My 2012 Emmy Nominations

So, for the past few days, I’ve been happily hopping around my section of the Shattered Lens Bunker and do you know why? 

Because it’s awards season, that’s why!  With the conclusion of the 2011-2012 TV season, Emmy ballots have been mailed and votes are being cast and, come July, we’ll know which shows and performers have been nominated for the 2012 Emmys. 

Before that happens, however, I would like to play a little game called “What if Lisa Was Solely Responsible For Picking the Nominees.”  Here’s how it works — I looked over and studied the complete list of the shows and performances that have been submitted this year for Emmy consideration.  And then, from that list, I picked my personal nominees.

(A complete list of every show and performer that’s been submitted for Emmy consideration can be found here.)

Below are my personal nominations in the major Emmy categories.  Again, note that these are not necessarily the shows and performers that I believe will be nominated.  Instead, these are the shows and performers that I would nominate if I was solely responsible for picking the nominees.

A complete list of my nominations in every single Emmy category can be found here.  (And yes, there’s a lot of Lifetime on the list.  There’s also a lot of Community.)

Best Comedy Series

Bored to Death (HBO)

Community (NBC)

Girls (HBO)

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX)

Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Raising Hope (Fox)

Veep (HBO)

Best Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Breaking Bad (AMC)

The Client List (Lifetime)

Downton Abbey (PBS)

Game of Thrones (HBO)

Homeland (Showtime)

Pan Am (ABC)

Ringer (The CW)

True Blood (HBO)

The Walking Dead (AMC)

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

Blue-Eyed Butcher (Lifetime)

Cyberbully (ABC Family)

Drew Peterson: Untouchable (Lifetime)

Five (Lifetime)

Girl Fight (Lifetime)

Hatfields & McCoys (History Channel)

The Hour (BBC America)

Of Two Minds (Lifetime)

Outstanding Variety Series

Conan (TBS)

Fashion Police (E)

Key and Peele (Comedy Central)

The Soup (E)

Tosh .O (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Variety Special

Betty White’s 90th Birthday Party (NBC)

Celtic Women: Believe (PBS)

The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen (Comedy Central)

TV Land Awards (TV Land)

Wendy Liebman: Taller on TV (Showtime)

Outstanding Nonfiction Special

Bobby Fischer Against The World (HBO)

Catholicism: Amazed and Afraid (PBS)

Crime After Crime (OWN)

God Is The Bigger Elvis (HBO)

6 Days To Air: The Making of South Park (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Nonfiction Series

America in Primetime (PBS)

American Masters (PBS)

America’s Most Wanted (Lifetime)

Beyond Scared Straight (A&E)

Inside Story (Biography)

Outstanding Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow (PBS)

Dance Moms (Lifetime)

Kitchen Nightmares (Fox)

Scouted (E)

Storage Wars (A&E)

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Amazing Race (CBS)

The Bachelor (ABC)

Big Brother (CBS)

The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)

Project Runway (Lifetime)

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)

Survivor (CBS)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

Johnny Galecki in The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Danny McBride in Eastbound and Down (HBO)

Joel McHale in Community (NBC)

Lucas Neff in Raising Hope (Fox)

Jason Schwartzman in Bored To Death (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama

Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad (AMC)

Jeffrey Donavon in Burn Notice (USA)

Damian Lewis in Homeland (Showtime)

Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead (AMC)

Timothy Olyphant in Justified (FX)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries or Movie

Idris Elba in Luther (BBC America)

Rob Lowe in Drew Peterson: Untouchable (Lifetime)

Steven Weber in Duke (Hallmark Movie Channel)

Dominic West in The Hour (BBC America)

Ben Whishaw in The Hour (BBC America)

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (Fox)

Lena Dunham in Girls (HBO)

Tina Fey in 30 Rock  (NBC)

Julia Louis Dreyfuss in Veep (HBO)

Mary-Louis Parker in Weeds (Showtime)

Martha Plimpton in Raising Hope (Fox)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Claire Danes in Homeland (Showtime)

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Ringer (The CW)

Jennifer Love Hewitt in The Client List (Lifetime)

Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife (CBS)

Elizabeth McGovern in Downton Abbey (PBS)

Anna Paquin in True Blood (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries or Movie

Kristin Davis in Of Two Minds (Lifetime)

Anne Heche in Girl Fight (Lifetime)

Rose McGowan in The Pastor’s Wife (Lifetime)

Emily Osment in Cyberbully (ABC Family)

Sara Paxton in Blue Eyed Butcher (Lifetime)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Charlie Day in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)

Danny DeVito in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX)

Donald Glover in Community (NBC)

Nick Offerman in Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Danny Pudi in Community (NBC)

Matt Walsh in Veep (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama

Bruce Campbell in Burn Notice (USA)

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones (HBO)

Giancarlo Espositto in Breaking Bad (AMC)

Michael Pitt in Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Michael Shannon in Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Alexander Skarsgard in True Blood (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries or Movie

Powers Boothe in Hatfields and McCoys (History Channel)

Justin Bruening in Blue-Eyed Butcher (Lifetime)

Mark-Paul Gosselaar in Hide (TNT)

Sir Roger Moore in A Princess For Christmas (Hallmark Movie Channel)

Tony Shalhoub in Five (Lifetime)

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy

Alison Brie in Community (NBC)

Kristen Chenoweth in GCB (ABC)

Anna Chlumsky in Veep (HBO)

Gillian Jacobs in Community (NBC)

Cloris Leachman in Raising Hope (Fox)

Aubrey Plaza in Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in Drama

Christine Baranski in The Good Wife (CBS)

Kristen Bauer Von Straten in True Blood (HBO)

Kelly MacDonald in Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Christina Ricci in Pan Am (ABC)

Sophia Turner in Game of Thrones (HBO)

Deborah Ann Woll in True Blood (HBO)

Supporting Actress In A Miniseries or Movie

Tammy Blanchard in Of Two Minds (Lifetime)

Kaley Cuoco in Drew Peterson: Untouchable (Lifetime)

Lisa Edelstein in Blue-Eyed Butcher (Lifetime)

Jessica Lange in American Horror Story (FX)

Jena Malone in Hatfields and McCoy (History Channel)

Artist Profile: Frank Frazetta


For the latest “Artist Profile” I have picked one of the icons and giants in the realm of fantasy art. This artist has influenced many artists who looked up to him as a mentor and inspiration. His work has also fired up the imaginations of writers and filmmakers the world over. The artist I speak of was the great Frank Frazetta.

Frank Frazetta is one of those artists whose work has become so recognizable that people know it’s his artwork even without any sign pointing it out. He has been in the forefront of fantasy artwork since he switched from doing comic strips and comic books during the 40’s and 50’s to painting covers for Warren Comics such as Vampirella, Creepy and Eerie. It was during this same time period that he began to create some of his most iconic pieces when he painted the covers for the paperback editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs classic character such as Conan and John Carter of Mars. In fact, one of the Conan paintings he did, Conan the Destroyer, sold for $1.5million dollars at an auction this past Summer of 2010.

He would add to his body of work during the 1970’s by painting album covers for such rock bands as Dust, Nazareth, Molly Hatchert, Wolfmother and Yngwie Malmsteen. One such album cover was an earlier original painting Frank used for the band Molly Hatcher. It would introduce a character who has spawned it’s own industry of comic books, posters, novels, games and collectible statues. This painting is The Death Dealer (the picture above) and it has become the one piece of Frazetta artwork which a majority of his fans around the world consider his best work.

Frank Frazetta passed away on May 10, 2010 in a Florida hospital near his home. Frank’s legacy is not just the hundred or so of paintings he had kept through the decades of his career, but also the uncounted artists he had influenced. Fantasy artists of renown themselves such as Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Joseph Vargo, Ken Kelly and Brom. The pieces of work chosen for this profile are just the tip of the work Frank left behind for future generations to study and admire.

Review: Conan the Barbarian Soundtrack (composed by Basil Poledouris)

In 1982 maverick director John Milius wrote and directed a sword and fantasy epic based on the Robert E. Howard pulp character Conan the Cimmerian. Though some changes were made to the character and his adventures to make a much more accessibe fantasy epic, Milius’ Conan the Barbarian became a smashing success and ushered in the Age of Schwarzenneger. Milius had his leading man and an action-packed script with exotic locales to shoot the film at. Now all Milius needed was someone to compose a film score worthy and complementary to the character and the film. The person he ended up choosing to score his epic would be Basil Poledouris and it would turn out to be a very wise choice.

Basil Poledouris’ took on a different tack in scoring Conan the Barbarian. Instead of just coming up with music as a background to scenes in the film he opted to score the film as if it was an opera. Taking his cue from Wagner and Carl Orff (whose Carmina Burana was a heavily influence in the tracks Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom and Battle of the Mounds), Poledouris created a score that could stand on its own as a piece of operatic work. His use of leitmotifs to sound the arrival of the main characters was reminiscent of Wagner’s work especially that of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Conan and his archnemesis Thulsa Doom would have their leitmotifs intertwined in the tracks Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom with their pounding drums, crashing brass and triumphant horn section. This motif would return once more in the Battle of the Mounds track.

Another recurring motif would be the light and airy theme Poledouris came up with for what I call the introspective section of the film. This section of the score made great use of this motif which used less of the drums, brass and french horns in the more militaristic and martial beginning of the film. A trio of tracks made up this section with Theology/Civilization, The Wifeing, and The Leaving/The Search with the first of the trio being a light and playful tune smoothly segueing into the intimate and ultimately mournful middle track of the trio. The third and final section would combine the two towards a determined conclusion to Conan’s introspection of what his decision should be in his quest for vengeance.

Other tracks in the score adds its own personality to the story being told. There’s Gift of Fury which starts off as a slow dirge to the aftermath of Conan’s village being razed by Thulsa Doom’s men to a gradual dramatic crescendo marking the end of young Conan’s innocence and path to bondage and slavery. The other track of note which helped give the scene it was composed for a greater impact would be The Kitchen/The Orgy. This track with its dual personality of Thulsa Doom’s martial motif smoothly transition into a sensuous and decadent, albeit discordant theme showed the dual nature of Conan’s rival. A nature both militaristic and disciplined, but also hedonistic and debased. This was one piece of the score which stood out to show Poledouris’ great understanding of the characters and the subject matter he was scoring for.

Poledouris’ final score for the film works well within the boundaries of the story being told. It both complements the action and thoughts shown on the screen and enhances its dramatic weight. In fact, the symphony and choral work done in the score could be listened to without seeing the images on the screen with just the CD liner as a guide and the story would be easily understood. On its own the score would count as a great symphony which told a story through music. But when combined with the words and images crafted by Milius on-screen it takes on a greater dimension.

Conan the Barbarian was a film that helped usher in Arnold Schwarzenneger as a force in Hollywood. It was also a film which showed that sword and sorcery fantasy could be done seriously and done so with quality in mind. The film and Milius’ choice who to score it would resonate in the film scoring community for years to come as it showed that a film score didn’t have to be just a secondary afterthought in the filmmaking process. Poledouris’ score for Conan the Barbarian still counts as his best to date and remains the standard-bearer for fantasy film scoring. It’s influences could be felt as recent as Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy where film composer Howard Shore uses Poledouris technique of Wagnerian leitmotifs to help tell the story as if it was an opera instead of just a film. A masterful work by a master of his craft that would live long after all the participants in the project are long dead and buried.

Below are videos of the only live concert conducted by Basil Poledouris of the Conan the Barbarian symphonic score.

Part 1: Anvil of Crom/Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom

Part 2: Gift of Fury/Atlantean Sword/Love Theme

Part 3: Funeral Pyre/Battle of the Mounds

Part 4: Orphans of Doom/The Awakening

Part 5: Anvil of Crom/Encore