Friday, February 20, 2015

EMMY IS THE NEW BLACK: Some Emmy rule changes of interest:
  • If you're a 30 minute show, you're now presumed to be a comedy, and if you're an hour-long, you're presumed to be a drama.  There's an appeals process, but it seems like that's a pretty hard and fast rule.  Big potential impacts for Orange Is The New Black (which ran as a comedy last year), Transparent, Shameless, and Jane The Virgin (which you have to assume will petition to be viewed as a comedy).
  • A tweak to the "guest actor" rules--if you're in more than half a show's episodes, you're no longer eligible in the category.  This is a potential big hit against Orange Is The New Black,where, because of billing, a lot of cast members were billed as "guest" despite appearing in most episodes, and would've knocked out several recent winners--Allison Janney was right on the edge of 50% for Masters of Sex last year.
  • A new division in the "Variety Series" category, dividing the category between "sketch" and "talk," with "sketch" awarded in the Creative Arts Emmys, and "talk" awarded in the main telecast.  This makes for interesting decisions for sketch shows like Key & Peele and Inside Amy Schumer.  Do they take the longer shot at Best Comedy Series, or do they compete as sketch shows?  
IT'S LIKE CHARLIE'S ANGELS, ONLY WITH DUDES IN SINGLETS:  Carrying forward one of my favorite routines from the Fametracker days, sketches out upcoming tv adaptations of this year's Oscar nominated films:
America may have talent, but does it have the backbone to stand up to mental abuse and humiliation thrown at it by a sadistic teacher? That's what we'll find out in Whiplash, the latest competitive reality series from the makers of The Voice. Each week, musicians and singers from across the country will take to the Whiplash stage to express themselves musically, only to suffer a steady stream of abuse from chief judge J.K. Simmons, reprising the role that will define his career -- Professor Nathaniel Burke from the Farmers Insurance ads. The music will make your heart soar, even as Simmons's cruel taunts will make your fists clench. Get ready for a bad case of Whiplash, America!
(Farewell, Five Clones of Karl Malden.)

Your Oscar hopes, dreams, and nightmares are welcome. (I am on Team Boyhood.)
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT SNUFFLEUPAGUS:  Sesame Street presents Big Bird Man.  (FWIW, having seen all eight nominated films? Boyhood>Selma>Whiplash>>>>Grand Budapest Hotel>Birdman>>>>Imitation Game>American Sniper>Theory of Everything, and I'd gladly substitute Wild or Gone Girl for ones in the bottom 3.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

LETITSNOW:  Norm MacDonald just tweeted a hell of a reminiscence about SNL40, including the fact that Eddie Murphy was originally approached to portray Bill Cosby in the Celebrity Jeopardy skit, which would have killed beyond all comprehension. But:
He knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one. Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down. Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs. Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars.

JAVA JIVE:  All 81 current Starbucks beverage items, ranked without commentary.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ALWAYS A GENTLEMAN:  I wanted to talk a little bit about Kingsman: The Secret Service.  It's exactly what you'd expect--exceedingly stylized, ridiculously over the top, and blatantly a Matthew Vaughn movie, but what I found most interesting about it requires major spoilers, so will be after the break.

SNOW DAY:  Because of East Coast snows, my normal publication schedule has been disrupted. Also, that it's the start of my busy season. Also, as some of you know, because my dad's had a hell of a health care month and is now recovering from major surgery.  (Really: he's recovering. Surgery went well, and things are proceeding according to schedule. But F--- Cancer.) Also, because I think it'd be kinda cool if the 1Ls in How To Get Away With Murder did not, in fact, get away with murder, and we got a new cast for season two.

So how about we talk about new stuff we're enjoying?  For me, the Colbert Report's finale was a blessing insofar as it gave two weeks for Chris Hardwick's @midnight to air at 11:30pm, when it quickly became a nightly requirement, and is now locked in for my DVR nightly. It is never not-funny, and its humor is right up my wheelhouse -- bad puns, quick reactions to stupid stuff on the Internet, etc.  Do watch.