Monday, August 14, 2023

GameStop, Carl Icahn, TikTok, Cuban baseball, and Victoria's Secret subjects of Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary at the News & Doc Emmy Awards

I'm returning to awards show coverage after posting WGA returns to the bargaining table, a strike update yesterday with the nominees for Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary at the 2023 News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Here are the nominees.
Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary
Eat The Rich: The GameStop
Icahn: The Restless Billionaire HBO Max
Independent Lens TikTok, Boom. PBS
POV The Last Out PBS
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons Hulu
This is the only nomination for each of these documentaries, so I can't handicap their odds on that basis. Instead, I'm embedding their trailers. Maybe then I can make a guess.

I begin with Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga | Official Trailer | Netflix.

This humorous documentary series follows a group of millennial misfits who banded together online to rescue their beloved GameStop from the clutches of Wall Street bigwigs, in a viral David vs. Goliath story for the 21st century.
Ah, yes, GameStop, a tale of the stock market and Retail Apocalypse. This looks like the most fun documentary of the field. It's also the one I'm most connected to, as my wife got involved with Wall Street Bets and Robin Hood. That made investing fun, even if it may not have been as profitable as she and I might have liked.

The next nominee also examines stocks and investing, Icahn: The Restless Billionaire | Official Trailer | HBO.

Unstoppable. Polarizing. Legendary.

The HBO original documentary #IcahnHBO offers unprecedented access to the the provocative, straight-talking billionaire financier, Carl Icahn.
Icahn the icon — I feel like I've been hearing about him most of my adult life. While the GameStop documentary looks like fun, Icahn's story is probably more important in the grand scheme of things. That written, I've only mentioned the man once before, and that was in passing. It's about time he got more scrutiny here.

I'm mixing and matching for the next nominee. First, TIKTOK, BOOM (Trailer) from ZFF Zurich Film Festival.

Next, the description from TikTok, Boom. | Official Trailer | Independent Lens | PBS.
What does it mean to be a digital native?
TikTok, Boom. dissects the platform along myriad cross-sections—algorithmic, socio-political, economic, and cultural—to explore the impact of the history-making app. Balancing a genuine interest in the community and its innovative mechanics with a healthy skepticism, delve into the security issues, global political challenges, and racial biases behind the platform. Featuring Gen Z influencers like Feroza Aziz, Spencer X, Deja Foxx, and Merrick Hanna.
Speaking of more scrutiny, it's about time a documentary examined TikTok in the same way The Great Hack and The Social Dilemma examined Facebook and to a lesser extent Instagram and Twitter.

Now for sports as a business story, The Last Out | Official Trailer | POV | PBS.

Three Cuban baseball players leave their families and risk exile to train in Central America and chase their dreams of playing in the United States. At the shadowy nexus of the migrant trail and pro sports, The Last Out chronicles their difficult journey, from multi-step immigration obstacles and learning English to the broken promises and dubious motives of agents. Official selection, 2020 Tribeca Film Festival (premiered in 2021). A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.

The Last Out made its national broadcast and streaming debut on the PBS documentary series POV and on Monday, October 3, 2022 on PBS!
On the one hand, this is probably the most moving human story of the lot, which should work in its favor. On the other, this is, by far, the least viewed trailer of any of the nominees. I'm the 168th person to watch it. It's hard for a nominee to earn votes if no one is watching it.

In contrast, the most viewed trailer is Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons | Trailer | Hulu with ~336,000 views.

The story behind the brand that dominated the malls of America. Uncover Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons on July 14.
As I exclaimed the one and only time I mentioned Victoria's Secret before, oh my. I had no idea Jeffrey Epstein was involved with this business, too. No wonder the trailer has so many views; it's a business story about using sex to sell its product that includes a sex scandal. Whether those trailer and presumably program views result in the producers bringing home a trophy is another matter — remember, electorates matter — but at least the voters will have watched the show. That makes this the nominee I expect to win, even though it's not my personal favorite.

I will continue my awards show coverage, but I might revisit the SAG-AFTRA strike tomorrow first. Stay tuned.

Previous posts about the 2023 News & Documentary Emmy Awards


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