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Have we mentioned how good ‘Watchmen’ is yet? One more time won’t hurt

Jean Smart in HBO's "Watchmen."
(Mark Hill / HBO)

The president doesn’t want us to vote (by mail), fire tornadoes are burning in the Angeles National Forest and I’d really like to buy a snow cone right now but I’m having a hell of a time finding an ice cream truck that’s playing RZA’s jingle.

And the Emmys are around the corner. Have you watched “Watchmen” (again)?

I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter. Welcome to this week’s edition. Thanks for stopping by. I’ve unwrapped my ice cream sandwich and I’m ready to share this week’s news.

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Emmy predictions for limited series and movies

The Emmys have separate categories for limited series and movies, but they combine the two when rewarding acting. I broke down the races, predicting wins for “Watchmen” and “Bad Education,” along with trophies for “Watchmen” stars Regina King and Jean Smart as well as Hugh Jackman (“Bad Education”) and Jim Parsons (“Hollywood”). I’d love to see one of the three nominated “Watchmen” supporting actors win too. But how do you choose among Hooded Justice, young (Jovan Adepo) or old (Louis Gossett Jr.), and Doctor Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II)? At the moment, I’d vote for Abdul-Mateen, who aced pivotal scenes while his face was obscured, but ask me tomorrow and my answer might change.

Emmy nominee Regina King at 1 Hotel West Hollywood.
Emmy nominee Regina King at 1 Hotel West Hollywood.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Regina King: Emmy queen

Regina King has won three Emmys for playing three different characters, and now she’s up for a fourth for the greatest role of her career, Angela Abar, the Tulsa police detective known as Sister Night in HBO’s “Watchmen.” As “Watchmen” scored a leading 26 nominations and King plays the show’s swaggering protagonist, a role that asks her to shuttle between lover, mother, friend and imposing foe, it’s not a stretch to think she’s going to make room on her mantel for another trophy.

I spoke with King a couple of Sundays ago about her inspirations for her “Watchmen” character as well as her upcoming feature film directorial debut, “One Night in Miami.” Premiering next month at the Venice Film Festival, “Miami” is a fly-on-the-wall, fictional depiction of a real event — the night Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown met in a motel room after Clay (shortly before he took the name Muhammad Ali) beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight boxing title.

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“We felt like we had to get this movie done and out there because we’re in a moment where people might be open to what it has to say,” King says. “We’re having deeper conversations about race right now and I’d like to see those conversations move toward actionable things. Maybe this movie might help move the needle in that direction.”

Kayvan Novak and Harvey Guillén in "What We Do in the Shadows."
(FX)

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Casting a ‘Shadow’ over the Emmys

The FX comedy “What We Do in the Shadows” picked up just two Emmy nominations for its first season, but voters came around this year in a big way, giving it eight nods, including comedy series. My colleague Michael Ordoña spoke with “Shadows” writers Paul Simms and Stefani Robinson about their goofy show, which they describe as “‘The Office’ with vampires.”

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“There’s nothing underneath,” Simms says. “This is about vampires living in the real world and it’s silliness and for better or worse, there’s no social commentary or homework or anything like that.”

Maybe, given the current state of things, all those Emmy nominations shouldn’t have caught me off-guard. Some people want to fill the world with silly TV shows. And what’s wrong with that?

Feedback?

I’d love to hear from you. Email me at glenn.whipp@latimes.com.

Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.


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