Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Emmy Chatter: Writing and Directing (Drama Series)

Remember two years ago when Mad Men took up four of the five writing nominations at the Emmy? We sure do. Ryan (of Sorta That Guy) and I started Emmy predictions with the guest performers early in the week. We return, this time focusing on the potential writing and directing nominees. These categories are notoriously difficult to predict, but this conversation was a lot of fan to predict.

Ryan: But off the bat, I've never even tackled predicting Writing/Directing nominees before because it's hard.

Andrew: It IS hard to predict. You were saying on twitter that it’s exasperating when shows submit like a dozen episodes, and even though I know they want to give themselves as much chances, I wonder if they really expect double nods.

Ryan: It doesn't help that the Emmys LOVE to give multiple nods. I remember two years ago how ridiculously it was that Mad Men got 4 of the 5 nominations. Love the show, but that is excessive.

How many nods is Mad Men getting this year?
Andrew: Well, imagine what it's like for people like me who DON'T love the show. They get a wee bit out of hand when they love you.

Ryan: Well with that said, shall we dive into Writing for a Drama then?

Andrew: Indeed, and since we're talking about Mad Men, they've won each year for the past three years. 2 nods the first season, 4 the second, 2 the third. How much do we see them getting this year and for what?

Ryan: At most 3 nominations for "The Suitcase" "Walfdorf Stories" and "Tomorrowland." I'm confident that "The Suitcase" will get nominated though.

Andrew: Really, because if we have any legitimate precursor for this category it's the WGA and the nominated MAD MEN episode there was "Chrysanthemum and the Sword"...which they won for...

Ryan: Hm. Maybe I should've paid more attention to the precursors! Well, then it'll be that and "The Suitcase." Or you know, maybe they'll get 4 nominations. Who knows anymore? The thing is there are a lot of new shows that they might want to honour.

Andrew: If there's a third, I'm thinking either "Tomorrowland" or "Beautiful Girls", but really they go crazy over some episodes. My favourite episode of the season was "The Good News", but I'm not a true fan. Sigh.

Ryan: Well as for new shows, Boardwalk Empire is the big one, but there's also Game of Thrones, Shameless, and The Walking Dead.

Andrew: Has Shameless been well received? That one seems to have escaped me.

Ryan: I'm not sure how well-received Shameless is actually, but it's HBO so it almost feel automatic for it to be in the running. And The Killing, which submitted almost every episode ever.
Any chance of The Killing making it in?
Andrew: Ha, I loved that The Killing did that. Probably just to fuck with voters. What really surprises me about the submissions for writing is that Boardwalk Empire really throws me for a loop when they submit almost every episode but NOT the pilot. And pilots of great shows are almost always the go-to for nominations. So I don't know which Boardwalk Empire episode to wager for a nod.

Ryan: Especially since Boardwalk Empire's "Pilot" is the front-runner for Directing. Um, Martin Scorsese thank you very much.

Andrew: (Yup, he's the frontrunner. But, you're pre-empting me. ha. ha) I figure the season finale is the best bet for a nod.

Ryan: I agree, but I don't really watch the show so I don't know. Also I was wrong about Shameless, it's on Showtime, not HBO. Its chances actually dropped because of that.

Andrew: You are mean.

Ryan: I'm going purely by nominating history of the Emmy's. They love HBO.

Andrew: Friday Night Lights and The Good Wife both got writing nods last season. Are they coming back?

Ryan: That's funny since I was going to ask you if there are any non-cable shows that would make it in.

Andrew: Let me get this out of the way now, I don't get Friday Night Lights. I'm trying so hard to get through the final season, and it's well made but I just can't love it. I'm barely mustering up a liking.

Ryan: I actually quite love it, except for the final season. Something's just been off about it, but then again I saw all of Friday Night Lights in 2 weeks a few months ago.

Andrew: Well, they submitted one episode which means all the fans have one horse to bet on. A nod you think?

Ryan: It's a great strategy definitely, but who knows. Everyone else does seem to love it, so its finale "Always" has a shot. As for The Good Wife, I'd say "VIP Treatment."

Andrew: Before we actually predict, I HAVE to ask. As someone who loves The Good Wife what do you think of the submissions? I think that there are some pretty egregious snubs in terms of submissions neither "Getting Off" nor "Ham Sandwich"? Or "Breaking Up" which I thought was a fair episode but excellently written. But, I guess of the lot "VIP Treatment" is the best bet.

Ryan: The episodes you mentioned are damn good, but that's the thing about this show, almost every episode is perfectly written. That's why I actually respect that they took the "less is more" route over the alternative.

Andrew: I do respect them for that. I'm a Dexter fan but it's never gotten a writing nod. Odd isn't it?

Ryan: Yeah and I have no idea how to explain it. They're okay with violence (The Sopranos), so who knows?

Andrew: I don't get that; and some critics weren't a fan of this season so I guess it's not a lock for a nod. I think it's time we show our hands; this is going to be fun. I'll go first.

Ryan: Do we really have to predict now, because I have 12 episodes on my long list and I have no idea how to pick 5-6 of them. I really, really don't. Guess I'll look at yours and decide.

Andrew: Pick blindly. (And you only have 5 choices.)

Ryan: Even better.

Andrew: My picks:
Boardwalk Empire “A Return to Normalcy”
The Good Wife “VIP Treatment”
The Killing “Pilot”
Mad Men “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”
Mad Men “The Suitcase”

Ryan: My predictions are actually the exact same as yours, except I'm wavering on The Killing's Pilot. BUT my alternatives to that would be episodes from genre shows aka Game of Thrones"Baelor" and The Walking Dead"Days Gone By." So... I'm going to go with…
Boardwalk Empire “A Return to Normalcy”
The Good Wife “VIP Treatment”
Game of Thrones “Baelor”
Mad Men “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”
Mad Men “The Suitcase”

Andrew: I, too, am wavering on The Killing, people have started to hate it so it could easily get ignored. And I don't see Game of Thrones getting love. I'd be pissed on principal if they do, because they ignored The Tudors back in the name which I find criminal.

Ryan: That's exactly why I'm wavering on The Killing. The buzz just seems to not be on its favour now, while Game of Thrones is riding some good ones.

Andrew: But the Emmy's are weird, they kept nominating Two and a Half Men without a care in the world. So, who knows?

Ryan: I'm predicting a shut out for that show this year. But maybe its wishful thinking. Also, that's jumping ahead a bit. Shall we go to Directing? Any front-runners?

Andrew: Hah. I'm already dreaming about how awesome Martin's speech will be.

Ryan: He's so locked, it's funny. I'm looking forward to seeing it. And I will definitely see that episode before the Emmy's. This category is a bit more forgiving on genre shows, so I'm predicting Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and maybe even Fringe could get in. The latter is DEFINITELY wishful thinking on my part.

Andrew: I have Game of Thrones there too.

Ryan: Three episodes though. Which one has the better chance?

Andrew: I say the pilot, for obvious reasons. Dexter will probably make it too. It won last year, and Shill directed "Everything is Ilumenated" which seems to have a good chance.

Ryan: I was thinking the pilot, too. And yes, definitely on "Everything Is Illumenated" since as you said, it’s last year's winner.

Andrew: Although, I'd think "Hop a Freighter" is a more obvious choice...

Ryan: And how about the perennial winner Mad Men? I keep saying "The Suitcase" because it was my personal favorite episode of the season, but I'm not sure. Especially since Matt Weiner did "Tomorrowland" and last year nominee Lesli Linka Glatter did "The Chrysanthemum And The Sword." Also I say "winner" though it hasn't won a directing award, has it?

Andrew: They've never won for directing, and probably might not...it could be any number of nods for them, though...but one is what I’m assuming...

Ryan: Any thoughts on the chances of "These Arms of Mine" for Grey's Anatomy? The direction of that episode was front and centre as they had to make it look like a documentary.

Andrew: But they've started hating on the show, they didn't even nominate Sandra last year. So I don't want to be hasty.
Ryan: Yeah, even as an on-off-on again fan of the show, I thought it was insane they didn't get any love for their chilling finale last year.

Andrew: I concur. Emmy's are really random that way.

Ryan: Another nominee last year, Agnieskza Holland could be nominated for her work on The Killing. But who knows?

Andrew: Show your hand, sir. Before you do, though, the DGA nominated Dexter, Mad Men, Lost, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire.

Ryan: Thank you sir for that. Okay...
Boardwalk Empire “Pilot
Dexter “Everything is Illumenated”
Game of Thrones “Winter is Coming”
Mad Men “The Suitcase”
The Walking Dead “Days Gone By”

Andrew: Seriously? That's my line-up which is really random.

Ryan: So you were thinking The Walking Dead, too, though? That one was the surprising consensus to me.

Andrew: (I erred it was actually The Walking Dead and not Game of Thrones which got DGA love. Game of Thrones hadn’t come out yet.) I'm going crap it up and say "Hop A Freighter" instead of “Everything is Illumenated” instead for DEXTER.
Boardwalk Empire “Pilot
Dexter “Hop A Freighter”
Game of Thrones “Winter is Coming”
Mad Men “The Suitcase”
The Walking Dead “Days Gone By”
And...Darabont (The Walking Dead) is an Oscar nominee. But, really who knows?
Any predictions on the writing and directing for drama categories? Scorsese for the win? Mad Men to rule and conquer?


Jose said...

I think if any episode of Game of Thrones gets in for Best Directing it'll be "Baelor", they love this big turning moments in this category, especially with genre shows. Remember Exodus got Battlestar Galactica a nod here!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

hmm, ryan was actually thinking about "baelor". i'm sure it'll be in for something.