Orphan Black

2014 Emmy Preview: Best in Show

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Emmy Day has finally arrived. Be sure to scroll through the rest of the Emmy preview on our homepage, but now it is time to preview the big two, Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series. Genre’s have become a bit muddled in Television over the years. When the Television Academy of Arts first gave out awards it was easy to distinguish between comedy and drama, but now the lines are blurred. It is great to honor two top shows rather than just one, as the Oscars do, but in some ways it dilutes the value of the Emmys.

A best show in television Emmy in which genre is thrown out the window would bring a lot more prestige to the series that wins it. However, as exciting as that sounds, there is so much quality television on-air that narrowing it down to even ten nominees is a daunting task. Voters would also elevate Drama series over Comedy, just as the Academy Awards do with film, and many deserving comedy series would be left out in the cold. This would be a far bigger tragedy than the dilution of the current Emmys by splitting them into two categories. Let’s take a look at this year’s nominees and see how they compare to the field of the “Tommy Awards.”

Outstanding Comedy Series

Emmy Nominees: ORANGE

Orange is the New Black, Netflix (3/2) – The new kid in town, Netflix, has found a lot of success in its early years of original programming. At least we can assume based on buzz and awards, but since Netflix does not release its viewership numbers there is no definitive way to know. But no one foresaw this series about a women’s prison being its biggest creative success. The show is fresh, riveting, and funny. It has the largest ensemble cast of any comedy and the fact that it is easy to remember the backstory on all of them even when they spend several episodes offscreen speaks to how well the characterization of each one is done.

Modern Family, ABC (2/1) – The three-time defending champ has seen its odds shift from (4/1) to (2/1) in the last month, which speaks to the power this traditional sitcom has over Emmy voters. It seems improbable that it would win four straight in its first four seasons. Yes, Mad Men just accomplished this feat on the drama side, but its fourth season is the best of the series and was also a fresh new creative direction. Modern Family, on the other hand, has grown more tired and repetitive with each passing season. veep_still_-_h_-_2014

Veep, HBO (3/1) – An all-timer that works on so many levels, political satire, dysfunctional workplace comedy, terrific performances, vulgar humor, etc. It should’ve topped Modern Family last year and upped its game again this season by taking Selina Meyer out on the campaign trail in an effort to become the next President of the United States. Selina and an outrageously expensive wooden crate equals pure comedic gold.

Louie, FX (10/1) – Any show that comes so singularly from the genius mind of Louis C.K. deserves to be amongst the best shows in television. It is not always laugh out loud funny, but C.K. is such a keen observer of human nature and how we function as a society that he always has something interesting to say.

The Big Bang Theory, CBS (10/1) – It’s surprising that with all the love Emmy voters have shown Modern Family they have failed to crown this more classic and successful throwback sitcom as Best Comedy Series. It is a well executed show that delivers punchline after punchline. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but succeeds ridiculously well at what it is trying to do.

Silicon Valley, HBO (30/1) – I have to plead ignorance on this one, having only seen the pilot episode of which I was not a fan. From what people tell me the show improved markedly as the season went along. It is by far the most surprising nomination in the category, but then again given HBO’s track record of lobbying for and getting the most nominations I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised.

Tommy Nominees: 600x400_broadcity_new

Orange is the New Black

Veep

Louie

Broad City, Comedy Central – Stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson shared my Outstanding Lead Actress award and led by their brilliance Broad City is the funniest new show of the year. It is ballsy and absurdist at times, but executes its ridiculous premises with ease. Glazer and Jacobson’s chemistry is so strong that the show could put them in any situation and mine comedy out of it.

Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central – Comedy Central has really come into its own the last few years and if this category was made up completely of its shows I would not take much issue with Key and Peele, the above mentioned Broad City, Review, and Nathan for You all worthy nominees. But Schumer gets the nod for the funniest sketch show on TV. A star on the rise, Schumer flips feminine stereotypes on its head and does so with unabashed brashness.

Shameless, Showtime – This is where the blurred lines of the comedy genre comes into play. Do I honor more traditional, network comedies such as Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99? Or go with another Comedy Central sketch show such as Review or Key and Peele. Or honor the strangeness of FX with “Seinfeld on acid” It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Wilfred, or Legit. All of those shows are worthy of recognition, but the last spot goes to Showtime’s Shameless. A category flipper from drama to comedy, this bold show does not fit either genre. It simply is what it is, nothing else, and what it is, is brilliant.

Best Bet: 

This is a wide open category with Silicon Valley serving as the lone “happy to be here” show. Any of the other five have a decent shot at winning. It feels like a good category to take a long shot. Modern Family fatigue seems very legit this year and the chances of four-peating feel a lot slimmer than (2/1). Emmy voters may not be ready to honor less traditional shows, such as OITNB and Louie. HBO’s track record in comedy is less successful than the drama side, eliminating Veep and Silicon Valley. This leaves Big Bang Theory at (10/1). Emmy voters may feel more comfortable voting for something more traditional as well as honoring far and away the biggest scripted hit on television.

And the Tommy Goes to…

Veep. The best comedy on television. It works on so many levels. While Broad City and Inside Amy Schumer made me laugh harder, no comedy left me more satisfied than Veep. Tremendous writing for a powerful lead performance with a splendid supporting cast around her. Veep has it all, including the honor of taking home the Tommy.

And the Emmy Goes to…

Orange is the New Black. The only thing I’m sure of is that Modern Family will fall. It is a wide open field behind it, but tonight just feels like a coronation of Orange is the New Black. The only thing that might prevent it from dominating is that the entire second season, which is not eligible till next year, has been watched by voters and is better than the first. Perhaps this makes them hesitate and wait till next year to crown it, but I’m banking on it only improving its chances this year.

 

Outstanding Drama Series

Emmy Nominees: 301px-BBS5

Breaking Bad, AMC (1/5) – Let’s remove the suspense, Breaking Bad should and will win this award. There is no one else to bet on and no case to be made for any other show. Yes, True Detective was fascinating and the performances from its two leads made it riveting. Game of Thrones is a true splendor to watch and more than deserving of a win in any other year. The only knock against Breaking Bad is the split season format in which AMC aired it. I’m not a big fan of this “split season” format as it is only used to cut down costs since everyone involved gets pay raises in each new season. It is obviously a terrific business plan as it saves money, increases streaming viewing of previous seasons, and led to a finale audience of over 10 million people.

But there should be a creative consequence in that the show cannot be eligible for awards until the entire season is completed. Last year, the first eight episodes were not nearly as deserving of the win, but when combined with these final 8 to form the complete 16 episode season then Breaking Bad becomes an even bigger favorite. It is the same reason why Mad Men shouldn’t be nominated this year for the first 7 episodes of its final season. A Mad Men season has a certain rhythm to it as it builds upon each previous episode to a satisfying conclusion. By splitting the season in half AMC has disrupted that rhythm and the seventh season of Mad Men is not complete, which is why it joins Downton Abbey and House of Cards on my undeserving nominees list.

Tommy Nominees: 

Breaking Bad, AMC – The Champ, plain and simple.

True Detective, HBO – Admire the balls on HBO for submitting in the drama series category instead of miniseries in which it would’ve most likely won, but Fargo would make it closer than expected. It will forever be remembered in the history of television thanks to the brilliance of McConnaughey and Woody.

Game of Thrones, HBO – A grand Hollywood epic that airs 10 weeks a year on our TV screens. Tied with Breaking Bad as far as entertainment value and deserves this award at some point in its run.

Boardwalk Empire, HBO – The best example of a novel format on TV. The whole of each season is more satisfying than each individual episode. The execution is simply remarkable.

Orphan Black, BBC America – All conversation about Orphan Black starts with Tatiana Maslany’s performance, as well it should, but behind that performance is the best thriller on television. The action packed thrills combined with the heart that Maslany’s performance brings makes this the most enjoyable show to watch.

The Good Wife, CBS – Grading a bit on a curve for this nominee, but The Good Wife continues to provide an example of the advantages to network television, the biggest being the extra episodes, 22 compared to 8, 8, 10, 12, and 10 from the other Tommy nominees respectively. While most other network shows view this as a burden, Good Wife sees it as an opportunity for more character study.

The Champ Says Goodbye

Back to tonight’s winner. Breaking Bad leaves an indelible mark on the television landscape and it will forever be debated amongst the best show’s of all time. As much as I’m against split season’s getting nominated twice, this show and especially this final season deserves at least two Emmys for all it has accomplished. Vince Gilligan is a television genius and the premise behind this series may never be topped, but the execution of the brilliant premise is what makes this an all-time great.

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2014 Emmy Award Preview: The Crime Against Tatiana Maslany

The past two days we covered supporting actors in both drama and comedy. Now it is time to discuss the leads starting with Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Maslany deserves an EGOT for Orphan Black alone.

Maslany deserves an EGOT for Orphan Black alone.

Wait! I can’t do this. I can’t simply break this category down by offering insights into the nominees, snubs, good bets, who should win, and who will. No, it’s just not right to talk about this category without talking in-depth about the biggest snub in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, Tatiana Maslany not getting nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Maslany not winning would be highway robbery, the fact that she is not nominated is just flat out absurd.

The extreme nature of my stance is not an indictment on the other actresses nominated or eligible for this award. In fact, the only two questionable nominees are Dockery, only because she operates in a more supporting matter for a large ensemble cast, and Claire Danes, thanks to Homeland and Carrie Mathison fatigue. My hatred of House of Cards, more on this in my Drama Series breakdown, makes me inclined to add Wright to that list, but her acting is the only bright spot left. 

Additionally it would be easy to fill out a list with another six candidates just as, if not more worthy than the women that will be seen on Monday. Names such as Elizabeth Moss, Keri Russell, Vera Farmiga, Diane Kruger, and former winner Connie Britton could have joined Maslany to be an even more formidable group. The fact that Lead Actress in a Drama Series has become a deep category should be applauded. Especially after being overshadowed by a dominant era from their male counterparts. But the applause comes with a Barry Bonds-sized asterisk next to it since the Emmys failed to nominate the best acting performance in TV history.

For anyone that hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon of the thrilling series Orphan Black, first off, for shame! Secondly, you are all missing out on the brilliance of Tat Maslany. You’re also thinking that all this hyperbole is a bit much and that no one could possibly be that great. Some of you may even be calling the authorities to inform them that there is a crazy man going on and on about some actress on a weird sci-fi show and the obsession appears dangerous. But I assure all non-watchers that this article will make total sense once you take the plunge. images (6)

The basic conceit of the series is that a troubled English grifter, Sarah Manning, returns home and witnesses a woman, whom looks eerily similar to her, kill herself by jumping in front of a train. Sensing an opportunity to make a quick buck Sarah steals the woman’s identity, only to discover that they look eerily similar because they are clones. As the show progresses Sarah meets and runs into more and more of her clones, which are all played flawlessly by Maslany.

However, Maslany doesn’t deserve the Emmy simply for playing multiple characters on the same show, as impressive a feat as that is on its own, but rather she deserves it because each of the characters are unique, memorable, and brilliantly acted out. She is so good at delving into each character that despite having knowledge to the contrary and being of sane mind there are times I’m convinced there are separate actors that play each role. Case in point, I watched an interview with an actor that plays the husband of the suburban “Soccer Mom” clone and he was talking about how amazing it is to work with Maslany. I found this perturbing. “Wait a second, what is this guy talking about? He’s only had one scene with Sarah and it was for like 10 seconds. He hasn’t really worked with Tat, oh wait, shit, she plays his wife too. She plays all the clones. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” 

Need video proof? Check out this remarkable scene that gives me chills every time I watch it.

Boom! Emmy!

Apologies, Helena. Please don't artificially inseminate me!?

Apologies, Helena. Please don’t artificially inseminate me!?

If the Emmys made a rule change where characters were nominated instead of actors, then the last year and this she should’ve swept the Guest, Supporting, and Lead Actress in a Drama series category. Last year taking home the Guest award for her creepy, yet strangely amusing performance of Ukrainian Convent torture victim turned cold blooded assassin, Helena. Then pulling the major upset over Anna Gunn for bottle hiding, wine drinking, pill popping, Soccer Mom Clone, Allison Hendrix. While at the same time receiving huge sympathy for lesbian, genius scientist Cosima Niehaus being snubbed from the proceedings. And finally completing the trifecta by taking home lead actress as well.

This year she would’ve out done herself by having Proclone, power hungry, head of the evil Dyad Institute, Rachel Duncan win the Guest award. While getting three nominations in the Supporting Actress category with Cosima getting a nom this year as she stared in the face of her own mortality due to the autoimmune disease that has been spreading amongst clones. While Helena knocks off Allison thanks to an arc that revealed the humanity beneath the decades of abuse. Then capping off the historic night by making it back to back Lead Actress wins, giving her six Emmys in two years.

It sounds ridiculous, but consider this, TV Icon Ted Danson delivered three memorable television characters in 40 years, while Maslany has delivered four in just two seasons. Potentially five, depending on where the show takes Rachel next season. This is uncharted territory and the Emmys are completely ignoring it, unlike the Critics Choice Awards honored her with back-to-back victories for the same show.

Critics can be snobby, obnoxious douche bags at times, especially the one’s that love the sound of their own voice, but they are better equipped to judge television because it is their job to watch all of it or at the very least be aware of everything. Unlike the group of industry insiders that make up the Emmy Awards selection process. Having received some insight into the process the last two years I can tell you that a lot of voters don’t even bother watching the screeners they’re sent to watch.

You tell 'em, Ali!

You tell ’em, Ali!

It is a faulty system. Award Shows are about the spectacle of having so many celebrities in one place, not the actual practice of rewarding the year’s best work. It is important to keep that in mind when your favorite doesn’t bring home the gold. But it can still be annoying since so many people watch the Emmys and no one besides TV critics and nerds like me have any idea that the Critics Choice Awards air on television at all, let alone when it does. To any and all that are upset by their favorites being snubbed, I feel your pain and I’m here for you whenever. And to the Emmys, giving you the Johnny Manziel is just cruel and useless. There is nothing that can be said to change the way the process works. There is also obviously no shaming them if only nominating the greatest TV series of all time, The Wire, twice with no wins has led to no apology. The Emmys are what they are and we’ll all just have to learn to live with it.

After that long tangent, here is a super quick breakdown.

Does Claire Danes Cry Face make it a three-peat? Coincidentally this is the same reaction I had when learning Maslany was snubbed again.

Does Claire Danes Cry Face make it a three-peat? Coincidentally this is the same reaction I had when learning Maslany was snubbed again.

Nominees: 

Robing Wright, “House of Cards” (4/7)

Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (5/2)

Kerry Washington, “Scandal” (7/1)

Clare Danes, “Homeland” (15/1)

Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (20/1)

Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex” (20/1)

Best Bet: 

It is difficult to like any of these bets as there is no clear winner in this category and the only name that would shock me if it were to be announced is Michelle Dockery’s. Clare Danes has won two years in a row and with the decline of Homeland voters should be looking to chose a new winner. The person to put the money on is Kerry Washington at (7/1). A great payout and with no clear winner voters could go with the historic choice.

Will Win: 

Emmy voters clearly do not share my feelings on House of Cards considering that both Kevin Spacey and Wright are nominated along with the series as whole for Outstanding Drama, which it currently has the third best betting odds to win. Wright has move start cache and after Corey Stoll’s character kicked the bucket last year her character becoming the most interesting one left. Call it an unwanted and disliked hunch, but Jenny is going to be taking this Emmy on the road with her. Let’s all hope Emmy doesn’t suffer the same fate. Although, now that I re-read this article maybe not…

 

Women I Love: Tatiana Maslany

It has been far too long since I proposed my love to woman, but it took a recent TV binge to break my heart out of it’s Spring Slumber. Tatiana Maslany, the star of BBC America’s addictive Orphan Black, has blown me away with her unbelievable acting abilities and all-around loveliness. I love women whom excel at their profession and as far as I’m concerned she is at the very top of the acting world. Anyone who is a fan of Ms. Maslany either shares my love or has a heart that lacks the capacity to love anything at all. Just look at the way she stuns my man Tom Haverford into love sick British boy.

Beyond incredible acting skills Maslany also has another insta-love attribute, multi-ethnic. She was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to a woodworker father and translator mother of Ukranian, Polish, Austrian, Romanian, and German descent. Anyone still ignorant and pathetic enough to not believe in mix marriages only needs to turn to Maslany of a shiny example of why the world needs to get freaky with people outside of their own isolated ethnicities. Just like puppies, humans need more cross-breeding. 

Gorgeous and successful - a deadly combination.

Gorgeous and successful – a deadly combination.

Speaking of deadly, Maslany hits another one of my hot spots by being able to scare the shit out of me with her intensity. As a Sociologist who took two Gender Studies courses in college I love a woman who likes to take charge and she is the definition of such. I’m comfortable to admit that I want a woman willing to lead our future family and more than willing to take a back seat to a demanding, powerful woman.

Clearly Tatiana demonstrates such qualities.

Clearly Tatiana demonstrates such qualities.

Canadian television has become the premiere Minor League system for American stardom. It has turned out old school success stories such as Martin Short, Michael J Fox, John Candy, Jim Carey, Pamela Anderson, and Jill Hennessy. And a new crop including Elisha Cuthbert, Nina Dobrev, Aubrey Graham, Shenae Grimes, Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera, Rachel McAdams, and Cobie Smulders. But Maslany has a chance to become the most famous Canadian actor of all time. I mean that with all my heart.

When Orphan Black finally airs its last episode, hopefully many years from now, she needs to be on top of every Producers list for every major role. If I ever get in the position to be able to cast a movie and/or television show, the only reason Maslany won’t be in it is because she is too busy being awesome in multiple other projects. And I will know that no matter how good her replacement is, she would’ve been better. Seriously Hollywood, if you haven’t already done so, take note of how amazing Tatiana Maslany is. I hesitate to show proof because I do not want to spoil any of the show that brought her to my heart. I will however continue to plug not only Orphan Black, but most importantly the lead actor that makes the show what it is. The latest entry into my Women I Love Hall of Fame, Ms. Tatiana Maslany.

Friday Mailbag: TV Edition

The traditional television season is coming to a close and while that does not carry the same significance as it did 10 years ago, let alone 30, I still thought it would be a good excuse to breakout the mailbag to see what is on everyone’s mind. As always these are actual emails from actual readers.

This week at Upfronts NBC did everything short of holding a ticker tape parade to celebrate finishing first in the key demo, 18-49. Is it too cynical of me to suggest they shouldn’t be celebrating inflated ratings due to Sunday Night Football and the Winter Olympics? – Johnathan, Boise. 

There is a lot swagger around the Universal lot this week. Yesterday I saw the Big Chief himself, Bob Greenblatt, strutting to the Commissary in jeans and his sleeves rolled up. After a decade plus of being the laughing stock of the Big Four I think a little celebration is deserved. However, I do agree with your assessment, there is no getting around the fact that the victory was earned on the back of three horses, Sunday Night Football, Winter Olympics with an assist to Bob Costas’ pink eye, and The Voice.

NBC is partying like it is 1994.

NBC is partying like it is 1994.

As much as Greenblatt would like to crow about Sound of Music and The Blacklist, the former is a once a year event and the latter is still unproven without The Voice lead-in. The Blacklist will not bomb next year without The Voice like Revolution did, but it will be battling to get 2.0 or higher on Thursday nights next Spring. The post-Super Bowl slot has not been fruitful since Grey’s Anatomy in 2007, in-fact this year’s combo of New Girl and Brooklyn 99 both saw diminishing returns after its post-Super Bowl episodes. But in today’s landscape there are no more big hits and NBC has found stability. It will ride the wave of event programming, next year’s Super Bowl replacing the Winter Olympics, and combine it with old friend Dick Wolf to remain much more successful compared to years past. Don’t be surprised to see the Peacock make it back-to-back first place finishes next year.

What was the best new show of the last Broadcast season? Is there one that has Hall of Fame potential? Will there ever be another Hall of Fame broadcast show launched again? – Joe, Boston. 

Brooklyn 99 certainly has Hall of Fame potential, but after that it gets sketchy. I loved Trophy Wife, but it was losing steam towards the end of what turned out to be its only season, so it is hard for me to commit to saying we lost a Hall of Famer before its time. The two most hyped programs, Marvel Agents of SHIELD and The Blacklist, lack any substance to go with all of its flash and even another great performance from first ballot Hall of Famer, James Spader, can make up for it. Each new season seems to bring a ton of disappointment with it, but I remain optimistic that things will improve, from a quality standpoint, as networks realize that the big ratings are just never going to be there again. Based on Universal Productions this year’s crop of pilots is markedly better than last year’s. Both David Caspe and Tina Fey return to television. Grey’s alums Katherine Heigl and Kate Walsh return with vehicles shaped perfectly for them, in State of Affairs and Bad Judge respectively. There is hope on the horizon.

As Broadcast networks once mighty power has been sucked away the past decade by cable and now streaming devices, its one saving grace has been comedies. Is it just me or is that now gone as well? Christina, Kansas City. 

I agree Christina, I have enjoyed Broadcast comedies a bit better than cable in the past few years and I also agree that it too has now switched in the favor of cable. The best broadcast comedies going into next season are, Big Bang Theory, not my cup of tea but its ratings are impressive and people do enjoy it, Parks and Rec, entering its 7th and final season without an official air date, The Middle, enjoyable yet forgettable, The Goldbergs, ditto, New Girl, up-and-down third season buoyed by the return of D-Dub Jr., and  Brooklyn 99, flashed a ton of potential with its season end run.

Broad City has helped turn the tide in favor of cable comedies.

Broad City has helped turn the tide in favor of cable comedies.

 Compared to what is going on in cable, Louie, the most poignant and interesting comedy on TV, Broad City, the comedy with the biggest laughs, and Veep, the best comedy on TV. And it is clear that the tides have turned without me mentioning the still hilarious It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Girls, which I’ll admit improved in its third season, the strange uniquely funny Portlandia, and if you believe in fickle Emmy categories, Shameless. Outside of ABCs offensive batch of new comedies there is some support coming for Broadcast. My biased view is pumped to welcome Mulaney to the fall schedule Sunday nights on Fox. Having seen both Bad Judge and Mission Control’s pilots I can say both are loaded with potential. And even though I was disappointed in the pilot of Tina Fey’s new series, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I still trust the people involved to figure things out and eventually create a very funny series out of it. We’ll revisit this battle in a year to see how it has changed.

Please tell me the Warriors didn’t make a huge mistake by firing a coach whose entire team loved him and would run through a brick wall for in favor of an unproven Broadcaster turned Belle of the Ball because Phil Jackson wanted him to be his puppet coach for him in order to avoid the grueling travel of the NBA schedule? – Matt C., Santa Monica 

Damn it. How did this get in here? Television questions only. I don’t have time to placate your Warrior worries Matt C. from Santa Monica.

**Warning these next few questions are Arrow specific and contains some spoilers, so skip over if you do not want to be spoiled or if you’re an idiot and not interested in the series. 

 

Where do you put Arrow Season 2 on your list of all-time seasons? Is it Pantheon worthy? – Arthur, Cincinnati file_178947_1_arrow_season_2_poster

Good question. I’ll need some time to reflect before I can properly rate it, but I will say that it definitely lands in my top 10 fantastic seasons and I mean “fan”tastic literally. Look, there is no comparing Arrow to shows like The Wire, Sopranos, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad. It has completely different goals and aspirations. If I were to compare it to another show it would be Lost. In its day Lost was on Game of Thrones level of anticipation, hype, and excitement. People broke it down like a thesis paper, but in hindsight it was not much more than  fan-serving, high concept entertainment. It was not trying to make big sweeping statements about society or discover a deeper meaning in life. It was simply trying to keep fans on the edge of their seats with twists and turns, action, and love triangles to get Shippers hot and bothered. Arrow does the same thing, but actually makes some more nuanced, profound observations on society, specifically greed, desire, social and fiscal class disparity, and how we are defined as people. This season packed in a lot of narrative and highlighted Oliver Queen’s journey from a killer to a hero that was capped off in the finale this week. Excellently executed as well, may I add. 

How worried should we be about the status of Caity Lotz for Season 3 of Arrow? Why has it not  been announced that she has been upped to Regular? Shouldn’t have this been down by now? What is going on? Do we need to riot if this doesn’t happen by the Fall? – Jana, Vancouver

I cannot be robbed of Oliver and Sara time.

I cannot be robbed of Oliver and Sara time.

Excellent question, Jana. But let’s not panic quite yet. The fact that Sara Lance survived this season is a good sign. I was a bit surprised that her life was not once in peril the entire episode and the lack of a conversation between her and Oliver in the wake of their apparent break-up. Arrow has a lot of masters and characters to serve, which is why I was hoping for more bodies to drop other than Moira Queen’s. In an ideal world Roy and Laurel would die heroically and our remaining, much more interesting characters would have something to grieve moving forward. I do not want Arrow to become too soapy or sappy with its love stories, but I would like some more time to explore Oliver’s romantic entanglements.

He seems to fall in-and-out of relationships rather quickly, which makes sense given everything that he has been through. I too would be grasping for anything that I thought would make me happy, especially if Caity Lotz and Summer Glau are involved, and yet be scared to commit due to the demons I carry around. But just a few weeks ago he asked Sara to move in with him and then got dumped. I would’ve liked to see more of his reaction to this as I thought it was a big step in his character progression, but the show seemed to be sweeping it under the rug.

This is the only Black Canary I'll ever recognize.

This is the only Black Canary I’ll ever recognize.

In fact the show did not do well by Sara/The Canary at all in the last few episodes, between the heavy handed approach to showing her that she is a hero, to not explaining why she was back and then randomly inserting the League of Assassins back in her life, to then having her get on a boat with said League and no one seeming to have a big issue with her leaving for an undetermined amount of time. Where the hell was Oliver for this decision? Why couldn’t he say good-bye? Damn it, Jana, now you’ve got me mad too.

I don’t want to watch Laurel become the Canary. It makes no sense. Sara has years of training by the most deadly organization in the world. Laurel is a bumbling, idiot, drunk attorney who ruins every story she is in, please, please don’t let her become a part of team Arrow. Not after the awesomeness that was Sara and Caity Lotz. Please Marc Guggenheim, don’t make me suffer through this ordeal. Please Ali Benmohamed, Caity Lotz’s agent, take whatever deal CW offers you for series regular status. Actually check that, damn it CW, don’t cheap out on me. Please offer Ms. Lotz whatever she wants. Don’t ruin your hit show. Please, please, please. Otherwise you will have to deal with Jana and I rioting your headquarters.

On a scale of 1-10 how cruel was Arrow to us Olicity, Oliver and Felicity, shippers? – Dave, Salt Lake City

Pretty rough, I must admit, as a Saliver I was not that pissed off about the fake out. In fact I was relieved, not that I’m against Felicity and Oliver being romantically involved, more so that this confession came out of nowhere and was on the heels of Oliver just asking Sara to move in with him. It felt false for Oliver to admit something big like this out of the blue and was much more satisfied that it was part of a plan to end Deathstroke. I have no doubt that the endgame goal is to get Felicity and Oliver together, but I hope they do not take the traditional narrative of dragging out a will they/won’t they between them till the very end. I would much rather see them actually date or at least hook up some time in the next season .

 

** This concludes our Arrow portion of the Mail Bag. 

Seriously though, is Kerr going to rely too heavily on the Triangle? Won’t that limit some of Curry’s creativity? And isn’t having a high basketball IQ different for broadcasting than coaching? Isn’t a big part of it gaining the respect and love of your players? – Matt C., Santa Monica

Alright, alright Matt C. I will address your precious Warriors. It is a highly risky move. A big part of Kerr’s appeal is how badly Phil wanted him to coach the Knicks, but I do believe that part of that was having a former player he could control in order to coach the team without actually coaching. Look at who is backup choice appears to be, Derek Fisher, falls into the same camp as Kerr. I do think that the Triangle will give the Warriors more stability on offense and that Kerr will not solely run it, so you guys will be difficult to defend. Mark Jackson’s offense was Vinny Del Negro bland and relied far too heavily on Curry high pick n’ roll and Iso post-ups on perceived mismatches. These plays are so common and therefore easier to defend. With the amount of shooting the Warriors have there is no excuse for having this bland of an offense. I think it will see marked improvement next season. The question marks are will these players work as hard on the defensive end as they did for Jackson. We will have to see. If they do though, I think the Warriors rise past the Rockets and Blazers into the top-four of the West giving them a better path to the Western Conference Finals. You happy, Matt C. from Santa Monica?

How bad was the How I Met Your Mother finale? Worst of all-time? And how happy are Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld to be off the sitcom finale snide? – Joan, Tulsa

Again, don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment, but if How I Met Your Mother followed the Dinosaurs blueprint of causing their species to go extinct, I think it would’ve gone over better with fans.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/dinosaurs-the-most-traumatizing-series-finale-ever

And am I the only person in the world that actually enjoyed the Seinfeld finale and found it to be a funny, unique way to end a sitcom, while also being a fitting ending for those characters. Count me as a Seinfeld finale defender till the day I die.

Why aren’t more people talking about Orphan Black? More importantly why aren’t more people talking about Tatiana Maslany and what an amazing performance she is giving? I’m shocked and disappointed that you’ve not done a Women I Love article on her yet. – Angela, Detroit

Keep smiling Tatiana. You're a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Keep smiling Tatiana. You’re a first ballot Hall of Famer.

I just finished season one of Orphan Black this week, so give me some time on the Women I Love article because you’re right I’m absolutely in love with Maslany. I do not want to go into specifics of the show because it is a must watch. Maslany is giving a Sandy Koufax-esque acting performance. This is the fastest I’ve ever seen anyone wrap up Hall of Fame status. I do not even need to see how the rest of the series plays out, I’m ready to give it to her now. Everyone, please make it a priority to watch this show immediately. Mad Men, Veep, and Game of Thrones is coming to a close in a couple weeks and there is not much quality TV on the horizon this summer. The first season is only 10 episodes and you’ll breeze through them. Consider this a decree, watch Orphan Black or never get a mailbag again.