Sunday, August 30, 2020

'Short Treks,' '#FreeRayshawn,' and 'Reno 911!' — government in short form at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards

I told my readers to "stay tuned for the next installment in my coverage of the Emmy Awards" at the conclusion of New ideological position graphs and drinks for Kamala Harris, the Democrats' Vice Presidential nominee for the Sunday entertainment feature and I'm following through, even though shinier objects like the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the death of Chadwick Boseman called to me. I will likely get to both of them later, but I decided I would do what I said I would yesterday. That written, I've opted for a short post about the short form nominees today.

Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series

Better Call Saul Employee Training: Legal Ethics with Kim Wexler (
The Good Place Presents: The Selection (NBC)
Most Dangerous Game (Quibi)
Reno 911! (Quibi)
Star Trek: Short Treks (CBS All Access)
Based on just the nominees for this category, I would have included "funny and futuristic government" in the title of this entry. The funny nominees about government are "Reno 911!," a Comedy Central series that has been revived on Quibi, and "Better Call Saul Employee Training: Legal Ethics with Kim Wexler." The futuristic one is "Star Trek: Short Treks." As a Star Trek fan, I'm rooting for "Short Treks." However, I doubt either it or "Reno 911!" will win, even though "Reno 911!" has two nominations in this category and Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. Instead, I think the other nominee for this category with a second nomination, "Most Dangerous Game," has the inside track to win the Emmy.

Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series

Mamoudou Athie as Jerome on Oh Jerome, No(Cake) (FXX)
Laurence Fishburne as Lt. Steven Poincy on #FreeRayshawn (Quibi)
Corey Hawkins as Paul on Survive (Quibi)
Stephan James as Rayshawn on #FreeRayshawn (Quibi)
Christoph Waltz as Miles Sellers on Most Dangerous Game (Quibi)
Neither "Star Trek: Short Treks" nor "Reno 911!" earned a nomination in this category. Instead, the most nominated short form comedy or drama series, "#FreeRayshawn," earned two for Laurence Fishburne and Stephan James. Of the two, Laurence Fishburne is the bigger name actor and the one portraying a government official in Lt. Steven Poincy, so he's the nominee I'm rooting for. However, I don't think he's the favorite. Instead, I think Christoph Waltz as Miles Sellers gave the more compelling performance and doesn't have to share attention with another actor in his own series, so he's the nominee I expect to win.

Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series

Jasmine Cephas Jones as Tyisha on #FreeRayshawn (Quibi)
Anna Kendrick as Cody on Dummy (Quibi)
Kerri Kenney-Silver as Deputy Trudy Wiegel on Reno 911! (Quibi)
Kaitlin Olson as Cricket Melfi on Flipped (Quibi)
Rain Valdez as Belle Jonas on Razor Tongue (YouTube)
The two nominees from shows about government in this category are Jasmine Cephas Jones as Tyisha on "#FreeRayshawn" and Kerri Kenney-Silver as Deputy Trudy Wiegel on "Reno 911!" I'm not rooting for either of them. Instead, I'm hoping Anna Kendrick wins for her role as Cody on "Dummy." She's the biggest name actress nominated in this category and her performance has received the most buzz.  Because of that, I think Kendrick is also the favorite.

Speaking of buzz, Quibi's 10 nominations have brought the short-form streaming service much needed attention for something other than its weak subscription numbers. That's good, but while Emmy nominations are a sign of quality, they are no guarantee of long-term survival. Al Jazeera America earned lots of Emmy nominations for news but shut down just the same after less than three full years. I wish Quibi better luck with its business. It may not need it at the Emmy Awards, where Quibi has a very good chance of sweeping all three of the categories above.

Previous posts about the 2020 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards

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