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

Oh so we blocking? ūüėÖ #insecurehbo

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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

I NEED A FRIEND LIKE KELLI ūüíÄūüíÄūüíÄ #InsecureHBO

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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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Mandy Moore Monday: This Is Us

Have you guys heard about This Is Us? It’s like, really good.

But you already know that. Or someone has told you it’s really good. And today, I’m going to not only tell you about how good the show is, but how spectacular Mandy Moore is as the family matriarch. Why? Because it’s Mandy Moore Monday, of course!

A while back I kicked off the Mandy Moore Monday series, and by series, I mean this is only the second installment (did you miss my revisit to her severely underrated album Coverage?!). So why not shine a light on Mandy’s most recent star turn as Rebecca Pearson in this past TV season’s hit drama? Plus in full disclosure, we’re in the middle of Emmy nominations voting, so I figure we could at least give Mandy a little push for a nomination.

I think that it was easy for critics to brush Mandy off as not as serious actress back when she was younger, due to the whole pop star/Candy-ness of it all. I thought she was fantastic in A Walk To Remember, but that’s just a “movie for teenagers”. She got some street cred as a bitchy Christian school girl in Saved!, and perhaps the most successful film (and the one that’s gotten her the most residuals) is Tangled, and that just featured her voice. But with her first major TV drama (besides a fantastic/heartbreaking arc on Grey’s Anatomy), Mandy’s finally getting to show off her legit acting chops, and I could not be more proud. In This Is Us, she’s been able to prove she’s a dynamic actor, one who can let us watch Rebecca start off as a young woman not interested in kids, to a devoted mother, to a wife who wants to see what life would be like if she chased her dreams, to a widow just trying to stay connected with her kids.

Here are just a few reasons why Mandy Moore  should not only be praised on this MMM (Mandy Moore Monday), but hopefully come Emmy time, too.

When She Looked Good In Every Decade

Aging a young person isn’t easy, and if done wrong, it can look unbelievable. Perhaps most importantly, bad makeup takes the viewer out of the fictional world and into reality & endless criticism (def not talking about you, Deathly Hallows). Moreover, This Is Us requires a lot of emotional scenes, so if she’s put in makeup that doesn’t allow her to show every face acting emotion, it’s a maj fail. But Mandy’s makeup artist Zoe Hays made sure the goal wasn’t for Rebecca to just look old, but for her to simply look 30 years older. Helen Mirren, 71, served as Zoe’s inspiration for Rebecca’s sixty-something look, since she’s¬†a “sexy, mature woman and there’s never any doubt that she exudes that.” And together with Zoe, Mandy has done an excellent job in acting as Rebecca in her 30s, 40s, 50s & 60s, something that only a classic beauty and talented actress can pull off.

When She Finally Got To Sing

As someone who greatly enjoys Mandy’s voice and music career, obviously I was waiting for the writers to incorporate her singing into the show. And they did it in a smart way, by having Rebecca be an aspiring singer when she’s younger, but have put those dreams aside once the triplets come along. Of course, Mandy hits it out of the park when she takes the mic, and it means even more in the story when we find out that her voice is literally what brings her and Jack together in the first place.

When She Had Romantic Scenes With Milo

Ross and Rachel. Jim and Pam. Luke and Lorelai. Jack and Rebecca. These two will go down in TV history as one of the most beloved yet complex couples ever. And that has a lot to do with Mandy and Milo’s chemistry. When they were first announced as the co-stars in this show, I thought it was a no-brainer – so much so that I thought that they surely must’ve worked together before. Nope. In my head, it was Jess Mariano married to Jamie Sullivan and somehow that works. You can tell just by watching them in every scene that there’s an ease to their back-and-forth, and it particularly shows in their romantic scenes. There’s a real love there, not just Jack and Rebecca, but a mutual love and respect between Milo and Mandy that makes it so enjoyable to watch.

I stand in awe of this friend of mine. He is the ultimate partner in crime and he absolutely knocked it out of the park on every level in last night's finale. I am the luckiest. Can't believe we have 18 behind us and atleast 36 ahead, Mi. Wow. And for those somehow frustrated with the finale not revealing how Jack passed, I would encourage patience. Otherwise you might be watching the wrong show. Last night was fundamental to the bigger picture. The story deviated and ultimately landed on (I think) a more compelling question… what was the state of this relationship in the end? And as Milo so eloquently stated, let's focus on how the man lived! Stay tuned cause it's all leading somewhere and we're just getting started.

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When She Had Not-So-Romantic Scenes With Milo

And that chemistry works just as well when we see Jack and Rebecca hit their rough patch in the later years. I’m no actress, but I imagine the best comes out when you wholeheartedly trust your acting partner. Mandy and Milo not only have this connection as friends IRL, but they each have a personal relationship with their fictional personas. So in combining those two factors, you’re left with two humans who aren’t afraid to go all out and lay it all on the table in these heated scenes, adding that extra level of realness that can sometimes feel like we’re intruding on this couple’s intense arguments.

When She And Milo Made-Up

Back to the romantic thing because, honestly? OTP: I’m gonna be a 12 for you baby. #IShipJabecca

When She Had To Cry In Prosthetics

The situation Rebecca knowingly but herself in is a tricky one, and I feel like there’s no “right” way to go about telling your adopted son about his drugged out father. In this confrontation scene, Mandy has an excellent scene partner in Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, but it’s Mandy’s silent remorse realization she may have fucked up big time is what is the most impressive.

When Her Acting Partner Was A Fake Pregnant Stomach

Having a one-sided conversation with three babies is normal for pregnant women, but having a one-sided conversation with a large, prosthetic belly is a whole other thing. Mandy killed this monologue as a loving, regretful, hopeful, uncertain mom-to-be, who promised to do right by her kids. It’s not easy to convey all those different feelings in one monologue, but she delivers it in a subtle and moving way that as a viewer you can relate to, no matter if you’re a parent or not.

When She Was A Queen This Entire Episode

If she’s nominated, this better be the episode they submit. But in the meantime, just watch this again. The walk to the corner store though!

Best ___ Of 2016: Some Really Specific Superlatives

Well folks, here we are. The flaming dumpster fire that was 2016 is over, and we’re all here in 2017 hoping it can’t get worse than last year. But there were some good things that come out of 2016, and just like last year, we’re highlighting a few super specific things we loved from 2016, that don’t necessarily fit into any general Best of categories.

Best 2000s television reunion of 2016: Gilmore Girls

Ironically, Gilmore Girls¬†also made our Best of 2015 Superlatives list, but this time it’s for an entirely different reason. The show¬†made a big splash in pop culture ever since the revival was announced back in 2015, and¬†the hype was at a high this year, crawling back into the zeigesit in the weeks leading up to ThanksGilmore (we were guilty too). But as OG Gilmore fans, we had been waiting nine years to find out how Amy Sherman-Palladino wanted to end her series the way she truly wanted. When the four episodes dropped that fateful Friday, we were transported back into the world of all things Gilmore¬†– where the town weirdo runs a janky Ooober service,¬†the locals have to hide a secret bar from the selectman, and the phrase “I smell snow” elicits very real emotions that induce crying. For us, this feeling of comfort – of feeling back how in Stars Hollow – was what we wanted from the revival. While it did produce the perfect example of Your Fave Is Problematic #RoryGilmore, overall, we were so glad to have those adorable Gilmore girls back in our lives once again.

Best Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Cameo of 2016: Parenthood Cast (as a whole)

Speaking of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, there were many a cameo throughout all four mini-movies that made me squeal with glee. But none more so than three very special appearances from Lauren Graham’s other TV family, the Bravermans. First, we knew her Parenhootd daughter Mae Whitman was going to be in the revival, but seeing her interact with Lorelai Gilmore and not Sarah Braverman made our hearts explode, but the fact that she always interacted with Rory?! Our brains explode too. And then came summer, when I lit’rally screamed out loud after seeing Jason Ritter pop up as the park ranger. MARK CYR FOREVER AND ALWAYS. And THENNN Peter Krause aka Adam Braverman aka Mr. Lauren Graham as park ranger two?! I DIE. I DIED. Thanks, 2016.

Best Ham4Ham performance of 2016: The Hamilton Mixtape

I feel like it’s unfair to call this a #Ham4Ham, but the Hamilton officials called it that, so we’ll go with it. HamFams have been waiting about a year to hear the mixtape that Lin had been promising, and boy it did not disappoint. In the most epic release party, they held a #Ham4Ham inside the Richard Rodgers, with a few artists from the mixtape doing live performances of their Hamilton covers. AND it was live streamed for the interwebs. The Roots, Regina Spektor, Andra Day and Ashanti and Ja Rule + more – it was “LIT AF” as the kids say. I got emotional (like I usually do) watching it, realizing that this joining of forces between contemporary artists singing Broadway covers on a Broadway stage opens the doors for so many more people to be introduced to theater in a brand new way. It’s the way life and art should be – accessible and enjoyed by every one.

Best Hamilton Happy Trails of 2016: July 9th, 2016

Hamilton may have opened in 2015,¬†but it reached a fever pitch in 2016. A month after winning 11 Tonys, four¬†of the OG cast members, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ariana DeBose and the maestro himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda, took their final bows. Saying goodbye to one OBC actor is hard enough, but four is even more difficult if you’re HamilTrash. Luckily, a live stream was provided and we were able to watch as their tears synced with our own. The kicker? Alex Lacamoire stealthily adding in The West Wing theme for number one fan Lin (I lit’rally just rewatched that on mute and I’m STILL crying over Chris Jackson pushing Lin back out to take his own bow).

Best Beyonce Live Performance of 2016: MTV VMAs

Beyonce was one of the shining lights of 2016 thanks to her kind of surprise album drop with Lemonade, but what made it epic was the entire HBO movie special she made as a vehicle for the new music. After going on her Formation tour (equally epic), she blessed us with a 20 minute performance of Lemonade on the VMAs. God. Is. Good.

Best Michelle Obama Speech of 2016: Democratic National Convention

We’re really going to miss all the Obamas, but Michelle has been such an inspiration to all women (and humans) during her reign as first lady. She is poised, classy, articulate, smart, compassionate, caring, funny, etc. etc. And while giving her speech at the DNC this summer to show support for HRC, she yet again left us in awe and tears, but mostly left us with something to aspire to – when they go low, we go high.

Best Carpool Karaoke of 2016: Adele

In what is arguably his best carpool karaoke yet, James Corden’s ride along with Adele has raked in over 143 million views since it was released last January, and it’s obvious why. Maybe because I’ve accounted for at least 43 million of those? Nah, probs because Adele is a badd ass bitch who raps Nick Minaj better than Nicki Minaj.

Best Political SNL Sketch of 2016: Hallelujah

The Worst Week of 2016 aka Election Week ended with the great Leonard Cohen dying (because #2016), and in what was reminiscent of the way they handled the first ep back after 9/11, SNL knew exactly how to bring meloncholy and levity to homes across the U.S., by having the wonderful Kate McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton, sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Cue the tears.

Honorable Mentions: Melaniade, Hillary Actually, Voters for Trump, Black Jeopardy with Tom Hanks, A Day Off (KellyAnne Conway)

Best SNL Non-Political Sketch of 2016: Haunted Elevator

Any questions?

Honorable Mentions: Christmas Candle, Crucible Cast Party, Wells for Boys, Tidal, Supermarket Spree (Cut for Time Рft. host Melissa McCarthy)

Best Mannequin Challenge of 2016: Black Lives Matter

I’m over the mannequin challenge (I was never under it), but this one was worth all the other silliness from everyone else.

Best Obama Girls Moment Of 2016: The Ryan Reynolds Double Thumbs Up

In this moment, I am somehow able to imagine what it would be like to be both a teenager attending my first state dinner and talking with a handsome male movie star, and the big sister of a teenager attending her first state dinner and talking with a handsome male movies star. Meet our era’s Schuyler sisters.

Best Bill Clinton Moment of 2016: Bill and Balloons

Forget what came after for a moment and just focus on Bill Clinton, the man who served as leader of the free world for eight years, still getting a kick out of balloons … and even more of a kick out of his wife’s presidential bid.

Honorable Mention: When you could see Bill mouth the words “that’s my girl” during Hillary’s concession speech, or his death grip on Chelsea’s husband during Chelsea’s speech at the DNC. You know what? They’re all winners.

Best Olympics Moment of 2016: Michael Phelps’ One Last Timerio-olympics-michael-phelps-39d4425bd7852cb5

It feels like so long ago now, but 2016 was a Summer Olympics year, our favorite TV/sporting spectacle and feel-good obsession. Nobody made us prouder to be Americans that golden boy Michael Phelps, who did his last Olympics right by earning his 23rd gold medal.

Honorable Mentions: So many! The Final Five’s overall brilliance – how much do we love Simone and Laurie?! – and Katie Ledecky’s astonishing performance, and the US and NZ runners who helped each other finish after crashing on the track … we could keep going.

Best children’s movie for adults of 2016: Zootopia

Zootopia was great: funny, clever, touching, and with a really beautiful and necessary message. I went with kids, but I would have gone as a single adult just as proudly.

Honorable Mention: The Secret Life Of Pets

Best new Netflix series Рdrama of 2016: Stranger Things

Stranger Things gripped audiences nationwide with its loving tribute to the 80s horror/children’s adventure film, but it did it in a singularly modern way as a short, streaming series. The series spawned memes, catchphrases, national sweethearts (Barb!), a whole lot of Halloween costumes, and the coolest troop of child actors around.

Honorable Mentions: The OA (possibly my best, but I’m only halfway through it); The Get Down

Best new Netflix series Рdocumentary of 2016: 13th

It’s not exactly a secret that Ava Duvernay is a fantastic filmmaker, but she did something really special with 13th. She took an issue most Americans who are paying attention already knew about – the consistent and disproportional incarceration of black men used as a type of modern servitude in the prison industrial complex – and presented it in a clear, gripping, impossible-to-ignore way.

Best New TV Series That Your Mom Would Like Too of 2016: This Is Us

We love This Is Us. So do most of our friends (30-somethings). So do a lot of older baby boomers we know. This series appeals to the nostalgia of young(-ish) adults who grew up in the 70s – ¬†90s, as well as their parents who were raising kids at that time. It’s not a cheap nostalgia trip, though. This Is Us is a relatable and incredibly touching family story for anyone who has siblings, or parents, or feelings. Plus, let’s not forget how they hooked us all in with that twist in the pilot.

Best Silly Meme of 2016: Arthur Fist 

Speaking of relatable, Arthur’s balled-up fist is relevant to as¬†many life situations in 2016 as it was when you¬†were 10.

Golden Globes 2017 ‚Äď Best Dressed

Annddd we’re back! Not only with new content for 2017, but content that includes our annual kick off to awards season with the Golden Globes! Last night saw some good times (Meryl Streep! Donald Glover!) and bad times (y’all see Hidden Fences?), but as always, we kept an eye on the fashion. Here are some of our faves from the 2017 Golden Globes.

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Emma Stone in Valentino Haute Couture

Every year, we debate over contributing our true top picks and making sure that we don't have any repeats because there are plenty of gorgeous gowns to go around. And just about every year, we end up with one gown that neither of us can, in good conscience, leave off of our list. This time it's Emma Stone, a city of stars unto herself. I love the soft champagne color, the crenelated skirt (so 20s and 30s! so perfect for this role, in particular), and the understated hair, makeup and jewelry. Emma almost always makes our best list, and I'm thrilled she'll be on every red carpet this year because I think she's positively refreshing, both in her exquisite fashion picks and in her laid-back but kind personality.

Every year, we debate whether to¬†contribute our true top picks or make sure that we don’t have any repeats, because there are plenty of gorgeous gowns to go around. And just about every year, we end up with one gown that neither of us can, in good conscience, leave off of our list. This time it’s Emma Stone, a city of stars unto herself. I love the soft champagne color, the crenelated skirt (so 20s and 30s! so perfect for this role, in particular), and the understated hair, makeup and jewelry. Emma almost always makes our best list, and I’m thrilled she’ll be on every red carpet this year because I think she’s positively refreshing, both in her exquisite fashion picks and in her laid-back but kind personality.

 

Natalie Portman in Prada

While my picks after Emma Stone follow in no particular order, I had to make sure Natalie Portman was on my best dressed list somewhere, if only because I was a bit confused by the dislike for this gown. Maternity fashion is tricky: go to bulky and you'll just look oddly shaped instead of pregnant; some go all the way the other direction but I always find skin-tight or crop-tops on pregnant woman to look uncomfortable. I like that Natalie chose a middle approach: tailored, crisp and cheerful, with a 60s boatneck vibe as a tribute to the one and only Jackie O. The feathery beading and midi sleeves made this feel like something I'd imagine a pregnant Audrey Hepburn wearing - or Jackie, of course.

While my picks after Emma Stone follow in no particular order, I had to make sure Natalie Portman was on my best dressed list somewhere, if only because I was a bit confused by the distaste for this gown. Maternity fashion is tricky: go too bulky and you’ll just look oddly shaped instead of pregnant; some go all the way the other direction but I always find skin-tight or crop-tops on pregnant woman to look uncomfortable. I like that Natalie chose a middle approach: tailored, crisp and cheerful, with a 60s-style boatneck as a tribute to the one and only Jackie O. The feathery beading and midi sleeves made this feel like something I’d imagine a pregnant Audrey Hepburn wearing – or Jackie, of course.

 

Donald Glover in Gucci

What I love: the brown velvet is such a beautifully smooth color that you could almost dive into it like melted chocolate. Also, Donald manages - at the same time - to look both like an old-school debonair gentleman, and a walking huggable teddy bear. This suit is a reminder that you don't have to go all the way to patterns or beading to explore a statement beyond the classic black tux. Plus that burgandy bow tie?! This is one of the biggest nights in Donald's career, and I just love that he is dressed for it.

What I love: the brown velvet is such a beautifully smooth color that you could almost dive into it like melted chocolate. Also, Donald manages – at the same time – to look both like an old-school debonair gentleman, and a walking huggable teddy bear. This suit is a reminder that you don’t have to go all the way to patterns or beading to explore a statement beyond the classic black tux. Plus that burgundy bow tie?! This is one of the biggest nights in Donald’s career, and I just love that he is dressed for it.

Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad Couture

We all love a simple black dress, but I also love when celebs take the red carpet invitation to seriously go for it. Stunning embroidery, piles of fabric, and an almost Victorian feel that's modernized by that fantastic neckline. Pair it with Lily's signature bold eyebrows and a red lip, and the look keep from going to

We all like a simple black dress, but I also love when celebs take the red carpet invitation to seriously go for it. Stunning embroidery, piles of fabric, and an almost Victorian feel that’s modernized by that fantastic neckline. Pair it with Lily’s signature bold eyebrows and a red lip, and the look keep from going to “80s bridesmaid” and lands in “coolest modern debutante on the block.”

Viola Davis in Michael Kors Collection

Viola Davis is flawless in everything, from Fences (SEE IT), to introductory speeches (I repeat my request that she make radio speeches weekly for the next 4 years to keep us steady), to this one-shoulder canary yellow gown. You can seldom go wrong pairing a vibrant color with a streamlined style and beautiful - but minimal - accessories. Also it would be a crime to cover up those arms.

Viola Davis is flawless in everything, from Fences (SEE IT), to introductory speeches (I repeat my request that she make radio speeches weekly for the next 4 years to keep us steady), to this one-shoulder canary yellow gown. You can seldom go wrong pairing a vibrant color with a streamlined style and beautiful – but minimal – accessories. Also it would be a crime to cover up those arms.

Millie Bobby Brown in Jenny Packham

This makes my list because it's fun, it's glitzy, it fits perfectly, and it's wonderfully age-appropriate. I'm dying a bit over the sheer layer at the hemline and all that beading, not to mention the sweet sandal-style heels. I'm typically not into tea length dresses on adults on the red carpet (though there are exceptions), but it's the perfect way for a child to look dressed up without looking like they're, well, playing dress-up as an adult.

This makes my list because it’s fun, it’s glitzy, it fits perfectly, and it’s wonderfully age-appropriate. I’m dying a bit over the sheer layer at the hemline and all that beading, not to mention the sweet sandal-style heels. I’m typically not into tea length dresses on adults on the red carpet (though there are exceptions), but it’s the perfect way for a child to look dressed up without looking like they’re, well, playing dress-up as an adult.

Traci’s Picks

Emma Stone in Valentino Haute Couture

For the first major awards show of the season, it’s only fitting the La La Land star picked a gown that features silver stars, since, ya know City of Stars and whatnot. Love the light pink color too – the stars are enough ‘bling’, and any other bright color would’ve been too much.

Mandy Moore in Naeem Kahn

God I am so glad Mandy Moore is back looking glam on red carpets where she belongs. Despite the fact she didn’t go home with a trophy, she’s still dressed like a winner in this gorgeous dress. Plunging necklines were a trend this year, and Mandy killed it. I also love the faux cape and sheer material that gives it another sexy edge for a full length gown.

Gina Rodriguez in Naeem Kahn

If I were Gina Rodriguez, I would spend the entire night shimmying left and right to get those beads movin like a 1920s flapper. She looks amazing from head to toe, and is working it like the true star she is.

Felicity Huffman in Georges Chakra

You can't really tell in this photo, but those are pants. And Felicity gave a simple explanation as to why she skipped a gown this year, and it's why she deserves a spot on the best dressed list (it's also v pretty).

If you¬†can’t really tell in this photo, those are pants. And Felicity gave a simple explanation as to why she skipped a gown this year, and it’s why she deserves a spot on the best dressed list (it’s also v pretty). “I got a pantsuit in honor of Hillary. Love you, Hillary. I‚Äôm with her.‚ÄĚ {x}

Issa Rae in Christian Siriano

Insecure is still on my To Watch list, but I really like Issa Rae based on interviews alone. And as a first-time nominee, she fits right in with this sleek Christian Siriano gown. Also, please note her flawless skin. It’s unreal.

Milo Ventimiglia in Ralph Lauren

That is Milo Ventimiglia and this is us saying goodbye to the #GoldenGlobes. ‚ú®ūüĎč

A post shared by E! News (@enews) on

MILO. VENTIMIGLIA. IS. A. SMOKESHOW.

Sterling K. Brown in Kenneth Cole and Ryan Michelle Bathe in David Meister

photo-jan-08-11-34-37-pmDo yourself a favor and follow Sterling K. Brown on social media if you don’t already. Today’s Insta story featured him getting ready with his wife (also on This Is Us!) and they are #couplegoals AF. I mean look at these two hotties – his blue suit and her amazing pink sequined gown?! This is a screenshot of a boomerang and it doesn’t even do them justice. Neither does the screenshot below of Sterling’s time lapse of him putting his clothes on…
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It’s 2016: Let’s All Decorate Like It’s 1979!

::SPOILER WARNING: If you have not watched the pilot of¬†This Is Us yet, and you plan to do so, stop reading now and go to your nearest Hulu account or On Demand platform. We’ll still be here when you get back. ::

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¬†Did anyone else watch the This Is Us pilot with no idea of the twist — or that there even would be a twist in the first place? It’s a show¬†about different people who were born on the same day and are turning 36 years old during the pilot. The conceit: the people are twins Kevin and Kate, their brother Randall who was adopted after Kevin and Kate’s triplet brother was stillborn, and the siblings’ father Jack. You watch the whole pilot thinking the characters are all contemporaries until the camera pulls back and you realized that Jack and Rebecca’s story is taking place in 1979, and he is the father of Kevin, Kate and Randall. You wouldn’t think that it would work, but it does.

The reason? Hipsters. Jack and Rebecca’s story takes place in their new home and in a hospital maternity ward. Anyone who’s been to visit a new baby recently knows that hospital decor is frozen sometime around 1972. As for the home, if you follow decorating websites and magazines, you will recognize that the hottest trend for hip 20- and 30-something professionals is to decorate like they’re in¬†Pittsburgh in 1979. There’s stark white mixed with dark wood, orangey and earthy accents, and a whole lot of DIY-looking crafts. Can you blame me for not realizing that Jack and Rebecca’s story took place 37 years ago?

For a little context, my parents got married in 1975 and their first child was born in 1978. Like most couples, they acquired a lot of their decor in the first years of their marriage. I’m child number 4, born in 1986. The burnt orange carpeting, dark plaid sofa and geese in flight that my mom was carting off to Goodwill in the ’90s were all the same features you’d see in Jack and Rebecca’s home. They’re also the same features you’d see on Apartment Therapy and Dwell today – so maybe my parents should have suffered through 20 years of being unfashionable and waited for it to all come back around again.

Usually we time travel during our Let’s All Decorate posts, exploring trends like geese in bonnets or sponge-painting. This time we’re doing something a little different: it’s 2016 and we’re decorating a hipster haven …¬†in the spirit of the late ’70s, the most hipster era of them all.

Macrame

Then: The hippie DIY craze was going strong and people were looking for a fresh way, other than paintings and photographs, to add some interest and texture to their walls.

Now: Literally just replace hippie with hipster. There are ‘wall hangings’ that are basically macrame everywhere from West Elm to Target to Etsy.


 Big Graphic Wallpaper

Then: The psychadelic late ’60s led into a more peace-and-love floral look in the ’70s, and the result was giant, bold patterns on walls.

Now: Although big, loud patterns are definitely in vogue – usually you’d call them “statement” now – they’re often paired with an otherwise calm color scheme so they really “pop.”


Plush Rugs

Then: The first big household project I remember, c. 1990, was my mom ripping out the orange shag wall-to-wall carpeting that basically sold my childhood home for my parents when they were 20-something househunters in 1979 (to reveal gleaming 1920s hardwoods, naturally).

Now:¬†After years of low-pile, berber-style carpet, things have taken a turn. But don’t expect to see ’70s-style fitted carpets – now it’s more like a funky, comfy rug tossed across bare wood floors.


Dark Wood Cabinets

Then:¬†If you’ve bought or renovated a 1960s – early 1980s house, there’s an excellent chance you’ve had to contend with the dull, dark-finish wood that ensconced cabinets during that time.

Now: After a late 80s through early 2000s flirtation with light oak and pine, darker woods are back. Unlike the ’70s, a glossier finish is in style.


Natural Elements

Then: We may associate the hippies with the late ’60s in popular culture, but a flip through a family photo album will tell you that the love for mother earth extended into the decorating styles of the ’70s and early ’80s. Natural stone, water features and big houseplants were especially groovy (NB: I’m told that hardly anyone actually said ‘groovy.’

Now:¬†Look at any bespoke house in Dwell or Houzz and you’ll see that letting the outside in is a modern priority, too. Skylights and local stone are all things homeowners are wishing they hadn’t ripped out in the 90s.


Afghans

Then: The DIY craze hit the blanket industry hard and granny squares were too cool.

Now: They better be cool again because this is my living room (see sofa).

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Upcycling

Then: Yep, this started as a ’70s fad. The economy wasn’t doing so hot, and homeowners were getting creative. Popular projects included turning things into lamps, incorporating old whiskey barrels and wagon wheels into outdoor decorating, and creating planters out of EVERYTHING.

Now: Maybe it’s the economy, maybe it’s just homeowners¬†following the adages to “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” and “reduce, reuse, recycle” – either way, there are thousands of tutorials out there to create a garden bench from an old crib, a table from a suitcase or a bedside table from a TV case. Again, I HOPE this is cool, because this is my bed with a barn door from the 1800s as a headboard:

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Color

Then: I think the 1970s are unfairly maligned as a¬†decade with no taste. Sure, things got garish for a while, but after the sleek midcentury modernism and colonial revivals of the past decades, it’s nice that decorators were playing and having fun. Nowhere was that more evident in the uses of color. Lots of it. On things like appliances, even.

Now: We circled back to beige and taupe for a while, but unless you’re staging your house to sell it’s actually cool to have lots of bright color again. (Or… I hope so, because you saw those pictures of my house.)

Ranking The New Crop of TV Shows: Fall 2016 Edition

It’s well known we’re currently living in the Golden Age of Television, inundated with just way too much great TV. It’s honestly such a burden, I don’t know how any of us make it through the day. So with our precious time at stake, we have to skim the fat and decide which shows are worth our time. This problem is even more prominent in the fall when a whole new crop of programs come into our lives vying for our love and affection. Luckily, with every¬†new batch of freshman shows, there’s always ones that turn out to be the next Jane the Virgin and ones that will probably end up being more like¬†Wicked City. Exactly. So we’re here to help you decide which shows to let into your life¬†and which ones you can do without.

Definitely Watch This

This Is Us

What: A drama about a loosely connected group of people (think Crash, Love Actually) who were all born on the same day. Fills the character-driven, life-affirming drama spot vacated by the likes of Parenthood and Friday Night Lights.

Why: So I got to see the first episode¬†a couple months ago and I think it’s maybe the best pilot I’ve ever seen? Including Friday Night Lights? I laughed. I cried. I gasped. I screamed. I cried again. It’s everything that you want in a Parenthood/FNL-type show and more.¬†When the trailer was released during upfront week in May, it made history when it was viewed over 15 million times in a little over 48 hours on Facebook. And all those people better tune in come September 20th. On top of it being a well written and unique show, it features Milo Ventimiglia & Mandy Moore as new parents, the dude from Passions and Chrissy Metz as twins, and The People Vs OJ Simpson’s Sterling K. Brown making you¬†wonder why he isn’t more popular yet again. Seriously, you’re going to be missing out at 11:01pm if you don’t watch live. I have a feeling it’s going to be trending on Twitter. And in a good way.

When: Tuesday, September 20th @ 10pm on NBC

The Good Place

What:¬†Centers on a woman (Kristen Bell) who was killed and wakes up in the afterlife aka The Good Place.¬†She’s stuck in a world where everyone is nice, and she’s caught¬†between staying in The Good Place or trying to find a way to return to the mundane life she had back on Earth.

Why: Do you miss Parks and Rec? Love Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Like comedy? Mike Schur, the creator of both those shows, has created The Good Place, which is the right place for you. It’s one of the most promising new shows with the best people starring in it – Kristen Bell and our 80s/90s crush Ted Danson. Plus, we know the writing will be up to par based on Schur’s resume alone, so all these things make for a series that’s¬†better than good.

When: Monday, September 19th @10pm on NBC

Maybe Watch This

Pitch

What: Centers on a young female pitcher (Kylie Bunbury) who defies the odds when she becomes the first woman to play in the major leagues.

Why: Can you believe a woman can be a baseball player? CRAZY, right? Well you better buckle up, skeptical men, because it’s gonna happen and it’s gonna be great. In this fictional world, we get to see the drama behind the woman, and I am here for it. Especially since Mark-Paul Gosselaar is in it. God bless you, preppy.

When: Thursday, September 22nd @9pm on FOX

Atlanta

What: Centers on an ambitious college drop-out and his estranged cousin, who suddenly becomes a star in¬†the Atlanta rap scene. Donald Glover, who created, executive produces and stars in the show, jokingly described it as¬†“Twin Peaks for black people”.

Why: If you’ve ever seen him do stand-up or listened to Childish Gambino, Donald Glover has always had a unique voice that’s not really anything similar to what others are putting out in the world. Enter Atlanta. If you’re looking for Community 2.0, I don’t think this will be your answer, but I imagine it will be as well-written as the first few seasons of Community, but with, you know, more substance. Also, Donald Glover needs us to do this for him. He’s given so much to us, it’s the least we can do.

When: Tuesday, September 6th @ 10pm on FX

Designated Survivor

What: A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession.

Why: Although the concept sounds a LITTLE like ABC Drama Word Soup (Cabinet! President! Catastrophe! Lines of Succession!), the trailer is solid and, if Scandal and The West Wing has taught us anything, it’s that presidential dramas make for great television.

When: Wednesday, September 21st @ 10pm on ABC

Lethal Weapon

What: Based on the feature film of the same name, Lethal Weapon centers on a Texas cop/former Navy SEAL suffers the loss of his wife and baby and he moves to LA for a new life. He gets paired up with¬†Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans Sr.), who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life. Comedy and action ensue.

Why: TBH, I’ve never even seen any of the Lethal Weapon movies. But this trailer actually appeals to me for some reason? Maybe it’s because I have nothing to compare it to, but on its own, the story looks compelling, so why not try it out?

When: Wednesday, September 21st @ 8pm on FOX

Frequency and Timeless

What: Two shows built around the concept of time travel.

Why: I’ve been obsessed with time travel since I read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine in fourth grade – but with such similar concepts and with two OTHER time travel shows set to premier mid-season, these shows will¬†have to duke it out for a spot on our schedule.¬†Here’s what we’re looking at:

  • Frequency – a police detective communicates with her father, who died in 1996, via radio
  • Timeless – a criminal steals a time machine to ruin America; other time travelers have to go stop him.

Check back in January when we introduce Making History and Time After Time, the midseason replacement time travel programs. Too much of a good thing, perhaps?

When: Frequency – Wednesday, October 5 on the CW; Timeless – Monday, October 3 @ 10pm on NBC

Pure Genius

What: A tech billionaire and a surgeon team up to build a hospital that uses innovative technology and doesn’t burden the patients with sky-high bills. Believe it or not, it is not billed as a fantasy (can we¬†get an ‘amen’ from anyone who got a surprise ER bill recently?).

Why: The concept doesn’t grab me right away, but the show was created by Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and we will watch anything he creates or produces because he has earned it. This man gave us Tim Riggins, Tami Taylor and the Bravermans; we can give him an hour of our time.

When: Thursday, October 27 @ 10pm on CBS

Speechless

What: A middle-class family moves to an affluent area to provide better opportunities for son JJ, who has cerebral palsy and is nonverbal.

Why: Some of the ABC Wednesday Night Family Sitcom Lineup (modern TGIF, basically) is very good; some of it is mediocre. This show has potential to be one of the better ones; besides, there aren’t enough characters or actors with disabilities on television and when one comes around, we like to give it the benefit of our viewership numbers.

When: Wednesday, September 21 @ 8:30pm on ABC

The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey

What: A six-hour docuseries about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey and the theories about who killed her.

Why: Between Serial and Making A Murderer, true crime is having a moment. There are several JonBenet documentaries leading up to the 20th anniversary of her death (CBS and A&E series, a Lifetime movie, and ID and Dateline NBC specials), but with a full-scale replica of the Ramsey home and six hours to devote to all of the theories and loose ends, this one is our pick. Also, we need you to watch so we have somebody to discuss our 20-year-old suspicions with.

When: Sunday, September 18 @ 8:30PM.

Don’t Waste Your Time

Kevin Can Wait

What: It’s like¬†CBS bingo: Kevin James. Cop. Family life. Skinny wife.

Why: See Above.

When: Monday, September 19 @ 8:30pm on CBS

The Great Indoors

What: Joel McHale works with millennials in some kind of internet office

Why: Look. This was on our “maybe” list until I watched the trailer. It’s all “millennials love the internet and texting and vocal fry” jokes, with a side of “gay joke where the whole punchline is just that a person is gay and another person said it.” Basically The Big Bang Theory with hipsters instead of nerds.

When: Thursday, October 27 @ 8:30pm on CBS

MacGyver

What: A reboot of MacGyver.

Why: I’m just not confident that¬†anyone who wants this is still alive.

When: Friday, September 23 @ 8pm on CBS

Basically Anything On CBS

What: Most of the shows on CBS

Why: Remember when CBS had the reputation as the Grandma channel (Touched By An Angel, Dr.¬†Quinn, Everybody Loves Raymond), and then they¬†went after suburbanites with their Fat Guy/Skinny Wife lineup, and then they redeemed themselves with How I Met Your Mother, and then they completely betrayed our trust with that finale? They’re going to have to earn it back, and that hasn’t happened yet.

When: Monday-Friday @ 8pm – 11pm on CBS

Fall 2016 TV Rookies To Watch

It’s day two of Back To TV Week, and just like Back To School week, there are plenty of new and wonderful people to meet! After a few lean years, the 2016 fall tv schedule is jam-packed with new series that we can’t wait to watch – and although tv will always have a bit of gimmicky stunt casting, many of this year’s most anticipated shows star relative newcomers and unknowns. Our picks for the fall 2016 TV rookies to watch include some actors who are almost brand-new to the industry and others who have been around for decades. They all have one thing in common: none has household name recognition right now, but they’re all talented and poised for success – our predictions for the rookies of the year.

Chrissy Metz {This Is Us}

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Previous Work: American Horror Story, Huge, My Name Is Earl, Entourage

Why You Should Watch Her: Chrissy’s character Kate is going into her 36th birthday not in the best of spirits, as she’s plagued by doubts of self-esteem, appearance and a general ‘what the fuck am I¬†doing with my life’ feeling. AKA what everyone feels. Chrissy plays the part with honesty and a genuine spirit that makes your heart break for her, and root for her success as the show goes on.

When You Can Watch Her: Tuesday, September 20th @ 10pm on NBC

Kylie Bunbury {Pitch}

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Previous Work: Under the Dome, Tut, Twisted, The Sitter

Why You Should Watch Her: There’s a lot of weight on your shoulders if you’re the first female pitcher in the MLB. But there’s also a lot of weight on your shoulders if you play the first female pitcher in the MLB on TV. Kylie not only had to zero in on her baseball skills, but give depth to her performance outside of the mound, and it looks like she’s doing just that.

When You Can Watch Her: Thursday, September 22nd @ 9pm on FOX

D’Arcy Carden {The Good Place}

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Previous Work: Broad City, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Inside Amy Schumer, CollegeHumor videos, The To-Do List, UCB, Twitter

Why You Should Watch Her: She is funny. She’s a UCB performer who I know of because of her hilarious tweets and random podcast appearances, like on the Gilmore Guys. For some reason, if someone like D’Arcy or Ben Schwartz or DC Pierson (all Internet folk who I’ve seen at UCB), get a great gig in a movie or major TV show, I root for them as if we’re friends. We’ve never met. She has no idea who I am. I just know I’ve laughed at her, and in the good way. And The Good Place is a very good place to start.

When You Can Watch Her: Monday, September 19th @10pm on NBC

Micah Fowler {Speechless}

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Previous Work: Labor Day

Why You Should Watch Him: Hollywood doesn’t have a great track record for developing complex, layered characters who have disabilities – and it has an even worse track record for casting¬†actors with disabilities to play those characters. Yet¬†Speechless includes both¬†a ‘Wednesday ABC sitcom’ premise (Minnie Driver plays the mom of a family moving from a middle-class area to a tonier town), and¬†a¬†character, JJ, who¬†has¬†cerebral palsy and is nonverbal. Based on the trailers and pilot reviews, Fowler, who has cerebral palsy himself, plays JJ¬†with a lot of¬†warmth and enthusiasm – no simple acting gig for an 18-year-old in his breakout role.

When You Can Watch Him: Wednesday, September 21 @ 8:30pm on ABC

Brian Tyree Henry {Atlanta}

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Previous Work: Vice Principals, The Knick, Boardwalk Empire

Why You Should Watch Him: If the three names didn’t tip you off, Brian Tyree Henry¬†comes to the tv world¬†by way of Broadway (The Book of Mormon) – and that’s after earning an MFA from Yale. In¬†his off time, Henry likes to collect pins – so he’s adorable, too. You¬†would¬†expect someone playing a rapper to be well-versed in hip hop, it’s still a lot of fun to see him discuss the genre.¬†We always have a soft spot for Broadway actors, but something tells us we won’t be the only ones talking about Brian Tyree Henry in a few weeks.

When You Can Watch Him: Tuesday, September 6 @ 10pm on FX

Pamela Adlon {Better Things}

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Previous Work: Louie, Californication,

Why You Should Watch Her: Pamela Adlon is very much NOT a TV Rookie – except, as we discussed above, we think this role may mark a turning point in her public career.¬†90s kids will know Pamela’s voice¬†from Recess (Spinelli), King of the Hill (Bobby) and Pepper Ann (Moose), and comedy fans will recognize her from Louie, where she’s proven to be a natural at the understated, non-hammy genre of offbeat sitcoms. Like Louie – on which Adlon was a recurring character and consulting producer – Better Things is loose, observant and semi-autographical (Adlon is also a creator and executive producer on the project).

When You Can Watch Her: Thursday, September 8 @ 10pm on FX

2016 Unofficial Guide to Your New TV Addictions

If you’re a TV nerd, May is quite an exciting time. Current shows are wrapping up and rolling¬†out their season finales, but networks are also announcing what they’re canceling¬†and what they’re picking up so we can be addicted to brand new shows come fall. This year, ABC decided¬†to Game of Thrones their line-up (did I even use that ref correctly) and axed a bunch of shows, NBC and FOX surprised us with a lot of promising pilots and CBS continued to be CBS-y and very white male-y.¬†So in this “Golden Age of Television”, it’s of utmost import to be more selective than usual when it comes to picking up new shows, which is why I’ve compiled this handy guide to help you on your travels. Here are my picks for the most appealing new shows coming this fall (and midsesason) so you don’t have to waste your time on shows that will only last a few eps and get canceled right away.

The Comedies

The Good Place

Thursdays, 8:30pm ‚Äʬ†NBC

The Good Place was created by Michael Schur of Parks and Rec, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Office fame, and I feel like that should be enough for you to watch this. But if you still need more, it also stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson (our new #MCE). More? It’s written by a lot of the same writers from Parks. More? It’s features¬†Kristen Bell as a woman who died and went to The Good Place (as opposed to The Bad Place), and now she’s living in a perfect world where she’s wrestling with¬†what it means to be “good”. More? Ugh, stop being a dumb bench and watch the darn thing.

Making History

*Midseason* Sundays, 8:30pm ‚Äʬ†FOX

Oh Adam Pally. Ever since you walked into our lives as Max in Happy Endings, I never wanted you to leave. He had a great run on The Mindy Project, but he’s definitely making a splash with his own series, Making History. Written by the dudes who brought you 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie, it centers around three friends who “find a way to travel through time for truth, justice and riches, which complicates their lives in 2016. They visit some of the greatest moments of the past as they try to resolve their personal problems, while history and pop culture comically collide.” Also, Leighton Meester is in it and the complete opposite of Blair Waldorf. It’s great.

Lethal Weapon

Wedensdays, 8:00pm ‚Äʬ†FOX

I’ve never actually seen the OG Lethal Weapon movies (I know), but if they’re anything like the trailer for the TV adaptation, I’m here for it. Technically, it seems like the show is more in the dramedy category,¬†but much like Season 1 of Orange is the New Black, I’m lumping it in the comedy section. Anyways, much like the movie franchise, it follows cops Riggs and Murtaugh who work for the LAPD. Former Navy SEAL Riggs (Clayne Crawford) recently lost his wife and unborn child, while Murtaugh (Damon Wayans Sr.) is back in the saddle after a near-fatal heart attack. I admit this isn’t the type of show I’d usually put on my radar, but I was sucked in by the trailer from the first second.

Honorable Mentions

Great News (NBC) {Midseason} – Much like Mike Schur or Shonda Rhimes, I will follow Tina Fey where ever she leads. This time, she’s reunited with 30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield (they won an Emmy together!), who created and wrote the pilot, in addition to being an EP. It centers around a millennial woman whose mother (played by My Big Fat Greek Wedding aunt Andrea Martin) gets a job as an intern at the same cable network¬†she works at. I also managed to see the trailer for Great News and it feels like Tracey’s voice – a mix of 30 Rock with The Mindy Project, where she was a writer and actress, playing¬†Adam Pally’s new wife Lauren. There were some LOL lines in the trailer¬†AND surprise – Horatio Sanz is in it!

Powerless (NBC) – {Midseason} Powerless is technically a workplace comedy – except that workplace is an insurance company within the universe of DC Comics. It centers on claims adjustors played by Vanessa Hudgens and Danny Pudi, among others, and how they deal with situations like if Batman ruined a Forever 21 at the mall while saving a little girl, and they have to deal with the aftermath. I managed to see a leaked trailer for the show (which has now been taken down) and¬†it looks like it should be on CW or NBC in the era of Heroes. However, I love BBV with Danny Pudi and it’s a great high concept show that could find a big audience.

Imaginary Mary (ABC) {Midseason} – TBH I didn’t expect the trailer to be as intriguing as it was. Imaginary Mary stars Jenna Elfman as a career woman who meets the love of her life, who happens to be a divorced father with three kids. To help her navigate the transition, her childhood imaginary friend pops up, and she’s voiced by the one and only Rachel Dratch. It seems quirky enough that it might be charming, however it could go the way of The Goldbergs (currently in its 3rd season) or Trophy Wife (RIP). Sidenote: I didn’t realize it was created by Adam F. Goldberg who legit created The Goldbergs, so this will probably be a hit hahaaha

The Dramas

This Is Us

Tuesdays, 9:00pm ‚Äʬ†NBC

Out of all the new crop of shows, I am the most excited about This Is Us. And I’m not the only one. The trailer for this show has been viewed over 15 million times in a little over 48 hours on Facebook – it’s the most watched¬†new-show trailer ever uploaded during upfront week. The previous record was CW’s Legends of Tomorrow which hit 4.1 million last year. In full disclosure I feel at least 7 million views is from me. Needless to say, people are liking it. And what’s great about it is that while it does star B-list actors like Milo Ventimiglia (<3) and Mandy Moore (<3) and Sterling Brown from The People v. OJ Simpson (<3), it’s not a show with a superstar name attached to it. People are responding to the trailer because it’s good. ¬†This Is Us is written by the folks who brought us the brilliant Crazy Stupid Love, and NBC’s been promoting it like a replacement to Parenthood, which I’m totally fine with. It’s a multi-story show featuring characters who have one thing that times them together, and it’s their birthday. I full expect to laugh and cry and ship Milo and Mandy to the fullest. Gimme this show now.

Designated Survivor

Wednesdays, 10:00pm ‚Äʬ†ABC

Guys, believe it or not but I’ve never watched a TV program (maybe even movie) that Keifer Sutherland has been in…? This might be the first. Instead of playing a Jack Bauer character, Keifer gets promoted from a¬†lower-level Cabinet member to President of the USA after an attack during the State of the Union kills the President, VP, Speaker of the House and everyone in line to be Pres. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a real law, and if you’re a¬†The West Wing¬†fan, you might remember the storyline from one of the eps. While the plot isn’t necessarily super original, the trailer makes it intriguing and appealing to watch. Because¬†course I need another political drama to get into.

Frequency

Tuesdays, 9:00pm ‚Äʬ†The CW

I didn’t even know this pilot existed until my friend Jennie brought it up – it’s based on a 2000 movie starring Dennis Quaid of the same name. However this TV version features a female police detective in present day who discovers she is able to speak via ham radio with her estranged father who died in 1996. They have to “work together¬†to change the history of tragic events to come.” Starring Mehki Phifer & Peyton List of Mad Men fame. While this wouldn’t usually be on my TV line-up, I still think it has the potential to be a great series.

Pitch

Thursdays, 9:00pm ‚Äʬ†FOX

Dan Fogelman of Crazy Stupid Love and This Is Us (see above) has HIT A HOME RUN this TV season, as his other show, Pitch has also been picked up to series. The show centers on a young female baseball player¬†who becomes the first MLB pitcher. Think¬†Mo’ne Davis, but a few years from now. It stars newcomer Kylie Bunbury as lead Ginny Baker, ¬†my forever boo Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mark Consuelos, Ali Larter and¬†Dan Lauria, the dad from The Wonder Years who I also had an irrational fear of. Again, this type of sports show isn’t my usual jam, but I feel like it has Friday Night Lights vibe in that you won’t be focusing so much on the sport, but rather the good drama happening during it.

Shots Fired

*Midseason* Wednesdays, 8:00pm ‚Äʬ†FOX

I recently got into American Crime and loved both seasons so much – it felt like it should be required viewing for all Americans, since it deals with tough issues like racism and gun control that we’re dealing with day to day. Shots Fired has that same feel. The series from EP¬†Gina Prince-Bythewood, the brilliant writer behind Love & Basketball and Beyond the Lights, takes place in a small Southern town where racially charged shootings have just occurred. It stars¬†Sanaa Lathan, Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss, Stephen Moyer, and Tristan Wilds –¬†not to mention I am 100% behind the title of this show.

Honorable Mentions

Still Star-Crossed (ABC)¬†{Midseason}¬†–¬†As previously menitoned, I will follow Shonda to the ends of the TV earth. Her latest show¬†is written by a Scandal¬†alum, and based on the book by Melinda Taub. This period drama picks up where Romeo & Juliet left off, and what happens to the Montagues and Capulets once R&J drank the poison. I am such a sucker for Shakespeare that I would’ve watched this anyways, but the Shondaland factor just ups it a bunch of notches.

Bull (CBS)¬†{Tuesdays at 9p} Hamilton’s George Washington AKA Chris Jackson plays a possibly gay dresser in this show kind of based off of Dr. Phil’s life. Except much more interesting and no Dr. Phil.

Star (FOX) – {Midseason – Wednesdays at 9p} Get ready for another music drama from Lee Daniels, this time starring Queen Latifah and a girl group. No Jussie Smollett, so maybe not worth your time?

Doubt (CBS) {Midseason} ¬†– CBS execs originally developed this show last season, but passed it over, revamped it, replaced Private Practice’s KaDee Strickland with Katherine Heigl in hopes of finally giving her a big break on TV that doesn’t involve¬†her being a doctor. In Doubt, she plays a defense lawyer who gets romantically involved with her client who may or may not be guilty of comitting a brutal crime. Hence, she has doubt. Reasons I’m looking forward to this: A) The rest of the cast includes Steven Pasquale, Dule Hill, Dreama Walker, Elliott Gould B) It also stars¬†Laverne Cox, who will be making broadcast TV history when the show features a¬†transgender series regular character played by a transgender actor. C) It’s created and written by¬†Tony Phelan & Joan Rater, producers from Grey’s Anatomy. They also had another pilot up this season, Drew, featuring Sarah Shahi as a modern day adult Nancy Drew. You know, the whole #TooFemale thing.

Chicago Justice (NBC) {Midseason} РThe #OneChicago franchise is like CSI/NCIS for CBS or Law & Order on NBC Рlike do we need another version of this Chicago series? I guess. Will I watch it? I mean probably if nothing else is on.