of my Dez Bryant bashing  that I'm going to do in this post, I still have him as a top wide receiver, but he needs to be lower in both people's Wide Receiver and ADP ranks.

I think everyone can agree that Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas needs to be ahead of Dez Bryant. Megatron is the consensus #1 wide out because he's the best wide receiver in the game and Thomas has just been so consistent over the past two years while playing in the best system in the league. But the next few wide receivers is where it gets dicey.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

5 Emmy Battles We're Looking Forward To Watching

True Detective vs. Breaking Bad

Easily, the most compelling battle of the Emmy ceremonies will be the final season of AMC's Breaking Bad vs. the rookie season of the HBO mini-series True Detective. In my humble opinion, Breaking Bad is the greatest television show that has ever existed, and it took Emmy voters (as well as actual fans of the show) a little while to get on board. After four great seasons of Emmy failure, Breaking Bad finally won Outstanding Drama Series in its fifth attempt. After AMC aired the final 8 episodes of the show, it seemed inevitable that Breaking Bad would repeat at the 2014 Emmy's. But then True Detective came along and declared itself eligible in the drama categories as opposed to the mini-series categories. I think the two shows will legitimately go head-to-head in four major categories: Outstanding Writing ("The Secret Fate of All Life" vs. "Felina"), Outstanding Direction ("Who Goes There" vs. "Felina"), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Matthew McConaughey vs. Bryan Cranston), and Outstanding Drama Series. History tells us that True Detective is going to come out on top because great rookie shows have had great success in the past, but there's just no precedence for Breaking Bad finally winning its fifth eligible season either. I think we live in an age will voters will honestly vote based upon which one they legitimately liked more. But that's a coin flip. 

Taylor Schilling vs. Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Rookie Taylor Schilling from Orange Is The New Black is competing against the heavyweight Julia Louis-Dreyfus from Veep in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category, and I think Schilling is going to come out on top. There is a lot of precedent at the Emmy's for a great rookie show to dominate the main categories. Most recently, Homeland did it when it beat out incumbent Mad Men for Outstanding Drama Series and Damien Lewis beat out Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series back in 2012. Further, it's also extremely difficult to win an acting Emmy three times in a row. Both Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Claire Danes from Homeland are eligible to do that in 2014, and the odds of BOTH of them doing it are very slim. It's possible that Danes loses and Louis-Dreyfus wins, but my gut instinct tells me otherwise. On the other side, Taylor Schilling did incredible work for Orange Is The New Black. While her character Piper Chapman may not always be likable, that doesn't mean Schilling is doing bad work. On the contrary, that means she's doing an excellent job. I think 2014 is the year of Orange Is The New Black, and I believe that Emmy voters are just as big of OITNB fans as the rest of us are.

4 Biggest Emmy Surprises That Shouldn't Have Been A Surprise

There are three things that are guaranteed in life: Death, Taxes, and Award Snubs. No matter how much an award show gets right, they will always get something wrong. Always. That same holds true for the 2014 Primetime Emmy's. They of course got things wrong. Many, many things wrong. Don't believe me, check out my 5 Biggest Emmy Snubs. Just ask any Tatiana Maslany fans. However, many of the fan's vitriol was misplaced. If they just had the correct expectations, then they would have expected the "snub", and then they wouldn't be so angry. Life is all about expectations. Here are some of the things Emmy fans should have expected and the 4 Biggest Emmy Surprises That Shouldn't Have Been A Surprise.

Downton Abbey Remains Strong

Hitfix's Daniel Feinberg does some amazing work predicting both the Emmy nominations as well as the winners. He incredibly predicted that Homeland would win Outstanding Drama Series and that Damien Lewis would beat out Bryan Cranston for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series three years ago. But I didn't understand why he was continually discounting Downton Abbey. He didn't think the PBS show was going to earn any nominations in the Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, or Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series categories. I asked him why (I think on Twitter?) and he said the decrease in quality of the show's last season combined with an incredibly deep field means no Downton Abbey this year. GoldDerby also agreed with Fienberg. I, however, disagreed. I predicted Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, and the show itself would all earn nominations. The only one I was wrong about was Bonneville. The conventional wisdom was that only Smith (and maybe Froggatt, maybe) would earn a nomination. I even wrote on Twitter the day before the nominations were released that Downton Abbey's downfall was severely overstated. I was right. While this may have frustrated everybody (including me, as much as I love being right, Downton Abbey is a terrible show), it was obvious that the British show was going to remain strong. Do you know why? Emmy voters are lazy and are nothing but creatures of habit. The Emmy's have gotten a lot better recently nominating quality over everything, even if that means nominating a fringe candidate, but they are still human. I'd bet you dollars to donuts that most Emmy voters didn't get around to watching the last season of Downton Abbey, but still voted for it based upon its reputation and past seasons. That's just the way the Emmy's role.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

5 Biggest 2014 Primetime Emmy Snubs

I recently wrote a post for the 2014 MLB All Star Game and who was snubbed. In that post, I mentioned my definition for a snub and how there's two parts to being considered a true snub. I'm going to borrow that definition and tweak it for this particular post. The first part to being considered an Emmy snub is that you have to have done incredible work to deserve being nominated in this first place. This first part of the definition is obvious, but it is not the only criteria. While The Internet may believe it to be so, there's one more aspect to being considered an Emmy snub. The second part of the definition, is that the Emmy's needed to have been aware of the show/performance, and reasonable minds needed to have predicted that a nomination was evident. In the aftermath of the nominations being announced, many articles were written about how Keri Russell from The Americans should have gotten a nomination. However, Keri Russell is not a snub. While she may fit the first part of the definition, she absolutely does not fit the second part of the definition. You may enjoy The Americans and believed its second season was Emmy worthy, but it was a show that Emmy voters were not even remotely aware of as evidenced by the fact that the show only received one nomination- and that was for Emmy darling Margo Martindale's guest performance. In a world dominated by a litany of great TV, Emmy voters just can't watch it all, and The Americans was just a show they missed. So now that you know the definition of what makes up a snub, here is the list for the 6 Biggest 2014 Primetime Emmy Snubs:

Rian Johnson (Breaking Bad)
Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series

Rian Johnson is a decently well known film director (Looper, Brick) who is now in charge of Star Wars Episodes 8 & 9. He is also the director of many Breaking Bad episodes including Fifty-One and Fly. Johnson is also the director of probably the greatest Breaking Bad episode ever made: "Ozymandias". The final 8 Breaking Bad episodes are eligible this Emmy period, and "Ozymandias" was episode 6 of 8, and in my mind, the true season finale with Episodes 7 & 8 being the epilogue to the show. It included two of the greatest scenes ever these past 12 months including the aftermath of the Nazi shoot out in the desert, and the scene where Jesse and Flynn fight back against Walt. In fact, the latter was so good, that Entertainment Weekly named it as The Single Greatest Television Scene of 2013.

Breaking Bad is clearly a show that Emmy voters watch. It's currently the reigning champion of the Outstanding Drama Series category, Bryan Cranston has three Emmy's, Aaron Paul had two, and Anna Gunn, has one. Even worse, the writer of "Ozymandias", Moira Walley-Beckett, earned an Emmy nomination for writing the episode. While that nomination was extremely well-deserved, it's astonishing that the director wasn't rewarded as well. Even worse, Downton Abbey and House of Cards each earned a directing nomination this year. I don't know how any rational human being can suggest that an episode of House of Cards or Downton Abbey is better than Breaking Bad's "Ozymandias".

Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Speaking of Breaking Bad, let's move right along to Dean Norris. For the past two years, Breaking Bad has had two actors nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category, Aaron Paul and someone else. Two years ago it was Paul and Giancarlo Esposito for his incredible work as Gus Fring. Last year, it was Paul and the stoically brilliant Jonathan Banks for his work as Mike Ehrmantrout. This year, it seemed inevitable that Aaron Paul's Breaking Bad Emmy buddy was going to be Dean Norris. Not only did Norris' Hank Schaeder have a more prominent role in the final 8 episodes of Breaking Bad, but he's been so damn good throughout the series' run, including the eligible episodes, that his nomination seemed inevitable. I predicted he was going to earn a nomination, GoldDerby predicted he was going to earn a nomination, and Hitfix's Daniel Feinberg had Norris ranked 5th on his Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series power rankings. Yet come nomination time, we have the likes of Downton Abbey's Jim Carter (who was barely in the terrible 4th season of the show) and Josh Charles from The Good Wife earn nominations over Dean Norris.

Why Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black Wasn't Nominated For An Emmy

The short answer: There's just too much great television to watch right now and Orphan Black is a small show on a barely watched network, that Emmy voters just didn't have time to get around to watching the show; therefore, Emmy voters just haven't seen Tatiana Maslany's performance(s).

The long answer? Well, here we go.

We live in an incredible age of television. 20 years ago it was just NBC, CBS, and ABC fighting it out. There wasn't a whole lot of television for Emmy voters to watch. Life was simple. Then FOX and HBO starting coming along and producing amazing television. In the model of HBO's success, Showtime, Starz, FX, and AMC starting producing original content that was so great that Emmy voters started to take notice. We now live in an era where networks you'd never heard of like Orphan Black's BBC America are springing up as well as non-television networks like Netflix and Amazon Prime are creating original content. There's just so much damn original and great television series', that it's extremely difficult for an average Emmy voter to take time out of their busy day (remember, Emmy voters are NOT T.V. critics, and they do have day jobs) to watch a niche show like Orphan Black.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How Well Did I Do On My 2014 Emmy Predictions?




* Breaking Bad (AMC)
* Downton Abbey (PBS)
* Game of Thrones (HBO)
* House of Cards (Netflix)
* Mad Men (AMC)
* True Detective (HBO)

HOW WELL DID I DO: 6 out of 6

WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE: Stayed the course and just be the awesome. 





* Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
* Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey)
* Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
* Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
* Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
* Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)

HOW WELL DID I DO: 5 out of 6

WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE: Predicted Woody Harrelson (True Detective) over Bonneville


OBVIOUS SNUB: Martin Sheen (Masters of Sex)

10 "Quick" Reactions to the 2014 Primetime Emmy Nominations

1) Modern Family

Holy cow, I don't think anyone saw this coming as Modern Family took a huge blow this year (or at least a huge blow according to its expectations). Again, two-time winner Eric Stonestreet fails to earn a nomination, but Sophia Vergara and Ed O'Neill join him. Only Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Julie Bowen earn a main acting nomination for their work on the show. The show also only earned one Outstanding Direction nomination (see, high standards, it normally gets at least two), and failed to earn any writing nominations. While the show itself was still nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, it lost a lot of nominations in 2014, and I suspect Modern Family is going to come up lame come award time.

2) Game of Thrones

While Modern Family is trending downwards, Game of Thrones is trending upwards. For those who said the Emmy's hate Game of Thrones is just absurd, considering the show had three Outstanding Drama Series nominations and Peter Dinklage is a former winner from the show. Not only does the show itself and Peter Dinklage earn another nomination this year, but this time they're joined by Lena Headly. Last year, Emilia Clarke earned a nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category, and this time it's Headley. It's nice to see other actors other than Dinklage get rewarded for their work on the show. Game of Thrones also earned an Outstanding Direction nomination for Neil Marshall for his work on the penultimate episode "The Watchers on the Wall" (although I would have preferred if it went to Alex Graves) and creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss earned a writing nomination for their work on the finale "The Children" (although I suspect it's for their work on the show as a whole).