The Next Day review
New David Bowie is good. Listen to it if you haven’t yet.
I think the problem with Big Bang Theory is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It seems like the kind of show CBS originally envisioned to be just another platform for jokes, a la Two and a Half Men, According to Jim, etc. The Big Bang Theory was dropped between waves. It was late to the “light-premise, easy joke” wave, but didn’t see the “character-driven” wave of Parks & Rec and Community coming. In recent years, it seems like The Big Bang Theory has tried to focus more on the characters. But, it still feels like a show that’s just a joke-canon filled with play-doh, attempting to hit everyone.
fuckyeahtheglassphoenix asked: Not that you care, but Ke$ha's latest album came out 30 Nov, not last June. 'Pop Out of Bed' is not a Ke$ha song, not even a demo. Also, working with The Strokes on 'Only Wanna Dance With You' was after the demo leaked. The instrumental didn't change, only the lyrics. I don't know which you were referring to when you said it was "very obvious once you listen to it". 'Dirty Love' isn't about inter-species sex, it's about not being a gold digger. (Read your review and thought you should know)
Are you 100% sure Pop Out of Bed isn’t one of her songs?
For some reason I decided to listen to Kesha’s newest album.
Her new album came out in, let’s say, June of last year. I’m not sure. It’s not important enough to look up, either, so we’ll just assume it was June 2012. The point is, it’s been out for a while.
I had heard Die Young on the radio and was surprised to find I actually liked it. See, I haven’t been a fan of Kesha since ever. Pop Out of Bed (which may or may not have been one of her hits) was a bad song. We R Who We R is another song of hers that is actually titled with letters in place of words. It was also a bad song. But then, Die Young came around and I was like, “Wait, what?” because, musically and lyrically, so far surpassed her previous releases, as well as most of the stuff on Top 40 Radio.
There seemed to be a maturation since Animal with “Die Young.” I judged her entire album on that one song, which is generally a bad idea. However, as I’m listening to Warrior, I wasn’t completely in the wrong. It’s not 21 by Adele, or even Teenage Dream by Katy Perry. It certainly isn’t as good as any Yeah Yeah Yeahs album or something from Sigur Ros. Warrior is not a piece of art. It is another Kesha album. That much is obvious. But, it seems she has learned from her past releases. Whether she listened to critics, or it’s her own personal maturity coming through in the music, I couldn’t tell you. But, the distance from Animal is certainly noticeable.
Where Animal had the central theme of “PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!” Warrior comes across as a more personal record. There are plenty of songs that were made to be released as singles, like “Die Young,” “C’mon,” and “Out Alive.” There are also songs that would not be well-received by the general Top 40 audience, like “Dirty Love,” a song which features Iggy Pop singing about different species having sex (It sounds like Kesha and Iggy Pop just screamed lyrics at each other in a studio for eight hours and the producer had to meticulously pull whatever he could to construct something that sounds like a song), and Love Into the Light, which sounds like what a compilation between TV on the Radio and Taylor Swift might sound like.
Obviously, I’m a big fan “Die Young.” I completely understand why it was the lead single. I also suggest “Only Wanna Dance With You.” It has a similar feel to Weezer’s “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” which is a dumb song, but is also very fun. She worked with The Strokes on this song and that fact becomes very obvious once you listen to it. “Gold Trans Am” is an interesting song because it has an obvious country influence. The final track, called “Past Lives,” is a softer song than what we’re used to from Kesha. It’s also produced by Wayne Coyne. It is a very pleasant song with a simple, enjoyable beat.
The album has an overall theme of “Enjoy your youth, because it’s not forever” and that really comes through in each song, despite the fact that not every song feels like every other song. “Only Wanna Dance With You” sonds like like a power-pop song. “Supernatural” and “All That Matters (The Beautiful Life) sound like a more recent Rihanna song. “Wonderland” sounds like something by Taylor Swift. It doesn’t seem like this was an accident. While of course the album’s heaviest influence is Kesha, I think Kesha is also trying a lot of different things because Party Rock is not long for this world.
Warrior is not a great album by any means. But, it is such an improvement from Animal. If she keeps on this track, I’m actually sort of looking forward to her third album.
Pop Songs Worth Noting 1
Right now, there aren’t too many great songs on the radio. Over the summer, though, about 50% of the Top 40 I liked, and a few of those songs I thought were actuallygoodsongs.
One of the best songs of this summer was “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida and Sia.
At first listen, it sounds like any other generic party rock/pop/hip-hop song. But Sia’s voice, not specifically the lyrics, throughout the song is kind-of heartbreaking. She talks about partying and looking for a guy to spend the night with. The lyrics could easily be a kesha song, but there’s more to hear part. She sounds like, even though she’s having fun, she knows this kind of lifestyle is not good. She wants a guy to get drunk & sleep with for that night only. Which is where Flo Rida comes in. This is where I wonder whether or not the genius of his part is intentional or not. All of Flo Rida’s (terrible) verses are about partying too hard and having a great time and loving it. (One of his lines is “hangover like too much vodka”) He doesn’t seem to have the same maturity as Sia, which is what Sia seems to want in this song.
This is Bruno Mars’ current song. It’s not very good. I just thought it should be mentioned how heavily influenced by The Police it sounds.
Kesha’s new song is called “Die Young.” It’s really good! Or at least, it’s really good compared to Kesha’s other songs. I’m really interested in Kesha’s coming ventures because of who she’s been involved with since her last terrible release, which was slightly less terrible than her original album but still fairly terrible. This upcoming (or maybe recently released) album is produced by in-part by Wayne Coyne. She was also on a song with The Flaming Lips recently. Plus, apparently, this album is influenced by Iggy Pop. She’s also been hanging out with Andrew WK recently and you can really hear his influence on “Die Young.” His most popular songs, as he talked about on his episode of WTF, are celebratory and fun and positive. That perfectly describes “Die Young.”
Justin Bieber’s latest single is called “Beauty and a Beat,” which is a really bad title. It is easily the worst single off his new album. The best was “Boyfriend,” then “As Long as You Love Me.” I will admit, I haven’t heard all of “Believe,” Bieber’s new album, but it seems like he’s trying to take over Timberlake’s spot in the pop music universe. This is supposed to be his FutureSex/LoveSounds, but it’s not. Boyfriend is a very good, mature song. But it is also a song by an 18-year-old. When Timberlake was 18, he was singing “Bye Bye Bye” with four other dudes. “Sexyback” didn’t come out until Timberlake was 25, and was followed by two very strong singles, “My Love” and “What Goes Around… Comes Around.” Bieber is capable of making a great single. But a great album? No. He’s still the kid who sings “Baby.”
The Importance of Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen has undoubtedly owned the radio this year. The song was released in the US in February and immediately caught fire, and burned for the next six months. Even now, after we’ve all heard the song probably hundreds of times, it’s hard not to still love the song. If that juggernaut of a song wasn’t enough, she and Owl City teamed up for the great follow-up “Good Time.” Since her fame is so young, the possibility of her fading out come 2013 is ever present. While she’s only had two hits in the US, and has only experienced this level of fame for a few months, I think she holds an important place in pop music.
If you don’t pay attention to pop music, it’s easy to confuse most artists, especially solo female artists. In current popular music (let’s say, 2008-present) there are only a few voices who are unavoidable, and looking closely at them, you realize, each has it’s own niche. Most pop music (and, let’s face it, music in general) falls under the ever-expanding umbrella of songs about love.
We’ll start withTaylor Swift: Her whole shtick is break-up songs and sweet love songs. She’s angry or sad or, most recently, annoyed by her past relationship.
Katy Perry: While still fairly new to the scene, she still doesn’t have a concrete plot in pop music. She tends to be all over the place emotionally. But, most of her songs are about relationships. Whether it’s about how she’s uncertain of her partner’s feelings, or how she’s had terrible or great relationships. It’s relatable, infectious, relationship music.
Rihanna: First an innocent pop singer, Rihanna has become a machine of songs not so cleverly about sex. And she’s grows stronger with each album. Much like Katy Perry(and pretty much everyone on this list), her next single is released just in time for her previous one to start losing steam.
Kelly Clarkson: The original American Idol has written songs about one thing and one thing only. Every song is about overcoming your past. From Miss Independent and Since U Been Gone to Stronger and Dark Side, Kelly Clarkson has been inspiring teenage girls for ten years.
P!nk: While still the most punk rock of anyone who’s ever released a pop record, Pink still releases pop records. But, those songs are always accompanied with a strong message. “You’re you, and you’re great, and fuck anyone who says otherwise. Enjoy yourself.”
Carly Rae Jepsen tapped into the top 40 market by releasing a catchy song under the ever-expanding umbrella of songs about love with “Call Me Maybe.” When “Good Time” was released, she started to carve out her place in top 40 radio and that place is pure positivity. When every song on the radio is about how thingswere bad and aregetting better, it’s nice to hear someone exclaiming “Right now, let’s have fun!” I hope she continues on that track.
Karmins come and go. Duffys come and go. But, the Katy Perrys and Rihannas of the pop music world are here to stay for a while, and it would be great to see Carly Rae Jepsen become one of those names.
Go On is a Show
Matthew Perry, Friend, is on a new show on NBC called “Go On.” NBC previewed the first episode tonight after the olympics, which was a good move on their part, because I probably wouldn’t have bothered if I hadn’t already been watching a very fascinating Bob Costas interview with Misty May and Kerry Walsh. The show is about a recent widower who is forced into group therapy. Matthew Perry plays Ryan King, a sports radio host. Ryan King is cocky, charming, attractive and a bit annoying, but loveable nonetheless. You’d think this character was just a facsimile of Jeff Winger of Community, until you realize that pretty much every leading man on major network sitcoms is all of those things. The similarities to Community don’t end there. Just like Community, Go On is strengthened by it’s eclectic cast of characters, or at least, that’s the hope. Unfortunately, the characters in Go On aren’t interesting. In Ryan King’s first meeting with the group, the group’s leader is running late. When two of the people in the group begin comparing their issues, the leader’s assistant, who might be a psychology student or something, requests they stop comparing because it isn’t helpful to the process. Ryan King, being a sports fan, indulges in the debate and decides to take charge and make a bracket with everyone in the group. This serves as a quick way to get to know one and only one fact about each of the people. There’s an old guy who is blind. One woman’s wife died because she didn’t take her meds. A Hispanic woman speaks only Spanish, which I guess is a joke?, and her family died or something. One of the younger women had a cat who died. One guy, played by Bret Gelman, has to sit out because there was an odd number of competitors, but he’s okay with it because he “likes to watch.” “I’ll bet you do.” Matthew Perry says, which I guess is a joke about how he’s a creep. After crowning a winner, Lauren, the leader of the group, walks in. She is upset with the whole bracket idea, but sees the merit in laughing, but tells everyone it is also important to cry. I wasn’t sure if that was a joke, or not. I didn’t laugh though. I know that much.
Later in the episode we get a montage of some of the people dealing with their issues. The woman whose wife died visits her grave and ends up smashing the bouquet she brought because she’s still so angry at her late wife. The woman with the dead cat watches TV while running her fingers through her cat’s tower, which is now empty. The Hispanic woman looks at a picture of herself with her husband and son. Bret Gelman’s character goes to a pregnancy class, but only to look at the pregnant women. At this point we’re supposed to feel compassion for the characters, but that’s hard to do when; One: we barely know them and Two: Most of out meeting the group was the show making fun of them. If the show had actually built a core group of interesting, engaging characters in the first 15 minutes, I would be more inclined to feel bad for the widow(s), but that didn’t happen. We just had Matthew Perry say to us “Get a loada these guys!” and you can’t build a connection with any character when there is a wall like that.
After the montage, Ryan King must return to his second meeting. This time, the group’s leader is in attendance. She splits everyone into groups of two and wants them to come up with three words to describe the two person’s different experiences, which sounds a lot like comparing traumas, which is something that was advised against, like, 10 minutes ago. So, Ryan King is paired with Owen, played by Tyler Jesse Williams of Everybody Hates Chris. Owen doesn’t talk and hasn’t since attending these therapy sessions. Ryan tells Owen that he’s only there to get his papers signed, so don’t worry about getting deep or anything like that. So, instead of participating in the activity, the two swap funny pictures on their phones. Owen tells Ryan about the google street car, which, how had he never of that? Owen shows him some pictures from street view of people acting dumb for the camera. Owen says “My brother showed me these, like, the day before his accident.” Ryan looks shocked and worried. He’s amazed Owen opened up, but also doesn’t want to get too pulled into any of these people’s lives.
After the activity, the group reforms and the leader asks Ryan to tell everyone his three words. He tries bullshitting his way through, but is called out. The leader of the group asks him what he honestly thinks about the whole group therapy thing. He tells everyone he thinks it’s stupid and the reason they aren’t getting better is because they’re wallowing in their own pity, instead of looking to the future. Then he tells them about the Red Sox not winning a championship for 86 years. He goes on this inspiring speech about how everyone is good, they’re just down on themselves. He asks one of the guys when the last time he had sex was. “And was she black, by chance.” Bret Gelman asks, furthering his weird persona.
Ryan King convinces the leader to sign his papers, so he can return to work. Back at work, he’s interviewing Terrell Owens. Terrell Owens has a great time at the interview and everyone is happy to have Ryan King back. As he’s leaving with his welcome back gifts, Ryan sees Terrell Owens texting and driving through the parking garage. He throws some flowers and fruit at the windshield to get his attention. They nearly get in a fight. As Terrell Owens is dragged away he delivers maybe one of the best lines of the episode “That’s a waste of perfectly good fruit!” So, Ryan King realizes that maybe this whole group therapy thing isn’t such a bad idea after all. He goes back and tells everyone that his wife died because she had been texting and driving. It would be a nice moment if the show could actually deal with the darker, sadder moments, but at this point in it’s life, it can’t. I think it could get better, but I also think it could get a lot worse.
The Emmys that matter
I’ve bolded what I hope will win and italicized what I think will win.
“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“30 Rock” (NBC)
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory”
Larry David as Himself in “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan in “House of Lies”
Louis C.K. as Louie in “Louie”
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy in “30 Rock”
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper in “Two and a Half Men”
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath in “Girls”
Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn in “Mike & Molly”
Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day in “New Girl”
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton in “Nurse Jackie”
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in “Parks and Recreation”
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon in “30 Rock”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in “Veep”
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett in “Modern Family”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett in “Modern Family”
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy in “Modern Family”
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker in “Modern Family”
Max Greenfield as Schmidt in “New Girl”
Bill Hader as various characters in “Saturday Night Live”
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler in “The Big Bang Theory”
Kathryn Joosten as Karen McCluskey in “Desperate Housewives”
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy in “Modern Family”
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in “Modern Family”
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow in “Nurse Jackie”
Kristen Wiig as various characters in “Saturday Night Live”
“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Mad Men” (AMC)
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes in “Damages”
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in “Downton Abbey”
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in “The Good Wife”
Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn in “Harry’s Law”
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in “Homeland”
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in “Mad Men”
Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in “Boardwalk Empire”
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in “Breaking Bad”
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in “Dexter”
Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham in “Downton Abbey”
Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in “Homeland”
Jon Hamm as Don Draper in “Mad Men”
SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS
Anna Gunn as Skyler White in “Breaking Bad”
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham in “Downton Abbey”
Joanne Froggatt as Anna in “Downton Abbey”
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma in “The Good Wife”
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in “The Good Wife”
Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway Harris in “Mad Men”
SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in “Breaking Bad”
Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring in “Breaking Bad”
Brendan Coyle as John Bates in “Downton Abbey”
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in “Downton Abbey”
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in “Game of Thrones”
Jared Harris as Lane Pryce “Mad Men”
MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
“American Horror Story” (FX)
“Game Change” (HBO)
“Hatfields & McCoys” (History)
“Hemingway & Gellhorn” (HBO)
“Luther” (BBC America)
“Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia” (PBS)
LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon in “American Horror Story”
Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in “Game Change”
Nicole Kidman as Martha Gellhorn in “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Ashley Judd as Rebecca Winstone in “Missing”
Emma Thompson as She in “The Song of Lunch”
LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt in “Game Change”
Kevin Costner as ‘Devil’ Anse Hatfield in “Hatfields & McCoys”
Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy in “Hatfields & McCoys”
Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway in “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Idris Elba as John Luther in “Luther”
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Frances Conroy as Moira in “American Horror Story”
Jessica Lange as Constance Langdon in “American Horror Story”
Sarah Paulson as Nicolle Wallace “Game Change”
Mare Winningham as Sally McCoy in “Hatfields & McCoys”
Judy Davis as Jill Tankard in “Page Eight”
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Denis O’Hare as Larry Harvey in “American Horror Story”
Ed Harris as John McCain in “Game Change”
Tom Berenger as Jim Vance in “Hatfields & McCoys”
David Strathairn as John Dos Passos in “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson in “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia”
“The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central)
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central)
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC)
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC)
“Real Time With Bill Maher” (HBO)
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“Antiques Roadshow” (PBS)
“Jamie Oliver’s Food” (ABC)
“MythBusters” (Discovery Channel)
“Shark Tank” (ABC)
“Undercover Boss” (CBS)
“Who Do You Think You Are?” (NBC)
“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
“Dancing With the Stars” (ABC)
“Project Runway” (Lifetime)
“So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox)
“Top Chef” (Bravo)
“The Voice” (NBC)
HOST FOR A REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Phil Keoghan, “The Amazing Race” Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol” Betty White, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” Tom Bergeron, “Dancing With the Stars” Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance”
“American Dad!” (Fox)
“Bob’s Burgers” (Fox)
“Futurama” (Comedy Central)
“The Penguins of Madagascar: The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole” (Nickelodeon)
“The Simpsons” (Fox)
SHORT-FORMAT ANIMATED PROGRAM
“Adventure Time” (Cartoon Network)
“Phineas and Ferb” (Disney Channel)
“MAD” (Cartoon Network)
“Regular Show” (Cartoon Network)
“Robot Chicken” (Cartoon Network)
“Good Luck Charlie” (Disney Channel)
“Wizards of Waverly Place” (Disney Channel)
CHILDREN’S NONFICTION, REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
“It Gets Better” (MTV)
“Sesame Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger” (PBS)
“The Weight of the Nation for Kids: The Great Cafeteria Takeover” (HBO)
GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Dot-Marie Jones as Coach Shannon Beiste in “Glee”
Maya Rudolph, host in “Saturday Night Live”
Melissa McCarthy, host in “Saturday Night Live”
Elizabeth Banks as Avery Jessup in “30 Rock”
Margaret Cho as Kim Jong-il in “30 Rock”
Kathy Bates as Charlie Harper in “Two and a Half Men”
GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Michael J. Fox as Himself in “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Greg Kinnear as Tad in “Modern Family”
Bobby Cannavale as Dr. Mike Cruz in “Nurse Jackie”
Jimmy Fallon, host in “Saturday Night Live”
Will Arnett as Devon Banks in “30 Rock”
Jon Hamm as Abner and David Brinkley in “30 Rock”
GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Martha Plimpton as Patti Nyholm in “The Good Wife”
Loretta Devine as Adele Webber in “Grey’s Anatomy”
Jean Smart as D.A. Roseanna Remmick in “Harry’s Law”
Julia Ormond as Marie Calvet in “Mad Men”
Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson in “Shameless”
Uma Thurman as Rebecca Duvall in “Smash”
GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Mark Margolis as Tio Salamanca in “Breaking Bad”
Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney in “The Good Wife”
Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning in “The Good Wife”
Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett in “Justified”
Ben Feldman as Michael Ginsberg in “Mad Men”
Jason Ritter as Mark Cyr in “Parenthood”
DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Robert B. Weide, “Curb Your Enthusiasm “
Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Louis C.K., “Duckling”
Jason Winer, “Modern Family”
Steven Levitan, “Modern Family”
Jake Kasdan, “New Girl”
WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Chris McKenna, “Community”
Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Louis C.K., “Louie”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Michael Schure, “Parks and Recreation”
DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Tim Van Patten, “Boardwalk Empire”
Vince Gilligan, “Breaking Bad”
Brian Percival, “Downton Abbey”
Michael Cuesta, “Homeland”
Phil Abraham, “Mad Men”
WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey”
Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff, “Homeland”
Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner, “Mad Men”
Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton, “Mad Men”
Erin Levy & Matthew Weiner, “Mad Men”
DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Jay Roach, “Game Change”
Kevin Reynolds, “Hatfields & McCoys”
Philip Kaufman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Sam Miller, “Luther”
Paul McGuigan, “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia”
WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Danny Strong, “Game Change”
Ted Mann, Ronald Parker & Bill Kerby, “Hatfields & McCoys”
Abi Morgan, “The Hour”
Neil Cross, “Luther”
Steven Moffat, “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia”
“84th Annual Academy Awards” (ABC)
“The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards” (NBC)
“The 54th Annual Grammy Awards” (CBS)
“Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin” (PBS)
“Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre” (FX)
“65th Annual Tony Awards” (CBS)
SPECIAL-CLASS SHORT-FORMAT LIVE-ACTION ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMS
“Childrens Hospital” (Cartoon Network)
“The Daily Show Correspondents Explain” (Comedy Central Digital Media)
“Parks and Recreation: April and Andy’s Road Trip” (NBC.com)
“30 Rock: The Webisodes” (NBC.com)
“Web Therapy” (Lstudio.com)
DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
James Hoskinson, “The Colbert Report”
Chuck O’Neil, “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
Jerry Foley, “Late Show With David Letterman”
Jonathan Krisel, “Portlandia”
Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”
DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Don Mischer, “84th Annual Academy Awards”
Louis J. Horvitz, “The 54th Annual Grammy Awards”
Louis C.K, “Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre”
Alan Skog, “New York City Ballet George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (Live From Lincoln Center)”
Glenn Weiss, “65th Annual Tony Awards”
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
“The Colbert Report,” Barry Julien (head writer), Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Richard Dahm, Michael Brumm, Rob Dubbin, Opus Moreschi, Peter Gwinn, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Glenn Eichler, Meredith Scardino, Max Werner, Eric Drysdale, Scott Sherman, Dan Guterman & Paul Dinello
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Tim Carvell (head writer), Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Rich Blomquist, Steve Bodow, Wyatt Cenac, Hallie Haglund, JR Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Zhubin Parang, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, & Jon Stewart
“Portlandia,” Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel & Karey Dornetto
“Real Time With Bill Maher,” Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Mike Larsen, Bill Maher, Billy Martin & Scott Carter
“Saturday Night Live,” James Anderson, Alex Baze, Jessica Conrad, James Downey, Shelly Gossman, Steve Higgins, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Colin Jost, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Christine Nangle, Michael Patrick O’Brien, Paula Pell, Marika Sawyer, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, John Solomon, Kent Sublette, Bryan Tucker & Emily Spivey
So, yep. That’s that. I’m super-excited for Modern Family, Mad Men and The Daily Show to win everything.
As long as Hulu continues to give me free trials…
You may remember when I talked about the very first season of The Real World, and how I liked it a whole bunch. I decided not to watch the second season because my free trial ran out on Hulu+ and I couldn’t find all the episodes elsewhere online. Lone behold, Hulu emails me “come back and get a two week free trial!” “Yes! Yes, I will! Thank you!” I said.
I decided to watch the second season of the original reality show. The casts stay was extended by a couple months, the number of episodes was extended, and this season took place in Los Angeles. While watching the first episode I thought “I wonder when the confessional was introduced in this show’s history.” The next scene was the introduction of the confessional. It wasn’t used quite the way it is today. Now, the cast goes in there when drunk and rarely when they actually have something important to say. In 1993, in Los Angeles, the cast used it to let out their frustrations, which is obviously the original intent. Whenever they had to have a good cry, or wanted to rant, this is where they would go.
The cast was just different enough from New York’s cast that it didn’t seem like a facsimile, but still similar enough to give off the same chemistry. Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles had many of the same archetypes as New York (as well as recent seasons). In New York we had Kevin, a poet of African decent, who was very prideful of that fact and ready to jump at any indication of racism. (He is the guy who claimed “Race + Power = racism”) In Los Angeles we met David, a black stand-up comedian who tells Dominic, his roommate, he’s from Africa. In Dominic’s talking head he gives his first impression of David [I’m paraphrasing] “Oh, the old chip on the shoulder routine. He’s from America. He should be proud of that.” (for a bit of context, Dominic was born and raised in Ireland)
David is a bit of a hot head. He gets in arguments with his roommates a lot, but no one ever does anything about it, until it goes too far. One night everyone is hanging out in the girl’s room. Tami, one of the roommates, tells David not to rip off her covers because she’s naked underneath. Her tone is light and she sounds like she’s kidding around. David takes this as a joke and jokes around. He starts tugging on her covers until she falls out of her bed. The girls are all laughing and screaming and seeming to have a good time. Tami yells to Beth, one of the other roommates to cover her up. Everything still seems light. Then Tami goes into the bathroom. When she comes out she is incredibly angry. She comes after David. Beth immediately comes to her defense, and ends up instigating even further. David tries explaining to her that he thought they were joking around. Beth, going way too far, says “That’s exactly what a rapist would say.” Naturally, David is upset by this. The girls, Tami, Beth and Irene, demand David is kicked out of the house and after some deliberation the rest of the roommates agree. David is gone and is replaced by Glen, who is silent for most of the rest of the season, until he and Beth get into a multi-episode tiff near the end of the season. A few episodes after David leaves, Irene leaves too, because she is getting married.
While MTV had been a while (12 years) when season two premiered, but The Real World was still new and a pop culture phenomenon. With that, I think they must have had the youth’s attention. And because they had every eyeball between 15 and 30 years old, they took Uncle Ben’s advice and dedicated a whole episode to Tami’s decision to get an abortion. The episode started with a disclaimer saying the episode dealt with very serious issues. They could have easily shied away from the entire plot, as Tami wasn’t showing any signs of pregnancy. Not so much with The Real World these days, but certainly with the network, is still drawing the youth and is using that power for good. With Teen Mom, while the motives of the executives are debatable, the fact is, teen pregnancy is at it’s lowest rate in (approximately) 55 years. It would be hard to deny that 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom have nothing to do with that. In season three of Jersey Shore, Sammi and Ronnie’s intense relationship had reached it’s most dramatic point. Ronnie was being very physical and the two were screaming at each other. We never saw anyone get hit, but there was so much moving around and door slamming and so much we didn’t see, you couldn’t help but wonder how serious things were between them. Su-chin Pak came on as soon as the show went on commercial break and basically gave the advice “If you see something, say something” and gave an abuse hotline.
Overall, I thought season two of The Real World was far more interesting than season one. Since the season was extended by eleven episodes, we had a chance to get to know each person better, and that’s really all the show is about, people.