Time to continue my picks for nominees and winners for the past year of television, as though I actually have the ability to grant awards. If you missed it, here’s the first post of the series picking the Comedy Acting categories.
It’s that time of year again when I finally update my blog, pick the very best in the world of television. While most of the TV internet is using the opportunity of the Emmys to pick from the Academy’s flawed list of nominees, I use my time wasted watching too much TV judgement to pick the most deserving nominees AND winners for the acting and show categories. Unlike the Academy, I base my decisions on entire seasons worth of television, and not just submitted episodes (since, you know, no one is submitting episodes to win fake internet awards).
Look, you and I both know that there’s no legitimate reason to writing a post like this in late June. I missed anything resembling timeliness months ago. But the way I figure it, why get lost in a sea of year end lists at the actual year end when you can do it when the next year is half over? Plus, writing this list late then using the intro paragraph to explain its lateness is practically a Critically Speaking tradition now.
I probably didn’t see enough movies to make an observation about the year in film as a whole, but if I’m not going to let something like the calendar stop me from posting, why should a lack of experience? By and large, when it came to the biggest promoted films, be they blockbusters or Oscar contenders, it wasn’t that impressive a year. Critics I read and trust have come out and said 2011 was one of their favorite years for film, but their lists supporting it are full of films that you’d be lucky to catch at all unless you live in a major metropolitan city. So I’ll trust them that the farther you looked this year, the more gems there were to unearth. Which would be awesome if I had more time to watch movies. But I don’t, so I was largely underwhelmed by the offerings of 2011, which is probably the biggest reason why I had little motivation for posting this in a timely fashion. But even with that lack of motivation, I have to say, I stand by every choice on this list. Maybe only one of them is what I’d truly describe as “great”, but all of them were well worth my time. And yours.
While my top albums of the year list diverged from critical consensus due to a mixture of life-related ignorance and trend-related indifference, this list will look like a lot of the others you’ve seen elsewhere. It’d be nice to make a statement and be more original, but best is best. When it comes to TV, consensus tends to emerge because even critics have to limit their viewing, as it requires more of your time to watch a tv series than watching a movie or listening to an album. So the critics do some sampling, champion their favourites, and I listen.
And even though I’m selective when it comes to my TV-watching, it’s still the medium that dominates most of my time. There’s so much good TV out there that even I can’t keep up, so for 2012, I’m trying to reduce my consumption to only greatness. If a TV show can’t meet the standards of the series you see here (or fails to continue to meet previous standards), then it’s gotta go. After all, I gotta make room for other great shows (some of which might even be missing here, although probably not). So if you’d like to be more selective with your viewing, consider this a guide of what should stay in your line-up.
2011 was an odd year for me and music. Looking around year-end lists by other publications made me worry about how out of step I’ve become. Yes, some of the albums you’ll see on this list have popped up on other lists, but not as often as in year’s past. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve become more original and iconoclast, but honestly, it seems like the way to make this list was to be an artist I already liked releasing an album of similar quality to that which I’ve liked in the past (although it could just be that what was buzz-worthy this year was genres I don’t really care for). While I stand by my choices here, it’s possible that in the future, I may end up thinking of 2011 as the year my tastes calcified and I just gave up. But until then, at least I’ll have these albums to sustain me.
Children of Men (2006)
Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Pam Ferris, Danny Huston
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
Here it is, the final entry in my 2011 TV Awards series, mere weeks after they were relevant. I must say, that save Dexter, the Academy actually nailed this category. If they simply replaced that with Justified (which was oddly absent despite nominations for Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, and winner Margo Martindale), this might have been the best group of nominees I’d ever seen out of the Emmys. They chose four of my six nominees, with the fifth being the toughest omission I had to make in years.
In case you missed it, here are the other posts for the Sixth Annual Andy TV Awards:
Read on for the final award of the night, the winner of which also gets the title of “Best Show of the TV season”.
The acting awards are out of the way, time for the big ones. Of note, I don’t do the writing or directing categories, although I think them important, because it’s too difficult to pick six episodes out of the hundreds I see all year. Whole seasons? I can do. Individual episodes? Too much.
I’ve now covered the guest acting and comedy acting awards, time to move on to the drama awards. I pretty much watch all the dramas that matter besides Treme and Fringe, but the Academy went ahead and nominated some people from shows that don’t (or no longer) matter as well. Those include actors from Dexter, House, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Harry’s Law, and The Killing (which I believe I saw four episodes of). So while it’s possible those performers are doing bang-up jobs on shows I don’t want to watch, you won’t see them nominated here.
Read on to see who you will see nominated, and who would win in a perfect world. Yes, my definition of a perfect world is one where I am the sole authority on arbitrary media awards.
Now that the intro and guest acting awards are out of the way, let’s get to some of the categories you may actually care about. Shows that the Academy nominated here I don’t watch include Glee, Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, Hot in Cleveland, The Big C, and Episodes, because I was too busy watching good TV shows. I have seen a few episodes of Raising Hope and enjoyed them, but not enough to nominate anyone from it.
Read on for my nominees and winners in the supporting and leading actor and actress categories.
With the Emmys fast approaching, I figured I’d better start posting my traditional Andy TV Awards, not that I have a hope in hell in getting it all done before the show. For the uninitiated, the Andy TV Awards are where I not only pick who should win awards in television achievement, but also where I show who should have been nominated in the first place. No sense in simply picking from the Academy’s flawed list of nominees, when they often can’t even be bothered to nominate the very best performances, much less the six best.
So what makes me more qualified to do this than the Emmys themselves? For starters, I actually WATCH television, so that puts me ahead of a lot of voters. For the 2010-11 season, I watched complete (or near-complete) seasons of 30 different comedies and dramas. So these choices will be fairly extensive. Of course, I still don’t watch everything, so here’s a list of some critically acclaimed shows that I don’t watch, and thus were left off my ballot: Treme, Dexter (gave up on it this season), Shameless, Glee, The Killing (gave up just in time), and anything from the UK. Shows that aren’t necessarily acclaimed (but did get some Emmy nominations) that I don’t watch include Two and a Half Men, House, Harry’s Law, The Big C, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
I’ve decided to split out my family films from my blu-ray collection listing, both to shorten the posts up and to reflect the division I’ve made in the organization of the actual discs themselves. As the father of a little boy, this is easily the fastest growing segment of my blu-ray collection, because sometimes, you just want the little buggers to sit still for an hour or so (don’t worry, I also read to him and stuff).
Fidelity-wise, these are among the best blu-rays in my collection. Disney, who produced the majority of the films I own, are either the best blu-ray distribution house out there, or they’re a close second to Criterion. Of course, the Pixar transfers are amazing, with the full digital process used to make them. But equally impressive are the remastered versions of 60 year old classics, which are completely revitalized by the format. Films that had previously degraded to dull and murky on previous formats really pop on blu-ray. If you’re looking for reference material for you system, or a great argument for the format in general, look no further than the titles on this page (except for The Fox and the Hound, which is an insult to the format).
As an added bonus, most of these collections are BRD/DVD combo packs, which is excellent if you want to also keep your kid quiet in a room with a TV without blu-ray capabilities (I take him out to play all the time, I swear!).
Yes, this list is incredibly late. So late that there’s really no need to post it at all. Even if I allow myself to believe that there are people interested in my opinion on these things, I’d have to assume any such interest died months ago. Especially since I basically ranked my top movies months ago in my Oscar post. So why do it?
Well, I’ve done a year end movie list every year since I started blogging, so it feels incomplete to not have one. The Oscar one doesn’t necessarily fit the bill, given that I hadn’t even seen all ten films nominated at that point, plus my top ten includes at least a couple films that weren’t nominated for best picture (alright, literally, only a couple. What can I say? They did a good job this year. Plus, I didn’t see all that many movies). Mostly, this list is here not for now, but for years from now when I want to know what I liked in 2010 (so I have when I start another best of the decade list that I’ll never properly complete). Plus, I don’t really update this thing much anymore, so why not feed it with some new content, no matter how outdated?
Welcome to a new feature on the blog, “A Moment in Song”, where I analyze some of my favourite moments in some of my favourite songs. Music can work on many levels, with the best songs featuring a combination of lyrical content, musical arrangement, tempo, vocal stylings, and just a little bit of magic to create something memorable. But sometimes within a song is one transcendent moment that stands out, a moment that hits you the first time you hear it and every moment after that. That moment may only be seconds long, but it’s what you always remember when you think of the song. This feature focuses on such moments to try and highlight all the little things that make music such a special experience.
The Song: “Fake Empire” by The National from Boxer LP (2007)
(To download, right click on this link choose Save Link As: http://andythesaint.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/01-fake-empire.mp3)