Monday, September 9, 2019

'Queer Eye,' 'Shark Tank,' and 'Tidying Up with Marie Kondo' — diversity in structured reality programs

I admonished my readers to "stay tuned" at the conclusion of 'United Shades of America,' 'Born This Way,' 'Life Below Zero,' 'Deadliest Catch' — unstructured reality shows highlight diversity and nature as "My coverage of reality shows continues tomorrow and the day after, when I look at diversity in structured reality and competition shows."  Without any further ado, here are the structured reality TV nominees at this year's Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow (PBS)
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Food Network)
Queer Eye (Netflix)
Shark Tank (ABC)
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (Netflix)
Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC)
Diversity may be less featured among the structured reality show nominees, but it still plays a role, with "Queer Eye" and "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" having diverse hosts and "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and "Who Do You Think You Are?" showcasing a variety of diverse guests.  The latter also features science and history, so it would be the one I'd recommend for its educational value (as I would "Antiques Roadshow").  In contrast, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" is my go-to guilty pleasure.  I watched a marathon of it in the hospital as I recovered from my surgery for prostate cancer and I used a clip from the show here six years ago.

"Queer Eye" is the returning winner, but I'm not confident about its ability to repeat despite being nominated in six categories and winning Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming at the Television Critics Association Awards.  I suspect "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" could pull off an upset.  It has more buzz even though it has only two nominations, fewer than "Shark Tank" with three.

Follow over the jump for the other nominations earned by "Queer Eye," "Shark Tank," and "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo."

Outstanding Directing for a Reality Program

Bertram van Munster for The Amazing Race (Episode: "Who Wants A Rolex?") (CBS)
Patrick McManus for American Ninja Warrior (Episode: "Minneapolis City Qualifiers") (NBC)
Hisham Abed for Queer Eye (Episode: "Black Girl Magic") (NBC)
Nick Murray for RuPaul's Drag Race (Episode: "Whatcha Unpackin?") (VH1)
Ken Fuchs for Shark Tank (Episode: "Episode 1002") (ABC)
"RuPaul's Drag Race" won this category last year, the first year it was awarded, so I consider it the nominal favorite.  I'm not sure I'd pick "Queer Eye" as the most likely to pull off an upset — "The Amazing Race" perhaps.  Still, I'm using an image from "Shark Tank" for this category even if I don't think it will win.

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program

James Corden for The World's Best (CBS)
Ellen DeGeneres for Ellen's Game of Games (NBC)
Marie Kondo for Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (Netflix)
Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman for Making It (NBC)
RuPaul for RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
The nominees showcase diversity in terms of race, sex, and orientation, so chalk one up for representation.  While I'm using an image of Marie Kondo to illustrate this entry, RuPaul won this award last year and I think he will win it again.
Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program

The Amazing Race – Editing Team (Episode: "Who Wants a Rolex?") (CBS)
Queer Eye – Editing Team (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race – Editing Team (VH1)
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars – Editing Team (Episode: "Jersey Justice") (VH1)
Survivor – Editing Team (Episode: "Appearances Are Deceiving") (CBS)
"Queer Eye" won this category last year, so I think it's the favorite.  However, "RuPaul's Drag Race" won it the year before, so it could pull off an upset.
Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Reality or Competition Series

At Home with Amy Sedaris (Episode: "Teenagers") (truTV)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Episode: "Authoritarianism") (HBO)
Queer Eye (Episode: "Jones Bar-B-Q") (Netflix)
Saturday Night Live (Episodes: "Host: John Mulaney", "Host: Emma Stone") (NBC)
The Voice (Episode: "Live Cross Battles Part 1") (NBC)
"Saturday Night Live" won this award last year and I'm pretty sure it will win it again.  "Queer Eye" should just be happy to be nominated.

Now for the categories I already covered in 'United Shades of America,' 'Born This Way,' 'Life Below Zero,' 'Deadliest Catch' — unstructured reality shows highlight diversity and nature.
Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program

Born This Way (A&E)
Queer Eye (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
Shark Tank (ABC)
The Voice (NBC)
"Queer Eye" won this award last year and "Born This Way" the year before, so I consider them to be co-favorites.  However, all these shows have strong sets of subjects and contestants, so the competition will be fierce, particularly with "RuPaul's Drag Race" in the mix.
Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program

Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel)
Life Below Zero (Nat Geo)
Queer Eye (Episode: "God Bless Gay") (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race (Episode: "Trump: The Rusical") (VH1)
Survivor (CBS)
"Life Below Zero" won this award last year and three years ago, so I consider it to be the nominal favorite.  However, "Born This Way" won the year before that and "Deadliest Catch" won five consecutive years before either, so the competition will be stiff.
Again, "Queer Eye" should just be happy to be nominated, as I think even "Survivor" is better shot.

That's it for the structured reality show nominees.  Stay tuned for a celebration of "RuPaul's Drag Race" along with the other competition reality show nominees.  That should be an interesting take on diversity.

Previous entries in this series.

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