Monday, August 24, 2015

How I make my final Emmy decisions

We’re in the final round of Emmy voting. As a proud TV Academy Member I have some very difficult choices to make. Forget all the snubs, there are so many worthy nominees that my head is starting to explode.

So how to decide?

I could watch all of the shows. Most are available on line. But Jesus, that takes forever. And then I’ll have more factors swimming around in my head. He was surprisingly compelling here. Once I gave this show twelve episodes I really got into it. Ugh! Excedrin Headache 2015. 

There has to be a better way.

Well, there is.

I just get in my car, drive around Los Angeles, and look for billboards. After all, only the BEST shows and actors get billboards, right? If I’m on the fence and see a “For Your Consideration” billboard for one of the candidates, that clearly tips it.

I applaud the studios and networks. They must spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on billboards but it’s certainly money well spent.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on Ventura and come across a fellow Emmy voter cruising the boulevard doing the same thing. We usually give each other a “thumbs up,” knowing that we’re the smart ones.

Oh, it’s not a perfect system. Gas prices have gone up lately. And I got stuck in traffic in Culver City once. That was a nightmare. But anything worth doing is worth doing right.

And my heart goes out to the studios. Not only do they have to worry about time slots, they now must contend with street locations. If Elisabeth Moss loses for MAD MEN it can only be because her billboard was in West Covina (and maybe the fact that her name isn’t even listed on the billboard).
The Emmys are September 20th. I’ll be reviewing them. And I’ll be driving to San Pedro tonight. It’s important I make the most informed choices.

27 comments:

Bill Jones said...

Question: is it some sort of academy, studio, or union requirement that these ads say "For Your Consideration" or an equivalent thereof? Or just tradition? The Brooklyn 9-1-1 billboard says "FYC," which made me ask. Either they're sticking that in there because it's required, or they're trying to be Hip and Edgy.

Bill Avena said...

Thumbs up for the Mindy billboard which obeys the advertising maxim "If the girl has legs, put 'em out there!"

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I hope the academy sends out pairs of binoculars so everyone can see the billboards in close-up.

Meanwhile...Ken, could you find out how Earl Pomerantz is doing? A note on his blog from his daughter last week said he was recovering from Legionnaire's Disease, and there have been no updates.

wg

Michael said...

Do you think Academy voters applied the same criteria when you won your Emmy?

blinky said...

Off topic follow up...
Finally found The Big Picture and watched it last night. Wow, what a time warp. The hair, the clothes, THE HAIR!
SO many stars when they were young or alive. Eddie Arnold, John Cleese, Richard Belzer, Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Number one most amazing scene was Terri Hatcher Dust Busting Kevin Bacon's hairless chest.
Also cool seeing Michael McKean then and comparing him in Better Call Saul.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

I thought we just had Emmys!

H Johnson said...

Alright! A shot at West Covina. I haven't heard one of those since Johnny Carson.

Aloha

Ron Rettig said...

So, I'm guessing you are voting for "The Mindy Project" as you placed its billboard prominently at the start of your article.

Peter said...

This made me look up ill fated or embarrassing award campaigns throughout Hollywood history. I came across a few doozys but none of them could match the truly tasteless Oscar campaign by an actor called Chill Wills, who put out posters for his performance in The Alamo with this text:

“We of The Alamo cast are praying harder than the real Texans prayed for their lives at the Alamo for Chill Wills to win the Oscar.”

Wow.

He didn't win by the way.

YEKIMI said...

The studios should spend the bucks and spell out "For Your Consideration". I see the abbreviation "FYC" and what pops into my head is "Fuck You, Charlie!"

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Bill Avena said...

"Thumbs up for the Mindy billboard which obeys the advertising maxim "If the girl has legs, put 'em out there!"

They even included the traces of cellulite.

Who watches this show regularly? I could only handle and episode and a half before I could no longer take it.

In any case, recently I got in an argument with a gay friend who says he likes it. I said a big fat no-neck chick actually having relationships with relative hunks out of her league doesn't conform with any reality I'm aware of, without a lot of alcohol.

He said they were playing up a running joke, supplying satiric commentary on the proverbial short fat ugly guys in sitcoms who are with women out of their league. So she's kind of a riff off of Ralph Kramden, and the like.

I called bullshit on that. I said Mindy is a producer of the show, and she's simply delusional.

Am I wrong? Is the Mindy Project's constant "serious" pairing of a short, squat, line-backer type girl a poor attempt at a running joke?

- Cecil B

DrBOP said...

Simply FYI :
THR's next couple of Sunday Night Roundtable program on the Sundance Channel are feature two different sets of Comedy Showrunners.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/silicon-valley-transparent-writers-recall-802605

Harold Peteresen said...

I don't envy you. There are very few categories where I think that any of the nominees deserve to be considered. Do they frown upon you submitting a blank ballot?

Wallis Lane said...

Ken: Question for you: I believe you've stated this already with regards to Richard Tambor in "Transparent," but, regardless of the performance, do you still consider it a dealbreaker for your vote when producers cynically nominate a star of an obvious drama series (or the series itself) in the comedy category, i.e Edie Falco in the laugh-riot "Nurse Jackie", or William Macy in the rib-tickling "Shameless." Not to mention the major yuks to be had in prison with "Orange is the New Black."

My follow-up question: what do you think of the new Emmy rule stating that anything over 30 minutes will not be considered a "comedy"?

IMO, it's a bit of a blunt instrument to use, but something had to be done, and that's as good a dividing line as any, and has the added advantage of not making creative judgment calls.

VP81955 said...

The only time I watched "The Mindy Project" was when my friend Francine York had a brief supporting role -- always happy to see her get work. Mindy herself is somewhat appealing, but I still find it hard to warm to single-camera sitcoms that lack an audience. To each his own, I guess.

mmryan314 said...

If I had a vote, my new must watch is Brooklyn Ninety-nine. Cast of characters is great. They are endearingly funny. It`s a good half hour to start the week. Hail to Chelsea Peretti too- she is a riot.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

@VP81955 THANK YOU!!! That's been my beef with single camera sitcoms since THE OFFICE: there's no audience (well, single camera sitcoms usually don't have actual audiences, but rather, laugh tracks)! It gives them such a droll and ghastly feeling that they don't even feel like comedies. THE OFFICE is a boring enough show as it is, but I had no idea that shows like GLEE, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, or even GIRLS were supposed to be comedies, they came off as dramas to me, and part of it was due to lack of any kind of audience reaction - live or simulated. I'm also not a fan of the mockumentary style that apparently seems to be industry standard for single camera sitcoms now: sure, it works well for movies, like the stuff Christopher Guest used to churn out, but when it's applied to a weekly comedy series, I agree with you, it makes it hard to warm up to, and it kind of takes you out of the show itself.

Dave Creek said...

For those who feel something's missing if a single-camera sitcom doesn't have a laugh track, how do you watch comedy movies?

Albert Giesbrecht said...

@Joseph Scarbrough What do you think of The Trailer Park Boys? TPB is the series that originated the one camera mockumentary format; it debuted six months before The Office.

Diane D. said...

Dave Creek, with a comedy movie you have the best thing of all---a live audience watching it with you!

Roger Owen Green said...

This is how I vote for local races in Albany, NY: lawn signs. If I see candidates on the lawns of people whose opinion I value, I vote for those candidates. Usually.

VP81955 said...

Joseph, based upon some of the things that go on in "Girls," I can understand the absence of even a simulated live audience.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

@Dave, like Diane said, movies don't require laugh tracks, because they're screened in theaters full of audiences that provide their own spontaneous reactions to what's shown on the screen; there's a communal feel to comedies, which is why many single camera sitcoms back in the day used to have laugh tracks if an audience wasn't practicale or feasible, to simulate the feeling of watching a comedy with others as opposed to by yourself.

@Albert, I'm not familiar with the show (though I usually dig Canadian humor), I don't believe it's seen a lot of exposure in the U.S.

@VP You bring up another point about these shows: with GIRLS's main feature being reckless and irresponsible sexual activities, or one of GLEE's main features being teen angst and high school woes, that's another reason why it's hard to believe that some of these shows are supposed to be comedies.

Dan Sachs said...

Hey, if we vote for President of the United States of America based on commercials rather than issues why not vote for Emmys the same way?

Lou H. said...

I thought THE REAL WORLD pioneered the mockumentary format.

VP81955 said...

There was a "Mom" billboard on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood during the nominating process, though it focused on the series, which wasn't nominated in the comedy category (alas). Allison Janney -- who by now is the Meryl Streep of TV -- was nominated, however, and may add one more trophy to her collection.

JoeyH said...

Are these billboards part of the contract? i.e. negotiated by actors or showrunners that the studios must pay for?