Sept. 19, 2021, 6:00 p.m. ET
Sept. 19, 2021, 6:00 p.m. ET
Chief fashion critic
The Emmys red carpet is about to start, but I have to say, after the pageantry of the Met red carpet, the kookiness of the VMAs and the glamour of the Venice Film Festival, it’s hard to imagine there are any dresses left. Is this Emmys going to be anticlimactic? Or are actors like Anya Taylor-Joy — who is a face of Dior — Billy Porter, Gillian Anderson and Emma Corrin going to try to top what’s come before? What do you think, Jess?
Sept. 19, 2021, 6:04 p.m. ET
Sept. 19, 2021, 6:04 p.m. ET
Hi Vanessa! I’m usually in favor of red-carpet weirdness, but I don’t think I can handle any more swords, robot babies, or horse heads as accessories (all of which made appearances at the Met on Monday). So yes, right now the Emmys red carpet is seeming pretty low stakes. But I bet there will be a few surprises. I think we’re long past the days of Jason Sudeikis wearing a tie-dye hoodie while Zooming from a living room (into the Golden Globes, to be fair). There will be some glitz. There must be some glitz! I see Dolly Parton was already named an Emmy winner for her Netflix Christmas special. Maybe the “Bridgerton” cast will come in costume.
Sept. 19, 2021, 6:10 p.m. ET
Sept. 19, 2021, 6:10 p.m. ET
Chief fashion critic
That would be something to see. One thing that seems clear, though, is that all those predictions about people wanting to go all out with color and sparkles and feathers and express themselves post-isolation is definitely coming true on the red carpet.
It appears that Apple’s streaming service, not quite two years old, is on the verge of getting its first major Emmys win, thanks to an aphorism-spouting, fish-out-of-water soccer coach.
The feel-good Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso” is the favorite in the comedy category. Nominated for its rookie season, which had its premiere in August 2020, the show already won best cast in a comedy last weekend. The winner of that award has gone on to win best comedy six years in a row. “Ted Lasso” also cleaned up at the Television Critics Association Awards earlier this month, winning best new series, best comedy and best overall show.
Jason Sudeikis, the former “Saturday Night Live” stalwart, is poised to win multiple Emmys, including for best writing and best actor in a comedy series. Those would be his first Emmy wins.
A long shot competitor for best comedy is the HBO Max series “Hacks,” starring Jean Smart, who is also likely to win her fourth acting Emmy, for her role as a Joan Rivers-like stand-up comic.
When it comes to comedy this year, the broadcast and cable networks are on the outside looking in: They earned only one nomination in the category, from ABC’s “black-ish,” its lowest combined total in the history of the Emmys.
At long last, it should be the year that a streaming platform is triumphant at the Emmys.
The tech companies upended the entertainment industry years ago, but they’ve had mixed results breaking through with members of the Television Academy, who vote on the winners. That will likely come to an end on Sunday when the envelopes are unsealed at the 73rd Emmy Awards.
“The Crown,” the lush Netflix drama chronicling the British royal family, is the heavy favorite to win one of the night’s biggest awards — best drama — on the strength of its fourth season, which took viewers into the 1980s as it portrayed the relationship of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
“The Crown” already picked up four Emmys in the first batch of awards handed out during last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which recognizes achievements in technical categories.
Netflix built a considerable lead over its television and streaming rivals at the Creative Arts Emmys, all but guaranteeing that it will win more awards than any other studio, streaming platform or TV network.
A best drama win for “The Crown” would also be a significant first for Netflix. The streaming service has never won a top series award, despite a whopping 30 nominations in best drama, comedy and limited series from 2013 to 2020. Only one streaming service, Hulu, has won best drama, an award that went to “The Handmaid’s Tale” four years ago.
It would be a fitting win in a ceremony that is recognizing the best shows aired or streamed amid the pandemic. During the stay-at-home months last year and early this year, people increasingly turned away from cable and embraced streaming video entertainment, accelerating a trend that was already underway.
While “The Crown” is the favorite, keep an eye out for spoilers in the best drama race. “The Mandalorian,” the Star Wars action adventure show on Disney+, picked up seven technical awards last weekend, and Television Academy voters love themselves some popular, action-packed entertainment, as evinced by the success of “Game of Thrones,” which won best drama a record-tying four times.
A show with an outside shot is “Bridgerton,” the popular Netflix bodice-ripper from the super producer Shonda Rhimes. FX’s “Pose,” nominated for its final, emotional season, has the best chance at an upset of any of the cable or network series nominated.
Year after year, the Emmy Awards have sought a master of ceremonies who can reverse its declining trends in viewership and bring audiences back to this annual broadcast honoring the television industry. Maybe what the show needs is an all-around entertainer.
So for this Sunday, the Emmys have enlisted Cedric the Entertainer, the veteran stand-up and star of the CBS comedy “The Neighborhood,” to host the show, bucking a recent tradition of drawing from the talent pool of late-night TV.
Cedric, 57, knows he has his work cut out for him: It’s not easy for people to get invested in the Emmys while the pandemic continues and when there is little overlap between the fan bases for nominated shows like “Ted Lasso,” “The Crown” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
But he is hoping that this year’s Emmys — which, unlike last year’s largely virtual event, will have an in-person ceremony at the Event Deck at L.A. Live, in Los Angeles — will encourage viewers to come back by fostering a spirit of inclusivity.
As Cedric said in a video interview last month, “I want to bring a familiarity that comes with my brand of stand-up. I’m somebody you know. I’m your cousin or your uncle, and we’re here to celebrate each other.”
“I’m there to do every job that a host is supposed to do,” he continued. “I may go and kick it with people. You may see me do a food-pass tray — have some crudités, my friend. Please, go in my closet, wear one of my jackets, you’re fine.”
There’s sure to be both drama and comedy at the 73rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be mostly an in-person edition of the show. Hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, the comedian and star of CBS’s “The Neighborhood,” the awards will be handed out Sunday night in Los Angeles before a limited audience, and will honor the pandemic-era television programs that got us through lockdown.
What time do the festivities start?
The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific. On television, CBS is the official broadcaster. If you have a cable login, you can watch online via cbs.com, or if you’re a CBS subscriber, via the CBS app.
The show will also air live and on demand on the streaming service Paramount+, which is one of the cheapest options for streaming the Emmys. Paramount+ offers a one-week free trial or is available starting at $5 per month. Other livestreaming services that also offer access to the channel include Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV or FuboTV. All require subscriptions that start at $65 per month, though many are offering free trials.
Is there a red carpet?
This year’s attendees will still have the chance to sashay down a red carpet, albeit a limited one with only about a dozen media outlets. The cable channel E! will have preshow entertainment and then red carpet coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. Livestreams from the red carpet will be available on the websites of People and Entertainment Weekly starting at 7 p.m.
Who will be presenting?
Among the approximately 50 stars scheduled to hand out statuettes are Annaleigh Ashford, Awkwafina, Stephen Colbert, Misty Copeland, Michael Douglas, Ava DuVernay, and Taraji P. Henson, Gayle King, Daniel Levy, Eugene Levy, LL Cool J, Annie Murphy, Catherine O’Hara, Dolly Parton, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Patrick Stewart and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Reggie Watts, the band leader on “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” will serve as D.J. for the evening, and the R&B artist Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” will perform a special “In Memoriam” song written by Bridges.
Syria Accuses Israel of Assassinating Official Near Golan Heights
The Syrian government on Saturday accused Israel of assassinating a high-ranking Syrian official who spent 12 years in an Israeli prison on terrorism charges before serving decades in the Syrian government.
The official, Midhat Saleh, who was responsible for overseeing the strategic Golan Heights boundary, was shot and killed by an apparent sniper while inside Syria near the shared border between the two countries.
In a statement announcing his death, Syria’s Presidency of the Council of Ministers said Mr. Saleh was “targeted by the Israeli enemy with bursts of treacherous bullets while returning to his home.”
Mr. Saleh, a member of the Druse religious minority, served 12 years in an Israeli prison on charges of using mines and explosives with the intention of killing Israeli civilians and soldiers
In 1997, after his release, he went to Syria, where he was elected to Parliament.
A senior Israeli defense official, who would not address Israel’s involvement in any killing, said Mr. Saleh was working with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to establish the military infrastructure along the border necessary for an attack against Israel.
Israel has been operating aggressively against Iran in Syria soon after the country’s civil began and has attacked Iranian or Iranian-related targets in the country hundreds of times, if not more, as well as carried out a series of assassinations. The fighting between Israel and Iran inside Syria effectively constitutes a shadow war, as regional powers test their opponents’ abilities amid the carnage of the Syrian civil war.
Israel has long maintained that Iran represents a threat to its existence and has targeted the Islamic Republic’s agents both outside and inside Iran, stymying its nuclear weapons program and killing its top scientists and operatives.
The Israelis are sensitive to Iran’s presence in Syria. The assassination was the fourth attack this week against Iranian forces in Syria attributed to Israel.
Mr. Saleh, 54, was killed in Ein al-Tina, Syria, according to SANA, the Syrian state news agency. The town is directly across the border from Majdal Shams, Israel, the Druse village in which he was born.
The year of his birth, 1967, coincided with Israel’s defeat of a coalition of Arab countries and the occupation of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that spans the border.
He was arrested by Israeli intelligence agents in 1985, along with other Druse from the occupied Golan villages, and convicted of terrorism.
“I’m not saying we will kill the Jews or drive them away,” he said in a 2007 interview with The Guardian. “I just want to live on my land.”
After representing the Golan in Syria’s Parliament, he was appointed head of the country’s Golan Office and an adviser to President Bashar al-Assad.
Mr. Saleh was praised by officials in Mr. Assad’s government, a regime that has brutalized its own people, including gas attacks, for much of the past decade.
Hussein Arnous, Syria’s prime minister, described Mr. Saleh’s assassination as a cowardly act. Hussam Edin Aala, the country’s United Nations representative, called him “a man who devoted his life to defending the rights of his people in the occupied Syrian Golan.”
Penn Badgley Flexes New Dance Moves
Mr. Badgley, 34, who played lonely boy Dan on the original “Gossip Girl” and now stars on the Netflix thriller “You,” hadn’t visited a gym in two years. He hadn’t taken a dance class in far longer.
But at a fashion shoot a month before, he had found himself moving in tandem with the photographer and missing dance acutely. So he reached out to André Zachery, his gyrotonics instructor and the artistic director of Renegade Performance Group, a contemporary dance company in Brooklyn. Mr. Zachery was willing to put him through his paces.
In the yawning dance studio, mirrors lined one wall. Ice-white tube lights glared overhead. Mr. Badgley had dressed for class in a villain-black T-shirt and shorts. A luxurious dad beard and a corona of mink-brown hair framed his face.
They began with a warm-up: stretches, lunges, isolations of the neck, shoulders, chest and hips. Roy Ayers’s “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” set the groove; Mr. Badgley, his brooding face etched into a frown, inhaled and exhaled in time, rolling his spine down and up.
Mr. Zachery integrated the stretches into a simple routine, and Mr. Badgley lumbering and somewhat stiff, like a bear who hadn’t fully shaken off hibernation, danced his way through the initial eight count, then repeated the steps again.
“All right, not bad,” Mr. Zachery said encouragingly. “You want to go a little faster?”
Mr. Badgley paused to tie his hair back with a blue-and-white bandanna. He asked to take it slow again. “As much as I love to move and I love to dance, it’s not a language that I speak regularly at all,” he said. “So even just getting into this feels great. But it also feels very clumsy.”
Mr. Zachery reassured him, gently countering Mr. Badgley’s perfectionism. “Be imperfect with this,” he said.
As Mr. Zachery prepared the next combination, the track switched to Donny Hathaway’s “The Ghetto,” and Mr. Badgley’s face stern face split into a smile. “This is one of my kid’s favorite songs,” Mr. Badgley said. “He loves classic soul.”
Last summer, Mr. Badgley and his wife, Domino Kirke, welcomed a son. (They also share custody of Ms. Kirke’s son from an earlier relationship.) On “You,” Mr. Badgley plays Joe, the sociopath next door. Joe has also had a son with his wife, Love (Victoria Pedretti), who has a body count of her very own.
In the third season, which premieres on Oct. 15, Joe muses about his new life in a Bay Area suburb. “Me, a boy and his mom, who is usually great, but occasionally murders people with her bare hands,” Joe says. “What could go wrong?” A lot, it turns out.
Mr. Badgley has some experience playing characters with dark motives. The final episodes of “Gossip Girl” revealed that Dan, the Deuxmoi of his day, had surveilled his friends and lovers, uploading their secrets to the pre-Instagram internet.
Making the show was, as Mr. Badgley described it, “an existential endurance test.” As a 20-something, he struggled with the glitzy ethos of the series. Fans’ failure to differentiate between him and Dan nagged at him, too. “I wouldn’t recommend fame to anybody,” he said. “It just doesn’t make anything better or help it make more sense. It doesn’t help you as a person.”
When “Gossip Girl” ended in 2012, he spent half of a decade shooting indie movies and touring with his band, MOTHXR. He wasn’t sure he wanted to return to mainstream TV and he had further doubts about Joe, a character who imprisons, tortures and kills women (and the occasional interfering man), all in the name of true love. Boy gets girl? Absolutely.
Still, he thought that “You” had something to say about the tropes of romantic love and the queasy nexus of desire, power and abuse. Many viewers responded a lot more swoonily and for a while Mr. Badgley took time to razz fans asking to be kidnapped. (“No thx,” he replied.) Now he tries to focus on the work itself, which he likens to a dance, “a torturous and ugly dance.”
Back in the studio, Mr. Badgley was trying to dance more beautifully. He can become overwhelmed by his own thoughts, he said, so Mr. Zachery introduced a guided meditation, occupying Mr. Badgley’s mind so that his body could move more freely.
As Robert Glasper’s cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” played, he had Mr. Badgley imagine himself at the beach, his body buoyed by the waves. They also played a game of avant-garde Twister, in which had Mr. Badgley had to keep either both hands and one foot on the floor, or both feet and one hand.
“Yo, man,” Mr. Zachery said approvingly. “You’re actually more in your body than you think.”
Finally, at a suggestion from Mr. Badgley, he switched the music to “Promises,” a mellow album from Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra. The two men began to move across the floor together, limbs slowly cartwheeling as they improvised. Politely, Mr. Badgley asked to turn the music up.
“Now we’re dancing,” he said, back arched, head tipped back, arms like wings. “It feels so good.”
Beyond Chucky: Frightening Alternatives for Halloween TV
The approach of Halloween brings an influx of horror to television and streaming, and this year the offerings have a classic appeal: reboots of “Chucky” on Syfy and USA, “Day of the Dead” on Syfy and of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” on Amazon Prime Video. But if the familiar delights of those franchises — and the campiness or melodrama that come with them — don’t appeal to you, here are a few recent or coming series that are scary with a difference.
This is the third horror mini-series Mike Flanagan has created for Netflix, following “The Haunting of Hill House” (based on the Shirley Jackson novel) and “The Haunting of Bly Manor” (based on Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw”). “Midnight Mass” has the same emphasis on chilly, foreboding atmosphere as the earlier shows, but it seems to benefit from not being tied to a specific literary source. (There’s a general aura of Stephen King.) Especially in its early episodes, it feels looser and quirkier and more human.
A lot of the credit for that goes to the stars, Zach Gilford and Hamish Linklater. Gilford plays a native of a small, isolated coastal island who returns home after a stretch in jail for killing someone while driving drunk; Linklater plays a cleric who arrives at the same time, as a temporary replacement for the island’s aging priest.
Gilford perfectly captures the prodigal son’s hangdog guilt and resentment — it’s a far better performance than the show needs — and Linklater, with his gift for boyish pomposity, is entertaining as the well-intentioned priest who brings ruin to the island. Flanagan’s mix of Christian and vampiric lore and imagery is clever, though the later episodes are a little heavy on sermonizing and philosophical exposition. Patience is rewarded with a long cleansing by blood and fire.
The streaming service Topic will premiere this French mini-series in the extreme-crime-thriller category, which makes up a relatively high percentage of northern European TV, on Oct. 28. A reckless police officer (Maïwenn) disappears while on a stakeout in the tunnels beneath Paris, and her mother (Nathalie Baye), a retired detective, sets out to find her in a story involving dirty cops, dark-web thrill seekers, mass graves and chases through very cramped spaces. It is not for the claustrophobic.
As grim and tense as the show sometimes is, though, the really frightening thing about it is Baye, a superstar of French film (10 Cesar nominations, four victories), who appears to be having a blast as Catherine, the domineering, foul-mouthed, relentless ex-cop. An onscreen avatar of capability and insouciance since the early 1970s, Baye looks perfectly at home wielding a tattoo pen against a reluctant suspect or tasering her daughter’s ex-lover just because she feels like it. Baye also takes the trouble, not common in this genre, to give a fully developed performance, as the case’s startling revelations give Catherine perspective on her faults as a mother and as a police colleague. As a bonus, the show reunites Baye with Sergi López, her co-star in “A Pornographic Affair” (1999); their grumpy exes in “Nox” could be the same characters two decades later.
USA’s psychological crime drama stops just short of the supernatural, but it specializes in dread and weird vibes. Harry Ambrose, the broken-down cop played for four seasons now by Bill Pullman, is ridden by guilt, shame and feelings of inadequacy — he’s the real sinner of the title, at least in his own mind — so naturally, he stumbles onto season-long cases involving secret societies or cults or Nietzschean psycho killers. We know he’ll solve them, because he’s a dogged and gifted detective. But on any given day, it’s no sure thing that he’ll be able to drag himself out of bed.
In the new season that began this week, the unlikely romance Harry found in Season 3 has blossomed, which is great news because his partner, the painter Sonya Barzel, is played by the wonderful Jessica Hecht. Her ability to convey both astringency and warmth, sometimes in the same line, puts a new light on Pullman’s Harry, who can sometimes seem like a collection of tics and grimaces and awkward silences — now we see him through Sonya’s eyes, and if she can put up with it, so can we. The season opens with the new couple on vacation on a picturesque New England island where Harry, who’s now retired, stumbles almost immediately into the middle of a missing-persons case that may involve racial animosities in the fishing fleet and grunting, naked moon worshipers.
This anthology of animated ghost stories is a Japanese analogue to comics-inspired American series like “Creepshow.” Its ninth season was recently added by the anime streaming service Crunchyroll, but catching up would not be onerous: Episodes are four minutes long.
The rough, slightly rudimentary two-dimensional animation — like paper cutouts set in motion — pays homage to the kamishibai style of street storytelling and entertainment, which employs illustrated wooden boards. Stories are based on the usual assortment of Japanese folk tales and urban legends; the most recent batch includes cautionary tales about the dangers of visiting your new husband’s unusually tall family or being born in the (nonexistent) Year of the Cat.
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