2015 Emmys Review (Other Categories – Part 2)

david letterman

Ever since I was little, I’ve always been a fan of entertainment awards. I remember cheering loudly every time Rugrats won the Nickelodeon Choice Award for Favorite Cartoon (the show pretty much won every year during its prime.) Yes, awarding mostly wealthy celebrities is silly. Yes, awards are 100% subjective. Yes, X never wins, X totally deserves to win, Y always wins, awards are political and biased! But, still, there’s something so fascinating about the art and practice of prizing, particularly when it comes to the “EGOT.” I love “studying” awards and watching programs and movies that have been nominated for them. So, on this blog, I certainly plan on discussing various awards and the nominees and who I think will/should win.

These are some more miscellaneous categories I’ve decided to look into. In many cases, these were categories where I had already seen all the programs nominated. Variety series, voice-over performances, children’s programs, and even casting categories are represented here. Like before, these rankings are purely objective. I will be posting “real” predictions, closer to the ceremony date.

Episode submissions courtesy of Gold Derby.

Children’s Program

Ranking

  1. Degrassi (TeenNick)
  2. Girl Meets World (Disney Channel)
  3. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Coming Out (Nickelodeon)
  4. Dog with a Blog (Disney Channel)
  5. Alan Alda and the Actor Within You: A YoungArts Masterclass (HBO)

Nickelodeon did one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen a children’s television network do: it acknowledged homosexuality. Nick News did a special on young people and their experiences coming out. I remember watching this special last fall with my jaw dropped. This actually isn’t the first time Nick News has done something like this, but it is still so cool that at least one program aimed towards kids is able to live in the 21st century and teach children the true meaning of acceptance. That being said, Linda Ellerbee has a shelf full of Emmys. I’d rather see the long overdue Degrassi or Girl Meets World, currently Disney Channel’s strongest comedy, win this one. What I want to know is: why don’t the ABC teen dramas like The Fosters or Switched At Birth compete here? Surely those two shows cover the same age demographic as Degrassi.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

Liv and Maddie, 100 Things to Do Before High School, Saving My Tomorrow

Variety Talk Series:

Ranking

  1. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (“Government Surveillance”) (HBO)
  2. Late Show with David Letterman (“Final Episode”) (CBS)
  3. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (“David Rose”) (Comedy Central)
  4. Jimmy Kimmel Live (“After the Oscars”) (ABC)
  5. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (“Post Super Bowl”) (NBC)
  6. The Colbert Report (“Barack Obama”) (Comedy Central)

The final episode for Late Show was perfect. It gave us memorable moments, celebrity cameos, and funny, yet sentimental, memories all at the same time. That final montage featuring the Foo Fighters was especially electrifying. David Letterman was one of the first late night talk shows I watched and it’s nice it’s back in the race one last time. However, honestly, the only show here I watch regularly is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, a show that can make me laugh and seethe with anger at the same time. John Oliver submitted the masterful episode where he flew to Russia to interview  Edward Snowden. It was one the most memorable, talked about moments of the television season. I am unapologetically rooting for him to win this year and every other year while he’s still on the air. Shout out to Jon Stewart for hilariously skewering Fox News’ racist idiotic coverage of the Ferguson shooting.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Conan, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Watch What Happens Live

Variety Sketch Series:

Ranking

  1. Inside Amy Schumer (“Last F@#kable Day”) (Comedy Central)
  2. Saturday Night Live (“Dwayne Johnson”) (NBC)
  3. Portlandia (“The Story of Toni and Candace”) (IFC)
  4. Key and Peele (“Alien Imposters”) (Comedy Central)
  5. Drunk History (“First Ladies”) (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central must really like this category. Anyway, even though the pickings are little slim, I’m glad this category exists, and these were the right five nominees. I had never seen Drunk History before, but I really enjoyed this episode and I plan on watcingh more later on. Portlandia submitted a really great episode that was essentially one long sketch. Inside Amy Schumer is my number one choice here, essentially because her parody of Fright Night Lights (and the sketch’s rape culture discourse) was the funniest moment of this television season. As for SNL…I love SNL. I will always love SNL. I don’t think the Dwayne Johnson was their best episode (as great as Johnson is, the Bill Hader episode would have been stronger). If I were solely going by episode submission, SNL would probably be last, maybe above Drunk History. But I love the show so much and what it accomplishes on a weekly basis, that it would be nice to finally win an Emmy in a category like this. But, again, I’m #TeamAmy here.

Worthy Snubbed Program

The Soup

Directing For a Variety Series:

Ranking

  1. Amy Schumer and Ryan McFaul – 12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer
  2. Jerry Foley – The Late Show with David Letterman (Final Show)
  3. James Hoskinson – The Colbert Report (Final Show)
  4. Dave Diomedi – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Michael Keaton/Gwen Stefani)
  5. Chuck O’Neil – The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Mumford and Sons)

I feel bad placing Amy Schumer above the two finales. I really do. But…I can’t lie. I’ve watched that 12 Angry Men special at least ten times and it never fails to make me laugh. The finales of the great talk shows have a lot of well-earned sentiment. But in terms of directorial greatness, what Schumer and McFaul did was better than any other variety show this season. They won’t win, but they should.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

American Idol (Kelly Clarkson), Dancing with the Stars (Disney Week), Portlandia (House for Sale), Saturday Night Live (Cameron Diaz)

Writing For a Variety Series:

Ranking

  1. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
  2. Inside Amy Schumer
  3. Key & Peele
  4. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  5. The Colbert Report

I had a tough time deciding between Amy Schumer and John Oliver. I ultimately chose John Oliver because the show can be really clever; and it truly does an all star job of showcasing important issues that no one else is talking about. Not every joke lands…but the same could be said for any of these shows here. I usually prefer sketch comedy to the “talk show” format, but…it seems like John Oliver is a perfect mix of these two genres.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

Late Night With Seth Meyers, The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, Portlandia

Character Voice-Over Performance:

Ranking

  1. Tress MacNeille (Laney/Shauna/Mrs. Muntz) – The Simpsons (“My Fare Lady”)
  2. John Roberts (Linda/Tim) – Bob’s Burgers (“Eat, Spray, Linda”)
  3. Seth Green (Various) – Robot Chicken (“Victoria’s Secret of NIMH)
  4. Seth MacFarlane (Peter/Stewie/Brian/Dr. Hartman) – Family Guy (“Our Idiot Brian”)
  5. Hank Azaria (Moe/Pedicab Driver) – The Simpsons (“The Princess Guide”)
  6. Dan Castellaneta (Homer) – The Simpsons (“Bart’s New Friend”)

I wish the voters could think a little more out of the box when they’re choosing nominees. I’m thinking a couple cast members from “Over the Garden Wall” could have been nominated (if they submitted, of course, which I do not know since ballots aren’t posted for this category). Anyway, I’m happy to see Tress MacNeille get some LONG overdue recognition. Her voice is as iconic as The Simpsons itself. She’s appeared in nearly every episode and there’s always something so striking about the characters she played. I wish she had an episode where she was more front and center. But there’s enough for me to confidently root for her. Go Tress! I’ve loved you since Hey Arnold. 

Casting for a Comedy Series:

Ranking

  1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  2. Transparent
  3. Veep
  4. Louie
  5. Modern Family

I feel like these categories should really be reserved for new shows but…whatever. The show that introduced us to Tituss Burgess deserves a win here.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, Jane The Virgin, Shameless,

Casting for a Drama Series:

Ranking

  1. Orange is the New Black
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Downton Abbey
  4. House of Cards
  5. Mad Men

The casting for Game of Thrones is admittedly expansive, but Orange is the New Black has probably the most deliciously diverse cast on television. In a “golden age” that is crowded with “complicated” white men, what Orange achieves is relatively extraordinary.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

The Americans, Boardwalk Empire, Empire, The Good Wife, How to Get Away with Murder, The Knick, Kingdom, The Leftovers, Madam Secretary

Casting For a Limited Series, Movie, or a Special:

Ranking

  1. American Crime
  2. American Horror Story: Freak Show
  3. Olive Kitteridge
  4. Bessie
  5. Wolf Hall

A cast that has a refreshing mix of movie stars and virtual unknowns like American Crime deserves an Emmy for casting.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

The Book of Negroes, The Missing, Peter Pan Live!, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, The Slap, Texas Rising, Whitney

Single-Camera Picture Editing For a Drama Series:

Ranking

  1. Katie Weiland – Game of Thrones (“The Dance Of the Dragons”)
  2. Kelly Dixon and Chris McCaleb – Better Call Saul (“Marco”)
  3. Tim Porter – Game of Thrones (“Hardhome”)
  4. Kelly Dixon – Better Call Saul (“Five-O”)
  5. Tom Wilson – Mad Men (“Person to Person”)

I thought “Marco” had a couple sequences (the bingo scene and the con scenes specifically) that were so well done. Admittedly, though, Game of Thrones is a technical beast, and Weiland’s work for the Sons of Harpy scene goes from being terrifying to breathtaking. This is me pretending to be an expert in editing.

Worthy Snubbed Programs (one episode per program)

Bates Motel (“Unconscious”), Bloodline (“Part 12”), Empire (“Pilot”), The Good Wife (“Mind’s Eye”), Grey’s Anatomy (“How to Save a Life”), Homeland (“13 Hours in Islamabad”), The Knick (“Method and Madness”), The Leftovers (“Guest”), Orange is the New Black (“A Whole Other Hole”), Orphan Black (“Certain Agony of the Battlefield”), Scandal (“The Lawn Chair”)

Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series:

Ranking

  1. Nick Paley, Laura Weinberg, Jesse Gordon, and Billy Song – Inside Amy Schumer (“Last F@#kable Day”)
  2. Stacy Schroeder – The Last Man on Earth (“Alive in Tuscon”)
  3. Brian Merken – Silicon Valley (“Two Days of the Condor”)
  4. Tim Roche – Silicon Valley (“Sand Hill Shuffle”)
  5. Catherine Haight – Transparent (“Pilot”)

Again, Amy Schumer’s “Football Town Nights” was one of the greatest things to come from this television season. Not only is that sketch funny, but it’s truly well shot and edited. Along with the “Milk Milk Lemonade” music video, Inside Amy Schumer is the clear winner in my book.

Worthy Snubbed Programs (one episode per program)

black-ish (“Pilot”), The Comeback (“Valerie Gets What She Really Wants”), House of Lies (season finale), Louie (“Bobby’s House”), Modern Family (“Connection Lost”), Parks and Recreation (“One Last Ride”), Portlandia (“The Story of Toni and Candace”), Transparent (“Best New Girl”), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (“Kimmy Makes Waffles!”), Veep (“Joint Session”)

Picture Editing for Variety Programming:

Ranking

  1. Conan (“Conan In Cuba”)
  2. Late Show with David Letterman (“Finale Montage” – segment)
  3. Key and Peele (“Scariest Movie Ever”)
  4. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (“Edward Snowden” – segment)
  5. The Colbert Report (“Farewell Colbert” – segment)

The final episode of The Colbert Report is sweet, and that final Dave Letterman montage to the Foo Fighters is gloriously electrifying; but, really, this one should go to “Conan in Cuba,” a special that certainly deserved more recognition than a picture editing nomination. Just a funny,yet informative special, with some really clever bits of editing throughout.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

American Idol (“Jax Hometown Hero” – segment), Beyonce and Jay Z On The Run, The Daily Show (“Operation Black Hair” – segment), Drunk History (“Montgomery”), Jimmy Kimmel Live (“Kimmel School of Perfect Acting” – segment), Saturday Night Live (“Black Widow Trailer” – segment), Saturday Night Live (“Christmas Serial” – segment)

Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program:

Ranking

  1. Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis (“Brad Pitt”) (Funny Or Die)
  2. Childrens Hospital (“Just Like Cyrano de Bergerac”) (Adult Swim)
  3. Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show Starring Katy Perry (NBC)
  4. Key & Peele Presents Van And Mike: The Ascension (“Episode 5”) (ComedyCentral.com)
  5. Billy On The Street With First Lady Michelle Obama, Big Bird And Elena!!! (Funny Or Die)

This is the first episode of Childrens Hospital I’ve ever seen. It was actually really funny. But my heart is telling me to root for Between Two Ferns. It’s a shame Galifianakis pretty much only makes one of these a year.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

Adam Ruins Everything, If Google Was A Guy, 73 Questions with Reese Witherspoon, Too Many Cooks

Well, that’s it! That’s all the Emmy reviewing I will be doing. Check back in a week or so where I will post final predictions. Here are reviews for the other categories:

Movie/Miniseries

Comedy Series

Drama Series

Other Categories – Part 1

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4 thoughts on “2015 Emmys Review (Other Categories – Part 2)

  1. Pingback: 2015 Emmys Review (Drama Categories) | Lifestories

  2. Pingback: 2015 Emmys Review (Other Categories – Part 1) | Lifestories

  3. Pingback: 2015 Emmys Review (Movie/Limited Series Categories) | Lifestories

  4. Pingback: 2015 Emmys Review (Comedy Categories) | Lifestories

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