- Drama: Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Breaking Bad (AMC), Downton Abbey (PBS), Mad Men (AMC), Homeland (Showtime), Game of Thrones (HBO)
- Comedy: Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), Girls (HBO), 30 Rock (NBC), Veep (HBO), Modern Family (ABC), The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
- Miniseries: Game Change (HBO; about Sarah Palin), American Horror Story (FX), Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO), Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (PBS), Luther (BBC America), Hatfields & McCoys (History)
The first interesting thing is that the big four broadcasting networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) have no drama or miniseries nominations, and only three comedy ones — HBO has the other three. (In fact, HBO has 7 of the 18 nominations above; the runners up are PBS and AMC, each with 2.) The second interesting thing is that if Mad Men wins this year, it will have five such Emmys, making it the most ever. Right now, it’s tied for most Best Drama Emmys with The West Wing, LA Law, and Hill Street Blues. Finally, American Horror Story got nominated as a miniseries — not a drama — presumably because its second season will not be in any way related to the first.
As for the quality of the nominations, with the exception of Girls, which people either love or hate, all the dramas and comedies are top notch, so it’s nice to see the system working.
In the interest of full disclosure, the full list of nominations includes 15 other categories besides the ones listed above, but they’re the ones that don’t matter. Twelve of them are lead and supporting actors and actresses in the three categories above, and no one watches a series because of someone’s great acting; if that were the case, The Good Wife would win all the ratings. The other three are Variety series (same nominees year after year… same winner, too), Reality shows (as if they deserve emmys), and the most ludicrous category: “Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program”.
In the first season of Game of Thrones, there’s a scene in which King Joffrey shows his future bride, Sansa, the heads of some of the people she loved, who he beheaded and put on a spike. In the DVD commentary, the creators mention that the last head on the left is actually one of George W. Bush. They said it wasn’t by choice and it wasn’t a political statement: they rent props like this by the cartload and then use them as they can. One of them just happened to be W’s. Still hilarious, but the creators of the show got in some trouble because of this. Worth it.
Below, the screen cap, a closeup and the video.
George W. Bush's head is on the left
George W. Bush' head
From YouTube, io9 and reddit, via NPR
Jimmy Fallon made a very funny parody of Downton Abbey. It’s named after his studio, 6B.
Last year, HBO created a great viewer guide for the first season of Game of Thrones; this year, they updated it for season 2, and it now contains the most complete map of Essos found anywhere. If you’re a somewhat-more-than casual viewer of the series, it’s a great way to get a feel for the geography of that world and to see the intricate family trees of the dozens of characters. If you’re a hardcore fan that reads the books, A Wiki of Ice and Fire from the westeros.org fan-site might be a better reference since it’s a lot more in-depth; but the maps on HBO’s viewer guide are still the best drawn, best designed, and most extensive currently in existence. So until the new map book comes out, enjoy poking around HBO’s guide.
This October, we will finally be able to get our hands on professional maps of the world in the A Song Of Fire And Ice book series and Game of Thrones TV series. The map collection, called The Lands Of Ice And Fire, is available for pre-ordering now, is blessed by GRRM, costs 26$, and includes the following maps:
The maps are supposedly excellent quality, but it would be nice to see a sample. But even if they’re as awesome as they sound, it seems like it may be best to wait for some later edition — one released after the book series is finished. But if you don’t want to wait another decade until that comes to pass, this is your chance for some legitimately cool cartography with which to decorate your dorm room or nerd cave. Or that of a nerd you love.
From Amazon, via Westeros
Mittens Romney‘s father, George Romney, was CEO of American Motors Corporation (which in the ’80s became the Jeep part of Chrysler) until 1963, when he became Governor of Michigan; he followed this by being the Secretary of HUD in 1969 and then retiring in 1973. Since Mad Men is set in the ’60s, during George Romney’s governorship, the writers decided to weigh in on this year’s elections, in a 1966 kind of way: Betty’s new husband, who is a campaign adviser for New York politicians, at one point says on the phone:
Well, tell Jim His Honor’s not going to Michigan.
Because Romney’s a clown and I don’t want him standing next to him.
From YouTube, via NPR
After six years of being gone from television, one of the best screenwriters of our time is finally back! Aaron Sorkin left TV after Studio 60 flopped in 2006, and instead moved to other media: he wrote his first play in 17 years — an excellent one called The Farnsworth Invention, — a couple of very good movies (Charlie Wilson’s War and The Social Network), and touched up the script for a third (Moneyball). His new HBO series looks like a cross between his two best TV shows, The West Wing (first four seasons) and Sports Night, in that it’s about an impartial news anchor whose politics get outed: it has all the behind-the-scenes stuff that Sorkin loves to write about, plus political banter — the other thing he loves to write about. The series has got to be summed up by this quote: “I’m a registered Republican — I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure, and not gay marriage.”
Some of 'The Newsroom' cast: Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Emily Mortimer, Allison Pill, and Olivia Munn
The anchor is played by Jeff Daniels and the president of the network is Sam Waterston, who is probably a lot like Isaac Jaffe’s character on Sports Night. Other familiar faces (and their equivalent Sports Night characters) include Emily Mortimer (Dana Whitaker), Allison Pill (Natalie Hurley), and Olivia Munn (Jeremy Goodwin). The series is going to start airing on June 24th, probably in the timeslot after True Blood.
This might not be that funny if you haven’t used Siri a few times, but if you have, it’s hilarious.
From YouTube, via Laughing Squid
College Humor has a list that maps the various TV networks to family members. These two are the funniest ones:
From College Humor, via Neatorama