Search This Blog

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



If you would like to comment on this post, please visit our Facebook page

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).

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Final Predictions for the 2014 Emmy Nominations



* "Beach House" (Girls)
* "Can't Fix Crazy" (Orange Is The New Black)
* "I Wasn't Ready" (Orange Is The New Black)
* "London" (Parks and Recreation)
* "Pamela 3" (Louie)



* Beth McCarthy-Miller (Modern Family)
* Gail Mancuso (Modern Family)
* Lena Dunham (Girls)
* Louis C.K. (Louie)
* Michael Trim (Orange Is The New Black)



* Allison Janney (Mom)
* Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
* Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
* Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is The New Black)
* Merritt Weaver (Nurse Jackie)
* Sophia Vergara (Modern Family)

CONFIDENCE LEVEL: High, even though no Mayim Bialik scares me

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4 Emmy Nomination Battles We're Looking Forward To Watching

1) Outstanding Drama Series (3 nominations up in the air)


* Breaking Bad (AMC)
* Game of Thrones (HBO)
* True Detective (HBO)


* Downton Abbey (PBS)
* House of Cards (Netflix)
* Mad Men (AMC)
* Masters of Sex (Showtime)
* The Good Wife (CBS)

BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Hot damn, do we live in a great age for television. Ever since a new(er) network that called themselves HBO first decided to air Oz and The Sopranos, more and more networks have tried to get in on the action. Showtime got fans sucked in with Dexter and they stayed for Homeland and middle aged women with problem, FX started with The Shield which led them to air Justified and Fargo. AMC tries their best to be HBO. They first aired Mad Men which then led them to air Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. Now networks that don't even air on television like Netflix (House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black), Amazon (Alpha House), Hulu (Deadbeat), and Yahoo (Community) are getting in on the action. The point is, there is just so much damn good television to watch thanks to the broadening of networks, that there's very little margin for error to earn an Outstanding Drama Series nomination in 2014. Last year, there were 7 shows realistically competing for 6 spots, so HBO's 2-time Outstanding Drama Series nominee Boardwalk Empire was left high and dry. Now there's 8 shows realistically competing for 6 spots with Boardwalk Empire and Showtime's Homeland loitering around.

Either Breaking Bad or True Detective is going to win the whole she-bang, so both of those shows are safe, and Game of Thrones is adored by both critics and fans and is coming off of its greatest season yet, so the HBO epic is also safe. But outside of that? Your guess is as good as any.

Click here to see my full reasoning behind how I picked these Winners and Losers


* Downton Abbey (PBS)
* House of Cards (Netflix)
* Mad Men (AMC)


* Masters of Sex (Showtime)
* The Good Wife (CBS)

The 10 Funniest Comedians From Last Comic Standing Who Didn't Win

10) Ralphie May 
Season: 1
Place Finished: 2nd

Ralphie May was the runner up in the inaugural season of Last Comic Standing thanks to the no-talent ass clown who barely had enough material to fill a half hour set Dat Phan. Two years after Dat Phan won Last Comic Standing, he actually played his set at my freshman orientation and he used the exact same unfunny jokes at my orientation that he used on the show. I guess that's why Ralphie May claims people keep coming up to him on the street saying he should have won. If it was the choice between May or Dat Phan, yes, my choice would also have gone for Ralphie May, but truthfully, I would have liked to seen another comedian win it all (which you'll see later on this list). Since almost winning Last Comic Standing, Ralphie May has filmed FIVE stand up specials (two of which you can currently stream on Netflix) as well as appearing on Vh1's Celebrity Fit Club.

9) Myq Kaplan
Season: 7
Place Finished: 5th

Myq Kaplan is a (pretentious) gay hipster with a sharp wit and hilarious jokes. OK, so he's not actually gay (if you really want to learn about his sexual perversions and his polygamy I highly recommend you download Kaplan's interview with Pete Holmes on the You Made It Weird podcast now on iTunes) but he uses they way he looks and your stereotype of him to his advantage. Kaplan has an extremely cynical and dark view of the world and he uses to that bring out the worst laughter inside of you. Lastly, unfortunately I can't find an embedable clip, but I urge you all to check out his bit about books based upon movies.

Monday, July 7, 2014

6 Players Who Have No Business Being In The 2014 MLB All Star Game

1) Derek Jeter (SS)
New York Yankees

I understand the reasoning behind WHY the fans voted him as the starting short stop, because it's a terrible and dumb reasoning why the fans did what they did. The fact that this is Derek Jeter's last year in the league is not a good enough reasoning to make him an All Star. In his prime, Derek Jeter was one of the best offensive shortstops in the game. Even with the benefit of sabermetrics hindsight, Derek Jeter has a great average, could take a walk, steal a base, and hit a home run when needed. He was an ideal top of the line up type of player. But with that being said, that version of Derek Jeter died a long time ago, and all we are left with in this beaten down shell of his former self. Jeter doesn't need this extra All Star game push to get him into the Hall of Fame, and by voting him in means that he stole a spot from a more deserving player. Among qualified players, Derek Jeter rates 11th out of 12 players in terms of WAR among AL short stops. Erick Aybar of the Angels and Alcides Escobar of the Royals are the top players in terms of WAR among AL shortstops, yet neither men are All Stars. In fact, making Escobar an All Star means that the Kansas City Royals have a lone representative, and we wouldn't need a reliever like Greg Holland be in the game. Speaking of relief pitchers...

2) Relief Pitchers (RP)
Multiple Teams

In the American League, middle reliever Dellin Betances (NYY) and closers  Sean Doolittle (OAK), Greg Holland (KC), and Glen Perkins (MIN) are All Stars and in the National League, middle relievers Pat Neshek (STL) (pitcured left) and Tony Watson (PIT) and closers Craig Kinbrel (ATL) and Aroldis Chapman (CIN) are All Stars. Who know isn't an All Star? Chris Sale, Dallas Keuchel, Garret Richards, Corey Kluber, and Rick Porcello. Those are the 5 candidates who can vote for for the last AL All Star spot. As Brian Bannister joked on Twitter, those five players would make one helluva a rotation. Sale, Richards, and Kluber are all top 10 in terms of AL WAR this year, and Kluber actually ranks 3rd. Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball and is going to receiver Cy Young votes by year's end. Yet none of these pitchers are All Stars because of our ridiculous need to praise middle relievers. As joked by Billy Beane in Moneyball, the reason pitchers are relievers is because they aren't good enough to be a starter. ESPN Dave Schoenfield tweeted out last night, "People, quit arguing the case for relief pitchers as All Stars. 26 relievers with 30+ IP have an ERA under 2.50. Not that special". No relief pitchers deserves to be an All Star, and the selections should just consists of starters. Also, who the fuck is Tony Watson?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The 4 Biggest 2014 MLB All Star Snubs

This past Sunday, both the American League and the National League filled out their 23 man roster for the All Star Game to be held at Target Field. Like with any All Star game, The Internet acted in outrage about certain players being left off of the roster. You're not going to please 100% of the people 100% of the time. However, there are certain omissions that are so egregious that the fans vitriol for that player's exclusion is justified. This post is dedicated to those exclusions.

Before I begin, I need to first clarify the definition of a "snub" because this is a term that seems to be thrown out willy-nilly. There are two parts to a "snub". The first part is that a player has performed so well that he deserves to go to the All-Star game, yet he was not selected. This first part is the part that most fans and critics seem to believe in. However, they ignore the second part. The second half to being considered a snub is that said player needs to have performed better and is the more worthy candidate than a player who was actually selected. Chicago Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo and Rockies 1B Justin Morneau have played exceptionally well this year and have played so well that there would be no argument if they were considered All Stars. However, each league only selects two 1B as All Stars, and this year the NL has selected Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt and Atlanta Braves 1B Freddie Freeman as its two first basemen to be playing in the All Star game. Both Goldschmidt and Freeman played better than Rizzo and Morneau in 2013 as well as in 2014. Goldschmidt and Freeman are without a doubt the two best first basemen in the National League. So while Anthony Rizzo and Justin Morneau are great players, they are not snubs.

Lastly, the All Star game matters. At the end of the day, we use the number of All Star games a player has attended as an argument for his legacy. If this was truly just a game for fun, then All Star snubs would just be excuses for people to argue. However, being selected to an All Star game is important for the players and how we evaluate players, so it's important to get these selections correct.

So with all of that being said, here are the 4 Biggest All Star Snubs This Year:

Chris Sale (SP)
Chicago White Sox

I'm getting the easy selection out of the way. Truthfully, I know that Chris Sale will eventually be selected to the All Star roster and he will eventually be considered a 2014 All Star in one way or another. A starting pitcher will get scratched due to injury or will pitch a full game too close to the Big Game itself that Chris Sale will eventually make the A.L. roster. But the fact that he wasn't selected from the getgo is downright ridiculous. Not only does a starting pitcher with a 2.9 WAR deserve to start over any freaking relief pitcher (especially Sean Doolittle- the Oakland A's would have 4 All Stars without him), but Sale is a better starting pitcher than half of the current roster. You can make a rational argument that Masahiro Tanaka, King Felix, Max Scherzer, and Yu Darvish are better pitchers than Sale (I wouldn't necessarily agree, but I can concede that argument), but there's absolutely no way that Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir, David Price, or Mark Buerhle are better pitchers than Sale. Even if you include the second half of 2013 (which I do) Chris Sale is an obvious All Star. Maybe it's just my personal Twitter feed, but the fact that The Internet is in an outrage over the Chris Sale snub means that Sale is going to be an All Star this year. Eventually.

2014 Weekly TV Recap (June 29 - July 5)


Tuesday July 1

Tyrant (FX), Episode 2 "State of Emergency"

Brief Description: There is absolutely nothing compelling about "Tyrant"- which just goes to show you what poor writing this show has considering a dude got his dick bit off and a terrorist attack happened during this young season. Tyrant should be awesome and a man's man show; I mean what guy doesn't love "The Godfather"? Yet, I went through all of "State of Emergency" searching the internet on my phone and not paying attention to the episode. I've seen a lot of posts on the internet (from some very credible critics) hating on lead Adam Raynor's acting, and I don't think he's terrible in the least, but he's certainly not doing anything to draw me in either, and he's certainly no Al Pacino as Michael Corleone. I think the real problem with the show is that there isn't a single well-developed character, and everybody is just a two-dimensional stereotype. That means you don't care about any plot points, and you certainly don't care about any political message the show tries to deliver. Tyrant is produced by Howard Gordon who also produces Homeland, and Tyrant feels like another poor, terrible extension of what Homeland is now.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Analyzing The Samardzija and Hammel for Russell and Straily Trade

Somewhere between the late hours of July 4th and the early morning of July 5th, the Chicago Cubs sent over starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland A's in exchange for star SS prospect Addison Russell as well as OF prospect Billy McKinney and starting pitcher Dan Straily. Even though the Cubs now do not have the best rotation in baseball, I like this trade for both teams. Truthfully, you can't analyze a trade less than a day after it happens, and you need to the gift of hindsight to truly see which team won a trade. The last time the Cubs and A's traded with each other, the Cubs received fantasy stud SP Rich Harden, and the A's got 4 minor leaguers, including a young catching prospect named Josh Donaldson. At the time, it looked like the Cubs stole Harden away and was now in legitimate competition with the Milwaukee Brewers who had just acquired C.C. Sabathia. However, some six odd years later, the acquisition of Harden ultimately did nothing for the Cubs, and now Josh Donaldson is one of the best players in baseball. But with all of that being said, as of the making of the trade right now, I think it's a smart move by both sides.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

7 Reasons Why Wrigley Field Is The Worst Stadium In Baseball

I'll fully admit that I am a White Sox fan writing this post, but I'm also not one of those White Sox fans that hates the Cubs either. I don't understand the rivalry between the North Siders and the South Siders seeing as they neither play in the same division or the same league, and I'm normally not on board with the Cubs bashing that White Sox fans tend to do. However, I've been to two Cubs games within the past 10 days (I got free tickets to one game and the second game was for a friend's bachelor party) and both were at Wrigley Field, and I can tell you from first hand experience how terrible Wrigley Field is. Cubs fans will tell you that any "problems" with the stadium is because it's classic and a tradition, but in reality, it's just old and outdated. Don't get me wrong, there are some excellent qualities to Wrigley Field including The Ivy, they serve one of my favorite beers (312) for only 50 cents more than a Bud Light, and the stadium faces the correct direction so it has that fantastic Chicago skyline in the background (something U.S. Cellular stupidly doesn't do). However, objectively speaking, as a whole, Wrigley Field is terrible and it has the worst stadium in baseball.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Why Every Fantasy Football Player Needs To Join A 3 Team League

A few years ago, myself and two of my friends were driving down to Bourbonnais, IL to see the Chicago Bears at training camp. One of my friends mentioned that he joined a three team fantasy football team at work and he wanted our advice. After the laughing subsided, we inquired further as to what our friend was doing joining a league that only had two other members in it. At least the fantasy football league in The League has EIGHT members in it! Our friend stated that some of his co-workers wanted to join a fantasy football league at work, but he couldn't find enough co-workers to start an actual league, so they started a three-team league. Instead of drafting individual players, a manager would draft an entire team, and said manager could play any player from the team he had drafted. So if you drafted the Denver Broncos, you could start Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Montee Ball, Emmanuel Sanders, Julius Thomas, Matt Prater, and Denver's DST.

Even though our initial reaction was that of disdain, we could not stop discussing this three team league the entire car ride to Bourbannais. We discussed strategy and which particular teams are good and which are not. By the time the car had arrived at Bears training camp, the entire car wanted to do our own three team league. So while myself and my two friends were waiting to get into the facilities, we conducted our own three team league draft.

Cut to Saturday night, I was out at a bar with the friend who originally told us about this three-team league idea (his name is Irwin and you can follow him on Twitter @irwinweiner) and another football fanatic friend named Ben (you can follow him on Twitter @bennieb33) and this notion of a three team league came out. And wouldn't you know it, we all loved the idea so much that we decided to conduct our league again this year. And trust me, you're going to want to start your own league as well.

Grading The Best TV Shows of the Year (So Far)

2014 is only halfway over, yet there have been a litany of great television shows that have aired. Many of them I've seen, a good a majority I have not. We live in an era of television that is classified by quantity over anything else, and seeing as I am just one man, I can only watch so much. But I have watched a buttload of shows, and here are my thoughts on every television show I've seen this year.

Community (NBC)
Season: 5
Created By: Dan Harmon
Original Start Date: January 2, 2014
Grade: A

Brief Description: While I was in the minority feeling that Dan Harmon deserved to get kicked off of his own show after the atrocious Season 3, I'm glad he was brought back for Season 5. Season 4 show runners Moses Port & David Guarascio did their best Dan Harmon impression, but easily came up short creating a soulless monster. Harmon dialed back the insane extremes he took his characters to in Season 3 (mainly Abed) in this new season, and in turn created one of the smartest and funniest sitcoms around. #RIPCommunity.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
Season: 1b
Created By: Dan Goor & Michael Schur
Original Start Date: January 7, 2014
Grade: A

Brief Description: Brooklyn Nine-Nine was one of the smartest and funniest sitcoms of 2014 and is competing against Community for the best comedy of the year. Like most sitcoms, it took a little bit to get its bearings and its voice straightened out, but those stumbling blocks came in 2013. What the FOX sitcom aired in 2014 was a well-defined and hilarious work of art filled with three-dimensional characters. Based upon how strong Season 1 was, I have no qualms with the rookie comedy wining the Golden Globe last year for Best Comedy Show, and I hope it gets a handful of Emmy nominations in a few weeks.