Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Colbert, Noah, Kimmel, and FiveThirtyEight recap last night's WWE match of a debate

The first Presidential debate was last night and the reviews are in. It was "a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck," as CNN's Jake Tapper called it. That's bad for democracy, but good for comedy. On that note, I'm going to do what I did for the Republican National Convention, outsource my reaction to the professional comedians, beginning with Stephen Colbert's LIVE Monologue After The First Trump-Biden Presidential Debate.

It wouldn't be debate night without a LIVE episode of A Late Show! Watch as Stephen Colbert breaks down all the good, bad and ugly moments from the first of three contests between President Trump and Joe Biden.
I have one thing to say about a debate when the monologue about it opens with "are you ready to watch democracy crumble?" and concludes with "this is not going to end well." Yikes!

As promised, Colbert returned with Sen. Cory Booker's Live Reaction To Trump's Frightening Message To White Supremacists.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey joins Stephen Colbert after the first Trump-Biden debate with his reaction to the President's dangerous courting of white supremacist groups from the debate stage.
I agree with everything Senator Booker said, including Trump holding the virtues we need now in contempt. That remark reminds me of what I wrote last week.
Describing what Republican Senators are doing [as] hypocrisy actually gives them some moral credit, as "hypocrisy is the tribute vice gives to virtue." At least hypocrites know what virtue is. I don't think that applies to Trump. I suspect he thinks a lot of vices are virtues, so he's not even a hypocrite.
Booker seems to think so, too.

I'm passing on embedding the next segment, which is about Trump appointing Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement to move on to the next comedian, Trevor Noah. Follow over the jump for what Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, and the panelists at FiveThirtyEight's live blog had to say about last night's debate.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A drinking game and drinks for the 2020 Presidential Debates on National Coffee Day

Happy National Coffee Day! Today is also the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. As an entertainment service to my readers, I'm sharing This Bipartisan Drinking Game Will Help You Survive Tonight's Presidential Debate from Delish.

Enter: our entirely bipartisan drinking game. It includes items that happen again and again in debates and are often super cringey. Yes, the candidates are all fighting to talk, but do they have to bicker like that? And must they recount so many long, open-ended, irrelevant stories from their youths!? You get it.

Again, we kept this game extremely bipartisan, but if you'd like to add some items for things that really grate you—like Senator X's habit of gesticulating wildly or Congresswoman Y's tendency to bring the discussion back to the old days—that's your prerogative. It's your living room! Drink up!
This should be generic enough for anyone reading who is watching the debate. In fact, it's generic enough that it can be used for any political debate this season, regardless of office, from President down to county commission or even city council if it has partisan candidates. I'm an environmentalist, so I like to reuse and recycle. I also like to reduce, so I'm not proposing another drinking game, at least not today.

Now that we have the drinking game, it's time for the drinks. Follow over the jump for drink suggestions for the candidates.

Monday, September 28, 2020

'The Cave,' 'Apollo 11,' and 'American Factory' — winning documentaries at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards examined politics and government

After writing about Sandy Hook Promise and Discovery Channel's Shark Week winning Emmy Awards for commercials, it's time to move on to winners for more substantial efforts, documentary features. To that end, it's time to look at the winners out of the films and categories I covered last month in 'The Cave' vs. 'American Factory' — Oscar nominees and other documentaries at the Emmy Awards.

While I featured "The Cave" and "American Factory" in the title of the nominees post because the first was nominated for an Oscar and the second won one, it was one of the other documentaries, "Apollo 11," that won the most Emmy Awards of the nominated documentaries, three, while "The Cave" earned two and "American Factory" took home only one. That written, I begin with "The Cave" because it won the most prestigious category for a documentary at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.

Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking

The Cave (National Geographic Channel)
Chasing the Moon (American Experience) (PBS)
Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (HBO)
One Child Nation (PBS)
If I handicapped this category purely on the number of nominations, I'd pick "The Cave" with its four nominations while all the others only have one. In addition, it's the only Oscar nominee in the category. However, electorates matter and the Emmy electorate is not the Oscar electorate. "Icarus" won the Academy Award but did not win any of its categories at the Emmys two years ago and Oscar winner "American Factory" did not even earn a nomination in this category. As for the film that could upset "The Cave," I'd pick "One Child Nation," which was the most nominated documentary at the Critics' Choice Awards, even though it didn't win a single category. After all, I did write "I think it will have better luck at the Emmy Awards next year." This is its one chance to prove me right.
Now the announcement of the winner for Merit in Documentary Filmmaking from the Television Academy.

The team from The Cave wins the Emmy for Outstanding Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.
Handicapping on the numbers worked, as "The Cave" won. It also won the next award.

Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming

American Factory - Aubrey Keith, Erick Stoll (Netflix)
Apollo 11 - Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins (CNN)
Becoming - Nadia Hallgren (Netflix)
The Cave - Muhammed Khair Al Shami, Ammar Sulaiman, Mohammad Eyad (National Geographic)
Sea of Shadows - Richard Ladkani (National Geographic)
Serengeti - Richard Jones, Michael W. Richards, Warren Samuels, Matthew Goodman (Episode: "Rebirth") (Discovery Channel)
This is one of two categories that have three of the top documentaries, four if one counts "Becoming," competing against each other, so the competition is stiff. On the basis of number of nominations, I'd pick "Apollo 11," but it's up against "The Cave" and "American Factory," which are shot by professionals, while Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, while legendary astronauts and American heroes, are essentially amateur cameramen. The Emmy electorate might prefer the professionals, which give nature documentaries "Sea of Shadows" and "Serengeti" a chance.
And now, the video of the announcement, 2020 Creative Arts Emmys: Cinematography for a Non-Fiction Program.

The team from The Cave wins the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Non-Fiction Program.
I was right that it went to professionals instead of amateurs. Congratulations to the crew of "The Cave" for winning two Emmy Awards. You deserve it, especially after beating Oscar winner "American Factory."

"American Factory" did not leave empty-handed, as it won the next award.

Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program

Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert, American Factory (Netflix)
Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11 (CNN)
Nadia Hallgren, Becoming (Netflix)
Feras Fayyad, The Cave (National Geographic Channel)
Jason Hehir, The Last Dance (Episode: "Episode 7") (ESPN)
Eric Goode & Rebecca Chaiklin, Tiger King (Episode: "Cult of Personality") (Netflix)
This is one tough category for "Tiger King" and "The Last Dance," as both series are up against not only the Oscar nominated "The Cave," but also Critics' Choice Documentary Award and Golden Coffee Cup Movie winner "Apollo 11" and Oscar winner "American Factory." Even "Becoming" about former First Lady Michelle Obama is a serious contender, as it earned a total of four nominations including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, directing, and two others. No wonder "McMillion$" didn't make the cut! As for which show will win, I would bet on "American Factory," the Oscar recipient.
I was right! "American Factory" won this category! Unfortunately, the Television Academy did not upload a video. To make up for it, here is "American Factory" wins Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.

Mark Ruffalo presents Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert with the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for "American Factory" at the 92nd Oscars in 2020.

Better late than never, as I never did recap the Oscar winners, just the nominees. Tsk, tsk, shame on me. Here's to a belated congratulations to "American Factory" for both the Oscar and the Emmy.

Follow over the jump for the three Emmy Awards won by "Apollo 11."

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sandy Hook Promise and Discovery Channel's Shark Week win Emmy Awards for commercials

I was pleasantly surprised by the winners of Outstanding Commercial at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards and the News and Documentary Emmy Awards, just as I was two years ago when I wrote 'The Talk' and 'Shark Week 2017' — two Emmy winning commercials. Then, I expected an entertaining Super Bowl commercial and a serious news or documentary promotion to win. Instead, a serious public service announcement (PSA) and an entertaining promotional announcement took home the trophies instead. The same thing happened last week, when Back-To-School Essentials | Sandy Hook Promise won instead of the two Super Bowl commercials I thought were favored, Groundhog Day for Jeep and What did we do before Alexa? I am happy to say I was wrong and that one of the two socially conscious PSAs took the Emmy home instead.

Just to refresh everyone's memory, here's the YouTube upload of the PSA.

Survive the school year with these must-have back to school essentials.
**Please note that this PSA contains graphic content related to school shootings that may be upsetting to some viewers. If you feel that this subject matter may be too difficult for you, you may choose not to watch this video.**
Powerful stuff that impressed the Television Academy. I just hope it changes minds outside of Hollywood, especially in Congress.

Now for the fun winning commercial over at the News and Documentary Awards, So Good You’ll Scream: Shark Week Starts Sunday, July 28!

Here is the field of nominees it beat for the award.
Outstanding Promotional Announcement

FRONTLINE "Rule The World" PBS
Lost & Found Trailer National Geographic
Shark Week 2019 "Shark Scream" Discovery Channel
The Movies "Anchors Campaign" CNN
The Movies "Iconic Graphics Spot" CNN
Once again, a well-produced, creative, and fun nominee beat out a field of more earnest fare. Considering how grim the News and Documentary Emmy Awards nominees and winners can be, I can't blame them for wanting to recognize something entertaining and effective.

Speaking of entertaining, I'll be back with more Emmy winners in between coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic 2020 election, and climate and weather. Stay tuned.

Previous posts about the 2020 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards

Saturday, September 26, 2020

CNN Business asks 'How can the stock market be booming while millions are out of work?'

I wrote about the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street two months ago in The Economist explains why the stock market is rallying during the pandemic. Since I posted that entry, CNN Business examined that paradox in two videos that I'm featuring today. The more recent asks the question The Economist and I implied in July, How can the stock market be booming while millions are out of work?

CNN’s Jon Sarlin explains why just looking at the stock market at a time of mass unemployment isn’t good enough.
Those answer fit with those The Economist came up with two months ago. "Whose economy are they talking about," indeed.

CNN Business uploaded an interview with Jamie Dimon, who noted that "the stock market doesn’t reflect Americans’ pain" last month that examined that question from another angle.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon tells CNN Business’ Christine Romans how he expects the US economic recovery to look as well as his plans for the New York Jobs CEO Council, which seeks to create more job opportunities for minority workers.
The good news is that Dimon is saying the right things, as he appears to understand the problems and has solutions for them. The bad news is that he and other investors may be counting on another round of relief for the COVID-19 pandemic, but it hasn't happened yet. It's possible that the rush to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat might just suck up all the energy that could have gone to that until the election. Mitch McConnell's priorities in action. Sigh.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Colbert, Meyers, and Noah take closer looks at Trump refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power

On Monday, I went to three of my favorite late night comedians to cushion the blow in Noah, Colbert, and Meyers mourn Ruth Bader Ginsburg and decry the rush to fill her seat. I do the same today in response to Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. I begin with the cold open to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which posed the question Worried Trump Won't Leave The White House If He Loses The Election?

Are you dealing with an unwanted pest who just won't leave? Call Second Terminix!
I have to admit that's funny.

Next, Colbert himself pondered the question and came up with an answer in his monologue, Trump Wants To Undermine Your Faith In The Election So You Don't Vote Him Out.

As the President reveals his intention to subvert the will of the people, refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after Election Day, it is important to remember one thing: Donald Trump can not remain President if the people vote him out.
Trump can try, but he won't succeed if the American people don't let him.

Seth Meyers examined the issue again in Trump Refuses to Commit to Peaceful Transition of Power: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at Trump refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power while Republicans formulate a plan to steal the election through the courts.
Meyers imitating a BBC corresponding covering civil unrest was spot on. That means we're in Full Frontal, Vox, and WGBH ask What If Trump Refuses To Concede A Loss In November? Serious and silly looks at the Transition Integrity Project's 'war game' territory. Eep!

Speaking of "eep," the final segment today comes from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah's Donald Trump Refuses To Guarantee A Peaceful Transfer Of Power concludes with what some Americans might want to do if Trump holds on to power.

Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transition of power, top Republicans promise that election results will be honored, the president gets booed at the Supreme Court, Roy Wood Jr. definitely isn’t thinking about fleeing the country, and other news that there just isn’t time for.
First, Noah is right, Trump and his more rabid follwers are making America look like a banana republic complete with banana Republicans. Second, while I think fleeing the country now is a bad idea, I can see why some people might consider it. I hope it doesn't come to that. That's why I'm going to follow the advice of the mourners of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and "vote him out!"

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tropical Storm Beta is the ninth named storm to make landfall in the U.S., tying a century-old record, plus 'zombie' Tropical Storm Paulette returns

I promised my readers more hurricane coverage in WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids shows how Hurricane Sally and western wildfires look from Michigan.
This isn't even the worst of the damage from wind and water. I might show those in a few days once Sally finishes passing over land or when the National Hurricane Center runs out of names and starts using Greek letters.
It ended up being when storms with Greek letters for names formed. One of them, Tropical Storm Beta, became the first Greek-letter-named storm to make landfall in the U.S. CBS Evening News reported in Tropical Storm Beta slams Texas with heavy rains, flooding the day before yesterday.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Beta are battering the Gulf Coast with torrential rains from Texas all the way to New Orleans. Janet Shamlian reports.
As I promised, this clip shows some of the damage from Hurricane Sally as well as the flooding from Tropical Storm Beta. Power is still out in some areas from Sally.

13News Now (WVEC) in Hampton, Virginia, put what is now Tropical Depression Beta in context as part of its Tropics Update: Hurricane Teddy, Tropical Depression Beta, Tropical Storm Paulette.

13News Now Meteorologist Tim Pandajis has the latest a few storms, including Hurricane Teddy which is heading towards Nova Scotia, even though it's expected to weaken into a post-tropical cyclone. Tropical Depression Beta is also expected to weaken even further after making landfall in the U.S. And guess what?? Paulette's back! This time as a tropical storm!
Not only is Beta the first Greek-letter tropical system to make landfall in the U.S., it is the ninth named tropical system to make landfall in the U.S., tying a record that dates back to 1916, more than a century ago. As Tim Pandajis pointed out, the 2020 hurricane season still has nearly two months to go and a very active season like 2005 and 2020 could produce storms in December or even January, so that record could easily fall and 2020 would set a new record. That would be very on-brand for 2020.

Also on brand for 2020 would be a zombie storm, which Pandajis mentioned as well. Follow over the jump for more on that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

200,000 dead from the pandemic in the U.S.

I posted 100,000 dead and 40 million unemployed in the U.S., the human toll of the pandemic so far on May 28th. Four months later, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take American lives, as ABC News reported US hits 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in six months last night.

President Trump falsely claimed that COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody” younger than 18 while Dr. Anthony Fauci warned the U.S. is entering a “risk period” as people move indoors this fall.
ABC News was right to call out Trump's false claim and follow up with examples of young people dying from COVID-19. As for Trump thinking the only failure of his administration on the pandemic was public relations, it's both appalling and completely on-brand for him. He would think that way.

CBS News uploaded a longer and more comprehensive report in yesterday's U.S. records more than 200,000 deaths from COVID-19.

The U.S. has surpassed 200,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest total of any country in the world. Dr. Blythe Adamson, an epidemiologist and advisor for the nonprofit organization Testing for America, joined CBSN's Elaine Quijano to discuss the importance of COVID-19 testing and how it could help the country curb its cases.
Not only does the likelihood of another wave of COVID-19 scare me, so does the return of flu season. Two years ago, I told my readers Flu killed 80,000 Americans last year [2017-2018], including 183 children, the CDC reported, so get a a flu shot. I will get a flu shot this year, just as I did last year. I hope my readers do, too, as the reward outweighs the risk.

CBS News repeated the grim news in CDC retracts guidance on airborne spread of coronavirus as U.S. reaches 200,000 deaths, adding an example in the headline of why I don't think the Trump Administration deserves any grade above a D in its handling of the pandemic.

Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña joins CBSN to discuss the milestone of 200,000 American lives lost in the pandemic, and what can be done to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
I think CBS News didn't focus enough on the irregularity, to put it mildly, of the CDC posting and then retracting its guidance on how to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. However, they did do a good job of conveying how the pandemic is making Halloween even scarier, and not in a fun way.

Speaking of scary, the forecast is for up to 300,000 American deaths from the pandemic by the end of the year. I hope that doesn't come true, but I'm not optimistic. If (when) it happens, I promise to post an update. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

CBS News covers National Voter Registration Day 2020, which falls on the Autumnal Equinox this year

I concluded Noah, Colbert, and Meyers mourn Ruth Bader Ginsburg and decry the rush to fill her seat with two paragraphs about today's holidays.
Remember, today is National Voter Registration Day. If you want to vote in Justice Ginburg's memory, be sure you're registered. If you're not, register, either at one of today's events or through TurboVote. If you are, Get #VoteReady.

I'll be back later today with a post about the Autumnal Equinox and all the other days that fall on September 22nd. Stay tuned.
I decided to forego writing writing about nearly all the myriad days that share today to focus on National Voter Registration Day.* It's an election year, which is more important than elephants, rhinos, and hobbits. I can write about those next year, should I still be around, but National Voter Registration Day won't fall on the autumnal equinox again until 2026 and it's critical my American readers are registered to vote if they're 18 or over.

To mark today's civic holiday, I'm sharing two reports from CBS News, beginning with the briefer and more recent National Voter Registration Day comes as registration is down in the U.S..

Today is National Voter Registration Day. CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte joined CBSN to discuss why registration is down this year, and what to do if you still need to register to vote.
This clip does a good job of explaining the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on voter registration and what can and has been done about it.

The longer and slightly older National Voter Registration Day: Making sure your vote counts covers some of the same territory and more, including what to do after getting registered.

With the presidential election exactly six weeks away, National Voter Registration Day is aiming to ensure every eligible voter has the tools to make their voice heard. CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted registration efforts nationwide.
Watch all the way to the end for an important item about how Florida continues to disenfranchise felons despite a referendum passing to restore them and how Michael Bloomberg is helping to fix that. Given how close Florida usually is, that could be crucial for the eventual winner of the Presidential contest.

I close today by sharing Today is the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of fall from KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Remember, axial tilt is the reason for the season! Also remember to be sure that you are registered to vote if you are eligible!

*The one I will celebrate on this blog this year is Car Free Day. I decided not to go into the office today and work from home, since I could because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Silver linings, anyone?

Noah, Colbert, and Meyers mourn Ruth Bader Ginsburg and decry the rush to fill her seat

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday. She was at least as important as Chadwick Boseman and U.S. Representative John Lewis, so she deserves her own obituary entry. It would hurt too much to deliver it straight, so I'm letting the comedians deliver the news to soften the blow, beginning with Trevor Noah's eulogy, The Inspiring Life Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Here’s the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court, a fierce human rights advocate, and an American icon.
That was a stirring tribute from someone whose primary goal is getting his audience to laugh, which is why I placed it first — that, and it having the best preview image. Yes, I do use such shallow criteria for ordering my videos. By the way, reacting to losing to John Oliver at the Emmy Awards will show up again over the jump.

Speaking of going first, The Political War Over Justice Ginsburg’s Supreme Court Seat actually was the opening segment of last night's episode of the Daily Show, but I decided that the fight over Ginsburg's seat should take second place to the life of the woman herself.

Following Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Republicans pivot on their earlier stances by saying a vote for her replacement should proceed soon, and Democrats push back and threaten to retaliate if the confirmation happens before the election.
Describing what Republican Senators are doing hypocrisy actually gives them some moral credit, as "hypocrisy is the tribute vice gives to virtue." At least hypocrites know what virtue is. I don't think that applies to Trump. I suspect he thinks a lot of vices are virtues, so he's not even a hypocrite. As for intellectual consistency, he doesn't care. Steve Bannon had to take Trump's statements on foreign policy and convert them into an ideological position. Trump couldn't do it himself.

Follow over the jump for the tributes from Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Coffee Party USA announces the nominees for the 2018-2019 Golden Coffee Cups for television

At the end of May, Coffee Party USA invited its supporters to stream the political TV series on the Golden Coffee Cups shortlist while staying safe at home and asked them to become members so they could vote on the shortlist to determine the nominees. For the past three weeks, the members and volunteers of Coffee Party USA did that just as they did earlier this year for the Golden Coffee Cup movie nominees.

After the preliminary round of voting, Veep leads nominees with three nominations, followed by House of Cards, Madame Secretary, and The Handmaid's Tale with two each. All of the other 32 nominees have one nomination each.

Here are the nominees in six categories showcasing the best in politics and government on the small screen during the 2018-2019 television season.

Best Drama Series about Politics and Government

House of Cards
Killing Eve
Madam Secretary
The Good Fight
The Handmaid's Tale

Four are repeats from last year, House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Ozark, and The Good Fight, while three, Killing Eve, Succession, and The Handmaid's Tale, are new, although The Handmaid's Tale was nominated last year for Best Comedy, Drama, Miniseries, or Movie for Television about Fantastic and Futuristic Politics and Government as it is again this year. Last year's winner, Mindhunter, was not eligible, so it didn't return. That means there will be a new winner in this category this year. Become a member so you can vote!

Best Comedy Series about Politics and Government

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Drunk History
I Love You, America
Orange Is the New Black
Schitt's Creek
Saturday Night Live

Three of the nominees are repeats from last year, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Orange is the New Black, and returning winner Veep. Sketch variety shows were added to the category along with the comedy series, so Drunk History, I Love You, America, and Saturday Night Live became eligible this year. Joining the field is the Canadian comedy Schitt's Creek. Will Veep repeat for its final season? It's up to you, should you become a member.

Best Miniseries or Movie for Television about Politics and Government

A Very English Scandal
Black Mirror
Sharp Objects
When They See Us

Black Mirror is the returning winner. Do you think its episodes are still the best short movies about politics and government for television or should a new nominee take its place? Once again, it's up to you, should you become a member.

Best Talk Show

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Real Time with Bill Maher
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

This is a new category, so there is no obvious favorite. Which is yours? Join and vote!

Best Comedy, Drama, Miniseries, or Movie for Television about Fantastic and Futuristic Politics and Government

American Dad
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Star Trek: Discovery
The Handmaid's Tale
The Man in the High Castle
The Orville

Like last year, this category has the most nominees with nine. This year, it also has the most returning nominees with six, Gotham, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Outlander, Star Trek: Discovery, The Handmaid's Tale, and The Orville. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won this category last year. Do you think it's the best speculative fiction series about politics and government or do you think one of the other nominees deserves the honor more? Join to make your opinion known!

Best Television President for 2018-2019 Season

Keith Carradine as President Conrad Dalton on "Madame Secretary"
Lynda Carter as President Olivia Marsdin on "Supergirl"
Michael Gaston as President Andrew Pickett on "Jack Ryan"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as President Selina Meyer on "Veep"
Andrea Savage as President Laura P. Montez on "Veep"
Robin Wright as President Claire Underwood on "House of Cards"

Only Julia Luis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer and Andea Savage as Laura P. Montez are returning from last year. That means that last year's winner, Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman on Designated Survivor, did not return either, so the members of Coffee Party USA will elect a new TV president, just as they will elect one in real life. Become one of us to vote!

The members and volunteers of Coffee Party USA will vote for their favorite nominees over the next two weeks, at the end of which Coffee Party USA will announce the winners on its blog and Facebook page. If you want to become one of the voters for this or future Golden Coffee Cups, become a member. Voting will happen on a members-only Facebook group.

Coffee Party USA ia a 501c(4) nonprofit social welfare organization dedicated to empowering and connecting communities to reclaim our government for the people. To support its efforts, which include educating the public on our website and on our Facebook page, registering people to vote with our partners TurboVote and National Voter Registration Day, and reminding them to vote through our Voter Buddy program, please consider donating. A donation of $10.00 for ten years of Coffee Party USA is recommended. Ten dollars will also buy our partner stamp with Stamp Stampede to stamp money out of politics. For those who wish to give at a higher level of support and be more involved in the organization, please consider becoming a member, which will allow you to vote for future Golden Coffee Cup nominees and winners. To do the valuable work of the Coffee Party, volunteer. Not only will Coffee Party USA thank you for it, so will the country!

Reposted and modified from the original at Coffee Party USA's blog.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Outstanding Drama Series nominees at the Emmys once again examine politics and government

I told my readers to "stay tuned for the Drama Series nominees tomorrow" at the end of 'Schitt's Creek' vs. 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' — Outstanding Comedy Series nominees that use politics and government for laughs, so, without any further ado, here are the nominations for drama series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Succession (HBO)
Watch 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Drama Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Drama Series are Better Call Saul, The Crown, The Handmaid's Tale, Killing Eve, The Mandalorian, Ozark, Stranger Things, and Succession.
As I have in the past two installments, I begin my commentary by being a good environmentalist and recycling.
The protagonists of "Better Call Saul" are lawyers, not government employees, but they work in courtrooms and deal with law enforcement, so a government function plays an important part in the show...."Succession" concentrate[s] on family dynamics...but politics and government contibute important, if secondary, plot elements...Rupert Murdoch and his children helped inspire the family in "Succession" and the Murdochs are as much about politics as they are about media.
Both the Galactic Republic and the remnants of the Galactic Empire, which will eventually become the First Order, appear in "The Mandalorian" with the agents of the government of the Dark Side promising to play an important part in the second season.
The rest of the nominees all deal with politics and government in some way, some more directly than others. "The Crown" continues its dramatization of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II with a new cast...
The same is true of the remaining nominees in the Emmy field. "Killing Eve" sets its tale of twisted romance inside a spy thriller. So does "Stranger Things," as the horror turns out to be part of a Soviet plot. "The Handmaid's Tale" is one of a dystopian theocratic future. Finally, "Ozark" plays lots of local politics.

I didn't say which nominee would win at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Awards, but I think it will be "Succession." It won Outstanding Achievement in Drama at the TCA Awards and both Drama Series and Drama Episode at the Gold Derby Awards. HBO has found a new awards favorite now that "Game of Thrones" is over.

Follow over the jump for the nominations for acting, directing, and writing.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

'Schitt's Creek' vs. 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' — Outstanding Comedy Series nominees that use politics and government for laughs

I told my readers first in 'Watchmen' vs. 'Mrs. America' and 'Unbelievable' — limited series at the 2020 Emmy Awards that examine politics and government and then repeated in Talk like Redd for Talk Like A Pirate Day, "stay tuned for the comedy series nominees at the Emmy Awards." Without any further ado, here are the nominations for comedy series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
Insecure (HBO)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
Schitt's Creek (Pop TV)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
This is one of the two most prestigious categories for programs, so the Television Academy uploaded a video announcing its nominations. Watch 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Comedy Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series are Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dead To Me, The Good Place, Insecure, The Kaminsky Method, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Schitt's Creek, and What We Do in the Shadows.
I begin by being a good environmentalist and recycling what I wrote about the equivalent category in 'Watchmen' and 'Unbelievable' lead nominees about politics and government at the 2020 Television Critics Association Awards.
The Mayor of "Schitt's Creek" is an important supporting character and the female lead, Catherine O'Hara as Moira Rose, runs for town council and wins the seat...As the Television Critics Association notes, "The Good Place" won last year, but it's contending with Program of the Year nominee "Schitt's Creek" for this award. As I mentioned yesterday, both completed their final seasons, so that makes them even in that regard. As much as I want "The Good Place" to win, I suspect "Schitt's Creek" will unseat it in this category. As for the rest of the nominees, "Insecure" deals with race and other social issues, so it's the most political, while the protagonists of "Dead to Me" are dealing with the police among their many misadventures. "What We Do in the Shadows" is not political, but it is the other speculative fiction nominee besides "The Good Place" with its comedy vampires.
As I predicted, "Schitt's Creek" won the equivalent category at the Televsion Critics Assocation (TCA) Awards. It also won both Comedy Series and Comedy Episode at the Gold Derby Awards. So far "Schitt's Creek" has also won one Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, which bodes well for the acting categories. Based on those wins, I'm convinced that "Schitt's Creek" is the prohibitive favorite.

The most political of the rest of the field other than "Insecure" is "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which has ventured more into government and politically charged social issues in its third season, even though it's still primarily about show business. It was not nominated at the TCA Awards and won no awards at the Gold Derby Awards, losing to "Schitt's Creek" in six of seven categories, losing in the seventh to "The Good Place." However, it does have two Creative Arts Emmy Awards, so the series won't walk away empty-handed. On the other hand, none of the rest of the comedy series nominees have won any Emmy Awards yet, having run into "The Mandalorian," which competed in many of the same categories and won five Creative Arts Emmy Awards so far.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson, Sr. on Black-ish (Episode: "Love, Boat") (ABC) Don Cheadle as Maurice "Mo" Monroe on Black Monday (Episode: "Who Are You Supposed to Be?") (Showtime) Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place (Episode: "Whenever You're Ready") (NBC) Michael Douglas as Sandy Kominsky on The Kominsky Method (Episode: "Chapter 12: A Libido Sits in the Fridge") (Netflix) Eugene Levy as Johnny Rose on Schitt's Creek (Episode: "The Pitch") (Pop TV) Ramy Youssef as Ramy Hassan on Ramy (Episode: "You Are Naked in Front of Your Sheikh") (Hulu)
Watch the Television Academy's 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series are Anthony Anderson, Don Cheadle, Ted Danson, Michael Douglas, Eugene Levy, and Ramy Youssef.
I think the favorite is Eugene Levy who won the equivalent category at the Gold Derby Awards and has two Emmy Awards already for writing. His main competition is Ramy Youssef, who won a Golden Globe and earned a TCA Award nomination for this role in a show, that like "Insecure," deals with political and social issues. As much as I want to root for Ted Danson from "The Good Place," I think two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas and Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Don Cheadle are better bets. Finally, I expect Anthony Anderson will once again be the best man and not the groom as he loses again.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate as Jen Harding on Dead to Me (Episode: "It's Not You, It's Me") (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam "Midge" Maisel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "A Jewish Girl Walks Into the Apollo...") (Prime Video)
Linda Cardellini as Judy Hale on Dead to Me (Episode: "If Only You Knew") (Netflix)
Catherine O'Hara as Moira Rose on Schitt's Creek (Episode: "The Incident") (Pop TV)
Issa Rae as Issa Dee on Insecure (Episode: "Lowkey Happy") (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross as Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson on Black-ish (Episode: "Kid Life Crisis") (ABC)
Watch 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series are Christina Applegate, Rachel Brosnahan, Linda Cardellini, Catherine O’Hara, Issa Rae, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Once again, I kick off my observations by recycling from 'Watchmen' and 'Unbelievable' lead nominees about politics and government at the 2020 Television Critics Association Awards.
My pick would be Catherine O'Hara, who has multiple Emmy nominations and one win, albeit as a writer. Her main competition consists of...Christina Applegate, multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominee with one Emmy win [and] Issa Rae, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee...
I would add Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam "Midge" Maisel in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" as the only Emmy winner for the same role as O'Hara's competition ahead of Applegate, Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Linda Cardellini, although Ross does have a Golden Globe to her credit.

Follow over the jump for the acting categories I covered in It's Saturday night, so here are the 15 Emmy nominations for 'Saturday Night Live' and the nominated talent behind the camera.

Talk like Redd for Talk Like A Pirate Day

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day! For today's celebration, I'm featuring the newest addition to the Pirates of the Caribbean crew, Redd, who is both an animatronic and a walk-around character, as an example of how to talk like a pirate, a female Irish pirate at least.

I begin with Disney Dan's New REDD Meet & Greet at Disneyland Docks! Pirates of The Caribbean Redd Auction Character, which has the best preview image of all the videos with good sound I found.

Meet the brand new character experience at Disneyland, Redd as she tells you stories of pirates and adventure outside the newly reopoened Pirates of The Caribbean at Disneyland!
I don't know how to break it to her, but potatoes will cause the Irish a lot of misery about 100 years in the character's future.

Next, Inside The Magic's Redd NEW Pirates of the Caribbean character FIRST APPEARANCE at Disneyland.

Video of the all-new Redd Pirate character meet-and-greet near the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
This video shows a lot more of her interacting with children, which highlights a different side to the character.

I conclude with Meeting Redd the Pirate at Disneyland, New Meet & Greet in New Orleans Square, The Redhead showing a different actress saying good-bye.

We met Redd the pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean at New Orleans Square in Disneyland! She is a new walk-around character that debuted a couple of weeks ago, along with a new auction scene for the attraction.
I don't think Redd was all that enamored of the fellow doing the filming.

Of course, all of this is a family-friendly fantasy. The reality looked more like this.

That's Anne Bonny from "Black Sails." I might feature her next year.

Now, stay tuned for the comedy series nominees at the Emmy Awards.

Friday, September 18, 2020

'Watchmen' vs. 'Mrs. America' and 'Unbelievable' — limited series at the 2020 Emmy Awards that examine politics and government

After taking a few days off to write about hurricanes, fires, voting rights, and the pandemic, it's time I return to the Emmy Awards. Today, I'm covering the nominations for limited series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (FX)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Watchmen (HBO)
As this is one of the marquee awards, the Television Academy made a video of the announcement of the nominees. Watch 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Limited Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Limited Series are Little Fires Everywhere, Mrs. America, Unbelievable, Unorthodox, and Watchmen.
This field is very similar to the one at the 2020 Television Critics Association Awards, so I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle.
Both "Watchmen" and "Unbelievable" examine politics and government through the lens of law enforcement. "Watchmen" views crime and punishment using a fantastic and futuristic perspective (even though it takes place in 2019, it's not our 2019), while "Unbelievable" based its story on real events..."Mrs. America" explicitly portrays actual politicians and activists, so it is expressly about politics and government..."Little Fires Everywhere" explores social issues and includes a trial at the climax of the series, so a government function becomes a critical plot point...As for the winner, I'll repeat what I wrote for Program of the Year, "I'm hoping it's 'Watchmen'...but it could just as easily be 'Unbelievable.'" It could even be "Mrs. America" as a spoiler.
Since I wrote that, "Watchmen" won four awards from the Television Critics Association, Program of the Year, Outstanding New Program, Outstanding Achievement In Movie, Miniseries, Or Special, and Individual Achievement In Drama for Regina King. "Watchmen" also won Limited Series and King won Movie/Limited Series Actress at the Gold Derby Awards. Because of those awards, as well as the five Emmy Awards the superhero show has already won, I'm even more confident that "Watchmen" will win this category.*

Follow over the jump for the rest of the limited series nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Vox explains what long voting lines in the US really mean

I opened Full Frontal, Vox, and WGBH ask What If Trump Refuses To Concede A Loss In November? Serious and silly looks at the Transition Integrity Project's 'war game' by reviewing my focus on the election, then asking a question.
My coverage of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the 2020 election has centered on voting by mail along with Trump opposing it and trying to sabotage the US Postal Service. What happens if people are able to vote by mail but Trump refuses to accept the results?
Thanks to Samantha Bee's correspondent, the answer to that question was hilarious, if alarming. Now it's time to ask another question — what about people who are voting in person? There will be people who go to polling places, either because they prefer to, even during a pandemic, or because they are unable, for whatever reason, to vote by mail. Vox examines that question in What long voting lines in the US really mean.

The sneaky ways that some US states make it harder to vote.
The process of voting isn’t the same for all Americans. Depending on where you live, you might vote on a screen, a punchcard, or a piece of paper. You might have to show an ID to vote, or you might not. And you might have to wait a long time, or you might not.

Some of these differences don’t really matter. But some of them make voting harder. And sometimes they can keep people from voting altogether. For decades, the US had a civil rights law that made sure those differences were fair, and didn’t disproportionately keep certain people from voting: the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But in 2013, the US Supreme Court gutted that law, allowing states to pass a slew of new voting laws.

Those new laws often had the effect of making it harder for poor people and people of color to vote. And the 2020 US election will be shaped in part by those laws. But the same election will also decide the future of those laws.

This video is the second in our series on the 2020 election. We aren’t covering the horse race; instead, we want to explain the stakes of the election through the issues that matter the most to you.
Like climate change, The Supreme Court's ruling on Shelby vs. Holder and its effect on voting rights was an issue before the pandemic and will remain one after the pandemic is over. Unlike climate change, it can be fixed just by passing a law, in this case the one named after the late John Lewis. That won't happen this year, as the bill is being held up in the Senate by Mitch McConnell like so many others. Even if it passed there, President Trump is threatening to veto it. On the other hand, if the House of Representatives, Senate, and White House are all in the hands of Democrats next year, the bill can be reintroduced, passed by both houses, and signed into law. That sounds like a good maybe to me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids shows how Hurricane Sally and western wildfires look from Michigan

After a serious look at the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and a comedic take on Trump ignoring science on fires, it's time to continue my pattern of alternating serious and silly examinations of these two climate-fueled weather disasters with a serious report that adds another one of my angles, a view of a national issue from Michigan thanks to WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.

I begin with the faster breaking of the natural disasters in Hurricane Sally unleashes flooding along the Gulf Coast.

This isn't even the worst of the damage from wind and water. I might show those in a few days once Sally finishes passing over land or when the National Hurricane Center runs out of names and starts using Greek letters.

Next, W. MI native deals with Oregon wildfires covers the other natural disaster unfolding now.

All of the red and orange dots on the map of the western U.S. and Canada depict in an abstract way the extent of the damage, while the interview with Ashley Wildeman conveys the emotional effect on one person experiencing the fires first-hand.

The last video I'm sharing, Storm Team 8 Forecast: 11 p.m. 091520 provides an example of "everything is connected to everything else" and "there is no away." The jet stream is blowing smoke from the western fires all the way across the continent, causing gray skies and an orange sun here in Michigan, as seen in the preview image.

WEDNESDAY: Temperatures will climb into the mid 70s. A cold front will pass through later in the day, leading to a slight increase in cloud cover and a few spotty showers during the afternoon and evening.
That's exactly what I saw yesterday when I ran errands around 6:00 P.M. on the other side of the state. That's not something I recall seeing here during the 31 years I've lived in Michigan, although I remember seeing that growing up in Southern California. It felt eerie seeing the sun as a glowing pumpkin against a gray sky 2,000 miles away from the fires.

At least Hurricane Sally won't directly affect Michigan, as the storm track below shows it staying down south. It could have headed here, as the remnants of Katrina passed directly over the state 15 years ago. On the other hand, the storm could strengthen again when it moves into the Atlantic off South Carolina. If so, I hope it continues heading out to sea.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Meyers, Colbert, and Noah take closer looks at Trump ignoring science on fires and pandemic

During the past seven days, I took two serious looks at climate change in The Weather Channel compares the 2005 and 2020 Atlantic hurricane seasons as tropical storms Teddy and Vicky form and 'California wildfires illustrate the consequences of climate change' — PBS NewsHour. That means it's time to examine these two climate-fueled weather disasters through the lens of comedy. Two Emmy-nominated late night talk show hosts, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, and their writers provided me the material to do that along with a bonus helping of President Trump ignoring science, not only about the fires, but also the pandemic. That allowed me to include a third comedian, Trevor Noah, in the mix. A trifecta of gallows humor!

I begin with Late Night with Seth Meyers' Trump Holds Indoor Nevada Rally as Wildfires and Pandemic Rage: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at President Trump and the Republican Party descending deeper into lawless authoritarianism as wildfires and an out-of-control pandemic continue to rage.
I'm glad to see that Seth included clips of Leah Stokes from PBS NewsHour in his routine. That means more people will see her candid comments about how climate change is fueling the fires.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert examined much of the same territory without duplicating clips and jokes in Trump Denies Climate Science In Fire-Scarred California, Echoing His Downplaying Of The Coronavirus.

Stephen Colbert addresses the issue on everyone's mind (that photo of Chris Evans' penis) before turning to the day's other pressing stories including the California wildfires and new revelations from Bob Woodward about President Trump's handling of the pandemic.
Stephen's important contribution to the fire coverage was pointing out that most of the fires in California are taking place on federal land, so criticizing the state of California's forest management practices is misguided, misinformed, and downright hypocritical. It's also a rerun of Trump's remarks about Finland raking its forests two years ago. At least Trump is being consistent, if only consistently awful.

Stephen also had more to say about Trump's mishandling of the pandemic beyond his Nevada rally in his own take on Trump downplaying the pandemic to Bob Woodward. The Late Show uploaded three clips of Stephen interviewing Woodward, which I am thinking of turning into a post of its own. Stay tuned, I just might.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah didn't talk about Trump's mishandling the fires — Trevor and his writers focused on how his followers are doing that on their own in another clip — but they, like Meyers and Colbert, did describe how his rally in Nevada was likely to exacerbate the pandemic in Trump's Illegal Indoor Rally & A COVID-positive College Party | The Daily Social Distancing Show.

Facebook comments come to life at a Utah anti-mask protest, college students can’t grasp the meaning of quarantine, and Trump holds an illegal superspreader rally in Nevada.
The Daily Show's writers are finding more comedy gold in the people who support Trump than Trump himself. I think that's a useful perspective on the crisis we're facing. Trump may be setting the tone, but he pays attention to his followers. Otherwise, pollsters wouldn't be seeing numbers like those below.

Monday, September 14, 2020

The Weather Channel compares the 2005 and 2020 Atlantic hurricane seasons as tropical storms Teddy and Vicky form

I posted the following to my Dreamwidth account yesterday.
I tweeted several times about how this year's Atlantic hurricane season is outpacing the so-far record 2005 season. The two tweets that summarize the rest were "As someone else already observed, this is the 'Earliest 'S' storm in history, smashing Stan (2005) by 23 DAYS.' That year, the National Hurricane Center ran out of names and used Geek letters Alpha through Delta" and "There are only three names left this year, so I expect that will happen again. Tropical Storm Theta by the end of the season, anyone?" That was in response to the naming of Tropical Storm Sally. I'm not the only one. The Weather Channel uploaded this video late last week.
"There's a lot of similarities with the atmosphere here in 2020 that there was in 2005."

We want you to be prepared for what this hurricane season can bring. We can't emphasize enough how important it is to have a plan well before you need one.

Ah, 2020!
This morning, I saw the following image on Twitter.

The image shows Tropical Storm Teddy. In addition, Tropical Depression 21 is now Tropical Storm Vicky, which means there is only one storm name left for this season, Wilfred. That all but guarantees that tropical systems will be named using the Greek alphabet this year for only the first time since 2005. It also means these are the earliest formed Atlantic systems by storm number. Vicky formed 25 days earlier in the year than Vince in 2005. Yikes!

Speaking of which, I was wrong about the number of storms using the Greek alphabet 15 years ago. The Wikipedia article on the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season lists the last one as Zeta, not Delta. That means this season's storms could blow past Theta all the way to Lambda or Mu. Cue the Pokemon memes!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Star Trek vs. Star Wars — futuristic politics and government at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards

I asked my readers for advice at the end of 'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' vs. 'Bad Education' and 'American Son' — Outstanding Television Movie nominees about crime and punishment at the Emmy Awards.
I plan on continuing the series tomorrow for the Sunday entertainment feature, although I'm torn between children's programming and animation on the one hand and music and dance nominees on the other. It's been a long time since I've asked for my readers to help me decide, but I'm feeling like asking now. Comments, anyone?
Last I checked, no one responded. It's just as well, because I decided overnight to combine the two ideas and convert the result into an examination of my two favorite science fiction franchises, Star Trek and Star Wars, both of which have two shows with nominations at the Emmy Awards and both of which explore politics and government in a futuristic setting.

I begin with sole nomination for "Star Wars Resistance," which I voted for at the Saturn Awards and which won Best Animated Series on Television.

Outstanding Children's Program
Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix)
Star Wars Resistance (Disney Channel)
We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest (HBO)
All three nominees examine politics as both of the speculative fiction series have resistance in their titles and "We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest" has a social theme with a political dimension. With "Sesame Street" not being renominated in this category, the field is wide open. It should be no surprise that I am rooting for "Star Wars Resistance." It helps that it's the only returning nominee in this category. "Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" had more and better buzz, so I expect it will win.

I already wrote about the Star Trek series nominated for a program award at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 'Short Treks,' '#FreeRayshawn,' and 'Reno 911!' — government in short form at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, so I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle.

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.
Now for the acting nominations for "The Mandalorian" at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman as Terry Maitland on The Outsider (Episode: "Fish in a Barrel") (HBO)
James Cromwell as Ewan Roy on Succession (Episode: "Dundee") (HBO)
Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon on The Mandalorian (Episode: "Chapter 8: Redemption") (Disney+)
Ron Cephas Jones as William Hill on This Is Us (Episode: "After the Fire") (NBC)
Andrew Scott as Chris Gillhaney on Black Mirror (Episode: "Smithereens") (Netflix)
Martin Short as Dick Lundy on The Morning Show (Episode: "Chaos Is the New Cocaine") (Apple TV+)
I've been impressed with Giancarlo Esposito ever since I watched him play the antagonist in Revolution eight years ago. He was even more scary now and promises to be a great villain for season 2. That written, I was even more impressed by Jason Bateman as Terry Maitland in "The Outsider," so I think he will win instead.

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance

Hank Azaria as Professor Frink, Moe, Chief Wiggum, Carl, Cletus, Kirk and Sea Captain on The Simpsons (Episode: "Frinkcoin") (Fox) Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Nelson, Ralph and Todd on The Simpsons (Episode: "Better Off Ned") (Fox) Leslie Odom Jr. as Owen on Central Park (Episode: "Episode One") (Apple TV+) Maya Rudolph as Connie the Hormone Monstress on Big Mouth (Episode: "How to Have an Orgasm") (Netflix) Wanda Sykes as Gladys on Crank Yankers (Episode: "Bobby Brown, Wanda Sykes & Kathy Griffin") (Comedy Central) Taika Waititi as IG-11 on The Mandalorian (Episode: "Chapter 8: Redemption") (Disney+)
Taika Waititi's droid voice expressed a lot for a robot supposedly devoid of emotion. Even so, he's up against a lot of veteran voice actors and bigger name actors and comedians, so he's facing an uphill battle. Out of that field, I am rooting for Maya Rudolph in her third nomination, but I expect it will be Hank Azaria or Nancy Cartwright, who have been voicing their characters on "The Simpsons" for 30 years.

Follow over the jump for the technical awards nominations for both "The Mandalorian" and "Star Trek: Picard."

Saturday, September 12, 2020

'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' vs. 'Bad Education' and 'American Son' — Outstanding Television Movie nominees about crime and punishment at the Emmy Awards

I told my readers to "Stay tuned," as "I'm skipping to television movies for the next installment of this series" to conclude 'Queer Eye' leads structured reality program nominees at the Emmy Awards while 'preaching love, acceptance, pride, and compassion'. Here are the Emmy nominations for television movies followed by my comments on how much they focus on politics and government and their chances of winning.

Outstanding Television Movie

American Son (Netflix)
Bad Education (HBO)
Dolly Parton's Heartstrings: These Old Bones (Netflix)
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend (Netflix)
Look! No "Black Mirror!" That means that the field is clear for a movie part of the anthology series. The two movies most likely to claim the award also happen to be about crime and punishment, "Bad Education" and "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie." Of the two, "Bad Education" sticks closer to one of the main themes I'm examining in this series, depictions of government and politics in entertainment, as it's a dramatization of a real-life scandal. From IMDB: "The beloved superintendent of New York's Roslyn school district and his staff, friends and relatives become the prime suspects in the unfolding of the single largest public school embezzlement scandal in American history." Remember, public schools are government institutions. On the other hand, "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie" is purely fictional and focuses less on government and more on the criminals. That written, it has four nominations to two for "Bad Education," so I think it's more likely to win.

Out of the rest of the nominees, both "American Son" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend" also have government in the form of law enforcement as settings, if not themes, as "American Son" takes place in a police station while "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend" has a prison as one of its settings. Only "Dolly Parton's Heartstrings: These Old Bones" has nothing to do with government; it's a musical.

Next, two acting nominations that will be presented at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeremy Irons as Adrian Veidt on Watchmen (HBO)
Hugh Jackman as Dr. Frank Tassone on Bad Education (HBO)
Paul Mescal as Connell Waldron on Normal People (Hulu)
Jeremy Pope as Archie Coleman on Hollywood (Netflix)
Mark Ruffalo as Dominick and Thomas Birdsey on I Know This Much Is True (HBO)
This is a prestigious enough award that the Television Academy made a video for it. Watch Tatiana Maslany announce the nominees in 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series are Jeremy Irons, Hugh Jackman, Paul Mescal, Jeremy Pope, and Mark Ruffalo.
The television movie nominee is Hugh Jackman for "Bad Education." He belongs here, but he's not likely to win; the competition is too stiff. The nominees from limited series will likely outpoll him. As for my pick, I'll repeat what I wrote in 'Watchmen' and 'Unbelievable' lead nominees about politics and government at the 2020 Television Critics Association Awards: "I would not count out three-time Oscar nominee and Emmy winner as a producer Mark Ruffalo, the one actor from a show not nominated for Program of the Year, who played a set of very different identical twins in 'I Know This Much Is True.'" It's between Ruffalo and Jeremy Irons, who played what I would barely call a leading role as Adrian "Ozymandias" Veidt in the very political "Watchmen."

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Calvin "Cal" Abar / Doctor Manhattan on Watchmen (Episode: "A God Walks into Abar") (HBO)
Jovan Adepo as Young Will Reeves on Watchmen (Episode: "This Extraordinary Being") (HBO)
Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend (Netflix)
Louis Gossett Jr. as Will Reeves on Watchmen (Episode: "See How They Fly") (HBO)
Dylan McDermott as Ernest "Ernie" West on Hollywood (Episode: "Meg") (Netflix)
Jim Parsons as Henry Willson on Hollywood (Episode: "Outlaws") (Netflix)
Tituss Burgess is the television movie nominee in a field full of limited series actors. I think his only hope of winning is if the voters split their ballots among the two nominees for "Hollywood" and three nominees from "Watchmen." Otherwise, I think the Emmy electorate will settle on an actor from "Watchmen." I would vote for Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, but I expect they will vote for Louis Gossett Jr., who has won both an Oscar, an Emmy, and two Golden Globes already.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominations for "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie" at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.