I watch a lot of American tv. Chances are you do too! There is a budget available to do amazing flashy things then talk loud enough about them to be heard across the sea. The Emmy Awards ceremony rolls out on Sunday evening, lots of flash and fooforah and whatnot, so to do the decent thing and sit down to watch the necessary 12 hours’ worth of footage (give or take) for each show nominated in the Best Drama category, you will need to start now (1600 GMT) and sleep the remaining 9 hours over the next three days to be fully informed in time for the big day. Or you could spend the next ten minutes reading our handy guide! The gift I give you is the gift of a regular sleeping pattern. You’re welcome.
Mad Men - One of the behemoths of television for years now, it has picked up the award for the past three consecutive years. Hunky rectangle of mangrit John Hamm has also been nominated three times running for Best Lead Actor without winning, and Boardwalk Empire‘s Steve Buscemi seems like his only real conpetition. Mad Men has engaged with some tough questions about contemporary life and the foundation the previous generation built upon – this is before we even think about the impact a show obsessed with the alluring veneer of advertising has had on how we look at contemporary high-street fashion. It’s a hall of mirrors, you guys. Plus, Christina Hendricks is in near enough every episode. Here’s John Hamm saying ‘what’:
Boardwalk Empire - In a noticeably similar vein, where Hamm, Hendricks & co pick up between the Kennedy assassination and Vietnam, Boardwalk Empire kicks off with the prohibition legislation of 1919, and foregrounds the legacy of WWI on a country still building itself into a major world power. Buscemi plays Enoch Thompson, New Jersey county treasurer. Saying more would be giving away too much about a show that begs to be watched. If your idea of high style is flappers and everyone wearing fedoras, then I have good news. Just look at these guys:
Game of Thrones - Looking back at these three nominations, it’s been quite a year. Game of Thrones is first in George RR Martin’s ongoing series of fantasy novels, and by far the best quality swords and castles show yet. The novels conjure up a world of warring factions, something like HBO/BBC’s Rome series without the good manners, and still manage to deliver something halfway believable. Peter Dinklage’s performance as Tyrion Lannister is an absolute marvel, and Sean Bean’s part is easiest to conceive as ‘what happened when Boromir retired.’ Plus the nation of Winterfell is populated solely by Yorkshiremen. Get past the initial infodump and you’re laughing.
Dexter - Going to be totally honest, I never got close enough to this one to really love it. The central idea – crime scene forensic officer has been trained to be a serial killer provided he only kills those who are guilty – was just too much of a reach. Does he just work in a really unobservant homicide division?
Friday Night Lights - Based on the surprisingly moving American Football-oriented movie with Billy Bob Thornton, Friday Night Lights has survived despite small audiences in its first season to record its final season this year.
The full list of nominees is available here. Notice anyone missing? Let us know in the comments.
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