Beyond the Sea

Season 1, Episode 13
Director: David Nutter
Writer: Glen Morgan, James Wong

The X-Files‘ thirteenth episode, “Beyond the Sea,” starts with both a Scully family Christmas and a nod to its cult-classic uncle Twin Peaks. Dana Scully is hosting her parents – Captain William and Margaret Scully – for dinner. The relationship with her mother is warm and loving as there is much touching, hugging and amicable banter. The relationship with her father (played by Don Davis, Major Briggs from Twin Peaks) is tense and formal. Their goodbye is obligatory as is his questioning of her job. Remember that Scully came from a family of doctors but entered into the FBI. Later that evening, Scully wakens from a nap on the sofa to see her father sitting directly across from her, silently mouthing something to her. Confused, she questions his presence just as the phone rings. It’s her mother, and her father has passed away from a heart attack. Scully, not Mulder, had a paranormal experience.

The title song of the episode factors into the story in multiple ways. First, “Beyond the Sea” was a special song to the Scully family, and a French version of it plays during Captain Scully’s funeral. The second usage of the song factors into the central crime of the episode which takes place in my hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. A young couple is abducted on a lover’s lane of sorts in a manner very similar to one of the big Zodiac crimes near San Francisco in the late 60s, a resemblance that is not directly mentioned in the episode but is unavoidable. The abduction has a link to similar yearly kidnappings that result in dead victims after five days have passed. During their investigation, Mulder reveals to Scully that a serial killer, Luther Lee Boggs (brilliantly played by Brad Dourif of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), he previously apprehended and is now sitting on death row claims to have psychic evidence leading the authorities to the kidnapping victims.

What follows are multiple scenes of Boggs’s questioning by a skeptical Mulder and a confused Scully. Boggs wildly gyrates and rotates between various characters, supposedly the spirits of people he killed speaking through him. Dourif’s performance here is captivating as he quickly shifts dialect, voice, and inflection nearly on a dime. Mulder, however, believes none of it and considers it another attempt by Boggs to escape the gas chamber. Scully isn’t so sure – particularly when Boggs starts singing “Beyond the Sea” and refers to her as “Starbuck,” her father’s pet name for her. Scully listens to Boggs’s ravings and is able to find locations that once housed the kidnap victims. While Mulder continues to be atypically skeptical, Scully listens to him and eventually attempts to bargain for a stay on his execution. By the end of the episode, Boggs is able to provide the location of the kidnapper, the kidnap victims are saved, and Scully is able to avoid a near-death experience thanks to a vague clue left by Boggs. Yet, Scully convinces herself that Boggs somehow set all of this up as a ploy to avoid execution and accepts her father’s passing through acknowledgement that he would have been proud of his only daughter no matter what she did.

“Beyond the Sea” is a landmark episode, in my opinion, for multiple reasons. Most importantly, this is the first time where the skeptic/believer roles have been reversed between Mulder and Scully. He is completely convinced that Boggs is lying while Scully has a touch of the paranormal as Boggs makes those unmistakeable references to her dead father. Ultimately, she lies to hide her convictions and changes her mind after wearing the Mulder mantle for nearly all of the episode’s duration (the emotion, the willingness to believe, etc). But I cannot stress how critically important this shift in belief is between the characters. Will this perhaps repeat itself in a future episode? We’ll have to find out.

Next, the episode heavily calls back to The Silence of the Lambs, a film that so heavily influenced The X-Files from day one. Scully’s relationship with Boggs easily recalls the “quid pro quo” dynamic between Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter. However, here, Scully ultimately chooses to ignore the connection while Starling becomes haunted by it. Additionally, much like Clarice Starling, Scully’s father’s death establishes her inner search for authority figures. She spends most of the episode obsessed with not only the case at hand but also the question of whether or not her father approved of her. The question of the “father figure” is also repeated in Mulder’s reliance on and connection with Deep Throat.

I was thrilled with the quality of “Beyond the Sea” in terms of narrative depth, production values, and strong performances across the board, particularly Gillian Anderson who I have failed to praise thus far for her strong emotional work here. Both she and Dourif should have been Emmy nominated for their accomplished work here. In fact, the episode is so full of ideas to chew on that it almost feels born out of a completely different show when compared to some of the more recent outings. “Beyond the Sea” smartly represents all the series’s qualities that have garnered the obsession and admiration of millions of viewers, rightly so.

Oh, and those scenes from “Raleigh, North Carolina?” The creators got most of the names and places right – Durham, Morrisville, Duke University, Jordan Lake, and Central Prison – but nothing in the actual Raleigh looks quite like the Raleigh on display here.

Oh well. Can’t win them all.

Fire

Season 1, Episode 12
Director: Larry Shaw
Writer: Chris Carter

Episode twelve of The X-Files, “Fire,” offers a little more than the usual “monster of the week” episode. The episode focuses on an unusual serial killer – one who can control fire – and delves into untrodden corners of Mulder’s personality. Overall, it is an enjoyable diversion and a sign that perhaps the series was starting to find its footing halfway through its freshman season.

“Fire” begins in England with a wealthy man leaving his mansion for work as his employees and wife wish him well. The camera closes in on Cecil, his gardener, as Cecil’s eyes begin to take on an extra light. They don’t glow, per se, but they’re clearly filled with an inner glee. Immediately, the wealthy man catches fire and quickly burns to death in front of the horrified onlookers. Cut to Mulder and Scully as a figure from his past suddenly appears. Her name is Phoebe Green (Amanda Pays), and she and Mulder have a complicated history. Additionally, we discover that, due to a traumatizing event from his childhood, Mulder is deathly afraid of fire. Green brings Mulder this case – a serial arsonist is targeting British aristocracy – and asks for his help despite knowing his history. This is the kind of game, Mulder admits to Scully, that Green liked to play with him. And I think he kind of likes it. “Fire” as a title may literally refer to the serial killer, but it also slyly refers to Mulder and Green’s relationship – how Mulder likes to play with… you guessed it… fire.

The serial arsonist has followed a wealthy British family to Cape Cod, and he integrates himself into their lives after killing their original handyman. Bob, the name Cecil (we don’t actually know his real name) has adopted, has a penchant for lusting after the wives of wealthy men. This is not a connection he can act upon, which, according to standard serial killer lore, only ignites his passion for crime. Several events occur over the duration of the episode including Bob lighting a fire in a local pub and setting an entire hotel floor on fire to temporarily endanger the family’s two boys. Through all of this, Mulder is paralyzed with fear whenever he comes into contact with open flames. The end of the episode is a pyrotechnics wonder as Bob sets their entire Cape Cod house on fire in order to kill the family, Mulder, Scully, and Green. They eventually get the better of him by dousing him with jet fuel, causing him to ignite himself. Being a mutant serial killer, he doesn’t die. In fact, he regenerates damaged cells at an accelerated rate. The very end of the episode comically shows him in a  hyperbolic chamber, skin charred and blistered, asking for a cigarette.

What I liked most about the episode was the spry performance of the actor playing Bob/Cecil, Mark Sheppard (Firefly). He manages to take a character that, again, we know nothing about, have no backstory on, and yet bring a sense of humor and life out of him. I thought the scene where Bob lights the bar on fire was oddly fun and clever – even if it was a throw-away moment. Sheppard’s eyes were constantly darting around, seeking out that next object he wanted to burn at every moment. Speaking of fires, the practical effects of the episodes (which did slightly injure David Duchovny) were also top notch. Today, most of these scenes would have been CGI’d, so it’s nice to see some old fashioned controlled burns used for the climax of the episode.

Another interesting undercurrent is the evoking of Mulder’s British past and positively Sherlockian tendencies, something that’s been there since Day One but I never picked up on it until now. Mulder is the brilliant, reckless detective who resembles the classic detective. Scully’s pragmatism and dogged devotion to Mulder make her the perfect Watson allusion. In case you’re unsure of the comparisons, Green reminds Mulder of the evening they spent making love on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s grave, a reference that was completely intentional. It’s rather elementary, in fact.

The somewhat angry, tirade persona that is Denis Leary has scattered himself across the mediums of stand-up, film and television over the years. Perhaps more recently better known for the FX drama Rescue Me (where Emmy came knocking three times but never resulting in a win). Now comes Leary’s brand new gig, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll also on FX where he plays the lead, a washed-out rock star. Rather than being cavalier, the comedian here perhaps comes across more mocking of himself in character, not too far an unflattering portrayal from David Brent of the UK original version of The Office.

The “sit-com” opens in kind of rock-documentary format, around 1990, where Johnny Rock (Leary) is snorting what might well be washing detergent instead of cocaine. Pretty funny. He is the turbulent lead singer of The Heathens, a rock band very much almost famous had they not disbanded immediately after the release of their only album. The title’s components blatantly the ingredients for this through the lead singer’s destructive exploits. Twenty-five years on and Johnny is jobless and almost hopeless when he is confronted by his now adult daughter Gigi (Elizabeth Gillies) – the product of one of Johnny’s reckless encounters twenty-plus years earlier.

She is brash, and has a bit of cash, demanding her own vocal talents be combined with the old band’s song-writing abilities. Penance for all those years of Johnny not being a father is not quite the sale, but Gigi is smart and up-front, and knows how to make a deal. Johnny, then, attempts to strike up the bond with former The Heathens guitarist Flash (John Corbett), who has clearly aged better, is more refined, in wisdom, appearance, and sartorially. There’s still hostility from Flash towards Johnny (who slept with his “chick” back in the day) – “You sound like my ex wife” Flash remarks to Johnny’s plea, to which he responds “Hey, I was with you twice as long as she was.”.

The humor revolves around those kind of bitter retorts. And funny this is, you just won’t be rolling around on the floor. There are relatable jabs at privileged celebrities like Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian, which are not so much insults as satirical observations. Even the opening footage has a snippet of Dave Grohl claiming The Heathens were an influence on his music career. This is Spinal Tap this is not, but the shallow and self-aware comedic tone is there – though here in a much too breezy and self-parody way for it to be classed as arrogant or showy.

The pilot, running at not much longer than twenty minutes so mercifully short, get’s on with the show. What it also achieves is that it does not go over-heavy on the presumption that Gigi can’t actually sing (because lo-and-behold she fucking can), so when she does demonstrate her vocals the impressed reactions are appropriately subdued. While watching I was not always aware this was comedy, but there are enough one-liners to make it so. Johnny is compared to music greats David Bowie and Bryan Adams on separate occasions, but not in the flattering way he is easy to assume, but rather that he could be mistaken for their father and grandfather respectively. And an early scene when Johnny is being questioned about having sex with the intended of a band member, he denies it – “You did not sleep with Simone?” and his realization in response: “Simone was his fiancé?”

For me, though, my loudest laughs came from the reunited band taunting Johnny about how best to refer to his daughter’s tits and ass – to his hilarious shame. Terms such as chesticles, pooch, and C.T. rolled off the tongues so continuously you can’t help but be amused by this male juvenile back-and-forth. Never really sure while viewing how much exactly I liked this show, I guess it could well be a wait-and-see how it turns out – like many times you discover new music, it may require more attention for it to grow on you. So far so good.

After the nominations had a chance to settle in, the Awards Daily TV crew of Joey, Megan, and Clarence go around the virtual table and give their thoughts on the 2015 Emmy nominations. While there’s much to praise (Amy Schumer, Kimmy Schmidt love), there are some… eccentricities… that make us go “hmm.” We dive into the major categories and speculate as to why some notable omissions were made. Additionally, we begin the task of sorting through the nominees and figuring out who the front runners are and which categories are real races.

Join us Monday for our first Emmy deep dive. And on our July 27th podcast… the unexpected phenomenon of Wayward Pines.

Eve

Season 1, Episode 11
Director: Fred Gerber
Writer: Kenneth Biller, Chris Brancato

Episode eleven of The X-Files finally dips into what I affectionately call the “kids be creepy as shit” genre with “Eve.” I say that, again affectionately, as a father of two children. Whether the creepy children are of the Damned variety or from the Corn, you really can’t go too wrong with a horror/thriller work that features a murderous-eyed tot. Don’t believe me? Check out The Good Son. Anyway, on to the The X-Files.

“Eve” begins in a Greenwich, Connecticut, suburb where a jogging couple spot a neighbor’s shivering child, Teena, standing alone on a sidewalk. Intrigued, the couple collects the girl and investigates the whereabouts of her father, reportedly getting some “alone time” in the back yard. When they approach the father, sitting limply on a swing, he is dead – face drained of all color with two tiny marks in his jugular. My first thought was some kind of alien vampire attack, but I’m quickly proven wrong. Mulder immediately attributes the incident to a alleged penchant for aliens to preform similar experiments on cattle – exsanguination. Guessing they have graduated to humans, Mulder and Scully interview the now-orphaned Teena (her mother died of ovarian cancer earlier), and she claims to have seen some red lightening and nothing else while possessing eerie knowledge of exsanguination. Aliens, right?

Wrong.

Across the country, another father has been murdered in the exact same manner and at the exact same time. When Mulder and Scully begin to investigate, they discover a child, Cindy, who bears an irrefutable resemblance to Teena. Given that Cindy has no knowledge or apparent relation to Teena, Mulder and Scully investigate the fertility clinic where, as we eventually discover, both families received treatment from the same woman, Dr. Sally Kendrick (the fantastic Harriet Sansom Harris from Frasier). Apparently, Dr. Kendrick was involved in a program to create and clone super-soldiers through eugenics. Kind of a mass-production of Captain Americas through selective breeding. Because that’s what the Russians are doing, natch. Thanks to assistance from the mysteriously benevolent Deep Throat, Mulder and Scully find their way to an asylum for the criminally insane (love it) where “Eve 6,” a homicidal raving lunatic also played by Harris, gives them additional details about the program. Apparently, Kendrick created the embryos that became Teena and Cindy in her image and in an attempt to correct the mistakes of the first program – one that lead to a suicidal batch of maniacs similar to “Eve 6.”

Whew. That was a mouthful.

The rest of the saga involves Mulder and Scully tracking down Teena and Cindy who have both been kidnapped by “Eve 7,” again played by Harris. “Eve 7” has been given anti-psychotic medication and enough therapy to ensure a normal, rational existence. She wants the same for Teena and Cindy who, unfortunately, have different ideas for their kidnapper. They poison her and fake the involvement of an “Eve 8” to cover their tracks. Teena and Cindy also almost kill Mulder and Scully, but the children’s motivations are uncovered. They are imprisoned in the same asylum as “Eve 6” (how convenient) where “Eve 8” finally appears, intending to free them so they can continue their super-evil ways.

When done right, I really like the “monster of the week” episodes. This one doesn’t come close to touching “Squeeze” in terms of scares, but it’s another high-quality episode that sits high on the Season One list. It doesn’t hurt that I have an incredible fascination with twins, and these twins, played by Erika and Sabrina Krievins, give very accomplished performances for such young actresses. They’re not actually asked to do very much, in all honestly, but they excel at staring creepily at the camera with a haunted stare. Toward the end, you find yourself waiting to see what these homicidal girls have up their pea-coated sleeves next. The biggest kudos of the episode, though, goes to Harriet Sansom Harris who gives one bravura psycho performance after another here. She clearly draws distinct differences between the various “Eves” but really relishes playing the psychotic “Eve 6,” complete with rotting teeth. Harris deserved Emmy consideration for this role (as with many other performances she gave from Frasier to Desperate Housewives), but she failed to merit attention. Shame.

Thanks to the strong performances and a complicated, yet very clear, story line, “Eve” emerges a successful entry in The X-Files legacy. It might not be as thematically rich as others (maybe there’s some light “dangers of playing God” material in there), but how can you complain when you’re boasting really creepy kids.

Because, you know, “kids be creepy as shit.”

Well, here we go… FOX is started the campaign last week for its January limited series X-Files event with the “201 Days of The X-Files” gimmick that, nonetheless, this writer fell for. Now, it’s a brief teaser that aired during tonight’s X-Files-y Wayward Pines.

The X-Files returns on January 24.

Fallen Angel

Season 1, Episode 10
Director: Larry Shaw
Writer: Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa

“Fallen Angel” refers to the code name given a potential alien who has crash landed in Townsend, Wisconsin. When first uncovered by local police, the alien appears – using that term loosely as it doesn’t appear as anything at all other than a brief watery image – to flee its fiery crash scene, frightened and alone. As the local policeman investigates the crash, the alien approaches him and flashes a light so bright as to give the policeman fifth degree burns, killing him almost instantly.

Scary.

“Fallen Angel” returns the plot to the ongoing mythology of alien encounters, including a visit from Deep Throat that casts that character in a new light. It’s a welcome return to more coherent storytelling, although I still have my gripes about the exploration of the alien entity. Still, it’s miles above recent episodes, and I was mostly satisfied.

After the crash is covered up by the military as a derailed train carrying toxic materials, Mulder is alerted to the situation by Deep Throat. Eager to explore the crash scene, Mulder goes rouge and infiltrates the site without proper approvals. He takes pictures near the site but is, of course, captured by a patrolling military officer. Threatened with serious repercussions, Mulder persists on investigating the event, meeting a fellow obsessive – Max – who is also a fan of Mulder and Scully. It is casually revealed that Max bears markings of individuals who have been abducted previously. By the end of the episode, the alien has killed a few more soldiers and again abducted Max with nary an explanation in site.

Still, “Fallen Angel” feels more coherent than recent episodes. Being an alien storyline, it focuses more on Mulder than Scully, although she gets some action when expressing frustration and anger against Mulder for endangering his life and FBI employment. The biggest annoyance of the episode, and clearly this is something I’m going to have to get over, is its reluctance to provide answers. It’s a pattern with the show, I know, and I’ll adjust my expectations accordingly. However, the alien’s motivations, aside from fear and attack modes, aren’t really understood or explored, most likely due to the fact that 90 percent of the episode was told from the Mulder or Scully perspective. That’s still frustrating, especially after Episode 9’s ghost alien from Mars.

It was a nice twist at the end, however, to have Deep Throat take on something of a sinister tone. I’d always assumed he was there to support Mulder in his conquest for the truth, but Deep Throat tells a college “it’s best to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Pretty sure he was referring to Mulder there. I hope this is explored more over the rest of the season. At least more than the random alien of the week.

The truth may be out there, but I’ll be damned if they’re in a hurry to reveal it.

It’s taken me a while to formulate some coherent thoughts around the Emmy nominations announced earlier today. It’s not that I haven’t had any reactions, but it’s just that it has been a real shit storm of a day for me personally. Sometimes, the personal comes (and should come) ahead of the frivolous. Also, I watched the announcements squarely using the Television Academy’s direct feed for the first time, so I don’t have the noise of on-air commentators or online bloggers in my head. I haven’t had time for it, and, honestly, it’s been pretty nice.

That said, I do have a few pointed thoughts on some successes and some misses across the board. Overall, it was a very solid batch of Emmy nominees. There are ALWAYS things to complain about, but, this year, those are fewer and far between. So, let’s start with the good:

The Good

Game of Thrones, a show I clearly love, is also clearly loved by the Television Academy. Aside from receiving the highest number of nominations (24), it’s the only Drama that received show, acting, directing, and writing nominations across the board. They love it so much that they even nominated Emilia Clarke again when Daenerys had very little to do this season. The annoying thing about that is that Lena Headey (also nominated) now has to compete against Clarke for the win, resulting in a potential split vote for the Games ladies.

Tatiana Maslany finally received recognition from the Television Academy. I don’t watch Orphan Black, but her performance is apparently so fantastic, so legendary, that it has become the world’s obsession as to why she wasn’t nominated. Good for her. It’s nice to see hard work recognized… and the Internet appeased.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt received more major nominations than many thought it would. There were two camps of prognosticators: those that thought Ellie Kemper would be the series’ only major nomination and those that thought the Emmys would recognize the whole shebang. The nominations proved the latter with one major exception. We’ll talk about that later.

Lisa Kudrow’s nomination for The Comeback proves that the Emmys still love and recognize quality – when they love a particular actress. I’m also super-psyched about Parks & Recreation receiving a bid for Comedy Series on its series finale run. It won’t win, but it’s good for the Television Academy to give it a farewell hug. They’re a hard-working and brilliantly funny crew that got the shaft from NBC. Good for them.

The Bizarre

My only nomination for the strangest Emmy love is for the 19 nominations bestowed upon FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show season. I expected a boatload of technical nominations – the sets and cinematography were fantastic – but SIX acting nominations? Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, and Finn Wittrock were all expected but Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Dennis O’Hare? For this season? They weren’t given a lot to do, and where was Michael Chicklis? Everybody thought he’d be nominated for certain. Ryan Murphy clearly has a passionate love affair with the Television Academy. All I have to say is watch out for Scream Queens and, more probably, American Crime Story.

The Bad

The Affair. Zero nominations. The trouble with going out on a limb passionately for a show (as I did) is that, one, it clouds your judgment. Around late April or early May, I felt a complete lack of buzz for the brilliant show. The writing was on the wall, and I painted over it. Then, it kind of sucks to go all-out for zero results. I will forever believe that the Academy messed this one up, if only for recognizing Ruth Wilson’s great performance.

Vera Farmiga was shunned for her series best work in Bates Motel. I didn’t expect her to be there, although I certainly went to bat for her. She’s an amazing actress who consistently feels under-appreciated to me. She’s not widely used in film, and she’s not given nearly the right amount of recognition she deserves for her television work here in Bates. I’ve said why she deserved a nomination, and I know in my heart that I was right. It was a tough category and was populated with some actresses who haven’t really grown their characters in years (looking at you Claire Danes).

Speaking of Homeland, I don’t know how the hell you watch the fourth season of that show and NOT nominate Mandy Patinkin for his electrifying performance. He carried Saul into the darkest of places and provided the emotional core of the season that balanced Carrie’s wilder moments. I know he’s been nominated before, and it’s nice to recognize new blood. But, damn. He was that good.

How in the world could the Emmys show completely embrace Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt but omit its star, its reason for being, Ellie Kemper? She IS the show. The show IS her. Everything else is just window dressing. If you love the show, then you kind of have to love her. It’s a huge snub to poor Kemper who, undoubtedly in true Kimmy fashion, will still smile her way up the red carpet in September.

Some will say Empire‘s lack of major nominations (aside from Taraji P. Henson) is a bad thing. I predicted it for major awards, but I’m not really surprised it didn’t get there. It was too soapy and too over the top to win over the Academy on the whole.

I’m very happy for Silicon Valley‘s major nominations (series, direction and writing), but I don’t know how, for the second year, the talented and funny cast didn’t make it in. I felt for sure that T.J. Miller was a shoo-in and perhaps a dark horse to win. Strange how these things work. Perhaps they’re not famous enough? Perhaps the Academy thinks they’re really developers? Who knows.

What did you like about the nominations? What did you miss? Leave your comments below!

 

Joey and Clarence briefly discuss initial reactions to today’s Emmy Nominations announcement.

 

Here are the nominations for the major categories at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards as announced by Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) and Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance). HBO’s Game of Thrones leads the nominees with 24 nominations following by American Horror Story: Freak Show with 19 nominations. Mad MenHouse of Cards, and Transparent each received 11 nominations. HBO actually lead the entire field with a whopping 126 nominations. The biggest surprise seen by most was the lack of love for FOX’s Empire.

A complete list of the nominations can be found here.

Outstanding Drama Series

  • Better Call Saul
  • Downton Abbey
  • Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • House of Cards
  • Mad Men
  • Orange is the New Black

Outstanding Lead Actor, Drama

  • Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
  • Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Liev Schrieber, Ray Donovan
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Outstanding Lead Actress, Drama

  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
  • Taraji P. Henson, Empire
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama

  • Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
  • Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
  • Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Michael Kelly, House of Cards
  • Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama

  • Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
  • Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • Louie
  • Modern Family
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Silicon Valley
  • Transparent
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor, Comedy

  • Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
  • Louis C.K., Louie
  • Don Cheadle, House of Lies
  • Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
  • Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
  • William H. Macy, Shameless
  • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Outstanding Lead Actress, Comedy

  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
  • Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
  • Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy

  • Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Adam Driver, Girls
  • Tony Hale, Veep
  • Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy

  • Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
  • Anna Chlumsky, Veep
  • Gaby Hoffman, Transparent
  • Allison Janney, Mom
  • Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
  • Niecy Nash, Getting On

Outstanding Limited Series

  • American Crime
  • American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • The Honorable Woman
  • Olive Kitteridge
  • Wolf Hall

Outstanding TV Movie

  • Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case 
  • Bessie
  • Grace of Monaco
  • Hello Ladies: The Movie
  • Killing Jesus
  • Nightingale

Outstanding Lead Actor, Mini Series or TV Movie

  • Adrian Brody, Houdini
  • Ricky Gervais: Derek: The Final Chapter
  • Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
  • Timothy Hutton, American Crime
  • David Oyelowo, Nightingale
  • Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini Series or TV Movie

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
  • Felicity Huffman, American Crime
  • Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Queen Latifah, Bessie
  • Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
  • Emma Thompson, Sweeney Todd (Lincoln Center)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Mini Series or Movie

  • Richard Cabral, American Crime
  • Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
  • Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
  • Dennis O’Hare, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Michael Kenneth Williams, Bessie
  • Finn Wittrock, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Mini Series or Movie

  • Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Zoe Kazan, Olive Kitteridge
  • Regina King, American Crime
  • Mo’Nique, Bessie
  • Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Outstanding Reality Competition

  • The Amazing Race
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Project Runway
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Top Chef
  • The Voice

Outstanding Reality Host

  • Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
  • Anthony Bourdain, The Taste
  • Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
  • Heidi Klum/Tim Gunn, Project Runway
  • Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

  • The Colbert Report
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • Late Show with David Letterman
  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

  • Comedy Bang Bang
  • Drunk History
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Key & Peele
  • Portlandia
  • Saturday Night Live

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