Make Your Case: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled whenever possible because we are both contrarians. Enjoy!

Guys! I’ve actually watched all of these shows! Well, except for Nurse Jackie, because a) definitely thought that already ended and b) that’s not a comedy. Apologies, Edie.

Anyway, this category is hella stacked, and though we might as well gird our loins for reigning Emmys Queen Julia Louis-Dreyfus to maintain her crown, this is the worthiest bunch to topple her we’ve seen in a while. The venerable Lily Tomlin is nominated for Grace & Frankie, in which she is absolutely charming; Lisa Kudrow is here for The Comeback‘s comeback, which was one of the deepest, most carefully studied performances I’ve seen on television in a good long time (while still being ass-kickingly funny); and Amy Schumer found her way in for, well, Inside Amy Schumer, since 2015 is clearly her strongest, funniest year yet. But there’s a different Amy I want to focus on right now, and it is the perfect, incredible, Pawnee goddess that is Amy Poehler in her final season of cult-favorite sitcom Parks & Recreation.

Continue reading

Make Your Case: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled whenever possible because we are both contrarians. Enjoy!

I feel silly even pretending like I’m going to address any of these other nominees, particularly because (and I am admitting my total failure as a pop culture “writer” right now) I don’t even watch any of these shows that aren’t Game of Thrones. Well, I guess that’s technically not true. I’ve watched the near entirety of Better Call Saul, and am big enough to admit that Jonathan Banks is an insanely talented human who I would probably watch change a tire onscreen for thirty minutes straight. I’ve seen House of Cards and gave up on it once it became clear that it was actually kind of a garbage show, but one with a very glossy exterior. Again, I’m not good at The Good Wife, but Alan Cumming is one of my favorite people to ever exist on the planet. (Did you know he has a perfume called Cumming?!) Downton Abbey, otherwise known as Nap, isn’t exactly on my DVR Series Recordings, so, sorry, Jim Carter, and Bloodline is just the Hemlock Grove of Netflix (which makes Hemlock Grove the Hemlock Grove of Hulu, somehow, I think), so, extra sorry, probably very good Ben Mendelsohn. This year, like all other years, I have eyes for one supporting actor, and it’s Peter Dinklage from (doy) Game of Thrones.

Continue reading

Make Your Case: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled whenever possible because we are both contrarians. Enjoy!

Are you SO excited for me to announce, at the beginning of all six of my Make Your Cases, that this category is the best?! Ah, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Anyway, this category is the best and is full of gorgeous, talented women who have all separately portrayed beautifully nuanced characters with real depth and humanity. Except for Joanne Froggett, but that’s mostly because I refuse to watch Downton Abbey when I could just take an Ambien with a glass of wine instead.

As for these other ladies, I love all of them a lot. I don’t keep up with The Good Wife like I should, but Christine Baranski is, and has always been, a gem. Emilia Clarke is finally figuring out how to act as Daenerys faces more struggles on Game of Thrones, and Lena Headey had her first real banner season on the same this year, letting her frown wiggle and weep for her while she was paraded naked and filthy in front of her entire constituency. (Cannot write the word “constituency” without thinking of this dude.) Uzo Aduba breaks my fucking heart on Orange is the New Black, and I think her range and depth and vulnerability is basically the eighth wonder of the world (and also, her stylist is on point, but that’s neither here nor there).

I struggled to not pick Lena Headey this year, because at this point, anything could lie ahead for everybody’s favorite poisonous bitch Cersei Lannister, and there’s no way she doesn’t have one or two more banner years in here. This year was a year of big finales, and I couldn’t live with myself, truly, if I picked anyone other than the radiant, perfect, indomitable Christina Hendricks for her final season as Joan Holloway on Mad Men.

Continue reading

Unbreakable Emmy Schmidts: Nina and Ben Break Down The 2015 Emmy Nods

B: Oh man oh man oh man. The Emmy Award nominations came out today, and boy do we have a lot to celebrate/be worried about. Outstanding nominees in both the Comedy and Drama categories, plus some love for John Oliver, Will Forte, and Amy Schumer. Do we have good reason to be overjoyous this morning or what?

N: YES! I’m kvelling over Big Bang Theory’s conspicuous absence and thrilled to see new faces popping up in the Comedy categories, but there’s still some usual suspects that should definitely have faded into the Emmy ether by now. (Looking at you, Modern Family and fucking House of FUCKING CARDS which has just spent three years LOOKING like a prestige drama while doing NOTHING AT ALL.) Um… anyway.

B: So let’s take a look at these two categories side by side. Comedy and Drama! Laughs and Tears! What Orange is the New Black was Last Year and what Orange is the New Black is This Year!

Continue reading