My Road to the Emmys Pt. 1

The Emmys are going to be weird this year since there will be no ceremony. Will nominees be watching on Zoom in their pajamas? Speeches? Announcers? This is wild!

When the Emmy nominations were announced in July, I decided to finally settle down and watch the shows nominated that I’ve been meaning to watch. So instead of rewatching Parks and Rec for the 25th time, I settled down on my couch and binged.

The Morning Show:

Inspired by Brian Stelter’s book, Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, the Apple TV+ show breaks down the inner workings of the country’s top morning news show. In a simple summary of the show, without giving things away:

After her on-air partner of 15 years, Mitch Kessler [Steve Carell], is fired amidst a sexual misconduct scandal, Alex Levey [Jennifer Aniston] fights to retain her job as top news anchor while sparking a rivalry with Bradley Jackson [Reese Witherspoon], a haphazard field reporter whose series of impulsive decisions bring her into a new world of TV journalism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Morning_Show_(American_TV_series)

Ripped from our real life headlines of the last few years, viewers are thrust into a scandal centered around the cast and crew of this show, as they are also dealing with a new boss. Corey Ellison, played by Billy Crudup, is an executive that has recently took over the news devision. He wants to shake up the team and bring new life to morning news. He does a great job as being an arrogant asshole that loves to antagonize his employees—especially executive producer of The Morning Show, Chip Black, played brilliantly by Mark Duplass. Mark Duplass is such an incredible actor and I feel like he’s finally getting some mainstream recognition. He’s been in the indie movie business for so many years as a producer, writer, and actor, I just think more people need to see how incredible he is, especially in a dramatic role. His character goes through such a rollercoaster ride as he’s trying to hold his show together while staying true to his crew and not selling out to upper management.

The show is incredibly well-paced and kept me guessing the entire 10-episode run. Though it’s obvious the show draws on inspiration from true events—anyone else notice that remote in Steve Carell/Reese Witherspoon’s dressing room—it is still really unique and thrilling to watch. Most of these people are so deceitful; fronted like they are all “family” but willing to stab anyone in the back if it got them ahead. It is fun to see Steve Carell play this charming and manipulating newscaster, as well as seeing some dramatic depth from Jennifer Aniston. With all of its acting nominations, I am really surprised that it was nominated for Best Dramatic Series. I can’t wait to see where they go with season two.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Steve Carell
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Jennifer Aniston
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Billy Crudup
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Mark Duplass
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – Martin Short
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series – “The Interview”
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More) – “In the Dark Night of the Soul It’s Always 3:30 in the Morning”
Outstanding Main Title Design

Succession

THIS SHOW!

Succession follows the dysfunctional and beyond wealthy Roy family, as they plot and deceive to try to establish control of their global media and hospitality empire, Waystar Royco. Through health issues, addiction, and scandal, The Roy family fight and manipulate their way to the top of the company, not caring who they backstab to get there.

The Roy family is like no other family on TV. Everyone character is deplorable, and the things they say to each other are out of this world disgraceful. Oh man, is it entertaining. Logan Roy (Brian Cox), our patriarch and founder of Waystar Royco, exploits and controls his children—three sons and a daughter: Connor, Logan, Roman, and Siobhan—as he decides who should be groomed to someday take over the company after a significant health scare. One minute, you’re his greatest ally and the next, the number one enemy. While it’s hard to root for any character when they’re all horrible people, they’re all so entertaining to watch and you can’t tear your eyes from their extravagant and toxic lives.

Not only are the performances top notch—Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin for the win—but the writing is just spectacular. The banter between siblings is like extreme ping pong, bouncing back and forth with cutting insults and expletive-ridden terms of endearment. And it’s funny as hell.

It’s been awhile since I really got into a show that wasn’t a limited series—I’m looking at you Normal People—especially a new drama. When I finished watching, it was all I could talk about! The two seasons of the HBO show were just not enough and I’ve been itching to get back to the Roy family.

Best Drama Series
Best Actor in a Drama Series – Brian Cox
Best Actor in a Drama Series– Jeremy Strong
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series– Nicholas Braun
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series– Kieran Culkin
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series– Matthew Macfadyen
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series–  Sarah Snook
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – James Cromwell
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series – Cherry Jones
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series – Harriet Walter
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series – “Hunting”
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series – “This Is Not for Tears”
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series – “This Is Not for Tears”
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series – “This Is Not for Tears”
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series – “D.C.”
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More) – “This Is Not for Tears”

One thing that I noticed about these two shows as I was writing this, is how the acting ensembles are both so crazy strong. It’s no wonder that they dominate the acting categories this year. If you were on the fence at all about checking out these shows, just do it!

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