An avid fan of both Television and Cinema, this blog is desined to give Noble's personal predictions, and analysis of the Oscar and Emmy races each year, as well as providing a place for Noble's own annual awards for film and television to be archived. Feedback and Discussion is welcomed in the form of comments on the blog posts.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

60th Emmy Awards, Directing and Writing Predictions

This is the easiest race to pick, but by no means as locked up as some think it is. Entourage seems out as does the Office’s Money (unless they want to give Toby an award). 30 Rock needs to rely on being swept up in wave of love for the show. Conchords could win if the voters really like the show and want it to get something and Goodbye Toby could also win if they love the tape and want to finally give The Office the prize here. But this is Pushing Daisies to lose with this category going to pilots of single cam comedies the past 4 years in a row. Add to that my opinion that this is the best one since Arrested Development.
  1. Barry Sonnenfeld for Pushing Daisies ("Pie-Lette") FRONTRUNNER
  2. Paul Feig for The Office (“Goodbye Toby") DARK HORSE
  3. James Bobin for Flight of the Conchords ("Sally Returns") DARK HORSE
  4. Michael Engler for 30 Rock ("Rosemary's Baby") IN WITH A CHANCE
  5. Paul Lieberstein for The Office ("Money") IN WITH A CHANCE
  6. Dan Attias for Entourage ("No Cannes Do") LONGSHOT
This branch obviously quite likes Galactica but if Occupation/Precipie couldn’t win last year I don’t hold much hope for Six of One. I wouldn’t completely rule out the Wire, it is the only chance to honour this critically acclaimed darling and the writers may realise that. Enough to overtake this years drama series nominees that have more critical buzz? Not sure. 24 set the precedent for a serialised drama with critical buzz winning for its Pilot (the only Pilot to win in 10 years) – so Damages has a real shot especially if the Mad Men episodes split the votes. However the Emmys have made one thing clear with this category over the past 9 years they LOVE the Sopranos with 6 wins and only 1 loss (to Emmy magnet West Wing). Keeping that in mind the Mad Men episodes written by overdue Sopranos scribe, Matthew Weiner, have a great shot. Splitting votes may also not be as bigger factor as some might think with the winner from 8 of the past 9 years having multiple entries (however Lost’s 2 episodes got beat so it is possible). The question is which one will win? I’m not sure but will go with the Wheel as from what I hear the ending will stay in voters’ minds more.
  1. Matthew Weiner & Robin Veith for Mad Men ("The Wheel") FRONTRUNNER
  2. Matthew Weiner for Mad Men ("Smoke Gets in Your Eyes") FRONTRUNNER
  3. Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, & Daniel Zelman for Damages ("Get Me A Lawyer") DARK HORSE
  4. David Simon & Ed Burns for The Wire ("–30–") DARK HORSE
  5. Michael Angeli for Battlestar Galactica ("Six of One") LONGSHOT

This is a great list of episodes and really the academy can’t go wrong. In my opinion any winner here will be better than last year’s champ. Boston Legal could win if they love it, but I think it’s out as compared to such innovative and more buzzed entries. 4 of the last 8 winners in this category were pilots so that should give 3 shows an edge. However I’m not sure if Breaking Bad can break through here as 7 of the past 8 winners have hailed from series that were at least nominated for drama series (the exception was much buzzed Deadwood) and the competition is stiff. House is a great episode but I’m not sure if this procedural which isn’t self contained can win over the other 2 series. It was a hard choice to pick the winner here. It is worth noting that of the past 8 years only twice has a series won writing and directing (emmy champs West Wing, Sopranos) and in both cases the same episode did not win both awards. For writing I picked Mad Men but the Wheel episode so it still has a shot. However since Damages goes at a quicker pace, has in ways a shower directing style and in recent years both serials (24) and shows which flash back and forth in time (Lost) have managed to win here I’ll pick it to win.

  1. Allen Coulter for Damages ("Get Me A Lawyer") FRONTRUNNER
  2. Alan Taylor for Mad Men ("Smoke Gets in Your Eyes") FRONTRUNNER
  3. Greg Yaitanes for House ("House's Head") DARK HORSE
  4. Vince Gilligan for Breaking Bad ("Pilot") DARK HORSE
  5. Arlene Sanford for Boston Legal ("The Mighty Rogues") IN WITH A CHANCE

A good line-up of episodes here. Malcolm in the Middle and Arrested Development showed that a series can win this twice in a row and if 30 Rock splits votes it is possible, but I think the Office may not have a special enough episode in this competitive field to win. The hot new series with a great written episode, Pushing Daisies, could also prevail as the AD and Earl Pilots did but I feel that voters will see it as more of a directorial work. If 30 Rock wins it should be for Rosemary's Baby but I have a feeling that if voters want 30 Rock to win they are going to want to give it to Tina Fey. With it's 2 big nominations and a top 10 for series I have a feeling that the academy has a thing for Conchords and what better category to award it to than here where the 2 lead actors (and musicians) of the series will walk away with Emmys. However after missing out last year I'm suspecting they will want to give this to Tina Fey, to make sure she gets something to take home.

  1. Tina Fey for 30 Rock ("Cooter") FRONTRUNNER
  2. James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, & Bret McKenzie for Flight of the Conchords ("Yoko") FRONTRUNNER
  3. Jack Burditt for 30 Rock ("Rosemary's Baby") FRONTRUNNER
  4. Bryan Fuller for Pushing Daisies ("Pie-Lette") DARK HORSE
  5. Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg for The Office ("Dinner Party") DARK HORSE

And just so you know how little stock to put in these predictions here is my track record:

2007: Ugly Betty (CORRECT) -2006: Curb Your Enthusiasm (INCORRECT) -2005: Desperate Housewives (CORRECT)

DIRECTING DRAMA:2007: Friday Night Lights (INCORRECT) - 2006: Six Feet Under (INCORRECT) - 2005: Lost (CORRECT)

COMEDY WRITING: 2007: 30 Rock (Tracey Does a Conan) (INCORRECT) -2006: Arrested Development (INCORRECT) -2005: Arrested Development (Righteous Brothers) (CORRECT)

DRAMA WRITING:2007: The Sopranos (Made In America) (CORRECT) - 2006: Six Feet Under (INCORRECT) - 2005: Lost (Walkabout) (INCORRECT)

SCORE: 5/12

Thursday, September 11, 2008

60th Emmy Awards, Comedy Acting Predictions


This year I am going to post my fianl predictions for the preimetime emmy awards up here. To start things off are my predictions for the comedy acting categories. Included are the results from my Noble RISE calcuations, presented in graph form, as well as my final analysis.
So here they are:

Although a weak season of Weeds, Parker still managed to deliver an ace performance week after week. However due to serialised and subtle nature of the role she always needs to submit her best, this year she chose a dud tape and knocked herself out. Fererra has a very showy tape and she’s last year’s winner but the tape is also a bit ridiculous and it really isn’t as strong as my above score may suggest. She could win, but with her show and herself losing the buzz that propelled her to the winner’s circle last year I think she’s also out of it. Then you have the three that have a serious shot. Dreyfuss has a solid tape and she’s a past winner, but I don’t think she’s the strongest and the circumstances surrounding her previous win aren’t all present in this year’s line-up. I’ve tossed and turned between the last two. Fey has all the buzz this year and a much better tape than my score above suggests, I’d personally say she has the best tape. On the other hand you have Applegate with a great tape also (arguably the best) and is the new actress to the scene, and the last three winners of this category have won for their first season. The two things that tip it for me is that Applegate’s cancer struggle may help get her support and the hurdle that many may view Fey more as a writer/producer than an actor and think she will be rewarded in other categories.

  1. Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? (FROUNTRUNNER)
  2. Tina Fey, 30 Rock (FROUNTRUNNER)
  3. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, The New Adventures of Old Christine (DARK HORSE)
  4. America Fererra, Ugly Betty (IN WITH A CHANCE)
  5. Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds (LONGSHOT)

Pace gives a solid performance but its subtlety means it may not stick in voters minds. It is also worth noting that in the past 10 years only 1 man has won this category for his first season and that was (3 time winner) Tony Shaloub so the stats don't look great for Pace. I agree that Sheen has submitted his best ever (it's still the worst tape of the batch) so I guess that if he ever was to win it would be this year. But the competition is too strong and with 0 wins in major categories I get the feeling that the Emmys don't love his show. Shaloub has not submitted a great entry for him, but it still gives him heaps of screentime, an big emotional scene and he gets to play the zany impactful Adrian Monk - so he has a real chance to upset (if vote-splitting occurs between the nbc lads), but with 3 wins I don't think it is a strong enough tape (or weak enough field) to make voters excited enough to give him a 4th. Like most people think, this is a 2 horse race. Will they go with the guy with all the buzz and the most impactful scene or the more overdue guy who has the best overall tape. I'm going to go with the latter since this year Carell doesn’t have to worry about one of his competitors getting credit for his tape/performance also (Gervais). Then again last year I also predicted Carell and this race is tight.

  1. Steve Carell, The Office (FROUNTRUNNER)
  2. Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (FROUNTRUNNER)
  3. Tony Shaloub, Monk (DARK HORSE)
  4. Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men (IN WITH A CHANCE)
  5. Lee Pace, Pushing (IN WITH A CHANCE)

Any of these ladies could win. Taylor is a respected veteran who delivers a lot of laughs and has the most overdue role of all the nominees but her tape has no closure so I think she will struggle. Poehler is so different to everyone else and she will ever get the most votes or the least and, with no precedent to base this, at the moment I’m going with the latter. Although Baby Mama and Tina Fey’s sucess could help. Smart has a decent but not great tape and her previous Emmy nominated role on drama series 24 will still be in voters’ minds. Add to that the respected veteran status of Taylor and you have a real contender. Then you have the best tape submitted and most deserving candidate in Kristen Chenowith who’s roles on broadway and a recent role in Emmy drama series contender may also in voters minds (not as much, probably as Smart). A victory for her will be one for the tape system, and the distinct style of Daisies and her memorable character place her in a good position. However I’m predicting Williams to win this year in the vein of Jamie Presley. She doesn’t have a great tape but has a good one and is slightly overdue from last year.

  1. Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty (FROUNTRUNNER)
  2. Kristen Chenowith, Pushing Daisies (FROUNTRUNNER)
  3. Jean Smart, Samantha Who? (DARK HORSE)
  4. Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live (DARK HORSE)
  5. Holland Taylor, Two and a Half (IN WITH A CHANCE)

Dillon’s saving grace is that actors could relate to him the best but if he couldn’t win with last year’s tape I don’t have much hope. His episode is trivial and if Entourage wins this it will be Piven, Peter Boyle learnt the hard way that the Emmys have no problem with not sharing the love. Cryer could score a win (despite not belonging anywhere near this category) he is overdue but if he does it will have nothing to do with his tape which is nothing special. To be honest I would pick Wilson for the win if he submitted The Lauch Party which was one of my favourite Dwight episodes of the series but with the poor choice I suspect he will have to wait another year. If the voters are Office fans and have admired his work on the show the tape could be good enough to score a win. Harris has a great shot with a pretty nice tape and a great character but his show isn’t an Emmy favourite show and he has to beat... Jeremy Piven, which I am a little hesitant in predicting, but I believe he has the best tape in this category quite comfortably and we know the Emmys love him. I am tempted to pick an upset, but I could even get that wrong with Harris, Wilson and even the other 2 being potential spoilers.

  1. Jeremy Piven, Entourage (FRONTRUNNER)
  2. Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother (DARK HORSE)
  3. Rainn Wilson, The Office (DARK HORSE)
  4. Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men (IN WITH A CHANCE)
  5. Kevin Dillon, Entourage (IN WITH A CHANCE)

And just so you know how little stock to put in these predictions here is my track record:

2007: America Fererra, Ugly Betty (CORRECT) - 2006: Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm in the Middle (INCORRECT) - 2005: Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives (INCORRECT)

2007: Steve Carell, The Office (INCORRECT) - 2006: Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm (INCORRECT) - 2005: Ray Romano, Everybody Loves Raymond (INCORRECT)

2007: Jenna Fischer, The Office (INCORRECT) - 2006: Jamie Pressley, My Name Is Earl (INCORRECT) - 2005: Jessica Walter, Arrested Development (INCORRECT)

2007: Jeremy Piven, Entourage (CORRECT) - 2006: Will Arnett, Arrested Development (INCORRECT) - 2005: Peter Boyle, Everybody Loves Raymond (INCORRECT)

TRACK RECORD SCORE: 2/12 (Hopefully this year I will do better).