Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Road to the Emmys: Chelsea's Dream Emmy Ballot [Contributor: Chelsea]

I love TV. Binge-watching is my style and award shows are my jam. I love getting mad and indignant when terrible things win yet feel completely validated when, on the very rare occasion, something or someone amazing wins. These days I've been so busy making my own show that it's hard to keep up with all the great shows, yet I've managed to keep a few shows on the docket. All my picks are based on what I have watched, so only a few shows will be represented. I got carried away and let myself try to pick as many of the tech categories as I could. It kills me that some great shows didn't submit in certain categories and that a lot of great performers didn't submit themselves either.

So let's get started!

Outstanding Comedy Series
Broad City
Faking It
Jane the Virgin
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

It has been a wonderful year for female lead programs and all of the ones above show how different and complex women are. Broad City is leading a new wave of feminism and has one of the best portrayals of female friendship on TV. Veep continues to show how the government probably functions and reinvented itself this season with Selina in power. Faking It is one of the most progressive shows about sexuality while maintaining its hilarity. I'm only halfway through the first season of Jane the Virgin and I have fallen in love with Jane and her family. The best show on any platform for me though is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Tina Fey's voice has been sorely missed and I love that we have such a strong female protagonist that is so positive in dealing with the aftermath of this traumatic life event. My vote goes to Kimmy but I would love if any of these shows got some recognition.

Outstanding Drama Series
Chasing Life
The Good Wife
The 100
Marvel's Agent Carter
Orange is the New Black
Orphan Black

Gonna take this moment to complain about the new Emmy rules which say that any show 30 minutes or less is a comedy and anything over than 30 minutes is a drama. Such a ridiculous rule. Much like the comedy category, all my favorite dramas from this past year all have female leads. Chasing Life gives life and complexity to cancer and shows how it doesn't have to be a death sentence but a new beginning. I didn't know how The Good Wife could even match its amazing fifth season but season six continued its electrifying storytelling. The 100 and Orphan Black are the most stressful shows I watched this year and both straddle morally gray areas unlike anything else. Agent Carter gives Hayley Atwell a wonderful platform to be a badass and explore feminism in the workplace. Netflix just keeps stealing my heart though with their original programming in the form of Orange Is The New Black. I remember finishing the second season at 4:00am and having to be at a meeting at 8:00am. I walked in with my giant coffee mug and sunglasses, with people asking if I was hungover. The show is just so addictive and season two is really when the show became a true ensemble and we had a clear villain in Vee (and Larry if you ask me). Nowhere else can you see a cast of forty mostly female characters, each with different and complex personalities.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Ilana Glazer as Ilana Wexler (Broad City)
Abbi Jacobson as Abbi Abrams (Broad City)
Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as President Selina Meyer (Veep)
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)
Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva (Jane the Virgin)
Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer)

Yeah, I'm cheating and picking seven but look at all these rockstars, making their marks in the world. All deserving and kicking ass. I've cheered for Julia Louis-Dreyfus for her past three wins but I would love if Gina Rodriguez or Ellie Kemper could snag it from her this year. Amy Poehler is long overdue but I fear she will be joining the Steve Carell club of Emmy-less icons.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Sure, I watch seven different women in leading roles but I don't watch any with men in the lead. Whoops.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter (Marvel's Agent Carter)
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick (The Good Wife)
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena, Rachel, Krystal, Me, Your Mom, Hayley Atwell, Batman, & Queen Elizabeth II  (Orphan Black)
Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman (Orange is the New Black)
Italia Ricci as April Carver (Chasing Life)

Eliza Taylor not being submitted for this is just a trajesty. Clarke Griffin is one of the best written characters in any medium and Taylor portrays her strength and vulnerability in the most beautiful and nuanced way. Hayley Atwell deserves an Emmy just for her behind the scenes tweets from the show. Julianna Margulies is a two-time winner and just owns her show. I am in the rare camp that actually loves Piper Chapman. Even when she's being self-involved and whiny, Schilling makes me care about her and cheer for her through all her crazy schemes. Italia Ricci has brought me to tears countless times as April navigated through her diagnosis and treatment. While all these ladies were great, Tatiana Maslany continues her witchcraft. Like, just watch an episode and tell me how that could possibly be the same woman portraying each character.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Oh look, I stopped caring about male lead dramas too. Oh well.

Supporting Actress Comedy Series
Aidy Bryant as Various Characters (SNL)
Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer (Veep)
Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline Voorhees (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Kate McKinnon as Various Characters (SNL)
Andrea Navedo as Xiomara Villanueva (Jane the Virgin)

Cecily Strong as Various Characters (SNL)

It's such a great time to be alive and see all the great women on TV now. The women of SNL are keeping the show afloat for me. Kate McKinnon is a gift from above and will go down in the books as one of the greatest comedians of our time. Krakowski is has never been better as the wealthy housewife Jacqueline. She's every bit as biting as Jenny Maroney but she actually cares for and supports Kimmy without judging her. Anna Chlumsky continues to hold her own opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus as their characters continue to bring out the worst in each other. Xiomara is always protecting Jane and putting her first even if it means Jane will be mad at her. Mother of the year for me. 

Supporting Actor Comedy Series
Titus Burgess as Titus Andromedon (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Jaime Camil as Rogelio De La Vega (Jane the Virgin)
Terry Crews as Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Tony Hale as Gary Walsh (Veep)
Taran Killam as Various Characters (SNL)
Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation)

Titus Andromedon is the greatest thing to happen to television this year. He is my spirit animal. All these other guys are fantastic but Titus is my everything. 

Supporting Actress Drama Series
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart (The Good Wife)
Danielle Brooks as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson (Orange is the New Black)
Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols (Orange is the New Black)
Kate Mulgrew as Galina “Red” Reznikov (Orange is the New Black)
Lorraiine Toussaint as Yvonne “Vee” Parker (Orange is the New Black)
Samira Wiley as Poussey Washington (Orange is the New Black)

My initial list was legit 15 people long and about 11 of them came from Orange is the New Black. The show has too many great women and I cannot wait to see which ones make the cut. And Christine Baranski has somehow never won an award for The Good Wife despite being nominated for every season of the show. Diane Lockhart 4 president! 

Supporting Actor Drama Series
Alan Cumming as Eli Gold (The Good Wife)
Matt Czuchry as Cary Agos (The Good Wife)
Jordan Gavaris as Felix (Orphan Black)

Bob Morley as Bellamy Blake from The 100 missing is another travesty. Like why even? Alan Cumming has always been a treat on his show and Jordan Gavaris is really growing as a performer. Matt Czuchry really stepped it up this season and became the closest thing the show has to a male lead. Cary finally got his time to shine and Czuchry nailed every beat of that drama. 

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Dylan Gelula as Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: "Kimmy’s in a Love Triangle!")
Lennon Parham as Karen (Veep: "Convention")
Kiernan Shipka as Kymmi Peterson (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: "Kimmy Has a Birthday!")

Aside from having the greatest name and a flawless mean mug, Xanthippe was the perfect foil for Kimmy early in the show and Gelula played the entitled teenager perfectly. Parham is great in everything she does and everyone just needs to go watch her perfection either on Veep or Playing House. Shipka proved that she's more than just Sally Draper as the replacement Kymmi with no life of her own. 

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Josh Charles as Coach Thompson (Inside Amy Schumer: "Last F--kable Day")
Jon Hamm as Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: "Kimmy Makes Waffles!")
Dean Norris as Le Loup (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kimmy’s in a Love Triangle!

Hamm and Norris relish in the ridiculous that is their Kimmy Schmidt characters while Charles tackles rape culture through this Friday Night Lights parody. 

Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Stockard Channing as Veronica Loy (The Good Wife: "Oppo Research")
Laura Prepon as Alex Vause (Orange is the New Black: Little Mustachioed Sh-t")
Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni (The Good Wife: "Shiny Objects")
Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper (Mad Men: "The Milk and Honey Route")

Preston and Channing are always scene-stealers in The Good Wife while Prepon left an impression in the near Vause-less season of OITNB. Shipka is the true rockstar here as Sally finally got her closure with Betty and her father. 

Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney (The Good Wife: Dark Money")
Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning (The Good Wife: "The Red Zone")
Pablo Schreiber as George “Pornstache” Mendez (Orange is the New Black: "40 Oz. of Furlough")

Baker and Fox continue to be the most reliable shit-stirrers for Alicia and company while Pornstache's brief return showed how much we missed this crazy, despicable man and the chaos that follows him. 

And now all the categories that very few people care for but are actually the most important jobs on set. Without all these people, you wouldn't have a show...

Writing (Comedy)
"In Heat" (Broad City)
"Chapter One" (Jane the Virgin)
"Kimmy Goes On A Date!", "Kimmy Goes Outside!", and "Kimmy Kisses A Boy!" (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
"Election Night" (Veep)

One of these episodes made me laugh so hard I almost peed. At least four made me cry. 

Writing (Drama)
"Deconstruction" (The Good Wife)
"40 Oz. Of Furlough", "It Was The Change", "You Also Have A Pizza" (Orange Is The New Black)
"Scarred By Many Past Frustrations" & "The Weight of This Combination" (Orphan Black)

This above scene might be the most perfectly written scene of any show or film this past year.

Directing (Comedy)
"Chapter One" (Jane the Virgin) – Brad Silberling
"Kimmy Has A Birthday!" (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) – Todd Holland
"Kimmy Goes On A Date!" (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) – Beth McCarthy-Miller
"Testimony" (Veep) – Armando Iannucci

Iannucci will be sorely missed next season on Veep. McCarthy-Miller continues to be the best in the comedy arena though. 

Directing (Drama)
"Loser Edit" (The Good Wife) – Brooke Kennedy
"Mind’s Eye" (The Good Wife) – Robert King
"Now Is Not The End" (Marvel's Agent Carter) – Louis D’Espositio
"Thirsty Bird" (Orange Is The New Black) – Jodie Foster
"We Have Manners, We’re Polite" (Orange Is The New Black) – Constantine Makris
"Transitory Sacrifices Of Crisis" (Orphan Black) – John Fawcett

Going through all the directing lists made me realize how few female directors we have in the drama department. Comedy is much kinder to women it seems. 

Outstanding Animated Series
Bob's Burgers

Tina Belcher is my queen. Too bad The Legend of Korra wasn't eligible for this. 

Outstanding Limited Series
The Honorable Woman
Olive Kitteridge

Okay, but these are like really great pieces of entertainment. Like Oscar-worthy and better than most films. 

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein (The Honorable Woman)
Frances McDormand as Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge)

Outstanding Television Movie
Sharknado 2: The Second One

I'm dead series about this. 

Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
Olive Ketteridge - Lisa Cholodenko
Sharknado 2: The Second One - Anthony C. Ferrante

Bless your light, Mr. Ferrante. 

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Drunk History 
The Grace Helbig Show
Inside Amy Schumer
Saturday Night Live

Smelbig is my queen! 

Directing for a Variety Series
"12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer" (Inside Amy Schumer) - Amy Schumer & Ryan McFaul

Some things are just art. 

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Late Show with James Corden

Corden is just a delight with his guests and TV won't be the same without Colbert and Stewart. Thank god we still have Oliver to skewer everything. 

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Lip Sync Battle
MasterChef Junior
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

Lip Sync Battle might be my greatest pleasure on TV right now. The Kendrick of it all. 

Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series
Broad City
Jane the Virgin
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

A show is nothing without its stars and bless the casting directors that can find the perfect people for the roles. 

Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
The Good Wife
Orange is the New Black

Can anyone really top Orange is the New Black's cast? 

Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series
"12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer" (Inside Amy Schumer) –Jonathan Furmanski
"Bridge And Tunnel" (Marvel's Agent Carter) – Gabriel Beristain
"Looks Blue, Tastes Red" (Orange Is The New Black) – Michael Trim
"Certain Agony of the Battlefield" (Orphan Black) – Aaron Morton

It seems like a pointless category when you can't have The Legend of Korra, The 100, or Hannibal in it. But the Donny/Alison Orphan Black scene alone deserves an Emmy. 

Production Design For A Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More)
"Remember Me" & "Coup De Grace" (The 100)
"The Weight Of This Combination" (Orphan Black)

Guys, designing sets is hard enough and bringing them to life is even harder. 

Production Design For A Narrative Period Program (One Hour or More)
"Now Is Not The End" (Marvel's Agent Carter)
Olive Ketteridge

Production Design For Variety, Nonfiction, Reality, or Reality Competition Program
Episodes 101, 102, & 103 (The Grace Helbig Show)
Episode 1403 (Hell's Kitchen)
"Pop-Up Restaurant" (MasterChef Junior)

I am just in love with The Grace Helbig Show house and not just because Smelbig is my queen. Also, if there is one thing I learned about making a cooking show this past year it's that they are so hard to design and keep together. Bravo to any show that can make it look good. 

Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series
"Coat Check" (Broad City)
"Human Trials" (The 100)
"The Blitzkrieg Button" (Marvel's Agent Carter)
"Giants" (Masters of Sex)
"The Weight of the Combination" (Orphan Black)

I'd like to direct all attention to the resident hair queen Octavia Blake. 

Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)
"Blood Must Have Blood, Parts One & Two" (The 100)
"The B­­­litzkrieg Button" (Marvel's Agent Carter)
"The Weight of the Combination" (Orphan Black)



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