The United States Television Critics Association gave out their annual awards this weekend and it’s an interesting set of winners.
Individual Achievement in Comedy – Julia Louis-Dreyfuss – Veep – both male and female actors were nominated here, and while it may have seemed like Louis C.K. should have been the sure winner, I think that Armando Iannucci’s Veep just gets better and better, while Louie is coming off a somewhat controversial season.
Individual Achievement in Drama – Matthew McConaughey – True Detective – again, both men and women nominated in this category, and notable that McConaughey won over Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad’s final season.
Outstanding Achievement in News and Information – Cosmos – I’m really pleased that this won because the show, hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, has been taking a hard-line stance on topics such as evolution and climate change.
Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming – RuPaul’s Drag Race
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming – The Fosters
Outstanding New Program – Orange is the New Black – the competition here included True Detective and Fargo, both shows that I love, so I guess I’ll have to finally get around to watching this.
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Mini-series and Specials – True Detective – Kind of a no-brainer on this one, eh?
Outstanding Achievement in Drama – The Good Wife
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy – tie between Veep and Louie
Career Achiievement Award – James Burrows (shows he has worked on in one capacity or another include Mary Tyler Moore Show, Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Laverne & Shirley, Cheers, Wings, Frasier, Friends, NewsRadio, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dharma & Greg, Will & Grace, Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, so yeah, he kinda deserves it)
Heritage Award – Saturday Night Live – I guess this is for lasting 40 years, which is definitely an achievement on its own; certainly the last season was uneven.
Program of the Year – Breaking Bad – duh
I’m currently in the middle of watching True Detective for the second time. The first time I watched it on my iPad on the 307 bus, one episode per week as it aired. Now I’m watching it on the “big screen,” one episode per night, with my wife.
I wasn’t sure if she was going to go for this, but she is completely wrapped up in it. One thing is, she thinks that aside from Game of Thrones, she doesn’t want to watch TV series, she only wants to watch movies. She hasn’t yet realized that outside of indie cinema, there’s more creativity going on with televison at the moment than in film, or at least that’s how it sometimes seems to me. But after watching the first episode, she commented that it felt more like watching a film than a series.
I was actually kind of lukewarm on it the first time – loving the acting, the photography, the production design, but not quite sure how I felt about the overall story. Now I’m completely loving it.
One reason that it may be getting to me more this time is we’re watching it in the midst of the news reports about Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The first time around, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Rust’s misanthropic philosophy. Things like this:
I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.
This… This is what I’m talking about. This is what I mean when I’m talkin’ about time, and death, and futility. all right there are broader ideas at work, mainly what is owed between us as a society for our mutual illusions. 14 straight hours of staring at DB’s, these are the things ya think of. You ever done that? You look in their eyes, even in a picture, doesn’t matter if they’re dead or alive, you can still read ‘em. You know what you see? They welcomed it… not at first, but… right there in the last instant. It’s an unmistakable relief. See, cause they were afraid, and now they saw for the very first time how easy it was to just… let go. Yeah They saw, in that last nanosecond, they saw… what they were. You, yourself, this whole big drama, it was never more than a jerry rig of presumption and dumb will, and you could just let go. To finally know that you didn’t have to hold on so tight. To realize that all your life, all your love, all your hate, all your memories, all your pain, it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream, a dream that you had inside a locked room, a dream about being a person. And like a lot of dreams, there’s a monster at the end of it.
Maybe the first time I watched it, I thought he was just damaged and more than a little bit batshit crazy. Now I’m not so sure. We live in a world where after 5,000 years of recorded history, we have learned nothing and are still capable of such barbaric acts. I want to be an optimist about humanity but some people sure don’t make it easy.