In a few weeks, the nominees for the 2016 Emmy awards will be announced and as is almost inevitable with the amount of good television right now (and the somewhat repetitive nature of Emmy nominations), there will be a good number of worthy actors and shows that are once again overlooked. I may not have any control over the eventual nominees, but I can take this opportunity to celebrate some of the outstanding work I’ve seen over the past year and share the shows I watch that I would love to see recognized.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Jane the Virgin
Master of None
You’re the Worst
Wow. What an incredible year it’s been for comedy. There were seven other shows that could have easily been on my own personal list and that’s not counting presumed nominees Veep and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. From the absurdity of Broad City to the diversity of perspective added by Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat to the resurgence of the Norman Lear-style multicam in The Carmichael Show, it’s time for comedy’s moment to shine.
Outstanding Drama Series
I have a type when it comes to acclaimed dramas. I want them to focus on emotion and connection more than I do drama or darkness. I want them to have a specific look and feel that distinguishes them from everything else. And apparently, I want them to be watched by about 10 other people (not including all the critics who loudly love them) because none of these shows have high viewing numbers. If we get very lucky, this may be the year The Americans finally breaks into the nominees, but otherwise, I recognize that this list is just a dream (and a nice set of recommendations for anyone looking for a new show).
Continue reading Dream Emmy Nominees 2016
I’ve had to skip the past few of these in favor of catching up on all the TV I’m currently behind on (which is still a lot but getting better!) but there were a few shows this week that I couldn’t resist talking about. I may have watched very little, but it was an extremely rewarding week between these two shows and The Americans, which I will talk about in the comments of Katie’s wonderful episode review.
The Fosters: I was 3 episodes behind on this show but read some spoilers that made it a priority for me to catch up and I’m glad I did. This show makes me feel deeply every week and for that, it’s one of my favorite shows on TV right now. This week had three moments that particularly grabbed my heart. First was the scene where Rita comes to help Kiara leave her pimp. Rita cares for the girls in her care so much and that doesn’t end when they move out of the Girls United home. She wants to provide that safe space for them to grow up and achieve their dreams no matter how far away they seem. She cares for girls who others would pass over because of their history or attitude and that’s just a remarkable thing for me. Rosie O’Donnell is doing such a good job with this character and both scenes with Kiara were full of so much love and compassion.
Second was Callie’s final scene with Stef, where she confesses that she wanted to live with Robert because she lied to Stef and Lena and was afraid they wouldn’t want her any more. Of her two moms, Stef is the one who has the most in common with Callie. Both are so scared to let people all the way into their lives. They are naturally less open and because of that, the scenes where Stef reassures Callie of her unconditional love for her are always beautiful because Stef is one of the few people Callie would actually believe.
Continue reading TV Thoughts: 3/1-3/7
What a week of TV! This is the kind of week that is so incredibly satisfying as a fan of good TV. There were so many great episodes this week and so many tiny character moments that filled me with pure joy (and sometimes the best kind of heartbreak). What did you love about the past week in television?
- Looking: I can’t say that I’m disappointed to see Kevin go. Seeing Richie and Patrick talking and hanging out again reminded me that I like them together so much better, even if it’s just as friends. Patrick needs someone to call him out when he’s being an idiot, like when he’s having an affair with his already-taken boss and getting too emotionally invested in a future that wasn’t going to happen with Kevin. I’m glad it made him realize that he needed to stand up for himself and ask for what he needed out of the relationship, then leave when Kevin wasn’t capable of giving it to him. In other breakup news, I’m also proud of Dom for leaving Lynn. I liked Lynn a lot last season but he’s an awful boyfriend. Like Kevin, he wasn’t capable of giving Dom what he needed because he is still emotionally in a relationship with Brian. It’s understandable but unfair and Dom deserves better. I’m so happy that he has Doris who is so supportive and has his back 100% of the time. We all need a friend who will look into ways to Kickstarter our restaurant and help us make our dreams come true for no other reason than it is important to us. Finally, to round out the group, I cannot tell you how happy I am with the changes and growth in Augustin between s1 and s2. Eddie has been such a good influence on him and I am excited to see how he adapts to working at the shelter.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine: This wasn’t a brilliant or groundbreaking episode of this show by any means, but it was so much fun to watch. I loved the more action-oriented scenes as the team took over the training and took down all the other agents. It’s easy to forget that this is a show about cops and this was a nice way to bring their jobs into focus a little more while retaining all of the great character moments I love about the show. Amy’s failure to start the Nine-Nine chant (and her subsequent excitement when it worked) was adorable and so Amy. Terry’s description of the team as “boss ass penguins” may be my favorite Terry line in a while, and Rosa opening up and explaining why she needed Saturday off was perfect. Back at the precinct, I loved Captain Holt’s apology most of all. While I’m not sure that I necessarily agree that they should have ended up with the same personality classification, it’s nice when a leader can recognize that part of leading is encouraging and accepting the strengths of those who work for you. It takes a lot to admit your failings to an employee and it made me respect Captain Holt as a character even more.
- Jane the Virgin: I fall a little more in love with this show every week. I am all-in on Jane and Rafael’s relationship (even though he is acting awfully shady at the moment) and thought their mutual concern for the health of their unborn child was so well done. I’m glad that Rafael went with his gut and planned the graduation celebration for Jane even if it was cheesy because it led to the best moment of the episode. It’s just become a fact of this show that any scene featuring the three generations of Villanueva women will be outstanding. Xo’s speech to Jane was beautiful all on it’s own but the shot of the three women sitting on Jane’s bed as she asks for the secret to being a good mother is one that will happily stay with me. No matter what is happening with Jane and the men in her life (Rogelio included), her relationship with her mother and grandmother is always stable and always a source of comfort, love, and acceptance.
- Castle: Oh how I love the 3XK arc. It never fails to be wonderfully chilling and it brings out such good things in Nathan Fillion’s performance. Both Castle and Ryan carry so much guilt over Jerry Tyson and the murders he committed that both feel responsibility for and you could feel that guilt this week. When they found Tyson, I was not alone in thinking that maybe there was a chance they found someone who really had surgically altered their face to look like a serial killer and I loved that doubt. It wasn’t until that brilliant final interrogation scene that I felt sure they had caught Tyson only to have things go so terribly wrong when the precinct realized it was all a part of Tyson and Nieman’s plan to kidnap Beckett. That interrogation is some of the best work Nathan Fillion has done on this show. He found the story and my jaw dropped when he pulled out the pictures of Tyson’s mom and compared them to the recent victims. I have been anxiously awaiting part two of the episode and I’m so glad that tomorrow is Monday.
- The Fosters: So many things happened in this episode, it’s almost overwhelming. The most-talked about this week was the Jude and Connor scene at the movies. However this unfolds, I am in no way prepared. I feel so incredibly protective of Jude and his happiness and I just want everything to work out for him. Regardless of what direction his relationship with Connor goes from here, it’s obvious that these two deeply care about each other. They are young and figuring out who they are and unfortunately, only one of them has the space to do so. If Connor decides he might like to move forward with a future relationship with Jude, his dad isn’t going to be supportive and it’ll just make this time that much more confusing for him. I trust this show to handle it all well but I guarantee it will make my emotions a mess. Just the small scene of them touching (and eventually hooking) pinkies tells me that there are so many good and heartbreaking things to come for them. It was full of innocence and excitement and uncertainty and everything that a first crush should be.
- In other brief thoughts of the week, I love most of what they are doing with Mariana’s character. I love that she is enjoying STEM Club as well as her dance team. She’s one of the more unapologetically feminine characters on the show and it’s nice to see her continue to maintain that identity while excelling at a traditionally male-dominated field. I’m less excited about her wanting to go on tour with the band and would rather see her work through some of her abandonment issues, but I sometimes forget that she’s still a teenager and sometimes they don’t make the best choices. Along similar lines, Jesus could also stand to work through his own issues regarding his mother and how that’s affected him and I will look forward to seeing that happen so he will stop making such stupid decisions. Finally, Robert and Callie. I want these two to have an actual relationship that doesn’t just have Callie calling him when he’s in trouble. I think they have a lot they could offer each other and I want to see that develop. In order for that to happen though, Robert needs to realize that he can be Callie’s dad without being her guardian. As a parent, you have to think of what’s best for your child and I just don’t see how taking Callie away from the family she’s chosen for herself and her brother is going to help her, especially not at 16 when she may not have that many years left at home.
Continue reading TV Thoughts: 2/8-2/14
It must be sweeps because so many of my shows had big episodes this week. We learned the identity of Sin Rostro, Katrina took her first steps toward being evil, Mindy found out that she is pregnant, Donna got married, Fresh Off the Boat premiered and Nashville returned just as crazy as the last 10 minutes of the midseason finale suggested it would. I really enjoyed many of the episodes this week and I hope you all did too.
- Jane the Virgin: This week was great for me and Jane the Virgin for two reasons. First, how great was that episode? I love the Sin Rostro reveal and once again, the post-production work on this show has been stellar with the drop of blood falling out of Sin Rostro’s name in the narration. It also featured Jaime Camil’s best work of the season. That death scene was perfect and it led to Jane calling him “Dad” for the first time, which completely warmed my heart. These two have come so incredibly far in a short amount of time and I have really enjoyed watching their relationship grow and continue to deepen. Finally, this episode also was the perfect example of why Jane means so much to me. Her conversation with Rafael about choosing to see the best in people was everything I want more of in television. I want more genuinely good people who want to see the good in others. I want to see people believe in others and support them even if others think they are foolish. I want more people who will sit down and listen to a woman who has caused nothing but problems for them and offer support. I am so grateful that that is the philosophy this show chooses to promote.
- This show also meant a lot to be this week because I was able to visit the set of the show, thanks to a very generous friend. We got a tour of the various sets, meet a few of the cast members, and watch a scene film from an upcoming episode. My lips are sealed about future occurrences on the show but what I do want to say about this incredible experience is that the people involved with this show on every level are so kind and enthusiastic about what this show sets out to do. They genuinely love it and the people they work with. It was an honor to meet the cast, who is in fact as lovely as they appear to be, and a true pleasure to have this opportunity. If you like watching good things happen to good characters on TV, then please tune in and support this show. Not only is it a great show on it’s own merits but I want these incredible people to get to work on this show for a long time to come.
- Sleepy Hollow: I am all for an evil Katrina. It adds something to her character that has been lacking and even if it’s a disaster, at least it’s something for her to do. It’s also a way to reintroduce Henry to the group as a whole as an antagonist. Henry’s clearly there but Team Witness is crippled so long as Katrina continues to fight for him. Now if she’s fighting with him, not only would it make that mother-son relationship more interesting but it will also provide the catalyst needed for Katina and Ichabod to officially realize that their marriage isn’t going to work in the modern world. No matter what they were like it in the past, they haven’t been on the same page since they brought Katrina from Purgatory and they need to recognize that and put them and the audience out of their misery.
- The Fosters: Now that Parenthood has ended, I appreciate The Fosters even more. I need my weekly dose of family drama full of characters I love. It’s the little moments with this family that make episodes worth it to me. It’s scenes like Stef enthusiastically embracing twerking once Lena demonstrated what it was. It’s scenes like the ending and everyone having fun as a family together in the lake. The plots of the episode are not the interesting parts to me (though I’m not sorry to see Haylee go), it’s these characters and the love they have for each other.
Continue reading TV Thoughts: 2/1-2/7
This week saw the ending of one show and the return of many more. The craziness that comes with spring TV watching has officially begun and I am already behind on things. As we head in a month that historically brings with it lots of good television (thank you, sweeps), here are my thoughts on the TV that I did manage to watch this week.
- Galavant: What a fun and enjoyable month this was with Galavant. I loved the songs, I loved the characters, and I just had a blast watching it each week. I am a bit disappointed that it ended on a cliffhanger since I’m not hugely hopeful for a season 2 and now I’ll be disappointed to not get one and miss out on Galavant and King Richard adventures. Also, if we do get a season two, I need more flashbacks to Galavant’s dad for no other reason than my desire to listen to Anthony Head sing all the time.
- Jane the Virgin: I like how willing Jane is to stand up for what she wants from her romantic life. Even if other people don’t understand it, Rafael is the person she has chosen to be with and she’s made it very clear that everyone is going to have to respect that. I understand Xo’s concerns and of course you can’t completely ignore the opinions of those around you, but Jane is the only one who can truly answer what is right for her at this time in her life and it was a nice change from the love triangle that could have happened.
- Sleepy Hollow: I’m still not really sure how this show managed to so completely lose what I loved about it, but this episode gave me a little bit of hope that things may be back on the right track, or at least an adjacent track. I’m disappointed that the show wants to decrease the serialization but if the writers can’t handle that well, then I’m ok with stand-alone episodes. What I do care most about is losing the characters and dynamics I grew to love in season one. I want more Abbie and Jenny and unstoppable partners Abbie and Ichabod. I would even take Abbie and Katrina teaming up and working together instead of them ending up seemingly on opposing teams because Ichabod doesn’t know how to deal with them together. Hopefully the conversation about Abbie and Ichabod in this week’s episode leads to the return of their teamwork and the dynamic we all fell in love with. I will however remain sceptical until I see it, it’s not the first time this conversation has happened this season only for Abbie to be sidelined again.
Continue reading TV Thoughts: 1/25-1/31
I apologize for the delay on this post and the general shortness of my thoughts this week. It’s been extremely busy at work, which makes me more unproductive on weekends unfortunately. Fortunately, it was a shorter and less critical week of TV as shows take a hiatus or air slightly less pivotal episodes in preparation for sweeps.
- Jane the Virgin: The episode itself had a lot packed into it. As a result, it wasn’t the best episode this show has produced but it had an important message imbedded into it. Earlier this season, we found out that Alba was undocumented. When she was hurt in the midseason finale, I was immediately concerned for her physical fate, not considering what her status would do to her treatment options. It didn’t occur to me until I was trying to fall asleep Sunday night that Alba had concerns beyond her physical health and it made me sit up and gasp in shock and dismay. I live in the southwest, approximately 1 hour from the Mexican border. Conversations about legal status and what services are provided to whom are not uncommon in our local politics yet it’s still very depersonalized. It’s easier to have these conversations when there isn’t a face attached to the issues and if it’s easy here, I can only imagine it’s easy elsewhere in the country where it is less of a concern. I applaud Jane the Virgin for calling attention to the concept of medical repatriation (which I had never heard of) and for taking a stand on immigration reform. This show knows it has a platform and it’s willing to use it and that’s admirable.
- Parks and Recreation: I’m so glad we had two episodes of this show to watch last week. “William Henry Harrison” was a decent episode with some moments that made me laugh and any time Andy is a great husband (which is often) it’s a good episode. But it pales in comparison to “Leslie and Ron” which was the real star of the week. Whenever Parks and Recreation intensely focuses on the relationship between Leslie and one other person in her life, the episode is an outstanding success. This show is all about these characters and their relationships and they know how to make them shine. Leslie and Ron have always been very different people who feel equally strongly about their opposing beliefs so their feud seemed inevitable. It was easy to think it was about a difference in politics or misunderstanding as a result of their beliefs but what we got was a far deeper examination of friendship and what happens when the circumstances that brought two people together as friends changes. It was a beautiful tribute to these two characters and their love for each other. Both Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler were outstanding, especially in the scene where Ron confesses that he was planning to ask Leslie for a job, and I know they very likely won’t win awards for it because award shows are terrible and blind, but they really should.
- Parenthood: This was Lauren Graham’s episode to shine. She got to shine as a daughter who is faced with losing her father and as a mother who is watching her daughter give birth to a child of her own. This is the episode I have been wanting to see for Sarah since the show started. Her relationship with Hank played a role as they decided on a wedding location and date, but it was primarily about her relationship with her family. I would have loved to see so much more build-up throughout previous seasons for that scene with her dad, but even without it, it was one of the most powerful moments of the episode. I also loved the ending, with Zeke and Camille meeting their great-grandson. I don’t care if it was expected or not, it seems so beautifully fitting that Amber would name her son after her grandpa. Their relationship has been one of the best of the series and as the family prepares to say goodbye to Zeke Sr., it’s only right that they have a new Zeke to love in a different but equally strong way.
After an exciting start with Golden Globe wins for Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez and Transparent, this week gave us some really strong episodes of television. Not all of them invoked a lot of emotion in me, but the ones that did, really did.
- Looking: It is so nice to have this show back. I would like Patrick to stop making terrible choices and leave Kevin once and for all and realize how incredible Richie is, but I recognize that will take some time. What I do always find interesting about him is his ability to live in denial. His whole sunny, boy-next-door demeanor is predicated by his belief that bad things aren’t happening (and he’s not doing them) if he just refuses to think about them. It fell apart in this episode and I was happy to see him confide in his friends about his affair with Kevin.
- Castle: I was concerned about what would happen to the show now that Castle was no longer working with the NYPD. The working relationship between Castle and Beckett has been part of the foundation of the show and has been shown as equally as valued to both of them as their romantic relationship. After seeing this week’s episode, I’m no longer concerned. With Castle continuing to be a P.I., I expect his path will cross with the NYPD at least occasionally and even if it doesn’t, he and Beckett can still discuss his cases over dinner and continue the theory-building dynamic I’ve loved from them. I was also thrilled by the more sexual overtones to this episode. Not because I need Castle and Beckett to constantly be having sex, but because this show always handles that aspect of their relationship so well. It’s part of their lives and it’s one that they enjoy and have fun with. It’s doesn’t seem to require Castle to use his previously-mentioned safeword of “apples” nor is it portrayed as a love-making scene out of a romance novel. It’s something that these two consenting adults who are in a loving relationship do for fun. The romance clearly didn’t die with these two after marriage and it’s nice to see that sort of relationship portrayed.
Continue reading TV Thoughts: 1/11/15-1/17/15