I told my readers "I'll return with more entries about Emmy nominees" at the end of 'Teenage Dream' and 'The Lost Class' — two PSAs about gun violence nominated for Outstanding Commercial at the 2022 Emmy Awards. I have a relatively brief update at the intersection of nature series and politics, former President Barack Obama, a two-time Grammy winner, with his second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Narrator of "Our Great National Parks." He's competing against a formidable field as the following image from the Television Academy on Twitter shows.
Former President Obama's stiffest competition is undoubtedly Sir David Attenborough, who has six Emmy Awards to his name, three Creative Arts Emmys for Outstanding Narrator in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and three News and Documentary Emmy Awards, two for Outstanding Nature Programming and one for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Writing. Ironically, Obama's first Emmy nomination was for "David Attenborough Meets President Obama" at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards, so the two have a history. These are Lupita Nyong'o and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's second nominations for Outstanding Narrator at the Emmys, but both lost to Sir David in 2020. While it's his first nomination for Outstanding Narrator, W. Kamau Bell has won three Creative Arts Emmy Awards for "United Shades of America." Bell also earned a nomination in Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program for "We Need to Talk About Cosby" as well. That series has a total of four Emmy nominations, which I will write about later. I suspect I'll have the same reaction to it as I did to "Allen v. Farrow" — shocked, saddened, and disgusted.
"Our Great National Parks" has a second Emmy nomination, Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program, as this image from a tweet by Higher Ground Media shows.
Here is the entire field.
Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction ProgramAll of these nominees have nominations in other categories. "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" has the most nominations with five, including Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special, Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program, and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program. "The Andy Warhol Diaries" has four, Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program, and Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program in addition to this category. "McCartney 3,2,1" earned three nominations, including Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera) and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program. Both "100 Foot Wave" and "We Feed People" have two, Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series for the former and Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special for the latter. I will be looking at all of these in upcoming posts, after which I might venture a guess as to the winner.
The Andy Warhol Diaries: "Collab: Andy & Basquiat" – Wolfgang Held (Netflix)
McCartney 3,2,1: "These Things Bring You Together" – Stuart Winecoff (Hulu)
100 Foot Wave: "Chapter IV: Dancing with God" – Mike Prickett, Laurent Pujol (HBO / HBO Max)
Our Great National Parks: "Chilean Patagonia" – Christiaan Muñoz-Salas, Ignacio Walker (Netflix)
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy: "Venice" – Andrew Muggleton (CNN)
We Feed People – Kris Kaczor (Disney+)
Enough about its nominated categories. It's time to watch President Obama Narrates Our Great National Parks | Official Trailer from Netflix.
An epic five-part series narrated by President Barack Obama that invites viewers to celebrate and discover the power of our planet’s greatest national parks and wild spaces.Wow, that is both beautifully shot and wonderfully narrated. Obama does have a good shot against Sir David!
From the executive producer of Blue Planet II comes OUR GREAT NATIONAL PARKS, a breathtaking five-part series executive produced and narrated by President Barack Obama - who protected more public lands and waters than any other U.S. President in history - that invites viewers to experience nature in the world's most iconic national parks. Spanning five continents, the series brims with wonder, humor, and optimism as each episode tells the story of a national park through the lives of its wildest residents — both big and exceptionally small — and explores our changing relationship with wilderness. Traveling from the waters of Monterey Bay, California, to the bright red soil of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, the lush rainforests of Indonesia’s Gunung Leuser National Park, the majestic terrain of Chilean Patagonia, and more, OUR GREAT NATIONAL PARKS beckons us to get out and explore, create new ways for these wild places to thrive, and vigorously preserve them for future generations to come. This series is a Wild Space production in association with Higher Ground Productions and Freeborne Media
Factual America interviewed two of the creators in Our Great National Parks | Netflix | Interview with Sophie Todd and James Honeyborne.
Narrated by President Barack Obama, "Our Great National Parks" is a breathtaking Netflix original five-part documentary...I like that final quote. I might just use it.
"Our Great National Parks" is a breathtaking Netflix original docuseries, executive produced and narrated by President Barack Obama, who protected more public lands and waters than any other US president in history. President Obama takes us on a journey to experience nature in the world's most iconic national parks, spanning five continents. The series brims with wonder, humour and optimism as each episode tells the story of a national park through the lives of its wildest residents, both big and exceptionally small.
The series explores our changing relationship with wilderness traveling from the waters of Monterey Bay, California to the bright red soil of Kenya's Tsavo National Park, the lush rainforests of Indonesia's Gunung Leuser National Park, the majestic terrain of Chilean Patagonia and more.
Our Great National Parks beckons us to get out and explore, create new ways for these wild places to thrive, and vigorously preserve them for future generations to come.
Acclaimed filmmakers James Honeyborne and Sophie Todd are the executive producer and series producer behind this five-part documentary. They share their experiences making this series and what it was like working with President Barack Obama.
"Not all human ideas are bad. National parks were a human idea. We did that, so we can be a force for good as much as a force for bad." - Sophie Todd
I conclude with a complaint of sorts. These are all the nominated nature series at this year's Emmy Awards. Nature series dominated the nonfiction series Emmy nominations only a few years ago. Now, "Our Great National Parks" leads the genre with two nominations and "Serengeti II" and "The Mating Game" have just one each. That's it. "14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible" and "100 Foot Wave" both take place in nature and have great scenery shots, but both of them are sports shows at their core. Unstructured reality shows have more about the human struggle against nature, with "Deadliest Catch" and "Live Below Zero" earning two Emmy nominations each, both for Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program, where they are competing against "Survivor," and Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program, for a total of five. I'll write about them after I examine the rest of the documentary and nonfiction special and series nominees. Stay tuned.
Previous posts about the 2022 Emmy Awards