Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2015 Emmy Awards

(Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

(Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

It’s time once again for the Emmy Awards! While I don’t always agree with the nominations, I do always have fun watching the show. It’s a great way to celebrate some of the best achievements in television, and this was a fantastic year to celebrate.

Watching the show is even more fun when you can make your own picks and play along! So here are my choices for who I think will win each award and who I hope will win, too. Don’t forget to share your picks in the comments, and I’ll be live tweeting the evening’s festivities (from my comfy couch, of course) over at the NGN Twitter account starting around 6 p.m.

Outstanding Drama Series
My Pick: Mad Men
My Wish: Orange Is the New Black
My Thoughts: This feels like one of the most open categories of the night in terms of which show will win, but my gut says Mad Men’s impact on the television landscape will be honored with an Emmy for its final season. (My gut really says this award belongs to The Americans, but Emmy voters don’t care about my gut, apparently.) However, I would love to see the rise of complex, diverse female characters on television highlighted with an Orange Is the New Black win.

Outstanding Comedy Series:
My Pick and My Wish: Parks and Recreation
My Thoughts: I can’t pick against Parks and Rec when it’s my last chance to pick it…I just can’t. I wrote an entire post earlier this week about why this show is so deserving of this award, so I’ll sum up those feelings by saying sometimes nice people finish first, and I want to see that happen on Sunday night.

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Fangirl Thursday: For Your Consideration (2015 Emmys)

Source: vulture.com

Source: vulture.com

The 2015 Emmys are right around the corner, and, despite my overall lack of enthusiasm about this year’s crop of nominees (If you don’t nominate The Americans for any major awards, you lose most of your credibility in my eyes.), there are still some categories that I have a very deep rooting interest in. I’d love for Andre Braugher to get some recognition for what is one of my favorite performances on a comedy right now. I’m downright giddy when I think about seeing Tatiana Maslany’s name listed in the Best Actress in a Drama category. And I’m ready to ride the “Poehler or Bust” train for one last year in the Comedy Actress race.

And while the category I’m most invested in is also probably the category most likely to disappoint me, I’ll keep hoping that Emmy voters got a little sentimental this year with their pick for Best Comedy Series. This is their last chance to acknowledge what so many of us know to be true: Parks and Recreation deserves its time to shine, its time to stand among the best of the best—where it rightly belongs.

This wouldn’t even be a clichéd, undeserved “body of work” award like you sometimes see final seasons get at these kinds of shows. The last season of Parks and Rec was one of its finest—a fitting end to a show known not just as a great comedy but a great television show that was beloved by fans, respected by those in the industry, and adored by critics.

What do you want in a television comedy? Laugh-out-loud moments? Parks and Rec had those in spades. Smart satire? That was often this show’s claim to fame. Multifaceted characters who aren’t boring? Parks and Rec had the strongest ensemble and the most interesting cast of characters in the current TV comedy landscape. Relationships to root for? This show made you care about every relationship—from the central ones (Leslie and Ben, Leslie and Ron, Leslie and Ann, April and Andy…) to the surprising ones (April and Ben, Tom and Donna, Andy and Ron, Ann and April…). Female characters who exist as more than just love interests? CHECK. Moments that move you to tears? Parks and Rec made me cry more than 99% of the dramas on television.

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The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (1/11 – 1/18)

This week in television began with Sunday’s highly entertaining Golden Globe Awards, featuring strong jokes from Amy Poehler and Tiny Fey as well as big wins for some very deserving actors and shows. Sunday night also gave us a hilarious new episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and an episode of The Good Wife that attempted to tackle the issue of racial unrest in America while also featuring Alicia’s big debate. Monday’s episode of Castle proved that taking Castle out of the precinct was actually a wonderful decision for the show. And Tuesday gave us the return of Parks and Recreation, joining a night of television that also featured another strong episode of Agent Carter and an excellent guest appearance by Lee Pace on The Mindy Project.

I’m a sucker for a good award show acceptance speech, so this year’s Golden Globes were an embarrassment of riches for me. From George Clooney’s love for his wife to Michael Keaton’s love for his son, sincerity was the real winner, which is rare for a Hollywood event. However, no moment was more sincerely joyful and emotional than Gina Rodriguez’s acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Television Comedy. I don’t even watch Jane the Virgin (Yet! That will change soon.), but I found myself moved to tears by her pure gratitude. This was a year for inspiring, diverse projects and people to take home Golden Globes, and Rodriguez’s win set the tone for the whole evening in such a beautiful way: “My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad, today is a great day. I can and I did.”

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2014 Emmy Awards

How many Emmys will the final season of Breaking Bad win?

How many Emmys will the final season of Breaking Bad win?

For as frustrated as I was with the 2014 Emmy nominations when they were announced, I’m still excited to see TV’s best (with some notable exceptions) celebrated on Monday night. Although I don’t watch a lot of what’s considered “critically acclaimed” television, I’m still going to attempt to predict the show’s big winners. I’m also going to offer my thoughts on who I wish would win in these categories, too.

I’m not including the miniseries or TV movie categories because I haven’t seen any of those nominees. However, if you have thoughts on who will/should win those categories (as well as any others I’ve left out), let me know in the comments. And I’ll be live tweeting the evening’s festivities (including any red carpet coverage I can watch after work—why are these awards on a Monday?) over on the NGN Twitter account.

Outstanding Drama Series
My Pick and My Wish: Breaking Bad
My Thoughts: I will preface this by saying I think Breaking Bad and True Detective are going to split the series and actor categories. So if Bryan Cranston wins for acting, I think True Detective will take home this award. Ultimately, it’s a very close race, but I think Breaking Bad’s final season will be recognized to honor the show’s part in TV history. Years from now, Breaking Bad will be known as one of the pillars of this new Golden Age of television, so I think the Emmys will take advantage of having one last chance to honor it.

Outstanding Comedy Series
My Pick and My Wish: Orange Is the New Black
My Thoughts: I know the Emmys are often afraid to break away from the familiar, but the impact Orange Is the New Black has had on the television landscape shouldn’t be denied. I think this will be Emmy voters’ chance to recognize Netflix as a platform since I don’t think House of Cards will take home any awards this year. Not only would this be a way for the Emmys to make a statement that they’re not stuck in the past, it would be a way to recognize a show that’s unlike anything else on television.

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Fangirl Thursday: For Your Consideration (2014 Emmys)

diane lockhart

With the 2014 Emmys right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about who we think will take home the night’s big awards (which will be the topic of a post over here this weekend), as well as who we think should be given an Emmy this year. Although I found myself fairly disappointed with this year’s group of nominees (surprise, surprise), there are still some names on the list that I will be crossing my fingers for on Monday night. Some of those names don’t have much of a shot at winning, but I love a good dark horse.

When Monday rolls around, I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see if Amy Poehler, Andre Braugher, and Julianna Margulies are rewarded for their stellar performances this season. The buzz around Braugher and Margulies is strong, so I’m hopeful about their chances. And for as much as I love Poehler, I don’t think this was Parks and Recreation’s strongest season. Therefore, I think she might have to wait for a “body of work” Emmy next season. All three of these actors have been deservedly showered with praise far more eloquent than anything I can ever say about them, so I want to turn my attention to the final nominee I’m wholeheartedly championing this year—a woman whose subtly affecting work is often overlooked in favor of others in her category and even on her show: Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife.

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My Advice for Emmy Voters

This year’s Emmy nominations are disappointing as a whole (despite some bright spots), and that statement has become as predictable as the nominations themselves. Every year, it seems the Emmy nominations are plagued by the same complaints: predictability and a very narrow view of what’s become a very broad medium.

In order to cope with my overwhelming frustration over this year’s nominees, I wanted to offer a little advice for Emmy voters. Follow these helpful tips, and maybe next year’s nominations will be met with something other than bored shoulder shrugs and frustrated sighs.

1. Stop nominating the same shows year after year when they’re not showing any growth.
Few things annoy me more when it comes to the Emmys than strong seasons of “dark horse” shows getting overlooked in favor of mediocre seasons of perennial “favorites.” Don’t get me wrong; I think Modern Family is still a very funny show, but maybe it’s time to open your eyes, dear Emmy voters, to see that there’s a whole world of network comedy beyond that show and The Big Bang Theory. Brooklyn Nine-Nine had one of the strongest freshman seasons I can remember. The Mindy Project created a season of television that was a better romantic comedy than any shown in movie theaters this decade. And Parks and Recreation continued to prove its underappreciated brilliance with a season full of brave storytelling that culminated in a truly genius finale. You have only one season left to honor Parks and Rec; don’t screw this up next year.

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The Best of the 2014 Oscars

The 2014 Oscars were a little long and a little predictable, but they were also a lot of fun. There wasn’t a lot of surprise to be found in the night’s winners, but my Oscar-predicting credibility is thankful for that fact. There also weren’t a lot of surprising or shocking moments within the ceremony itself, but sometimes even a relatively tame award show can still be a thoroughly entertaining one.

It may have been the fact that the Oscars gave me a wonderful evening of laughing and talking about movies with my sister and my best friend, or maybe it’s the lack of sleep (or high amounts of caffeine in my bloodstream) talking, but I think these were my favorite Oscars in terms of entertainment value in quite some time. It probably helps that I really love Ellen DeGeneres and her particular brand of comedy—and I also really love pizza.

Today I want to focus on some of the evening’s best moments—from the speeches that moved me to the fashions that made me green with envy.

Best Performance By an Ensemble in a Selfie:

oscar selfie

Where else but the Oscars would you be able to take a photograph featuring three of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs, multiple living acting legends, and two of the biggest ingénues in the business? My favorite thing about the whole “selfie” bit was that it felt like everyone involved was having so much fun with it (my personal favorite being Jared Leto sprinting across the theater to be a part of it). I like seeing celebrities who genuinely seem to be enjoying themselves at big events and in each other’s company, so kudos to Ellen for taking that sense of enthusiasm and turning it into millions of re-tweets.

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2014 Oscars

Gravity will probably walk away with the most Oscars tonight, but I don't think Best Picture will be one of them.

Gravity will probably walk away with the most Oscars tonight, but I don’t think Best Picture will be one of them.

After months spent sitting in darkened theaters and on comfortable couches watching movie after movie, the film fanatics’ Super Bowl has arrived—it’s Oscar Sunday! More than any Oscars in recent memory, this one has a number of important categories that might still be too close for anyone to call ahead of time. From a Best Supporting Actress race for the ages to a Best Picture group without a clear favorite, this year’s ceremony is more difficult to predict than usual, but I think that’s going to make it even more fun to watch.

Below are my picks for all 24 categories, with analysis (and my sentimental favorites) for each of tonight’s major awards. Let me know in the comments what your ballot looks like, and don’t forget to join me on Twitter, where I’ll be dissecting everything from the red carpet fashions and Ellen’s sure-to-be-fabulous hosting skills to the night’s big winners and losers.

Picture
My Pick: 12 Years a Slave
My Wish: Her
My Thoughts: No movie I saw in this past year made me think or feel as deeply as Her, but I know it doesn’t stand a chance against the big boys in this category, despite its originality. In the three-horse race between 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and American Hustle, I expect the Academy to choose the emotionally potent historical drama (a favorite genre of theirs over the years), and the choice is not without merit—12 Years a Slave was fearless and filled with strong performances.

Actor
My Pick: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
My Wish: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
My Thoughts: As much as I would love to see DiCaprio (my favorite actor since the age of 10) finally take home an Oscar for what many are calling his best work to date, I don’t think anyone is taking this Oscar from McConaughey. His physical transformation was astounding, but it was the emotional commitment he gave to this role that floored me. Also, his trademark charm helped make Dallas Buyers Club not just an emotionally compelling film but also a surprisingly warm and entertaining one.

Actress
My Pick: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
My Wish: Amy Adams (American Hustle)
My Thoughts: I still haven’t seen Blue Jasmine, but I’m not sure there’s been a performance more universally accepted as the best in its category this year. This award has been Blanchett’s since the film was released. As much as I’d love for Adams to finally get Oscar recognition in a year in which she served as the sexy but surprisingly vulnerable heart and soul of my favorite ensemble of the year (and turned in another excellent performance in Her), I’m sad to say it’s just not going to happen this year.

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2014 SAG Awards

AMERICAN-HUSTLE-poster2

Will American Hustle take home the SAG award for best ensemble?

Award season continues tonight with the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which air at 8 p.m. on TNT and TBS. I love actors—I love the way just the smallest change in their expression, just the slightest shift in their body language, or just the hint of a tremor in their voice can make us feel things that go beyond the pages of script.

Actors bring life to words, and as someone who lives in a world of words, I have always admired the courage and dedication it takes to make sentences on a page become a physical reality. So I love the fact that there’s an award ceremony every year where actors gather together to honor one another, to give the most deserving among them awards that mean so much because they were given by a group of respected peers.

However, I will admit that this year’s crop of nominees has left me less excited than usual about the ceremony. No love for Amy Adams, Christian Bale, or Joaquin Phoenix? Why do I have to suffer another year of Parks and Recreation being snubbed for even a nomination for best comedic TV ensemble? And where the heck is Amy Poehler’s name on the list of nominees?

I have a prior family commitment that will be keeping me from watching/live tweeting the red carpet and start of the ceremony, but I’ll join the party on Twitter as soon as I can tonight. Until then, here are my predictions for tonight’s big winners. Let me know in the comments who you think will be victorious this evening!

FILM

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
My Pick: Matthew McConaughey. Dern could be honored for his storied career, but I think McConaughey’s fellow actors will appreciate his physical transformation and emotional commitment to this role. Does this mean we’ll be hearing “All right, all right, all right…” on Oscar night?

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
My Pick: Cate Blanchett. Another award ceremony, another victory on Blanchett’s road to the Oscars.

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2014 Golden Globes

golden globes

The Golden Globes are my favorite award show. Yes, I love seeing television get its day in the sun with the Emmys; I love the way the SAG Awards honor my favorite thing about most films (the performances); and you can’t beat the Oscars when it comes to glamour and style. But the Golden Globes are different—the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) brings the worlds of television and film together, and it does so with a genuine sense of humor.

There’s something uniquely fun about the Golden Globes. The celebrities are a little more relaxed. The nominees (and winners) are often a little more random and harder to predict than other award shows. And you can’t mention “fun” and “Golden Globes” in the same sentence without mentioning this year’s returning pair of hilarious hosts: Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

I’m so excited to watch one of my favorite times of year—award season—kick off tonight. I’m excited to see all of the gorgeous (and maybe not-so-gorgeous) looks on the red carpet. I’m excited to see what smart and memorable material Poehler and Fey have in store for us this year. I’m excited to watch many of my favorites from this year in film and television have their names read along with all the other great nominees. And I’m excited to celebrate film and television, two mediums that I love differently but equally and continue to love more each year.

Before tonight’s ceremony, (which begins at 8 p.m. on NBC), I wanted to share my predictions, which should always be taken with a grain of salt because I often pick with my heart instead of my head when it comes to these things. Let me know in the comments who you think will win, who you think should win, and who you’re most excited to see tonight. And join me on Twitter around 6 p.m. when I kick off my annual Golden Globes live-tweeting coverage!

FILM NOMINEES

Best Motion Picture: Drama
12 Years A Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Rush
My Pick: 12 Years A Slave. While Gravity’s technical brilliance is hard to ignore, I think the emotional impact and sheer nerve of 12 Years A Slave is even harder to overlook.

Best Motion Picture: Comedy Or Musical
American Hustle
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall Street
My Pick: American Hustle. With a cast full of talented stars used to their fullest potential in a smart, entertaining period piece (which feels weird to say since the 1970s weren’t that long ago), I think American Hustle is the kind of film the HFPA often gravitates towards.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture: Drama
Chiwetel Ejifor (12 Years A Slave)
Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Robert Redford (All is Lost)
My Pick: Chiwetel Ejifor. While Redford could take home the award because of his pedigree (and brilliant work), I still think Ejifor’s work as the heart and soul of the year’s most brutally emotional film will take precedence over the HFPA’s usual bias towards bigger names.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Drama
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Kate Winslet (Labor Day)
My Pick: Cate Blanchett. While I would give this award to Bullock, I have heard nothing but ecstatic raves for Blanchett’s work, and she seems like a lock in this category filled with great actresses who gave great performances this year.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Comedy Or Musical
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
My Pick: Amy Adams. Meryl or Amy? In the battle of Hollywood royalty versus the next generation of great actresses, I think Adams is going to come out on top for her standout performance in an ensemble filled with today’s most compelling actors. It’s about time her chameleon-like ability to play nearly every kind of role was rewarded.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture: Comedy Or Musical
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Joaquin Phoenix (Her)
My Pick: Leonardo DiCaprio. As a DiCaprio fangirl since the age of 9, nothing makes me happier than the critical acclaim his work in Wolf of Wall Street is getting, and if anyone deserves some award-season love after so many years of being overlooked, it’s him.

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