Super Specific Emmy Categories We Wish Were Real

I continue to not understand the concept of time, because apparently not only is it technically fall (the overwhelming abundance of pumpkin spice items everywhere I look has told me that), but it’s time for the Emmy Awards once again.

We of course have favorites going into the ceremony (This Is Us, Handmaid’s Tale, Atlanta, etc.), but what about all the standout performances by actors who have kicked ass this past season and didn’t get the recognition they deserved at the actual Emmys? Well we’re here to give them said recognition, and praise them for the excellent work that is just really super specific to their particular craft.

“Best Drama” is so overrated.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Scene Where She Helps Deliver a Baby She Also Gives Birth To

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

EMMY WINNER TATIANA MASLANY. That’s all. That’s the only thing I’ve called the Orphan Black star ever since she finally last year. If you even only seen one episode of the show, you know it’s totally deserved, but anytime there’s an intense scene between another clone, it still blows my mind. Even til the end. Our beloved Helena finally gave birth to her babies, but because this is OB world, it wasn’t in a hospital, but rather in a dirty basement with limited tools and a crazy person wanting the newborns as a scientific case study. But in the end, it was sestra and sestra, Tat and Tat, facing each other and encouraging the other they have the willpower to deliver these miracle babies. I think the show ended perfectly, but it still won’t make me miss scenes like this on a weekly basis.

Best Rap In Response To Being Unfriended on Facebook

Issa Rae, Insecure

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Have you been saved by Insecure yet? I was recently converted to this religious sect and I’m here to spread the gospel (read the holy book here). The second season of the totally snubbed Emmy show just ended last week, and it just kept getting better and better. On the second to last episode of season 2, Issa finds out her ex unfriended her on Facebook, and she went into one of her classic bathroom mirror rants. Except this one was no holds barred. Freaking amazing.

Outstanding Performance by a Female BFF Who Gives It To Ya Straight

Natasha Rothwell, Insecure

Speaking of Insecure, Issa’s BFFs in the show are all individually fantastic, but I have not laughed out loud more to the lines perfectly executed by Natasha Rothwell, who plays Kelli. She’s sassy, unapologetic, loyal, and keeps her friends in line. What more could you ask for?

Best Devastating Cry After Finding Out Horrible News

Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin

I watched this video clip again on mute and I still started crying. Give Gina Rodriguez an Emmy already. She need something to keep her Golden Globe company.

Outstanding Pop Culture References, Comedy Series

Difficult People

As Gilmore Girls fans, we’re used to mile-a-minute pop culture references. But Difficult People is next level. Within just 10 minutes, you’ll not only be hit by 8 different celeb names, but really super specific references that only true pop culture/entertainment fans will get.

Best Fake TV Show on a Real TV Show

“Defamation”, Dear White People

Guys, we love us some Scandal, but it obviously can get a little ridiculous. And that’s what Dear White People parodied with it’s show within a show, Defamation. Like many fans of Scandal, the students at Winchester University had a weekly viewing party for Defamation, which in its very short clip had a woman having a secret affair with a politician. Sound familiar? It’s incredible.

Very close runner-up (might have been the winner but I had two Insecure winners already): Due North, Insecure. Includes Scandal star Scott Foley, Regina Hall, Christopher from Gilmore Girls, and slavery.

Best Performance By An Actor Who Deserved More Than His Character Got

Nick Jonas, Kingdom

See: My entire post about this bc I’m still annoyed.

Outstanding Performance by an Actor Who Did His Best Work Ever on the Revival Of A Beloved Series

Scott Patterson, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Unfortunately, Lauren Graham still didn’t get an Emmy nomination/win as Lorelai Gilmore (add that to the list of your Steve Carell/Michael Scotts and Amy Poehler/Leslie Knopes of the world), but I feel like she has a better chance at getting nominated/winning one in the future than Scott Patterson does. Look, I’m a hardcore GG fan, but I understand that one of the biggest things Scott has done since GG ended in 2007 was a Lifetime movie. But he’s the perfect Luke Danes. And never has he been more perfect than in this classic Luke Danes rant in the Fall episode of AYITL, when he finally tells Lorelai what he should’ve told her 10 years ago. That he’s not letting her go and willing to do anything to fix their relationship. It’s the best I’ve ever seen Scott Patterson, and he admittedly agrees that it’s also one of his favorite scenes/best work he’s done in the show.

Best Barb

Shannon Purser, Barb, Stranger Things

Shannon Purser did a perfectly good job in a perfectly fine role.¬†It’s just that there was nothing terribly Emmy-worthy in Barb, no matter WHO played her. This nomination came about not because the role was incredible, but because people just … liked Barb. And they wanted her to have a nice thing. It feels like the time Uncle Jesse’s Forever was voted the prom song in my high school, c. 2001. The point is, we should free up a space in the already tight Best Supporting Actress category and make a special category for the Barbs of the TV world. Next year, whichever minor TV character is the Barb of that year can win, but the category would still be Best Barb.

Best Early Plot Twist

This Is Us

In case you missed it, the pilot of This Is Us centered on four people who share the same birthday: actor Kevin, family/ business man Randall, supporting-character-in-her-own-life Kate and expecting father Jack. During the last moments of the pilot, you come to realize that Jack’s storyline takes place in the late 1970s and that he is the father of Kate, Kevin and Randall – and that Randall was adopted after Kate and Kevin’s triplet died as a newborn. Phew. It was gorgeous and we owe it all to hipsters, whose aesthetic is so ‘working class couple in 1978’ that I never even questioned what year Jack and Rebecca lived in.

Best Late Plot Twist

The Good Place

Like the early-in-the-game plot twist, a later plot twist has its own perils – in this case, it’s that everything that happened before it has to make sense in light of what you’ve just learned. You spend all of The Good Place thinking that Ted Danson’s character did a piss-poor job of designing a corner of heaven, only to learn in the season finale that he did a brilliant job designing his characters’ personal hell. In a moment, it all made sense – how these seemingly cruddy people landed in heaven, how unrewarding the eternal reward was, the constant calamity. We fell in love with Ted Danson during our Cheers watch last year, and that love only deepened when he let out that sinister laugh and his very persona shifted before our eyes.

Best Denouement

Big Little Lies

Do you remember back to elementary or high school when you would diagram a story? Rising Action, Climax, Denouement, Conclusion? In Big Little Lies, you knew it was all leading up to the fundraiser night at the school, when somebody-we-know would get killed by somebody-else-we-know. The climactic scene on the slippery steps was fantastic. But that’s the point where lesser shows would give up. Without saying too much, Big Little Lies resolved itself beautifully, culminating in that heart-twisting scene on the beach when you finally exhale – and you didn’t even realize you had been holding your breath until that moment.

Best Political Commentary By Somebody Who Shouldn’t Have To Be Doing This

Seth Meyers, Late Night With Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers shouldn’t have to do this, but it’s 2018 and here we all are, getting schooled on our crumbling world by gently witty late-night comics.

Best Multi-Dimensional TV Mom (Comedy)

Constance Wu, Jessica, Fresh Off The Boat

Emmy voters love nominating moms, especially in the Best Actress In A Comedy category. They don’t especially love nominating multi-dimensional TV moms, though. Or maybe writers just don’t like writing them? Anyway, as a special incentive to show runners who love to flatline mom characters we’re including this special, moms-only category. This year the witty, salty mom-of-the-90s – who totally has her own interests and also a favorite kid – takes the prize. Constance Wu, we love you.

Best Integrated Musical Performance That’s Not Supposed To Be Impressive

“Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” Mr. Robot

It sounds really specific but it’s honestly not. This is a musical performance that is (1) part of a show and (2) not meant as a spectacle, a la Nashville or Empire. The winner is the one that furthers the action, touches viewers, or gives you deeper insight into the character. This year, it was Angela singing Everybody Wants To Rule The World in that karaoke scene on Mr. Robot. It’s like you can see and hear all of Angela’s conflicts in these few minutes – is she being true to herself, and her principles, and is the payoff even worth it, and does she want power for a purpose, or just to have it? – and it’s a beautifully cut scene to boot.

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Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Last-Minute Binge Edition 2016

Since it’s only the first week of September, old shows and new shows are slowly rolling out this month and next month. And you know what that means? You still have time to sneak in one last binge-watch before a new season premieres! But what is easy to¬†catch up on and worth your time? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Traci’s Picks

For viewers who miss the camaraderie of The Office, the quirkiness of 30 Rock, and the community of Community: Superstore

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: September 22nd at 8pm on NBC

Why you should be watching: Remember how the first seasons of The Office and Parks and Rec were a little slow moving but you knew they¬†had so much potential? That’s what I felt about the first season of Superstore. It could also be because the executive producer used to be a writer at The Office. But like both those shows, Superstore is a workplace comedy about a rag tag bunch of folks who work at a Wal-Mart/big box type store. It stars America’s sweetheart America Ferrera and Ben Feldman, who I’ve decided¬†I will watch anything he is in. There’s also a Filipino character that was prominently featured in the Olympics episode they aired¬†a couple weeks ago, and that satisfies me greatly.

For people who liked American Crime Story, but also literally every human alive: American Crime

Seasons to catch up on: 2

Next season begins:¬†2017 (I’m cheating since this doesn’t come back until next year)

Why you should be watching: On the real, because this show is an anthology, you don’t even need to watch the two previous seasons. But you should anyways. The first season centers on a home invasion in California which leaves a war veteran dead and his wife seriously injured. The investigation and trial deals with issues of race, class and gender politics, and stars Felicity Huffman, Timothy¬†Hutton, Lili Taylor and Regina King. All four of them return¬†for the second season playing completely different characters. This time, the season is set in the midwest at a private and public high school, when two of the private school kids are accused of drugging and assaulting a guy from the public school. Issues of sexual orientation, class and more (which I don’t want to spoil) come into play. Both seasons are spectacular in their own ways and it’s one of those well-written, well acted, and socially important programs that I feel like everyone needs to watch.

For all Americans and Hamilton fans who are OK with modern music being used to score a show about true events in the 1800s: Underground

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: 2017 (all the shows I want you to watch¬†aren’t coming back until next year!)

Why you should be watching: I hate that Underground didn’t get the Emmy recognition it deserved, because it could easily have been nominated for writing, acting and directing. The story follows a group of escaped slaved called the¬†Macon 7 as they attempt to make it to the North. With the feeling they’re going to be caught making you¬†tense in every episode, along with the romance, unwanted romance, race relations and general drama throughout the first season, the 10-episode binge will not be hard to get through at all.

Molly’s Picks

For fans of musicals, comedy, musical comedy, and anybody who thought “that’s a sexist term” upon reading the show’s title: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Seasons to catch up on: 1

Next season begins: October 21

Why you should be watching: Did you watch Glee because you love people spontaneously bursting into song, but you wished it was actually funny even ONCE? Are your favorite SNL sketches the clever yet¬†relatable songs like (Do It On My) Twin Bed or Back Home Ballers? Do movies like Ghostbusters or Sisters¬†make you want to start a letter-writing campaign to all of the major studios asking for more of this, please? Do you like a good rom-com where the protagonist is torn between two appealing gentlemen? Are you into 90s junior high flashbacks? Hey. Come watch this show. You’re going to love it.

¬†Rebecca Bunch is a New York lawyer who moves to West Covina, California after a chance run-in with her camp sweetheart, Josh. There’s a lot of Rebecca trying to act chill and normal so Josh doesn’t think she’s, well, a crazy ex-girlfriend, often with the help of her¬†buddy Paula, the coworker we all wish we had. Oh, and Josh is engaged to Valencia, a yoga-teaching Pinterest goal board come to life. But then there’s Greg, Josh’s friend who Rebecca should definitely end up with … or I mean, you should watch and form your own opinions.

For viewers who love psychological thrillers like Orphan Black, tech conspiracies, or handsome men who hate themselves: Mr. Robot

Seasons to catch up on: 2

Next season begins: 2017 (season 2 is in progress and ends later this month)

Why you should be watching: Like Orphan Black, I feel like you should¬†watch the pilot and second episode then just TRY to stop watching. There are a few plot twists and it is best to watch unspoiled, which is why you should begin the show now instead of waiting until Season 3. Besides, then you won’t need to wonder how¬†there are so many nominations for a USA show come Emmy night.

Largely spoiler free summary:¬†Rami Malek plays Elliot, a lonely hacker with some degree of mental illness, an omnipresent black hoodie, a mild but appealing lateral lisp, and a vendetta against E Corp (a global conglomorate responsible for his father’s death from cancer when Elliot was a child). Elliot¬†joins fsociety, a Coney Island-based hacker group that’s working to bring down E Corp. Standout characters¬†: fsociety leader Mr. Robot, acerbic hacker Darlene, and Elliot’s childhood friend Angela (who, along with Rebecca Bunch, is one of the only lady lawyers¬†on television who¬†seems¬†like a human).

For people who didn’t listen to us last year: Jane The Virgin

Seasons to catch up on: 2

Next Season Begins: October 2016

Why you should be watching: Last year, JTV was on our last-minute binge watching list with a caveat: we should have been watching it too, but we had to wait for season 1 to get to Netflix. Between then and now both of us have emerged from heavy JTV binges and are obsessed.

Jane The Virgin, like real telenovelas before it, rides the line between comedy and melodrama. The writing is sharp and the show is brilliantly styled, but the whole thing rests¬†on the endearing and spirited performance of Gina Rodriguez. Her Jane is nothing like the character I imagined when I heard the “virginal pregnant 20-something” descriptor. If the concept¬†sounded a little iffy to you, give it 2 episodes and prepare for¬†your mind to change.

As an aside, I “watched” the first 15 episodes while I was painting the downstairs of my house, so I actually listened like it was a¬†radio play. This show works perfectly for that viewing style if you have any big projects to tackle this fall (as long as you’re fluent in Spanish for the occasional captioned scene). Only downside: realizing half the characters look NOTHING like you imagined when you start watching for real.