Monday, September 27, 2021

'Human Nature' vs. 'Connected' for Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards

I announced a change of subject at the end of 'The Queen's Gambit' wins limited series, while 'Mare of Easttown' and 'Halston' win the acting categories at the Emmy Awards.
I'll have more on the winners of the Primetime Emmy Awards, probably about "Saturday Night Live," the next biggest winner with eight Emmy Awards, but only after I cover "Human Nature" and "The Last Ice," both nominated at the 2021 News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Stay tuned.
Without any further ado, here are the nominations at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards for "Human Nature" on NOVA.

Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary

Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything (Netflix)

Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History (PBS)

NOVA (PBS) Human Nature
Pandemic (Netflix)

Secrets of the Solar System (CuriosityStream)

The Surgeon’s Cut (Netflix)
Before I discuss its awards chances, I'm sharing Human Nature | Trailer | NOVA | PBS.

With an extraordinary new technology called CRISPR, we can now edit DNA—including human DNA. But how far should we go?

Gene-editing promises to eliminate certain genetic disorders like sickle cell disease. But the applications quickly raise ethical questions. Is it wrong to engineer soldiers to feel no pain, or to resurrect an extinct species? And is there harm in allowing parents to choose their child’s features, like eye color or height? The scientists who pioneered human genome studies and CRISPR grapple with these questions.
That's a mind-blowing trailer about a revolutionary technology that does have the potential to change what it means to be human. Based on that alone, I think it's the slim favorite to win this award ahead of "Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything" with two nominations, making it the only other competitor in this field with more than one. That written, I highly recommend Netflix's "Pandemic," which coincidentally aired during the early days of the lockdown and which my wife and I watched along with "Contagion" during March and April of last year. It focused on influenza, not coronavirus, but otherwise it was extremely timely. I recommend it to my readers.

Next, the other category in which "Human Nature" is competing against "Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything."

Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction: Documentary

Alien Worlds (Netflix)

Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything (Netflix)

HBO Documentary Films (HBO)
Agents of Chaos

High Score (Netflix)

NBC News (NBC)
She Wanted a 'Freebirth' With No Doctors. Online Groups Convinced Her It Would Be OK

Human Nature

The Marshall Project, Sharp As Knives and Topic (The Marshall Project and Topic+ The Zo
For comparison, here is Connected | Official Trailer | Netflix.

Science reporter and host Latif Nasser investigates the fascinating and intricate ways that we are connected to each other, the world and the universe at large.
The trailer displays some of the graphics from the documentary, showing that it's a serious competitor to "Human Nature." While "Human Nature" is the most nominated entry in this field, it's facing stiff competition not only from "Connected," but also from "Agents of Chaos" and "The Zo," both of which also have two other nominations, "Agents of Chaos" for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and "The Zo" for Outstanding Interactive Media: Documentary. "Agents of Chaos" has the misfortune of contending with Best Documentary nominee "Athlete A" in Outstanding Investigative Documentary, so it probably won't win that award. "The Zo" has a better chance of winning Outstanding Interactive Media: Documentary, where the only other entry with more than one nomination is "Micro Monsters with David Attenborough," which also has a nomination for Outstanding Sound.

For the last category, I'm being a good environmentalist by recycling from 'Belly of the Beast' and 'The Trade' are the most nominated documentaries at the 2021 News & Documentary Emmy Awards.
Outstanding Editing: Documentary

Challenger: The Final Flight (Netflix)

Father Soldier Son (Netflix)

Independent Lens (PBS)

Independent Lens (PBS)
Belly of the Beast

Human Nature
Based on its editing of archival footage, I think "Rewind" has a better shot to win this category than direction. However, I could say the same thing about "Challenger: The Final Flight." That written, PBS NOVA's "Human Nature" also has three nominations total, including Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary and Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction: Documentary in addition to Outstanding Editing: Documentary. I think it could upset both "Belly of the Beast" and "Rewind" in this category. It also would be a good choice for the subject of the next installment of this series.
And that's exactly what I did.

The next installment in this series should be about National Geographic's "The Last Ice" and the other nominees for Outstanding Nature Documentary. Stay tuned.

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