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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The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (1/12 – 1/19)

This week in television got off to a strong start on Sunday night with a Golden Globe Awards ceremony that featured plenty of laughs, more than a few surprise winners, and plenty of fun courtesy of hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. On Monday, Castle’s father made a reappearance and and a wedding date was finally set on Castle. Tuesday’s FOX comedies were all strong, as Peralta and Santiago went on the best “worst date ever” on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jess tried to bond with Coach over basketball on New Girl, and the gang from The Mindy Project traveled to LA. Nashville returned from its winter hiatus on Wednesday with new drama for all its characters, and Thursday’s Parks and Recreation opened the door to many new beginnings. Finally, the week ended on Saturday with a SAG Awards ceremony that gave us three of my favorite award-show speeches in recent memory: Jared Leto’s eloquent tribute to his mother, Lupita Nyong’o’s articulate expression of gratitude, and Rita Moreno’s reminder that there’s no one in Hollywood—past or present—who has her sense of style and class.

Overall, this was an excellent week in television. But it was hard for anything that aired this week to top the way it began. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s monologue at this year’s Golden Globe ceremony might have been even funnier than last year, and their hits just kept coming as the night went on. And as a fan of Poehler’s work for years, nothing was better than watching her finally get rewarded for her work as Leslie Knope. Poehler’s warmth came through in her genuinely surprised speech, and it proved what I’ve always believed to be true of her: She’s a living example of the fact that you can be nice and still be successful; you can be kind and still be strong and respected in your field of work. To see her finally get recognized for playing a character defined by her ability to be both unfailingly sweet and uncompromisingly strong was very inspiring for me as a young woman who looks up to both Leslie Knope and the woman who brings her to life.

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

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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The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (9/15 – 9/22)

So it begins…

The fall 2013 television season got started with a bang this week, as both new and returning shows began making their way into our homes, hearts, and DVR queues. Tuesday alone gave us the hilarious Brooklyn Nine-Nine pilot, a terrific third-season premiere of New Girl, the return of The Mindy Project, and the midseason finale of Suits. And the real kickoff to this TV season occurred last night, as television’s elite gathered together for the Emmy Awards.

Yes, some parts of this year’s Emmy ceremony were disappointing (I’ll let you fill in your own snub here), boring (Elton John’s Liberace tribute), unappealing (sorry, Aubrey Plaza and Lena Dunham) or confusing (Was Carrie Underwood paying tribute to both the Kennedy assassination and the Beatles, even though one was in 1963 and the other in 1964?). But others were touching (Edie Falco and Robin Williams paying tribute to James Gandolfini and Jonathan Winters, respectively), pleasantly surprising (Merrit Wever!), entertaining (Hello, Nathan Fillion, so nice to hear you singing again.), and stunning (Anna Gunn).

In a night filled with highs and lows, the biggest high happened at the very beginning of the ceremony, when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler proved once again that they can make literally anything funny—including twerking jokes and 3D glasses. Between that bit and the moment when they both climbed up the stairs in the most absurd manner possible (including Poehler rolling onto the stage), those two women provided not only the best moment of the Emmys but the best moment of the week from the world of TV.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week? What are you most excited to see this week?

Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Emmy Awards

Confession time: I don’t watch a lot of “critically acclaimed” television. My tastes aren’t exactly aligned with any years’ crop of Emmy nominees, but I was especially disappointed that some of my favorite shows and actors were overlooked this time around. However, I’m still going to attempt to predict how tomorrow night’s Emmy ceremony is going to go. I’m skipping the miniseries/TV movie categories because I have absolutely no knowledge of those nominees, but I hope my other picks (and the reasons behind them) might inspire you to fill out an Emmy ballot of your own.

DRAMA SERIES:
Breaking Bad, AMC
Downton Abbey, PBS
Homeland, Showtime
Game of Thrones, HBO
House of Cards, Netflix
Mad Men, AMC
My Pick: Breaking Bad. I could see House of Cards possibly playing the spoiler here (to call attention to the success Netflix is having with its original programming), but I really think the buzz around Breaking Bad is too high right now—and has been for the last year or so—for it to go unrecognized. I can’t believe it’s never won before, so I think its time has come.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO
Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC
Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix
My Pick: Bryan Cranston. The Emmys like to stick with what they know, and what they know is that Cranston is a force to be reckoned with. Spacey shouldn’t be counted out here, but I can’t see this award going to someone other than Cranston until Breaking Bad is done (which means, yes, I am already picking him to win next year’s Emmy, too).

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC
Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, A&E
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC
Kerry Washington, Scandal, ABC
Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix
My Pick: Kerry Washington. This is a diverse category of fantastic leading ladies, but Washington has the kind of star power that Emmy voters love to call attention to. She’s the center of one of the most talked-about shows on television, and she turns in consistently great work, even with increasingly crazy storylines.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad, AMC
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland, Showtime
My Pick: Mandy Patinkin. Homeland is probably going to win at least one Emmy tomorrow night, and I think it’s going to go to the man who was overlooked for any recognition last season. Patinkin’s restrained performance grounds a show that is known for its emotional breakdowns, hysterics, and crazy plot twists. I don’t know much about the character dynamics on Homeland, but it seems to me that Patinkin’s Saul is the steadfast glue holding the show together when it’s at its craziest.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS
Morena Baccarin, Homeland, Showtime
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC
My Pick: Anna Gunn. If I know nothing else about Breaking Bad, I know that Anna Gunn has turned in a performance that’s controversial, powerful, and polarizing. But there’s no denying that this woman has talent and has held her own opposite her commanding costars. Plus, she wrote this fantastic New York Times piece about her character, and that kind of love for the role she plays earns her big points in my book.

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