September 16, 2012 7:35pm EST
That Bobby Cannavale was so much nicer on Will & Grace.
When the last season of Boardwalk Empire closed out with a bullet to the head of Jimmy Darmody — the character whom many considered to be the backbone of the HBO series — fans felt more or less unconvinced that the show could carry on with the same weight or emotional investment it had managed through its first two years on air. Season 2 especially lent its primary focus to Jimmy, shifting away from Nucky for entire episodes to lend development and examination to Michael Pitt’s tortured war veteran, absent father and husband, criminal protégée to the Atlantic County treasurer, and incestuous son to Gretchen Mol’s Gillian Darmody. Boardwalk seemed like Jimmy’s show, where it had begun under the premise that it was Nucky’s alone. The mentality behind this strategy — shifting gears only to drop Jimmy in the end of the season, thus reverting back to Nucky as the central antihero — was perplexing. The aftermath does seem to bear evidence to its birth from this confusion.
Nucky’s story kicks off, on the eve of 1923, with Steve Buscemi’s master crook conducting business — with partners Munya “Manny” Horvitz (William Forsythe), Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks), and right-hand-man Owen Sleater (Charlie Cox, now a cast regular — and instituting a new procedure for the distribution of alcohol. Nucky will sell exclusively to Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg), a fact that disappoints the likes of George Remus (Glenn Fleshler), et al, but particularly enrages season newcomer Gyp Rosetti (Cannavale).
We meet Rosetti in the episode’s introductory scene. Automotive complications land him roadside, taking a favor from a passing dog owner with a case of oil in his car. An innocuous remark from the good Samaritan sends Rosetti into enough of a rage to bash the man’s head in with a crowbar; later on, this rage (albeit not exacted) is apparent in Rosetti’s conversation with Nucky about the latter’s decision to cut off his distribution of alcohol. Nucky’s decision is sparked by the advice of his politician “friend” Harry Daugherty (Christopher McDonald), who wants Nucky to be more careful lest he find himself (and his allies — Daugherty included) the subject of a news story for illicit business. Thus, Nucky tidies up his act to the point of dealing only with Rothstein. But obviously, Rosetti was not introduced into this series to be the kind of guy who takes news like this calmly.
So what’s the angle here? A rougher, more unpredictable enemy? That seems to be the sell: Rosetti’s actions are meant to shock us, to suggest that he’s the exception to this organized game. As if most of Nucky’s would-be assailants so far have maintained spotless records of calculation or professionalism. Detective Van Alden (Michael Shannon) is a venerable psychopath. Al Capone (Stephen Graham) is a childlike hothead. We’re reminded of the latter in this very episode. This show has never had its deficit of unbalanced foes, so what makes Rosetti so compelling or unique that he should be able to lead the peril (for Nucky) in Season 3? And if he isn’t meant to do so, then who or what is?
I suppose Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) might provide Nucky with a fair share of enmity, although of a different sort. In the premiere, we see a refresh of her feministic values — she celebrates female pilot Carrie Duncan’s pioneering of the breakdown of gender barriers, and looks toward the institution of a program for the hospital (of which she and Nucky are benefactors) that would help teach pregnant women about prenatal care. Her ambitions get in the way of Nucky’s business; this disparity in interests will undoubtedly escalate toward the crumbling of their marriage this season. Nucky is already seen enjoying extramarital encounters. The question is, how significant will the destruction of Nucky’s and Margaret’s relationship become? Will she also pose a threat to his career? Will his love for and investment in her children become the real issue for Buscemi’s character? Or will he prove entirely heartless and risk or discard everything in the name of success and glory?
The memory of the fallen Darmodys is more present over in an Atlantic City brothel run by Gillian, although it is not Jimmy’s mother who is holding onto the spirit of her son or his wife Angela (Aleksa Palladino, who was murdered by Horvitz last season) — it’s Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), the series’ breakout character with a hopeless devotion to both deceased parties (Angela especially). While Gillian is bent on erasing all recollection of Jimmy and Angela in the mind of their son Tommy — her son now, as far as she’s concerned — Richard makes it a point to teach young Tommy about his beautiful, golden-hearted mother... until Gillian catches an earful and demands ever-so-manipulatively that he keep his mouth shut. “Look to the future,” she suggests. He’s not really into that. Instead, he heads out for the night and shoots Manny Horvitz dead right in the man’s doorway.
As interesting a character as Richard is, it seems unpromising to think that Huston will be shafted alongside young Tommy this season. The murder of Manny might suggest that Richard will be out on the warpath of revenge, maybe hunting down the likes of Eli Thompson (Shea Whigham), Mickey, and Nucky himself. Of course, then the show would really be over, so we shouldn’t actually expect that.
Meanwhile, over in Illinois, Al Capone is still a hot-blooded gangster, but another old friend has turned over a new leaf: Van Alden, who is now going by alter ego George Mueller, working as a door-to-door salesman, and living in a cramped apartment with an unhappy Sigrid (Christiane Seideil) and his daughter Abigail. But Van Alden is pulled back into the game by chance, when he happens upon a run-in between Capone and Irish gangster Dean O’Banion (Arron Shiver). Helping O’Banion out of a jam with an improvised performance as the man’s hired gun, Van Alden earns the crook’s favor and a job offer. He might be getting his first full-fledged step onto the criminal side of the prohibition deal… and perhaps might see his first shine of financial fortune since we met him.
Of the stories introduced in the premiere, Van Alden’s is the most interesting, if only to see where the depths of his psycho character will fall next. The man has no discernible sense of reality. His staunch appreciation of right and wrong cannot be defined, as he is so far gone from a sane mind that any viewer would be hard pressed to identify what he deems appropriate. All this, delivered expertly by Shannon, makes for an undoubtedly exciting story to come this year.
Unfortunately, Nucky’s case does not hold the same luster. Sure, Cannavale might be a fun addition to the series. But is he really anything new? Just another egomaniacal crook with his finger perpetually on the trigger? Jimmy’s absence is palpable in this premiere, as you can’t forge the kind of relationship that he and Nucky had between any other two characters on this show. Their mutual broken-hearted hatred, sorrow, distrust, sense of betrayal, it was the show’s lifeblood. And now all we have is another angry mobster who wants his rum. Hopefully, Van Alden’s adventures to come are strong enough to carry both stories. Maybe with a little help from Richard?
Episode Body Count: 4
Season Body Count: 4
[Photo Credit: HBO]
'Boardwalk Empire': A Deep Dive
'Saturday Night Live' Recap: Seth MacFarlane Gets Laughs, and the Boys Take Over
'The X Factor' Premiere Part 2: You Can't Be Pretty And Talented
September 16, 2012 8:00am EST
Over the next few months, we’ll see new series soar, old series sour, and so much Jersey Shore madness, we’ll want to shower. Let’s face it: The Fall TV season is intimidating. With dozens of new and returning shows hitting our small screens, we know we have some big choices to make. So, to help you determine what to watch, we’re digging deep into the most notable series premiering this season. Where did each show leave off? Where is it headed? And who should you watch it with? Today, we're checking out the return of Boardwalk Empire... a series that left us with a particularly unexpected, jaw-dropping, and (as many believe) show-destroying cliffhanger (of which there are a few spoilers below). But can it pick up the pieces?
Series: Boardwalk Empire
Premiere Date: Sunday, Sept. 16 at 9:00 PM ET
Number of Seasons: Two going on three.
You'll Like It If: You thought the Roaring '20s were a better time. A simpler time. A time when machine gun violence was at an all-time high, and the legal distribution of alcohol was at an all-time low.
You Won't Like It If: You thought killing off Michael Pitt's character was the absolute worst move the series could make, and that the life of the show died along with Jimmy Darmody.
Cast: Everybody's third favorite actor Steve Buscemi leads a cast of Brave heroine Kelly Macdonald, that-guy-from-Hugo-sans-beard Michael Stuhlbarg, back-from-the-dead Omar Little Michael K. Williams, the haunting Michael Shannon, the even-more-haunting Gretchen Mol, and welcoming cast newbie Bobby Cannavale.
Behind the Camera: Great names like Martin Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg, Terence Winter, and Tim Van Patten. You can't beat that hand.
Synopsis: Atlantic County treasurer Nucky Thompson runs the New Jersey boardwalk, with varying degrees of success (and legitimacy). Nucky controls the crooked cops, the crime rings, the illegal distribution of alcohol... unfortunately, in a business like his, you amount a good sum of enemies.
Where We Left Off Last Season: Nucky had just offed longtime rival and longertime surrogate son Jimmy Darmody; Commodore Kaestner had been killed (by his not-so-surrogate son Jimmy Darmody); Nucky's brother Eli, the sheriff, was placed back firmly back in the treasurer's pocket; new land deals were being made to expand Nucky's control and distribution of alcohol; Det. Van Alden had high-tailed it to Illinois after undergoing some personal and professional difficulties. Additionally, Margaret had explored an extramarital affair with Owen Selater; afterwards, opted to sign some of her and Nucky's property over to the church as a means of seeking forgiveness.
What Might Happen This Season: Many fans have expressed concern that Jimmy's death could mean the end of the show as we know it. From the inception of the program on, Jimmy has served as a chief component of the series' backbone, providing both an emotionally tormented antihero and a rising threat to Boardwalk's main character, Nucky. Now that he's out of the picture, Nucky will seek villainy elsewhere: maybe with Bobby Cannavale's new addition? Plus, Nucky will have to wage his own war between his work life and his home life, as Margaret's disapproval of Nucky's business and her own increase in ruthlessness might pose a greater threat to Buscemi's central figure this year. Additionally, we will likely see a greater exploration of Nucky's relationship with his brethren overseas in Ireland. And are we actually going to get to see Al Capone do something this season?!
Who We'll Miss the Most: Jimmy was a dynamic force for sure, but the real loss can be attributed to the killing off of Aleksa Palladino's deeply depressed Angela. Although her screen time was never extensive, every second Palladino was featured was a treasure for the viewers. Also leaving the show is Season 1's up-on-her-high-horse showgirl/Season 2's tortured unwed mother Lucy Danziger, played by Paz de la Huerta.
Oh, The Places You'll Go: Though largely set on the Atlantic City boardwalk, the show has lent major focus to Chicago and New York City, with an increasingly prominent look at Pittsburgh.
Mood: Can veer pretty dark, especially when brother turns against brother, husband turns against wife, child turns against father... but on the lighter side, there's always Mickey Doyle with a "tasteful" one-liner.
Fan Favorite Characters: Shannon's psychotic Det. Nelson Van Alden, Jack Huston's suicidal World War I veteran Richard Harrow.
Most Cringeworthy Moment: Jimmy Darmody's exploration of an impulse of physical love with his own mother. Don't worry: he's gone now, so that shouldn't be happening anymore. Shudder...
Gore Factor: It is a series about organized crime, and it is on HBO, so you should prepare for some flinch-worthy blood gushers. At least once every two to three weeks, something will incite a disturbed "Augh!" from the viewer.
Attention Span Requirements: Boardwalk does have its fair share of hair-raising shocks and exciting scenes, but the midseason episodes do have the tendency to drag. The slow pace of some of the business-heavy scenes, and the dry nature of the setting and characters will warrant a degree of patience that you have to spend weeks in meditation classes to achieve.
Musical Prowess: The era-appropriate ballads vary from catchy to grating, but the theme song will stick with you through the week.
Educational Benefits of Watching: A history lesson, sort of! Learn about prohibition, about the Jazz Age, about real figures like Arnold Rothstein, Bugsy Siegel, and Al Capone. Of course, it's important to recognize that the show does take liberties before foregoing studies for your next U.S. History test; It is fiction, after all.
Halloween Costume Opportunism: You can put on an old suit and a fedora and call yourself Nucky, but nobody's really going to get it if you don't tell them. Richard Harrow is probably your best bet, although you could easily be mistaken for the Phantom of the Opera. For women, a simple flapper dress from H&M or a consignment store will do. Add a feather for a touch of that stage-girl feel. Maybe forgo mood inducers though. You don't want to end up like Lucy, do you?
Cultural Legacy: Boardwalk Empire is an equal-opportunity debaser, with all depicted cultures and ethnicities earning a criminal limelight: the Irish, Italians, Blacks, Jews, Christians, Germans, Polish, the Dutch... the list goes on.
Water Cooler Standings: The most important question of them all: will you be able to talk about this show with your friends, co-workers, fellow Subway riders? As most of the other big water cooler series, such as Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Mad Men won't be on air this fall, Boardwalk stands as one of the biggest and most "Did you see when...?"-prone dramas of the season. Competitors of course include Homeland and Dexter, but you're bound to have a few pals who don't subscribe to Showtime. As such, Boardwalk is a good bet to prove you're up to date with all things television.
[Photo Credit: HBO]
'Glee' Returns: A Deep Dive
'The New Normal': A Deep Dive
'The X Factor': A Deep Dive
September 11, 2012 1:09pm EST
Oh, the Emmys. These awards can be so crazy and unpredictable! Haha. Just kidding. That was a joke. The Emmys is sort of like a high school prom — the theme changes slightly every year and there is a different king and queen, but it's always the same party with the same streamers in the same gymnasium. That said, who would ever miss their prom?!
Certainly not me, but it does make discerning who is going to be Prom King and Queen — oh, sorry, Best Actor and Actress — kind of easy. And, just like in high school, the person holding the scepter isn't always the one who is most deserving. So, in anticipation of the Awards on Sunday, Sept. 23, here are my picks for who will win... and who should win. I didn't pick a Miss Congeniality, because we all know it would go to Heather Locklear anyway.
Best Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Will Win: Breaking Bad: The long reign of Mad Men will probably be coming to an end after four consecutive wins and the Academy will most likely reward this other critic's darling, which has a lot more punch and pizazz that voters usually like. That's what being on meth will do to ya! That is, unless these two AMC shows cannibalize each other's votes and we get another winner.
Should Win: Homeland: What this race really needed was some new blood... and there was no show bloodier than the first season of this Showtime hit. Not only was it twisty and unpredictable, it also had amazing performances and told a story that comments on the world we live in now, even a decade after 9/11.
Best Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Will Win: Modern Family: There is no doubt, this is everyone's favorite comedy. Even Ann Romney likes it! Even as it ages, there is no beating this crowd-pleaser.
Should Win: Girls: I was very skeptical of this HBO comedy when it started and I still can't stand most of the characters that populate Lena Dunham's Brooklyn, but that doesn't mean this show shouldn't be recognized. The season ended up being smart, funny, touching, insightful, and speaking to an audience that is otherwise ignored. This is one of those shows that, looking back, will be hailed as a watershed, and not just because it had a girl running through the streets on crack. Though that does help.
Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Will Win: Bryan Cranston: He's won every year he's been eligible and with good reason. Walter White is an absolute monster and it takes someone with the skill of Cranston to turn in a nuanced performance without turning him into another hammy version of Scarface. It leaves us all asking, "Malcolm in the where now?"
Should Win: Damian Lewis: Speaking of nuanced monsters, did you catch the range of emotions Lewis had to go through as a POW who may also be a secret terrorist? And he's not even an American. Does he get extra credit for the great Mid-Atlantic accent (and the shirtless scenes)?
Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Who Will Win: Louis CK: Wow, most of these nominees are staler than the bag of Bugles that fat Betty Draper left under the couch. Mr. CK ('cause he's nasty) is the only one doing anything exciting or original these days. This will be the ultimate consolation prize for his show not winning any other awards.
Who Should Win: None of these other jokers.
Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Who Will Win: Claire Danes: Can you say no to Angela Chase, especially with that head of preternaturally shiny hair? (It's so shiny!) But Danes did earn every vote as a trouble plagued CIA analyst who will do anything to stop a man she thinks is a terrorist. Including cussing more than a sailor who stubbed his toe.
Who Should Win: Elisabeth Moss: Another season and another great turn for Peggy Olson, especially with her arc allowing her to come into her own and leave Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce. What does this girl gotta do to win an award?
Best Leading Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Who Will and Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The Academy loves to reward a veteran and, as the only Seinfeld survivor to go on to a successful TV career, Louis-Dreyfus is definitely a vet. But it was her turn as this simultaneously harried and charismatic Vice President that makes her actually deserve this award. Her reading a PSA script from a teleprompter was done as a bit to run with the closing credits, but it was one of the funniest minutes of comedy on the air last year.
Best Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Who Will Win: American Horror Story: Ryan Murphy scared the bejesus out of all of us. No, it wasn't because of the frights in this horror story, but because the show did everything a TV show shouldn't do: It had a storyline that only lasted one season, it kill off the leads, and it honed a talented acting troupe for seasons to come. His risk should pay off for the ultimate reward. No, I don't mean he'll be visited by a guy in a gimp suit (though he might like that).
Who Should Win: Hatfields & McCoys: I'm still not entirely convinced that AHS is a miniseries or movie or if it should be competing in the Best Drama category. If it's not a miniseries, then the statue should go to this crowd-pleaser, which not only brought back the genre as we used to know it, but proved it could be a gigantic hit.
Best Leading Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece)
Idris Elba, Luther
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Who Will Win: Kevin Costner: The miniseries or movie categories were basically invented so that the Emmys could get movie stars to attend. And it does this with the promise of gold. It probably won't be any different this year than last year when Kate Winslet won.
Who Should Win: Idris Elba: Call it the Revenge of Stringer Bell.
Best Leading Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Connie Britton, American Horror Story
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch (Masterpiece)
Ashley Judd, Missing
Who Will and Should Win: Julianne Moore: With four movie stars in this category, poor Connie Britton (who is quite deserving in her own right) doesn't stand a chance. While Kidman may be the bigger star, it's Moore's stunning transformation into Sarah Palin that should rivet voters. We can almost see her winning from our house.
Best Reality Competition
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Who Will Win: Amazing Race: Ugh, again! When will it end?
Who Should Win: Anyone else: Amazing Race has been a snooze since the Bush Administration, but Academy voters don't know any other shows and think an around the world vacation with their significant other sure looks fun. That's why they keep voting for this. Enough! There are plenty of reality shows on TV — choose someone else! I would go with The Voice, for being the only show to shake up the singing competition formula with any real results.
Best Reality Host
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers
Who Will Win: Betty White: The Academy thinks she needs one more trophy before her retirement (or something worse). Also, they have absolutely no respect for the reality categories. For shame!
Who Should Win: Cat Deeley: If you do not think this leggy Brit who is as quick with a punchline as she is with a compassionate shoulder for contestants to cry on doesn't deserve to win, then you are an idiot with no eyes. There, I said it. Speaking of no eyes, she also chooses all her own outfits and they are often – how should I put this? – unique. We need her to show up on stage wearing one.
Best Variety Program
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
Who Will Win: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: I just got off the phone with 2018 and it's still going to win then too. Just accept it.
Who Should Win: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: You have to appreciate the daffy way he creates viral videos with everything from Barack Obama to the Real Housewives franchise. This is a man who knows that the future of the genre is as much on YouTube as it is on the boob tube.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Jared Harris, Mad Men
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Who Will and Should Win: Giancarlo Esposito: One of the most terrifying villains on television didn't yell and scream and shoot up the place. He took over with quiet determination and a calm exterior that belied a deadly inner life. Esposito's Gus Fring was a study in self-restraint and his end will go down in TV history.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Who Will and Should Win: Christina Hendricks: She's long been known for the curves of her body, but this season, it was the curveballs her character threw when she decided to kick out her husband, take her destiny in her own hands, and finally get herself on equal footing with the men (of course, only by making a horrible sacrifice). She's made her portrayal of one of the most complicated women on TV look absolutely easy, so it's about time she had a busty gold lady of her own.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Who Will Win: Someone from Modern Family: Just pick one. Does it matter. Maybe Ed O'Neill. Is it his turn yet? Fine, then Ty Burrell. Whatever.
Who Should Win: Max Greenfield: It's a hard job stealing a show called The New Girl while having a Y chromosome, but Greenfield's fully-realized Schmidt was the character who audiences really wanted to see, even as they knew he should be stuffing $10s into the douche jar.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Who Will Win: Mayim Bialik: Since the boys will be shut out in the acting category, it looks like good old Blossom's work as one of this show's girl geeks is going to get some deserved attention. But look for a possible Kristen Wiig upset for her final season on SNL.
Who Should Win: Merritt Wever: She's long been the funniest thing on Nurse Jackie and she should finally get some recognition for a character that is just on the right side of wacky and vulnerable when she needs to be. If she doesn't get nominated more often, the Academy is on more drugs than Jackie.
Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece)
Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys
Who Will and Should Win: Jessica Lange: There is no one we'd rather watch chew the scenery and destroy lives with a syrupy southern accent than Ms. Jessica Lange. Also, remember the rule about giving these trophies to movie stars?
Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Ed Harris, Game Change
Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story
David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece)
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
Who Will Win: Ed Harris: I honestly have no idea on this one, but the fact that Ed Harris has been nominated for an Oscar and is competing in a category for movie stars makes him the best bet. Who Should Win: Denis O'Hare: Between Larry Harvey and his Russell Edgington on True Blood, this hard-working character actor finally deserves to scare up a trophy. Scare up. Get it? Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: Wenn] More: 2012 Emmy Awards: See the Full List of Nominees! Emmys 2012: 10 Burning Questions! Emmys 2012: Snubs, Shockers and Surprises!
September 10, 2012 3:19pm EST
It was 1999, and David O. Russell was new to the industry — he had only directed two films to date, fostering stars like Jeremy Davies (Spanking the Monkey) and Ben Stiller(Flirting with Disaster). And then came Three Kings. The filmmaker's first straight drama, his first pickup by a Big Five production company, is also his first collaboration with Mark Wahlberg: his muse in the making.
Following Three Kings, Russell and Wahlberg partnered on the offbeat comedy I Heart Huckabees and the Oscar-nominated drama biopic The Fighter. And for a while, it was expected that Wahlberg would take the lead in Russell's upcoming romance/dramedy, Silver Linings Playbook. But top-billing in that picture ultimately landed in the hands of Bradley Cooper, whom Russell has cast in his next movie, an untitled project formerly named American Bulls***. On top of this, Russell discussed with The Hollywood Reporter on a desire to work with Cooper on a third film: American Sniper — a property to which Cooper presently has the rights.
So, the days of Russell/Wahlberg might be over. But will Russell's partnership with Cooper really be able to reproduce, or perhaps top, the magic he and his first muse managed in Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, and the critical/popular topper of the lot, The Fighter?
It's not like it hasn't been done — there have been plenty of directors who have moved from one acting muse to another, for whatever reason, resulting in some fantastic work:
Original Muse: Robert De Niro
Collaborations: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, New York, New York, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Mad Dog and Glory, Casino
Replacement Muse: Leonardo DiCaprio
Collaborations: Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, The Wolf of Wall Street
Original Muse: Matt Damon
Collaborations: Oceans Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, The Brothers Grimm, Syriana, Ocean's Thirteen, Che, The Informant!, Contagion
Replacement Muse: Channing Tatum
Collaborations: Haywire, Magic Mike, The Bitter Pill
Original Muse: Tarantino has collaborated with several people on multiple occasions — Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth — but the director's true original muse is undoubtedly Uma Thurman
Collaborations: Pulp Fiction, the Kill Bill movies
Replacement Muse: Christoph Waltz
Collaborations: Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained
Original Muse: Diane Keaton
Collaborations: Play It Again, Sam, Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Radio Days, Manhattan Murder Mystery
Replacement Muses: Diane Wiest, Mia Farrow, Daryl Hannah, Judy Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz...
Collaborations: Every remaining movie he has ever made
So is it possible? Heck yes. Clearly, Russell has found something in Cooper that inspires him. That's all it takes for two talented people to make magic. I Heart Huckabees-level magic, though? Hard to say...
[Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company]
TIFF 2012: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence Give Career Bests in 'Silver Linings Playbook'
Amy Adams in 'American Bulls**t': How Many ‘Fighter’ People Will This Film Involve?
Bradley Cooper Can't Get Enough of Oscar Winner Russell, Re-teams for 'American Bulls**t'
July 27, 2012 2:30pm EST
The Hollywood actor has been shooting the sequel to his hit 2010 comedy in the North Shore region of the state, but the crew ran into trouble after building a sound stage in Phillips Park.
They have been pestered by a number of skunks, which have taken up residence in a group of trees planted for the film, and have been stealing food from the catering tables.
Swampscott local animal control officer Diane Treadwell has been called in to help remove the creatures and she tells the Boston Herald, "They built the set on marshland near a wooded area and the set isn't sealed off so the skunks come in and out as they please. There's been so much food around, it's been an ongoing thing."
Fellow officer Laura Consigli, who was called to the set twice on Tuesday (24Jul12), adds, "I caught them and released them about a half-mile away because the law states we can't relocate them that far from their habitat. They have been pretty well-behaved, though. They haven't sprayed anybody. But the food has been a big draw. And all those new trees that they planted? Well, it's a whole new backyard for them."
Grown Ups 2 is due for release next year (13) and also stars Taylor Lautner, Salma Hayek and Steve Buscemi.
July 19, 2012 6:08am EST
Emmys season is always an exciting time for any entertainment enthusiast (or as our parents used to call it, "TV junkie") because it's a chance for all dedicated fans to sit back and root for the shows and characters we've fallen deeply in love with throughout the years. And if it's that exciting for us, we can only imagine what the actual nominees must be going through.
So now that the 2012 Emmy Nominations have finally been announced, the writers over at Hollywood.com have reached out to these oh-so talented stars to see how they're dealing with the exciting news.
Here's what some of the nominees had to say:
"As the show enters its last season, I'm gratified to be nominated again by the Academy." — Alec Baldwin (Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series, 30 Rock)
"I am so honored to be nominated for The Good Wife. The Academy has been very supportive of me over the years and my appreciation is boundless." — Julianna Margulies (Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series, The Good Wife)
"There are so many amazing performances this year by actors I really admire, that it means a lot to me to being included among them.” — Steve Buscemi (Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series, Boardwalk Empire)
"I'm so honored to be nominated in this category of truly awe inspiring actresses . And thrilled Mad Men is recognized for the fifth time." — Christina Hendricks (Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Mad Men)
"I am honored to be nominated for an Emmy Award for my work as Gustavo Fring in Breaking Bad. It is such a privilege to be part of this new golden age of television. I am especially thankful to the viewers who have tuned in and supported the provocative and profound nature of good story telling." — Giancarlo Esposito (Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Breaking Bad)
“I’m over the moon to receive my first Emmy nomination. I feel so lucky to be a part of Homeland and am extremely grateful to the writing team for continuing to write such extraordinary roles for all of us. I couldn’t feel more proud to be keeping company with such a fantastic range of talented actors.” — Damian Lewis (Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Homeland)
"I was actually awake this morning when they announced the Emmy nominations thanks to my newfound need to pee several times a night. Finally, my enlarged prostate pays off!!" — Jon Cryer (Best Actor in a Comedy Series, Two and a Half Men)
“It's an incredible thrill to be nominated our first year out. When we wrote the pilot, we never imagined that the Television Academy would include us in the company of such extraordinary nominees. We're grateful for the acknowledgment and for having such great partners in Showtime and Fox 21." — Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon (creators and producers of Homeland)
"It's a great honor, though there should be parentheses next to my name with all of the SNL writers. And now I have to kiss up to the cast members of Modern Family in hopes that they pull a Ving Rhames and give me their award when they win." — Bill Hader (Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Saturday Night Live)
“I am so thrilled to be nominated and even more happy for all the nominations for breaking bad and my fellow cast members. I am so thankful to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This is a dream job, so to receive a nomination for my work on Breaking Bad is truly a gift." — Aaron Paul (Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Breaking Bad)
"I heard the news in my favorite way, because it’s now the way that I’ve always heard the news that I’ve been nominated, which is [from] my cousin, who lives in New York, who is like my sister. She called me. She’s the first one, she beats everyone else to the punch, and she’s like, ‘You’ve been nominated for an Emmy!’” Really, the first thing I thought was, I can’t believe it — which actually, I have to say, has been the first thought every time I’ve been nominated for an Emmy! It is full and complete disbelief and surprise." — Connie Britton (Best Leading Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, American Horror Story) "I am truly honored that the Academy has nominated me for an Emmy. The fact that Ed, Sofia, Jesse, Eric and my other wife, Julie, are also nominated makes this all the sweeter. I wish Bill and Max weren't such great guys, now I have to root for everyone and that's exhausting." — Ty Burrell (Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Modern Family) "I am honored to be recognized by the Academy among such a talented group of women. I am thrilled that Damian, "Homeland," our amazing writers and director and so many others got nominated. It is a great day to be on set where we can all celebrate together." — Claire Danes (Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series, Homeland) “So happy to get nominated! Can't wait to get back to the Late Night office and celebrate! But first I gotta leave this theatre and change out of this Batman costume." — Jimmy Fallon (Best Variety Program, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, Saturday Night Live) "I am really thrilled to be nominated for Hemingway and Gellhorn. I had such a great time working with the brilliant Phil Kaufman and the wonderful Nicole Kidman." — Clive Owen (Best Leading Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, Hemingway & Gellhorn) "I'm thrilled to be nominated and if I win I promise to lower taxes. And I'm not just saying that. That's not an empty promise or an attempt to bribe the voters." — Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Best Actress in a Comedy Series, Veep) "I can't begin to express how exciting it is to be recognized alongside these extraordinary actresses. I love that I had the chance to play a character like Nicolle Wallace. She has this mix of political savvy and integrity that I found so interesting. I’m so thrilled "Game Change" was received so enthusiastically by the Academy." — Sarah Paulson (Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, Game Change)
"I was just pulling up into work and I got a text from my sister, shortly followed by one from my publicist, and then I walked in and I saw they were showing Jimmy Kimmel in his pajamas on the news. It was awesome, and it was crazy! It’s so important to me, being a producer and having the show get nominated. It's just incredible. I’m so happy for everybody." — Carson Daly (host of The Voice) "I am absolutely in shock. I was 100% certain I was not getting nominated! It is to the credit of Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady, Steve Molaro and our amazing writers who gave Amy Farrah Fowler the words to make her so much a part of people's minds and hearts. I share this tremendously thrilling honor with them, our incredible cast and especially with Jim Parsons who I constantly borrow line-readings from." — Mayim Bialik (Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, The Big Bang Theroy)
"I am so incredibly honored to be nominated in this category with these amazing women. I admire each one of them and their performances so much; I just feel really flattered to be in their company. And of course I am so proud of the show and my family on Mad Men for each of their nominations. Each one of them is so deserved. I am so proud to be a part of this show and always will be." — Elisabeth Moss (Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series, Mad Men) "I'm thrilled to be included amongst one of Modern Family's 14 Emmy Nominations! I am celebrating with 10 georgous, tall, leggy showgirls. Not because that's how I roll but because I'm in rehearsal for The Producers at The Hollywood Bowl. Also, because I like to make Eric Stonestreet jealous." — Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Modern Family) "I'm thrilled that the film is being recognized, and particularly, that so many people in the film have been recognized. You become close. I'm very fond of the people in this particular production. To see so many of them nominated, it's really cool....I think there are a lot of great actresses nominated in that category. It's actually a great year for movies and mini-series. But I would have to think that Julianne Moore, for my money, it wasn't the best performance of the year in movies and mini-series, I think it was one of the best performances of the year in anything. Movies, TV, theater — anything. One of those mind-boggling performances that everyone is floored by." — Danny Strong (writer and producer of Game Change, Best Miniseries or Movie) “I'm so excited to have been nominated for an Emmy, especially for 30 Rock, which is an incredible show and also for playing a deranged and deceased world dictator who has divided the small country of my origin in two. That's the best part. I think that's what I'd call iron curtain irony." — Margaret Cho (Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, 30 Rock)
"I'm beyond thrilled to be nominated -- it has even more depth of meaning now that the show is over and I won't get to speak Mark Cherry's brilliant lines again. I was overjoyed to see Kathy Joosten's posthumous Emmy nod as well. As Mary Alice would say, "Yes!" — Brenda Strong (Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, Desperate Housewives) [Photo Credit: ABC] More: 2012 Emmy Awards: See the Full List of Nominees! 2012 Emmy Awards Nominees: Our Predictions! 2012 Emmy Longshots: Our Picks!
July 19, 2012 5:15am EST
Mad Men star Jon Hamm will go up against the likes of Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter) for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Hamm's co-star Elisabeth Moss will battle for the lead actress prize against Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Glenn Close (Damages), and Kathy Bates (Harry's Law), as well as Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife).
American Horror Story received a number of technical nods, including nominations in the best costume and make-up categories, as well as mentions for lead actress Connie Britton and supporting actor Denis O'Hare.
The Outstanding Drama Series category will be a tight race - Mad Men, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire are all in the running, while Outstanding Comedy Series nods go to 30 Rock, Girls, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Veep, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Also receiving mentions as an Outstanding Lead Actor or Actress in a Miniseries or Movie were Nicole Kidman (Hemingway & Gellhorn), Julianne Moore (Game Change), Ashley Judd (Missing), and Kevin Costner (Hatfields & McCoys).
The nominees were announced live from Hollywood on Thursday morning (19Jul12) by Kerry Washington and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who will host the official 64th annual awards ceremony on 23 September (12).
Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman was due to present at the programme, however, heavy storms grounded his flight to Los Angeles, forcing a pajama-wearing Kimmel to step in and fill his place.
The main list of nominees is as follows:
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Zooey Deschanel - New Girl
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey - 30 Rock
Melissa McCarthy - Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler - Parks And Recreation
Lena Dunham - Girls
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Louis C.K. - Louie
Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Jon Cryer - Two and a Half Men
Larry David - Curb Your Enthusiasm
Outstanding Comedy Series:
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Game of Thrones
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama:
Claire Danes - Homeland
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss - Mad Men
Glenn Close - Damages
Kathy Bates - Harry's Law
Michelle Dockery - Downton Abbey
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama:
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall - Dexter
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Hugh Bonneville - Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire
Damian Lewis - Homeland
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie:
Julianne Moore - Game Change
Connie Britton - American Horror Story
Nicole Kidman - Hemingway & Gellhorn
Emma Thompson - The Song Of Lunch (Masterpiece)
Ashley Judd - Missing
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie:
Woody Harrelson - Game Change
Clive Owen - Hemingway & Gellhorn
Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece)
Idris Elba - Luther
Kevin Costner - Hatfields & McCoys
Bill Paxton - Hatfields & McCoys
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie:
American Horror Story
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece)
Hatfields & McCoys
July 19, 2012 3:52am EST
It's Emmy time! The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations are here, and the television industry will no doubt be audibly buzzing over the next two months leading up to the awards telecast on Sept. 23rd (which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel).
Kimmel (who stepped in for scheduled presenter Nick Offerman, wearing nothing but his pajamas) and Kerry Washington announced the nominees from North Hollywood early this morning. So who made the cut?
American Horror Story and Mad Men emerged on the top, with 17 nominations each. Downton Abbey, in its first year submitting as a regular drama series, swept through the acting categories with the aplomb of an experienced butler: in addition to six acting nods, the show earned 16 nominations (along with the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys). Hemingway & Gellhorn earned 15, Modern Family and Saturday Night Live both earned 14, and Breaking Bad (which rewarded not only Walt, but Jesse, Gus, Skyler and Tio!), 30 Rock and Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia each rounded out the top with 13 noms. See the rest below: Best Drama SeriesBoardwalk Empire Breaking Bad Downton Abbey Game of Thrones Homeland Mad Men Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang Theory Curb Your Enthusiasm Girls Modern Family 30 Rock Veep Best Leading Actor in a Drama SeriesHugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad Michael C. Hall, Dexter Jon Hamm, Mad Men Damian Lewis, Homeland Best Leading Actor in a Comedy SeriesAlec Baldwin, 30 Rock Don Cheadle, House of Lies Louis C.K., Louie Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory Best Leading Actress in a Drama SeriesKathy Bates, Harry's Law Glenn Close, Damages Claire Danes, Homeland Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men Best Leading Actress in a Comedy Series Zooey Deschanel, New Girl Lena Dunham, Girls Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Tina Fey, 30 Rock Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation Best Miniseries or MovieAmerican Horror Story Game Change Hatfields & McCoys Hemingway & Gellhorn Luther Sherlock Best Leading Actor in a Miniseries or MovieWoody Harrelson, Game Change Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece) Idris Elba, Luther Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys Best Leading Actress in a Miniseries or MovieJulianne Moore, Game Change Connie Britton, American Horror Story Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch (Masterpiece) Ashley Judd, Missing Best Reality CompetitionThe Amazing Race Dancing With The Stars Project Runway So You Think You Can Dance Top Chef The Voice Best Reality HostTom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race Ryan Seacrest, American Idol Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers Best Variety ProgramThe Colbert ReportThe Daily Show with Jon StewartJimmy Kimmel LiveLate Night with Jimmy FallonReal Time with Bill MaherSaturday Night Live Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey Jim Carter, Downton Abbey Jared Harris, Mad Men Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Best Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesArchie Panjabi, The Good Wife Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey Joanna Froggatt, Downton Abbey Christina Hendricks, Mad Men Christine Baranski, The Good Wife Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesEd O'Neill, Modern Family Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family Ty Burrell, Modern Family Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live Max Greenfield, New Girl Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesMayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie Julie Bowen, Modern Family Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live Sofia Vergara, Modern Family Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or MovieSarah Paulson, Game Change Frances Conroy, American Horror Story Jessica Lange, American Horror Story Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece) Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or MovieEd Harris, Game Change Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece) Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys Best Guest Actress in a Comedy SeriesDot-Marie Jones, Glee Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock Margaret Cho, 30 Rock Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men Best Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesMichael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm Greg Kinnear, Modern Family Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live Will Arnett, 30 Rock Jon Hamm, 30 Rock Best Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesMartha Plimpton, The Good Wife Loretta Devine, Grey's Anatomy Jean Smart, Harry's Law Julia Ormond, Mad Men Joan Cusack, Shameless Uma Thurman, Smash Best Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesMark Margolis, Breaking Bad Dylan Baker, The Good Wife Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife Jeremy Davies, Justified Ben Feldman, Mad Men Jason Ritter, Parenthood Best Writing for a Comedy SeriesCommunity, Chris McKenna for "Remedial Chaos Theory"Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler for "The Debate"Parks and Recreation, Michael Schur for "Win, Lose, or Draw"Girls, Lena Dunham for "Pilot"Louie, Louis C.K. for "Pregnant" Best Writing for a Drama SeriesDownton Abbey, Julian Fellows for "Episode 7"Mad Men, Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner for "The Other Woman"Mad Men, Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton for "Commissions and Fees"Mad Men, Erin Levy and Matthew Weiner for "Far Away Places"Homeland, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, and Gideon Raff for "Pilot" Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSnetiker More:2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions! 2012 Emmy Longshots: Our Picks!
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]
2012 Emmy Longshots: Our Picks!
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July 15, 2012 1:07pm EST
Megan Fox is already the queen of the self-effacing, totally cuckoo interview. And recently, she started putting her money where her mouth is, sharing three photos from her youth on Facebook, writing, "I encourage you to admire my citrus/copper-colored highlights (thanks Sun-in!), my braces and my ever present sunburn. And yeah, I'm brushing my eyebrows with a toothbrush in that one picture."
As the sexy star has said in the past, she was anything but pretty and popular in high school and has called herself an ugly loser 100 different ways (she looks like Steve Buscemi... really?).
"I was not 'the s**t' in high school," she told People. "I was not an outcast but I didn't have a ton of friends. I got picked on, and I ate lunch in the bathroom because I was afraid of being picked on in the cafeteria."
See, it seems the pregnant actress had more than a lot in common with now-husband and dork icon Brian Austin Green, who was the awesome geek on 90210 in his teen years (until he became the white rapper known as Brian Green).
We know, we know, there's a 13-year age difference, but what do you think: would the adorable self-admitted dorks have dated in high school?
More:It's Official: Megan Fox is Pregnant!Megan Fox Opens Up About Being a Mom’Megan Fox: I Was an Ugly Loner: Her 5 Craziest Quotes [Photos: Twitter and 90201]