The 2010 Primetime Emmy nominations are in!

Bright and early this morning…by which we mean 8:40 AM EST / 5:40 AM PST…the nominees for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards were announced by Joel McHale (“Community,” “The Soup”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”). It ended up being a worthwhile gig for one of them, at least, with Vergara pulling in a Supporting Actress nod for “Modern Family.” Maybe that’s why McHale seemed so stone-faced. (Seriously, did someone tell McHale that he wasn’t getting paid if he didn’t keep his smart-assery in line ’til after the nominees were read? The only time he cracked anything approaching a joke was when he preempted Vergara’s mangling of Mariska Hargitay’s last name.) Anyway, here’s a list of who got the glory…and, in the case of Best Actress in a Drama, who got the shaft.

Outstanding Comedy Series:

* Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
* Glee (Fox)
* Modern Family (ABC)
* Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
* The Office (NBC)
* 30 Rock (NBC)

My Pick: “Modern Family.” There’s no question that “Glee” is award-worthy, but not necessarily as a comedy, which is also where “Nurse Jackie” falters in this category. I feel like “The Office” and “30 Rock” coasted in on their past merits this year, but “Curb” got a huge boost from the “Seinfeld” storyline, so it’s the only real competition here. Still, the buzz on “Modern Family” is all over the place. I can’t imagine it won’t bring home the glory.

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TCA Tour: Lost

Let us begin our coverage of ABC’s “Lost” panel by giving all due props to Jonathan Storm, TV critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, who kicked things off with the following statement: “Hello, I’d like to ask each one of you to tell exactly what happens in the final season.”

Nice try, Mr. Storm.

Fortunately, Storm had a back-up question ready to ask of the panel – which consisted of Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Evangeline Lilly (Kate), executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, Terry O’Quinn (Locke), Michael Emerson (Ben), and Jorge Garcia (Hurley) – once the laughter stopped: how are you feeling as this comes to an end?

“As we were walking out onto the stage and this montage was playing, I was whispering to my cast members, ‘I am going to cry like a baby when this show ends,'” said Lilly. “It’s become so nostalgic for us to look back over six years and have grown up together and grown up in front of all of you together. It’s been so intense that for it to come to an end is going to be life-changing.”

Garcia instantly agreed. “Certain places that we shoot, it’s, like, ‘Wow, I haven’t been here since season three,'” he said. “Right now, it’s very appreciative and precious.”

“There’s a lot of camaraderie on set now,” acknowledged Holloway. “It feels…a lot of magic, like the first season. It was an incredibly magical year, and the whole experience, of course, has been incredible, but this last year, everyone’s really getting that sense of camaraderie and nostalgia, and it’s just been fabulous.”

“You know, personally, I’m just feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude,” said Lindelof, “and the idea that we’re getting to end something while anybody still cares and while we still kind of love each other, as opposed to everybody saying, ‘It’s about time.’ This is sort of a once-in-a-lifetime or once-in-a-career experience, for a show that’s still performing, for the network to allow us to end it, is a tremendous gift. As Evangeline was saying, as I was walking onto the stage, I was sort of experiencing a sense of, ‘I can’t believe they’re going to actually let us get away with this.'”

When asked how long the conclusion of “Lost” had been determined, Cuse acknowledged that there really wasn’t a definitive answer to that question. “We came up with the final image of the show a long time ago back when we were first plotting out the mythology in the first season, then we started adding elements to that as we went along…and, really, between the first and the second season is when we cooked the mythology,” he said. “We kind of knew what the end point was, but as you move towards the end point, you add elements. Obviously, the end is not yet written, and there are certain sort of mythological, architectural elements that are intact for that ending, but a lot of character stuff will get worked out as we go along. I mean, that’s part of the discovery process of writing. For instance, Michael Emerson wasn’t on the show at that point. It’s a fun process because we sort of have a concept of where we’re going to end the show, but there is still the process of actually executing it and there still is the process of discovery, particularly on a character level, that will come into play as we finish the show.”

“So if you guys have any ideas,” said Lindelof, “we’re open-minded.”

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Lost 5.7 – The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Forget what I said at the end of my last post, because despite what Jack, Kate and Hurley may think, the plane has indeed crashed on the island, and it’s taken almost no time for Caesar (Jack’s friend from the airport) and Ilana (the U.S. Marshall escorting Sayid) to assume leadership. Caesar has already begun scouring through a nearby cabin for any information he can find, but to no avail. Luckily, they just so happen to have a surprise visitor among their ranks: John Locke, back from the dead. Though he remembers dying, Locke doesn’t exactly know what he’s doing on the island, or more importantly, how he got there.

Interestingly, while Jack, Kate and Hurley disappeared when the plane passed through the bright light (AKA The Island Time Warp), Locke and Ben remained on the plane. We still don’t know what happened to Sayid and Sun, but I think it’s safe to say that they made the jump as well. This means that because Locke and Ben left the island by an alternate means, they’re being treated as newcomers, and have to re-enter the island as such. Now, the Oceanic Six are stuck in the past with the rest of the original survivors, while Locke and Ben are in the present. Of course, this is great news for the Newbies, because while they’re probably not too happy about crashing on an island where they’ll likely be stuck for the rest of their lives, at least they’ve got Locke there to explain what the hell is going. Whether or not they believe him is another thing.

Unfortunately, that’s all we got to see of Locke’s grand return in tonight’s episode, as most of the show was spent telling his post-island story. It’s really too bad, because after the discussion between him and Ilana on the beach, I was foaming at the mouth for more. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool to finally learn what really happened to Locke between the time he left the island and the time he was brought back, but it just felt like a whole lot of exposition with very little payoff. I mean, we already knew that he was going to visit everyone to try and persuade them to come back, and we already knew that they were all going to say no. Plus, his visit with Walt was really awkward – like the writers wanted to include the meeting between the two but didn’t have anything important for either one to say. It was a nice proper send off for Malcolm David Kelley, but that’s it.

There was one interesting thing about the episode, though, and that’s Charles Widmore coming to Locke’s aid in Tunisia. Up until now, no one’s really known whether Ben Linus is a good guy or a bad guy, but Widmore has always been pegged as a villain. (After all, he did send a freighter full of mercenaries to blow up the island.) Tonight’s show placed him in a completely different light, however, and after he explained to Locke his history with the island as a leader who was exiled by Ben, it’s hard to determine what’s really going on. Could Widmore be the good guy and Ben the villain? It’s certainly possible, though I wouldn’t rule out that they’re both just evil, evil men.

As for the latter, he’s certainly not helping his chances of redemption after shooting Abaddon and strangling Locke. The latter was probably the biggest surprise of the night, and not because I thought Locke would hang himself instead. I can’t imagine anyone killing themselves if they didn’t want to (especially someone like Locke), but why did Ben have such a sudden change of heart. One minute, he’s helping untie the noose around Locke’s neck, and the next, he’s turning an attempted suicide into a homicide dressed as a suicide. It clearly had something to do with Locke’s mention of Jin and Eloise (as it wasn’t until then that Ben started acting a little strange), but why? I’m not sure it really matters. Locke’s alive and he’s staring down at his killer like he’s about to open up a can of karmic whoopass, and quite frankly, that’s good enough for me.

  

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Lost 5.5 – This Island Is Death

In the mid-’90s, my then-girlfriend watched “Melrose Place” religiously. I wasn’t opposed to the show itself – any show with Heather Locklear is worth at least a look with the sound off, right? – but every time Marcia Cross came onscreen, I would repeat my mantra: “Would someone please KILL HER?” They would even tease us with promos saying, “One of these character will die,” then show all the leads and one blatant Red Shirt character. It made me crazy that these people would knock on Death’s door and ask him to punch them in the face, but they survived everything, like a bunch of bed-hopping cockroaches. For years, I would think that TV shows didn’t have the balls to kill their characters. It would be too risky, too polarizing.

Man, karma’s a bitch. This week alone, Daphne bites it on “Heroes,” and now Charlotte succumbs to Time Jumping Syndrome. TV finally gave me everything I ever wanted. It wasn’t what I wanted. Come on, they couldn’t have killed the cheerleader and Juliet instead?

Ben Linus might be the most conniving bag of douche on God’s green earth, but you have to admire how unflappable he is. He never loses his cool or panics even when someone has a gun to his head, and that happens a lot. This time it was Sun that was looking for a little payback, though one thing about her arc bugs me: she gets the gun through covert means, and is flipping through a file with shots of Jack and Ben before meeting them at the pier. At first, it looked as though she was on assignment, and Ben was the target. Is she a contract killer, or did she merely pull a few of Daddy’s strings to acquire some heat?

“You go ahead, Sawyer. I’m going to watch the love of my life regress to her childhood self and die, but not before scaring the living shit out of me.”

The bits between Rousseau and Jin were interesting, though much like everything else about “Lost,” they ask more questions than they answer. Her entire group goes to save their leader after the smoke monster drags him below (though not before he loses an arm, yikes). Then Jin jumps forward a little bit, and the rest of her group is now “infected,” though with what we’re not sure. She even thinks Jin is infected too, and since the father of Rousseau’s baby just tried to shoot her, I can’t say I blame her for being a little paranoid. Still, I hope they shed more light on what happened to them in the “temple.” I’d also love to know how Ben came to be Alexandra’s “father.”


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