2014 Emmy Predictions: Variety and Reality

mel-brooks-spaceballs-2Throughout the week, I will be providing Emmy predictions, leading up to the award ceremony on Monday, August 25, on NBC. Today, we’ll be starting with the areas that I know almost nothing about: Variety and Reality. I’ll be presenting even more wild speculation than I will be when I predict the results in the other genres.

Most of the awards for variety and reality were given out at Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmys so there aren’t too many categories to go through. For each category, I will make a prediction for who or what will win and for who or what I think should win.
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Emmys, Shmemmys: The 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards

masters-of-sex-50The 2014 Creative Arts Emmys, often referred to as the Shmemmys, were held this past Saturday. Many of the awards are in technical fields but it’s also when they clear out the smaller, less exciting awards that they don’t want eating up valuable broadcast time when the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards air on Monday, August 25.

Because they often involve glamorous celebrities, the guest actor awards  and reality show host category often get the most attention. Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) and Jimmy Fallon (Saturday Night Live) won Outstanding Guest Actress and Actor in a Comedy Series while Allison Janney (Masters of Sex and Joe Morton (Scandal) won for drama.
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Emmy Nominations: Mostly Boring But Yay, True Dectective and Where’s Tatiana Maslaney?

true-detective-harrelson-mcconaughey-610x348 I’m mostly happy with this year’s Emmy nominations. The problem with that is that that means that the Emmy nominations are really boring this year. The nominations I was really pulling for that didn’t happen would have been major surprises so I can brush off most of my upset. I have some minor quibbles over some nominations that I would have liked to see over others but there is only one missing nomination that I am truly upset over.

Tatiana Maslaney (Orphan Black) deserves an Emmy and she didn’t even get a nomination. In fact, if Emmys were awarded by roles played instead of by the performer, you could make an argument for her being eligible for Outstanding Lead Actress, Supporting Actress, and Guest Actress in a Drama. Not only that, but Orphan Black received zero nominations. Not for writing, casting, directing, or anything technical and that show pulls off amazing feats in each episode. It’s things like this that make me wonder if the Emmy voters even watch TV. I would have gladly given up Michelle Dockery’s (Downton Abbey) nomination for Maslaney. For that matter, Kerry Washington (Scandal) could be traded out for Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) who didn’t have a particularly outstanding season but is still good. I really want to see Mad Men get an acting Emmy one of these years and I’d be thrilled if Moss was the one to win it.

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The Tony Awards Are The Best Awards Show

tonyI’m probably being more than a little hyperbolic but I truly believe that the Tony awards are the best awards show. You have a bunch of people who are used to performing live on stage performing live on stage. No brainer. You could argue that the Grammys have a similar advantage but the difference is that the Grammys opt to give out a lot of their awards in a pre-show ceremony or during commercial breaks. They’re pretty much a glorified concert at this point. The Tony awards strike a good balance between an entertaining show and handing out awards. Plus, they can do things like this.

Now, Neil Patrick Harris isn’t hosting this year but Hugh Jackman is and he’s proven that he is also quite capable of putting on a great show. Plus, Harris will still be there because he’s currently starring in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

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2013 Oscars: Recap Madness

matthew-mcconaughey-lupita-nyongA week late and a grand short, that sounds about right. Alrighty then, on with the Oscars Recap!

Things about the Show

I wasn’t particularly amused by Ellen Degeneres. I expressed my displeasure with the telecast to others and have been told loudly and unequivocally that to expect anything other than mediocrity is hoping for way too much and I should just hush. I’ll say this for her: she sure committed to her bits. I kind of wish the bits were better, but apparently that’s too much to ask for.

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2013 Oscars Predictions: Now with actual predictions!

At last, we have arrived at that holiest of High Holy Days: the actual day of the Oscars. I’m so excited, I don’t have the words. Just imagine me flapping my hands wildly and making a noise a lot like “squee.” For six or more hours.

And, as promised, I have my Actual Oscars Picks. There’s still time to lock in your bets at your local sportsbook or oddsmaker. I have arranged my picks in a confidence list, according to Jeff Bayer’s yearly Oscar Bowling game. This is the fourth year I’ve played, because I’m obsessed.  My scores for previous years go like this:

2011: 232
2012: 224
2013: 249

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2013 Oscars: Oscar Odds!

oscar-oddsToday, on Oscar Night Eve, we’ll stop talking about what I think is going to win and talk about what some oddsmakers think is going to win. 


So first, a brief overview of how betting works. The number on the right is how many you have to bet to get the number on the left. The ratio of those numbers indicates how likely the oddsmaker thinks that thing is to happen: if something is 100/1, you only have to bet $1 and if it comes true, you get $100 back. But that means it’s not very likely to happen, because if it were going to happen every day, the oddsmaker would lose $99 every day, and that isn’t going to make them any money. Odds are set so that people are equally likely to bet both sides. That’s how sportsbooks make money: they set the line (odds, etc) at exactly the point where people will be willing to bet both sides of it; only one side will be right and the sportsbook keeps the money from the losers.

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2013 Oscars Predictions: Who the heck knows?

oscarsWrapping up the individual category breakdown, this is the last batch of movies that seem the most up in the air. For the other categories, click the “Oscars” tag on this post to see all posts on the topic (both this week and all time).

Documentary: Guys, this is hard. I mean, not just hard to predict who might win, but hard to even write about because The Act of Killing was my number one film of last year, and it looks like it might be upstaged by my #6 film of the year, 20 Feet from Stardom. And that’s not to mention the third major contender, The Square, which has had a last-minute surge (as more people have had a chance to see it) and which reverberates strongly with the events in Kiev and other revolutions in the two years since the one in the film.

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2013 Oscars Predictions: Getting a Little Murky

oscarsToday, we break down the next level of random categories that I’m a little less sure of than yesterday’s batch, about which in turn I was less sure of than Tuesday’s. I’m saving Best Picture for tomorrow, though, so you still have something to read for.

Foreign Film: I’ve only seen two of these nominees, but they were both really good, which beats the average from last year (Kon-Tiki, I’m looking at you).

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2013 Oscars Predictions: Things With a Bit More Wiggle Room

oscarsToday we move into categories that are more up for grabs than yesterday’s locks. As it happens, today involves a lot of bitterness. I’m a happy member of the camp that espouses “It’s only a snub if you can say what should have gotten left out,” but I don’t even care what you would have to leave out to include two of today’s nominees. 

Sound Mixing and Sound Editing: Some day, it will come time to learn once and for all in some kind of lasting way what the difference between these categories is. Today is not that day, as these are two categories that have no answer to “Why shouldn’t Gravity sweep all the technical awards?” Continue reading