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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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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Five Reasons the Emmys are the Worst

Okay…The title of this post may be a little hyperbolic, but let’s call a spade a spade: The 2013 Emmy nominations (which were announced yesterday) weren’t exactly exciting. In fact, they left many (myself included) disappointed. I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up for the majority of my favorite shows and actors getting nominations, but that should be part of the fun of nomination day. But I guess “fun” and “nomination day” are two words that only go together for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards.

Over at Media Through a Mom’s Eyes, you’ll find some great reactions and analysis of the Emmy nominees, especially in the dramatic categories. Here, I just want to point out five reasons I’m convinced the Emmys are out-of-touch with what’s actually going on in the world of television.

1. I don’t love you, and I don’t like you. Once again, Parks and Recreation was left out of the running for Best Comedy, with only Amy Poehler securing a nomination in a category which I’m sure she’ll be overlooked in once again. I’ve grown sadly jaded about Parks and Rec’s chances of ever getting nominated again, but I really thought they stood a chance this season. While it wasn’t the strongest season overall, it had two of its most compelling episodes ever with “Halloween Surprise” and “Ben and Leslie.” To see such a heartfelt, well-acted, genuinely funny television show go without any recognition (beyond its fabulous leading lady) continues to break my heart and make me wonder what exactly voters are looking for. If you don’t love Parks and Rec, I don’t think you’re the kind of person I want to know—or the kind of awards show I want to watch.

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