2021 Emmy Voting

The continuing pandemic has fluctuated the past year, as the arrival of vaccines have helped ease conditions, but continuing misinformation and a deadlier variant has continued to upend the hopeful rebound. For me, I had to conduct my volunteer tutoring virtually and only needed to fill my car’s gas tank about three or four times this year, until it finally felt safe for me to handle my most recent road trip around the Midwest this August. At the same time, the fluctuations of the year also continued to affect television production of new broadcast and streaming shows, and as a member of the Public Relations Peer Group of the Television Academy, I noticed how the fluctuations once again affected the scheduling of the nominations and voting for the 2021 Emmy Awards, as it did for the previous year. This year’s nominations were announced in mid-July, but the viewing and voting platform was not open online until mid-August with only a two week period to view and vote by the end of August. This viewing period was also tighter for me, since I had just returned from my road trip and needed to catch up on other concerns before I could focus on binge-watching the nominees in categories I was eligible to vote on. The rules for voting require Academy members to view all nominees in a category before voting, but for series or limited series nominees, members only needed to view one episode of the six provided of each nominee in order to vote. I cleared my schedule for the final week of August and was able to view the nominees for five categories and vote on them.

This year, I wanted to include the Outstanding Competition Program category, because one of my favorite programs was a nominee. This is one of the few categories where broadcast and cable has an advantage over streaming programs. Only one nominee, Nailed It!, was a streaming original on Netflix. CBS’s The Amazing Race and NBC’s The Voice represented the broadcast networks, while Bravo’s Top Chef and VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race represented cable programming. It was obvious that since some other regular past year nominees were not on this year’s list, the pandemic had affected the ability to produce some of these close competition shows. A couple of the shows demonstrated creative adjustment in dealing with the COVID restrictions, as Top Chef had to replace their competing chefs’ grocery store race and purchase segment with a computer pad order and delivery segment to handle food supplies for the cooking challenge, and The Voice had the audience displayed on a wall of monitors behind the celebrity chairs, as well as the competitors’ families presented virtually on monitors as well. However, I was aware of how the pandemic had affected my favorite competition show, The Amazing Race, as I remember watching the full season earlier this year, when it was announced at the opening episode that this race was filmed just before the pandemic shut down global travel. It was decided at the time that the airing of this race would be delayed and was finally aired as the pandemic was easing earlier this year. The goal of blending global culture and perspective is still an inspiration in this competition series, so it still deserved my vote for the Emmy.

There were five nominees for Outstanding Television Movie: Lifetime’s Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia, HBO’s Oslo, Netflix’s Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, and Amazon Prime Video’s Sylvie’s Love and Uncle Frank. It was interesting that none of these movies appeared to have a current time frame. Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square was not specifically set in a specific year, but the town square set was totally constructed within a closed studio, and the story of an angel and her trainee seeking to change a Scrooge-like rich woman who is trying to evict a town’s population being told in a continuous musical format has an old Hollywood style to it. Two movies are based on historical fact, as Oslo provides a behind-the-scenes rendering of the Norwegian diplomats involved in the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord between Israel and the PLO, and Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia is a biopic about soul singer Mahalia Jackson during the 50s and 60s in the Martin Luther King era. Sylvie’s Love is a common touching love story between two young adults who connect in a record store in the 50s, are separated and then reconnect in the early 60s, while Uncle Frank is a tough tale of a homosexual man who must deal with his very southern family during a patriarch’s funeral in the 70s. It was a tough decision, but I was impressed with the creative conflictive presentation of Uncle Frank for my vote.

The five nominees for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series was also difficult to decide, especially since I only had time to view the opening episode of each series. HBO had two nominees with I May Destroy You about a woman dealing with a date rape, and Mare of Easttown with Kate Winslet as a small town tough detective having to take on a tense murder case. The three other nominees were streaming offerings with Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit about an orphaned girl who becomes a chess prodigy while dealing with a drug addiction caused by the orphanage, Prime Video’s The Underground Railroad about a slave couple trying to escape to freedom through a real underground train system, and Disney+’s WandaVision about a superhero couple in a 50s sitcom. I feel I would like to have seen the full series of each nominee, but I felt more enticed by the dramatic mystery being presented in Mare of Easttown which received my vote.

There were eight nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series, but only one was not from a streaming service, ABC’s Black-ish. Netflix had three nominees with Cobra Kai, Emily in Paris, and The Kominsky Method. HBO Max had two with The Flight Attendant and Hacks, while Hulu came in with PEN15 and Apple TV+ presented Ted Lasso. The Flight Attendant and Cobra Kai did not seem to truly belong in this category, as the main story arcs were more dramatic, thrilling, and suspenseful, even if some of the characters had a comic seasoning in their reactions. The comic flavoring that enticed me more was the cultural conflict stories of Emily in Paris and Ted Lasso. In the end, Ted Lasso with its opening arc of a Texas champion football coach being hired to coach an English football (soccer) team was an easier series to understand the culture conflict comedy, so it got my vote.

The eight nominees for Outstanding Drama Series proved to be the hardest to consider. The thematic range was broader than the other categories. The only network series nominee, NBC’s This Is Us, has had a few seasons dealing with a family drama told between the present and the past. On cable, FX Networks’ Pose focused on the dramatic competition within the LBGT urban community. Under the hyper sci-fi, superhero dramas, Disney+’s The Mandelorian and Prime Video’s The Boys pulls out the CGI power. Netflix’s two nominees, Bridgerton and The Crown, deal with British royalty drama, even if Bridgerton is in the early 1800s, while The Crown was focusing on the historic drama in the arrival of Diana in Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale continued its dystopian future drama, while HBO’s Lovecraft Country has black family members who have faced the racial prejudice conflicts in the 20s suddenly having to face the monsters in the world of H.P. Lovecraft. It was amazing to experience the breadth of racial inclusion within these series, but Lovecraft Country drew me in a little better, so it got my vote.

The 73rd Annual Emmy Awards is scheduled to air on Sunday, September 19 at 8PM ET on CBS. We’ll see at that time how my votes match with the actual winners. It continues to be an honor to provide my voice in deciding the recipients of the Emmy Awards.

Update: The Emmy recipients of four of the categories I voted in were presented at the 73rd Annual Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 19 on CBS. The Emmy recipient for Outstanding Television Movie was presented at the Creative Arts Emmys on Sunday, September 12, which aired on FXX on Saturday, September 18. The Outstanding Television Movie Emmy went to Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square. During the annual Emmy Awards on September 19, The Outstanding Reality Competition Program went to RuPaul’s Drag Race. The Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series went to The Queen’s Gambit. The Outstanding Drama Series went to The Crown. The one Emmy award that matched my vote was the Outstanding Comedy Series which went to Ted Lasso. Congratulations to the winners and the other nominees.

 

2020 Emmy Voting

This year has affected a lot of us, health-wise, financially, socially, and politically. For me, my plans and ideas to promote my new novel have been disrupted, as well as my hopes to have a few more exploratory road trips. However, I know that I have still been in a better position than many others on this planet. As a member of the Public Relations Peer Group of the Television Academy, I have been more aware of how much this year has affected the entertainment industry, upending television production for new broadcast and streaming shows during a time when people are looking for comfort in isolation. It also slightly affected the process and timeline for the nomination and voting for the 2020 Emmy Awards. The announcement of this year’s official nominations came out in late July and the online viewing platform for the nominated programs opened up in mid-August, creating a tighter timeline for viewing and voting, since the voting deadline was August 31. The rules for voting require Academy members to view all nominees in a category before voting, but for series or limited series nominees, members only needed to view one episode of the six provided of each nominee in order to vote. In the end, I had time to view and vote for the top four categories.

In the Outstanding Television Movie category, there were five nominees this year, all of them basically within the 90 minute to 2 hour range that I feel fit within a standard television movie length. HBO’s only nominee was Bad Education, a historical drama based on the true story of an embezzlement scandal of taxpayer money in a Long Island school system in the early 2000s. The other four nominees were all from Netflix with two of the nominees being post series wrap-ups, with El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie providing a rough escape thriller from the AMC drama series, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend providing the comedy series with a comic wedding and rescue fun ending. Netflix’s third nominee, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: These Old Bones, was another country-style heart-tugger in the same style of previous Dolly Parton network special stories. The final Netflix nominee, American Son, was an interesting adaption of a play which takes place in one location in a basically extended single scene, a police station waiting area late at night where a recently separated mixed race couple is desperate to find out about the event in which their eighteen-year-old son was involved during a police interaction. Even as the agonizing argumentative interaction between the characters and eventual surprising unveiling of truth provide a much more complex grey perspective, the story’s theme still touches on the current social conflict on policing and race, which encouraged me to give this nominee my vote.

The Outstanding Limited Series category also had five nominees this year from Hulu, Netflix, FX Networks, and HBO. The two Netflix series both centered on a young woman within an unequal power situation. In Unbelievable, a young teenage girl is unfairly pressured by police and friends to admit that her claim of being raped was a lie. In Unorthodox, a young woman seeks to escape the Hassidic Jewish culture and a forced marriage in New York City, secretly flying off to Berlin. In both series, the thematic perspective is subtly presented. In Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere, the complex perspectives of trying to resolve racial and wealth inequality subtly powers the story line. In a more historical tale, FX Networks’ Mrs. America delves into Phyllis Schlafly and her campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 70s. All four of these nominees have very important themes and issues behind their storylines, but HBO’s Watchmen with its DC comic universe background to present its racial and political conflict perspective more powerfully attracts its audience, encouraging me to give it my vote.

Eight nominees landed in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, but NBC’s The Good Place was the only broadcast network series to get a nomination, a continuing sign of the way that streaming era has upended the electronic video entertainment universe. Even more telling is this was the final season of The Good Place which gained this nomination. Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek was also nominated for its final season, while FX Networks’ What We Do In The Shadows also provided a boost to basic cable programming. HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Insecure demonstrated how premium cable programming seeks to produce comedy without sexual or language restrictions, making it edgier. Netflix’s Dead To Me and The Kominsky Method provided more balance to its comic storytelling, but once again, Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was still stronger in providing a more balanced positive view of comic perception, which is why it received my vote.

For the Outstanding Drama Series, there were also eight nominees, but only one was new to the nominee list, Disney+’s The Mandalorian, a series that impressively brought Star Wars action and thrills, even though each episode was only a half hour long. Dark themes continued to play within AMC’s Better Call Saul, BBC America’s Killing Eve, HBO’s Succession, and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, whereas Netflix’s three nominees found a little better balance: The Crown with its strong historical perspective, Ozark with a slightly lighter touch in its criminal theme, and Stranger Things which continued to maintain its sci-fi fantasy balance with its young protagonists in the retro 80s, even with its darker end to its third season. Stranger Things pulled in my vote for this year.

It has definitely been a trying time for the entertainment industry this year, so it will be interesting to see how my votes match up with my fellow Television Academy members this year, when the Primetime Emmy recipients are announced at a more pandemic virtual Emmy Awards Show airing on ABC, Sunday, September 20.

Update: It was an interesting pandemic awards ceremony on ABC, Sunday, September 20, with host Jimmy Kimmel standing alone in the main theater while nominees and other guests connected in from home or other locations, a most interesting virtual show. The awards for three of the categories I voted in were presented during this show, while another category award was presented on the last night of five Creative Emmy Awards shows, which aired on FXX on Saturday, September 19. The Outstanding Television Movie Emmy, presented during the Creative Emmy Awards show, went to Bad Education. During the main Emmy Awards Show, the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy went to Schitt’s Creek, and the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy went to Succession. The only Emmy Award winner that matched my vote was in the Outstanding Limited Series category, in which the Emmy went to Watchmen.

 

Disappeared and Found: A New Novel

Over seven years ago, I took a story idea and wrote my first novel, using the new process of self-publishing to put it out to reading community. Legacy Discovered received wonderful support from my friends and family, and generated a fair amount of good reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. However, as an independently published work, it has been a tough road to market this work among the millions of books that have been self-published during this time. Yet, I will not give up in promoting this act of creativity, which is why a close friend recently challenged me to try again by writing a new book. Soon after his challenge, I was watching a couple of new episodes from two cable reality docuseries that I enjoy when I had a creative story idea that arose by the combination of these shows’ premises. I wrote up an outline, got input from several friends, and then started out writing a new fiction novel. This new creative journey is about to cross the finish line as independent self-publisher, Outskirts Press, is within days of releasing it for sale through available outlets. The new novel is called Disappeared and Found.

The story is about a young woman, Dorothy, who inadvertently discovers that parents that raised her could not be her biological parents, which leads her to overhear her father tell a neighbor about his fear of her finding out that she was adopted. Dorothy had already faced dealing with the death of the mother who had raise her several years back, so when she faces her father, he tells her that they kept the adoption a secret from her in order to keep her love toward them as real parents, especially as his wife dealt with the cancer that led to her death. Dorothy tries to deal with the confession, but she wants to understand why and who had put her up for adoption, so she reaches out on her own to a cable reality show whose hosts help adopted individuals and biological parents to reconnect. The DNA test the show has Dorothy take seems to match closely with another person in the database, a potentially biological brother close match. The host reaches out by phone to this brother match for confirmation. Yet the young man, Scott, who answers the phone tells the host shockingly that he did not have a sister who was put up for adoption, but rather his mother took his sister out for a walk nineteen years earlier and disappeared, a cold case that is still open. In fact, Scott had just finished an interview with another investigative reality show that focuses on mysterious missing person cases, and the potential break in the case energizes their current production, as well as the local and federal agencies involved. What is the truth about how a missing baby girl wound up being raised by another couple in another state, and what happened to the missing mother?

The story is a much more direct mystery, a genre that I have a long love for. Yet, I am also drawn to the inner conflicts over family and uncovered hidden lies that the main character, Dorothy, has to struggle through. As I wrote the story, I had to empathize deeply with the dark mixed feelings all of our characters were feeling, and I hope that readers can feel and work their way through these conflicts while uncovering the answers to the mystery in a satisfactory way. I hope readers are intrigued to read it and find an enjoyable read in the journey.

 

2019 Emmy Voting

Wow, another year has passed, and voting for this year’s Emmy Awards has just ended. As a member of the Public Relations Peer Group of the Television Academy, once again it was an honor for me to be able to vote in certain categories for the 2019 Emmy Awards for outstanding television programming. The online viewing site for the nominated programs opened up at the beginning of August, and online voting opened up during the last weeks of August, closing down on the last Thursday of August. The rules for voting require Academy members to view all nominees in a category before voting, but for series or limited series nominees, members only needed to view one episode of the six provided of each nominee in order to vote. Despite some HOA issues and a special project which I will be announcing shortly, this year I was able to set aside one week to view and vote for nominees for six categories.

In the Structured Reality Program category, there were six nominees of programs which provide an informed host or production to guide common folks or known celebrities on a specific issue or journey. Among the six, Antiques Roadshow on PBS is a standard bearer that has been airing for decades, although the last time I had actually seen an episode before this year, I recalled that the antique experts were set up in a single plain studio room to provide background and value to the antiques brought into the show. I was impressed, although not surprised, to see current technology provided a broader range of outdoor and indoor onsite background locations for the experts to interact with the antique owners. The two Netflix nominees, Queer Eye and Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, were focused on a home and personal life expert or group of experts providing assistance to an individual needing it. Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives featured a foodie expert introducing the viewing audience to fantastic small restaurants across the United States. ABC’s Shark Tank was presenting another season of hopeful startup entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to a small group of competing investors. However, TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? featured a celebrity taking a journey to discover ancestry and history of the family tree. Even though the focus was on a known celebrity, the understanding of the history that was uncovered brought about a broader perspective to the viewing audience, which is why I voted for this nominee.

For the Outstanding Reality Competition category, five of the six nominees were re-nominations from last year’s list, The Amazing Race, American Ninja Warrior, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Top Chef, and The Voice. John Legend was a new competing judge and coach on The Voice this year, but this was the only variation among the five series from last year. The new nominee for this year was Netflix’s Nailed It!, which was more of a satirical cooking competition as the competitors were more incompetent with their cooking skills. In the end, The Amazing Race is still an admitted favorite of mine, providing a global cultural lesson and perspective to the viewing audience, and therefore receiving my vote.

For Outstanding Television Movie, there were only five nominees again this year, including another NetFlix Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch. At least this year, the Black Mirror episode was longer, coming closer to the hour and a half normal television movie length. The theme of Bandersnatch was more personally internal as an early 80s computer game programmer runs across several yes/no options in the course of a day and the viewer is shown in computer game style the consequences of both options in parallel time. Amazon Prime Video nominee, King Lear, was interesting in presenting Shakespeare’s tragedy in a modern setting; however, the dialogue is still from Shakespeare which doesn’t match with army tanks and urban alleys for the average viewer. HBO nabbed three nominees with Deadwood, My Dinner With Hervé, and Brexit. The one fictional nominee of the three, Deadwood, was a return to the HBO drama series with a dark Western genre flair in a late 1800s South Dakota town. The other two were non-fictional accounts, one about a reporter’s interview dinner and night with the Fantasy Island celeb days before he committed suicide, and the other a behind-the-scenes view of the opposing campaigns leading up to the British referendum on Great Britain exiting the EU. The personal celeb tragedy was dark and very introspective, but I was deeply intrigued by the historical lessons behind the rise of Brexit, which won my vote.

In the Outstanding Limited Series category, only one of the five nominees, HBO’s Sharp Objects, was adapted from fiction, as Amy Adams is a reporter who is sent back to her hometown to cover a murder case, while she has her own personal demons to deal with. The other four nominees are based on actual events. FX’s Fosse/Verdon delves into the historical life of classic power entertainment couple Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. HBO’s other nominee, Chernobyl, looks into what caused the nuclear disaster event and its consequences. Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora unveils the underpinnings that lead to a notorious prison escape. However, Netflix’s When They See Us, which was directed by Ava DuVernay, really affected me deeply with the actions of injustice and coercion towards a group of boys called The Central Park Five, which is why it got my vote.

For the Outstanding Comedy Series, only two of the seven nominees, HBO’s Barry and Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, are repeat nominees from last year, but this is only because the nominee with the most previous wins across all categories, Veep, took a year off last year. NBC’s The Good Place also has received a nomination in a previous year, but does not have a win. Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek has been around for a few seasons and has received comments that it should have been nominated in earlier years, but this season is the first time it has been nominated. The two new series that received nominations were Amazon Prime Video’s Fleabag and Netflix’s Russian Doll. Most of the nominees appear to try and find its comic elements in darker areas and characters, from Barry’s murder for hire main character seeking to become an actor and Veep’s backroom tales of political manipulations, to Fleabag’s non empathetic family members and Russian Doll’s main character’s foul language response to her odd time loop situation. I prefer a more balanced positive view of comic perception, which I find a bit more in the wacky characters of Schitt’s Creek and the odd redemptive purgatory of The Good Place, but is still stronger in the journey of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which received my vote again.

In the Outstanding Drama Series, only two of the eight nominees, HBO’s Game of Thrones and NBC’s This Is Us, are repeat nominees from last year, but AMC’s Better Call Saul has been nominated in a previous year. Even though two series, BBC America’s Killing Eve and Netflix’s Ozark has had nominations in specific categories in previous seasons, this is the first year they have received the main drama category. The last three nominees, Netflix’s Bodyguard, FX’s Pose, and HBO’s Succession, are in their first season, which makes their nominations impressive. However, many of these nominees work within a theme of competition between power characters. The acting in all of these series are powerful, but despite my past concern about the reality stretch of This Is Us, it was the one series this year that was more introspective with more empathetically normal characters, so it received my vote this year.

Last year, one of the nominees in the four categories for which I voted wound up winning the Emmy, so it will be interesting to see how well I match up with my fellow Television Academy members this year. The winners will be announced this year on Sunday, September 22 at the awards ceremony, airing 9pm ET on FOX.

Update: As announced at the 71st Emmy Awards that aired September 22 on Fox, the following Emmy Awards were presented: Structured Reality Program was awarded to Queer Eye, Reality Competition Program was awarded to RuPaul’s Drag Race, Outstanding Television Movie was awarded to Bandersnatch (Black Mirror), Outstanding Limited Series was awarded to Chernobyl, Outstanding Comedy Series was awarded to Fleabag, and Outstanding Drama Series was awarded to Game of Thrones. None of my votes matched with the eventual winners this year.

 

2018 Emmy Voting

Another year has passed, and the voting has ended again. As a member of the Public Relations Peer Group of the Television Academy, I was once again honored to be able to vote in certain categories for the 2018 Emmy Awards for outstanding television programming. The online viewing site for the nominated programs opened up at the beginning of August, and online voting opened up during the last two full weeks of August, closing down on the final Monday of August. The rules for voting remained the same as last year. Academy members were required to view all nominees in a category before voting, but for series or limited series nominees, members only needed to view one episode of the six provided of each nominee in order to vote. Unfortunately, unexpected activity in my homeowners association and a couple of other projects in which I was involved kept me from being able to view nominees in as many categories as I did last year. I was restricted to voting in only four categories this year.

For the Outstanding Reality Competition category, the six nominees were the exact same nominees as last year, CBS’s The Amazing Race, NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, Lifetime’s Project Runway, VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bravo’s Top Chef, and NBC’s The Voice. Some of the nominees had some adjustments that demonstrated considered improvements. In Project Runway, the variation in the models’ sizes may have been a greater challenge to the aspiring designers, but it also showed a broader sense of diversity to the audience. In The Voice, the celebrity judges who compete with each other to get good aspiring singers to take them on as mentors in the competition were given an added button to block a fellow celebrity judge. In Top Chef, the competition took place in Colorado, my current home, and, in one episode, tested the aspiring chefs to create a tasty meal with a campfire on an overnight rugged camp-out. However, the basic concept of these reality competitions as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race focused on a specific skill, while American Ninja Warrior is a straight physical competition of speed, agility, and strength over an elevated obstacle course, but The Amazing Race, still an admitted favorite of mine, provides a global cultural lesson and perspective to the viewing audience, as they watch teams of two race around the world. My vote again went to The Amazing Race.

For Outstanding Television Movie, there were only five nominees, and like last year, one nominee still challenged my definition of a television movie. It was a new episode from the Netflix anthology series, Black Mirror, which focuses on futuristic stories centered within the digital universe. The nominated episode, USS Callister, about an inhibited corporate tech partner who generates digital genetic clones of his co-workers in a “Star Trek” like digital universe to gain superiority over them, was only a few minutes over an hour long, which does not meet my expectation for the length of a television movie. In fact, some of the Outstanding Drama Series episodes were longer than this movie nominee. In addition, unlike the uplifting twist of last year’s nominated Black Mirror episode, USS Callister was a basic good versus evil plot. Fellow HBO nominee, Fahrenheit 451, shares the sci-fi stage as an updated adaptation of the Ray Bradbury literary classic with a genetically digital climactic ending. The other three nominees find their basis connected to actual events. HBO’s The Tale, about a woman documentarian whose short story she wrote as a teenager is found by her mother and sent to her bringing up repressed memories of a sexual encounter with a mentor, begins with a disclaimer that the story is based on actual events experienced by the executive producer and creator of the film. HBO’s Paterno has Al Pacino portraying the famous Penn State head coach during the time when the sexual molestation scandal of his assistant coach reaches its zenith. Flint examines the Michigan city’s water crisis and the women advocates who uncovered the scandal and forced the city and state to take action. It was the positive story of advocacy that encouraged me to vote for Flint.

The Outstanding Comedy Series had eight nominees to view, but only four of the nominees were repeat nominees from last year. ABC’s Modern Family, the series I voted for last year, was not one of those four. The returning nominees were FX’s Atlanta, ABC’s black-ish, HBO’s Silicon Valley, and Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Just like last year, Atlanta appeared to me to be more dramatic that comedic, despite its solid themes. The remaining four nominees all have a connection to the entertainment culture. HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David’s satirical series of Hollywood culture, may not have been nominated last year, but it has been nominated in previous years. HBO’s Barry, Netflix’s GLOW, and Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are new series, so it is an honor for them to be nominated in their premiere season. Barry, a series about a hitman who decides to join an acting class and change his career, and GLOW, a series on hopeful actresses who audition and become female wrestlers, also are based in the Hollywood culture. However, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, set in New York City in the late 50s, enthralled me with the hyper-active, take-care-of-everything young wife and mother out to help her husband become a star comic while raising their young children, who suddenly finds out that her husband was cheating on her when he walks out on them, which leads to her finding herself on a journey that shows she is the better comic talent than he ever was. I voted for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

In the Outstanding Drama Series category, five of the seven nominated series were repeat nominees from last year. However, the two nominees not on last year’s list were not new to Emmy nominations. In fact, one of these two nominees, HBO’s Game of Thrones, has been a constant nominee in past years and has the most nominations in all categories for this year. It was not nominated last year because it did not have a season last year, keeping fans guessing on which characters would survive for some time. Yet, the series hyper-power competition of fantasy medieval kingdoms is a bit too strong for me. FX’s The Americans, a series of a family of Russian spies living undercover in a Washington, DC suburb, had also been nominated in previous seasons and earned its nomination for its final season. The category’s repeat nominees were Netflix’s The Crown, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Netflix’s Stranger Things, NBC’s This Is Us, and HBO’s Westworld. This Is Us continued its strong path of wrapping audiences within its emotional family drama twists, even if it pulled at reality in its way. The Crown still appealed with its historical foundation of the life of Queen Elizabeth. Both The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld had turned darker in their second season, while Stranger Things still maintained its sci-fi fantasy balance in the retro 80s in its second season. I voted for the balance in Stranger Things.

Once again, my votes last year were not the eventual winners, but I still remain truthful and fair in my considerations. Maybe this year, one of my selections will wind up receiving the Emmy this year during the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on September 17 at 8pm ET on NBC.

Update: As announced during the Emmy Awards that aired on NBC on Monday, September 17, one of the shows I voted for, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for Outstanding Comedy Series, did wind up receiving the Emmy. The other three shows I voted for did not wind up receiving the Emmy. RuPaul’s Drag Race received the Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Series, Black Mirror: USS Callister received the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie, and Game of Thrones received the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. I applaud all of the recipients of this year’s Emmys.