Monday, July 31, 2023

'Good Night Oppy' has six nominations at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary and Best Documentary

I told my readers to "stay tuned" as "I'm feeling like examining Good Night Oppy's nominations at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards instead" at the conclusion of 'Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie' leads nominees for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special at the Emmy Awards. I begin with the category I think Good Night Oppy is most likely to win.
Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary
Earthstorm Netflix
Good Night Oppy Amazon Prime
How To Survive A Pandemic HBO Max
NOVA Augmented PBS
NOVA Ultimate Space Telescope PBS
Good Night Oppy leads with six nominations at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards and one at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for a total of seven nominations at two ceremonies. Only the Nova episode "Augmented" among its competition has another nomination for Outstanding Promotional Announcement. The rest only have this one nomination. I'd say Good Night Oppy is the favorite to win.

I'm sharing the trailers for these nominees, beginning with Good Night Oppy - Official Trailer | Prime Video.

After watching this, I remember why I used a different version of the trailer; that one had a good video description. This one is just advertising for (Amazon) Prime Video, so I'm not quoting it. Instead, I'm quoting myself.
Fifteen years is the lifespan of a dog. I can understand why Opportunity's ground crew would get attached and people would mourn its shutdown, which would feel like a pet passing.
The dramatic orchestral arrangement of David Bowie's "Life on Mars" made the trailer even more emotional.

Next, NOVA | Reinventing Bionics | Augmented | PBS, which is nominated for its own Emmy.

Follow the dramatic personal journey of Hugh Herr, a biophysicist working to create brain-controlled robotic limbs. At age 17, Herr’s legs were amputated after a climbing accident. Frustrated by the crude prosthetic limbs he was given, Herr set out to remedy their design, leading him to a career as an inventor who is helping to test a new approach to bionics.
I can see why this trailer earned a nomination. It's inspiring and makes me want to watch the show.

Now for the trailers to shows with only this nomination, beginning with Earthstorm | Official Trailer | Netflix.

Storm chasers, survivors and first responders recount their harrowing experiences with volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes.
This looks like another good show to recommend to my students, especially since I just told my earthquake stories to my geology students last Thursday. These are much more graphic than my experiences!

Speaking of harrowing stories in the face of natural disasters, watch How to Survive a Pandemic | Official Trailer | HBO.

Two years after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, How to Survive a Pandemic takes viewers behind the scenes of the race to make a vaccine.
The effort to end the pandemic is certainly worthy of a nomination and also a video I'll recommend to my biology students.

The last trailer is NOVA Ultimate Space Telescope PREVIEW from Arizona Public Media (AZPM).

Discover how NASA engineers built and launched the most ambitious telescope of all time.
The James Webb Space Telescope was the top science story of 2022 and a major reason why 2022 was another great year in space.

Good Night Oppy is also competing for Best Documentary.
Best Documentary
CNN Films Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain CNN
Escape From Kabul HBO Max
FRONTLINE, The Associated Press Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes PBS
Good Night Oppy Amazon Prime
The Janes HBO Max
While Good Night Oppy is the most nominated entry at this ceremony competing for this award, I don't know enough about its competition yet to pick a winner. The Janes has four nominations, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain has three nominations, and Escape From Kabul and the FRONTLINE episode "Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes" have two each. Based on total nominations, I'd say The Janes is Good Night Oppy's stiffest competition, but I wouldn't be surprised if Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain pulls an upset. I'll get back to this category when I examine the rest of the nominees.

Follow over the jump for the rest of Good Night Oppy's nominations.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

'Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie' leads nominees for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special at the Emmy Awards

"Stay tuned for an examination of the documentary and nonfiction specials tomorrow for the Sunday entertainment feature." That's what I told my readers at the conclusion of 'Super/Natural,' 'Wildcat,' and other nature nominees at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards for International Tiger Day yesterday and that's what I'm doing today. Without any further ado, here are the nominees for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special nominees at the 2023 Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special (Area)
Being Mary Tyler Moore (HBO)
Judy Blume Forever (Prime Video)
My Transparent Life (Prime Video)
Pamela, A Love Story (Netflix)
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Apple TV+)
First, the theme: All of these are biographies, even My Transparent Life, the only one that is not about a public figure. The rest are about people important in pop culture and three of them tell the stories of television stars. If the Television Academy had nominated Moonage Daydream instead of My Transparent Life, then the entertainment biography motif would have been complete. Next, the numbers: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie leads this field with seven nominations, followed by Pamela, A Love Story and Judy Blume Forever with two each, and Being Mary Tyler Moore and My Transparent Life with one each. I'm embedding the trailers for the nominees in that order, beginning with STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie — Official Trailer | Apple TV+.

Michael J. Fox is going back to his past and rewriting his future. Still is now streaming on Apple TV+
The film, which will incorporate documentary, archival and scripted elements, will recount Fox’s extraordinary story in his own words — the improbable tale of an undersized kid from a Canadian army base who rose to the heights of stardom in 1980s Hollywood. The account of Fox’s public life, full of nostalgic thrills and cinematic gloss, will unspool alongside his never-before-seen private journey, including the years that followed his diagnosis, at 29, with Parkinson’s disease. Intimate and honest, and produced with unprecedented access to Fox and his family, the film will chronicle Fox’s personal and professional triumphs and travails and will explore what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease. With a mix of adventure and romance, comedy and drama, watching the film will feel like … well, like a Michael J. Fox movie.

Song: "More Than a Feeling" by Boston
"The sad sack story is Micheal J. Fox gets this debilitating disease and it crushes him." "Yeah, that's boring." Well, this trailer was anything but boring and if it's an accurate depiction of the show, then it won't be boring, either.

Next, Pamela, a love story | Official Trailer | Netflix.

Pamela Anderson defined a decade. Now she will define herself.
In her own words, through personal video and diaries, Pamela Anderson shares the story of her rise to fame, rocky romances and infamous sex tape scandal.
This documentary is very much a reaction to Pam & Tommy. I hope it works for Anderson.

Continuing on with Judy Blume Forever - Official Trailer | Prime Video.

The radical honesty of the books by trailblazing author Judy Blume changed the way millions of adolescent readers understood themselves, their sexuality, and what it meant to grow up, but also led to critical battles against book banning and censorship.

With humor, sensitivity, and a healthy dose of adolescent cringe, JUDY BLUME FOREVER tells the story of the woman whose trail-blazing books changed the way millions of readers understand themselves, their sexuality, and what it means to grow up.
This clip shows how influential Judy Blume is and why she's an important subject of a documentary. I wouldn't be surprised if she earns Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary at this fall's Critics Choice Documentary Awards. While most people think of Blume as an author, she has an IMDB page, so she fits in with Michael J. Fox, Pamela Anderson, and Mary Tyler Moore, the subject of Being Mary Tyler Moore | Official Trailer | HBO.

Being Mary Tyler Moore, an HBO Original documentary, examines the extraordinary life, career, and legacy of the actress and activist. Directed by James Adolphus with Lena Waithe and Debra Martin Chase as producers, Being Mary Tyler Moore premieres May 26 on HBO and Max.
I have one word for David Susskind after watching that clip of him interviewing Moore — oink! I'm glad Moore handled him as well as she did.

I couldn't find a trailer on YouTube for My Transparent Life, but I did find My Transparent Life Premiere from The Hollywood Gazette.

The Hollywood Gazette interviews the cast and crew of My Transparent Life at the premiere in Westwood, CA on October 4th 2022.
On the one hand, I find it a bit odd that Prime Video doesn't have a trailer for this show. That bodes poorly for its awards prospects. On the other, if The Hollywood Gazette ever uploaded more videos, I might just subscribe to the channel.

Both the number of nominations and the experts at Gold Derby agree; Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is the favorite. Every expert is picking it to win and so am I.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the categories that include documentary or nonfiction special nominees.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

'Super/Natural,' 'Wildcat,' and other nature nominees at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards for International Tiger Day

Happy International Tiger Day! I'm following through with my plan to "look at the nominated nature documentaries at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards" today. Here are the nominees from the NATAS website.
Outstanding Nature Documentary
America the Beautiful Disney+
Animal Netflix
The Green Planet PBS
Kangaroo Valley Netflix
Super/Natural National Geographic
Wildcat Amazon Prime
Super/Natural leads with four nominations, followed by Wildcat with three, while all the rest of the nominees have only the one nomination in this category. I'll examine the nominees' odds of winning this category and the others after sharing their trailers, beginning with Super Natural | Official Trailer | Disney+.

If you think you know nature, think again. Experience a realm beyond human perception in #SuperNaturalSeries, from executive producer James Cameron and National Geographic, and narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.
This trailer is so good that earned its own nomination for Outstanding Promotional Announcement. Wow! Also, leave it to the voice of Doctor Strange, Khan Noonien Singh, and Sherlock Holmes to tell the show's viewers about superpowers. Those characters would know about abilities beyond those of normal humans. Speaking of which, I might find clips of flying squirrels from this show to share on Wester, which falls on October 1st this year. That would be the Sunday after the NATAS announces the News & Documentary Emmy Awards winners, so it would be an appropriately timed topic for a post.

No tigers headlining today, but I do have ocelots in Wildcat - Official Trailer | Prime Video.

Wildcat follows the inspiring story of a young veteran on his journey into the Amazon. Once there, he meets a young woman running a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, and his life finds new meaning as he is entrusted with the life of an orphaned baby ocelot. What was meant to be an attempt to escape from life, turns out to be an unexpected journey of love, discovery, and healing.
This is a far more human story than Super/Natural. That would definitely impress the Hollywood creatives and professionals at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, but they're not voting here. The journalists and documentarians are. That might make a difference. Remember, electorates matter.

Next, the trailers for the remaining nominees in alphabetical order, starting with America the Beautiful | Official Trailer from Shine Labs.

America the Beautiful, narrated by Michael B. Jordan, is the jaw-dropping story of North America’s picturesque lands and its amazing animals. A journey through the mountainous Northwest, the steamy South, the arid West and the endless Heartland to witness the animals of North America overcoming the elements and thriving.
Release Date: July 04, 2022.
Narrator: Michael B. Jordan
Oh, look, a patriotic nature documentary with the appropriate music released on July 4th. All it would have needed was Captain America narrating it. Even so, I think Michael B. Jordan has a more pleasing voice than either Chris Evans or Anthony Mackie.

Continuing with nominees beginning with A, I present Animal | Official Trailer | Netflix.

Get even closer to nature's biggest stars. Animal takes you on an emotional, immersive and revelatory ride into some of the greatest wildernesses on Earth.
This immersive series follows the world's most magnificent creatures, capturing never-before-seen moments from the heartwarming to the outrageous.
Hey, a tiger! Also, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and pumas! This trailer made this post no longer off-topic for the holiday. As for Anthony Mackie not being as good as Michael B. Jordan, he and a bunch of other Hollywood stars were good enough for Netflix to narrate episodes of this series.

Next, The Green Planet | Official Teaser | PBS

Travel the globe with Sir David Attenborough, meet the largest living things that have ever existed, trees that care for each other, plants that hunt animals and plants that breed so fast they could cover the planet in a matter of months. By examining our relationship with plants past, present and future, THE GREEN PLANET reveals how all animal life, including ours, is totally dependent on plants.
I was wondering when I'd encounter Sir David among these nominations. Also, animals get most of the attention, so it's about time plants got their time in the limelight.

I conclude the trailers with Kangaroo Valley | Official Trailer | Netflix.

'Kangaroo Valley' is the coming-of-age story of a young kangaroo joey called Mala, learning what it takes to survive her incredible first year. The odds are not in her favor: only one in five joeys make it to their first birthday. Mala's greatest enemy is the dingo pack that stalks her family. Among them is the young dingo, Miro, who turns out to be her greatest mentor.
Journey to a secret valley in Australia, where a nervous baby kangaroo named Mala faces hungry dingoes and winter snows in this coming-of-age adventure.
That looks and sounds like fun.

After watching all the trailers, I still think it's a contest between Super/Natural and Wildcat. The former has more nominations, but the latter's trailer has a lot more views, which means the show might have more viewers. That could give it an advantage.

Follow over the jump for the other categories in which Super/Natural and Wildcat along with two nominations for Nuisance Bear, which won Best Short Documentary at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards.

Friday, July 28, 2023

'100 Foot Wave' has the most nominations but experts think 'The U.S. and the Holocaust' and 'The 1619 Project' have best chances to win Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series at the Emmy Awards

I'm returning to the Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards to examine the last categories with nominated wildlife documentaries for World Conservation Day as I suggested yesterday. Here are the nominees competing against "Secrets of the Elephants" for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series.
Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series (Area)
Dear Mama (FX)
100 Foot Wave (HBO)
Secrets of the Elephants (Nat Geo)
The 1619 Project (Hulu)
The U.S. and the Holocaust (PBS)
100 Foot Wave has the most nominations with six, followed by The U.S. and the Holocaust with three at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards and one at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards for a total of four, The 1619 Project with three, and Dear Mama and Secrets of the Elephants with two each. Before I handicap the nominees with the help of the experts at Gold Derby, I'm sharing their trailers from the most nominated to the least, beginning with 100 Foot Wave Season 2 | Official Trailer | HBO.

Legend Garrett McNamara, his world-class surfing peers, and some surprising newcomers continue to push the boundaries of their sport and the limits of their minds and bodies. The one constant for these extreme athletes is contending with the highs and lows of their perilous and unpredictable lifestyle in which every big wave has the potential to write a dramatic new chapter in their personal stories. With a mix of intimate interviews, verité scenes and personal archive, as well as stunning aerial, water-based and underwater footage from the Emmy®-winning cinematography team, the series captures a world unlike any other.
Watching this trailer reminds me that today is also National Waterpark Day, which I observed on this blog five years ago. This is better than any waterpark!

Next, The U.S. and the Holocaust | Official Trailer | PBS.

The U.S. and the Holocaust, a new documentary by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, examines the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany in the context of global antisemitism and racism, immigration and eugenics in the United States, and race laws in the American south. Premieres September 18.
More about the production:
THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST is a three-part, six hour series directed by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, that examines America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws in America. Did the nation fail to live up to its ideals? This is a history to be reckoned with.

The series is narrated by Peter Coyote; Voice Actors Include Liam Neeson, Matthew Rhys, Paul Giamatti, Meryl Streep, Werner Herzog, Joe Morton, Hope Davis, Bradley Whitford and Helena Zengel.
The subject of this series hits me personally. I grew up in a Reform Jewish neighborhood and the mother of my high school crush was a concentration camp survivor, so I know people who have experienced this story. Watching the trailer while thinking about the resurrection of Fascism made me wonder what are we doing now and if we would avoid repeating the mistakes of 80 years ago.

Speaking of mistakes of the past, here's The 1619 Project | Official Trailer | Hulu.

From Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones comes the greatest story never told. The 1619 Project premieres January 26th only on Hulu. #1619hulu

The 1619 Project is a Lionsgate Production in association with One Story Up Productions, Harpo Films and The New York Times. It was executive produced by Nikole Hannah-Jones; Academy Award®-winning director Roger Ross Williams; Caitlin Roper, an editor of “The 1619 Project” and The New York Times’ executive producer for film and television; Kathleen Lingo, The New York Times’ editorial director for film and television; and Oprah Winfrey. Peabody Award-winning executive producer Shoshana Guy served as the showrunner. Watch The 1619 Project on Hulu!

Hulu’s six-part 1619 Docuseries is an expansion of “The 1619 Project” created by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times Magazine. The series seeks to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.
This is probably the most controversial nominee. For starters, I follow Nikole Hannah-Jones on Twitter and have read lots of negative replies to her tweets about the New York Times series. Even John Michael Greer has made several snide asides about it. Greer famously does not watch television, so he hasn't commented on the TV series, but I'm sure he'd be just as dismissive of the series if he did.

Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni & Tupac Shakur Documentary Series Trailer from Rotten Tomatoes TV portrays a more contemporary and personal picture of the same struggle.

Check out the new Dear Mama Documentary Series Trailer!
Synopsis: Afeni had a revolutionary story, Tupac helped her tell it to the world.

From award-winning director Allen Hughes (The Defiant Ones) comes FX’s Dear Mama, a deeply personal five-part series that defies the conventions of traditional documentary storytelling to share an illuminating saga of mother and son, Afeni and Tupac Shakur. Their story chronicles the possibilities and contradictions of the U.S. from a time of revolutionary fervor to Hip Hop culture’s most ostentatious decade.
Finding out that Tupac was connected to the Black Panthers made me take him and his music more seriously.

And now the final trailer, Secrets of the Elephants | Official Trailer | National Geographic.

“Secrets of the Elephants" Executive produced by James Cameron and narrated by Natalie Portman, the four-part series premieres Friday, April 21 on National Geographic.
This trailer wasted no time in pointing out it was a sequel of sorts to Secrets of the Whales, which won this award two years ago. It also touted that it was produced by James Cameron and narrated by Natalie Portman, two Oscar winners, although it neglected to mention Portman's Oscar. That's a missed opportunity in self-promotion. On the other hand, this series is the reason I'm examining this category today, as it fits the theme of World Conservation Day. It's also one I have recommended to my students. Welcome to blogging as professional development.

Based on the total number of nominations as well as being a previous Emmy winner for its cinematography, I'd rank 100 Foot Wave as a favorite. Based on Secrets of the Elephants being a sequel to previous winner Secrets of the Whales, I would consider Secrets of the Elephants to be a favorite, too. The experts at Gold Derby disagree, thinking these two have the weakest chances. Instead, they are split between The U.S. and the Holocaust and The 1619 Project, at three experts each. The odds currently favor The U.S. and the Holocaust, but The 1619 Project had the better chance through yesterday. I wonder if the News & Documentary Emmy nomination for The U.S. and the Holocaust tipped the odds toward it or the controversy around The 1619 Project finally caught up to it. Either way, this will be an interesting category to watch.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominations for these nominees.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

R.I.P. Sinéad O'Connor, who died one day before 'Nothing Compares' earned two News & Documentary Emmy Awards nominations

I told my readers that the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) would announce the News & Documentary Emmy Awards nominations today, the 27th, as an aside to The music of 'Prehistoric Planet 2' earned the series its first Emmy nomination. Sure enough, NATAS did. I found one nominated documentary particularly timely, "Nothing Compares," a biography of Sinéad O'Connor, who died yesterday. "Good Morning America" reported that sad news in Sinead O'Connor dies at 56.

The Irish singer-songwriter and activist passed away suddenly, a statement announced on Wednesday. No cause of death has been revealed.
I found this news surprising, as O'Connor was nearly a decade younger than I am, but she had a rough upbringing and a tempestuous life, so maybe I should have been so surprised. Still, I normally would have waited until the end of the year to observe her death along with all the other celebrities who passed (or will pass) this year, except that "Nothing Compares" earned two News & Documentary Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing: Documentary and Outstanding Direction: Documentary. I couldn't resist the coincidence, especially since I was planning on covering these Emmy Awards in addition to the Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Watch Nothing Compares (2022) Official Trailer | Documentary | SHOWTIME.

Directed by Kathryn Ferguson (Taking the Waters, Space to Be), NOTHING COMPARES charts Sinéad O'Connor's phenomenal rise to worldwide fame and examines how she used her voice at the height of her stardom, before her iconoclastic personality led to her exile from the pop mainstream.
I first read about this documentary when I looked at the other nominees at the Critics Choice Documentary Awards. There, "Nothing Compares" earned nominations for Best Archival Documentary and Best Music Documentary. It lost to "Oscar nominee Fire of Love" for the former and multiple Emmy Award winner "The Beatles: Get Back" for the latter. I think the Critics Choice Association picked the right winners for those categories.

I think the same will happen to "Nothing Compares" at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, as it's competing against the two most nominated documentaries at those awards, "Good Night Oppy," which also has a Creative Arts Emmy nomination, and "Retrograde." Both of them have six nominations. Here are the nominees competing against "Nothing Compares."
Outstanding Writing: Documentary
FRONTLINE Lies, Politics and Democracy PBS
Good Night Oppy Amazon Prime
Hostages HBO Max
Nothing Compares Showtime
POV Not Going Quietly PBS
Outstanding Direction: Documentary
In Her Hands Netflix
The Janes HBO Max
Master of Light HBO Max
Nothing Compares Showtime
Retrograde National Geographic
Wildcat Amazon Prime
My preliminary picks are "Good Night Oppy" for Outstanding Writing: Documentary and "Retrograde" for Outstanding Direction: Documentary, but I'll get back to both documentaries and their categories in future installments of this series. Speaking of which, stay tuned to I post about nominated wildlife documentaries for World Conservation Day tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

'Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy' defends its Emmy for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special

I'm resuming my Emmy Awards nominations coverage by looking at Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, which won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special last year. It's defending its category against two returning nominees and two newcomers.
Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special (Area)
The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey (Netflix)
My Next Guest with David Letterman and Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Netflix)
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (CNN)
Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi (Hulu)
United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell (CNN)
Three of these nominees examine politics and government, two of my angles when examining awards shows, The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, My Next Guest with David Letterman and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. The other two, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy and Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, are food and travel shows that might touch on politics and government by accident. While I'm rooting for United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy is the two-time returning winner, the only nominee with multiple nominations (four, including Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program, and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi-Camera) in addition to the nomination for the series itself), and the one that the experts at Gold Derby think will win. That's followed by My Next Guest with David Letterman and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, currently tied for second place, and The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey and Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi tied f for fourth. Based on those criteria, I'm predicting that Tucci and his producers will walk away with the Emmy statuette whenever the Television Academy holds the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies. Those are currently scheduled for September 9–10, 2023, but may be postponed because of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. I hope that doesn't happen, but wouldn't be surprised if it did.

In any event, here is the trailer for season 3 of Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy from SBS Australia.

Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci travels across Italy to discover the secrets and delights of the country's regional cuisines.
Looks like well-made fun, so I'm not surprised it's the returning winner and current favorite.

Follow over the jump for the rest of Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy's nominations and its competitors in those categories.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Whales and fish, two stories I tell my students

I'm taking a break from Emmy Awards nominations coverage to share a clip about over-hunting of whales from PBS's "Human Footprint" uploaded to PBS Terra's YouTube channel along with a TED-Ed video about over-fishing I already show my students.

First, watch PBS Terra's Inside the World’s ONLY Whale Warehouse.

Long before the days of fast-fashion and chain restaurants, humans were busy hunting down whales and nearly wiping them out... The efficiency of 20th-century whaling had a devastating impact. Join host Shane Campbell-Staton as he visits Paleontologist Nick Pyenson at Smithsonian's Whale Warehouse to uncover the history of whaling and its impact on our oceans.
My students already hear from me about the over-exploitation of whales for whale oil and its effects on the supply and price of whale oil, which led to the switch to petroleum, which the video described. However, they don't hear about the literally massive effect on biomass and whale numbers and the "everything is connected to everything else" feedback loop of the krill paradox. That's because I didn't know either until I watched the video. Now I know, so I can tell my students. That, or I can show this video to them. Welcome to blogging as professional development.

I follow the story of over-exploitation of whales with one about modern-day over-fishing, which supports a point I make throughout my environmental science course, people don't learn, at least the first time, so they repeat their mistakes. Here's the video I show my students already, TED-Ed asking Will the ocean ever run out of fish? - Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet.

When most people think of fishing, we imagine relaxing in a boat and patiently reeling in the day’s catch. But modern industrial fishing -- the kind that stocks our grocery shelves -- looks more like warfare. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet explain overfishing and its effects on ecosystems, food security, jobs, economies, and coastal cultures.

Lesson by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet, directed by Anton Bogaty.
The same techniques that decimated whales are being used to over-exploit fish. As I mentioned above, we haven't learned — yet. But we can, so there is still hope.

PBS Terra has also uploaded a video about the effect of hunting on elephant evolution. Stay tuned to see if I write about it. In the meantime, stay tuned for my awards show coverage.

Monday, July 24, 2023

The music of 'Prehistoric Planet 2' earned the series its first Emmy nomination

I'm continuing my examination of Emmy nominees by recycling my awards prognostication from 'Prehistoric Planet 2' explores ancient biodiversity on International Day for Biological Diversity.
While I raved about the trailer and previews for season 1, my prediction that the series would receive multiple Emmy nominations still hasn't come true. Hans Zimmer took home two awards for its music at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards and it earned nominations at the Cinema Eye Honors Awards, Annie Awards, Visual Effects Society Awards, Television Critics Association Awards, and Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, but no Emmy nominations. I hope that was because Apple TV+ decided to submit it to the News & Documentary Emmy Awards instead of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. If so, I'll be looking for those nominations in a couple of months.
I don't know if Apple TV+ submitted season one of the series to the News & Documentary Emmy Awards — my readers and I will find out on the 27th, when the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announces those nominations — but "Prehistoric Planet 2" earned one Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition For A Documentary Series Or Special for episode 2, "Badlands."* I'm pleased, as music is the one facet of the show that has been winning awards, yet still disappointed, as the Emmys haven't recognized the series itself or its other components, like narration, writing, and special effects. On the other hand, the Hollywood Critics Association nominated season two for Best Streaming Nonfiction Series, just as it did season one.

That's a worthy set of nominees, only one of which, "The 1619 Project," also earned Emmy nominations.  I'll get to it in a future installment, along with the other nominees for Outstanding Music Composition For A Documentary Series Or Special. In the meantime, enjoy 1. Prehistoric Planet Suite (Prehistoric Planet 2 OST).

*ETA: I got a very nice request from Anže Rozman on Twitter after he read this post. Since he asked so nicely, I'm adding the alt-text for the image that opened this entry.
Text: 2023 Emmys Nominee Outstanding Music Composition For A Documentary Series Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)
Prehistoric Planet • Badlands • Apple TV+ • BBC Studios in association with Apple
Hans Zimmer, Composer
Anže Rozman, Composer
Kara Talve, Composer
Image: photos of composers and promotional image for "Prehistoric Planet 2."
I'll be sure to list all the composers when I examine the nominees for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. Stay tuned.

Previous posts about the 2023 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Barack Obama defends his Emmy against Hollywood all-stars narrating nature and science documentaries

I had a change of plans for today's Sunday entertainment feature since I wrote "All of the nominees in this and the previous category have other nominations, so I'll examine their chances in the next two installments" yesterday. I'm postponing those posts and writing this year's version of Barack Obama nominated for Outstanding Narrator of 'Our Great National Parks' at the 2022 Emmy Awards instead.

Obama won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator last year, so when he's defending it now that he's been nominated again for this category. Like last year, he's contending against stiff competition in Mahershala Ali for "Chimp Empire," Angela Bassett for "Good Night Oppy," Morgan Freeman for "Our Universe," and Pedro Pascal for "Patagonia." That's a field of Hollywood all-stars. Ali has two Oscars and an Emmy, Bassett an honorary Oscar along with two Oscar nominations and eight Emmy nominations and a Critics' Choice Documentary Award win for Best Narration of "Good Night Oppy", and Freeman an Oscar and four Emmy nominations, including a previous one for Outstanding Narrator, while Pascal earned three Emmy nominations just this year. Wow!

That written, the experts at Gold Derby currently have Obama as the favorite, followed by Bassett, Freeman, Ali, and Pascal. That's about the order I see and the order in which I'd root for the nominees. Besides, who am I to argue against the experts?

Follow over the jump for the nominated shows' trailers other than "Good Night, Oppy," which I included in 'Good Night Oppy' wins five Critics Choice Documentary Awards. Watch it there.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

'The Territory' leads nominees for Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking at the 2023 Emmy Awards

I concluded Dove's 'Cost of Beauty' the sole PSA among the 2023 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Commercial by telling my readers "Stay tuned for entries about the documentary nominees next." I begin these installments of the series with the nominees for Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking at the 2023 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, "The Accused: Damned Or Devoted?" from PBS, "Aftershock" from Hulu, "Last Flight Home" from Paramount+ and MTV, and today's featured program "The Territory" from National Geographic. Watch The Territory | Official Trailer | National Geographic Documentary Films.

The Territory, from director Alex Pritz, provides an immersive on-the-ground look at the tireless fight of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers in the Brazilian Amazon.
Watching this trailer reminded me that I covered deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in Observe World Wildlife Day 2021 by watching Vox's three-part series on the Amazon rainforest, where I wrote "authoritarians are a threat to the environment everywhere on the planet, even if they, like Jair Bolsonaro, aren't strictly 'fossil fools.'" The trailer may not mention Bolsonaro, but his influence is all over this clip. I'm glad he's no longer Brazil's President.

ABC News covered the movie in 'The Territory' profiles indigenous group's fight to protect rain forest | Nightline.

A National Geographic documentary followed Brazil's Uru-eu-wau-wau people in their years-long battle against deforestation.
I'm being a good environmentalist by repurposing a paragraph from 'Summer of Soul,' my pick for best documentary of 2021 for my reaction.
While that's a good hard-news interview that explores how and why [Alex Pritz] made the documentary, it's also a bit of stealth promotion, as [National Geographic] and ABC are both subsidiaries of Disney. To recycle what I wrote about CNN defending Big Bird, "It's not just news value that's driving it."
Considering that I originally wrote this about a "Nightline" segment, I shouldn't be surprised that it works as well for another "Nightline" segment.

Before I assess the chances for "The Territory" to win its categories, I'm looking at the other nominees for Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking. Follow over the jump for their trailers, the two other nominations for "The Territory," and one prediction.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Dove's 'Cost of Beauty' the sole PSA among the 2023 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Commercial

I'm recycling the opening sentence to SAG-AFTRA joins the WGA on strike: "I was planning on writing about the Outstanding nominees at this year's Creative Arts Emmy Awards, but then SAG-AFTRA voted to strike as Deadline reported." It's time to follow through on my postponed promise by examining the nominees for Outstanding Commercial beginning with the one public service announcement (PSA) nominated, Cost of Beauty: A Dove Film | Dove Self-Esteem Project from Dove UK.

CW/TW: Sensitive content. This film features real stories about body appearance that may be upsetting to some viewers.

8 in 10 youth mental health specialists say social media is fuelling a mental health crisis.* Join us on our mission to make social media a more positive place by taking a stand against its harmful design, so that platforms can be safer for kids.
This is the one nominee that isn't selling the product its sponsor makes. Instead, a beauty product company (yes, Dove is best known for soap, but its ads sell beauty as much as or even more than cleanliness) is pointing out that young people, particularly girls and young women, can have too much of a concern about a good thing. It's also pointing a finger at social media, the subjects of double Emmy winner "The Social Dilemma", double Emmy nominee "The Facebook Dilemma", and Emmy nominee "The Great Hack". Social control and misinformation are problems outside of politics.

This reminds me that I didn't acknowledge last year's winner, "Teenage Dreams" from Sandy Hook Promise. Here is the Twitter graphic from the Television Academy announcing its win.


I also never wrote an entry about the nominees and winner of Outstanding Promotional Announcement at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards. That was National Geographic's "9/11: One Day in America," which also won Outstanding Historical Documentary. I didn't completely miss it, as I mentioned that it had six nominations in Emmy nominee 'My Garden of a Thousand Bees' for World Honey Bee Day, but I never followed up on that aside. Darn. Here is the Twitter graphic from Nat Geo Docs announcing both wins.

Congratulations! May I not be so busy as to miss this year's nominees.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominees in this category.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Seeker and Vintage Space look back at Apollo 17 and ahead to Artemis for Moon Day

Happy National Moon Day! I complete my retrospective of Apollo missions 50 years later with Seeker asking Why Did NASA Cancel the Apollo Program?

NASA had grand plans for the Moon during the Apollo program, but those dreams were cut short a few years after the first landing. Apollo 17 would mark the last time humans ventured to the Moon.
The path to the moon traced a dangerous line of risk and reward. In a race against time, the Apollo Program challenged our scientific capabilities and redefined the boundaries of humanity. To celebrate NASA’s 60 years of exploration, Seeker is going back in time to relive each Apollo mission, taking viewers on a ride to an entirely new world.
Three things struck me about this video, the Big Blue Marble photo, the three canceled Apollo missions, and NASA's plans to return to the moon. I'm being a good environmentalist by recycling the importance of the Blue Marble from The end of an era: last space shuttle mission, when I quoted Indiana University's AHR examines ‘Earthrise era,’ symbols of Argentine cultural identity.
Hear the word "Earth," and the images likely to flash through the mind are descendants of two views afforded by the Apollo missions. One, a photograph called "Earthrise," shows Earth half-cloaked in shadow above a lifeless moonscape. A second, "Blue Marble," reveals our planet suspended alone in the void; it is reputed to be the most widely disseminated photograph in history.

Such views of Earth, it has been argued, prompted a revolution in the global imagination and a new appreciation for the beauty and fragility of the planet. But Benjamin Lazier, associate professor of history at Reed College, writing in the June 2011 issue of the American Historical Review, questions whether the Apollo images did indeed prompt such a revolution. And if so, he asks, to what ends?

Lazier supplements accounts of the Cold War origins and environmentalist afterlives of the "Earthrise era" with a history of philosophical responses to the earliest images of Earth from space. He focuses on thinkers -- including Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger and Hans Blumenberg -- who were troubled by the displacement of local, earthbound horizons with horizons that are planetary in scope and scale.

"Their example … prompts us to ask whether the visions and vocabularies of the Earthrise era have inadvertently accelerated our planetary emergency as much as they have inspired us to slow it down," he writes in "Earthrise; or, The Globalization of the World Picture."
Yes, the environmental era and the era of space travel not only coincide, they directly feed into one another. After all, I consider the use of "the planet" to describe Earth as a shibboleth of the environmental movement, and that use comes directly from space travel, as described above.
The emotional importance of that image may supercede all the scientific findings from the final Apollo mission to the Moon.

Amy Shira Teitel of The Vintage Space examined the canceled missions in Missions we Lost When Apollo was Cancelled.

Long before Apollo landed on the Moon, NASA leadership was looking at some lofty plans for Apollo hardware after the Moon.
"At least we got Skylab." It's the 50th anniversary of that program, too. Let's see if I get inspired enough to write more about it.

I return to Seeker explaning How NASA Plans to Return to the Moon.

NASA hasn't sent humans back to the Moon in almost 50 years, but in the next decade, the agency has ambitious plans for a lunar revival.
NASA's plans to return to the Moon have been moving ahead during the past four years. The successful test flight of the Orion capsule around the Moon was one of the reasons I declared that 2022 has been another great year in space. Stephen Colbert interviews the Artemis II crew for Yuri's Night covered the next step. After that, landing on the Moon again. Here's to my covering the Artemis II mission for next year's Moon Day!

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Holiday history, recipe, and Cuban protests two years later for Daiquiri Day and Captive Nations Week

Happy National Daiquiri Day! I'm opening today's observance with National Day Calendar's National Daiquiri Day | July 19.

Each year on July 19th, people across the United States fill their glasses with a rum-based cocktail and toast to National Daiquiri Day. So, raise your glass and join all of the others in this celebration!

Daiquiri is a family of cocktails whose main ingredients are rum, citrus juice (typically lime), and sugar.
Since the video mentioned Ernest Hemingway, today's featured recipe is Hemingway Daiquiri | How to Drink.

On this episode of How to Drink, I’m partnering again with Luxardo and Anchor Distilling to bring you the Hemingway Daiquiri! This version is a classic alternative to the standard Daiquiri and my personal favorite way to prepare one, and the story goes that Ernest Hemingway had diabetes and he developed this recipe to be a less sweet version of his favorite drink. If you’re like me and love Hemingway then you should give this cocktail a try! Cheers!

That's not strictly true it turns out. The truth is that this drink was already on the menu at the Floridita bar in Havana Cuba where Hemingway was a regular where it was called Daiquiri #3. Hemingway was such a fan of the drink that it was eventually named after himself and a legend was born. Actually, it's also likely that it wasn't such an organic naming evolution, but rather that 'ol Papa Hemingway himself invented the whole diabetes story and named the drink after himself intentionally, he was of course a writer and renowned self promoter. I've read that the drink was also sometimes called a "Papa Doble" or "Papa Double" as he was known to order them "with twice as much rum and no sugar", which sounds likely. The daiquiri is of course a famous Cuban drink and there's no reason you shouldn't use Cuban rum here, in fact the original recipe calls for it. For me though, the Hemingway Daiquiri is particularly well suited to showing off a Rhum Agricole and that's my preferred configuration for this drink. If you prefer it with a Cuban, or a Peurto Rican, or really any rum at all feel free to make it that way, you really can't go wrong!

Hemingway Daiquiri Ingredients:
- .25 oz or 7 ml Luxardo Maraschino
- .25 oz or 7 ml Grapefruit Juice
- .75 oz or 21 ml Lime Juice
- 2 oz or 60 ml White Rhum Agricole
- Shake over Cracked Ice
- Pour in a Coupe
- Garnish with a Lime Wheel
I did not know that Hemingway was a diabetic, but that's in his Wikipedia entry, so I'll provisionally accept it as true. That means two things to me: I share something with a famous author and I learned something new, so it's a good day.

On the other hand, it's not a good day for a lot of Cubans, who protested the Cuban regime two years ago. WPLG examined their plight in Lawmakers show support for Cubans following 2-year anniversary of historic protests.

Tuesday marks two years since historic protests paralyzed the island of Cuba as hundreds took to the streets calling for change.
That was last Tuesday, which was National Mojito Day, not yesterday. I usually don't take serious looks at Cuba that day because it's also World Population Day. Priorities. Besides, today usually falls during Captive Nations Week, which gives double meaning to examining the island nation's issues today.

That's it for National Daiquiri Day and Captive Nations Week. Stay tuned for Moon Day as I finish my retrospective of Apollo missions 50 years later.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

CNBC on Detroit's bankruptcy, ten years later

Detroit filed for bankruptcy ten years ago today. I'm observing this anniversary by sharing CNBC explaining Why Detroit Is Tearing Down A Highway, although it's really about the title on the preview image, "Detroit's rise, fall, and future." The plans to remove I-375 are an attention-grabbing MacGuffin.

The city of Detroit is bouncing back from its legendary 2013 bankruptcy filing. Depopulation driven by the rise of global trade threw the city into insolvency. Since then, Detroit has imposed high property tax rates citywide while awarding abatements to commercial-scale developers. The tax, spending and placemaking policies in Detroit have drawn investors to the city in force, raising the local skyline alongside concerns about gentrification and displacement among the locals.
I haven't written much about these topics since I mentioned that Detroit exited bankruptcy in Headlines for 12/10/14 give me a to do list; that's about the time I moved from a local to a national and global focus on this blog. Watching the video reminded me of why I started writing this blog. It's good to get back to its roots, even if I don't stay here for long.

Speaking of which, stay tuned for National Daiquiri Day tomorrow.

Monday, July 17, 2023

MSNBC covers record heat and climate change for World Emoji Day

When I looked at Google News' U.S. page, I saw result after result of extreme weather and climate change news. I'm taking that as a signal from the universe, or at least Google's algorithm, to write about them. I begin by quoting my responses to Infidel753's link and comment on Three hottest days on record this week and it's only Thursday.
I reported that the world has now had its *four* hottest days ever this week in PBS NewsHour reports 'Record-breaking global temperature, raging wildfires highlight effects of climate change' plus Thursday broke another record.
It's so bad that I checked to see if the average global temperature records were broken on Friday and Saturday for a fifth or even sixth time. The closest I could find was Mother Jones asking Did Planet Earth Just Have its Hottest-Ever Week? The answer seems to be yes: "Until last week, no single day over the Climate Reanalyzer’s 44 years of records has had an average temperature higher than 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But the the seven-day stretch ending Thursday averaged that much."
The record-breaking heat and other effects of climate change have continued, catching MSNBC's attention this weekend; it's not just me. Watch Jeff Berardelli explain the connection between extreme weather and climate change in Extreme weather and climate change seen from a meteorologist’s eyes.

Extreme weather is expected to intensify across the world over the coming months. Not only is climate change to blame, but there’s also the fact that we are entering an El Niño year, which means more heat, more moisture, more energy in the entire system. But as our climate and weather patterns change, so does the role of meteorologists and the facts they report. WFLA meteorologist Jeff Berardelli discusses his experience with American Voices host Alicia Menendez.
I'm one of Berardelli's fans, so I'm always happy to see him interviewed, even if the news he delivers is scary.

MSNBC had several stories about the threat that heat poses to human health. Since I'm originally from Los Angeles, I'm featuring Los Angeles' first 'Heat Officer' works to combat effects of record-breaking heat.

Marta Segura is the first-ever Heat Officer of Los Angeles, as southern California faces record-breaking, deadly temperatures and increased wildfires. "It's not your grandmother's summer," Segura told Yasmin Vossoughian. She also hopes the position, which also exists in Miami and Phoenix, will be considered in other states.
When I blog about Woodland Hills, the part of Los Angeles where I grew up, it's always about how much hotter it is now than it was 50 years ago. As I wrote five years ago, "I don't remember heat waves this bad or this frequent growing up, so things have definitely changed." That Los Angeles has created a Heat Officer position reflects this.

Ali Velshi stressed the importance of trying to do something about the climate instead of moving from denial to despair in Climate Crisis: The impact of the record breaking marine heatwave.

As we enter an El Nino weather pattern - a system of unusually high ocean surface temperatures - the impacts on our heating oceans are severe. The global average ocean temperature hit an all time high in April, and continues to break records almost daily. One of the impacts of warming oceans is the harm caused to marine ecosystems.
We're seeing coral reefs bleach and die, and mass fish die-offs. Warmer oceans contribute to stronger storms, hurricanes, and cyclones, and facilitate more evaporation. And these extreme storms dump more rain - just look at the flooding that has occurred around the world in the last few days.
Velshi's message is one I tell my students. While I'm not afraid to scare them or gross them out, I also want to give them hope. It's the same approach I take here with my readers.

Speaking of lightening the mood, today is World Emoji Day, so I'm sharing some appropriate emojis.

Try to stay safe and cool out there.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Actors join writers on picket lines for National Ice Cream Day

For today's Sunday entertainment feature, I'm updating SAG-AFTRA joins the WGA on strike beginning with MSNBC reporting Actors join writers in historic dual strike, effectively shutting down ‘Hollywood as we know it’.

SAG-AFTRA, the union representing Hollywood actors and thousands of others working in the film industry, is now on strike after talks with studios collapsed following four weeks of negotiations, joining the Writers Guild of America on the picket line. Katie Kilkenny, reporter with The Hollywood Reporter, and People Magazine Senior News Editor Nigel Smith join Andrea Mitchell to discuss. “This effectively shuts down Hollywood as we know it. I mean, the last time that both the WGA and SAG went on strike was the 1960s,” says Smith.
MSNBC interviewed the SAG-AFTRA President, who explained what the strike means when she said 'What is happening here is not unique' Fran Drescher on SAG-AFTRA strike's impact on labor.

Katy Tur spoke to SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher about the actor strike and the implications for the larger labor movement.
Drescher is right about the state of most actors in Hollywood. I grew up in Los Angeles and saw it first-hand. Our gardener growing up was an actor. The bartender at our favorite restaurant was an actor. My ex-brother-in-law was an actor, but made most of his money as a carpenter and handyman. They did not make enough money acting to make a living. Because of that, I support SAG-AFTRA's demands. Their members need them.

They and the writers also need to eat during the strike. Fox 11 Los Angeles reported on one establishment helping to feed them in Food bank giving groceries to union members.

World Harvest Kitchen is offering a free cart of groceries to striking Hollywood writers and actors. All they have to do is show their union card.
I would recommend my readers donate to World Harvest except that I haven't started yet. It's now on my to-do list.

I close with National Day Calendar reminding its viewers that today is National Ice Cream Day | Third Sunday in July.

Dish or cone? That’s all we need to know. National Ice Cream Day on the 3rd Sunday in July offers up every flavor on the menu to honor the day! The holiday also lands in the middle of National Ice Cream Month.

Thousands of years ago, people in the Persian Empire put snow in a bowl, poured concentrated grape juice over it, and ate it as a treat. Even when the weather was hot, they would savor this sweet treat. Their trick? They placed snow in underground chambers known as yakchal where the temperatures kept the snow from melting. The Persians also hiked to the mountain tops by their summer capital to gather snowfall.
I couldn't resist the space story, which I'm treating as foreshadowing to National Moon Day. In the meantime, Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Bright Sun Films presents 'Bankrupt - Chuck E Cheese's', a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

I haven't written about the Retail Apocalypse since Company Man asks 'The Decline of Borders...What Happened?' A tale of the Retail Apocalypse for Flashback Friday last month, so I consider Jake Williams of Bright Sun Films uploading Bankrupt - Chuck E Cheese's yesterday to be perfect timing.

Starting from the novel idea of adding animatronics and arcade machines to a pizza restaurant, Chuck E Cheese's grew into an enormous, world wide chain. Though, not without issues as the company has suffered two bankruptcies, fierce competition from copycat chain, Showbiz Pizza, and an overall decline in popularity. Join me today as I explore the fascinating and turbulent history of the restaurant chain and find out if this twice bankrupt company has any chance for a future.
I've written a lot about the bankruptcy of Chuck E. Cheese's but not since The rise, fall, rise, and fall again of Chuck E. Cheese, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse two years ago. It was about time that Jake turned his attention to this story and dug into the details. The tale needed it, as well as an update on the past two years.

Friday, July 14, 2023

France hosts India on Bastille Day 2023

Happy Bastille Day, the third patriotic holiday in July I observe on this blog! I begin today's celebration of "Fête Nationale Française" with France 24 English asking and answering Bastille Day: What is the meaning of 'Le chant des partisans' ?

France celebrates Bastille Day, which marks the fall of the Bastille prison in 1789, seen as igniting the French Revolution. 'Le chant des partisans' was part of the celebrations. '"Le chant des partisans" is the perfect symbol of resistance during WWII', French Army Major Antoine explains.
I learned something new from this segment and it's always a good day when I learn something new.

India brought its own marching band, which played one of its country's patriotic songs. The Indian Defence Updates channel uploaded Indian Contingent at French Bastille Day Military Parade 2023 featuring that performance.

The Indian military contingent marched to the beats of ‘Sare Jahan Se Accha’ even as a compliment of Rafale fighters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) participated in a flypast over the Champs-Elysees at the Bastille Day Parade. The Punjab Regiment led the march and was followed by the Indian Navy and then the Air Force as the left their mark at the annual parade to mark the historic fall of Bastille in 1789.
The Indian army, navy, and air force units formed the tricolor of the French flag as they marched down the parade route — nice touch!

France 24 English explained the presence of the Indian units in 'The degree of proximity that India and France share on the world stage is virtually unrivalled'.

India is the guest of honor at this year’s Bastille Day parade, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi watching in the VIP tribune alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. About 240 Indian troops led the march down the Champs-Elysees before thousands of French forces, and French-made Indian warplanes joined the traditional flyby above the event. France often showcases international partners on Bastille Day, and the choice of India comes as France looks to further strengthen cooperation on fighting climate change, military sales and the strategic Indo-Pacific region. But human rights were missing from the vast agenda, despite concerns raised by European lawmakers, rights groups and others. Joining FRANCE 24's William Hilderbrandt on Bastille Day is author, economist and commentator on geostrategic affairs Saurav Jha. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Delhi Defence Review.
Saurav Jha tried to downplay India as a counterweight to China, but he couldn't avoid the comparisons and contrasts. His point that consumption composes 60% of India's GDP to 30% of China's struck me. What that means is that India is a better market for exporters, which makes it attractive to other countries to not only invest in India to make things, but to sell them, too. That's a selling point.

Follow over the jump for videos about two other holidays that share today with Bastille Day.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

SAG-AFTRA joins the WGA on strike

I was planning on writing about the Outstanding nominees at this year's Creative Arts Emmy Awards, but then SAG-AFTRA voted to strike as Deadline reported.
SAG-AFTRA’s national board voted unanimously this morning to launch the guild’s first strike against the film and television industry since 1980. The strike is set to begin tonight one minute past midnight, with picketing at all the major studios.
With the Writers Guild strike now in its 73rd day, this will be the first time that actors and writers have been on strike at the same time since 1960, when Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers broke off late Wednesday night with no agreement on terms for a new contract. The guild’s negotiating committee then unanimously recommended that the board approve a strike. On June 5, the guild’s members voted 98% in favor of authorizing a strike if a fair deal couldn’t be achieved.
Watch PBS NewsHour's live stream Screen Actors Guild president Fran Drescher announces unanimous vote to go on strike.

I watched this live and Fran Drescher was angry and sad. She said she tried to avert a strike, but the producers association, which represents the studios, wasn't cooperating. They're coming off like they're trying to put the actors and writers in what they think are their places. The actors and writers aren't having it.

I'm being a good environmentalist by recycling what I wrote most recently in Actors strike postponed while negotiations continue while writers still striking.
Here's to SAG-AFTRA, the WGA, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reaching agreements that all of them can live with. Otherwise, there will be two strikes in Hollywood next month. As I wrote in Vox explains 'How streaming caused the TV writers strike', "We viewers should care more about the people who create what we watch...We don't want the executives to accidentally kill the geese that lay the golden eggs."
I simultaneously think this strike is necessary and that it could be a disaster for all involved if it goes badly. I know I'm right on the first and hope I'm wrong on the second.

I'll have more on both strikes. In the meantime, stay tuned for Bastille Day, the third patriotic holiday in July I observe on this blog.