Tag: 30 Rock

2009 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Winners

61st Primetime Emmy(R) AwardsOh, awards shows. You and I need to have a serious discussion because I can’t stand being the submissive in this kinky little relationship of ours anymore. Finding myself continually coming back to you each time with a deluded excitement that maybe this will be the year you surprise and thrill me, and after half an hour I cannot stay glued to my seat. Yet I stick with you to the bitter end, bad taste in my mouth with a sense of “meh” and “well, I could’ve just checked the IMDb live winner update feed.”

While this seems a backlash of a post, please read as a request for awards telecasts to step up the entertainment and for the various academies to change up the voting habits – not that I don’t love my 30 Rock or Mad Men (congrats to wins not only for best show in their respective categories, but writing too!) – because sitting through 3 hours of “announce list of nominees, open envelope, read winner, not-amusing-nor-poignant acceptance speech, rinse, repeat” gets a little taxing and I think more of us would welcome some upsets, blunders and outbursts once in awhile.

Tonight’s major category winners:

Drama Series: “Mad Men,” AMC

Comedy Series: “30 Rock,” NBC

Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad,” AMC

Actress, Drama Series: Glenn Close, “Damages,” FX Networks

Actor, Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock,” NBC

Actress, Comedy Series: Toni Collette, “United States of Tara,” Showtime

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Michael Emerson, “Lost,” ABC.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Cherry Jones, “24,” Fox.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men,” CBS.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Kristin Chenoweth, “Pushing Daisies,” ABC.

Miniseries: “Little Dorrit” PBS.

Made-for-TV Movie: “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Brendan Gleeson, “Into the Storm,” HBO.

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Ken Howard, “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Shohreh Aghdashloo, “House of Saddam,” HBO.

Directing for a Comedy Series: “The Office: Stress Relief,” Jeff Blitz, NBC.

Directing for a Drama Series: “ER: And in the End,” Rod Holcomb, NBC.

Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “American Idol: Show 833 (The Final Three),” Bruce Gowers, Fox.

Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: “Little Dorrit: Part 1,” Dearbhla Walsh, PBS.

Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.

Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS.

Writing for a Comedy Series: “30 Rock: Reunion,” Matt Hubbard, NBC.

Writing for a Drama Series: “Mad Men: Meditations in an Emergency,” Kater Gordon and Matthew Weiner, AMC.

Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.

Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: “Little Dorrit,” Andrew Davies, PBS.

Host, Reality or Reality-Competition Program: Jeff Probst, “Survivor,” CBS.

Original Music and Lyrics: “81st Annual Academy Awards: Song Title: Hugh Jackman Opening Number,” ABC.

Fall Premieres – Thursdays: Comedy Night Done Right

While tonight’s NBC comedy premieres don’t include crown jewel 30 Rock (that momentous day is October 15th), it does provide enough funny haha’s to cause a swell of joy with the return of The Office, a ho-hum “welcome back” to its spin-off Parks & Recreation and excited anticipation for newbie Community.

That’s What She Said

The Office, Thursdays on NBC 9/8cConsistently hitting the mark whether it’s with absurd, endearing or cringe-worthy situations The Office is continuing to deliver the guffaw goods even as it hits its sixth year. Coming into the new season the show opens three weeks following the events of last year’s finale with Michael Scott re-invigorated by the return to his post as Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, after his brief stint as a small business owner, and consummate couple Pam & Jim dealing with the very unexpected news that they’re expecting.

Having a child is going to make a huge impact on big kid Jim and will be the most interesting storyline that will most likely develop this year, as this life change will propel him towards an attempt to move up the company ladder again. It will no doubt have an effect on Michael as well who will re-examine his own feelings of where his future lies within DM and life overall.

A Great Place to Master a B.S. Degree

If we must wait another month for 30 Rock at least there is a new, promising show that acts as placeholder until Liz Lemon and the TGS gang return. Upon viewing the upfront trailer months ago I fell for Community instantly and knew it would be a perfect addition to NBC’s Thursday night comedy line-up.

 

Ably led by deliciously devilish Joel McHale (host of The Soup – Friday nights at 10/9c on E!, full episodes on iTunes, clips available at hulu.com), the snarky tone of the show is what pulled me in, plus centering it around community college is rife with potentional hilarity. Hopefully they don’t place too much emphasis on the melting pot aspect (pompous white guy – check; middle-aged, divorced lady – check; young, jock guy – check; socially-awkward nerd – check) and stick to the ace-in-the-hole delivery and presence of McHale to lead the comedic charge.

Meanwhile…dramas have a strong presence on Thursday nights as well and tonight FOX brings back solid offerings with Bones and Fringe (will dedicate more musings on the latest, greatest sci-fi/mystery from JJ Abrams and the Bad Robot team). And for those who still get thrills from the outwit, outlast, outplay game on CBS, Survivor begins a new run with contestants battling it out on the island of Samoa.

SERIES NOT TO MISS

  • 9/8c – The Office, NBC
  • 9:30/8:30cCommunity, NBC (series premiere)
  • 9/8cFringe, FOX

VERDICT IS STILL OUT

  • 8:30/7:30c – Parks & Recreations, NBC
  • 8/7cBones, FOX

NOT AN ELECTION YEAR, CATCH HIGHLIGHTS ON HULU

  • 8/7c – SNL: Weekend Update Thursday, NBC

NOT ON THIS ONE’S DIGITAL RECORDER

  • 8/7cSurvivor: Samoa, CBS

Setting the Mood, or The Art of a Title Sequence

A sucker for a good awards show – although they quite often leave me underwhelmed well before the final winner is announced – the Emmys will kick off the season in September with golden bar standard, and personal fave, 30 Rock leading the nominee pack (record-setting 22 for a comedy series – who says women aren’t funny!?) and while anxiously anticipating how many statues Fey & Co walk away with, the real category of intrigue is one that I, admitting with great shame, had no idea was even a part of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences – Outstanding Main Title Design.

Perhaps this is one of the “technical” (aka, snooze-worthy-so-let’s-sex-it-up-with-this-year’s-It-starlet-announcing-the-winners) awards they give away prior to a telecast, but please TV Academy let’s give some primetime credit where credit is due to a category with an amazing history of well-deserved winners, most recently last year’s Mad Men.

Its return with the third season premiere on Sunday reminded me how a brilliantly-executed title sequence can immediately capture the mood of show. Here the orchestral, Hitchcockian music and style/color design and most poignantly the use of a faceless man endlessly falling Vertigo-style through era-specific advertisements that feature a bevy of scantily-clad women, tumblers of drinks and a final image of the “perfect” nuclear family that sets the stage for vice-indulging, secret-keeping ’60s family/ladies/ad man Don Draper. Those MADison Avenue men are proud.

Being a research-loving fact-finder, I’ve discovered that the Main Title Design’s category inception was in ’97 and since then the Academy has bestowed wins to a number of shows that top my personal list of favorite opening sequences (yes, such a list does exist along with favorite font — for the record give me something in a serif any day). In 2002 a little network called HBO received its first win in this category with Six Feet Under.

Haunting theme music from Thomas Newman and artful images (love those chiaroscuro hands) that highlight preparation for one’s eternal dirtnap (thank you HBO for showing me the embalming process) encompasses the juxtaposition of beauty and decay found in death, and life, that the series so adeptly captured.

For a series focusing on the cause in addition to the effects of death, Showtime’s Dexter has a title sequence befitting its dark yet playful world — turning the mundane, morning routine of cop and serial killer Dexter Morgan (the amazing Michael C. Hall’s 180 degree turn in character from his David Fisher on Six Feet Under) into a menacing montage.

Finally, jumping back to HBO/Alan Ball collaborations and the jewel of this year’s Title Design noms, True Blood‘s opening sequence is an amalgam of dirty, swampy, sexy, fire-and-brimstone imagery coupled with twangy rockabilly song “Bad Things” (by Jace Everett, a decent alternative to Chris Isaak) that encapsulates the soapy, southern gothic nature of the supernatural saga.

See the complete list of this year’s Emmy nominees here .