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A TV critic organization's guide to binge-watching shows over the holidays

The long holiday weekend is almost upon us and it is an ideal time to binge watch some of the year’s best television programs on your DVR, On Demand, or on one of the streaming sites.

It is especially ideal if it rains or the weather gets so unusually hot that you decide to stay indoors with the air conditioner humming rather than head to the movies.

It is only 14 days before the Emmy nominations are revealed to reward the best shows and performances in the last year.

But I’m going to give you a sneak preview of what is likely to be honored.

Check that.

It isn’t me. My colleagues in the Television Critics Association are going to guide you through what you should consider binge-watching this weekend.

The TCA announced its nominations last week. They don’t fall into the same categories as the Emmys and they don’t always honor the same shows that the Emmy voters do.

For instance, FX’s “The Americans” has gotten a lot more love from TCA voters than Emmy voters. So did FX’s “Justified” before it ended its run.

In many cases, the TCAs tend to reward shows and performers a year or two before the Emmys get around to it.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the TCA nominations and my view of them. The winners will be announced Aug. 6 in the Beverly Hilton in California during the organization’s semi-annual meeting.

You’d be wise this weekend to binge-watch any of these programs.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
Bryan Cranston, “All The Way,” HBO
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot,” USA
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul,” AMC
Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” FX
Keri Russell, “The Americans,” FX
Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” FX

My view: As defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran, Vance stole every scene he appeared in during “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” But I wouldn’t be unhappy if Malek won, either.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None,” Netflix
Samantha Bee, “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” TBS
Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” The CW
Aya Cash, “You’re The Worst” FXX
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO
Constance Wu, “Fresh Off the Boat,” ABC

My view: Ansari’s semi-autobiographical program was my favorite comedy of the year. However, he didn’t have to do much acting since he was essentially playing himself. But I’ll be happy if Louis-Dreyfus doesn’t win again.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS AND INFORMATION
“CBS Sunday Morning,” CBS
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” TBS
“Jackie Robinson,” PBS
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” HBO – (2015 Winner in Category)
“Real Time With Bill Maher,” HBO
“United Shades of America,” CNN

My view: Talk about diversity of programs in one category. Oliver, whose program is consistently creative, informative and funny, gets my vote.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMMING
“I Am Cait,” E!
“The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth,” Showtime
“The Great British Baking Show,” PBS
“Making a Murderer,” Netflix
“MasterChef Junior,” Fox
“Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance,” CBS

My view: “Making a Murderer” – even if the documentary may have toyed with the facts.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING
“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” PBS
“Doc McStuffins,” Disney Junior
“Nature Cat,” PBS
“Odd Squad,” PBS
“Sofia The First,” Disney Junior

My view: Thankfully, my children are adults now. I haven’t seen any of these programs. But I like the title “Odd Squad.”

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” The CW
“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” Netflix
“Master of None,” Netflix
“Mr. Robot,” USA
“Underground,” WGN America
“UnREAL,” Lifetime

My view: The creative “Mr. Robot,” which had a killer reveal at season end, got my vote.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINISERIES AND SPECIALS
“All The Way,” HBO
“Fargo,” FX
“The Night Manager,” AMC
“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” FX
“Roots,” History
“Show Me A Hero,” HBO

My view: “The People v. O.J. Simpson” got most of the details right, as ESPN’s later critically-acclaimed documentary “O.J.: Made in America” confirmed. The ESPN series didn’t air in time to be eligible. It will be eligible for an Oscar since it played in movie theaters and will be eligible for a TCA award in 2017.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
“The Americans,” FX – (2015 Winner in Category)
“Better Call Saul,” AMC
“Game of Thrones,” HBO
“The Leftovers,” HBO
“Mr. Robot,” USA
“UnREAL,” Lifetime

My view: It doesn’t matter what I think, “Game of Thrones” is widely viewed as just concluding its best season.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
“black-ish,” ABC
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” The CW
“Master of None,” Netflix
“Silicon Valley,” HBO
“Veep,” HBO
“You’re The Worst” FXX

My view: “Master of None” was the one that made me laugh out-loud the most, with “Silicon Valley” a close second.

HERITAGE AWARD
“The Larry Sanders Show,” HBO
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” CBS
“Seinfeld,” NBC
“Star Trek,” NBC
“Twin Peaks,” ABC

My view: Just a silly category. They all deserve one for their place in TV history. But if you’ve read me over the years, you know I have to go with “Seinfeld.”

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
“The Americans,” FX
“Fargo,” FX
“Game of Thrones,” HBO
“Making a Murderer,” Netflix
“Mr. Robot,” USA
“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” FX
“UnREAL,” Lifetime

My view: Once again, I can’t see how the Simpson miniseries can lose unless “Mr. Robot” hacked the ballots. Even then, I’d bet “Game of Thrones” would win over “Robot.”

email: apergament@buffnews.com

 

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