Getty Images/Kevin Winter
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will air on Monday (oddly enough), August 25, and will be hosted by Saturday Night Live vet and Late Night host Seth Meyers. Here are the nominees recognized for their achievements over the course of this past year in television.
Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang TheoryLouieModern FamilyOrange Is the New BlackSilicon ValleyVeep
Best Drama SeriesBreaking BadDownton AbbeyGame of ThronesHouse of CardsMad MenTrue Detective
Best Actor - ComedyLouis C.K. - LouieDon Cheadle - House of LiesRicky Gervais - DerekMatt LeBlanc - EpisodesWilliam H. Macy - ShamelessJim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Best Actress - ComedyLena Dunham - GirlsEdie Falco - Nurse JackieJulia Louis-Dreyfus - VeepMelissa McCarthy - Mike and MollyAmy Poehler - Parks and RecreationTaylor Schilling - Orange Is the New Black
Lead Actor - DramaBryan Cranston - Breaking BadJeff Daniels - The NewsroomJon Hamm - Mad MenWoody Harrelson - True DetectiveMatthew McConaughey - True DetectiveKevin Spacey - House of Cards
Lead Actress - DramaLizzy Caplan - Masters of SexClaire Danes - HomelandMichelle Dockery - Downton AbbeyJulianne Margolies - The Good WifeKerry Washinton - ScandalRobin Wright - House of Cards
Best Mini-SeriesAmerican Horror Story: CovenBonnie and ClydeFargoLutherTremeThe White Queen
Best TV MovieKilling KennedyMohammad Ali's Greatest FightThe Normal HeartSherlock: His Last VowThe Trip to Babylon
Best Actor - Mini-Series/TV MovieBenedict Cumberbatch - SherlockChiwetel Ejiofor - Dancing on the EdgeIdris Elba - LutherMartin Freeman - FargoMark Ruffalo - The Normal HeartBill Bob Thornton - Fargo
Best Actress - Mini-Series/TV MovieHelena Bonham Carter - Burton and TaylorMinnie Driver - Return to ZeroJessica Lang - American Horror Story: CovenSarah Paulson - American Horror Story: CovenCicely Tyson - The Trip to BountifulKristen Wiig - Spoils of Babylon
Best Variety ShowThe Colbert ReportThe Daily ShowJimmy Kimmel Live!Real Time with Bill MaherSaturday Night LiveThe Tonight Show
Best Reality Competition ShowThe Amazing RaceDancing with the StarsProject RunwaySo You Think You Can DanceTop ChefThe Voice
Best Supporting Actor - Comedy SeriesFred Armisen - PortlandiaAndre Braugher - Brooklin Nine-NineTy Burrell - Modern FamilyAdam Driver - GirlsJesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern FamilyTony Hale - Veep
Best Supporting Actress - Comedy SeriesMayim Bialik - The Big Bang TheoryJulie Bowen - Modern FamilyAnna Chlumsky - VeepAllison Janney - MomKate McKinnon - Saturday Night LiveKate Mulgrew - Orange Is the New Black
Best Supporting Actor - DramaJim Carter - Downton AbbeyJosh Charles - The Good WifePeter Dinklage - Game of ThronesMandy Patinkin - HomelandAaron Paul - Breaking BadJon Voight - Ray Donovan
Best Supporting Actress - DramaChristine Baranski - The Good WifeJoan Froggatt - Downton AbbeyAnna Gunn - Breaking BadLena Headey - Game of ThronesChristina Hendricks - Mad MenMaggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Best Guest Actor - ComedySteve Buscemi - PortlandiaLouis C.K. - Saturday Night LiveGary Cole - VeepJimmy Fallon - Saturday Night LiveNathan Lane - Modern FamilyBob Newhart - The Big Bang Theory
Best Guest Actress - ComedyUzo Aduba - Orange Is the New BlackLaverne Cox - Orange Is the New BlackJoan Cusack - ShamelessTina Fey - Saturday Night LiveNatasha Lyonne - Orange Is the New BlackMelissa McCarthy - Saturday Night Live
Best Guest Actor - DramaDylan Baker - The Good WifeBeau Bridges - Masters of SexReg E Cathey - House of CardsPaul Giamatti - Downton AbbeyRobert Morse - Mad MenJoe Morton - Scandal
Best Guest Actress - DramaKate Burton - ScandalJane Fonda - The NewsroomAllison Janney - Masters of SexKate Mara - House of CardsMargo Martindale - The AmericansDiana Rigg - Game of Thrones
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Country star Kellie Pickler's troubled dad has fallen foul of the law again after violating the terms of his probation. Clyde Raymond Pickler, Jr. spent much of his daughter's childhood behind bars for various crimes, including a three-year stint in prison for aggravated battery and assault relating to a 2003 stabbing.
The American Idol star recently patched up her strained relationship with her dad, insisting he's always been a "good father" despite his criminal past, but now the 48 year old is facing further legal trouble after moving from Florida to North Carolina without notifying his parole officer.
A representative for the Florida Department of Corrections tell the National Enquirer, "He's currently listed as an 'absconder' for leaving the state without notification. That means he's a fugitive."
The news comes as the singer is currently flying high off her big win on U.S. reality show Dancing With the Stars.
It's hard to believe that, with Roger Ebert's death at 70, the balcony is now closed for good. From 1975 to 2006 Ebert appeared on television as an on-air movie reviewer, in addition to his day-job duties as the film critic for The Chicago Sun-Times. Ebert and co-host Gene Siskel, critic from the archrival Chicago Tribune, sparred with each other from the balcony of a movie theater and passed judgment on each week's new movies with their zero-sum, gladiatorial ratings system of "thumbs up" and "thumbs down." (Siskel & Ebert would later trademark the Thumbs. For real.) Sometimes they agreed with each other. Sometimes they were at each other's throats. But they were almost always insightful...and usually pretty funny too. It's why their show Sneak Previews became the highest-rated entertainment series in PBS history. By the time it rebranded as At the Movies in 1982 and moved into broadcast syndication, Siskel & Ebert were truly a dynamic duo.
RELATED: Remembering Roger Ebert: Film Critic, Pulitizer Winner, Internet Troll
As much as their personalities drove the show, Siskel & Ebert's true success may have been due to how they didn't let their egos overshadow the movies they were reviewing. Not to mention that, in terms of sheer word count, many of their on-air reviews rivaled or outmatched film reviews in newspapers or magazines. So as we're paying tribute to Ebert, let's remember what an amazing institution At the Movies was in its heyday. Here are 10 moments from the series that show Ebert (alongside Siskel and several other cohosts) at his very best.
1. The Takedown of Leonard, Part 6
There was nothing more satisfying than a Roger Ebert pan. That's because he cared so much about the movies. He genuinely wanted stinkers to be good films. Witness his critique of Leonard, Part 6, a movie starring Bill Cosby, for whom Ebert has obvious affection. It's because he knew Cosby was capable of so much more that he accused him of "prostituting himself" in this "cynical exercise" of a flick.
2. Ebert Feels for the Actors in Blue Velvet
Don't get me wrong. Ebert could be as wrongheaded as any critic. While Siskel recognized David Lynch's Blue Velvet for what it was as a spiritual heir to Psycho, Ebert saw only nihilistic trauma. In fact, his reaction to the film mirrors famed New York Times' film critic Bosley Crowther's horror upon first witnessing Bonnie & Clyde, a film Ebert went against mainstream critical opinion to champion, twenty years earlier. But, again, his reason for dismissing Blue Velvet is fascinating. He actually suggests that Lynch's actors, especially Isabella Rossellini, were exploited by their director in the making of the film. It's an incendiary charge, and totally unfounded, but shows the deep streak of humanism that informed his critical worldview.
RELATED: Roger Ebert’s Many Pop Culture Parodies from ‘The Critic’ to ‘Godzilla
3. Siskel & Ebert's 500th Episode Retrospective!
Despite being famous for getting paid to sit in a darkened movie theater and watch much more famous people onscreen, Siskel & Ebert developed a flair for showmanship, having a rotating roster of canine assistants during their segment "Dog of the Week," a spotlight on their pick for the worst movie of the week, sporting an incredible variety of facial hair, and even telling showbiz tall tales about why they're called "Siskel & Ebert" and not "Ebert & Siskel." (Siskel claimed they flipped a coin.) Both of them showed their stage presence when filming before a live audience for the first time in 1989 for their 500th episode.
4. Siskel & Ebert Play a Videogame
During the '80s and early '90s, they'd have an annual show called "The Video Gift Guide," focusing on movies from the previous year, along with a few classics, worth adding to your home entertainment collection. They'd cap these shows by engaging in another home entertainment pastime: playing a videogame! This clip from 1993 has them virtually boxing each other via an early ancestor of Kinect. They have to stand inside a metal hoop and it'll sense the movements of their fists and feet as they trade pixelated body blows!
RELATED: Pres. Obama, Steven Spielberg, Howard Stern Remember Roger Ebert
5. But, In all Seriousness, the Show Really Could Be Legit As Criticism: The Decalogue
Just check out this 15-minute segment from the early 2000s of Ebert reviewing Krzysztof Kieślowski's The Decalogue for its DVD release. A shorter version appeared on the At the Movies telecast, while the full 15-minute clip ended up on the DVD box set. Ebert basically gives us a shot-for-shot analysis of several scenes, going into a far greater level of detail than you really could in a print review. It's a clip like this that shows Ebert could be a kind of college film studies professor, with his TV viewing audience as his students. As if he didn't already have enough jobs, he really did teach a class or two a year at the University of Chicago before his battle with cancer.
NEXT: The Blistering Takedown That Actually Inspired a Book. And Ebert Gets Siskel to Change His Mind!
6. The Takedown of North
One thing a film professor doesn't have to do, though, is subject himself or herself to the vast majority of new movies that are released in order to make a tight deadline for a review. Ebert had to do that. And that meant having to see movies like Leonard, Part 6, or what for him was even worse, Rob Reiner's North in 1994, a film he called the worst he'd seen in the almost two decades that he'd done the show and "one of the most hateful movies in years." In fact, his TV and print reviews of North would give birth to one of Ebert's most popular books: Your Movie Sucks, a collection of his one-star reviews.
7. That Time Ebert Actually Got Siskel to Change His Mind
Only one time did it ever happen. Siskel & Ebert were reviewing John Woo's Broken Arrow in 1996. Siskel thought the movie was dumb but enjoyable, and he gave it a thumbs up. Ebert hated it, and in the span of a couple of minutes he got Siskel to change his mind and give the movie a thumbs down.
8. Ebert Says GoodFellas Is One of the Best Movies of the '90s...to Cohost Martin Scorsese
After Gene Siskel's death in early 1999, a succession of substitutes filled his seat in the balcony opposite Ebert. Some were critics from other publications. One, Richard Roeper, was a critic from Ebert's own publication, the Chicago Sun-Times. He'd eventually get the permanent gig. Other subs, though, were filmmakers. For the "Best of the '90s" listathon special that closed out 1999, Ebert tapped Martin Scorsese as his co-host, meaning that he could tell the director to his face that he thought GoodFellas was the third best film of the decade. (FYI: Hoop Dreams was No. 1.)
9. Scooby-Doo Deux
Ebert never really went in for the puns like fellow TV critic Gene Shalit — if you're not following @FakeShalit on Twitter right now, what are you doing with your life? — but when he did, they were epic. Like his imagining of what 2004's Scooby-Doo 2 would be called in France, which also conveyed precisely what he thought of the movie.
10. How Exactly Is Herbie "Fully Loaded"?
Some of Ebert's best writing didn't occur just when he was mining subtext from Kieślowski films or dissecting Alfred Hitchcock's lighting choices in Notorious. It happened when he let his geek flag fly and ask the really meaningful questions. Like when he asked during his review of Toy Story 3, "If Mr. Potato Head lost an ear, would it continue to hear, or if he lost a mouth, would it continue to eat without a body?" Or how he devoted much of his review of Zack Snyder's Watchmen to a discussion of Dr. Manhattan's ontological status. Or, best of all, this gem from 2005 when he asked, while reviewing Herbie: Fully Loaded, if sentient cars are capable of having sex.
What's your favorite moment from At the Movies?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Michael L. Abramson/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images]
From Our PartnersHayden Panetierre Bikinis in Miami (Celebuzz)Every Jurassic Park Dinosaur Ranked From Best to Worst (Vulture)