The Emmy awards inspire more conflict, shock and outrage than possibly any other major awards show on the circuit. It makes sense; we spend so much time getting to know these characters and their struggles that we become incredibly invested in the show's success. But with so many channels, platforms, programs, stars and prestige dramas on the air right now, it’s going to be impossible to please everyone. Of course, that knowledge doesn’t stop us from waiting impatiently every year, hoping that our favorite performances from the past year will be recognized with an Emmy nomination. And every year, we end up with a new list of nominations that surprise and delight us, or send us into a spiral of rage, heartbreak and Twitter ranting. The 2014 nominations were no different, and these are the biggest shocks of the year.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Despite its critical acclaim and Golden Globe wins, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is still something of an underdog in terms of ratings and public attention, so we weren’t expecting the Television Academy to take much notice of the Fox show. Which is why we were so delighted to read Braugher’s name on the list of nominees this morning for his work as the magnificently deadpan Captain Ray Holt. Brooklyn Nine-Nine might have only gotten one major nod, but it was for the single best part of the show, and for that we’re endlessly grateful. We know it might be hard to read, but we are... ecstatic.
Best Actress in a Drama: Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex Masters of Sex probably tops the list of brilliant shows that nobody pays enough attention to, but for all of its high points – the costumes, the dialogue, the chemistry between Masters and Johnson, the tense, quiet drama, the brilliant guest starts – much of the show’s excellence can be credited to Caplan’s performance as Virginia Johnson. It’s a complex, layered, funny, sexy, compelling role and it’s thrilling to see her work rightfully acknowledged as one of the best performances of the year.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Allison Janney, Mom Mom is a complicated show. It’s ostensibly a typical Chuck Lorre comedy, with lots of inane jokes and strange plots, but it also devotes a great deal of time to the dramatic, difficult relationship between mother and daughter, both of whom are recovering addicts. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s usually thanks to Janney, who transforms what could have been a stereotypical over-the-top, obnoxious character into a flawed, layered, realistic human being.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Fred Armisen, Portlandia While it’s sad not to see Armisen’s co-star and co-writer Carrie Brownstein on the list of nominees as well, we’re excited to see the Television Academy finally pay attention to this weird, hilarious show and the weird, hilarious characters who inhabit it. Whether he’s learning the history of hip hop before a big concert or playing a feminist hippie who hates the customers in her shop, Armisen’s always original, funny, and just a little strange.
Best Comedy Series: Silicon Valley Another critical favorite that didn’t seem to get a lot of mainstream attention, Silicon Valley had an excellent first season, skewering the tech industry, the people who aspire to be part of it, and the people who make fun of it. Although airing on HBO automatically got the Emmys’ attention, it wasn’t the cultural phenomenon that some of its network-mates have become, and so it was good to see that a show doesn’t necessarily need A-list stars or famous directors in order to get attention.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live This season of SNL got bogged down by an influx of new cast members, the loss of its head writer halfway through the year, and controversy over the diversity of its cast. But there was one cast member who held things together, who was consistently hilarious and able to rescue just about any sketch just by being in it, and that cast member was Kate McKinnon. From Bieber to Ellen to “Dyke and Fats” to doing it on a twin bed, McKinnon was definitely this year’s MVP, and we’re happy to see the Emmys recognize that as well.
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon To be honest, we never expected this weird, awkward and often hilarious miniseries to even be on the TV Academy’s radar, let alone the nominations list, but Wiig’s performance as Cynthia Morehouse, who endures poverty, war, an unhappy marriage, and a forbidden romance with her adopted brother in outrageous, strange and hilarious fashion was one of the funniest things on TV this year. Not quite on the same level as Lady Anne, but we imagine it would be a little awkward to nominate a mannequin for an Emmy.
Best Supporting Actress and Guest Actress(es) in a Comedy: Kate Mulgrew, Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba, and Natasha Lyonne, Orange is the New Black Orange Is the New Black swept the nominations this year, and while we’re happy to see it get recognized for Best Comedy and Taylor Shilling’s lead performance as Piper Chapman, it’s the supporting cast who we’re really thrilled for. Between Mulgrew’s transformative work as Red being included in the Supporting Actress category and three of the finest, funniest and most heartbreaking actresses (Aduba, Lyonne, and Cox, who is the first transgender Emmy nominee) crowding everyone else out of the Guest Actress category, don’t be surprised if Orange takes home plenty of gold on Emmy night.
Tatiana Maslany Gets Snubbed… Again Apparently, playing eight distinct characters, all of whom are equally complex, interesting, and fully-realized is not enough for the Emmy voters to take notice of Maslany’s incredible performance on Orphan Black, and both she and the show were snubbed for a second year. Since the tension between Helena and Sarah or the complicated relationship between Allison and Donnie or Cosima’s fight through her debilitating illness wasn’t enough, it seems the only way that Maslany will ever a nod is if she plays every single character on True Detective Season 2.
The Emmys Don’t Care About The Americans Despite turning out some of the most compelling, interesting, thrilling drama that has aired on television in the past year, The Americans was almost completely ignored by Emmy voters, earning one nomination for Margo Martindale’s guest spot. And though we pretty much expected the show not to make the Best Drama Series cut, we’re mostly shocked that Matthew Rhys’ incredible performance this season was also completely ignored by the Academy. Clearly the Emmys have a hard time looking past some bad wigs to see the brilliance underneath.
Really, Jeff Daniels Again? Don’t get us wrong, the once and future Harry Dunne does good work on The Newsroom, but it’s nothing special, especially compared to both what his fellow Best Actor in a Drama nominees turned out this year, and the performances of so many other actors who didn’t make the cut. But considering how much the Emmys seem to love him, we think Bryan Cranston and Matthew McConaughey might want to hold off on writing their acceptance speeches.
Ricky Gervais Gets Nominated For… Derek? We loved Gervais’ arrogant, deluded David Brent on The Office. We’re still laughing about his performance as the rude, frustrated and sometimes desperate Andy Millman on Extras, and we’d watch him bicker with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington all day. However, we weren’t as crazy about his work on Derek, the saccharine, gentle-hearted sitcom where he plays the saccharine, gentle-hearted nursing home caretaker Derek, so we’re surprised to see just how vastly the Television Academy’s opinion about the show differed from ours. Still, at least we know we’re guaranteed a hell of a show if he actually wins.
Downton Abbey Keeps Racking Up the Nominations We get it: Maggie Smith is an international treasure. That doesn’t mean that the Emmys have to nominate her every single year, without fail. And just because Downton Abbey is a British period piece, that doesn’t mean it’s better than any number of excellent dramas who continue to be overlooked just because everyone on the show speaks with a British accent. It’s okay not to nominate them, Emmys. Everyone will still think you’re smart and worldly, we promise.
The Wrong People from Shameless Get Nominated, as Per Usual Here’s the good news: Shameless finally got more than one nomination! The bad news, though, is that they went to the actors with the most name recognition – William H. Macy, who is up for Best Actor in a Comedy and Joan Cusack, whose Guest Actress hot streak continues – rather than the ones who carried the show this year – Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White and Noel Fisher, to name just a few. But, hey, it seems like that category switch actually paid off, even if it means nominating the actor whose character was in a coma over the ones who were struggling with jail time, balancing college and caring for his family and coming out and looking after his bipolar boyfriend.
Somehow, House of Cards Got 13 Nominations There are only two possible explanations: either the Emmy voters thought that, like Orange Is the New Black, they were voting based on the first season of the show, or they didn’t actually watch the new season of House of Cards, and they decided to throw a bunch of nominations its way to cover up that fact, since it’s an “important, prestige” drama.
Actress Cicely Tyson is set to receive an honorary degree from The American Film Institute next month (Jun14). The Help star will be feted with a Doctorate of Fine Arts for her "contributions of distinction to the art of the moving image" at the AFI Conservatory's commencement ceremony on 11 June (14) in Los Angeles.
Screenwriter Robert Towne will also be honoured alongside Tyson.
This is not the first honorary degree for the 80 year old - in 2009, she was feted by Morehouse College in Georgia and on Wednesday (21May14) she will be recognised by Columbia University in New York.
From the first time we saw the trailer for Will Ferrell's new IFC show The Spoils of Babylon, we knew that things were about to get weird. A spoof of the epic period dramas we've all come to know and love, the series stars Tobey Maguire, Kristin Wiig, and Haley Joel Osment. The first of six episodes premiered on January 9, and ICYMI here are a few more clips from the show. Be warned -- you are not prepared for the weirdness therein:
Tobey & Kristen Get Weird:
Here's hoping we see lots of Tim Robbins, because seriously. How awesome does he look in this?
Epic Theme Song & Opening Sequence
I'm not sure, but I feel like those trees and cars were kinda fake.
Squirrel Stew And Oil
If you didn't laugh over that "extrapolate" line, then this may not be the show for you. If you did laugh, then tune into the IFC for more of this unbelievably strange series. Call us cray, but that squirrel stew is reason enough to keep us interested.
The guys at Funny or Die have unleashed the fake literary event of the decade with the IFC's The Spoils of Babylon, a new miniseries that spoofs all those epic miniseries events that filled the television airwaves during the '80s. The series follows the story Devon Morehouse (Tobey Maguire), the son of an oil magnate, and the first two episodes are a tour de force of insanity. Here are the 10 weirdest things about the series that will have you both scratching you head in confusion, and salivating for more Morehouse absurdity.
1. The Whole Thing Is Based on a Fake Novel Written by a Fake Author Played by Will FerrellWill Ferrell plays Eric Jonrosh, the drunken recluse of an author that wrote the novel that the mini-series is based on, though he's sure to let you know that his original novel is a literary masterpiece that's far superior to the truncated miniseries. He demands two full wine glasses at all times, and has apparently slept with every member of the cast. Ferrell is hilarious, and you can just smell the literary prestige and wine stink falling off of him in heavy waves.
2. Jonas Morehouse Just Adopts Some Kid Off the Side of the RoadThe epic saga of Devon Morehouse begins with the dirt-poor Jonas Morehouse (Tim Robbins) finding an amnesia stricken boy walking along the side of the road. Morehouse simply decides to take the child and make him a Morehouse without a second thought. He could have at least checked the boy's collar to find an address for his owner.
3. All the Exterior Shots Are Terrible-Looking Small Scale ModelsThe models used to recreate exterior locations in The Spoils of Babylon look like they're constructed with building materials that are just a small step up from LEGO bricks. On top of that, all the cars are toys that are dragged along a set with a highly visible piece of string. It's especially odd seeing a tiny plastic Tobey Maguire sticking out of a yellow matchbox car during the show's opening credits.
4. Devin Morehouse's Wife Is a British Mannequin Named Lady-AnneProbably the weirdest moment is the reveal that Devon Morehouse's wife is a plastic mannequin with the disembodied voice of Academy Award nominated actress Carey Mulligan. And nobody ever acknowledges this. Wait... what?
5. ...And They Have Weird Human/Mannequin SexLimbs literally go everywhere when Devon Morehouse and Lady-Anne get together for a sensuous scene of lovemaking where flesh meets plastic and dreams come true. The scene ends with Tobey Maguire walking out triumphantly while the usually regal Lady-Anne is left in a clump of deeply satisfied plastic limbs.
6. Devin's Watch Has an Incredibly Long InscriptionJonas Morehouse gives his son a pocket watch with a loving, albeit long inscription. The jeweler somehow fits a full novel worth of good advice that's about as long as your college dissertation. What results in an almost three minute monologue from Maguire, and after lines upon lines of fatherly advice, the inscription ends with "Your fat" because there wasn't enough space for "Your father."
7. Cynthia Morehouse Is Uncomfortably IncestuousEven though Devin and Cynthia Morehouse (Kristen Wiig) aren't related by blood, they did grow up as brother and sister, which makes Cynthia's pining for her brother extremely uncomfortable. It all comes to a head when Lady-Anne pops into the situation and offers some stiff competition for Devon's heart.
8. It Gets Randomly and Suddenly ViolentWhen Devin Morehouse's plane is shot down over Okajaba (that's not a spelling error), he becomes a prisoner of the Japanese army, but thoughts about his lovely sister empower him to break through his bamboo cage and slaughter his prison guards in an absurdly violent scene. Don't worry, though, the bodies all have little x's over their eyes like a old Disney cartoon.
9. Other Than the Toy Cars, It's Shockingly Well-ProducedThe Spoils of Babylon doesn't just dip its toe into its object of parody, but it lovingly recreates so many aspects that made the 1980s mini-series so grand yet so cringe worthy. All the sets and costumes are either great or terrible looking, depending on the desired effect, and even the show's lead in to commercials breaks have a vintage quality to them.
10. And It's Oddly EngagingEven with all the absurdity flying across the screen left and right, we found ourselves strangely wrapped up in the actual story. We can't wait to not only see Eric Jonrosh drink two more glasses wine, but to feast our eyes on the continuation of the epic Morehouse saga.
You know that itching tension you feel when you get lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood, or get on the wrong bus and end up somewhere you don't recognize? That feeling of being completely lost? Get ready to revisit that sensation in video form because the first trailer for IFC's The Spoils of Babylon is probably the most bizarre clip to pop up on the Internet in some time. Tobey Maguire and an odd mix of actors including the likes of Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Val Kilmer, Jessica Alba, and oddest of all, Haley Joel Osment (who I don’t think anyone has actually laid eyes on since the end of The Sixth Sense) star in a captivating two-minute glimpse of what can only be described as a kooky, dramatic nonsensical comedy.
We'd give you a detailed plot summary of what the new show was about if we were at all sure ourselves, given the trailer's weirdness, but the show seems to focus on the trials of the Morehouse Family in a spoof of epic period dramas. Maguire plays Jonas Morehouse in a trailer that takes him from childhood, to the damp jungles of "Okajaba," to shooting up heroin and making love to his adopted sister played by Wiig.
The Spoils of Babylon will be airing in January as a six-part miniseries. The series will be produced by Will Ferrell, who will also star in the show as the author of the series of books that the show's fictional world is based on. IFC is known as the destination for television’s most bizarre and ambitious comedies, including the lovably weird Portlandia, and The Spoils of Babylon looks to increase that weird factor by a scale of about 30.
Will Ferrell has teamed up with Funny Or Die and IFC to bring you The Spoils of Babylon. It is an epic mini-series spoof, and it has an epic cast to go with it. Aside from Ferrell, the mini-series will star Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Tobey Maguire, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, Tim Robbins, and Kristen Wiig. It will consist of six half-hour episodes that will premiere in 2014.
“The Spoils of Babylon, a century-spanning saga, chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of the Morehouse family, led by Jonas Morehouse (Robbins), his daughter Cynthia (Wiig) and her adopted brother Devon (Maguire) who made their fortune in the oil business,” according to a press release. “The series takes viewers from the oil fields of Texas to boardrooms in New York City, through war-torn battlefields and velvet-sheeted bedrooms. Cynthia and Devon’s unbridled and taboo passion for one another cannot be prevented. Add in Cynthia’s evil son Winston (Osment), her put-upon husband Chet Halner (Sheen), and Devon’s new love interest Dixie Mellonworth (Alba), and the booze, the pills, more passion, more pills and the heartache, and you have a mercurial potboiler. Then add in illegal arms deals, international espionage, the Shah of Iran (Ferrell), and two U.S. Army generals (Kilmer, Steve Tom) and it begins to overflow with boiling liquid in a pot on a hot stove that is operational.”
The Spoils of Babylon may be a parody, but with the level of talent the cast brings to the table it wouldn't be surprising if turns out to be one of those shows that makes the week between episodes seem like a year. Besides, who doesn't love a good incest-driven romance torn apart by drugs and guns?
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More:Haley Joel Osment Joins Will Ferrell's IFC Epic Miniseries 'The Spoils of Babylon'Make 'Em Laugh: Will Ferrell Heading Back To the Small Screen and a 'Ben Stiller Show' ReunionFunny Or Die Is Going All Hollywood On Us In New Movie Deal
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The star attended Morehouse College in Georgia and made some extra cash by working as a merchant at the Georgia Dome, which is home to the Atlanta Falcons.
The icon went on to make a name for himself in such movies as Pulp Fiction and the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and Jackson reveals he was recently asked to come back and record a special announcement that would be played for fans ahead of each game.
He tells New York Magazine, "I've been a Falcons fan since I was in college, when I worked in the Atlanta stadium... Now when the Falcon games start, I'm actually on the Jumbotron (large-screen television). I do this big speech with a gospel choir behind me. They play it each week when the team comes on the field. I'm sorta (sic) part of the Falcon family."
Actor Samuel L. Jackson tried out for the cheerleading squad in college in order to meet girls.
The Pulp Fiction star studied marine biology at Morehouse College, an all-male institution, in Atlanta, Georgia as a teen.
As a way to pick up the ladies, the 63 year old showed off his school spirit and joined the cheerleading squad so he could travel with both the basketball and American football teams to games at other universities, where females crowded the stands.
And Jackson is glad he did - he ended up meeting his actress wife LaTanya Richardson at neighbouring school Spelman College.
He tells Elle magazine, "I got to travel to other historically black colleges; I was hanging out with the basketball and football teams, meeting girls... For the guy who was the cheerleader, all of a sudden it was like, 'You're in charge.'"
"I was actually an usher at his funeral. I marched in the march that we talk about in the play. I saw him many times when I was a student." Morehouse College graduate Samuel L. Jackson will bring personal background to new play The Mountaintop, in which he plays U.S. civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Madonna were among the stars who showed up to pay tribute to Winfrey, who will end her hit daily talk show after 25 years next week (26May11) - but she admits Aretha Franklin's live rendition of Amazing Grace and Kristen Chenoweth's special surprise left her speechless.
The talk show queen says, "Aretha Franklin actually coming out and singing Amazing Grace, which I listen to every Sunday... put me in the rapture."
And she tells U.S. news show Extra she was floored when Chenoweth performed with students from Morehouse College: "Of all the moments, that would be my all-time favourite moment. When (friend and filmmaker) Tyler Perry said a few of them (students) were here, I thought it was going to be four... I did not know it was 415. I can't believe it!"
The Surprise Oprah: A Farewell Spectacular programme will be split into two and they'll air next week before she hosts her final Oprah show.