Veep

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 Preview: Outstanding Lead Actress Comedy

Over the weekend we discussed the rapid decline of the Lead Actor in a Comedy series category, which has led to an era of dominance by Jim Parsons. This category is on the verge of having an actress win it three years in a row. However, unlike her male counterpart it is not from a dearth of competition, but rather sheer brilliance. The only question to ask in this category is can anyone stop Julia Louis-Dreyfus?

Nominees

When you come at the Queen, you best not miss.

When you come at the Queen, you best not miss.

 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (1/4) – Emmy royalty, she has won four awards and received 15 nominations, eight for lead and seven for supporting actress in a comedy series. All signs point to her taking home a fifth golden statute tomorrow night. Veep is the best comedy on television and Dreyfus is the main reason why. The way she rips through the profanity laced Iannucci dialogue or plays Selina Meyer’s determination to matter in Washington is pure gold. Right now she is playing in a higher league than the rest of her competition.

Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black” (9/2) – Fan opinion is split on Piper Chapman as a character. Count me amongst the fans, as a suburban boy she reminds me of home. But even the haters must admit that Schilling’s performance is impressive and worthy of a nomination. It is hard to match Jenji Kohan’s last leading lady, Mary Louise Parker from Weeds, but Schilling seems to have a great grasp of Kohan’s wry sense of humor and brings it out in her performance.

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (7/1) – This was Poehler’s worst season on the show, which is still better than 99% of the female leads in comedies. Another black mark on the Emmy’s record. It astonishes me that Poehler has never one for playing Leslie Knope a character that against all odds has become more iconic than Michael Scott from The Office. Over the past six seasons no one has been better at making an audience run the gambit of emotions than Poehler as Knope. She makes us laugh, cry, get angry, laugh even harder, feel embarrassed, and then laugh harder than we thought possible. Sadly it appears,  just like Carrell, Poehler will never take home the gold.

Lena Dunahm, “Girls” (30/1) – I hate Dunham with a fiery passion, but that she brings such passion out of me may speak to the level of talent she has. I’m just not sure if my hatred is jealousy or because she actually sucks. It is a complicated matter and I need to explore my feelings on it further before I decide if she is worthy of this nomination.tumblr_mp5tiekfvN1r0dgn4o1_500

Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly” (30/1) – Everyone loves Melissa McCarthy. Except for Jenny McCarthy, but that is a complicated story. She is a bona fide movie star that seems to crap out hundreds of millions in box office. But that does not mean she is delivering an Emmy worthy performance on TV. First off, the material she is given is not nearly up to the caliber she deserves. This shouldn’t count against her, but it only allows her to glide by on tired gags. Emmy voters quickly realized that Jason Segal’s movie success did not translate to a stellar performance on How I Met Your Mother and must do the same with McCarthy. This will be the last year she gets nominated.

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (30/1) – Falco sneaks in to the field because she has won this award playing this character before and she is a phenomenal actress. However, Nurse Jackie is suffering creative fatigue and Falco has been forced to cycle through the same character beats as earlier in its run. Again, this is not her fault, but it also lessens the appeal of the role.

Snubs

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, “Broad City” – An Emmy first is needed, nominate a pair of actress for one spot. Broad City is the best new comedy of the year and also the comedy that made me laugh the hardest. The credit all goes to Glazer and Jacobson who not only serve as the show’s stars, but its creators as well. The majority of scenes in the show feature just the two of them improving off one another. Their chemistry is unmatched on TV today and it is impossible to separate them.

Rossum has grown to outshine the immensely talented William H Macy on Shameless.

Rossum has grown to outshine the immensely talented William H Macy on Shameless.

 

Emmy Rossum, “Shameless” – This is a tough year for Shameless to submit in the comedy category. It spent the previous three seasons in drama, while being a twisted dark comedy about a family surviving on Chicago’s South Side. Then switched to comedy and delivered its most dramatic season yet as the weight that the Gallaghers have been holding up all came crashing down on top of them. The focal point of this crash was Rossum’s Fiona whom nearly killed her toddler brother by leaving cocaine out on the table, then proceeded to have a prison arc of her own, but without all the humor that Schilling got to play with on Orange is the New Black. Never the less, comedic or not, Rossum deserves more recognition for her work on the underrated Shameless.

Best Bet

There is a great case to be made for a Schilling win. Orange is the New Black is a trendy new show that has a groundswell of support and might have a huge night, racking up award after award. Schilling could very well be a beneficiary of that support and topple Queen Dreyfus. But in reality talking up anyone else in this category is like betting on Floyd Mayweather’s next opponent. Yeah, it sounds fun and tempting to correctly pick the man that takes him down, but in the end Money Mayweather is going to win by decision. Bet big on Dreyfus.

Should Win 

Dreyfus is the Queen, but Veep has a tremendous supporting cast, while Glazer and Jacobson carry the show on their own. Yes, it is cheating to pick a pair over one person, but it takes something special like this to topple a legend. And while Veep is a better overall show, no one made me laugh harder than Jacobson and Glazer on Broad City.

Will Win 

This is the biggest lock of the night. Dreyfus makes it a three peat. You’re welcome Pat Riley. She is just too good and Emmy voters love her too much for anyone to beat her.

2014 Emmy Preview: Supporting Actors Comedy

Television’s biggest award show is rapidly approaching, it airs next Monday August 25th on NBC. In anticipation of what is sure to be an entertaining show with Seth Meyers hosting let’s do a full breakdown of the categories including the betting odds, snubs, rightful winner, and predicted winner. First up, supporting actors in a comedy series.

Supporting Actor Comedy Series

Armisen is one of this year's many surprise noms.

Armisen is one of this year’s many surprise noms.

 

Nominees:

Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn 99” – (2/3)

Tony Hale, “Veep” – (13/5)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family” – (11/2)

Fred Armisen, “Portlandia” – (10/1)

Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” – (15/1)

Adam Driver, “Girls” – (50/1)

Snubs: 

Snubs can only occur if there are undeserving nominees in the category and deserving ones to replace them. In this category there are two undeserving nominees and two worthy candidates to replace them. Armisen submitting as a supporting actor is questionable, but the whole Emmy process is too messed up to fix, so since he is worthy of a nomination. I fully admit that my bias against “Modern Family” plays in to my displeasure with Ferguson and Burrell still getting nominated in this category. The two men I’d replace them with are:

Nick Offerman, “Parks and Recreation” – The fact that Ron “fucking” Swanson has never won this award is a black mark on the Emmys’ legitimacy, topped only by nominating “The Wire” one time. Offerman deserves a lifetime achievement award for this iconic role. Despite not being the best season creatively for “Parks and Rec” and as a result the best season of work for Offerman that by no means makes it right to not nominate the man. A true embarrassment for American Pop Culture.

Jeremy Allen White, “Shameless” – Just like Fred Armisen’s nominations, the only question here is placement of category. Since he both took on a more leading role and “Shameless” has been consider as a Drama for its first three seasons, while making the switch to Comedy in what turned out to be by far its darkest and most dramatic season to date. But again, this section is not about how to fix the Emmys, but rather whom should be nominated and Jeremy Allen White is far more deserving than the “Modern Family” duo. He is a star in the making and brings so much depth to his South Side delinquent character that he has stolen the show from his more accomplished co-stars, William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum.

Best Bet:

Defending winner Tony Hale at (13/5). Emmy voters love attrition or maybe they are just lazy, but either way it leaves Hale with a good chance of taking home the trophy again. Veep has 9 nominations including best comedy series, which indicates it’s a big hit with voters. Hale did not have as much to do this season as he did last year, but he has some great moments including his best from his submission episode when he and Julia Louis Dreyfuss react to the news that she is now President of the United States.

Who Should Win: 

The easy answer is Nick Offerman since he has never won the damn thing, but simply judging this year alone it has to be the immaculate Andre Braugher. Known for his dramatic chops on shows such as “Homicide” and “Men of a Certain Age” Braugher is a revelation as the deadpan Captain Ray Holt. Consistently getting the biggest laughs of the week despite having to share the stage with goofier, more comedic actors like Andy Samberg and Joe Lo Truglio.

Who Will Win: 

Andre Braugher. Emmy voters may love attrition, but they also love Braugher as his six previous nominations from five different shows indicates. Plus how could anyone watch this scene and not want to give the man another Emmy.

 

Supporting Actress Comedy Series

Nominees: 

"My Girl" is all grown up and has a filthy mouth on her.

“My Girl” is all grown up and has a filthy mouth on her.

 

Allison Janey, “Mom” – (1/2)

Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black” – (2/1)

Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” – (15/1)

Katie McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” – (20/1)

Mayim Bialik, “Big Bang Theory” – (20/1)

Ann Chulmsky, “Veep” – (20/1)

Snubs: 

I will give Emmy voters some props for nominating a lot of new faces in this category and having only one “Modern Family” actress. It seems weird to kick out the betting favorite and it is not that Janey is completely undeserving of the nomination as she does typically great work, but just not good enough to deserve being in this category. The same goes for fellow Chuck Lorre star Mayim Bialik whom is my favorite part of a show that I work very hard to avoid watching and obviously my feelings for Happy Gilmore’s girlfriend are the same as her “Modern Family” male supporting actors.

Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer” – Despite it making zero sense for an actress from a sketch show with her name on it and that appears in every single second of the show placing herself in the supporting category, I still must obey the messed up rules of Emmy and say she absolutely deserves to be nominated. Schumer is not just a fantastic comic, she is a highly talented actress. Playing an array of characters the show and it would be great to see this clip shown when they announce the nominees.

 

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Danielle Brooks, “Orange Is The New Black” – This category will be extremely difficult next year when Season 2 is eligible for nomination and a lot more actresses from this show will be up for consideration for this award instead of Guest Actress, Comedy. Brooks’s Taystee definitely deserves to represent this show along with co-star Katie Mulgrew. Taystee became a fan favorite despite limited screen time and that is because Brooks shined in every single second she was given especially towards the end of the season during the parole hearing arc.

Marcia Gay Harden, “Trophy Wife” – Much like Supporting Actor favorite Andre Braugher, Gay Harden showed off surprising comedic chops last season on this warm, funny, and entertaining show that deserved so much more fan support then it got. It would be nice to see the Emmys honor this “gone too soon” sitcom with at least one nomination and this was the most likely candidate.

Best Bet: 

Emmy voters do love Allison Janey, donning her with four wins in her career, so it would seem to hard to bet against her. However, since Emmy voters are made up of Entertainment Industry Insiders and “Orange Is the New Black” create quite the buzz in Hollywood, it would be smart to bet big on it across the board in this case Katie Mulgrew. Especially true at 2/1, when compared to Janey’s 1/2 odds.

Who Should Win: 

In this crazy, messed up nomination process the deserving winner is absolutely Amy Schumer. Yes, she has a distinct advantage since she is the sole star of the show. And yes, it is a sketch show, but still no one is more entertaining, funnier, or more skilled than Schumer in this category.

Who Will Win: 

It just seems like this year’s Emmys is set up to be a big night for “Orange Is the New Black” and Mulgrew is going to reap the benefits with a big win for her portrayal of Prison Chef/Contraband Importer “Red.” Take Mulgrew at 2/1, parlay it with the show in the Outstanding Comedy Series category at 2/1, and take those winnings to the bank.

My Perfect Sunday

One major change I’ve noticed in my post-college life is my favorite day of the week. Back in elementary and high school it was Friday, the standard flashy pick. Back then it was a day to slack off in class, hang out with your buddies, play video games and order pizza, and then eventually to grab a 30 rack and hang out in the park till we heard about a party that night. It was a great, exciting release from the boredom of the school week.

In college, it was a tie between Thursday and Saturday. The school week was less boring and monotonous, so Fridays lost some appeal. Thursday nights became the biggest party night of the week. The bars always had the best deals and people either didn’t have class on Fridays or didn’t care enough to show up. Then Saturdays always brought the best day parties, whether tailgating in the fall or making up for the lack of tailgating by throwing the biggest ragers in the spring, Saturdays always brought something big to the table.

However, my new favorite day of the week has appropriately landed on the day of rest, Sundays. I used to dread Sundays as a kid. Between dressing up in uncomfortable clothes, to sit on uncomfortable wooden pews, and listen to a man that made me feel uncomfortable for an hour and the reminder that the weekend is over, Sundays sucked. Nowadays I’m too tired from the work week to make Fridays truly count on a weekly basis and while Saturdays bring a fair share of day parties/brunches it does not bring the same level of joy as Sundays.

What was once Sunday’s weakness, being the end of the weekend and beginning of another week, is now its strength. I appreciate Sundays because it is my last chance to enjoy the weekend before another monotonous week begins. It brings higher stakes to everything that I do. Do I want to release some more steam before I go back to work? Then it is time for a boozy brunch and swing by my favorite beach bar, Big Dean’s. Do I have more errands I need to run? Well, let me think about if it will improve my life in a significant way, otherwise I’m not going to waste my Sunday. I could get some extra activities in, play tennis, golf, go for a run, hit the beach for some volleyball, or pump some iron on the Bowflex in the garage.

Sundays make me think about what is important to me and make sure I accomplish that before the weekend is over, even if that means accomplishing sitting on my couch doing nothing while I catch up on all the TV I missed during the week. Speaking of TV, Sunday has the best of the whole week. Between 10 straight hours of non-stop football in the fall and prestigious cable television at night, Sunday TV brings it all year round. And at this moment is my perfect Sunday TV lineup.

Currently playing on Sunday nights is my most exciting show on Television, Game of Thrones. As thrilling as it was to watch Walter White cook his last batch of crystal blue persuasion and as mesmerizing as Harrellson and McConoughey were for the 8 week stretch of True Detective, no show matches Thrones as far as thrills. It’s really unfair to compare it to any other show because it is at such a higher scale. There is a vast number of characters that are intertwined in a complicated plot that I have no idea where it is heading. The anticipation of what is going to happen next and how everything is going to come crashing together seals it as the most exciting show on television.

Also playing on HBO on Sundays is my current top comedy on television, Veep. Certain shows may give me bigger laughs, but none is more consistently enjoyable. Julia Louis Dreyfus is his a Grand Slam week in and week out. I never would’ve bet on her creating a more iconic character that Elaine Benes, but as far as I’m concerned she has done it. Dreyfus is first ballot TV Hall of Famer and it is a pleasure to watch her work week in and week out and Veep would be great if it were just her surrounded by a crap cast, but luckily for TV viewers the cast around her more than holds their own. “My Girl” Anna Chumsky wipes away all traces of her child stardom by playing the constantly bitter Amy Brookheimer. Speaking of breaking away from past characters, despite playing another character with attachment issues Tony Hale’s Gary Walsh is nothing like Buster Bluth. Phenomenal blogger and big time Chicago Bears’ fan Matt Walsh is pitch perfect as sad sack Media Specialist, Mike McClintock. And Timothy Simons Jonah Ryan is the comedic gift that keeps on giving.

Rounding out my Sunday lineup is my favorite show on television, Mad Men. It may not be the most exciting show or the funniest, but there is no show that is more of a pleasure to watch. Don Draper is the most fascinating character to grace television screens since Tony Soprano ordered onion rings for the table. Last week I talked about what I want to be when I grow, the focal point of everyone’s life. Don has that same desire, which is why he constantly reinvents himself. He’s searching for what will get him the attention and praise that he so covets.

It is a shame that Jon Hamm will most likely never win an Emmy for this role. He is up against the stiffest competition in Male Lead Actor Drama Series history. The winners since Hamm became eligible, Bryan Cranston (2008-2010), Kyle Chandler (2011), Damian Lewis (2012), and Jeff Bridges (2013). Cranston’s Walter White will most likely be the more remembered character in the annals of TV History, but Hamm’s performance is more impressive. He brings so many layers and can deliver a well of emotion with a subtle look.

People like to throw around the term, slow, when referring to Mad Men, but what that really means is that the plot movements linger in order to delve into how it affects each character. Rather than ripping through plot developments, Mad Men lets its characters breathe. It allows the audience to gain a greater understanding of each’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions, which is a good because these characters are all complicated and none is very easy to understand. I know that I’m in the minority, but I’d gladly do away with thrills in order to get more three dimensional human characters rather than vessels for dramatic, action packed events.

Mad Men is the perfect cherry to my current ice cream “Sunday” of a lineup.