The 2021were always going to be an exercise in anarchy. Between an eligibility window marred by COVID-impacted disappearances — count Atlanta, Succession, Euphoria, Ozark and Better Call Saul among shows taking the year off — and the conclusion of other favorites, there won’t be a single acting or series winner available to repeat in the drama, comedy or limited fields.
On the comedy side, that vacuum was largely caused by the end of Schitt’s Creek, which celebrated an unprecedented sweep last fall. But that’s only a start. For various reasons, the only 2020 comedy series nominee to even air in this Emmy period was The Kominsky Method. No enthusiasm was curbed, no things were done in the shadows, and Mrs. Maisel got no opportunity to be marvelous.
This presents an opportunity — an opportunity for disaster. Emmy voters have the very real chance to either infuse an already moribund category with intriguing, edgy new life or reduce an entire Emmy field to obsolescence.
Maybe, if we’re being completely honest, the latter sort of slash-and-burn approach is necessary anyway. It seems close to inevitable that the cast of Saturday Night Live could land as many as a half-dozen actors in a supporting field in which they clearly shouldn’t be eligible, and maybe what it will take to instigate some sort of new “best performance in a variety or sketch series” category would be shutting out dozens of supporting actors from worthy shows.
Some consideration also needs to be given to the proliferation of limited series and what it means that two of the best half-hour shows in the eligibility field — I May Destroy You and WandaVision — are “limited series” and not “comedies,” despite not being inherently close-ended stories. Granted, neither show would clearly be a comedy anyway. Then again, neither is The Flight Attendant, but the HBO Max series has such a funny beginning and star Kaley Cuoco is so versatile that we’re willing to ignore that it’s a dark alcoholic murder mystery by the end.
For months, the Emmy race for comedy series appeared to be boiling down to Ted Lasso and … well, that’s it. Ted Lasso. The heartwarming Apple TV+ series and uplifting meme generator has been treated as such a foregone conclusion that it’s almost like nobody else needs to show up. I don’t fully object, but I hope the Lasso love extends to the farthest reaches of the terrific ensemble — not just Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham, but Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed.
Recent arrivals like HBO Max’s Hacks and Netflix’s Master of None — talk about a show that has been completely miscategorized for a third season that’s wholly dramatic — might help provide options, but Emmy voters may need to dig deeper to find even a modicum more of relevance.
What shows would this critic suggest voters check out to avoid resorting to something like Young Rock just because it would be nice to see Regular-Age Rock on the red carpet? I’d start with Hulu’s PEN15, which launched as a show with a gimmick — 30-something stars masquerading as teens, but not in a creepy Dear Evan Hansen way — but has become one of the most perceptive, painful and funny explorations of adolescence to grace the screen. NBC’s Superstore didn’t have its best year, but who among us did? The smart working-class sitcom handled COVID-19 well, and this is the last chance to recognize it. Apple TV+’s Dickinson became wilder and more consistent in its second season, Peacock’s Girls5eva delivered actual and frequent laughs. And yes, Hacks is quite good, gets better with each episode and should be saluted for more than just Jean Smart.
By all means, though, salute Jean Smart. It just happens that if any category has potential to overflow, it’s comedy actress — where once again I’d say any field should start with PEN15 stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, both so vulnerable and so perfectly ridiculous. Emmy voters missed out on Jane Levy last year, but the Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist star remains impeccably joyful and fragile in her NBC bubble show, which could really use the boost — so don’t forget about co-stars Alex Newell and John Clarence Stewart. Speaking of forgetting, Emmy voters have a tendency to nominate Cristin Milioti’s male co-stars but not her, yet it should be obvious how integral she is to the deadpan absurdity of HBO Max’s Made for Love.
All that is without getting to a never-better Alia Shawkat in HBO Max’s Search Party, Girls5eva standout Renée Elise Goldsberry, super-likable first-timer Jana Schmieding of Rutherford Falls or Charlotte Nicdao, the heart and soul of Mythic Quest on Apple TV+.
There are so many tremendous comic actresses out there that my next proposal is to just give Ted Lasso star Sudeikis his Emmy now and expand the actress nominees to 15. Sudeikis can’t be beaten. That actor field is so weak, it may be time to start asking: Can men actually be funny? But that’s a different column.
This story first appeared in the May 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Bommai bats for Covid-19 booster dose for frontline workers, to meet Mansukh Mandaviya
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said the state government intends to administer booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to frontline workers including health personnel. Bommai said he will meet Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to discuss the same “in person” during his visit to Delhi tomorrow.
“Our health workers and frontline workers had taken first and second doses of vaccine about six to seven months back. Health experts here have felt that they need to be administered with a booster dose. I will meet the Union Health Minister in person to raise this concern,” Bommai said, speaking to reporters at Hubballi. A final decision on the same will be based on the Centre’s advice, the chief minister added.
On questions related to whether the Covid-19 variant confirmed to be “other than Delta” was ascertained, Bommai said that the sample of the person who arrived in Bengaluru recently from South Africa, was “sent to NCBS (National Centre for Biological Sciences) for further analysis.” He reiterated that all other international passengers, whose positive samples were sent for whole-genomic sequencing were identified to be of the Delta variant.
Bommai also reiterated that plans of lockdown were not on the cards, urging the public to avoid “unnecessary worry and panic related to such rumours.” He explained that social and economic activities were only gradually getting back on track and hence such a decision was not discussed at all, after several meetings with the experts.
“We are yet to make any decision on restrictions for Christmas and New Year celebrations. The situation then will be assessed before taking a call on those,” he said.
When asked whether Karnataka would attach any government facility or scheme with Covid-19 vaccination, similar to that announced by neighbouring Kerala on Tuesday, Bommai said the state’s focus was on “intensifying vaccination campaigns rather than making it compulsory.”
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Delhi govt releases EV charging norms for corporates
The Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC) launched a guidebook for EV Charging in workplaces for corporates, Monday.
DDC vice-chairperson Jasmine Shah said research suggested that 90% of EVs are charged at home or workplace.
“This guidebook details the processes involved for effective decision-making to install workplace charging and is aimed at making corporates an integral part of the EV movement,” he said.
If police knew about riot plans, then why no action: Umar Khalid’s lawyer to Delhi court
Former JNU student Umar Khalid, through his lawyer, asked a Delhi court Monday why police allowed the Northeast Delhi riots to take place when a protected witness was supposedly in touch with the local SHO, informing him about the planning.
Senior advocate Trideep Pais was arguing for bail on behalf of Umar before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat. However, his arguments could not be concluded and will continue on December 9.
On the last date of hearing, Pais submitted that the witnesses in the UAPA case made cooked-up statements and that a case can’t be made on half-truths. During Monday’s hearing, Pais submitted that the witnesses had made improved statements to the Magistrate and that they were “cherry picked” by police around Umar’s arrest.
3 men arrested for hacking exam centre computers
The Delhi Police Cyber Cell arrested three men who run coaching centres in Delhi and Ahmedabad for allegedly helping hundreds of students cheat in competitive exams.
Police said the trio used the dark web to advertise their services, and would hack systems and change answers during online exams. To ensure no one from the test centre suspected them, they used software to detect movement of all people inside using a computer there, police said.
Senior police officers said the accused charged Rs 1-2 lakh from each candidate to help them clear exams such as GMAT, GATE, CAT.
Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen said the investigators looking into the Trump Organization could ‘indict Donald Trump tomorrow’ and be successful
Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen said prosecutors could successfully indict the former president.
He said the New York investigation is going after Trump Org executives, Trump, and his family.
Cohen said he had supplied investigators with “thousands and thousands” of documents.
New York prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization and its finances “could indict Donald Trump tomorrow if they really wanted and be successful,” Michael Cohen, the former president’s ex-personal attorney, said Sunday.
In an appearance onCohen discussed the ongoing criminal investigation against Trump, led by the Manhattan district attorney and It’s centered on a number of potential financial crimes by Trump’s organization — most notably the question of whether he fraudulently inflated the value of his assets to gain an edge in financing deals.
Cohen said he had supplied “thousands and thousands” of documents to the prosecutors and that other witnesses have been roped into the investigation.
When asked by the host Chuck Todd whether he was “confident you did help Donald Trump commit crimes,” Cohen said: “I can assure you that Donald Trump is guilty of his own crimes. Was I involved in much of the inflation and deflation of his assets? The answer to that is yes.”
He declined to talk about the case against Trump in detail, as he didn’t want to “tip off Trump or the Trump Organization’s people about what is actually happening.”
But he did say prosecutors are taking aim at the former president and his family.
“You can bet your bottom dollar that Allen Weisselberg is not, and I truly mean this, Allen Weisselberg is not the key to this,” Cohen said, referring to the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer. Weisselberg was charged withincluding scheme to defraud, conspiracy, and grand larceny.
“They are going after Donald. They’re going after Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka, a whole slew of individuals — family as well,” Cohen said. Cohen also repeated his previous assertion thatsaying that the former president’s “Big Lie” fundraising appeals — based on claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him — are the “greatest grift in US history.”
When Todd asked whether Cohen believed the Trump Organization is a “criminal enterprise,” Cohen responded: “I don’t even know how to answer that. Are they a criminal enterprise? Let’s just say that they committed crimes.”
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