Need a new show to binge? How to watch the 2022 Emmy nominees you might have missed
Emmy season isn’t what it used to be — it’s better. Much better. There was a time when, if you didn’t catch a nominated program in its first run on broadcast or cable, you’d have to find summer reruns, or just start watching the next season (if there was a next season).
But steaming has changed everything. A large proportion of the nominees this season were produced for streaming services, and nearly every nominated show is streaming somewhere. Most are included for subscribers on at least one of the major streaming services (Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video); others are available on services dedicated to specific channels or groups of channels (AMC+, Peacock, Paramount+, Showtime); and almost all are available (albeit for an additional fee) on VOD platforms like Roku, iTunes and Amazon.
Our television team has already weighed in on the 75 best shows on Netflix and the 75 best shows on HBO Max. Below are the programs that members of the Television Academy have nominated as this season’s best. The winners will be announced at the 74th Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 12, on NBC and streaming (of course) on Peacock.
With ‘Hacks,’ ‘Succession’ and ‘The White Lotus,’ HBO and HBO Max led the field with a combined 140 Emmy nominations.
Seven nominations | ABC | Hulu | TV-PG
In Quinta Brunson’s delightful “Abbott Elementary” on ABC, a coterie of teachers attempt to make things work — and do — in a predominantly Black Philadelphia elementary school, in spite of budget constraints, their own blind spots and a hilariously self-involved principal. These are people you want to be around, who work together without sacrificing their individuality, not to say eccentricities, and get results.
[A] world in which characters solve problems together, and — as important — in which problems are, in fact, solvable, a tonic in an absurdly polarized world. Their mood, allowing for occasional moments of Great Seriousness, is sunny, their glass never less than three-quarters full — of lemonade, probably. Critics might call them unrealistic and sentimental, even childish, as if darker comedy more accurately reflected Real Life. But people respond to sentiment; we aspire. Only the most perverse of us hope for anything but a good outcome, on television as in life. And even with the pie for viewers sliced thin, these series routinely outperform Emmy-winning premium cable hits by many millions. (Read more) —Robert Lloyd
For creator-star Quinta Brunson, Janelle James, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Lisa Ann Walter, the series lets teachers be human. And as a result, “teachers are feeling seen, which is one of the best things about the show.”
14 nominations | HBO | HBO Max | TV-MA
HBO’s dark comedy “Barry” started in 2018 with a joke that should have carried it for only an episode or two: A Midwestern hitman walks into a Los Angeles drama class and discovers he’d rather act than kill. But the series, like its murderous namesake, has always had more bubbling under the surface. And Season 3 is at a full boil.
Revenge or redemption? That is the question hanging over “Barry” when it returns Sunday after a three-year hiatus — and several dead bodies in between seasons. Barry (Bill Hader) is still hoping to leave his killer life behind for a career in the dramatic arts, but at this point he’ll settle for convincing himself and others that he’s not a bad person. Unfortunately, nothing is ever that easy for the socially inept sharpshooter. His quest for forgiveness begets ever more violence, pulling the story in masterfully funny, tense and disturbing directions, and proving that this half-hour comedy is still one of television’s best suspense-filled thrillers. (Read more) —Lorraine Ali
“It’s the most outrageous, intense work I have ever done,” the one-time Fonz says of his role as terrible acting teacher Gene Cousineau.
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
Four nominations | HBO | HBO Max | TV-MA
Television these days is like a big-name music festival — if you want to put your sufficiently famous band back together, someone will write you a check and send a car. But there was never any question that Larry David’s series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” would be welcome any time on HBO. Indeed, the question after each season of “Curb” was whether David was interested in doing more, not whether the network would want him to. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
Larry David aficionado Adam Papagan takes The Times on his “Curb Your Enthusiasm” tour, which doubles as a love letter to low-key Westside establishments.
17 nominations | HBO | HBO Max | TV-MA
The comedy world, and its abhorrent treatment of women, is the backdrop for this HBO Max comedy starring Jean Smart as Deborah Vance, a successful Las Vegas stand-up who’s in danger of losing her headlining slot at the casino where she’s performed for decades. Younger acts are moving in on her turf, so the tough, salty comedian is told to freshen up her routine and is reluctantly paired with a Gen Z comedy writer named Ava (Hanna Einbinder). Their generational differences and personality clashes lead to deeply hilarious and poignant commentary on feminism, cancel culture, ageism and the nature of true friendship. (Read more) — Lorraine Ali
Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder and the creators of HBO Max’s Emmy-winning comedy break down Season 2’s first big reveal.
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
12 nominations | Prime Video | 16+
When you think about “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the first image that comes to mind is likely star Rachel Brosnahan, in a sharp vintage gown and elbow-length gloves, holding a microphone on a stage. From the very first episode, the series’ stand-up sequences, showcasing the growing talents of housewife-turned-comic Midge Maisel, have been a way of witnessing the show’s titular hero try to conquer this new world, while also using her time onstage to process what’s going on in her offstage life. And when it comes to Midge’s act, almost nothing is left to chance. (Read more) — Liz Shannon Miller
Alex Borstein relishes the craft of the character actor. She doesn’t have to carry ‘Mrs. Maisel’ or even be likable.
‘Only Murders in the Building’
17 nominations | Hulu | TV-MA
Steve Martin has in his mid-70s co-created (with John Hoffman) a splendidly funny, involving and one might even say youthful series, “Only Murders in the Building,” co-starring the slightly younger Martin Short and the much younger Selena Gomez.
The stars play unacquainted neighbors in a grand apartment house on the Upper West Side of Manhattan who meet killing time in a nearby restaurant, where they find they are all fans of the same true-crime podcast, “Not All Is OK in Oklahoma,” and bond intensely over this single issue. (In other respects, antipathy reigns.) When they return to the building they learn that a body has been discovered; they go snooping, and before long they have embarked upon an investigation and podcast of their own. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
Hulu’s acclaimed riff on true crime offers an even richer glimpse of our heroes — and supporting characters — in a satisfying, still-funny Season 2.
20 nominations | Apple TV+ | TV-MA
As the second season of “Ted Lasso” got underway there was some discussion, among our TV team and in the wider world, about whether it was living up to the first, was too nice, too free of conflict, had used up its good ideas and lost its way.
Those conversations about what a TV show should or shouldn’t do, or was or wasn’t giving its audience, got me thinking about the degree to which creators are responsible to the consumers of their creations, and the question of who “owns” a work of popular art. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
The ‘Ted Lasso’ cast and crew are delighted that Alex Morgan, Sacha Kljestan, Gregg Berhalter and Jill Ellis are among the fans who say it captures the spirit of soccer teams.
‘What We Do in the Shadows’
Seven nominations | FX | Hulu | TV-MA
Vampires do not eat pizza, which is problematic for the main characters of FX’s new half-hour comedy, “What We Do in the Shadows.” They’re facing an eternity in Staten Island — which may be redundant — and what else is there to consume when the humans they feast upon taste sad?
The drawbacks of immortality meet the farcical realities of present-day suburban life in this 10-episode series created by Jemaine Clement (“Flight of the Conchords”). “What We Do in the Shadows” is carefully crafted and hilarious. For example, its undead include an “energy vampire” whose expertise is literally boring people to death, and who hasn’t had one of those in their lives?
The series’ juxtaposition of the supernatural and mundane is the perfect setting for a pack of underachieving vampires who’d rather stay home and bicker than subjugate mankind. The sharp-witted docu-satire follows them as they halfheartedly seek total control and dominance of the New World, as ordered by their returning master and Dark Lord. (Read more) — Lorraine Ali
The vampire mockumentary series was a surprise Emmys 2020 comedy series nominee, but don’t look for hidden meaning behind the fun, say its writers.
‘Better Call Saul’
Seven nominations | AMC | AMC Plus | TV-MA
Although studded with fine supporting characters, including some “Breaking Bad” crossovers, “Better Call Saul” is a one-man band of a show. You either like [Bob] Odenkirk’s nervy, nervous and surprisingly soulful performance or you don’t — and it’s pretty hard not to like.
An origins tale, “Better Call Saul” centers on the man who would become Saul, Jimmy McGill, an all-American loser. Not the brilliant but marginalized borderline personality so popular in today’s television, but the real deal, a creature held together by flop sweat, desperate cunning and doggedly delusional ambition.
A two-bit Albuquerque attorney whose “office” is the utility closet, Jimmy ekes out a living as a public defender, representing the kind of clients who are depraved enough to sexually abuse a corpse and stupid enough to videotape the proceedings. He drives a banged-up yellow Suzuki that belches enough black smoke to blur the ironic name of its model (“Esteem”) and never manages to get enough validation stickers to park it. (The surly parking attendant will be recognized by “Breaking Bad” fans as Jonathan Banks’ Mike Ehrmantraut). (Read more) — Mary McNamara
Series co-creator Peter Gould, star Rhea Seehorn and co-writer Thomas Schnauz break down the shocking final moments of the Season 6 premiere.
16 nominations | HBO | HBO Max | TV-MA
In HBO’s teen drama “Euphoria,” creator Sam Levinson offers an unflinching glimpse into the lives — and the minds — of a group of high school students navigating substance abuse, gender and sexual identity, and the particular challenges of growing up online.
While the series has attracted attention for its risqué subject matter, though, Levinson’s writing and direction are full of arresting ideas and images. That’s especially true of the season’s third episode, “Made You Look,” which not only features protagonist Rue Bennett’s (Zendaya) irreverent voice-over narration but also an animated sequence, a split-screen text exchange and a fourth-wall breaking tutorial for men who like to take a certain kind of nude photo. (Read more) — Matt Brennan
“Nobody is getting their head cut off,” Zendaya says.
13 nominations | Netflix | TV-MA
In the Netflix series “Ozark” Jason Bateman, America’s sweetheart, plays Marty Byrde, a Chicago financial advisor. He is, we are given to understand, cautious, boring and, for the moment, obsessively distracted by a snippet of what looks like amateur pornography. He drives a 10-year-old Camry, “with cloth seats,” while his more flamboyant business partner Bruce (Josh Randall) lives it up around town. For a while, you might think you are embarking on a rather dreary, and drearily familiar, drama of domestic breakdown, one of those things where soul death is represented by watching the History Channel and Anderson Cooper, shopping at Costco and recycling. And by dinner-table scenes in which family members — wife Wendy (Laura Linney, another of America’s sweethearts), 15-year-old daughter Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and 12-year-old son Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) — can barely sustain a conversation.
And, in part, you are embarking on that drama. But slowly the the story you thought you were watching turns into something different.
One thing we learn, before long, is that he’s laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel and that his partner has been secretly taking a little of that lettuce home for himself. This prompts the arrival of upper-middle-management crime figure Del (Esai Morales) and the drama proper.
But the show comes fully alive in the company of its secondary characters, particularly an extended family of petty criminals — the press materials call them “ruffians,” quaintly — who fall athwart of more serious sorts; as their teenage de facto matriarch, Julia Garner is especially good, and her story line is arguably the most engrossing that “Ozark” has to offer. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
Along with the series showrunner, the two stars take us through the scenes, beat by beat, as the series wraps it up.
14 nominations | Apple TV+ | TV-MA
“Severance” is a vexing near-future science-fiction mystery with overtones of a corporate conspiracy thriller.
Created by Dan Erickson, directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle, it shares narrative or aesthetic notions with works as diverse as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Office Space,” “Awake” (in which a detective awakens to a different life when he goes to sleep in another) and “Counterpart” (the dual-reality J.K. Simmons spy show), with maybe a little “Alphaville” mixed in.
Adam Scott plays Mark, who works for a company called Lumon, whose purpose is no more clear than the work he does there. The impossible gimmick at the heart of the series is a procedure called “severance,” by which one’s workplace consciousness is surgically divided from the rest of one’s life, and vice versa. When Mark steps off the elevator on “the severed floor” at the start of the workday, he forgets who he is outside; when he steps off the elevator at the end of the day, he forgets what he does, and whom he knows, at work. The fictional mechanics of this are fairly well worked out, and well explained, with additional technologies written in to keep the “Innies,” as the work-conscious workers are called, from communicating with the “Outies,” as their other, one would say original, selves are called.
Mark’s co-workers are the ideologically invested Irving (John Turturro), the practical, cynical Dylan (Zach Cherry) and newcomer Helly (Britt Lower), replacing the suddenly missing Petey (Yul Vazquez, when we see him), whose absence moves Mark into a supervisory position. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
The director and his star learned much about perseverance and trusting each other while making the dystopian series.
14 nominations | Netflix | TV-MA
No squid were harmed in the making of “Squid Game,” or even appear in the nine-episode Korean series from Netflix that the streamer is cautiously predicting might be its most successful show ever. (It is hard to know exactly what that means, given the company’s famously secret metrics, but take it as read that it’s doing well.)
There are reasons, to be sure. Korean pop culture has become a global powerhouse; people everywhere are happy to open that door. It has suspense, an increasingly sympathetic lead, looks great and has been erected on a time-tested plot structure, with more than a little heart to offset a sadistic premise you are invited to find repellent and attractive at the same time. It’s a little sad but not at all surprising to consider that this is what global humanity wants to watch, but then again it is not far outside the moral universe of your average modern-day superhero flick. Which also makes me sad. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
In Screen Gab No. 7, we tackle Korea’s surprise streaming hit, diagram the battle of the Britney docs and discuss “Diana: The Musical.”
13 nominations | Netflix | TV-14
“Stranger Things 4” is set in 1986, six months in TV time since the gang from Hawkins, Ind., defeated the Spider Monster in the food court of the Starcourt Mall and thwarted a Soviet plot in the shopping center’s basement. El, Will, Mike, Lucas, Dustin and Sam have outgrown their dorky-cute phase. Now they’re uncomfortably awkward, like a collection of humiliating photos from your 10th-grade yearbook come to life: uber-gawky teens so socially inept in comparison to their high school peers that they teeter on the precipice of unlikable. (The hair is particularly bad. Even for the ’80s.)
The brilliance of “Stranger Things 4” is that rather than gloss over the unpleasantry, it leans hard into their clumsy, painful transition. Though the alienation and shame of bullied high schoolers is a much tougher sell for a beloved sci-fi series than the pain porn of young-adult dramas like “13 Reasons Why” or “Euphoria,” “Stranger Things” channels that darkness into a fresh narrative that’s as much an ode to “Hellraiser”-era horror films as it is to growing pains. (Read more) — Lorraine Ali
Like the SiriusXM station dedicated to hits of the 1980s, Netflix’s new sci-fi/horror/kid-hero series “Stranger Things” is a celebration of nostalgia.
25 nominations | HBO | HBO Max | TV-MA
In “Succession,” the formidable Brian Cox (“Churchill”) plays Logan Roy, the aging head of the “fifth-largest media conglomerate in the world.” He’s a little like Rupert Murdoch, then, as a healthier-looking Scots American.
As Logan turns 80, son Kendall (Jeremy Strong) believes or has been led to believe that control of the company will imminently come to him. (He has come back from some rehab-colored time in the wilderness.) Kendall’s brother Roman (Kieran Culkin) would like to be running the conglomerate’s Hollywood division. (“As you know,” he says, “I’m quite an innovative thinker and I was met with a lot of resistance.”) Sister Siobhan, called Shiv (Sarah Snook), works outside the company, as a political strategist of no discernible personal convictions, while oldest son Connor (Alan Ruck), from an earlier marriage, is mostly concerned with avoiding conflict and responsibility.
It’s as if Lear, on the verge of dividing his kingdom, changed his mind and decided to stick around a while longer, while his kids jockey for position or plot coups or pick flowers. But there’s no Cordelia here, no child whose love for her father, in the waning and waxing of his faculties, is simple and true and untainted by concerns of personal gain. Power is what matters. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
Hudson Yards provides the ideal backdrop for “Succession’s” callow self-interest. Plus, bidding Sondheim adieu and “The Band’s Visit” lands in L.A.
Seven nominations | Showtime | Paramount + | TV-MA
Call it a cross between “Lord of the Flies” and “Heathers.” Or the Spice Girls meet the Donner Party. Or my horrible high school years retold in a blood-spattered forest. Showtime’s suspenseful psychological thriller “Yellowjackets” is many things, including my favorite new mystery drama of the year. I can only hope the series continues to build as it has over the last four episodes as the hourlong drama moves into 2022.
Created and executive produced by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson (both of “Narcos” and “Narcos: Mexico”), the series alternates between 1996 and the present day as it follows members of New Jersey’s state champion Yellowjackets, one of the nation’s top-ranked girls high school soccer teams. On their way to a championship game in Seattle, their plane crashes somewhere in the wilds of Ontario, Canada, where they’re stranded for 19 months. In their fight for survival, madness descends upon the group. Mean-girl competitiveness grows into a ruthless hierarchy, replete with guerrilla warfare, black magic, animalistic rituals and savagery that rivals “The Revenant.” (Read more) —Lorraine Ali
Series creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson discuss all of Episode 10’s key moments. Plus, they reveal who they got in that “Yellowjackets” quiz.
Limited or anthology series
14 nominations | Hulu | TV-MA
The OxyContin epidemic, which has been going on for a couple of decades and change, is the subject of “Dopesick,” a miniseries streaming on Hulu. It joins Alex Gibney’s recent documentary “The Crime of the Century,” Patrick Radden Keefe’s book “Empire of Pain” and a trio of episodes of John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” in shining a harsh spotlight on the drug’s manufacturer, Purdue Pharma; the family who owns it, the Sacklers; and the Food and Drug Administration, which, by omission and commission, essentially colluded in allowing a dangerous, addictive narcotic to be marketed as safe and nonaddictive.
Developed by Danny Strong (“Recount,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”) from Beth Macy’s book “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company That Addicted America” and directed in part by Barry Levinson, it’s both understated and obvious. Given the subject matter, there will be some frustrating if not unpredictable outcomes, some of which are supplied by history. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
The limited series starring Michael Keaton and Rosario Dawson weaves culpability of big pharma with opioid addicts and law enforcement.
Six nominations | Hulu | TV-MA
Based on the podcast of the same name, “The Dropout” tracks the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her biomedical company, Theranos. Amanda Seyfried portrays Holmes from her days as a Stanford student with Steve Jobs-level ambitions to her time as the enigmatic wunderkind who founded a blood-testing startup that promised to revolutionize healthcare with its ability to run hundreds of tests on just a few drops of blood — and was ultimately exposed as a con artist who bilked investors and patients by pushing technology that didn’t work.
At Theranos’ zenith, Holmes became known for her personal style, which seemed poised for mythmaking. Like Jobs, she adopted the black turtleneck, though she preferred pairing it with black pants rather than jeans and punctuated the monochromatic look with bright red lipstick. Her blond hair was usually ironed straight or pulled back into a messy chignon. (Read more) — Yvonne Villarreal
‘I’d never fully embodied somebody that way,’ the actor says of playing Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.
Three nominations | Netflix | TV-MA
From “Fyre Fraud” to “The Tinder Swindler,” con artists and their schemes have provided an endless font of material for television docuseries. No need to labor over fictional narratives about brazen frauds when reality has given us Elizabeth Holmes and Bernie Madoff. But in the spirit of fixing something that’s not broken, scripted dramas, based on docuseries, books or magazine articles, which were in turn retellings of true stories, are now vying for space in the true-ish crime world.
Before “The Dropout” (Theranos) and “WeCrashed” (WeWork) premiered came Shonda Rhimes’ drama “Inventing Anna” on Netflix. The series, about a self-proclaimed German heiress who conned millions from Manhattan’s rich and powerful, is based on a true story, though all 10 hourlong episodes begin with a disclaimer that the show is true “except for all the parts that are totally made up.” What’s clear is that the narrative is adapted from “Maybe She Had So Much Money She Just Lost Track of It,” Jessica Pressler’s 2018 New York magazine article about Anna Delvey, a.k.a. Anna Sorokin, a bright young thing who befriended “New York’s party people,” as the story had it, and used them to prop up her life of lies and excess. Delvey’s story is riveting. The series, sadly, is not. It’s five hours too long and far too formulaic to keep up with its brazen protagonist, played here by “Ozark’s” Julia Garner.
But for all its problems, it’s hard to stop watching “Inventing Anna” as it chronicles Delvey’s brilliant grift, from credit card scams to multimillion-dollar banking swindles, Paris Fashion Week to Rikers Island. (Read more) — Lorraine Ali
In Screen Gab no. 24, we revisit work by the late Ivan Reitman, look at the journalism in “Inventing Anna” and hear what Jeffrey Wright is watching.
‘Pam & Tommy’
Ten nominations | Hulu | TV-MA
Hulu’s limited series “Pam & Tommy” is a classic L.A. love story: Two beautiful, oversexed hotties with half a brain between them fall in lust, make a sex tape, suffer a burglary and inadvertently breathe new life into both the porn industry and their flagging careers.
Every subsequent tale of a star born from the tabloid whirlwind around a sex tape (see also: Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton) traces its roots back to the story of former Playmate and “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan), turned here into a stupidly entertaining trip down memory lane. In this eight-episode series, directed in part by Craig Gillespie (“I, Tonya”), the 1990s’ queen and king of excess scramble to cope with the pressure and keep up with changing times as their intimate home video becomes the World Wide Web’s first viral celebrity sex romp. (Read more) — Lorraine Ali
With the Hulu series’ short, potent sixth episode, writer Sarah Gubbins and director Hannah Fidell capture a woman in crisis. Here’s how they did it.
‘The White Lotus’
20 nominations | HBO | HBO Max | TV-MA
Rich white people problems. (Money can’t buy happiness, is a well-worn phrase.) Smart writing and fine performances —notably by Jennifer Coolidge — make “The White Lotus” consistently compelling even when the people in it drive you crazy. Mike White’s series finds a mix of edgy vacationers spiritually adrift in a tropical resort. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
Ahead of Sunday’s finale, catch up on our coverage of the series, from its $9,000-a-night ‘hotel from hell’ to its most glaring blind spots.
Hosted nonfiction series or special
‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman’
One nomination | Netflix | TV-MA
After a three-year absence, a decidedly more casual version of America’s longest-reigning late-night host greeted an ecstatic studio audience with characteristic understatement: “I’m Dave Letterman. I had a show for a while, then I got fired.”
Now he has another show, called “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman.” It debuted Friday on Netflix, and the special guest who kicked off the premiere was also returning to the public eye.
“The stereotype of former presidents is that you’re sitting around your house, waiting for someone to call,” said the 44th president of the U.S., Barack Obama, in his first talk-show appearance since leaving office a year ago. “[That we’re] lonely …”
“No, that’s me,” quipped Letterman, who was on air for 33 years before passing the baton to his successor, Stephen Colbert, in 2015. (Read more) — Lorraine Ali
‘The Problem With Jon Stewart’
Two nominations | Apple TV+ | TV-MA
Jon Stewart, who left “The Daily Show” in 2015, officially returned to television with “The Problem With Jon Stewart” — you see what they did there — on Apple TV+. It incorporates a little of “The Daily Show,” in that for some portion of the hourlong program Stewart sits at a desk (though not dressed like a news anchor, as before, and not on a set dressed like a news show) and says hopefully funny things to a briefly glimpsed live audience.
It is a current affairs show, but does not play off breaking news. Each episode is organized around a big theme (“War” or “Freedom,” for example) refracted through an opening monologue, panel discussions, short filmed comedy bits and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the producers’ meeting, which illustrates the diversity of Stewart’s younger-ish staff — with the sound down you might almost be watching a graduate seminar — but also feels more staged than it probably is. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
Comedian Jon Stewart sets the record straight about his viral joke that appeared to take aim at ‘Harry Potter’ author J.K. Rowling for depicting goblins as Jews.
‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’
Five nominations | CNN | CNNGo
Name a better combination than Stanley Tucci and fine Italian cheeses. In CNN’s “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” the veteran actor turned social media thirst trap captured our tastebuds as he wandered across Italy, with all the swagger of a man whose body can process dairy, exploring the culinary scene and rich food history of its different regions over the first season’s six episodes. It’s as close as any of us may ever get to roaming the streets of Italy and elegantly inhaling a bowl of pasta. And clearly the masses want more. (Read more) — Yvonne Villarreal
Fittingly, the veteran actor and foodie went viral last spring for mixing a drink: “I have experienced my life, in a lot of ways, through my mouth,” he says.
One nomination | Showtime | TV-MA
If you are under 30, male and interested in sex, drugs or anything paired with the word “extreme,” you are likely to be familiar with Vice — the magazine, proprietary websites, YouTube channel, ad agency, record label and now TV show.
“Vice” is a half-hour, globe-trotting news program from the Brooklyn-based, multiplatform media company of the same name (35 offices in 18 countries).
The company has been attacked — “chided” might be a better word — for the way its content is tailored for and sometimes by the companies that sponsor it.
It may lack the superficial gravitas of more established dispensers of broadcast journalism. (It does have Bill Maher as an executive producer and Time/CNN correspondent Fareed Zakaria as a consultant.) But journalism has always had its upstarts as the latest (and frequently cheaper) technologies create fresh avenues for news and untapped desires in the audience that in one way or another pays to have the news delivered. Aesthetics change, but so does the very definition of what constitutes good, necessary reporting. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
‘The World According to Jeff Goldblum’
One nomination | Disney+ | TV-PG
“The World According to Jeff Goldblum” is not perhaps the first series you would expect to find on Disney+, or even the 101st, and it’s for sure the only one where you’ll hear, or would even expect to hear, the host, cruising a tattoo convention, casually explain his own lack of ink with, “Of course the Jewish people, you know, there’s an association with the Holocaust, and I’m sorry, I don’t want to be a downer right away, but they put numbers on us, and this and that.”
“I act, I jazz it up, and these days I’m a detective keepin’ my eyes peeled for the unconventional, the educational and the whimsical,” Goldblum says, by way of introduction. He ambles hither and yon investigating such everyday subjects as sneakers, ice cream and denim. Goldblum seems very much in life the talkative eccentric hepcat he is in pictures — it’s impossible to tell when he’s on script or just telling you what he knows. I would subscribe just to watch more of this. (Read more) — Robert Lloyd
Jeff Goldblum is more than just an actor — he’s a pop culture rock star
‘The Amazing Race’
Two nominations | CBS | Hulu | TV-PG
The 33rd season of the “The Amazing Race” was nothing like any season that came before. Shooting began in February 2020 before an unexpected dose of reality hit the globetrotting series as production was shut down due to the global COVID-19 pandemic after three episodes.
When production shut down, one of the 11 two-member teams had been eliminated. More than 18 months later when production resumed, the eliminated pair was brought back as three other teams could not return to the competition. This is the 18th time the series has been nominated, and it’s won the Emmy 10 times.
CBS’ world-travel competition series “The Amazing Race” has suspended production due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus. No racers or crew have the illness.
‘Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls’
Six nominations | Prime Video | 16+
Lizzo’s big year keeps getting bigger. Hosting one of the season’s best episodes of “Saturday Night Live,” unveiling her own shapeware line, Yitty, and launching her popular Prime Video show “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” she’s carved a niche for herself as the sisterly pop superstar and budding mogul with the filthy mouth and upbeat attitude. But as she takes a brief break between photo shoots and other promotional duties, she’s thinking about the next stage of her multimedia conquest, the July 15 release of “Special,” the much-anticipated follow-up to her 2019 platinum-selling, Grammy-winning breakthrough “Cuz I Love You.” If she’s feeling any nerves about living up to past success, she’s sure not showing them. (Read more) — Tim Grierson
A particular line in Lizzo’s new song, ‘GRRRLS,’ was labeled an ‘ableist slur.’ Learning from the criticism, the body-positive singer changed the lyric.
Two nominations | Netflix | TV-PG
Five regular seasons, plus two holiday spinoffs, into the unpretentious bake-off show “Nailed It!” where perfectionism isn’t one of the ingredients, Nicole Byer finds replenishing excitement in her banter with French co-host Jacques Torres, a renowned pastry chef, and the eclectic contestants who populate the Netflix program’s chaotic kitchen.
“I get to meet three new people every day. The framework of the show doesn’t change but the interactions change, the challenges change,” she says in a recent interview. “That keeps it super fresh and fun.” From the latest season where bakers came in pairs, dubbed “Nailed It! Double Trouble,” her favorite participants were two hilarious and stylish drag queens: Selma Nilla and Lagoona Bloo. (Read more) —Carlos Aguilar
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’
Eight nominations | VH1 | Paramount+ | TV-14
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is no longer a kitschy cult favorite on a little network called LOGOtv: It’s a sprawling media empire, with multiple international spinoff series and six Emmy Awards under its glittery belt. And RuPaul himself is bona fide mainstream, having graced the cover of Vanity Fair, hosted “SNL” and formally claimed his title as the “queen of drag” on “The Tonight Show.” (Read more) —Katie Wudel
“Legendary Children” uses “Drag Race” to reinterpret a rich history
Five nominations | Bravo | Fubo | TV-14
“Yes, chef. “ Though far from specific to the cooking competition, that expression is so common in its kitchens it has become integral to the series’ soundscape. Even more than ticking-clock chaos — with its shouts of “behind!” “hot!” “time!” — the patter of “Top Chef” is one of mutual respect.
And if that feeling originates with the bona fides of head judge Tom Colicchio, host Padma Lakshmi and franchise regular Gail Simmons, “Top Chef” has made clear that camaraderie runs through the series root and branch. Former champions and their defeated foes, current competitors, celebrities, successful restaurateurs: In this particular hothouse, everyone earns their “Yes, chef.”
Hemmed in by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon-set season has emerged as an instant classic not least because it has embraced the limitations of health and safety protocols, and in turn drawn out the series’ strengths: a seriousness about food that only infrequently blurs into snobbery; a dedication to multiculturalism that’s deepened over its run; a belief that “Top Chef” is a community unto itself, one with a shared sense of purpose. (Read more) — Matt Brennan
Two nominations | NBC | Peacock | TV-PG
NBC’s unscripted musical competition has been around since 2011, when it took on ratings powerhouse “American Idol,” then in its prime, and won. Since then “The Voice” has been one of NBC’s top-rated shows, and the 2021 season was no exception. The competition is more complicated than “Idol,” in that it’s not just singers competing against singers but coaches competing with each other to pick the best of the best from “blind” auditions. The roster of coaches in the 21st season included Blake Shelton, the only coach who has been with the show from the start, John Legend, Ariana Grande and, in her last season, Kelly Clarkson. —Ed Stockly
Pop musician Camila Cabello will make her debut on ‘The Voice’ alongside returning coaches Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and John Legend.
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