What If Lisa Had All The Power: 2019 Emmy Nominations Edition

In a few hours, the 2019 Emmy nominations will be announced!

Since I love awards and I love making lists, it’s an annual tradition that I list who and what would be nominated if I had all the power.  Keep in mind that what you’re seeing below are not necessarily my predictions of what or who will actually be nominated.  Many of the shows listed below will probably be ignored tomorrow morning.  Instead, this is a list of the nominees and winners if I was the one who was solely responsible for picking them.

Because I got off to a late start this year, I’m only listing the major categories below.  I may go back and do a full, 100-category list sometime tomorrow.  Who knows?  I do love making lists.

Anyway, here’s what would be nominated and what would win if I had all the power!  (Winners are listed in bold.)

(Want to see who and what was nominated for Emmy consideration this year?  Click here!)

(Want to see my picks for last year?  Click here!)

(Want to see my picks for 2012?  I know, that’s kinda random.  Anyway, click here!)


Outstanding Comedy Series


Brooklyn Nine-Nine


It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

One Day At A Time



Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul



Game of Thrones

The Magicians

My Brilliant Friend



Outstanding Limited Series



The Haunting of Hill House

I Am The Night


Sharp Objects

True Detective

A Very English Scandal

Outstanding Television Movie

The Bad Seed

Bandersnatch (Black Mirror)



King Lear

Native Son

No One Would Tell



Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Iain Armitage in Young Sheldon

Ted Danson in The Good Place

Bill Hader in Barry

Pete Holmes in Crashing

Glenn Howerton in A.P. Bio

Andy Samberg in Brooklyn Nine Nine

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Penn Badgley in You

Jason Bateman in Ozark

James Franco in The Deuce

John Krasinski in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul

Dominic West in The Affair

Outstanding Lead Actor In a Limited Series

Hugh Grant in A Very English Scandal

Jared Harris in Chernobyl

Jonah Hill in Maniac

Chris Pine in I Am The Night

Sam Rockwell in Fosse/Verdon

Henry Thomas in The Haunting of Hill House

Outstanding Lead Actor In An Original Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch in Brexit

Anthony Hopkins in King Lear

Rob Lowe in The Bad Seed

Ian McShane in Deadwood

Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood

Jeffrey Wright in O.G.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

Melissa Barrera in Vida

Kristen Bell in The Good Place

Alison Brie in GLOW

Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep

Zoe Perry in Young Sheldon

Outstanding Lead Actress in A Drama Series

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Gaia Girace in My Brilliant Friend

Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Deuce

Laura Linney in Ozark

Margherita Mazzucco in My Brilliant Friend

Anna Paquin in Flack

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series

Amy Adams in Sharp Objects

India Eisley in I Am The Night

Carla Gugino in The Haunting of Hill House

Charlotte Hope in The Spanish Princess

Emma Stone in Maniac

Michelle Williams in Fosse/Verdon

Outstanding Lead Actress in an Original Movie

Shannen Doherty in No One Would Tell

Chelsea Frei in Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter

McKenna Grace in The Bad Seed

Paula Malcolmson in Deadwood

Molly Parker in Deadwood

Christina Ricci in Escaping The Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Fred Armisen in Documentary Now!

Andre Braugher in Brooklyn Nine Nine

Anthony Carrigan in Barry

Tony Hale in Veep

Sam Richardson in Veep

Stephen Root in Barry

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Jonathan Banks in Better Call Saul

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones

Giancarlo Esposito in Better Call Saul

Peter Mullan in Ozark

Luca Padovan in You

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series

Stephen Dorff in True Detective

Timothy Hutton in The Haunting of Hill House

Chris Messina in Sharp Objects

Stellan Skarsgard in Chernobyl

Justin Thereoux in Maniac

Ben Whishaw in A Very English Scandal

Outstanding Supporting Actor In An Original Movie

Jim Broadbent in King Lear

Bill Camp in Native Son

Theothus Carter in O.G.

Rory Kinnear in Brexit

Gerald McRaney in Deadwood

Will Poulter in Bandersnatch (Black Mirror)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy Series

Caroline Aaron in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Anna Chlumsky in Veep

Sarah Goldberg in Barry

Rita Moreno in One Day At A Time

Sarah Sutherland in Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Summer Bishil in The Magicians

Elisa Del Genio in My Brilliant Friend

Julia Garner in Ozark

Lena Headey in Game of Thrones

Elizabeth Lail in You

Shay Mitchell in You

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series

Jessie Buckley in Chernobyl

Patricia Clarkson in Sharp Objects

Sally Field in Maniac

Patricia Hodge in A Very English Scandal

Connie Nielsen in I Am The Night

Emily Watson in Chernobyl

Outstanding Supporting Actress In An Original Movie

Kim Dickens in Deadwood

Florence Pugh in King Lear

Margaret Qualley in Favorite Son

Emma Thompson in King Lear

Emily Watson in King Lear

Robin Weigert in Deadwood


A Movie A Day #231: Judgment Night (1993, directed by Stephen Hopkins)

Four suburbanites (Emilio Estevez, Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Piven, and Cuba Gooding, Jr.) are driving to a boxing match in pricey RV when Piven takes a wrong turn and they end up lost in the wrong side of the city.  Not only are they lost but they also witness Fallon (Denis Leary) and his gang murdering a young man.  Jeremy Piven thinks that he can negotiate with Fallon and get his friends out of the situation by pulling out his wallet and flashing a few bills.  Guess how well that works out for them?  With Fallon chasing them through the city, these formerly smug and complacent yuppies are forced into a battle for survival.

Judgment Night is a deeply stupid but compulsively watchable movie.  From the minute that Piven shows up with that RV and Estevez says goodbye to his wife and newborn child, it is obvious what’s going to happen.  Fortunately, the cast is better than average and Stephen Hopkins does a good job of making the city look menacing and keeping up the pace.  There are a few times that Judgment Night pretends like it has something to say about wealth and society but it never tries too hard to be anything more than an exciting B-movie.  Though it may not have been hard to do considering that his main competition was Emilio Estevez, Denis Leary easily dominates Judgment Night.  Fallon may be a cartoon villain but Judgment Night is a cartoonish movie so it works.

Today, Judgment Night is best remembered for its soundtrack, on which nearly every song was a collaboration between hip hop and metal artists.  The Judgment Night soundtrack may not have invented the genre of rap rock but it was many people’s first exposure to it.  The Teenage Fan Club/De La Soul collaboration Fallin‘ opens the movie on just the right note while Biohazard and Onyx’s Judgment Night is such a strong track that there’s no way the rest of the movie can hope to live up to it.

Judgment Night.  The movie is ok.  The soundtrack is fucking amazing.

Film Review: I Shot Andy Warhol (dir by Mary Harron)

When did Andy Warhol die?

The official date of death is February 22nd, 1987.  The 58 year-old artist died in his sleep of a cardiac arrhythmia.  He was at Manhattan’s New York Hospital, recovering from gallbladder surgery.  The surgery itself had been a minor procedure and, in the days before his death, Warhol was reported to be making a good recovery.  Warhol himself was scared of doctors and had continually put off having the procedure done.

Others, however, argue that Warhol might as well have died on June 3rd, 1968.  That was the day that the world-famous pop artist was shot, at point blank range, by a woman named Valerie Solanas.  Warhol barely survived the attack, spending five hours in surgery and carrying both the mental and physical scars with him for the rest of his life.  It’s debatable whether Warhol ever physically recovered from being shot.  It’s been theorized that the reoccurring gallbladder problems that led to Warhol entering the hospital were directly the result of being shot.  If that’s the case, then Solanas murdered Andy Warhol.

But even beyond the lingering physical injuries, the shooting left Warhol mentally shaken.  The artist who, in the 60s, was famous for hosting a never-ending party at The Factory became far more reclusive and paranoid.  No longer could anyone from anywhere show up in New York and, if they were interesting enough, become a member of Warhol’s entourage.   No longer would Warhol direct films that challenged the assumption of what film had to be.  Warhol spent most of the 70s doing portrait commissions and finding new ways to make money.  (As he wrote in 1975, “Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art.”)

It can be argued that, with the pull of a trigger, Valerie Solanas changed the course of history and yet, she has always remained an obscure figure.  (Many would argue that she deserves to remain an obscure figure.)  After the shooting, when Solanas turned herself in, she said that she had no choice but to shoot Andy because “he had too much control over my life.”  Others theorize that Solanas was upset because Andy hadn’t helped her get her book, The SCUM Manifesto, published.  Solanas was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and, for nearly a killing an artist, she spent three years in prison.  While she was in prison, The SCUM Manifesto was finally published.  Ironically, she died in poverty and obscurity, just a few months after Warhol, as forgotten as Andy as was celebrated.

So, who was Valerie Solanas?  That’s the question that 1996’s I Shot Andy Warhol attempts to answer.  Lili Taylor portrays Valerie, giving a performance that is both frightening in its intensity and empathetic in its portrayal of Valerie’s desperation to be heard as a human being and respected as an artist.  Wherever Valerie goes, she’s an outsider.  As a lesbian, she’s been rejected by conventional society.  When she appears on a local talk show, the audience boos her and the host has her thrown off the set.  As a writer, she is rejected by publishers and readers who view her work as being, as one person puts it, “too sick even for us.”  When, like many aspiring artists and lost souls, she arrives at the Factory, the members of Warhol’s entourage reject her because she’s neither beautiful nor glamorous.  Valerie is stuck in a winless situation.  It’s her intensity that makes her a memorable writer but it’s the same intensity that guarantees that almost no one will be willing to read what she writes.

Valerie has written The SCUM Manifesto.  (SCUM stands for Society of Cutting Up Men.)  Throughout the film, we see black-and-white scenes of Valerie reading from the opening of her book:

“Life” in this “society” being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of “society” being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and eliminate the male sex.”

Today, of course, Valerie could just start a tumblr or maybe get a job teaching at Evergreen State.  In the 1960s, though, Valerie believes that the only way she’ll ever be heard is by getting her work to Andy Warhol.  When she first meets Andy (Jared Harris), he seems to be receptive to her but we soon see that this film’s version of Andy is receptive to almost anyone.  I Shot Andy Warhol portrays Andy as being an emotionally detached voyeur, a master of passive aggressive behavior.  Instead of personally rejecting Valerie, he lets the more bitchy members of his entourage do it for him.  In fact, at times it seems as if the reason that Warhol surrounds himself with such angry people is so he’ll never have to get angry himself.  It’s actually a rather interesting interpretation of Warhol and the Factory, though it does rely a bit too much on the clichéd image of Andy Warhol as a passive voyeur.  Whenever Jared Harris is onscreen, you never forget that you’re watching someone imitate Andy Warhol as opposed to feeling like you’re watching Warhol yourself.

(When Andy Warhol died, he was worth 220 million dollars.  That alone should be enough to debunk the image of Andy Warhol being a passive voyeur of his own life.)

I Shot Andy Warhol is a frequently fascinating film, one that is sympathetic to both Solanas’s artistic ambitions and her desperate need to be acknowledged as a writer, while also not shying away from the fact that she was a very sick and dangerous person.  At the same time, the film does leave out one very important detail of Solanas’s later life.  After she was released from prison, she still continued to stalk Andy and other members of the New York art world.  That’s an important detail that should have, at the very least, been acknowledged.

Finally, after Andy Warhol’s death, Lou Reed wrote a song called “I believe.”  The song dealt with his feelings towards Valerie Solanas and it’s reasonable to assume that Reed spoke for many of Warhol’s associates.  Here are just a few of the lyrics: ” “I believe life’s serious enough for retribution… I believe being sick is no excuse. And I believe I would’ve pulled the switch on her myself.”

Quick Film Review: Immortals (dir. by Tarsem Singh)

Perhaps I’m jaded and spoiled by movies like Jason and the Argonauts and games like God of War.

I’m pretty sure that in an alternate dimension somewhere, audiences are sitting in the theatre and loving the hell out of Immortals. Maybe in some ways it’s actually good, but I can’t see them. At best, the film acts a great demo reel for Henry Cavill, who audiences will see as Superman sometime next year. For that reason, and perhaps Mickey Rourke’s Hyperion, Immortals is worth a peek. Even then, you may want to have someone take you to the movie, rather than pay for it yourself. Let’s put it this way. I spent more time on my iPhone with the brightness dimmed during the movie than I did actually watching it, and that’s a rarity for me. You’re better off waiting for the Netflix Edition. Everything you see in the trailer is basically the film in a nutshell.

The only other thing it really does have going for it is the 3D, which actually happens to be pretty good for the half hour that you can see it (and perhaps that’s just me, because it feels like it fades over time). The film does feel as if it were primarily filmed in 3D, and boasts some awesome visuals, but the story is a little jumbled. I won’t deny that Tarsem Singh has a really fantastic eye for painting a scene from The Cell to this point, but without sharp writing there’s something lost in the translation. It’s like watching David Fincher when he was still partnered with Darius Khondji on Seven or Spielberg with Kaminski in Minority Report. You can make pretty pictures, but there has to be some kind of meat and potatoes to it for the audience. That’s just how I felt here.

Eons ago, you once had mortals and you had gods. Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Dionysus, Aphrodite, etc. In Immortals, the gods learned that they had the ability to kill one another and as a result, there were a number of wars.  Enter Hyperion, who loathes the gods and wants them destroyed. In order to do this, he has to unleash the Titans, who were once servants of the gods but were punished for their treachery and sealed away in a special cage that can only be unlocked with an item called the Epirius Bow (which was one of the elements I truly enjoyed).

Our hero, Theseus (Cavill) lives a quiet life with his family when Hyperion’s forces attack. In the process, he witnesses his mother’s death at the hands of Hyperion himself and swears vengeance. Captured and left for dead with a number of others, he meets a mystic named Phaedra (played by Freida Pinto, who seems like she may be playing the same role emotionally that she did in Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Phaedra provides him with visions that allow him to reach the Bow.

Lead by Zeus, the gods watch all of this from Olympus, but are unable to interfere in the affairs of mortals on pain of death. These sequences (when they do happen) are the ones that you’re seeing in the trailers for the most part. Oceans rise and bad guys are cut down so fast that the first hardly has a chance to fall before the ninth one is hit. It’s amazing to see, it really is, but it’s been done before in movies as old as Jet Li’s The One. The film doesn’t lack in action, and in that, there’s a plus. What I had personally hoped for was something akin to giants or mythical creatures. Even though it was geared for teens, last year’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians offered more of a mystical element than Immortals did for me. It wouldn’t have hurt to have undead warriors or harpies or something. For all the money spent in effects, everything in this film seemed to be grounded in human based actions.

All of this culminates into a huge 300 like battle, right down to the narrow passageway that is used as an arena of battle. Theseus rallies his troops that are ready to retreat with a speech that’s helped along with the banging of shields. It was nice, but again, it wasn’t anything terribly new – “They’re only human!!” *clack clack clack* “We can beat them!” *clack clack clack* “For the children!!” *clack clack clack*

“And a tighter script!” I wanted to yell with a raised fist. “And maybe a refund!”

As for the audience, they seemed okay with it. There is a love scene which I don’t think younger audiences are ready for, but it was done in such a way that the “fade to black / open to the following morning” shot doesn’t let things get too far, visually.

When it gets to video, I may see Immortals again (because it is visually beautiful), but you’re better off treating yourself curling up somewhere and reading Homer’s The Odyssey for a while and letting your imagination fill in the pieces. It’s a okay film if you don’t ask for more than what it’s giving you.

A Quickie With Lisa Marie: Somewhere (dir. by Sofia Coppola)

So, a few weeks ago, some of my fellow pop culturally inclined writers were talking about the worst movies of 2010.  I had, earlier, declared Love and Other Drugs to be the worst film of 2010 and I was told to hold off on making that judgment until I saw Sofia Coppola’s latest film, Somewhere.  At this point, another writer chimed in to let me know that he hadn’t heard one good word about Somewhere.

At that point, I made a prediction.  Simply based on the movie’s trailer (which played at Plano Angelika for 5 months before it actually opened in Dallas last week) and the fact that so many people seemed to hate this film with such a passion, I predicted that Somewhere would probably turn out to be one of my favorite films of the year.

I saw the film last Saturday and it turns out I was correct.  I absolutely loved Somewhere. 

In many ways, Somewhere feels like a prequel to Coppola’s Lost In Translation.  Somewhere tells the story of Hollywood actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) who, despite being a film star — if not, its implied, a particularly respected actor — spends his days wandering through life in a haze of ennui.  At the start of the film, he drunkenly breaks his arm and, when not promoting an upcoming action film, he spends his days recovering at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.   He smokes a lot of cigarettes, drinks a lot of beer, and languidly lies in bed while twin pole dancers do their routines in front of him.  The first fourth of the film is devoted to establishing Johnny’s shallow daily routine with the only excitement coming from insulting text messages that he occasionally receives.  Right when you’re wondering how much more of Johnny Marco’s existential crisis you can handle, his 11 year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning, who gives a surprisingly mature performance) shows up and both Johnny and the movie suddenly spring to life.

Cleo’s mother has basically abandoned her daughter, calling up Johnny and explaining that she needs “to find” herself.  Until Cleo is scheduled to start at summer camp, she tags along with Johnny on his day-to-day life.  They go to Italy where Johnny promotes his latest film and answers vapid questions at a hilariously awkward press conference and then accepts an award during a televised ceremony even though he’s not quite sure what the award is for.  Back in the states, Cleo and Johnny hang out at the hotel, discuss the plot of Twilight, and finally — on the way to summer camp — Johnny takes her to Vegas. 

With the exception of one scene, Cleo and Johnny never discuss why he’s no longer with her mother nor do they address the issue that both of her parents are essentially abandoning Cleo.  However, even though it’s never addressed directly, the movie is full of clues for those who are willing to pay attention.  We actually learn very little about why Johnny is the way he is but, again, Coppola fills every scene with hints and then allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions.  None of the film’s mysteries are directly explained — we never learn who is sending Johnny the angry text messages nor do we ever learn the full significance of a phone call Johnny makes to an unseen woman named Layla — but the explanations are there and, in Coppola’s assured and subtle hands, the search for those explanations ultimately turns into a portrait of a society full of lost human beings who have lost the ability to connect.

Admittedly, one reason why I loved this film is because the relationship between Johnny and Cleo reminded me a good deal of my relationship with my own dad.  So much of the film rang painfully true to me that I was thankful for the many moments where Cleo and Johnny were just allowed to be a normal father and daughter.  I’m thinking of the moments were Cleo explains to plot of Twilight or where, during their trip to Italy, Cleo sits in the hotel lobby and concentrates on Sudoku.  It was moments like this that rang so true to me and it’s these moments that made Somewhere one of my favorite movies of 2010.