HE Said: Viola for THE WIN!

Christopher M. Enis

The 67th annual Primetime Emmy’s was tearjerker!

No, not because of Andy Samburg’s hosting. To be honest, he wasn’t the worst. *I’m looking at you Anne Hathaway and James Franco*

Teary Moment #4—Tracy Morgan’s comeback.

There was a pretty good chance that Morgan would never be the same after his tragic accident last year. He showed up at the Emmy’s looking slightly nervous at first. But after a few seconds he shook off the butterflies and was the same, raunchy Morgan that we’ve all come to know and (mostly) love.

Teary Moment #3—Jon Hamm (finally) winning an Emmy

The 8th time proved to be the charm for Hamm, who finally won an Emmy for his performance as Don Draper on Mad Men. It was a case of everything lining up perfectly for Hamm… including no more competition from Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), or sentimental favorites like Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights). It also helps that it’s the last season for MAD MEN. His win was the first (last) for the series out of an astonishing 34 overall cast nominations. Now that’s enough to make you cry.

Teary Moment #2– Uzo Aduba’s Heartfelt Acceptance Speech

Last year, one of my Emmy gripes had to do with Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, a show about life in a woman’s prison, being placed in the Best Comedy category. Although the show had its funny moments, at the end of the day, I felt that there was nothing funny about being in prison. Looks like the powers that be over at Emmy’s HQ agreed and, this year, the series was placed in the Drama category. Due to the change, it gave the opportunity for Aduba, who won an Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren last year, to win for the same role in the Drama category this year, a first in Emmy history. The only thing better than that, was her acceptance speech that was full blown humble and, yes, teary, man.

Teary Moment #1—Viola Davis Historic Win (and Tatiana Maslany’s “Loss”)

One of my other Emmy gripes was the flat out snubbing (is that a word?) of Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, who I’ve spoken on before. I love her work, she is awesome and FINALLY, the Emmy people came to their senses and nominated Maslany this year!

Yes!

Too bad her first year as a nominee had to coincide with Viola Davis’ tour-de-force performance as Annalise (Annie Mae) Keating on HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Lord, how I wish I could say that it was a close contest between Maslany and Davis but…

I am so sorry, Tatiana, but Viola had this one in the bag right after she took off her makeup, pulled off the wig and asked her husband about some d*ck pics.

Viola’s acceptance speech for becoming the first African American to win Best Actress in a Dramatic Series was so good… she should have been given an Emmy for that too.

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He SAID : Life is Rough on the RED CARPET

Christopher M. Enis

  1. I started 15 minutes later because, silly me, I didn’t know the Emmy Red Carpet thing started 2 hours before the Emmys.
  2. It’s hot. It’s very hot. It’s an on-going thing during the show.emmycarpet2
  3. How hot it is. Lord, the actors are hot! They are sweating! Will someone think of the sweaty actors?
  4. Ryan Seacrest is hosting this thing. I thought he owned E!
  5. Giuliana Rancic still works for E! I thought she was given the boot after, you know, “that thing”.
  6. Whose idea was to have the interviews take place at the top of stairs? All these women wearing gowns and you have them climbing stairs? I’m sure that a man (probably Seacrest) had something to do with this.
  7. E! Correspondent, Ross Matthews has the latest Samsung Note and is using it to describe what people are wearing. I don’t know what’s worse, him having the latest hot phone or using it to tell me what accessories the cast of Modern Family has on.emmycarpet3
  8. What the hell is a GlamCam 360? I may not make it 2 hours…
  9. Heidi Klum is here; Donald Trump talked about this woman’s looks. If for nothing else (which is pretty much everything that comes out of the man’s mouth) you should never take a man seriously if he considers Heidi Klum less than a 10.
  10. E! has a constant scrolling banner like they’re CNN, but it’s about fashion and what expensive food the sweaty actors won’t will be eating after the Emmys. The struggle is real.
  11. Just when you think that the ratchetness has been toned down since past mishaps,  Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) sings what has become his catch phrase, “Pino Noirrrrrr.” This is, apparently, his tribute to “black penis.” Alrighty then. Giuliana Rancic hasn’t looked this panic since she read her Twitter time line after, you know…that thing.
  12. Seacrest mentions a bit of Emmy History being made on the Red Carpet; Taraji P. Henson is the first person to wear chains to the Emmys. (What… Mr. T never attended the emmycarpet1Emmys?)
  13. Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks… now there is a grown ass woman!
  14. Jaime Alexander looks great. Man she’s tall. I hope that her new show, BLINDSPOT, is good. Good Television makes me smile.
  15. E! says that Anthony Anderson is upcoming. Thanks for the heads up! I turn down the volume on my TV.
  16. LL Cool J! And he’s in mid-season lip-licking mode. I doubt it has anything to do with how hot it is. You have to respect LL Cool J’s commitment to Kangol.
  17. Joanne Froggett is happy to be wearing some sheer thing because “it’s so hot!” (The only thing worse than a sweaty actor is a sweaty British actor with the last name “Froggett”)
  18. Anthony Anderson ARRIVES ON THE RED CARPET!!!! His cool and dapper looking son Nathan is with him and he tells America that his dad is as loud at home as he is on TV.emmycarpet4 I don’t doubt it one bit, kid.
  19. Sarah Hyland is talking about her show Modern Family…and how hot it is.
  20. Now it’s Allison Janney’s turn to discuss how hot it is. The Pope prays for a El Nino breeze to swoop in and cool the sweaty actors off.
  21. Laverne Cox is on that 360 Glam Cam thing. She’s tall and her shoes are very yellow. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  22. Mayim Bialik breaks the “how hot it is” discussion stream by talking about how she is a role model to young girls because not only gets to play a neuroscientist on TV that she is one in real life. No wonder she’s not hot, that was pretty cool (see what I did there? No? Fine.)
  23. Keegan-Michael Key, a Detroit native, says that if he wins an Emmy, he’s going to have “mucho shout outs”. I’m sure the band can’t wait to play his ass off.
  24. Sarah Paulson will be portraying Marcia Clark in the upcoming OJ mini-series. I don’t emmycarpet5care.
  25. Grown Ass Woman Alert: Morena Baccarin. Mercy!
  26. Angela Bassett, ladies and gentlemen. Look up “Black Don’t Crack” in the Urban Dictionary; you will see her picture, literally.
  27. Jimmy Fallon has arrived on the Red Carpet. The Anthony Anderson rules apply; I turn down the television.
  28. No one can actually out-skinny Giuliana Rancic, but Emma Roberts and Claire Danes are giving her a run for her skinny money.
  29. Speaking of Claire Danes, she’s wearing shoulder chains, too. Mr. T is pissed.
  30. Grown Ass Woman Alert! Kerry Washington.
  31. Washington is talking about how hot it is but is distracted by Seacrest’s tuxedo and she asks who made it. Turns out it’s a Ryan Seacrest original. Of course it is.
  32. Queen Latifah won an Emmy for her HBO mini-series BESSIE? Good for her!
  33. Grown Ass Woman Alert! Sophia Vegara!
  34. I think that E! should get an Emmy (and possibly a Nobel Peace Prize) for going almost 2 hours before showing one Kardashian show promo.
  35. Thank God no actors died from the heat…
  36. Aww, dammit.

He SAID: Before the Big Show…

Christopher M. Enis

2015 VMA’s: Here we go..

  1. 7:25—I turn over to MTV and Catfish is on. Wow, Catfish is still around? You would have thought that everyone would be hip to how to figure out that supermodels do not use Facebook to pick up women in Kentucky but I guess not.
  2. 7:30—First promo for the VMA Red Carpet that I’ve seen. Some dude named Prince Royce is being drooled over by three young women whom I’m assuming are going to be hosting this thing. Royce, who is obviously used to women losing their religion over his pretty looks and cold dead eyes, couldn’t give a damn.
  3. First Miley VMA Promo: she flips double birds that are censored by VMA Moonman Awards.   I double flip her back.   Somewhere Prince Royce isn’t giving a damn.
  4. Second Miley VMA Promo: she walking, wearing a thong one piece or something and platform clogs (?) while sticking out her lizard like tongue. Esther Williams is so jelly right about now, no doubt.
  5. Third Miley VMA Promo: she’s riding a cat with wings. Man, it’s going to be a long ass night.
  6. 7:41—Another VMA Red Carpet promo, the ladies are drooling over Austin Butler and in between the thirst fest, they are discussing Miley as if she’s found the cure to Leprosy (Fun Fact: Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s Disease, calling it Leprosy is so Old Testament).
  7. 7:53—Red Carpet Promo. MTV has probably sent the Thirsty Trio off to cool down and towel off. Sway is out here… Sway is still working at MTV? Now I don’t feel like the oldest mofo watching this thing. He’s interviewing Max from Catfish who directed his first movie, We Are Your Friends (currently getting beat down by Straight Outta Compton at the box office… sorry, I couldn’t resist).
  8. Finally the VMA Pre Award Show (official title, I haven’t seen a red carpet anywhere, now that I think about it, also, I stopped looking at the watch…time has lost all meaning for me) and Old Man Sway introduced Walk The Moon who sings a song called Shut Up And Dance. Rude.
  9. Speaking of rude, Old Man Sway cuts off Shut Up And Dance mid song to introduce folks.   Fresh off of insulting Mexicans, there’s Kelly Osborne and (ironically or maybe due to mom Sharon’s spin control PR) Demi Lovato. Oh, the Thirsty Trio have names: Carly, Nessa and Aquafina from Girl Code, the guy who re-designed the VMA Moonman (didn’t know it needed renovating), Jeremy Scott and Charlemagne The God (not to be confused with the ruler known as the Father Of Europe…aiight)…back to Shut Up To Dance.
  10. Kelly is practically French kissing Demi’s ass, going on about Demi’s album.
  11. Now Sway’s kissing Demi’s ass. Not sure if he insulted Mexicans too.
  12. Walk The Moon is now playing something called Different Colors.
  13. Trojan Condoms has a new Bare Skin condom commercial, then Coca Cola shows a commercial with a polar bear. I’m very confused.
  14. Back to the pre-show; Old Man Sway is interviewing the guy who redesigned the Moonman when Chrissy Teigen and John Legend (the couple who never met an award show they wouldn’t attend) show up out of nowhere…blah blah blah, they love each other…okay, I get it. Chrissy’s dress is nice, and you can almost tell what religion she is (again). I ain’t even mad.
  15. The cast of MTV shows, Awkward, Faking It and Girl Code are hanging out with Todrick Hall, the dude who likes to sing in McDonald’s drive thrus.
  16. Kelly is interviewing Miguel. She’s one minority ass kiss segment away from becoming the ambassador to Sierra Leone.
  17. Austin Butler is back and he’s holding a puppy and being interviewed by Charlemagne and Thirsty Trio Carly. I don’t know who’s being punished more… no wait, the puppy. Definitely the puppy.
  18. Todrick Hall is doing a cover of Bruno Mars Don’t Believe Me.
  19. SPECIAL PRE AWARD SHOW ANNOUNCMENT!!!! Britney Spears will be a presenter!!!! I’ll tell you that I’m happy if you want me to.
  20. Now we’re in the product placement portion of the pre-show, Amanda Steele is talking about something to do with Cover Girl.
  21. Kelly is now interviewing the Moonman re-designer guy and announcing the first winner of the night, Fall Out Boy. That award must be one left over from 2006.
  22. She’s now talking to Pete Wentz, who is half-black-Jamaican on his momma’s side. Yep, Kelly is definitely on her way to Sierra Leone!
  23. (Speaking of cultural appropriation) Ryan Lewis and Macklemore are being interviewed in a dressing room.
  24. Old Man Sway is interviewing Nick Jonas who will be singing a song sponsored by State Farm, because them haters from Progressive be rollin’ with Fifth Harmony, ya heard!
  25. Kelly, having filled her quota for the night, is now interviewing white people. First up, Rebel Wilson. Oh, I forgot to mention that Kelly has some scraggly dude acting as her fashion correspondent. The routine is going over about as well as getting nutrition advice from a fat dietitian.
  26. Moonman re-designer Jeremy is interviewing “his bestie” Miley Cyrus. In lieu of clothing, Miley is wearing breast straps to cover up her nips.
  27. Oh look, I mentioned them way back in #24, Fifth Harmony has arrived to the Pre-Show! Followed by (after another Todrick Hall number, don’t ask me what he’s singing, I don’t know) a Fifth Harmony Cover Girl commercial.
  28. Kelly’s back and he’s with Old Man Sway interviewing Big Sean. Ebony Magazine, do y’all need a celebrity correspondent? Kelly knows more minorities than Malcolm X.
  29. Tori Kelly is at the VMAs! I like her, she been out there singing that Blue Eyed Soul since she was a pre-teen. I can’t knock her hustle.
  30. Charlemagne is interviewing Vic Mensa. I wonder what Vic’s IQ really is.
  31. Aquafina and Nessa are announcing another winner of a redesigned Moonman, Five Seconds Of Summer. I don’t know what they won. It seems that MTV wants to give out all those redesigned VMAs awards before the show even starts.
  32. A Tori Kelly Cover Girl commercial. Oh, shocker.
  33. A Beiber sighting….oh, and I guess there is a Red Carpet. I’m so excited.
  34. Nick Jonas is singing his State Farm sponsored song, Levels. It sounds like he’s doing a Justin Timberlake impersonation to a leftover Timbaland track.
  35. Now Nick is grinding on Kelly. I want to slam my head in a car door repeatedly.
  36. Nick is now being bum rushed by teenagers, whom he is now too old to be that close to. I wonder if State Farm has insurance to cover that?
  37. Nicest moment of the night: Nick gives two tickets to a random person in the crowd.
  38. Nice moment is instantly ruined when Old Man Sway announces that the ticket give away was also sponsored by State Farm.
  39. Kelly is now interviewing Taylor Swift and her United Nations crew of girlfriends including, Selena Gomez. Kelly is damn near ready to fall out.
  40. The Pre-Show ends with Old Man Sway giving the racially ambiguous Pete Davidson some love…
  41. Kelly Osborne’s head explodes.

He SAID: Ballin’ Out of Control

Scott F. Evans

It’s short-sighted to call HBO’s new comedy series Ballers some form of ‘Entourage on the Gridiron.’ Sure there are similarities. The shows share a network and are produced ballers1by the same company. And yes, they both showcase the lives of the rich and shameless. But where Entourage hammers viewers over the head with how awesome white male privilege is within the entertainment industry, Ballers shows us the other side of fame and wealth.

The show stars Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strassmore, a retired player turned financial advisor. Ballers is a good showcase for Johnson. He gets to be an actual human being here and not another one of the larger-than-life characters he normally plays in feature films. Johnson has always had loads ballers2of charisma and a strong screen presence. But with Ballers, he gets to truly act. The show is built around him, and he carries it with relative ease.

Rob Corddry co-stars as Joe, Strassmore’s partner at Anderson Financial. Corddry is funny, and plays it fairly broad. Sometimes he goes a bit too far in that direction, and feels like he’s part of a different program. But so far he’s kept to the show’s edges and isn’t too much of a distraction. Omar Benson Miller plays Charles Greane, another recently retired player. In many ways Miller is the heart of Ballers. We watch him struggle with being a car salesman who misses the game and the glamorous life that ballers3comes with it. John David Washington rounds out the supporting cast as Ricky Jerret, a spoiled star player who cannot get his personal life together. Washington is decent, and gives Jerret just enough charisma and humanity to keep viewers rooting for him (even though he doesn’t really deserve it).

Four episodes in, and without a doubt the shows biggest weakness is the use of actual athletes in several key and minor roles. They’re not actors, and it shows. Ballers is ballers5about football players, so having real players pop up occasionally might actually add authenticity. But watching them struggle to deliver lines with any semblance of talent is distracting, sometimes to the point of frustration.

Despite that, it’s worth your time to give Ballers a shot. It’s only a half hour, and it doesn’t insult your intelligence or beat you over the head with its opulence. Plus, Dwayne Johnson is actually putting in the work to become a better actor, one role at a time. And his effort is evident on this particular playing field.

ballers4HBO renewed the series for a second season, so they’ve got enough faith to keep the game going. For now, I’m along for the ride.

He SAID: DAREDEVIL the Stripped Down Superhero

Christopher M. Enis
The next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in play, with the release of Daredevildaredevil1 on Netflix. It’s the first of five series (A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders are the other four) that will be released on the streaming network over the next two years.
Daredevil is Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), who was blinded as a child while saving a man from being hit by a truck carrying unknown chemicals. Those chemicals took his sight, but enhanced his remaining senses. The combination gives him what’s know among Comic Book fans as ‘Radar Sense’ or ‘Fire Vision.’ Don’t worry, you’re not supposed to get it right away. All will be revealed in time.
daredevil3Murdock was born, and continues to live in Hell’s Kitchen, a historically Irish neighborhood in Manhattan.  He was raised by his father, Jack (John Patrick Hayden), who as a boxer instilled the desire to keep fighting… and incidentally, the ability to take one heck of a beating. These ‘skills’, coupled with a strong dose of Catholic Guilt, are the building blocks of young Murdock’s moral code.

All grown up now, Murdock makes his living by day as a lawyer in a fledgling practice with best friend Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and murder-suspect-turned-indespensibe-daredevil4right-hand Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). At night, he gears up and hits the streets as DareDevil, to clean up the mess in constant creation by Russian, Chinese and Japanese criminals. They all flock to one man (he who shall not be named) who claims it’s his desire to clean up the streets… even as he leaves a bloody trail of death and destruction in his wake. As DareDevil is but a mortal man, he daredevil6cannot survive without the help of Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), who faithfully patches him up as he expertly survives one epic beating after another.
Marvel’s Daredevil is more grounded and realistic than anything we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to this point.  It’s not an extension of the big screen action (like ABC’s Agents Of SHIELD), but still a part of that world through mention of events that occur on both the big and small screen in real time.

The series succeeds on multiple levels.  For the comic book fans, it’s a relatively faithful adaptation. But the dialogue and situations are modernized and elevated to attract scores of new fans. Despite the PG-13 rating, the show pushes the limits. It’s decidedly more gritty and morally ambiguous than straightforward and absolute.
daredevil5

Daredevil fully embraces the Netflix binge mentality, with the release Season One in its entirety. Season Two has already been greenlit, so there’s bound to be a lot more Marvel goodness coming down the pipeline. Comic book fan or not, this series is a must see. Do yourself a favor and block out a day (or two), shut off the phone, order in, and enjoy.

He SAID: End of an Era

Christopher M. Enis
From the opening moments of the first episode of Mad Men, I felt that I was witnessing something amazing.  I didn’t know what it was but I knew it was major. Turns out I wasn’t alone. mad men 5
Mad Men was a critical hit from the start, and has the awards to prove it. The show won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series its first four seasons (only Hill Street Blues, LA Law and The West Wing can lay claim to such a feat) and the Golden Globe for Best Television Series (Drama) the first three seasons.  The meticulous attention to every detail of the time period has been noted and celebrated, and  members of the cast quickly became household names.
The series begins in March 1960 and is set in the NYC/Madison Avenue ad agency, Sterling Cooper.  For the past seven seasons, we’ve witnessed the turbulent decade of the Sixties through the SC employees… particularly Don Draper (Jon Hamm).  Draper is a rising star at the agency and the living embodiment of the term “men want to be him and women want to be with him”.  And much like the decade, Draper’s life is just as turbulent; the advertising executive, much like the commercials he promotes, is himself an illusion.
mad men 7
Richard “Dick” Whitman was the son of an prostitute who died giving birth to him.  When he was 10, his abusive father was killed when he was kicked in the head by a horse. During the Korean War, Whitman enlists in the US Army.  It’s there that he accidentally causes the death of his commanding officer, Donald Draper.  Whitman switches dog tags with Draper and goes from living tragedy to Purple Heart recipient (while literally burying his old life).
mad men 1
And the rest, as they say, is history.
There are so many great moments/episodes from the series that I love.  If I had to choose just one moment that personifies my love for Mad Men, it would have to be ‘The Carousel.’
*and wouldn’t you know it… they opened the final season with that scene!*
When Mad Man premiered in 2007 on AMC, the channel was still in the midst of its transition from a classic movie network. Now, AMC is considered one of the more innovative networks by helping to usher in a new era of dramatic television [Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead both live(d) here]. Man Men is arguably a major part of that success.
mad men 6
Mad Men began its final run of seven episodes on Sunday, April 5th. The show will air its series finale on May 17.  Go here for a guide to previous seasons.