Friday, July 14, 2017

Emmy Nominations: The Good, The Bad, and The Snubbed

The Good: 

-Honestly, it's ALL good. Television is great. I love it all. Better Call Saul, Westworld, Veep, Stranger Things, Atlanta, Feud, Black Mirror, Master of None. The list just continues to grow.

-While The Americans slipped this past season (it went from my favorite Drama on television to not even in my Top 10), Keri Russell is still incredible.

-This is Us getting nominated makes up slightly for the years of Parenthood snubs. Sterling K. Brown is fantastic, but it's a supporting performance (as is Milo Ventimiglia who should not have been nominated at all). Why is Crissy Metz in the supporting category, while the males are for lead? It doesn't make any sense. Although, it was smart on Metz's behalf, because she could not compete against the female lead competition.

-How great would it be for Donald Glover to win Actor, Writer, and Director for Atlanta? I would love that so much. Although, Aziz Ansari definitely deserves the Writing win for Master of None because the second season is pure joy.

The Bad: 

-This was easily the worst season of House of Cards. The only nomination that I'm sort of ok with is Robin Wright

-Stranger Things is great, but a nomination for Barb? A character that is only remembered because of an Internet meme? Oh, do fuck off.

-People being angry for Modern Family nominations: You can fuck off, too. I'm glad the Emmys have continued to nominate this show even in the face of criticism. It's still one of the funniest shows on television - and it still feels fresh. That's hard to do after so many years in this television climate.

-I know it's a weird thing to complain about, but there is simply too much television! It's impossible to keep up. I haven't seen The Handmaid's Tale, The Leftovers, Big Little Lies, The Crown, Transparent, or The Night of. I need them to just stop making new television for like 3 months so I can catch up with everything.

The Snubbed:

-The biggest snub of the year is easily Michael McKean, who probably should have won the category. I adore Jonathan Banks (Mike has always been a favorite character of mine), but McKean owned this season of Better Call Saul.

-I haven't seen The Leftovers yet (I KNOW), but I trust the majority - and everyone seems to be saying that this was the best television had to offer this year (which is a huge statement)

-Nothing for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, really? Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, and Chelsea Peretti are a given. My comedy category always seems to defer from awards shows (mine would be: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Better Things, Mom, Master of None, Atlanta, Modern Family, and Speechless, and Veep. Yes, I know that's 8. I don't care!).

-I'm surprisingly ok with Mr. Robot getting snubbed - I don't even remember the second season at all


3 Thoughts on Baby Driver



1. The technique - This seems to be a film that is universally loved, although I have seen a few people claiming it doesn't live up to the hype. But I think everyone can agree that technically, it's brilliant. Like, a stunning piece of film-making. Most are talking about the practical effects used for the car chases (which is why it seemed so real, as opposed to the Fast & Furious franchise) and/or the use of musical cues for action sequences and editing scenes. But, I for one, am obsessed with a well done long tracking shot, and this film has several. One even competes with Shame, as it has Baby walking through NYC, and I just smiled for its entirety. This scene alone won me over. The rest of the movie is filled with spectacular car chase scenes, beautifully quiet character-driven moments, and downright genius musical cues. To set the pace of a film along with music - and not in a soundtrack way because the music is an integral part of the story, is probably the most creative thing I've seen done in a film in years. It will be hard to top this as my favorite movie of the year.

2. The cast - Another thing that won me over is the cast. I was a big fan of Ansel Elgort in The Fault in Our Stars. He displayed the perfect amount of positivity and vulnerability, and it literally broke my heart. However, I kind of assumed that I liked him just because I connected with that movie so much (I *still* use the "great and terrible 10" as a guide for painful experiences). I didn't actually believe that Ansel was ready for a lead role. I think I described him as "dopey" back then, and my description still stands. Yet, he absolutely killed it in this role. Jon Hamm was unexpectedly really fun, while Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey played more expected roles (still fun to watch). I was on the fence about Lily James (she was boring as Cinderella but great in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), but damn if she wasn't trying to perfect a modern day version of Alabama Whitman, she did it anyway (more on this later). And to round out the cast, Eiza Gonzalez is stunning (from the series of From Dusk Till Dawn, I knew I recognized her!!). All actors displayed the perfect amount of grit and cheesiness. And it was all extremely fun to watch.

3. The influences - I think everyone's initial reaction is to compare it to Drive. But it turns out, it's nothing like it at all. In fact, remember how upset everyone was initially about how misleading the Drive trailer was? Well, this is the movie that I think everyone was expecting Drive to be. It's fast, thrilling, non-organic, and the complete opposite of Drive in every way. The only real connection is that it's about a driver who doesn't talk much. For me, this film had more of a retro True Romance vibe to it. I've seen a few other reviewers describing it that way, as well. Sure, it has many other influences (Heat, Reservoir Dogs, The Driver), but the overlying plot point is the romance - and it is pure Clarence and Alabama love. I've also seen many (female) critics take issue with this love, and this female character (OH HEAVEN FORBID IT DOESN'T PASS THE ARCHAIC BECHDEL TEST), but the movie is not about her. She's not part of the group - her existence in the plot is to give Baby a reason to get out; to survive. Every character is an archetype, so it's not problematic that she is too. Honestly, a multi-dimensional female character would have felt out of place in this film - none of the characters, with the exception of Baby, were given layers.