Review: BBC America’s “Thirteen”

BBC America's Thirteen

Jodie Comer on Thirteen / Screencap: BBC via YouTube

Where ABC's The Family did not invoke confidence, BBC America's Thirteen 
proves that a show set around a missing child's return can be enthralling.

 

Cast-wise, ABC’s The Family was impressive. Starring Joan Allen (Room), Rupert Graves (Sherlock), Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and Andrew McCarthy (Pretty in Pink), the show aired mid-season for twelve episodes before the network announced its cancellation in May.
Having stuck it out for a pilot and a half, every show needs a few attention-grabbing hooks. The problem with The Family was it was all hooks, no answers, and a lot of frustrating characters.

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My Dream Emmy Ballot 2016: “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series”

Here is what the “Lead Actor in a Drama Series” category would look like if I was in charge of the Emmys (unfortunately, you can only nominate six people).

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Aden Young (Daniel Holden, Rectify)

– Matthew Rhys (Philip Jennings, The Americans)

– Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates, Bates Motel)

– Rami Malek (Elliot Alderson, Mr. Robot)

– Justin Thoreaux (Kevin Garvey, The Leftovers)

– Michael K. Williams (Leonard Pine, Hap and Leonard)

 

Runner-Up: Cillian Murphey (Thomas Shelby, Peaky Blinders)

From episode one Aden Young has given one of the greatest performances on television, often in silence. Daniel’s eminent exile from Paulie, in accordance with his plea bargain, hung over season four but it was business as usual for Young, as he hit every note of Daniel’s acceptance of his choice with customary panache.

 

And let the debates begin! Do you agree with my choices? Disagree? Voice your thoughts in the comments below and organize your own nominee list using the  official Emmy ballot.

Also be sure to check back July 14th when the official nominees get announced.

(P.S. No worries if your choices are long shots (certainly many of mine are).  but it’s nice to pretend they have a chance anyway.)

My Dream Emmy Ballot 2016: “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series”

Here is what the “Lead Actress in a Drama Series” category would look like if I was in charge of the Emmys (unfortunately, you can only nominate six people).

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates, Bates Motel)

– Keri Russell (Elizabeth Jennings, The Americans)

– Eva Green (Vanessa Ives, Penny Dreadful)

– Kiele Sanchez (Lisa Prince, Kingdom)

– Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers,Supergirl)

– Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones, Jessica Jones)

 

Runner-Up: Ruth Wilson (Alison Bailey, The Affair)

Norma Bates’ fate is infamous but after seeing her come to life over four seasons (versus the timeline of Hitchcock’s movie, when all her dialogue was filtered through Norman’s head first) episode nine this year hit like a ton of bricks. Norma got to be her most happy this season. She also had the deal with the denial of pain she was feeling, over having to be afraid of the person she loved most. Vera Farmiga will still be on the show next season, but the sense of loss fans felt all the same can be credited to her portrayal of one of cinema’s most well-known, but rarely to this detail, mothers.

 

And let the debates begin! Do you agree with my choices? Disagree? Voice your thoughts in the comments below and organize your own nominee list using the  official Emmy ballot.

Also be sure to check back July 14th when the official nominees get announced.

(P.S. No worries if your choices are long shots (certainly many of mine are).  but it’s nice to pretend they have a chance anyway.)

My Dream Emmy Ballot 2016: “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series”

Here is what the “Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” category would look like if I was in charge of the Emmys (unfortunately, you can only nominate six people).

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathon Tucker (Jay Kulina, Kingdom)

– Dylan Baker (William Crandall, The Americans)

– Nestor Carbonell (Sheriff Alex Romero, Bates Motel)

– Costa Ronin (Oleg Burov, The Americans)

– David Dawson (King Alfred the Great, The Last Kingdom)

– Clayne Crawford (Ted Talbot, Jr., Rectify)

 

Runner-Up: Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot, Gotham)

Jonathon Tucker is my cheat this Emmy season. I don’t have DirecTV so haven’t had a chance to watch season 2 of Kingdom yet (when the DVD comes out I’ll snatch that up). Season one’s Jay Kulina was electric, in his varied interactions between different members of his family. I don’t see season two being a major departure from the groundwork Tucker established of a very loyal, angry force of nature.

 

And let the debates begin! Do you agree with my choices? Disagree? Voice your thoughts in the comments below and organize your own nominee list using the  official Emmy ballot.

Also be sure to check back July 14th when the official nominees get announced.

(P.S. No worries if your choices are long shots (certainly many of mine are).  but it’s nice to pretend they have a chance anyway.)

My Dream Emmy Ballot 2016: “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series”

Here is what the “Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” category would look like if I was in charge of the Emmys (unfortunately, you can only nominate six people).

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Adelaide Clemens (Tawney Talbot, Rectify)

– Calista Flockhart (Cat Grant, Supergirl)

– Haydon Pannettiere (Juliet Barnes, Nashville)

– Holly Taylor (Paige Jennings, The Americans)

– Maura Tierney (Helen Solloway,The Affair)

– Alison Wright (Martha Hanson, The Americans)

 

Runner-Up: Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers, Supergirl)

Watching Rectify, I don’t think I ever wondered about Tawny’s backstory or thought we’d be told it. But when season three gave us a peek into her childhood, this information was suddenly vitally illuminating. All the confusion Tawny was grappling could be found on Adelaide Clemens’ face and her marriage conversations with Teddy, Jr. (Clayne Crawford) were repeatedly striking.

 

And let the debates begin! Do you agree with my choices? Disagree? Voice your thoughts in the comments below and organize your own nominee list using the  official Emmy ballot.

Also be sure to check back July 14th when the official nominees get announced.

(P.S. No worries if your choices are long shots (certainly many of mine are).  but it’s nice to pretend they have a chance anyway.)

My Dream Emmy Ballot 2016: “Outstanding Guest Actors and Actresses in a Comedy and Drama Series”

Here are what the “Outstanding Guest Actors and Actresses in a Comedy and Drama Series” categories would look like if I was in charge of the Emmys (unfortunately, you can only nominate six).

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Noel Fisher (Mickey Milkovich, Shameless)

2016 Emmy Awards Nominating Ballots

– Adam Pally (Peter Prentice, The Mindy Project)

– Bob Newhart (Arthur, The Big Bang Theory)

– Mark Duplass (Brendan Deslaurier, The Mindy Project)

– Allen Maldonado (Honey Nutz, You’re the Worst)

– Kevin Sussman (Stuart Bloom, The Big Bang Theory)

 

Runner-Up: Seth Green (Jared, Broad City)

His limited presence in season six may not make for the best representation but, as much for previous seasons as this one, Noel Fisher wins this category for one incredible character arc.


Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Patty Duke (Grandma Janice/Great Aunt Hilary, Liv and Maddie)

– Rhea Perlman (Annette Castellano, The Mindy Project)

– Rita Moreno (Liliana, Jane the Virgin)

– Carrie Fisher (Mia, Catastrophe)

– Ava Acres (Young Rebecca, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)

– Gina Gallego (Miss. Hernandez, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)

 

Runner-Up: Michael Hyatt (Dr. Akopian, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)

If Patty Duke hadn’t passed away earlier this year this probably would’ve been a toss-up between Perlman, Moreno, and Fisher. Given the excuse to recognize her career, on- and off-screen, however, I’ll take it. Liv and Maddie is the kind of Disney show I would’ve loved to watch growing up, and the part makes a cute nod to Patty Duke’s earlier dual role as look-alike cousins on The Patty Duke Show.


Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Oliver Hudson (Jeff Fordham, Nashville)

– Cameron Monaghan (Jerome Valeska, Gotham)

– Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie, Outlander)

– Paul Reubens (Elijah Van Dahl, Gotham)

– B.D. Wong (Hugo Strange, Gotham)

– Josh Charles (Will Gardner, The Good Wife)

 

Runner-Up: Ryan Hurst (Chick Hogan, Bates Motel)

There was a time when I would’ve loved to see Jeff Fordham off of Nashville.  The caricature villain ready to be hated (almost too much so), somewhere along the way Oliver Hudson gave him layers, in a turnaround that was as remarkable as it was unexpected.


Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Annet Mahendru (Nina Krilova, The Americans)

– Carol Kane (Gertrude Kapelput, Gotham)

– Patti LuPone (The Cut-Wife/Joan Clayton, Penny Dreadful)

– Allison Janney (Margaret Scully, Masters of Sex)

– Natasha Lyonne (Nicky Nichols, Orange is the New Black)

– Stockard Channing (Veronica Loy, The Good Wife)

 

Runner-Up: Laurie Metcalf (Sarah, Horace and Pete)

Nina’s unknown loyalties should have become tiresome, even as her storyline required her to be separated from most of the cast the last two seasons, yet this never was the case. Annet Mahendru’s time on the show is over but her character (and the way in which she left) will not soon be forgotten, by characters (Oleg, Stan) or fans.

 

 

And let the debates begin! Do you agree with my choices? Disagree? Voice your thoughts in the comments below and organize your own nominee list using the  official Emmy ballot.

Also be sure to check back July 14th when the official nominees get announced.

(P.S. No worries if your choices are long shots (certainly many of mine are).  but it’s nice to pretend they have a chance anyway.)

-pictures screencapped from the 2016 Emmy Awards Performer Nominating Ballot

 

My Dream Emmy Ballot 2016: “Outstanding Comedy, Drama, Limited Series and Television Movie”

Here are what the “Outstanding Series” categories would look like if I was in charge of the Emmys (unfortunately, you can only nominate six).

Outstanding Drama Series

Rectify

– The Americans

– The Leftovers

– Penny Dreadful

– Kingdom

– The Last Kingdom

 

Runner-Up: Mr. Robot

 


Outstanding Comedy Series

Catastrophe

– Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

– The Mindy Project

– You’re the Worst

– Jane the Virgin

– Shameless

 

Runner-Up: Fresh off the Boat

 


Outstanding Limited Series

The Last Panthers

– The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

– Fargo

– London Spy

– Show Me A Hero

– The Astronaut Wives

 

Runner-Up: The Night Manager

 


Outstanding TV Movie

Luther

– Confirmation

– Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

 

Runner-Up: Descendants

 

 

 

And let the debates begin! Do you agree with my choices? Disagree? Voice your thoughts in the comments below and organize your own nominee list using the  official Emmy ballot.

Also be sure to check back July 14th when the official nominees get announced.

(P.S. No worries if your choices are long shots (certainly many of mine are).  but it’s nice to pretend they have a chance anyway.)

-pictures are profile icons from each show’s respective Twitter page

 

The Odyssey Online: Seventeenth Issue

Just When I Thought I Was Out… FX’s “Fargo” Pulled Me Back In

You betcha season 2 is better than season 1.

The Odyssey Online

 

After sticking it out through season one of FX’s “Fargo,” I was ready to call it quits. Exactly why is a tougher question to answer. Derived from the Coen Brothers’ film of the same name, the anthology series starts with the story of Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman), a constantly belittled life insurance salesman who, after an encounter with a mysterious killer, Lorne Malvo (an exceptionally good Billy Bob Thornton), decides to finally stand up for himself. Which, in “Fargo,” equates to a ton of dead bodies.

Also in the first season, viewers are introduced to the Solverson family: Molly (Allison Tolman), the good-at-her-job cop who is closest to putting together the facts behind her hometown’s recent string of murders, and Lou, her father, a retired good cop who now runs a local diner.

The Solversons, and various locations in the Midwest, are the main carryovers into season two’s prequel, which flashes back 27 years from season one’s 2006, to 1979. At this point in time, Molly is a little girl and Lou is a Minnesota State Trooper. Yet while there are numerous other parallels between the first season and the second, many of which would be spoilers to disclose, season two does them better. More importantly, season two does them with a greater sense of hope.

To read full article, click here.

 

My Dream Emmy Ballot 2013: Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama

UPDATE:

I have a chance of picking a winner for lead actress in a drama! Vera Farmiga has been nominated (and, considering Bate’s Motel only started this spring, that’s some pretty fast recognition). Now, I imagine name exposure from her role in the film, Up in the Air may have helped. The show’s origin work also happens to be a Hollywood classic. Still, a prequel to Hitchcock’s Psycho is exciting in concept but very easily botched. Attempting to bring to life a character who only ever existed as an unseen damaging influence over cinema’s infamous serial killer, Norman Bates- a bit tricky. Farmiga deserves all the attention she gets for the multiple layers she provides Norma: her version of maternal paranoia makes all the crazy situations she falls into not outrageous but great TV. Freddie Highmore may be giving a fantastic performance as well, making a new name for himself after years of successful parts as a child actor, but Norma is the Bates to watch.
 
Connie Britton also snags a nomination for a first season show. Maybe it takes revealing a powerful singing voice to bring Mrs. Coach the award she’s had coming to her for since Friday Night Lights. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose?
 
I have enjoyed Khandi Alexander’s work since ER, so am disappointed that her, and Treme in general, have been ignored.
 
Then again, Rectify, the best show of 2013, has received no attention either, so what do I know? It seems Netflix and not Sundance is going to be spotlighted for newly starting to have original content, and as a person who likes her shows on a television, not a computer, I think this is a mistake (admittedly have never seen House of Lies; simply remain on the fence about its distributor and that trepidation has, fairly or unfairly, biased me against the program at present).
 
Here is the official nominations list.
 

***

 
Here is what the “Lead Actor” and “Lead Actress in a Drama Series” category would look like if I was in charge of the Emmys (unfortunately, you can only pick six people, so even my honorable mentions section is missing worthy individuals).
 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

– Bryan Cranston (Walter White, Breaking Bad)

ADEN YOUNG (Daniel Holden, Rectify)

Aden Young as "Daniel Holden"

– Nathan Fillion (Richard Castle, Castle)

– Jon Hamm (Don Draper, Mad Men)

– Wendell Pierce (Antoine Baptiste, Treme)

– Matthew Rhys (Philip Jennings, The Americans)

 
 

Runner Ups:
David Boreanaz (Seeley Booth, Bones)
Charlie Hunnam (Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller, Sons of Anarchy)
Timothy Hutton (Nathan Ford, Leverage)
Timothy Olyphant (Raylan Givens, Justified)
Damian Lewis (Nicholas Brody, Homeland)

 
 
 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

– Khandi Alexander (LaDonna Baptiste-Williams, Treme)

– Connie Britton (Rayna James, Nashville)

– Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley, Downton Abbey)

VERA FARMIGA (Norma Bates, Bates Motel)

Vera Farmiga as "Norma Bates"

– Elizabeth Moss (Peggy Olson, Mad Men)

– Katey Sagal (Gemma Teller Morrow, Sons of Anarchy)

 
 

Runner Ups:
Glenn Close (Patty Hewes, Damages)
Julianna Margulies (Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife)
Keri Russell (Elizabeth Jennings, The Americans)
Tatiana Maslany (Sarah, Beth, and others, Orphan Black)
Radha Mitchell (Marta Walraven, Red Widow)

 

Honorable Mentions: Emily Deschanel (Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan, Bones), Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White/Mary Margaret, Once Upon a Time), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering, Warehouse 13), Stana Katic (Kate Beckett, Castle), Jessica Raine (Jenny Lee, Call the Midwife)

 
And let the debates begin! Do you agree with my choices? Voice your thoughts in the comments below, and feel free to organize your own nominee list using the official Emmy ballot

(P.S. It doesn’t matter if your choices are long shots (certainly many of mine are) but it’s nice to pretend they have a chance anyway.)
 

-Aden Young screencap credited Sundance, Vera Farmiga screencap from here

 

My Dream Emmy Ballot 2013: “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series”

UPDATE:

This category was a wash.
 
I am actually familiar with the work of all the actresses nominated, and they are all extremely talented but this list has been seen before (Emilia Clarke for Game of Thrones being the exception- bravo Mother of Dragons!). Would have liked to see the wealth spread, since there are so many actresses worthy of these six spots.
 
Indeed, Monica Potter plays my least favorite character on Parenthood, but I wanted to see her nominated (even over Mae Whitman, who plays my favorite character) because of her emotional cancer arc this season. It ended a little too happily (and please don’t take that the wrong way- having cancer of any form or degree, no matter the outcome, is terrible. I only mean that, in the case of this show, while a ton of issues have been thrown at the Bravermans over four seasons, they always seem to come out in the end overwhelmingly lucky).
 
As the category is, I’ll put my vote behind Christina Hendricks.
 
Here is the official nominations list.
 

***

 
Here is what the “Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” category would look like if I was in charge of the Emmys (unfortunately, you can only nominate six people, and even my honorable mentions section is missing worthy individuals).

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

– Rose Byrne (Ellen Parsons, Damages)

– Kim Dickens (Janette Desautel, Treme)

JOELLE CARTER (Ava Crowder, Justified)

ABIGAIL SPENCER (Amantha Holden, Rectify)

– Monica Potter (Kristina Braverman, Parenthood)

– Maggie Siff (Tara Knowles, Sons of Anarchy)

(tie)

 
 

Runner Ups:
Christine Baranski (Diane Lockhart, The Good Wife)
Claire Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor, Nashville)
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones)
Joanne Froggart (Anna, Downton Abbey)
Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris, Mad Men)
Melissa Leo (Antoinette ‘Toni’ Bernette, Treme)
Linda Parrilla (Evil Queen/Mayor Regina Mills, Once Upon a Time)
Mae Whitman (Amber Holt, Parenthood)
Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper, Mad Men)

 

Honorable Mentions: Anna Gunn (Skyler White, Breaking Bad), Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader, Breaking Bad), Miranda Hart (Chummy Noakes, Call the Midwife), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones), Kelly Macdonald (Margaret Schroeder, Boardwalk Empire), Hayden Panettiere (Juliette Barnes, Nashville), Beth Riesgraf (Parker, Leverage), Valorie Curry (Emma Hill, The Following)

 
And let the debates begin! Do you agree with my choices? Voice your thoughts in the comments below, and feel free to organize your own nominee list using the official Emmy ballot.
(P.S. It doesn’t matter if your choices are long shots (certainly many of mine are) but it’s nice to pretend they have a chance anyway.)
 

-Carter’s picture from here; Spencer’s picture credited Sundance