It's Emmy time again. Tomorrow (Monday September 17th—why Monday???) the Television Academy voters will decide the winners for the best television programming for the past year.
If you've been reading the blog, you know that the awards are not just about winning a statue. Winning an Emmy means money for the shows in terms of advertising dollars. (Or for shows on HBO, Netflix, and Amazon, it's about attracting more subscribers.) Yes, the status of winning doesn't hurt the actors or the productions, but it's all about bringing prestige to the show so it will get more viewers and make more money.
Here are the nominees for best shows in the drama and comedy categories:
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid's Tale
This is Us
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Unfortunately I don't watch much regular network television, so I'm only familiar with the shows that are on HBO, Netflix, or Amazon. But here's my opinion of the shows I have seen:
Game of Thrones: Great show. I've loved it from the beginning. But I can see how it's not for everyone because it contains a lot of violence. And you have like the fantasy genre. But it's one of the few shows that I think has gotten stronger over the years. Strong acting, strong production values, and always an adventure.
Stranger Things: Really fun show. Love the characters, but not a "best show" contender for me. I just think it's fun. And Brad loves the 80s so that's an added bonus.
The Crown: Stunning production and the acting is wonderful. I also love learning some of the lesser known bits of history that the show featured.
The Handmaid's Tale: This is a really well done production. It's dark and it's violent, but not in the same way Game of Thrones is violent. This is more emotionally violent. The acting is really superb and the dystopian world they create is frightening.
Westworld: I like this show, but it's a little hard for me to watch because it's a show that is confusing on purpose. The acting is very good and the production is beautiful, but I don't love the show. I don't get lost in the plot because it's confusing and I know they're trying to trick me.
Barry: This is a quirky little show on HBO. It's being categorized as a comedy, which it is, but it's a definitely a dark comedy. The lead character is a hitman who decides that acting is his calling. We watched it because we're fans of Bill Hader and it's filmed around the L.A. Valley where we live, so we thought we'd give it a try. And we ended up really liking the show. The characters are surprising, but likeable, and if you have ever lived in L.A., you will get some of the inside jokes.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: This show is great. I started it thinking I wouldn't like it. It looked like fluff. It's so charming and funny and smart. Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein are fabulous. The whole cast is great, but the two leading women are really what make the show come together.
I'm afraid I can't contribute much to Mara's analysis, although I've now put some of the shows she discussed onto my list of things to watch. (Right now I'm semi-binge watching episode after episode of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix.)
I did watch Curb Your Enthusiasm (good, but not its best season in my opinion) and The Crown, which I loved. I'm particularly looking forward to the next season of The Crown because I love the actress who will now be playing Elizabeth (Olivia Colman). And, Helen Bonham Carter (another favorite of mine) will be playing Princess Margaret.
I read an analysis of The Crown that described exactly how I watch it: watch; pause; google; watch; pause, google, etc. I had so much fun reading online about the various characters and how the show sometimes stretched or altered the facts. And I learned a lot about British history, which was nice because I love books by British authors (including Scottish and Irish authors).
Two more things. In my opinion, Better Things should have been nominated for Best Comedy. At least its star, Pamela Adlon, was nominated for Best Actress. It's my favorite TV show. Second, I hope Julia Louis-Dreyfus is back soon. Her comedic rendition of Selena in Veep is incredible.
Mara and I would love to know: What was your favorite show from last season?