January 22, 2013 6:17pm EST
While the water cooler scenes from tonight's Justified are A, the suicide of the FBI agent, and B, the brutal nightmare-inducing snakebite incident, there's a lot more trouble brewing for both Raylan and Boyd in Harlan County. Both men are embroiled in professional dramas that threaten their well-being (and livelihood, in Boyd's case), but neither has any clue that their biggest problems may stem from their closest allies — Rachel is beginning to seriously resent Raylan for getting away with anything and everything, and Johnny Crowder will possibly align with proven jackrabbit Wynn Duffy to take out Boyd. That's the thing with snakes — the most poisonous ones are always the least expected. Though, in Rachel's case, the venom is pretty understandable.
Raylan is working on a case that could be a career-maker for Rachel, but — as I noted last week, she was the only one left out of the boys' club expedition to investigate. This week, yet again, Raylan and Tim were the ones sent to have a little heart-to-heart with Drew Thompson's widow, Eve. Raylan probably needed the distraction, as his never-ending female troubles — his sleepover buddy is actually an ex-thief with a Hulk-like ex-con ex-husband — continued this week, when Hulk challenged him to a high noon showdown (after some serious prodding). Hulk had fled Florida (and parole) to pick up his wifey, so Raylan did what he always does: gave him a few hours to pack up and leave town, or stay and fight. (Aside: This is why I completely understand why any marshal working with Raylan would hate him. He's like a drunk, cowboy Carrie Matheson who always gets the job done on luck/instinct, but abides by no rules but his own. When you get written up for chewing gum on the job while a Raylan shows up at 11 and leaves at 3, well, that'd be enough to make anyone consider a call to HR.)
What's even worse on the Rachel end is that Raylan pays her no mind: She was disciplined by Art for not calling for backup when reprimanding a fugitive, and all Raylan did was shrug and try to steer the conversation back to his Drew Thompson case. "How many times has Wyatt Earp put himself in positions like that and worse, and how many reprimands have you written him?" Rachel asked Art, who fired back with a 'Raylan's a lost cause' argument, and put his attention back on Raylan.
But, anywho, that was not the main action of the episode (though I think it will be a major factor moving forward). Raylan learned that Drew Thompson was a witness in a sealed federal witness warrant. What did he witness? Why, the murder of a government informant, of course! The visit with Eve — a "certified spiritualist" who is actually quite skilled at her job— quickly went awry. An FBI agent showed up and Eve (clearly not innocent) sneaked out of the bathroom window, only to be kidnapped by a mysterious thug. So, someone really, really doesn't want anyone to know about Drew Thompson. The FBI agent ended up being embroiled in the same scandal as Drew and Eve, so he, you know, shot himself after telling Raylan where Eve was being held. Which might actually be a good thing, because if he knew more than Eve — who got the living daylights beaten out of her — his death would most likely have been slow and painful.
Here's what Eve knew: Way back when, Drew told her that she'd soon hear that he was dead — and for all intents and purposes, he would be. The investigators knew that part. What they didn't know was what she had purposefully hidden: Drew saw Theo Tonin (Quarles' vicious adoptive father) murder a government informant. And since the FBI agent likely told Theo everything he knew, Drew Thompson was likely royally f***ed.
On Boyd's end, we learned that Cassie (True Blood's Lindsay Pulsipher, who is much, much better in this role) is the one running the freakshow Church, to the point where she had been lying to her brother about the snakes they were using being poisonous — she'd been milking them the whole time to keep him safe. Cassie herself is a snake-like little creature: She slithers in and out of the scene as needed, always disguising her true colors until she really needs to pounce. Unfortunately for Boyd (or, most accurately, Boyd's henchman Jimmy) she didn't "bite" when Boyd offered her a bundle of cash to leave town. As a strike back, Boyd sent Jimmy and his war buddy Colt to poke around in the dead of night, leading to the aforementioned horrific snakebite scene where Jimmy ended up worse than those doomed passengers on the plane.
However, Jimmy's bad luck ended up being Boyd's good fortune: If all of those biblical snakes had been poisonous, he would have died by the time their shady redneck mob doctor arrived. He was alive (just horribly disfigured) at the end of the show, meaning the snakes Billy held up at mass to prove the power of God was in him were not, in fact, poisonous.
The thing is, Billy himself didn't know this, and he felt horribly betrayed when he learned of his sister's deception — the poor kid actually thought he was a prophet of the good Lord. Just like with Raylan and Boyd and their trusted colleagues, there is major trouble brewing in the Billy/Cassie relationship. Her intentions may have been pure — she didn't want her brother to die — but their arc ended with Billy being bit by a poisonous snake whilst trying to prove that the power of God was still in him (in front of his congregation, natch). Billy isn't a greedy, false prophet — he actually thought he was some sort of redneck messiah. The question is: where does he go from here? If he lives (and I'm assuming he will), he'll have some major life changes to make, and something tells me he won't be leaving Harlan County anytime soon.
But that's not even the biggest snake in the grass: It's not exactly news that Johnny Crowder wants Boyd dead, but teaming up with Wynn Duffy to do it will definitely have disastrous consequences in one way or another. Johnny's feelings toward Boyd are sort of like Rachel's toward Raylan, but on crack (or, on this show, Oxy). Yes, he's resentful because of his injury (that was caused by Bo), but it's more about the fact that Boyd took over his father's criminal empire while Johnny — who stood by Bo while Boyd blew things up — was overlooked. Just like Rachel, who is the more skilled (technically speaking) marshal, is always passed over by Art in favor of Raylan.
Oh, and as for Hulk and his bride — they disappeared. Was it willingly, on her end? We don't know, but from the looks of her ruined bedroom, my money is on no.
Which character will feel the disastrous consequences of a jealous coworker first — Raylan, or Boyd? Will Raylan get his girlfriend back? Do we care?
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: Prashant Gupta/FX]
Late Night Last Night: Timothy Olyphant Tells His Son to Kill People
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January 22, 2013 6:40am EST
While the rest of the country was discussing President Barack Obama's second Presidential Inauguration or simply sleeping off a hangover from the three-day weekend, Timothy Olyphant stopped by Conan Monday night to have a chat about parenting. And a light-hearted chat it was not. The Justified star tried to joke about the fact that he lets his son play violent video games just because he has done voice-over work in the genre — Olyphant is the voice of Grinch in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3."
"My son can't get enough [of video games]," Olyphant told Conan O'Brien. "We try to keep it to all things in moderation. [But] the thing that gets tricky is, I did a voice in a video game, like one of those shooter [games]. My son really wanted the game, and we broke down."
Olyphant admitted that he always gets asked about the way that violence in video games affects kids. "What's curious about the whole thing is, you get asked in my line of work about the violence and the video game. 'Should the kids be playing it?'" he said. And Olyphant just isn't sure how to respond to the questions. "It's very difficult for me to answer that when my son is at home playing a violent shooter game and I'm in the game encouraging him to shoot people," he said. "He's like, 'Dad it's awesome.' I'm in there going, 'Two O'clock! Fire. Fire. Twelve O'Clock. Good shot, kid.'"
But Olyphant does try, thought, to get his son to participate in more beneficial activities like reading. "And then I come in and I'm like, 'Turn the thing off. Let's go. It's time to read a book,'" he said. "And he's like, 'You were just telling me to kill people [in the video game].' [I respond,] 'Well, killing time is over son. Now it's time to read.' It's very confusing."
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: TBS]
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January 15, 2013 5:59pm EST
Verdict after two episodes of Season 4 of Justified: I am officially enjoying this season more than the last. Why? We have two separate but equally engaging plot lines involving both of our leads, a very intriguing mystery, and one little thread — mainly, Arlo Givens — potentially tying the two together. Tonight's episode found both Raylan and Boyd chasing their clues from last week (a driver's license and fake currency, respectively), and Boyd trying desperately, as usual, to maintain hold of Harlan county's slippery drug business.
If you recall, last week opened with a flashback to a man falling from the sky — or, to be more specific, falling from the sky with enough cocaine to satiate the Lohan family for about a week. According to Art, this was the legendary day that cocaine came to Harlan county. The interesting part is that, for three-ish decades, everyone has known the dead body CARRYING the cocaine to be the body of one Drew Thompson. But oh, so much an ass-cheek injury can change!
But let's back up: Arlo killing the man who overheard his prison conversation about Waldo Truth alerted Raylan to the fact that this case was probably much more important than he initially thought. "On a scale of one to a shitload, how much do you have to tell me right now?" Art wondered. Well, a lot. The goon squad (Raylan, Art, and Tim) dug up the files on Truth's family, and went on a fun group adventure to find the (GET IT?) truth.
Now, time out — I'm really happy that they're sending these three out together, because there was some great comedy in the pairing. (Tim suggesting that Raylan was working as an exotic dancer — when he was really just tired because he's been fooling around with a barkeep — stands out, as does his quip about the Truth kid stealing Raylan's overused countdown bit.) We're used to seeing Raylan alone, or Raylan with Boyd, and I'm fine with that — but having Tim and Rachel as full-time characters has always seemed silly to me, given how underused they are. Of course, Rachel wasn't invited on this particular adventure, but I really hope to see more of Raylan with his quasi-buddies, as it's hilarious when they make fun of him, and it lightens the often heavy load of the show. Plus, Tim Olyphant is funny! Okay, time in.
Naturally, this being Justified, the Truth family were a bunch of rednecks with guns and rap sheets longer than Infinite Jest. But the meeting with them brought forth two essential truths: One, that it wasn't Drew Thompson's body that fell way back when — it was Waldo Truth's. Drew Thompson was the man that hired him, and Truth's wife had found a replacement husband to pose as Waldo for the last couple of decades — one that she likes enough to not stab in the ass. Two, that they're most likely being paid by someone to hide the (this is getting annoying) truth. First, because the youngest Truth kid pulled a mysterious envelope from their mailbox, second, because clearly someone must be bankrolling this fake marriage to keep the wifey from speaking. (Even though she hated him, wouldn't his death bring about some insurance money, or something?)
So, the squad has a lot of mystery solvin' to do. But one piece of the puzzle may have landed right on Raylan's doorstep: Earlier in the episode, we saw a bunch of rich dudes hosting a fight club in their backyard (the house looked a lot like the one in the flashback, but we'll see). One of the fighters — a Hulk-like beasty figure, not to be reckoned with — was not happy with his share of the winnings. Could this rich people fight club be somehow related to Drew Thompson, you ask? Well, I have truthfully no idea, but the Hulk-like beasty man is definitely going to fit in somewhere. At the end of the episode, he showed up at the bar and revealed himself to be the husband of the woman Raylan has been — how do I say this like a lady? — banging.
Speaking of being a lady: Ava didn't want Ellen May going to that Snake Church no mo. It was bad for business. And even though Johnny insisted that the Church was their main problem, Boyd didn't agree until a choir full of creepy singing children showed up to their bar, singing about salvation. Subtle, Timmy from Jurassic Park! So Boyd headed over to Sheriff Shelby, who — EXPOSITION — let us know that Timmy (whose name on this show is Billy) and his sister Cassie have been to five cities in three years, saving the slutty, the sick and the stoned from eternal damnation. According to Shelby, they have no arrest record and were probably just there to help. But like, come on.
So to Church Boyd went, and I'm thrilled as an alliteration enthusiast to say that he and Billy traded Bible barbs. Boyd used various lines of scripture to accuse Billy of being a false prophet exploiting the meek for their money, thus preventing them from inheriting the earth. So Billy, quite awesomely and convincingly, told the tent congregation that he would no longer accept payment of any kind. Boyd, you may have met your match.
Boyd, realizing that he had a real problem on his hands, sought out Wynn Duffy — he had leverage against the known weasel, as a heroin dealer that Boyd had earlier encountered "in his backyard" was from Frankfort, Dixie Mafia territory. Wynn was all "WTF do I care" and shot the dealer, dramatically refusing Boyd's offer at a heroin/oxy partnership. Aw, shucks. But then Wynn asked the golden question: Why did your boy Arlo murder a Dixie Mafia member in prison? Now, this was the first that Boyd had heard of any such murder. And do you reckon he'll do some pokin' around, thus getting somehow involved in Raylan's half of the season? I do!
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: Prashant Gupta/FX]
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January 09, 2013 4:54pm EST
Justified kicked off its fourth season in a big way: The FX drama's Season Four premiere garnered the show's highest ratings since its series debut. What better way to celebrate a brand new group of adventures about Kentucky lawman Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) than with some scoop on the upcoming year?
Executive producer Graham Yost and the cast shared some tidbits about the new season at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Here's what we learned:
- Raylan and Boyd will come to a crossroads in their relationship when Boyd tells Raylan explicitly that he doesn't like him. "It’s the first time he’s ever really kind of said it that way," says star Walton Goggins. "I think over the course of their relationship Boyd has seen their friendship as one thing and Raylan has seen it as something else. But at the end of this season they may see it the same way, and that is that they don’t like each other. We’ll see where it goes from there."
- Although the show lost regular Natalie Zea to Fox's creepy new thriller The Following, it didn't affect the storyline. Yost says he thinks Winona was fed up with Raylan's antics anyway. "It gave us the chance to have Raylan be a ladies man. I don’t understand it. The ladies like him — I don’t know why," he jokes of Olyphant's good looks. Besides, Zea's deal with The Following allows her to return for three or four episodes. She'll be back for Episode Five, and "you'll see her a couple more times this season," Yost says.
- The producers reached out to Patton Oswalt to appear in Season Three after they found out he was a fan of the show, but scheduling didn't work out. They immediately thought of him when they began writing the character of the constable. "Two writers … found out about this position in the counties of Kentucky of constable. We kind of loved the idea of a guy who’s a cop wannabe," Yost says. How long will he stick around? "As long as he’s willing to play and he wants to, we’d love to have him," he adds.
While FX's Justified follows an all-American hero as he fights bad guys, the network's new drama The Americans might make you think differently about the enemy. Set in 1981, the new show stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as undercover KGB spies during the Cold War. And creator Joe Weisberg would like you to root for them.
"I know it might be a little bit difficult to believe and get used to, [but] we want you to root for the KGB," Weisberg tells journalists during the show's panel. Jokes Russell, "What do you think?!"
Considering we know how the war turns out, don't worry. You won't be considered a traitor. But you can root for the actual Americans as well. "There’s an FBI side of the story that’s told, and when you’re with them, the hope is you’ll root for them too," says executive producer Joel Fields. "It’s a show about marriage, and the marriage is an allegory for international relations. The show is about international relations, and the international relations are an allegory for the marriage. You kind of root for where you are emotionally in the scenes."
Here are a few more things to know about the series before it premieres on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. on FX:
- Timing was a very important factor in getting this Cold War-set show on the air. Says Weisberg, "I think if you tried to tell a story like this about Al Qaeda now I think it would be impossible." Thirty years gives added perspective.
- Weisberg's real-life CIA experience was an asset to Russell and Rhys. The CIA agent-turned-TV writer worked for the agency from 1990 to 1994, and taught the actors some of the skills he learned "down at the farm." Nothing too exciting, though. His main advice? "Don't look too sneaky."
- One of the things that affected Weisberg the most during his time in the CIA was watching the effect the job would have on families. "I think that one of the things I saw at the CIA that most affected me emotionally was how CIA officers and their families live this clandestine life," he says. They can't tell their kids what they do until they're old enough to keep a secret (usually around 14 or 15), when they have a big coming out conversation.
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[PHOTO CREDIT: FX (2)]
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January 09, 2013 1:30pm EST
Most of the time when I’m working you can find me sitting in a cubical, eating Skittles, and writing articles about the wide world of television. But sometimes, I’m the lucky girl in the sky-high heels who gets to attend red carpet premieres and network parties that are filled with so many pretty people that it almost hurts my eyes! Many of you know that the winter Television Critics Association is currently in full swing and for a TV enthusiast like me, it’s like I’m a kid in a candy store. But of course I have to do my best and be lady like, so my inner fan-girl feelings don’t frighten away the stars. Anyways, moving on! This week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List is packed with juicy details from five phenomenal shows. I chatted with the lovely Naya Rivera of Glee to get Santana’s feeling on Bram, and gathered scoop on what’s next for Toby on Pretty Little Liars. I also hit up the premiere of Justified to find out what’s next for Harlan county’s biggest badasses and chatted with the stars of Suburgatory and Deception to snag spoilers from upcoming episodes. Read on for all the TV craziness below!
Glee: Is NYC Ready for Santana?
My Dearest Glee-bees: In the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing every single cast member of Glee, except for the amazingly talented Naya Rivera. Every time I'd get close we'd run out of time. Sigh. However, on Tuesday night at the FOX semi-annual TCA all-star party, I was delighted to have the chance to finally talk with Rivera. Fun-Fact: She’s just as wonderful in person as you could imagine! And If you’re anything like me, then you desperately miss watching Santana singing on your TV screens each week. Well cheer up buttercup! Rivera told me that there is a lot coming up for our favorite fiery Latina. “She is actually doing big big things in the episode 'Diva' that we’re shooting right now.” Rivera says, “She gets to sing three songs. One of them is a Tina Turner powerhouse song, and then she has got some exciting news coming up. “ Hmm, any clue on what this “exciting news” could be Glee lovers?
Many fans are hoping that Santana will leave her cheerleading days in the past and move to The Big Apple with Rachel and Kurt to chase her dreams. So of course I made sure to ask if this brilliant idea could become a reality. The 25-year-old actress reveals, “I think it’s a very strong possibility.” All together now: Squee! And of course I couldn’t end our conversation without bringing up the newest couple to emerge in the Glee shipper-sphere: Bram — aka Brittany and Sam. Many people (this journalist included) can’t stand the idea of this new duo, so you can imagine my glee when Rivera told me how Santana feels about Brittany’s new beau. Rivera’s answer was short but sweet: “She hates it!” Any chance of a Santana/Sam smackdown? Rivera says with a coy laugh, “Maybe…” Well, my money is definitely on Santana!
2. Justified: Arlo Will Always Adapt
The FX hit Justified is finally back in our lives and if you missed Tuesday night’s season four premiere, you can catch up on all the Harlan drama right here! I had the pleasure of attending the Justified red carpet and premiere this past weekend where I chatted with the cast — and swooned over the handsomeness of Timothy Olyphant. (Hopefully he didn’t really notice when I caught a case of the fan-girl giggles...) One of my favorite characters is without a doubt Raylan’s law-avoiding father, so of course I had to talk with Raymond J. Barry about Arlo’s life behind bars this season. Barry says that just because Arlo is now in prison, it doesn't mean that he’s going to change his badass ways. “Arlo always has an ace up his sleeve," he says. "He’s a real survivor and he has very few tools except what he’s created for himself. No education, born in poverty — he learned how to survive as best he could, and if he’s in prison he’ll figure it out. That’s a whole other world, there’s a code of ethics and you learn how to do it.”
Barry also reveals that although Raylan is furious that Arlo took the fall for Boyd’s crime, their father/son relationship is not completely severed. Barry says, “They’re still talking. The thing is, Raylan doesn’t expect Arlo to change. It’s beyond that. And the environment is such that you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.” Barry says that Raylan and Arlo have very similar characteristics, it’s just that they chose different paths in life: “He chose the straight and narrow — he’s a cop, right? He gets paid for that and I get paid for what I do.”
3. Suburgatory: Oooh Barracuda!
You all know how I feel about Surburgatory: Basically if I could hug this show I would never ever let it go. So when I chatted on the phone with the amazing Cheryl Hines last week, I was thrilled to learn about all the Chatswin craziness that is coming up. Everyone knows that Dallas Royce and Sheila Shay are not exactly besties — in fact they usually can’t stand each other. Well fans had better start making their Team Dallas and Team Sheila shirts pretty soon, because there’s a musical battle headed to Suburgatory. Hines explains, “Well there is an episode coming up where George decides to star a garage band with the guys in the neighborhood. And you know Dallas thinks it’s very cute and George says no, it’s just a guy thing and we’re in the garage so we’re just playing with the guys.”
Of course, when is Dallas ever going to let a man tell her what to do? And then the trouble begins: “I walk in and Sheila Shay is signing “Barracuda” with the boys, and she’s really good! She basically tells me that I don’t need to be there and be the Yoko Ono of the group.” Oh snap! Hines continues, “So no we’re not making cookies together quite yet.” Looks like we still have a long way to go before we’re going to see Dallas and Sheila hanging out at the Chatswin Country Club together. At least there are going to be plenty of hilarious episodes in the meantime!
4. Deception: Not Just a “Who Done It?” Drama
Deception is the newest high-class murder mystery drama to hit NBC, and while it is very similar in tone to last year’s Revenge, it is still going to be a fun primetime soap opera to get hooked on. Especially because of the oh-so handsome Wes Brown, who dazzles in his scenes as Julian, the brother of the recently murdered deceased Vivian. I caught up with Brown at NBC’s TCA party earlier this week, and learned that he loves his character just as much as I do! “The Julian character — I mean, what’s not to love? He’s this mega-rich playboy who is a little too smart for his own good. It’s an intriguing character to play, and he’s nothing like myself in real life.” (Side-Note: Yep, that’s true. For example, Brown drives a Prius, not an Aston Martin like Julian. Hooray for the environment!)
The actor says that audiences are going to have fun trying to figure out all the mysterious of this Monday night drama. “I can’t wait for fans to see how much more there is to the series other than just the whodunnit of Vivian Bowers. To those who have only seen the pilot, there is so much more in the first season, and you’re going to be hooked.” Brown concludes, “All I can say is it’s an absolute roller coaster of a series.” If it’s anything like Revenge’s first season than you can bet I’ll be ready to watched every week at 10 pm sharp!
5. Pretty Little Liars: Terrifying Toby!
Pretty Little Liars is one of those shows that has it all: an always intriguing plot, hot boys, and wardrobe-inspiring fashion choices. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve Googled Spencer’s shoes or Aria’s necklaces…) Now that the drama of Rosewood is back for the second half of season three, I sweet-talked my way into snagging some details from Executive Producer Oliver Goldstick. Fans were shocked Tuesday night, with a terrifying Toby fully embracing his black hoodie in the opening of the episode. That dark look in his eyes as he chased a skateboarding Lucas down the street was beyond intense, but Goldstick reminded me that we’ve seen that look once before. “I want you to look back. I wrote the third episode in the series and Toby was coming down that hallway when he returned to Rosewood, and that’s the same look on his face.”
Goldstick says fans need to think back to when we first met Toby, and why the four friends were so scared of him. “He was somebody who had a lot going on that he wasn’t revealing, and there’s a lot of mystery to this character," he says. "His relationship with Jenna, we’ve never met his parents — we don’t really know what goes on inside that house, and so we’ve always kept him as sort of an enigmatic character for a reason. I think now is the time to pay it off." Many fans like me are hoping that Toby is only pretending to be a member of the A Team in order to protect the liars and his lady love Spencer. However, when I suggested this speculation to Goldstick, the EP was quick to shoot it down. “Well that’s a fine theory, but I think you’re going to find in the next couple episodes that he may have been on this A side the whole time — and may have been infiltrating the pretty little liars. That’s what is more shocking and more devastating for our girls and especially Spencer. We explore that more in this season with this infiltration. It wasn’t the A Team, it was them.“ Nooo! Say it ain’t so, Toby!What do you think Santana’s “exciting news” will be on Glee? Looking forward to a new season of Justified? How do you think Spencer will feel when she finds the truth about Toby? Tell me everything in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
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January 09, 2013 11:57am EST
Everything is different, yet nothing's changed: the Season 4 premiere of Justified was a wacky, wild ride — albeit one that set the stage for a really intriguing season, with Raylan barely holding on as a f***ed up, brokenhearted mess, and Boyd gleefully managing the Harlan criminal enterprise with the love of his life by his side. Even though these two characters make magic when they're on screen together, Tuesday's episode (and, from what we hear, the next few) found both men on two equally engaging (and equally batshit) separate journeys. One involved braces, breasts, and a secret bag from the '80s, the other a "snake church" run by Timmy from Jurassic Park. Basically, if last night can be used as an indicator, Season 4 is going to be really, really fun, and a departure from last year's darker fare.
Let's start with Raylan, whose wild ride began with good intentions: He received a late night call from one of the many hotties he's spent the night with, only this one wasn't a booty call — the woman was a bounty hunter, who would pay up if Raylan could deliver an escaped parolee convicted of double homicide. Easy enough, and Raylan needed the money for his unborn baby with she-who-will-not-be-named (okay, Winona). He caught the chatty criminal before I had time to grab my popcorn from the microwave, delivering one of many memorable lines from last evening after the man continually excused his actions (They were heroin dealers! They totally deserved to get murdered!). "You run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. You run into assholes all day, you're the asshole."
Truer words, Raylan. (Also, pot-kettle?) But the unlikely duo was about to encounter two criminal (and one well-meaning) assholes — Raylan received another late-night call as he attempted to drive his bounty over the state line, this time from comedian Patton Oswalt, known here as Constable Bob Sweeney. Sweeney, an old high school classmate, had been watching over Arlo's house while the old man rotted in prison, and a couple of kids had broken in and stolen some copper (more on them later). Raylan locked his bounty in his trunk and went over to investigate, and while poor Bob — who never amounted to anything after high school — prattled endlessly about long-forgotten high school victories, Raylan found what the kids were really looking for: a bag containing the 1979 driver's license of one Waldo Truth. (Aside: This is probably where I should mention that the episode began with a flashback to the early '80s, where a man fell from the sky with a bunch of bricks of what looked like cocaine. End of flashback.)
Raylan took the bag, not thinking much of it, and went over to the hardware store to buy some copper. There he ran into the female half of the teen duo from Arlo's house, who promptly enticed him with a literal and metaphoric screw (while wearing braces) and flashed her ample chest. But Raylan's an ass-man, and not a statutory rapist, so he politely declined her generous request...
... Which ended up to be a poorly-planned ruse. While she flashed her goodies, her boyfriend ran off with Raylan's car — which, if you remember, carried an escaped parolee in the truck. Bob told Raylan that most of the stolen cars in town end up immediately crushed in a junkyard for $500, so they hightailed it over to Criminal N' Sons Shady Illegal Activities Junkyard to retrieve it, and him. The man had already been freed by the wonder twins, who were holding him in the shed at gunpoint. This all led to a classic Justified-ian sequence where Raylan had several guns pointed at him, but somehow got out of it based on a stroke of luck — or, this time, a stroke of Bob. Bob stabbed the teen girl — who was being held by the parolee — in the foot, giving him time to regain control and announce to the duo that he knew they wanted the bag, not the copper or the car. Phew. Got that? This marked the end of Raylan's first adventure with Constable Bob, but he's a great comedic foil for Raylan who has been a total laconic downer his entire life, so I'm very excited to see more of him and his adorable man-crush on Raylan. See you on Twitter, Patton.
Of course, this wasn't the end of "The Tale of the Mysterious Bag" for Raylan — not by a long shot. He finally went over to see his filicide-enthusiast father in prison, who swore on his dead wife's life that he knew nothing of the bag. This would have been the end of it, until he said "Put that bag back in the wall and forget about it." Raylan hadn't said the bag was in the wall, so, sorry dead wife. It will probably be awhile before we find out the importance of Waldo Truth's old driver's license, but apparently it's worth approximately the cost of a man's life — a fellow inmate had the unfortunate luck of overhearing Arlo and Raylan's conversation, and when he approached the old goon later that night, he was rewarded with a stab to the jugular. Believe it or not, this was actually the second murder of the night.
Which brings us to Boyd, arguably the most fantastic person on television right now besides Daryl Dixon. Boyd was using his patented, twisted manner of speech to interrogate a former Oxy dealer (late on his payment) who had recently been saved by one "Last Chance Holiness Church." Boyd, wonderfully, used Biblical verse to justify (hey!) selling pills, comparing them to modern-day wine (albeit in pill form), which Jesus was totally a fan of. "I've got to be honest now, Boyd," the frightened man said. "A lot of the time the way you say things, I can't make hide nor hair." Ha! But that's what makes him beautiful, girl. Also, this line totally came full circle at the end of the episode when Boyd's lack of verbal clarity led to the same man being shot in the face. But more on that later.
In a sequence that fit in wonderfully with the whimsical, comedic tone of the episode, Ellen May (the hooker Ava punched) returned — stupid as ever, snorting a white substance with a john. This john handed her a fake million or billion or trillion dollar bill advertising the very same Last Chance Holiness Church, which they used, hilarrrriously, as their snorting vessel. Of course the show needed a way to bring the strung out Ellen May to the church, so she had a little mishap — the john made her close her eyes, and when he came back into the room for some sexy times, he was dressed AS A GIANT BEAR. You guys, he was a furry. I only found out what this was very recently, and it is endlessly frightening. Ellen May thought so too, so she shot at him several times — not enough to kill him, but enough to scare her into sobriety re: the Church.
So for Boyd and Ava — who are adorably running a large portion of Harlan's criminal enterprise with the whoring and the Oxy — the Church was already becoming a problem. Enter Boyd's mysterious, definite no-goodnik war buddy, Colt (Ron Eldard!), who had been recently discharged due to bad behavior (shooting his comrade in the arm). Boyd offered his old pal a job, effective immediately — then went over to take care of the Oxy payment once and for all: by putting dynamite between the former dealer's legs. He revealed the location of the money he owed, leading to the aforementioned verbal misunderstanding: "Take care of him," Boyd said to Colt. Boyd meant "tie him loose," but Colt took it as "shoot him in the head!" Hey, we all make mistakes. "Well, I guess I have to be more careful with my words," Boyd crooned. The night ended with a peek at the Timmy-led Church (with Ellen May in attendance), which consisted of people holding up snakes on folding chairs in a tent in the woods. This, apparently, is how you get sober in Harlan. All in all, it was a wonderful return for a show that got a little too dark last season, introducing a gaggle of new characters and plot lines that are sure to bring new life to the already vivid series. Your thoughts, pray tell? Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna [PHOTO CREDIT: Prashant Gupta/FX] MORE: Raylan Returns: What to Know Before 'Justified' Debuts, Guns Blazing 'Justified' Gets Season 4: More Timothy Olyphant Shooting Junkies 'Cougar Town' Season Premiere React: Same Old 'Cougar Town', Now with Sex Jokes!
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January 08, 2013 6:14am EST
Sigh. It feels like it was only yesterday when we last left Raylan Givens and co., with his nemesis Quarles lying on the ground with a bloody stump, and Raylan himself bleeding from the inside due to the several emotional wounds opened by various members of his family. But it wasn't, and tonight, Justified will make its triumphant Season 4 return — complete with snakes, flashbacks, and Twitter-happy comedians. Hollywood.com was able to attend Justified's premiere in Los Angeles last week, and we're here to fill you in on what you missed last season, and to mercilessly tease you with quotes from the stars on what's to come. Read on, hill people!
Where We Left Off: Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) was already having a pretty rough go of it — his pregnant on-again-off-again Winona (Natalie Zea) left him, and began trolling Orbitz for flights to Costa Rica. His arch-nemesis Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) was finally in jail for murdering his former associate, but he was released when Raylan's own father, Arlo (Raymond J. Barry), confessed to the crime — effectively choosing his buddy-in-crime over his son.
Things were (sort of?) looking up when Season 3's big bad Quarles (Neal McDonough) got his arm hacked off by Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson), but the pale bastard used up his last words telling Raylan that Arlo only shot Trooper Tom because he mistook him for Raylan. And you thought Boyd had daddy issues?
Biggest Jaw-Dropper Last Season: Well, besides the aforementioned attempted filicide, the ruthless murder of Winona's other ex-husband, Gary, was a shocker.
Biggest Let-Down From Last Season: Last season was pretty stellar, but it would be nice to see Raylan's co-workers actually do something. This isn't Dexter, after all.
Most Improved Character: Arlo was always interesting, but his ruthless deception and moral decrepitude was fascinating to watch, and we can't wait to see how it will continue to weigh on Raylan this season.
Least Improved Character: Tim (Jacob Pitts) and Rachel (Erica Tazel), though it's not really their fault that they never have anything to do.
5 Reasons You Should Keep Watching: First, there's the fact that comedian Patton Oswalt will recur as Constable Bob, a goof from Raylan's high school class who is assigned the difficult task of watching over Arlo's house, and who not-so-secretly has a man-crush on Raylan. Then there's the mysterious backwoods "Snake Church" that Boyd, Ava and co. become involved with over the first few episodes — a plot line that Goggins wasn't initially very happy about. "I'm not scared of many things, but snakes are one of the things that I’m most scared of in the world," Goggins says. "I read [the script] and I started sweating, like I couldn’t handle it. And at one point there’s a snake in a box that I had to pick up, and that freaked me out. There’s not really anything that scares me in the way that snakes do, so yes — Walton Goggins did not want to go in that church as much as Boyd Crowder did not want to go in that church." Color us intrigued!
Meanwhile, Raylan will interact with a group called the "Hill People", while also tackling a deep family mystery, which means — you guessed it — FLASHBACKS! And since Raylan/Olyphant are both sexy as f***, we were very excited to hear the following news about the Deputy Marshall's love live: "Well, [Winona] left Raylan so he’s available to f*** up his life in every which way," Olyphant says.
What We Ultimately Want To See: More Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) and Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies, who won an Emmy for the role), though producer Graham Yost has hinted that their returns may not happen this year. It's a shame, because these two redneck extraordinaires steal every episode in which they appear. We'd also love to see Ava take on a larger role in the crime world, as Harlan County would be a very interesting place with the competent, fiery blonde running the show.
What Would Make Us Turn Our Backs: That would be extremely difficult, as Justified has been consistently engaging throughout the last three seasons. However, we will say that we're pretty sick of the Raylan/Winona drama.
Justified premieres Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 10pm on FX. Reporting by Leanne Aguilera Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna [PHOTO CREDIT: FX] MORE: 'Justified' Gets Season 4: More Timothy Olyphant Shooting Junkies 'Justified' (Season 3) TV Stills 'Justified' Recap: Who Took the Money? From Our Partners: ’Texas Chainsaw’: Top 5 Leatherface Kills (Moviefone) Quentin Tarantino’s Most Bad-Ass Music Moments (Moviefone)
August 06, 2012 8:34am EST
When perennial kids' favorite Sesame Street returns for its 43rd (!) season this September, there will be no shortage of A-list stars lending their talents — in expectedly adorable ways — to the award-winning children's program. While kids watching from home are kept amused by the show's colorful cast and bubbly segments, Sesame derives much of its parental entertainment value from brief pop-up appearances by high-caliber guest stars who surprise the adult audience with endearing songs, lessons and overall heartwarming affection for the show's resident Muppets.
Joining the Sesame crew this season are Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Steve Carell, Don Cheadle, Common, Zac Efron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Blake Griffin, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, David Hyde Pierce, Matt Kemp, Mario Lopez, Melissa McCarthy, Timothy Olyphant, Paula Patton, Maya Rudolph, Amy Ryan, Dax Shepard, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Eric Stonestreet, rock band Train and Wendy Williams.
Entertainment Weekly reported the starry list of individuals and teased some of the pop culture spoofs that we can also expect (for Cookie Monster's "Call Me Maybe" cover and 12 other excellent viral videos from the Sesame team, we've got you covered). Among the puppet parodies this season will be a body part-centric send-up of The Voice, a dizzy directions lesson called "Upside Downton Abbey," and a series of 11-minute math-focused segments called "Elmo: The Musical."
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July 18, 2012 7:30am EST
Tomorrow morning the television world will find itself rocked when Kerry Washington and Nick Offerman announce the nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards (which has a snazzy new poster, left). Will Parks & Recreation finally get its due? Will Homeland or Downton Abbey upset the drama categories' status quo? Will Girls, New Girl and Veep make a splash and join the ranks of recurring comedy favorites?
It's a year that could be loaded with some pleasant (and some not-so-pleasant) surprises, and we'll all find out tomorrow morning. For now, our team of TV experts at Hollywood.com has compiled our predictions for who will get honored, who will get bumped and who will throw Emmy voters for a wild loop. Check out our predictions below, and check back in for our Emmys coverage in the weeks leading up to the ceremony (which Jimmy Kimmel will host at L.A.'s Nokia Theatre on September 23rd):
Best Drama Series
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Sons of Anarchy
Homeland’s in. Dexter’s out. With Downton Abbey submitting as a drama instead of a miniseries, there’s a shake-up to be had, and the show perhaps most in jeopardy is The Good Wife (which had its "moment" last year).
Best Comedy Series
Parks & Recreation
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
It’s a surprisingly wishy-washy year for a usually solid category. Don’t count on The Office like Emmy has in years past; instead, place your bets on newcomers New Girl or Girls (there’s a trend here somewhere) to nab a spot. Although Curb Your Enthusiasm will enthusiastically return to the category, the equally-deserving Louie may have to fight for a major nomination (Louis C.K. himself will get a nod, perhaps in redemption). And never count out dark horse Community, which is having a much buzzed-about year.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men)
Joel McHale (Community)
Will Arnett (Up All Night)
Adam Scott (Parks & Recreation)
Parsons and Baldwin are category staples, and C.K. is having the best year of his career, so the first half of the ballot is already set. The Academy has shown no lack of love for Jon Cryer, who is submitting for lead this year (and will probably be happily surprised); new co-star Ashton Kutcher also submitted for lead, but he likely won’t find himself at the top of the bill (it’ll either be big name Don Cheadle or Big Bang’s once-nominated Johnny Galecki). You can bet that either Joel McHale (probably) or Will Arnett (probably not) will take a sixth spot for their comedic romps in two of this year’s buzziest comedies.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Laura Dern (Enlightened)
Christina Applegate (Up All Night)
Laura Linney (The Big C)
Jane Levy (Suburgatory)
Laura Linney, Martha Plimpton and Edie Falco will make room — and rightfully so — for funnier performances by Deschanel, Dunham and Louis-Dreyfus. It’s also important to remember that Melissa McCarthy’s nod-and-win last year was largely reactionary, thanks to Bridesmaids; her spot this year for Mike & Molly is not guaranteed. Laura Dern could fill a sixth slot, if Linney doesn’t steal it back.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Damian Lewis (Homeland)
Kelsey Grammer (Boss)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Dustin Hoffman (Luck)
Timothy Olyphant (Justified)
Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey)
Jason Isaacs (Awake)
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Obviously with five “shoo-ins,” the entire category looks to be mostly locked, as it is every year. Buscemi, Hamm and Cranston won’t budge, and Laurie will stay on the ballot for the last season of House. Expect Michael C. Hall to be given the boot from his usual slot to make room for Homeland’s brilliant enigma Damian Lewis. The sixth spot could go to Kelsey Grammer, an obvious choice for the middling Boss, but Grammer likely won’t get the same love from Emmy that he got from the HFPA at the Globes earlier this year. If Downton Abbey dominates the year overall, patriarch Hugh Bonneville could fill the vacancy; otherwise, it’s a toss-up between Dustin Hoffman, Timothy Olyphant and Hall again.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy)
Glenn Close (Damages)
Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey)
Debra Messing (Smash)
Madeleine Stowe (Revenge)
The race for leading actress is relatively inflexible — Margulies and Danes will duke it out for the actual trophy, while mainstay Hargitay will more than likely keep her prime spot on the shortlist (whether or not she deserves to is another matter). Elisabeth Moss will definitely make the cut after another consistent season-long performance on Mad Men. Glenn Close will probably have the edge on the criminally under-awarded Katey Sagal, while wildcard (and Emmy crush) Debra Messing could pop up to demonstrate the Academy’s courteous appreciation for Smash.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation)
Ed O’Neill (Modern Family)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Jeremy Piven (Entourage)
Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)
When it comes to the Modern Family guys, Burrell and Stonestreet are guaranteed locks, but O’Neill and Ferguson — who have been jilted in the past — are only high-possibility potentials (O'Neill had a stronger season presence, and Ferguson had an impressive finale). NPH must be relieved that Jon Cryer has bumped himself up to the leading race, but he faces competition from newcomer Max Greenfield, the fan favorite of Fox’s New Girl. The wrench in the plan is either Nick Offerman, who may finally earn his much-deserved nomination for Parks & Recreation, or Jeremy Piven, who could return to glory for the final season of Entourage (but probably won’t).
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Betty White (Hot in Cleveland)
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Kristin Chenoweth (GCB)
Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory)
Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
Maya Rudolph (Up All Night)
No surprises lie with Bowen, Vergara or Wiig — and, frankly, with White, although her inclusion is more of a necessity than a commentary on the Emmy worthiness of Hot in Cleveland. Hines is a fan favorite and Chlumsky shines on Veep, but it’s Kristin Chenoweth who will mark this season’s new addition to the ballot for her star turn on GCB (smart move, submitting as supporting, even though ads for the cancelled soap played her up as its lead).
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire)
Walton Goggins (Justified)
Robert Sean Leonard (House)
Jared Harris (Mad Men)
Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men)
Could Robert Sean Leonard’s return to House’s final season or Jared Harris’s emotional finale on Mad Men mean nominations that bump out John Slattery or Michael Pitt? Potentially, although more so for Leonard than Harris. But I’d count on Mandy Patinkin popping up in this category alongside favorites Dinklage, Paul and Charles. (Oh, and Esposito is compulsory here.)
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire)
Megan Hilty (Smash)
January Jones (Mad Men)
Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men)
Anjelica Huston (Smash)
Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time)
It’s a damn free-for-all in this category, but there’s surprisingly little wiggle room. Megan Hilty could eke out a nomination for standing out (for all the right reasons) on Smash, but it’s no promise, especially considering that the Smash presence at the Emmys may be limited. If not Hilty, then Mad Men’s January Jones may get another chance to win for her impressive Fat Betty.
How'd we do? Think we got it right, or totally wrong? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences]
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June 18, 2012 9:56am EST
This year, the race for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy is tighter than the belly on Jessica Simpson's maternity dresses during month 10 and a half. It's an absolute embarrassment of riches, with 53 eligible actors and at least 15 worthy leading men with a really good shot of landing a nomination. How the heck are we going to figure out who will be in the running?
Since the nomination process is based on math, then we should leave it up to numbers to determine who should get his tux cleaned and who should work on his Emmy reel for next year. I devised a formula that certainly isn't foolproof, but might be a good indicator of who the favorites are.
First off, each actor gets one point for being a male because, if he is not, then he's not going anywhere in this category. Then add in the number of previous Emmy nominations, because, for whatever reason, the Academy loves to reward the same gentlemen year after year. Then I added the number of Emmy wins, because the Academy also loves to give the same people the same trophies. Then I subtracted the number of years the series had been on the air because, while the Academy rewards actors who have inhabited a role for a long time, it also penalizes older series. However, a show gets +5 points if it is in its final season and going off the air (think long-time favorites like House and Desperate Housewives), since this is the last time the show can be recognized. A show also gets -5 points if it has been canceled (think Men of a Certain Age), because the Academy doesn't want to reward a show that won't be on the air anymore.
Alright, here is where things get a little crazy. To that total an actor gets +10 points if his show is on broadcast TV, which always has a better shot than cable. However he gets +15 points if his show is on HBO, a network that gives an actor an even better shot than broadcast TV. He also gets +5 if is show is on AMC, because that network has a better shot than all the other cable networks (sorry Showtime). An actor also gets +10 points for every Oscar he's won, because the Emmys love taking Oscar's sloppy seconds. An actor also gets +10 points if his show has critical buzz (like Mad Men or Homeland). Then, we have to add in the average number of viewers for the most recent season of the show in millions (so if a show averages 3 million viewers, we add 3 to the total). Finally, the whole total was divided by the showiness of the role based on a scale of three: One being the most showy roles and three being the most stoic, because Emmy voters always reward the histrionic over the silent.
Here is the boiled down formula:
[1 point for being a male] + [Number of previous Emmy nominations] + [Number of previous Emmy wins] - [Number of years the show has been on the air (+5 if the show is in final season, -5 if it has been cancelled)] + [10 points for network TV, 15 for HBO, 5 for AMC] + [10 points for each Oscar won] + [10 points for critics' favorite] + [Number of viewers] / [Showiness of the role] = Possibility of Emmy nomination
Here are the scores for the 15 people I thought were frontrunners, and the top six are the ones likely to be in contention for the big award.
Hugh Laurie, House = 30.7
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad = 24
Dustin Hoffman, Luck = 18
Ted Danson, CSI: Original Recipe = 14.25
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey = 14.15 or 11.6*
Michael C. Hall, Dexter = 13.5
Denis Leary, Rescue Me = 12.3
William H. Macy, Shameless = 11.4
Kelsey Grammer, Boss = 11.2
Ray Romano, Men of a Certain Age = 7.57
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias = 7.25
Jon Hamm, Mad Men = 6.83
Steve Buschemi, Boardwalk Empire = 6.67
Damian Lewis, Homeland = 6.3
Timothy Olyphant, Justified = 3.83
The reason Hugh Bonneville has an aterisk next to his name is because his show is a huge hit across the pond and, while its PBS ratings aren't anything to scoff at, if you factor in the international ratings, his number is high enough to tip him over the edge into the top six. However, if you only factor in American ratings, he falls below the nomination threshold.
The other anomaly is how low Jon Hamm scored, mostly due to the fact that his Don Draper is more of a jaw clencher than a scenery chewer. I saw that Hamm should take Bonneville's place in the top six and our nominees will be Hugh Laurie, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Ted Danson, Jon Hamm, and Michael C. Hall. (I also wouldn't be shocked if Damian Lewis sneaks in there too, but due to his show's young age and low ratings, even the buzz wasn't enough to elevate his score.)
Will we be right? We'll have to check back in on July 19 — when nominations are announced — to find out!
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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