Paulie’s Perspective – 2021 EMMY TALK & PREDICTIONS: Outstanding Drama Series & Outstanding Comedy Series

Outstanding Drama Series

The Boys / Bridgerton / The Crown / The Mandalorian / Lovecraft Country / Pose / The Handmaid’s Tale / This Is Us. 

Outstanding Comedy Series

Black-ish / Cobra Kai / Pen15 / Emily In Paris / Hacks / Ted Lasso / The Flight Attendant / The Kominsky Method

Okay, let’s start with the Drama series. I have seen all of these – not every episode, because I couldn’t stop puking – but enough of them to feel sick to my stomach. Clearly there is a front runner here and it’s name is The Mandolorian, or Mando for short. I believe after the JJ Abrams debacle, the world fell back in love with Star Wars because of this show and the breakthrough techniques that Jon Favreau created and used. Let’s not forget Baby Yoda – I mean, based on Baby Yoda alone – Mando wins the Emmy here.  Based on that Luke Skywalker scene alone, Mando wins the Emmy here.  Based on the breakthrough 3D soundstage they built to film Mando on, Mando wins the Emmy here. I mean, so many reasons for Mando to win – it would stop my heart completely if it should lose. No other show on this list was even as half as popular, nor half the breakthrough that Mando was. It is insulting that Mando is even listed among these mere shades of a Drama series. 

Bridgerton lifted Netflix in a time of need, yes, and is insanely popular as well, yes – but romantic lovey dovey period pieces like this are always up for awards, because women swoon over them, like they are a plumber doing work for free. The Crown also, is more of a tabloid show than a drama series – I mean it follows the real events of England’s Royal Family. Nothing creative or dramatic there. It is taking stories from history, so we literally know what’s going to happen. Watching The Crown was like reading those tabloids at the supermarket. Shallow and full of gossip for women to chat about over the phone,  while watching Bridgerton and wishing their prince would sweep them away. A Prince who doesn’t burp, or fart, has pecs and wears knee high boots and a high collar. These two shows are fan favorites, because honestly, there is nothing else like them around right now, and they are period pieces that take women away to their favorite Princess fairy tale lands. Emmy worthy though? I don’t think so. 

Let’s talk about Lovecraft Country. This thing, wow. I waited every week – watched ever episode of this thing and it was painful. I didn’t know what was going on yet somehow I didn’t want to give up on it. Time travel, monsters, demi-gods, shape shifting, I mean, what? I did like the actors a lot, and each week was definitely unpredictable. That along with the sci-fi / fantasy element kept me watching. Could it have been more cohesive? Absolutely. The production value was head and shoulders above Bridgerton and The Crown, but the story was a mangled mess. 

The Boys I could not stomach for more than two episodes, the same with This Is Us – so I can’t comment much on those – except I guess they were chosen to round out the list. 

Let’s get to some Comedy! It did not take long for streaming services like Netflix and AppleTV to out do the broadcast networks in terms of quality and content. Streamers have way more freedom to go as dark or light as they like, and the length is pretty much up to them as well. They are not part of some big program guide that has to fit together on a Thursday night and hounded by the FCC for every mature thing said or shown. So streamers have the freedom of premium cable networks to make shows as good or as bad as they want. That said – let’s get to some of them. 

The Flight Attendant is from The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco. She was super cute ten years ago – now she’s kind of annoying. She gives off that Kate Hudson vibe when Kate was younger. That “hey I’m cute so I can be stupid and a mess” kind of vibe. Kaley doesn’t do much for a woman’s image here – and honestly I do not know how this show is a comedy in the first place. It’s pretty serious stuff. A murder occurred next to a black-out drunk Kaley Cuoco, let the hilarity ensue!! This is Kaley’s project, she is exec producer, which means she chose it, and she calls the shots. I guess she wanted to change her image of a ditz by playing a ditz who solves a murder? I dunno. Just a bad choice, and more of the same from this girl. Nicely done, yea, but that’s it. 

The Kominsky Method has about the most top notch cast you could ever get in Hollywood. They had Alan Arkin, you got Michael Douglas calling the shots, Kathleen Turner, Paul Reiser, Morgan Freeman, basically anyone Michael Douglas called up, said yes. He could have gotten anyone he wanted in Hollywood, alive or dead, and this is his dream cast for this show. Powerhouse Chuck Lorre, the mind behind Big Bang Theory, backed him up, wrote a few, directed a few, and between them, there is no greater power on Earth. The show has always been very high quality, it’s just about old people – and the one thing Hollywood despises, is getting old. So this show, even though given to us by legends, is not that talked about because it’s about old, displaced actors in Hollywood. Something no one wants to really face, even though we all will eventually. 

We got two shows riding high right now – Ted Lasso and Cobra Kai. These two shows are the front runners, even though Kominsky Method runs circles around them. These are the hot hand, and you gotta go with the hot hand. Ted Lasso has made a darling out of Jason Sudeikis. Athletes adore him and talk about him and reference him all the time, which is the best publicity you could possibly ask for. The feel good vibe of this show comes from Bill Lawrence, who was the mastermind behind Scrubs, which everyone loved. So you get a feel good sensations from it, and some goofiness, which is something Bill has been trying to recreate ever since Scrubs. Cobra Kai of course is everyone’s darling, because, well, we grew up with Daniel and he was a big part of our lives. All those hit songs, and those karate tournaments. You know every kid was forced to take karate class, and we all hated it. We all wish we could train in some japanese garden with a Mr. Miyagi who let us stay up late and gave us vintage cars to drive. That was every kid’s dream. Unfortunately we all grow up and this is what happens. Is it the best quality, no – the best writing – no, those go to Kominsky, but again, the old people angle just ain’t gonna fly with voters, but Cobra Kai will. Is it hilarious? Absolutely not. What the show is, a comfortable blanket we can pull over ourselves on the couch at night with a three finger pour of our favorite whiskey – and that, my friends, is what wins awards. 

Emily In Paris is Sex In The City Goes to Paris – creator Darren Star cooked this thing up, and it’s a failed attempt at something special he had going with HBO all those years ago, and Black-ish is the same old thing that’s been happening for 7 years now. It’s a safe bet, it doesn’t suck, and it gives the list diversity, so why not. 

Next Thursday I will move on to the next two categories – and we will discuss those.  I can be reached  Have a great week!