Erin Schools Todd on Their Entertainment Differences. They also Discuss the Golden Globe Nominations

The Golden Globe nominations were released Thursday morning, December 6. For a complete look at the nominees, see the L.A. Times list here. The broadcast will come exactly a month later, and will be hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg (who happened to present the award for Outstanding Directing for Comedy Series together last year, and were funny). It’s one of the few awards shows my wife Erin and I watch, but one we very much look forward to.One of the more enjoyable aspects of this awards event vs. the Academy Awards,for example, is that it covers both television (network, cable, and streaming)and movies. In addition, the Golden Globes always promise something unscripted and unpredictable.

As I glanced over the nominees, I realized the person I want to speak with about them the most would of course be Erin, my wife and best friend. She and I share so much time watching television and movies, most sane persons would question our will to enjoy any semblance of life outside of our living room or the local AMC. However, there are so many nominees or other television shows I CAN’T discuss with Erin due to our, I’ll just say, “differing entertainment preferences.” I put this in quotes because I’m a selfish partner who thinks 1) we should follow all of the same shows and series, 2) she should like what I like,and 3) that I MAY have some “remote control–control” issues. I’ll allow her to respond, but here is a list of lauded or nominated series that she refuses or refused to enjoy with me and what I remember as her stated reasons:

  • Sharp Objects (HBO) – Seems too scary
  • Homecoming (Amazon Prime Video) – Seems too scary
  • GLOW (Netflix) – Complete lack of interest
  • Lodge 49 (AMC) – Complete lack of interest
  • Netflix’s Marvel N.Y. Heroes Lineup – Complete lack of interest
  • Ozark (Netflix) – Something along the lines of “I can’t deal with that much negativity right now.”
  • Handmaid’s Tale – (same… or “all too real right now” or something)
  • Barry – Complete lack of interest

Can you believe this woman? Meanwhile, Hallmark schlock and anything with a British or either downunder accent gets immediate priority viewing. Oy. Of course, she and I haveplenty of movies and TV shows we share an equal interest and affection, andwe’ll get to that. But let me start the discussion with this softball questionfor my beautiful bride:

TODD:  Erin, why are you so wrong about not watching these shows I’ve listed? 

ERIN: So I would like to point out to you, Todd (you know what it means when I call you “Todd”), is how incredibly lucky you are to have a wife that loves entertainment as much as you do. Well, you are just lucky to have a wife…like me, wait for it,…period. I could end this here and now. However, because I believe in diversity of perspective and being open-minded, I will share my thoughts on your entertainment preferences and your “mansplaining” my reasons for not watching “YOUR” shows:

  • Sharp Objects (HBO) – Seems too scary – Why yes, a show about murder, psychological demons, strangulation and teeth pulling seems quite scary to me. Not to mention that every time a commercial comes on about the show, you share how scary and crazy Patricia Clarkson is. And when I say every time, I mean EVERY TIME a commercial comes on. You even repeated it every time Patricia Clarkson appeared on House of Cards (yep, forgot to mention how much we like THAT ONE, didn’t you?). I am the one who slept with the lights on for three months after seeing Silence of the Lambs.
  • Homecoming (Amazon Prime Video) – “Seems too scary” – Too depressing
  • GLOW (Netflix) – Complete lack of interest…BOOOOORING
  • Lodge 49 (AMC) – “Complete lack of interest” – Okay, in all fairness, I don’t even know what this show is. Of course, that is weird since you LOVE to tell me about every show you are watching (huge eye roll). This might be a good time for me to examine my role in all of this and keep up on shows so that you don’t have to tell me about ALL OF THEM.
  • Netflix’s Marvel N.Y. Heroes Lineup– “Complete lack of interest” – That is just plain untrue. In fact, it is FALSE! LIAR! I’d like to refer you to the clip from Princess Bride, which will make my point here(and please notice the movie reference…)
  • Ozark (Netflix) – Something along the lines of “I can’t deal with that much negativity right now.” – Happy to share my thoughts on Jason Bateman. Never liked him, never will. He seems, how shall we say, like an a-hole. He just bugs me. You know what else bugs me –that 68%say we spend too much on foreign aid, and 59% want foreign aid cut.
  • Handmaid’s Tale – “(same… or “all too real right now” or something)” – I read the book (because I actually read books, TODD) and there is absolutely no way I want to relive the story.Especially now.  I am pulling the woman card here – men just won’t understand the visceral feeling The Handmaid’s Tale has on women.
  • Barry – Complete lack of interest –While I love me some Bill Hader, I just cannot seem to find connection to a hitman in crisis over his job.  Although I should also revisit this reasoning since I am not sure how I connect to anyone on the Hallmark channel.

TODD (after a long,pensive pause where he just stares straight ahead):  Uh… I do believe I was just schooled big time by my wife. But I should have known I would pay. After all, she’s smarter than me and I walk into it every time with her. She’s quick with the wit, that sexy minx!

… Ok, fair enough, then. And you’re right, honey. I didn’t mention House of Cards yet, and I won’t. Why? Because I’m living in denial that the final season existed at this point. I mean, that final episode made the “Dexter” finale look good. But – turning to movies for just a second – how do you explain your lack of love for “A Star is Born,” and another recent favorite of mine, “Widows,” which both received solid critical reviews?  Do you hate talented people and fantastic ensemble casts that include Viola Davis? Why do you hate Lady Gaga, Erin?! That seems “shallow” to me (ZINGGGG!!!)

ERIN: I think this is where your selective memory comes in. In fact, my comments about Widows were about Viola Davis being able to do anything (except, of course, wipe her nose when she cries) and that the movie was brutal. And when I say brutal, this means the acting is excellent –brutality without much violence. THAT is acting! Shall I mention that you didn’t even refer to Daniel Kaluuya’s acting? It isn’t always about Viola Davis, you know.

As for A Star is Born, I give props to Bradley Cooper and Gaga individually, but I missed their chemistry completely. The music was awesome and they are both stunning, but together?, Eh…I loved the dog, though. Do I get points for that? It didn’t stay with me and I don’t want to see it again. There, I said it. And if he wins for anything I will puke.

TODD:  Fair enough. I give up. We could go all day about how wrong you are on certain things. And how this is “Todd Flora’s America”where I am the supreme and benevolent leader (damnit!). But I would only have my ass continually handed to me by a superior person. And yes – you get points for liking the dog in A Star is Born,because – true story – it’s Bradley Cooper’s actual dog!! (dog nepotism!)

Let’s turn to discussing some of our recent viewing where we share thesame or similar views, shall we? 

For example, I know we’re both HUGE fans of NBC’s “The Good Place,” and wish all of America would finally get on board what I THINK is the most original show on television – certainly far more creative that most things we see on NETWORK these days. And is it true that we’ve both found Netflix’s “The Good Cop” entertaining, yet haven’t returned to viewing Season 1 in about three weeks?  Will Josh Groban be “grabbin” our interest back for the full season viewing? And what is it about Amazon Prime Video’s “The Romanoffs,” Matt Weiner’s follow up to “Mad Men,” that has us feeling a little “whatever-off?” It seems we both see it as just so-so, no?  Finally, for this round, tell me your thoughts on AMC’s “The Little Drummer Girl” and the performance by young Florence Pugh, who we both agree has the exact same face as young Kate Winslet. The middle third of the 6-part John La Carre adaptation had moments that seemed confusing, no? Or is that just my week intellect at work?

ERIN: Yeah, still can’t go with The Romanoff’s. Matt Weiner needs to get over himself. Episode 1 was awesome and then it was downhill from there. Maybe I am not deep enough for him.

You forgot about Bodyguard!,which is by far one of my faves this year (and NOT to be confused with The Bodyguard, people). Did he, did she, will he, won’t she? Who knows? You won’t until the very end!  This is the show that makes you cry when it is over because…it is over. And you want it back – that feeling of intrigue in the beginning and then being sucked in. Ah, how I miss a new show relationship.

The real issue for us is this: I am not the team player that you are.And I love you for that. I like solo sports and that translates into entertainment. There are shows I won’t watch without you and shows I won’t watch with you. Australia, New Zealand and Hallmark are all mine. Watching them alone makes me a better wife and person. I would never watch West Wing, The Good Place, Good Cop, Modern Family, Blackish, Supergirl, Graham Norton, Good Fight, Suits, The Romanoff’s, Grace and Frankie or Mrs. Maisel without you. It just isn’t the same and that is what makes us great together.

TODD: My dear, you are so generous about the dozens of things you always save to watch WITH me, that this only child probably didn’t appreciate enough that there are things you need to enjoy on your own. I suppose we don’t have to share everything. So, I get it. And how psyched are we, by the way, that the “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is back as of last week for Season 2?!  I know we’re both anticipating what’s next for Midge and the gang.

Also – great call on “Bodyguard!” How could I forget to mention it?!  Easily one of our mutual favorites of 2018. What amazed me most is how much story, action, and character movement the series crammed into just a 6 episode Season 1. It’s hard to believe a certain main character, for example, was never seen again after episode 3!  There was more tension in this show than anyone of Drake’s multiple hip-hop beefs, and more awkwardness at times than Drake’s age-inappropriate relationship with “Stranger Things” star Millie Bobbie Brown (what’s that all about?!).

Ok, let’s wrap with some of what surprised us about the Golden Globe nominations. First, pleasant surprises and nominations I’m happy to see:

  • BlackKklansman being nominated for best picture,and as a Drama. Sure, there was a layer of comedy involved, but a very serious subject. It really bugs me when shows or movies are mis-categorized, e.g. –Showtime’s Jim Carrey vehicle, “Kidding,” being nominated as a “comedy.” The show was very dark and dramatic
  • Strong women, Latinos, African-American-LED films, the story of a bisexual rock God, successful Asians in charge. #DiverseGlobes
  • Viggo AND Mahershala both nominated for their performances in “Green Book.”
  • Plenty of nomination love for Bodyguard, The Kominsky Method, and Homecoming
  • The Good Place being nominated for Best TV Comedy (or Musical)

As for snubs, I would say:

  • “First Man’s” only nomination being for Claire Foy’s performance was a surprise… though I can understand why some didn’t gravitate to the somewhat “sleepy” Apollo 11/Neil Armstrong film.
  • Widows was completely shut out!  Such a great cast, and such a sharp thriller/heist story that featured female relationships. I expected more.
  • We of course haven’t seen it, but given its other nominations and great fan fair as a MUSICAL, I’m surprised no Original Song nominations were given to “Mary Poppins Returns.” Is this a sign this sequel experiment is going to underwhelm?
  • I haven’t caught Donald Glover’s FX hit “Atlanta,”but given the plaudits and ratings that show enjoys, its number of nominations seems light, especially compared to its lauded Season 1
  • Where is “Handmaid’s Tale” in the Best Television, Drama Series!?!  That omission is a shocker.

Last word on the Globe nominations, or anything else, goes to you my dear:

ERIN:

Here’s the thing. The entertainment and entertainers that made me feel – happy, sad, angry, scared – are my choices for “Best”:

Black Panther – I’d gladly pay to see it again in the theater (and we have already seen it twice).

Green Book – for the piano playing alone (I hope that Kris Bowers gets more than a thanks for his doubling up with Mahershala AND scoring the movie). Mahershala’s category is a tough one because Adam Driver was also awesome.

Viggo Mortensen – once again he is masterful. And much more masterfulthan Lin-Manuel, Robert, Christian and John C. (sorry, honey, you don’t get thelast word on this – ha ha). I mean Hamilton was good and I liked Step Brothers but COME ON!

Best Performance by an Actor – Drama – Bradley Cooper is the likely winner and that makes me not want to watch. He is great, no doubt, but it is okay to acknowledge that he also goes for the “big gesture” and that this might not be where he is worth “Best.” John David Washington was awesome and helped tell a crazy significant story in such a masterful way. And if you close your eyes,you think it is Denzel talking.

The one thing I am expecting is that I will once again be out of sync with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. And that is okay because when it comes down to it, Todd and I are still going to see movies in the theater and watch a shit ton of TV – we are the no-bullshit bellwethers of the entertainment industry! Thank you all for coming. Scene.

2 Comments

  1. You called Erin a “chick”! A cute, little, yellow, fuzzy thing with a brain the size of a lentil? I was aware that was a derogatory, dehumanizing term for women before you were ever born. And I know you dad never used it. So we can safely say you were not raised that way.

    Your article was energetic and fun. I love reading both of you in the “he said, she said” format.

    Erin and I arrived at the saturation point for the gratuitous violence and human cruelty in “entertainment” productions at the same time. As you might recall Dad’s last days as an “entertainment” consumer were limited to my tastes. I might add that based on the popularity of all The British, Australian, & Canadian productions most of the population is leaning toward gentler, kinder productions. Not that we’ll put Hollywood out of business.

    Hollywood IS struggling. Your example of “A Star is Born” is a great example. Producers are so desperate to make 1000% profit on everything they put people together who had no chemistry. I love Bradly Cooper and Lady Gaga, but that story needed people with chemistry and if they so obviously didn’t have it recast.

    Well, that’s your mom’s opinion. Terrific article.

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