Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's that time of year... EMMYS!

It's that day of the year folks. It's like my Christmas. The best time of the year if you ask me. All in one week we get to celebrate the winners at the Emmys only to have the rest of the week to enjoy premieres of all the shows we have been so desperately waiting for since May. We have spent our summers watching reruns, binge watching new shows and trying to avoid all that's wrong with summer television.

But no longer. No. It is now time for fall premiere week. But first, the television's Oscars, the Emmys. We get to watch recent Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris try to out do his stint at the Tony's (which won him the Emmy at last weekends Creative Arts Emmy awards). We get to watch Tina and Amy perform together (and announce they'll host the Globes again on national TV?! – Hey a girl can dream). We get to watch old and new winners take the stage for what I think will be a fun and exciting show with a lot of ifs in the air.

So, as to not embarrass myself completely, I'm going to tell you all what I hope will happen today. These are not my predictions of who will win, but the ones I would like to win. That way you can't hold it against me when all these people do not win. Let's get started.

Best Drama: This is incredibly difficult, I call for a five-way tie. Honestly, I want Game of Thrones to win because never have I watched a show that is so unbelievably unpredictable, enthralling and confusing at the same time. However, I have a feeling it may have a better chance come next season with the hyped up 4th (but second half of the third book). So this year, I'm saying Breaking Bad. I got into it this summer, and even though it took forever to get into, it finally grabbed my attention and in the final season episodes hasn't lost it once. It deserves to win.

Best Comedy: Duh. 30 Rock. In its last year of contention I have to pick my true love and cry thinking I will never see Liz Lemon with new sassy comebacks again. But it's not just a want, the last season of 30 Rock was awesome. It had everything a true fan wanted including a lot of laughs. Please, please by the hammer of Thor can Modern Family not win this year? That's all I ask (but it's doubtful to happen).

Best Actor - Drama: Again, I'm going to have to go with my new found love, Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston. Who knew this comedy actor had so much depth to him. I'm a little late in saying that, but nonetheless, this guy rocks. (Though I wouldn't be angry to see Kevin Spacey win for making another bad character so good.)

Best Actress - Drama: This might be the hardest category (see my last post) but who I really want to win is another binge watching show of late, Scandal's Kerry Washington. Not only would it make history but it's totally deserved. I would be surprised if Claire Danes doesn't snatch it up for the second straight year but I think Washington has a very good chance. Here's crossing my fingers for her. (But really, anyone can win and I'll be a happy camper).

Best Actor - Comedy: As to not pick the obvious choice I want (Alec Baldwin) I'll also put my support toward Louie C.K. Everyone was upset he wasn't nominated last year and everyone said how great his show is (yeah, I don't watch it). However, I am a fan of his and I think he would give a really great acceptance speech (plus I love him as policeman Dave from Parks!)

Best Actress - Comedy: Yeah, I know who you think I'm going to say, but you're wrong. If she can win some writing things and the show can win, I'll be a happy camper, only, ONLY, if Amy Poehler beats Tina for this one. If it isn't Amy, then I want Tina. But the fact Amy has yet to win is just really stupid and needs to change, like right now. So yeah, I'm rooting for Poehler. (But let's all be realistic, I'm pretty 100 percent positive Julia Louis Dreyfess has this one in the bag for the second straight year for Veep).

Best Supporting Actor - Drama: This is another tough one but building off my Breaking Bad high I'm gonna go with Aaron Paul. I saw him on Jimmy Kimmel the other night and this guy is just the most likeable actor I've ever seen, not to mention he is able to realize how lucky he is and displays it. This guy is from Idaho. He already has two Emmys under his belt for his role of Jesse and I'm rooting for a third.

Best Supporting Actress - Drama: For this one I'm going to have to go with the one and only Maggie Smith. Yeah, I know she's won the past couple times and yes I know she is never there to collect her reward, but guys, she's like 80. Give her a break. Honestly, all these women had exceptionally awesome seasons, so I wouldn't be all that mad if Christina Hendricks or Anna Gunn won. You know what, Gunn hasn't won yet, so maybe I'll root for her.

Best Supporting Actor - Comedy: I'm so sick of the Modern Family men being nominated and winning. It's ridiculous. OK, it's not really because I know how funny they are because I watch the show. But this year I'm rooting for Tony Hale in Veep. He is absolutely the reason I have kept watching that show. He has some of the best comedic timing and the tone of voice he uses in certain situations is genus. He's like a smarter Buster, and it's great. For that matter, let's say Bill Hader, too. I just don't want a Modern Family guy to win (I swear I do like this show, but want to see some new blood win). Not to mention, Hader had an awesome sendoff as Stefon that deserves a win.

Best Supporting Actress - Comedy: This one is easy. She hasn't one yet and just for the fact that she sang this song, kept a straight face and actually articulated whatever the lyrics were is just amazing. That's right, my vote is for Jane Krakowski, he last eligiable year for 30 Rock. I'm a big fan of Merritt Wever on Nurse Jackie (she's actually the only funny thing on that show) but gotta give the vote to the Krawkoski's last shot. MUFFIN TOP FOR THE WIN!

All right, that's all I'm predicting, no one cares about the miniseries or made for TV movies anyways. Though, I would like to see Elisabeth Moss win for Top of the Lake because her Australian accent is uncanny and I would like to see her just win an Emmy because I'm not sure if she ever will for her roll as Peggy.
Hit me up if you disagree with any of these or think I should be rooting for anyone else. I'll be live tweeting the Emmys (and by live tweeting I mean writing whatever comes to my head about the Emmys as I watch them in my pajamas on the couch).

Also keep in mind the series finale of Dexter is on Sunday and I will be watching immediately following the Emmys. Also keep in mind the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad is on, which I will be watching directly following the finale of Dexter. Cool, that's a wrap folks, excited to talk to you all on Sunday.

With that, I say... Live long and prosper.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gladiators in suits

So, I didn't want to wait this long to post something, but I was distracted. I know, it's usually my excuse, but this time it truly was the biggest distraction ever. A show called Scandal.
I surprised myself when I didn't start watching this show when it came out, since I'm known to bow down to the brilliant feet of Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice creator) but for some reason, initially, the premise didn't intrigue me enough. It premiered at a bad time (April of 2011) and I just missed it.

Then when all the buzz started to happen during its winter finale of the second season and then even more throughout the spring, I knew this would be a show I would like. And yet, I was afraid to start watching. I was afraid my expectations might be too high. And honestly, I thought if I took on another show I would start forgetting what ones I did watch.

Then it hit me. True Blood is officially calling it quits next season. Dexter leaving me in this week. Breaking Bad in two weeks (yes, I realize I started watching this in July, but still). Fringe and 30 Rock left me this past January. I realized I needed a new show (yes, to add to the 18 others I watch).
And were my expectations met and exceeded. Watch this show everyone. Do it. Go, it's on Netflix. This is what TV is all about. It won't be rolling in the Emmys like a Mad Men, but man is it fun. (NOTE: Kerry Washington is nominated – who, if she wins, could be the first female black leading actress in a drama to win an Emmy. Also, it also just scored a best guest actor award for Dan Bucantinksy. END NOTE). No, it's not this intense deep down-to-the-core analyzing who these people are, like Breaking Bad is. No, it's just a downright, fun, juicy show. The best comparison I have is Revenge, but less campy.

My mother started watching the show when it first came out and really enjoyed it. She watched the first whole season, but was unable to return. Why? The gross, scumbag, nasty president.

For those of you who have never heard of Scandal, the premise is this: Olivia Pope (Washington) is a "fixer." She takes public figures (senators, governors, rich people) who get themselves into trouble (have affairs, accidentally kill people, have affairs) and help them fix their issue. We learn she had a very deep (and sexual) relationship with the current U.S. president. As the season progresses, we learn she was the White House director of communications, until the affair with good ole Mr. President got to be too much and resigned, starting her own firm.

So, the show follows her team of "gladiators in suits" as they fix things. It's a mixture of a procedural and then an over arching storyline throughout the season. The main one being her relationship with POTUS. So, my mother stopped watching because she couldn't handle watching the president have an affair, be stupid and do it while his wife clearly knows what is going on (for the record, the wife is a nasty piece of work).

I agree with my mother, the majority of the time I can't handle him. But as the president (Tony Goldwyn) drove her away, Olivia Pope kept me around. Washington makes the most ridiculous storyline believable. The key to a leading lady. I love this character. Sometimes I want to slap her and tell her to stop going to the White House to see the scumbag, it only makes it worse. Then 10 minutes later I'm screaming that she needs to marry him and be First Lady! That is all, easily, Washington's doing. She is a master at making me want to strangle her but believing everything she is saying.
I am, 100 percent, behind her winning the Emmy. Granted, I want pretty much every woman who is nominated to win, except for maybe Vera Farmiga, but only because I don't watch that show. My guess is Claire Danes wins again, especially if she submitted the interrogation episode for her Emmy pic, because that episode is golden. Though, many experts are saying Washington has a chance. I love this year of unpredictability.

Who cares who wins, honestly, because it's great to see these powerful, bad ass woman on TV. I'm not referring to Danes' character (who always looks like she's about to cry), but Washington's and Robin Wright's on House of Cards, and Elisabeth Moss on Mad Men and Connie Britton on Nashville. All have power, money and leverage. It's fun to watch women be awesome.
So, if you don't watch any of the nominated women for this year's Emmys, I suggest you pick one. More so, I suggest you pick Scandal. Especially, if you're not looking for complicated plot, but just straight up political and relationship backstabbing (kind of like House of Cards, but more fun).

Here are some of my other notes:
1. J.K.! J.K.! J.K.! J.K.! J.K.! That's right, my girl, the one and only, the most famous, the most talented, the rock star of all authors is writing a screenplay. And not just any screenplay. No, she's basically writing a prequel to Harry Potter. OK, prequel is wrong. It's like a side story. From her book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, similar to Quidditch Through the Ages one she wrote. Can you tell I'm excited?
2. TINA! TINA! TINA! TINA! TINA! It's been a good couple weeks for me. It was announced she will host the premiere of SNL on Sept. 28. She's going to whip all those newbies into shape for the new season. Can you tell I'm really, really excited about things?
3. As a note, I plan to live tweet the Emmys this year (I know exciting right?!) So this is my promotion for all of you to follow me so you can find out what I think since you can't all watch with me (I know, try not to shed any tears). But follow me @sammiekiesel and it'll be like you're sitting right next to me! (Also, if you don't even have a Twitter, get one.)

And with that I say... Live long and prosper.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I'm back, bitch!

The title of this post is not meant to use profanity in a negative way, but instead quote my new favorite show I got into just at the right time... "Breaking Bad." That's right, I've finally jumped on the bandwagon and caught up a week before the first of the final eight episodes aired. But before I get too much into that I want to first apologize for my lack of posting. The blog returned earlier this summer with an idea I had while driving the hour from work as writing down the conversations I had with myself. Unfortunately, I figured out commuting's unwritten secret: audiobooks.

That's right, I listened to Tina Fey's "Bossypants," "Prisoner of Azkaban," "Goblet of Fire," "Half-Blood Prince" and "Deathly Hallows" for the remainder of my very long commute from the city. Which, allowed me a chance, not to think, but to listen to some of the greatest words ever written (if you're wondering why I didn't listen to all of the Harry Potter books, and why not the fifth one, it's because I had a very thought provoking process where I listened to the ones I owned).

Alas, the books and my weird hours kept me from posting. But now, I have no excuse. I am no longer in school. I don't have an extra long commute, though I am still working nights, giving me another reason to bow down to whoever invented DVR. And as it is now officially Sept. 1 and basically the fall, it means all of our favorite things are back. TV, Oscar contending movies and college football.

OK, enough with this chatter! Time to catch you up on five things I've been dying to write about. Sit back, relax and get ready for the return of Sammie Kiesel, bitch!

1. "Breaking Bad" is on track to close out its series with the best eight episodes ever. If you haven't watched this show, or tried but stopped, try again. The series is a slow burn, but the past three weeks are making my time binge watching totally worth it. "Dexter" is killing me with its final season. It's enjoyable, it's typical Dex being Dex, but it is not giving me this is the end kind of vibe. Walter White, on the other hand, is laying all of his chips on the table and the audience is loving every minute of it. Expectations keeping getting higher and met, week by week.

2. Tina has had a productive summer. Who said Tina Fey needs a break. The girl has already filmed at least two movies and developed two TV shows (both of which have already been picked up - one by Fox the other by NBC). Not to mention, she killed it (per usual) on Letterman last week. And on top of it all, there are rumors that her and Amy Poehler have been asked back to host the Globes. You know I'm a real happy camper right now.

3. OK, I've been really bad this summer about getting to the movies, but there are a couple I am going to make an effort to see, and so should you. "The Way, Way Back" got great reviews, not an Oscar contender, but definitely something you should all rent. It's Steve Carell being an ass and Sam Rockwell getting very early Oscar backup (but I'm calling that super doubtful at this point). The other is "The Spectacular Now," which has been deemed the first real coming of age film since John Hughes made them all back in the 80s. It stars one of the biggest actresses right now, Shailene Woodley, and I have only read positive things. I just opened worldwide this weekend. The last one is "The Butler," which actually has a longer name but I'm lazy. It got mixed reviews but is still an Oscar contender at this point. I mainly want to see it for all the famous people playing presidents (Alan Rickman, James Marsden, Robin Williams!)

4. You all need to read "Divergent" before the movie comes out. Yes, this is the series you've sort of heard about as being the next "Hunger Games" and yes it does star that aforementioned hot actress at the moment. I read these a while ago, but have yet to discuss them with you. With the movie coming out next year, and the third and final book in October, I highly recommend them. If you need some insentive to read it, here is a featurette on the film. I'm not sure if they are "Hunger Games" stature but they're a fun, a quick read. Plus you can decide who you hate most, Katniss or Tris. Girl power!

5. Finally, the upcoming year of television is going to be real interesting. Shows I have been watching for years are leaving me forever. HIMYM ends this season. "Dexter" ends Sept. 22. "Mad Men" begins shooting its final season in November. I've already lost "30 Rock" and "Fringe." Rumors are "True Blood" may have its final season next summer. And finally, Sandra Oh is leaving "Grey's Anatomy" after this 10th season. I'm getting worried. But fear not! There are always new things in the works.  CBS is airing a show called "Hostages" staring Toni Collette, which will air all 15-episodes in one swoop (the future is unknown). Robin Williams and Michel J. Fox make their television return in "The Crazy Ones," and "The Michael J. Fox Show," respectively. J.J. Abrams is back with another produced sci-fi show called "Almost Human." Joss Whedon is helping bring the Avengers to television in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," with the "Avengers" director filming the pilot. And the one deemed as the most likely best new drama is NBC's "The Blacklist" starring James Spader as one of the most wanted men in the world turning himself in to catch other bad guys. All of these, plus a a few more, I'm going to check out when most shows return the week of Sept. 23. Look here in the future for what shows you should be watching.

Hopefully, you all are excited to see me back. Hopefully, I'll be on top of my stuff (I mean, I don't really have many friends in the real world so what else will I do with my life) and keep you updated to all the things entertainment, and sports.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.