Kimberly C's blog

65th Primetime Emmy Awards

Emmy StatuetteLast night, the recipients of the Primetime Emmys were announced in a live telecast and, like many people, I tuned in to see what surprises were in store. Most awards shows are generally a mix of the expected and the unexpected, and this year’s Emmys were no different. Although the big winners of the night (Modern Family, Breaking Bad and Behind the Candelabra) were no surprise, the acting awards seemed to break every expectation. Even the winning actors often seemed surprised when their names were read! (Case in point: Merritt Wever’s four-word speech after her shocking, but deserved, win for her work in Nurse Jackie.)

Unlike most awards shows, last nights Emmys also had a more solemn tone than usual. In addition to the In Memoriam segment, the Emmys featured extended, more personal tributes to five industry greats who passed away this year. These, along with a somber tribute to Liberace and a segment on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy contributed to the reflective feel of the Emmys. Fortunately, host Neil Patrick Harris was always there to lighten the mood with a witty aside or glitzy song and dance number. Overall, the Emmys may have verged on the depressing, but the excitement of the winners made it fun to watch.

If you missed the Emmys last night, check out a partial list of winners below and a complete list at the official Emmys website.

The Return of Fall TV

tvTo some people, the end of summer means the beginning of a new school year. To others, it means a slow drop in temperatures to something slightly more bearable. For me, the end of summer means the return of my favorite fall television shows. The steady rise in popularity of off-season TV means that, more often now, there are plenty of shows to keep viewers occupied during the summer months. However, my favorite TV shows are still the network dramas and sitcoms that air September to May.

There are always plenty of new TV shows ready to hook viewers and become a vital part of the weekly lineup, and this year is no different. But fall TV is more than trying out new shows. It’s about finally getting answers to last season’s cliffhangers and discovering more about favorite characters. That connection with TV characters and that willingness to set aside time each week to escape into someone else’s imagination is why so many shows come back season after season with familiar faces and fresh ideas.

If you’re out of the TV loop, or just want to catch up on previous seasons of current TV, browse the HCPL catalog and see what we have to offer! And if you’re still trying to prep the DVR for the upcoming seasons, check out this handy guide to all the primetime network shows.

Fall TV Picks:

Back to School

lockersAlong with the continued blistering heat, August brings with it the end of lazy summer days and the beginning of a new school year. But if movies have taught us anything, it’s that locker-lined high school hallways are teeming with drama, comedy and romance worth watching. Whether the story is about teenage love or social status, cut-throat sports or academia, the high school years have provided many popular movie topics. Even when these movies don’t seem anything like our own experiences, there are enough similarities to bring back memories of carefree teenage years and the feeling of being on top of the world.

And the 12th Doctor Is…

TARDISLast Sunday after much secrecy and speculation, the BBC finally revealed the actor cast as the 12th Doctor in the popular television show Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi. First airing in 1963, Doctor Who is the longest-running science fiction show on TV. It is structured such that the Doctor, a traveler through time and space, regenerates after traumatic experiences, allowing new actors to take over the role. Regenerations and subsequent casting decisions are generally met with mixed emotions and widely varying opinions from fans of the show, and Sunday’s announcement was no different.

A Scottish actor, screenwriter and film director, Peter Capaldi has appeared in a wide range of television shows and movies since the beginning of his career in the early 1980s. He also directed a live action short film (Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life), for which he won an Academy Award in 1995. A multi-talented actor, Capaldi is perhaps best known for his role as the spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in the British TV show The Thick of It, and its spin-off movie In the Loop.

2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations: Comedy

EmmyLast week, the nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmys were announced. As always, they were met with excitement from some and disappointment from others. Every year, it seems that network comedies are less represented in the nominations, but standout favorites like 30 Rock, Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory continue to hold their own against the influx of cutting edge cable comedies. It will be interesting to see if Modern Family (the perennial favorite) or 30 Rock (which just celebrated its final season) can win voters over enough to take home trophies at this year's ceremony.

Below, I have listed all the nominees in the Comedy categories. Who would you like to win? Was your favorite snubbed in this year’s nominations? Let me know in the comments!

Outstanding Comedy Series:

A Robot World

robotThis weekend, Pacific Rim, the next big budget summer movie, hits theaters. Featuring giant robots created and powered by humans to fight an invading alien force, this is just the latest in a long line of films featuring robots. Robots have long fascinated screenwriters because they mirror all parts of the human condition, allowing for social commentary from a new perspective. Often created by man to accomplish tasks, robots can be sweet or terrifying, and can quickly progress from obedient to vindictive. Whether man made or alien, innocent or destructive, robots have captivated audiences for years. 

If you’re in the mood for a robot movie and can’t make it to the theater, browse the HCPL catalog and request a DVD today!

That's a Laugh

movie theaterIt should come as no surprise that moviegoers love a good laugh. So far this summer, three very different comedies have been released in theaters: The Internship (a buddy comedy starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn), This is the End (an apocalyptic comedy), and The Heat (a buddy action comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy). Even many of the big budget action films this summer have had enough funny moments and one-liners to keep audiences laughing. When real life is too overwhelming, we turn to movies for an escape into the light-hearted, the screwball and the gut-bustingly hilarious.

In 2000, the American Film Institute released their list of the 100 funniest American movies: AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs. Below, I have listed some of my favorite titles on the list. What are your favorites? What movies would you add from the years since the list was released?

Truth, Justice, & the American Way

superman statueMan of Steel, the highly anticipated reboot to the Superman movie franchise opens in theaters today. Although I love the complexity and grittiness of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, the snark of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, and the cleverness of X-Men, Superman will always be my favorite superhero. He is the superhero who flies around in a bright red cape, hides his identity behind a pair of glasses and a reporter’s pen, and dodges bullets and sees through walls. He is the superhero who goes out of his way to protect human life despite his own position as an outsider. In every incarnation, whether live action movie, long running TV series, or children’s cartoon, Superman stands for hope.

If you can’t make it to the movie theater this week but want to catch up on Superman’s adventures, browse the HCPL catalog and request a movie today!

The Miniseries

CranfordOne of my favorite television forms is the miniseries, a single story told over a limited number of episodes. Because most miniseries are several hours long, they provide more freedom to delve deeper into the plot and the characters than a single two-hour movie. At the same time, they are generally much shorter than an average American TV season, allowing viewers to see a complete story from beginning to end.

In my last blog post (From Classic Page to Screen) I included several miniseries in the list of movies based on classic literature. Although the classics often provide inspiration, the miniseries is a popular vehicle for all genres, from westerns and love stories, to battlefronts and documentaries. It is interesting to see how the miniseries has evolved through the years and speculate on what viewers can expect from producers in years to come.

If you’re in the mood to become engrossed in a miniseries (or two!) this summer, browse the HCPL catalog and request one today!

From Classic Page to Screen

great gatsby

Books, particularly the classics, have always been a huge source of inspiration for screenwriters. Some of the most enduring novels have inspired many film and TV adaptations, each approaching the story in a different way. Sometimes the adaptations are spot-on, true to both the story and the emotion of the source material. Often, screenwriters and directors take liberties to update the story for modern audiences or translate page to screen.

Last week, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby, hit theaters in a glitzy Baz Luhrmann production. Its success at the box office is further proof that some of the best movie plots are waiting in the pages of classic literature.

If you’re in the mood for classic literature on the screen, browse the HCPL catalog and request a movie or mini-series today!

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