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The system is broken: Too many Emmy nominations were lazy or just plain bad
Credit: Emmys.com

The system is broken: Too many Emmy nominations were lazy or just plain bad

The system is broken: Too many Emmy nominations were lazy this year
"The system is broken,” says Alan Sepinwall. "The categories don't make sense any more (and the ridiculous ‘Shameless' switch to comedy only paid off with William H. Macy being nominated, but not Emmy Rossum), and there's more television to watch then a voter — or, really, any human — has time for. Maybe come August, when I expect to be seeing Vince Gilligan, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, one of Bryan Cranston or Matthew McConaughey, and some other deserving winners walking to the podium, today's irritation will fade somewhat. But even in a year when the voters got so many things right, the many things that are wrong, or just illogical, stand out all the more.”
--Jon Hamm earns his 7th nom, and this was the 1st time he was awake for it
--Which leading male actor will beat Hamm this year?
--There were too many rubber-stamped nominees this year
--Explained: Why “OITNB’s” black stars were nominated for “guest” acting Emmys
--Laverne Cox is the first transgender Emmy nominee
--Has 1 category ever contained reigning Emmy, Oscar and Tony winners before?
--Emmy voters seem stuck on a big DVR backlog
--What Emmy voters got right: “OITNB,” “Fargo’s” Allison Tolman, Chiwetel Ejiofor
--Fred Armisen scores a surprising best supporting actor nom for “Portlandia"
--“SNL’s” “(Do It On My) Twin Bed” earned an Emmy nomination
--“OITNB’s” Uzo Aduba and Natasha Lyonne react to their nominations
--The biggest losers: Keri Russell, Dean Norris, Mads Mikkelsen, Tatiana Maslany, “Parks and Recreation"
--“Dog with a Blog” earned more nominations than “The Americans” or “Orphan Black"
--“Girls” replaced by “Silicon Valley,” a show without girls
--Josh Charles: "Of course I totally knew today was the day…"
--The 22 most outraged tweets over Tatiana Maslany’s snub
--Why Maslany will always be snubbed: She stars in a genre show that isn't "Game of Thrones"
--Maslany’s snub is everything that’s wrong with the Emmys
--The Undeserving: Ricky Gervais, “Downton Abbey” stars, Jon Voight
--"The Sound of Music Live!” earned 4 noms, "Key & Peele" got hairstyling and makeup nominations
--Even more snubs: Eric Stonestreet, Elisabeth Moss, Bellamy Young
--Lizzy Caplan learned of her nomination when her pal Lindsay Sloane woke her up
--Surprising Emmy nominees: Daniel Craig, Jerry Seinfeld, Mark Wahlberg, Jodie Foster, Bruno Mars, Zach Galifianakis, Guy Fieri
--"Fargo's" Allison Tolman woke up early, put her cat in her lap, preparing for the news
--Why "True Detective" vs. "Fargo" isn't happening
--"The Soup" received a nom for its "True Detective" spoof
--Billy Bob Thornton: "I don't get out much. The next time I'll be out will be at the Emmys. I'm kind of a hermit"
--Allison Janney reacts to her 2 nominations
--An emotional Laverne Cox credits Jodie Foster for her Emmy nod

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<p>Matthew McConaughey in &quot;True Detective&quot;</p>

Matthew McConaughey in "True Detective"

Credit: HBO

Which former Oscar winners were nominated for 2014 Emmys?

A handful of folks added an 'E' to their EGOT hopes this morning

This morning was like Christmas for TV and Emmy fanatics, and among the nominees this year, as usual, were a slew of former Oscar winners.

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<p>The Americans</p>

The Americans

Credit: FX

Emmys 2014: Too many great shows, not enough spots, and some dumb choices

Lots of nominations for 'Breaking Bad,' 'Fargo,' et al, but where's the love for 'The Americans' and Tatiana Maslany?

It should be easy to feel sympathy for Emmy voters in 2014. There is more good television now than ever before, available in more places (including non-traditional streaming video outfits like Netflix and Amazon) than ever before. There is abundant category confusion, where a show like "Shameless" can jump from drama to comedy after presenting its bleakest season ever, where "True Detective" can be considered as a drama series while "American Horror Story" is a miniseries even though the two shows have the same basic structure, where the fourth season of "Tremé" has to be considered a miniseries because it didn't produce enough episodes to qualify elsewhere, where voters are asked to consider what Jim Parsons does on "Big Bang Theory" in the same context of what Louis C.K. does as an actor on "Louie."

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<p>Jack O&#39;Connell in &quot;Unbroken&quot;</p>

Jack O'Connell in "Unbroken"

Credit: Universal Pictures

New 'Unbroken' trailer sets the stage for Angelina Jolie's epic endeavor

More and more this is looking like the one to beat

As we all know very well, it's dangerous to be the sight-unseen "frontrunner" in an Oscar season. It rarely turns out well. Last year's "12 Years a Slave" made it through by the skin of its teeth as the rare example of a film expected very early on to take the Best Picture prize at the Oscars and pull it off. This year, Universal Pictures is facing that daunting status as Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken," on paper, simply looks like a film destined for the season. And the latest trailer for the film only further engrains that notion.

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<p>Lena Headey of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;</p>

Lena Headey of "Game of Thrones"

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones,' 'Orange Is The New Black,' 'Fargo' lead 2014 Emmy Nominations

'True Detective' and 'Silicon Valley' both have big breakthroughs for HBO

The Television Academy shook things up on Thursday (July 10) morning with nominations for the 66th Emmy Awards, nods that included a lot of fresh blood, but still simultaneously found a way to be perplexingly stuck in predictable Emmy ruts.

It was a morning that saw big Emmy breakthroughs for "Orange Is The New Black," "Fargo" and "Silicon Valley," but saw limitations to the expected comeback for "The Good Wife," as Emmy voters continued to keep the faith with "Downton Abbey."

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<p>Michael Keaton in &quot;Birdman&quot;</p>

Michael Keaton in "Birdman"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Birdman' with Michael Keaton to kick off Oscar season as 2014 Venice opener

Iñárritu's latest will drop on the Lido Aug. 27 ahead of Oct. 17 release

The fall festival season is lurking around the corner and before long, the Telluride guessing game will commence, the massive Toronto slate will be set (it'll be interesting to see how the tug of war between those two fests shakes out) and the always finely curated Venice line-up will help point the way after high profile debuts like "Gravity" and "The Master" in recent years. Add another to that growing list, as Alejandro González Iñárritu's highly anticipated "Birdman" has been tapped to open the 71st annual fest in a move you probably could have seen coming.

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Emmy nominations: 'True Detective' vs. 'Breaking Bad,' Matthew McConaughey vs. Woody Harrelson vs. Bryan Cranston

Emmy nominations: “True Detective” vs. “Breaking Bad," Matthew McConaughey vs. Woody Harrelson vs. Bryan Cranston
The 2014 nominations included lead actors competing in the same category, including “True Detective’s” Harrelson vs. McConaughey in the lead drama series category and “Fargo’s” Martin Freeman vs. Billy Bob Thornton in the best lead actor in a miniseries or movie category. "True Detective," “Orange Is the New Black” and “Silicon Valley” became the new three newest series to join the major Emmy categories.
--Read the full list of nominees
--“Game of Thrones” No. 1 with 19 nominations, “Fargo” has 18, "American Horror Story: Coven" has 17, and “Breaking Bad” has 16 noms
--Jimmy Fallon vs. Jimmy Kimmel vs. Jon Stewart vs. Stephen Colbert in Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy series category.
--"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and Andy Samberg were dissed after winning Golden Globes earlier this year.
--More snubs: “The Good Wife,” James Spader, Tatiana Maslany
--Also snubbed: "Homeland" and "Girls"
--Kate McKinnon nominated for "SNL"
--Netflix has more nominations (31) than Fox (18)
--HBO No. 1 with 99 nominations, CBS No. 2 with 47 (NBC has 46)
--“Orphan Black” uses Twitter to cope with its Emmy snub
--“Orange is the New Black” leads all comedies with 12 nominations
--“Orange is the New Black” is a comedy?, and other surprises
--More snubs: “Masters of Sex,” The Mindy Project,” “Inside Amy Schumer”“The Americans”!… Charles Dance!
--Double nominees include Allison Janney, Jim Parsons, Louis CK, Kate McKinnon, Jimmy Fallon, Melissa McCarthy
--Jimmy Fallon's daughter: "Go Daily Show!"

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Joy Behar calls Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s 'hate-filled remark' about Rosie 'below the belt'

Joy Behar calls Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s “hate-filled remark” about Rosie “below the belt”
Speaking on CNN, the former “View” star dismissed Hasselbeck’s comments as nonsense because “everything’s fiction on Fox anyway.” PLUS: Exec producer Bill Geddie is expected to exit if/when Rosie returns.


Netherlands fan Seth Meyers tossed an iPad when he learned on air that his team had lost
The “Late Night” host — who became a Netherlands soccer fan while living in Amsterdam performing improv — had rearranged his schedule to watch yesterday’s World Cup semi-finals match, only for it to go into extra time. PLUS: Meyers has a “forced friendship” with Keith Morrison.


Syfy greenlights “The Magicians” pilot
The proposed series is based on Lev Grossman’s fantasy book trilogy.


NatGeo and David Hasselhoff sued over Berlin Wall documentary
The Hoff allegedly signed on for another Berlin Wall documentary.

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Brittany of "Big Brother 16"

Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday - Devin Go Stomp Stomp!

The Power of Veto competition knocks everyone out of orbit and one of our favorite players is suddenly in jeopardy.

We need to start slipping canned goods and secret messages into the "Big Brother" house, because it's basically a hostage situation in there. 

Two weeks into its 16th season, "Big Brother" is feeling (in order) a little dull, a little thrilling, and scary. Dull because half the house is alleged people named "Victoria" and "Jocasta" and "Cody" who've yet to do anything but blink a little and have a first name. Thrilling because "Zrankie"/"Zankie" is real, and I just want to watch Zach and Frankie giggle and gyrate in the pool all day. Scary because Devin, who is just a frowning pile of cinder blocks, is somehow a commanding authority at the moment. The whole house is afraid of his tugboat-sized arms and unreal lack of self-awareness. He's like the brawniest goldfish of all time.

With that horrifying image in mind, let's descend into the episode. 

8:04: In case you're worried this episode will be short of unintentional comedy, Paola steps up to humiliate herself immediately by telling Hayden that she threw the Battle Of The Block challenge, saying, "I could've DOMINATED that." Picture Paola dominating something. You can't! That's the funny part. Paola couldn't dominate a Hula Hoop. She would try it out and it would somehow knock her across the room.

8:06: So, newsflash: Devin is nightmarish and everyone's rebelling. Or at least they're agreeing that someone should rebel. Somewhere. Sometime. Zach announces to the hundreds of other Bomb Squad members that Devin -- their ringleader -- is dictatorial, and Zach is right. "He's the only one who wants Brittany gone!" he says. The others concur. But soon Devin will reenter the room and they'll get right back to trembling in silence. Devin is shaped like a Hirschfeld caricature of an American Gladiator. I don't blame them.

8:11: But aha! Caleb approaches Devin during a rousing game of snooker and tells him he wants Paola to leave the house. THAT'S NOT DEVIN'S PLAN! Pretty bold, Caleb! I didn't expect Caleb, whose shirtlessness is super good, to throw thunder back at Devin. Devin doesn't take the dissent well and storms off to kick down a wall or drive his Harley into the ocean or something. Frankie, who is apparently present for every important conversation in the house, says the Caleb/Devin interaction worries him because he doesn't want the Bomb Squad's alliance to blow up. I want Frankie to realize this alliance is already not going to survive, but he's slow on the uptake for some reason. Maybe because he spent the past hour dipping two inches of his hair in melted pink sidewalk chalk. 

8:12: Oh, lord. Devin is alone and freaking out. Here's what his monologue (to himself) sounds like: "Whatever. Whatever. You're just a lovesick puppy, Caleb. Whatever. I don't even care. Man. Whatever." Not exactly George Bernard Shaw, this one. He storms back outside to tell Caleb their alliance is over for some reason. In return, Caleb suggests that Devin might be evicted next week. Mmm, drama. I've missed it.

8:16: In other news: Frankie and Derrick are told they are the second and third members of the ever-exciting Team America. Donny is the first member, but he's busy whispering secrets to his beard gnats at the moment to celebrate. That beard is yards long. He looks like a feral Jim Henson. Eventually the three team members discover one another through the use of code words ("Hey, Derrick. Um... Apple pie? Apple pie!"), and I guess we should expect all three to perform wacky stunts for money throughout the summer. Great?

8:22: I have a confession to make: When Devin complains that it makes much more sense to get rid of Brittany over Paola, I agree with him. Though his strict aversion to Brittany's existence is based mostly on unqualified anger and what I assume is a steady diet of rhinoceros-grade steroids, he's right that getting rid of Paola is a useless endeavor. Imagine if Andy Herren got rid of GinaMarine early on last year. What would've been the point of that? Less entertainment value for us all summer? More chance of losing to a tough competitor in the end? It doesn't make sense. I need Paola to stick around because she CAN create a scene and she CANNOT spell. A deadly, gorgeously dumb combination.

8:24: Maybe Caleb is secretly the new Pao-Pao because he just squealed to Devin that a bunch of people have considered evicting him. CALEB, WHY? Why do you tell Devin things? Devin cannot handle being told anything! He can't handle things, period. Devin gets mad at gentle breezes for disrupting his game and catching him off guard. Stop it, breezes! A real man is playing here. Devin would evict breezes if he could. They looked at him funny once. 

8:27: Shockingly, Zach -- who is adorable and I don't care what anybody says -- has decided to blow his cover, speak up in a room full of silent Bomb Squad members, and confess to Devin that he also wants Paola gone, confirming Devin's suspicions about dissent among the ranks. Good one, Zach. Tell the paranoid lunatic that he has every right to be a paranoid lunatic. That should solve everything.  Oh, and THEN Zach admits he also considered voting Devin out even though he "didn't mean it." Man. What is the gameplay here, Zach? What is this accomplishing? Why does Zach feel so obligated to defy Devin when there is clearly no threat in appeasing him this early in the game? It bugs me. I want Zach to be the clever manipulator that he has promised us he is. Not seeing that strategist instinct at the moment.

8:30: The Power of Veto competition, which features Paola, Brittany, Devin (!), Zach, and Derrick, is pretty dorky. It's also a retread of something we saw last season: The houseguests have to balance differently weighted "planets" onto a multi-armed mobile without it toppling over. The planets have silly labels named after past "Big Brother" alliances. "Exterminatus" is one. "McRanda" (spelled wrong) is another. "Brenchel" is of course one, and I assume on that planet you hear a high-pitched whine soaring through the atmosphere at all hours.

8:34: Not a thrilling game except for one awesome astronaut named (get ready) Paola. Every day of Paola's life is a battle with gravity, and this challenge is no exception. She cannot hold onto the toy planets. She can't coordinate her body to make helpful athletic movements. In fact, as the awesome Christine notes, "She can't stand up. She can't sit down." Paola is basically a chicken covered in clothes trying to be free. It is kind of beautiful.

8:36: Hope you haven't eaten recently, because I have to be the one to tell you that Devin won the veto challenge. He balanced all the planets correctly and I assume he ate a few of the planets along the way. This is good news for Paola, who has been told by Devin that she'll be saved if he wins. "But you never know with this guy," Paola notes, "'Cuz this guy's like the devil." It is so uncomfortable to agree with Paola.

8:40: Guys, what the hell is happening to my man Zach? He finds himself in deep crap with Devin, who has decided Zach is the most untrustworthy alliance member/person/noun ever. In an all-too-brief Zankie moment, Zach tells Frankie he doesn't know how he's going to get out of this mess. Frankie grabs his shoulders and tells him to stop opening up to Devin and telling him his innermost thoughts. Frankie's soullessness is clearly an asset. He feels no obligation to be honest with anyone and he is not insecure about that. I've read that Frankie is getting a pretty flattering edit this week, but I haven't seen enough of the live feeds to confirm, so I'll just stick with my original thought about Frankie's gameplay: He is doing a good job! I don't know if his eel-like social skills will sustain him longterm, but I'm psyched about his plays for now.

8:44: And now for the true moment of eye-popping strategy this episode: Brittany, who very much seems like she's going home, approaches Devin in a one-on-one way. Devin hates Brittany, remember. She's a threat to him or something. Get this: It takes Brittany about two minutes to sit down with Devin, bring up how she's a single mother of three, and worm her way into his good graces. It seriously takes less time to adequately toast a Pop Tart than it did for Brittany to transform her chances in the game. Better yet, Brittany wheedles Devin into telling her that Pao-Pao threw the veto competition! Ah! This woman is a sorceress! Her success here says a lot about her potential to play this game. Meanwhile...

8:48: Ugh. Zach somehow -- let me see if I can phrase this right -- asks Devin to put him up on the block? Zach was trying to appeal to Devin's whims, saying that if Devin wants to put him up for eviction, it's cool because he's loyal to Devin, basically. Uh, what? Zach is spiraling so much that he is basically stuck in the opening credits of "Vertigo." Devin hadn't considered putting up Zach, a team member, for eviction, but for some reason he's really thinking about it now -- as much as Devin can be "really thinking" about something, I mean. 

8:56: Well, here you have it: The veto meeting is an unthinkable trainwreck, with Devin announcing that he's removing savvy Brittany from the block and replacing her with -- oh, girl! -- Zach. Zach and Paola are up for elimination. Truly. This is real. And better (worse) yet: After the meeting, we get a sneak peak of an ugly fight that breaks out. Paola, Zach, Brittany, and Devin are all involved. And all I can say is I want Paola to go home so, so badly, but it feels like Zach may have Zankied himself into oblivion. Which sounds kind of fun, but I bet it's not worth it. Yikes.

What'd you think of this episode? How will the fight go down? Can you handle the suspense? I'm shaking like Halle Berry in the opening scene of "Extant"! 

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Comic-Con Thursday: Will Chris Nolan's 'Interstellar' show?
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Comic-Con Thursday: Will Chris Nolan's 'Interstellar' show?

Sneak peeks from 'The Giver,' 'Goosebumps' and 'Pixels'

Comic-Con International announced the Thursday schedule for 2014's San Diego Comic-Con and after a few years of slow movie days to kick off the event, this year looks much more intriguing. Thursday actually features a number of studios that haven't always been regulars at the annual pop culture event.

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Forget 2015, is 2016 going to be the biggest movie year ever?

Forget 2015, is 2016 going to be the biggest movie year ever?

A 'Star Wars' spinoff and more

There has been a lot of scuttlebutt over the past week or so about what a terrible summer it's been for the movies. Box office is down and there appears to be a dearth of real blockbusters on the horizon. It's led to some predictable "The sky is falling!" stories from media looking for something scandalous to write about. Well, take a deep breath, people. Hollywood knew this summer was weak months ago.

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Review: Richard Linklater's unique masterpiece 'Boyhood' hits hard and cuts deep
Credit: IFC Films

Review: Richard Linklater's unique masterpiece 'Boyhood' hits hard and cuts deep

I wasn't ready for what this one did to me

I am nine years old. I am lying in the back of the 1977 Plymouth van my parents are driving. It is the middle of the night, and we are leaving Dunedin on the first leg of our move to Texas. I am crying. My best friend Oli Watt, my next-door neighbor, said goodbye to me earlier in the day, and we've made promises to write and call on the phone, but I know that I am leaving behind the life that I've enjoyed up to that point and that whatever comes next, it will be different, and I am afraid, and I am sad, and I am sure that nothing will ever be this good again.

I am sixteen years old. I am lying in the back of the car driven by my nineteen year old girlfriend. It is the middle of the night, and while I'm supposed to be at school in the morning, I don't care at all. I am stoned and drunk and happy. My parents hate this girl that comes to pick me up in the middle of the night, who always knows where there's a party, who has way more sexual experience than me, and they've tried to stop me from seeing her, but I am desperate for what I see as necessary sensual memory, fodder for the writing that I want to make a career of, and I know that it's destroying the relationship I have with my parents who I adore for adopting me, but I have to do this, I have to live like this, and it is amazing and it is dizzying and I am sure that nothing will ever be this good again.

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