Last week I flip-flopped the regularly scheduled pop culture post with an essay so I could reflect on my 4 year brain injury anniversary. So, now, this week I am ready to talk about pop culture. Which is good, considering that the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards just happened Sunday.
In this pop culture post, I give you my reflection on the awards and the awards show, so settle in with your popcorn because snacks are necessary for awards show discussions.
A comprehensive list of the nominees and winners can be viewed at the Emmy Awards website.
As is probably obvious by the fact I used to run a pop culture blog that I have now turned into a monthly feature on this blog… I like all forms of pop culture. I used to really enjoy music until my accident and severe TBI rendered that impossible because of severe hearing loss and distorted hearing. Since watching movies and television and reading books doesn’t require hearing music (much), I have still been able to enjoy those forms of pop culture. So it’s really no surprise that I wanted to watch The 2020 Emmy Awards (aired September 20, 2020 on ABC).
What’s surprising is I wanted to watch it even though the closed captions for live broadcasts have proven to be disappointing. Just call me Charlie Brown as he gets ready to kick a football Lucy will inevitably pull out from under him, leaving him kicking the air and falling flat on his back (in this scenario live broadcasts are Lucy and closed captions are the football and I am hapless Charlie Brown).
Since I don’t blaze through TV and movies quite like I used to (pre-TBI and when I lived alone), I decided to use these awards as a way to expand my “To Watch” list. That made it so I didn’t have to worry about cramming in watching as many of the nominated shows before The Emmys.
After watching The Emmys I have formulated 2 lists. The first list is “TV to watch WITH my parents.” The second list is “TV to watch by myself.” The reason I compiled these 2 separate lists is because I am realizing that I LOVED watching shows by myself and just binging on them. It’s a little harder to binge watch with my parents. I honestly think it’s generational, kind of. My generation has always had pretty easy access to TV and movies. I didn’t grow up with streaming services (I’m 41, the technology wasn’t invented yet). However I was in my 30s when streaming became readily available and I used binging TV as a way of coping with my chronic pain from Fibromyalgia. And since I grew up with TV, I was already predisposed to the “lounging in front of the TV and do nothing for hours” mentality. Not everyone of my generation are binge-watching professionals. My older sister has never really used TV that way. She doesn’t watch it regularly. I also have a curiosity for Hollywood so it makes sense that I would enjoy binging. I also like how you can get carried away with a story and either learn new things or be taken away on an adventure. It appeals to the novel-reading, storytelling writer in me.
I remember reading once (or I heard it on a podcast because pre-TBI I used to listen to those a lot) that in the entertainment world TV is a writer’s medium and movies are more a director’s medium. It’s more common to know a TV writer’s name and more common to know a movie director’s name (and not a movie screenwriter). For example, some notable TV writers: Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Sports Night), Shonda Rhymes (Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder), Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story), Norman Lear (All In The Family, The Jeffersons). I found this IMDB listing of notable TV writers. I think the list is generated by users so it puts high stock in shows that are popular now (tons of Star Trek and Game of Thrones writers but no Norman Lear). On the flip side, here are some movie directors with name recognition: Steven Spielberg (Jaws, ET), Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather I, II, III), Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill). I found this somewhat dated article from Entertainment Weekly with a list of 50 great film directors and their 100 best films (article is from 1996).
It was after watching The Emmys and remembering how much joy I received from binge-watching TV, that I realized I really need to allow myself to binge on my own without my parents. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching TV and movies with my parents. However, after living with them again for 4 years, I am realizing we spend a lot of time together and it would benefit all of us if we take more time by ourselves. Also, I don’t mind darker, grittier, “twisty” fictional shows. So that’s when I devised the 2 separate “To Watch” lists.
“To Watch” WITH My Parents
“Schitt’s Creek”: Emmy Awards 2020: 9 Where to watch: PopTV and now on Netflix. Just ended (2015-2020) sitcom from Father-Son team Eugene Levy and Dan Levy. Stars, Eugene and Dan Levy and comedy legend Catherine O’Hara. It’s about a once very wealthy family that finds themselves broke and living in the comically-named Schitt’s Creek. Why I want to watch it WITH my parents: It’s silly and funny and only a half hour (less without commercials). We recently watched and loved “Best In Show” (with Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara).
“The Morning Show”: Emmy Awards 2020: 0 (nominated) Where to watch: Apple TV+. A 10 episode series starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell about the drama behind the scenes of a Today Show-like morning show. And like The Today Show a lot of the drama revolves around the downfall of its male anchor. Why I want to watch it WITH my parents: We watched and loved the first episode.
“Mrs. America”: Emmy Awards 2020: 0 (nominated). Where to watch: Hulu, Prime Video (rent/buy). A fictional account of real-life conservative activist Phyllis Schafly’s time in the 1970s fighting against the Equal Rights Amendment movement. Cate Blanchett plays Schafly. Why I want to watch it WITH my parents: I love to watch fictional political shows with my parents (The West Wing, The Crown, etc.).
“Big Little Lies,” Season 2: Emmy Awards 2020: 0 (nominated). Where to watch: HBO. The first season was based on the novel by Liane Moriarty and the second season extends the lives of the characters to events that happen after the book. Why I want to watch it WITH my parents: We watched season 1 and I read the book but we have not watched season 2 yet.
“To Watch” WITHOUT My Parents
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”: Emmy Awards 2020: 0 (nominated). Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video. Chronicles the rise of a Jewish housewife in 1958 as standup comic after her husband unexpectedly divorces her. Why I want to watch ALONE: This is created and written by Amy Sherman-Palladino who created and wrote one of my favorites “Gilmore Girls.” I watched the first few episodes but decided I should stop because my parents would like it, but that thinking prevented me from watching it. So no more. Alone I will binge!
“Watchmen”: Emmy Awards 2020: 11. Where to watch: HBO. Set in an alternate reality of the original graphic novel. About police who disguise themselves in order to protect themselves. Why I want to watch ALONE: Created by one of the TV writers I love (Damon Lindelof, Lost). It’s a superhero show but based in a more realistic world than most superhero shows. It seems like it might be dark and twisty and something great to binge-watch (it’s only 9 episodes).
“Unorthodox”: Where to watch: Netflix. Emmy Awards 2020: 0 (nominated). Based on a 2012 memoir of a woman who flees a strict Orthodox upbringing and arranged marriage. Why I want to watch ALONE: I just started reading the memoir (got it electronically from my library after The Emmys) and I think it would be fun to read it and binge-watch it when I am done reading the book. 4 episodes.
“Normal People”: Where to watch: Hulu. Emmy Awards 2020: 0 (nominated). Based on the 2018 novel by Sally Rooney. A coming of age story in Ireland. Why I want to watch ALONE: I have the book and intend to read it soon. When I finish something like that I will want to binge it. 12 episodes.
“Little Fires Everywhere”: Where to watch: Hulu. Emmy Awards 2020: 0 (nominated). Starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. Based on a 2017 novel by Celeste Ng. Why I want to watch ALONE: I have the book and intend to read it soon. When I finish something like that I will want to binge it. 8 episodes.
#CreativityForDays Weekly Project
Here’s another card project I created. I am sharing it because the recipient surely doesn’t read this blog (she’s 7). I turned a lamb into the oops 🙊 emoji!
A Selby Sweetie Conclusion
Here’s a preview of Selby in her skunk 🦨 costume.