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2015 Emmy Winner Predictions

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2015 Emmy Winner Predictions

AMC

2015 Emmy Winner Predictions

The democratization of technology is a boon for globalization, but for anyone who ever felt an inkling of pleasure watching the Oscars, it’s become a blight to an institutional process that once made seemingly genuine attempts toward establishing even playing fields. Today, the Oscar season begins as soon as the curtain falls on the previous one. The full-time awards pundit predicts nominees, sometimes even winners, months before a film has even left the editing room (“Could it be two in a row for Eddie Redmayne?!”), the insta-reactionary-ness of Twitter trending films and people up or down like stocks. How good the work is matters less than how good one works a room, or how closely the work aligns with a cultural shift in imagination. Show up at a festival to promote your film, pretend to enjoy getting your picture snapped by a #blessed “industry expert,” thus securing their approval, and suddenly you’re a “lock.” At least that’s what said expert will report to their followers, who’ll slavishly lap up and spread the pundit’s hosannas for films sight unseen—a domino-like effect of readiness and willingness perpetuated by the studios with For Your Consideration campaigns.

Breaking Bad Recap Season 5, Episode 12, "Rabid Dog"

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Breaking Bad Recap: Season 5, Episode 12, “Rabid Dog”

AMC

Breaking Bad Recap: Season 5, Episode 12, “Rabid Dog”

“Rabid Dog” explicitly broaches a question that Breaking Bad fans have probably been pondering for a while: How far will Jesse (Aaron Paul) have to push Walt (Bryan Cranston) before the latter tries to kill the former? In “Confessions,” Walt’s ability to corral Jesse back into his fold of influence appeared to have been definitively shattered by Jesse’s discovery of the truth behind Brock’s poisoning. Jesse was last seen dousing Walt’s living room with gasoline, and “Rabid Dog” picks up immediately where that sequence left off, with Walt stalking Jesse through the corridors of his own home. The plastic gas canister is sitting on the living room carpet, and Walt draws the gun he fished out of the carwash vending machine last week, clearly ready for his association with Jesse to reach the ultimate breaking point.

Breaking Bad Recap Season 5, Episode 11, "Confessions"

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Breaking Bad Recap: Season 5, Episode 11, “Confessions”

AMC

Breaking Bad Recap: Season 5, Episode 11, “Confessions”

“Confessions” returns to the theme of the dangerous fragility of crushed American masculinity, which has always been Breaking Bad’s grandest concern. Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Hank (Dean Norris) are both struggling working-class men who’ve recently experienced unexpected surges of great power with Walt’s advent of the “Heisenberg” master criminal, but the latest episode in the series appears to pave the way for a circular narrative structure that will return the men to their stifling humble origins while potentially destroying everything and everyone else in their wake.

For Walt, of course, his cancer’s return began this humbling, which culminated last week with the image of Skylar (Anna Gunn) cradling Walt like a child in their bathroom after he collapsed. Well, maybe. Walt appears to be growing confident again, particularly when his titular “confession” is revealed to be a brazen threat to frame Hank. Viewers can be forgiven for initially falling for Walt’s deception, as his steadying weariness over the course of this season, while always exploited for its maximum capacity to manipulate others, has also often appeared to be legitimate. Walt’s original suggestion to Skylar that he turn himself into the authorities, which he voiced while sprawled out on that bathroom floor, appeared to carry real notes of exhaustion that weren’t just physical, but mental, spiritual, and emotional. The Heisenberg monster appeared to be running out of guises to assume.

Film Society of Lincoln Center, AMC Present “Breaking Bad Cast Favorites” and Viewing Marathon

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Film Society of Lincoln Center, AMC Present “<em>Breaking Bad</em> Cast Favorites” and Viewing Marathon
Film Society of Lincoln Center, AMC Present “<em>Breaking Bad</em> Cast Favorites” and Viewing Marathon

With Breaking Bad on the march toward its final episodes (the second half of season five premieres August 11), the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) and AMC are marking the occasion on August 1 and 2 with “The Perfect Batch: Breaking Bad Cast Favorites,” a viewing event to be co-presented by the society and the TV network, and feature guest appearances from actors Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, and Bob Odenkirk, as well as series creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan. Each participant is set to engage in a Q&A and share his or her favorite episodes from the series. On August 1, the Q&A moderator will be New York Magazine TV critic, RogerEbert.com editor-in-chief, and The House Next Door founder Matt Zoller Seitz. On August 2, Emily Nussbaum, TV critic for The New Yorker, will take up moderating duties. All conversations will reportedly be live-streamed at filmlinc.com, before finding a home at amctv.com. Tickets for the event go on sale at filmlinc.com at noon today, and are priced at $15 per conversation.

Breaking Bad Recap Season 2, Episode 12, "Phoenix"

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Breaking Bad Recap: Season 2, Episode 12, “Phoenix”

AMC

Breaking Bad Recap: Season 2, Episode 12, “Phoenix”

What does it mean anymore to be a father? We still roughly know what it means to be a mother. Indeed, we rather know it in our bones. Giving birth, nurturing, caretaking, we get all that. But, increasingly, the notion of fatherhood feels almost taken for granted, as something we’ve constructed up around the male parent to give him something to do. You teach the kids to drive. You make sure they stay on the straight and narrow. You provide for them somehow, guide them in a way to help them realize their dreams, maybe even some of your own dreams. Those pundits who bleat about how the role of the father is disappearing in modern culture aren’t right, not exactly, but what they say sometimes, critically, feels right, as though dear old Dad and the patriarchy he drags along with him is powerless in the face of modernization, even as we know that the smiling benevolence of Father Knows Best was, at best, not always true and, at worst, a complete myth. We respond to deeper urges, then, know, somehow, that to be a father is to hold your baby for the first time and say to yourself, “All right. It’s not all about me now. Let’s see how that changes things.”

Breaking Bad Recap Season 2, Episode 11, "Mandala"

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Breaking Bad Recap: Season 2, Episode 11, “Mandala”

AMC

Breaking Bad Recap: Season 2, Episode 11, “Mandala”

A young boy, on an errand we can’t quite figure out yet, rides his bicycle through a desolate corner of the city of Albuquerque, rot surrounding him. Standing in the middle of that desolation, a large man dressed all in white with multiple piercings surveys his domain. Shot from below, he looms, until we see that he’s sipping from a large soda cup, the sort you might buy at a 7-11. He’s waiting for someone or something, and when a couple of other guys in a low-riding car pull up to give him some guff, he shoos them off quickly enough. The kid keeps riding, finally reaching the man in white, and he circles him once, twice, many times. Then he inquires as to the origin of the man’s earrings, and the man finally has to shoo the kid off. He’s worried about the guys in the car, who have pulled up to the corner and parked down a side street to keep an eye on them. But when the gunshots come, they come from behind, from where the kid has gotten off his bike, is holding a gun. As the guy stares at the new wound in his gut in horror, then at the kid, the kid stares in shock, as if he, himself, didn’t think he could do this, and then after a few moments, he fires again and again and again as the man in white tries to flee. The guy collapses in the middle of the street, blood pouring from his mouth. The kid and the car pull away from the scene of the crime in almost perfect synchronization, a high shot showing us the two parties leaving in opposite directions, the guy bleeding out in the middle of the street.

Breaking Bad Recap Season 2, Episode 9, "4 Days Out"

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Breaking Bad Recap: Season 2, Episode 9, “4 Days Out”

AMC

Breaking Bad Recap: Season 2, Episode 9, “4 Days Out”

If Breaking Bad began heading downhill rapidly last week (in a narrative sense, not a quality sense), this week, it lets off the brake, heading into what appears to be the second season’s final act. “4 Days Out,” written by Sam Catlin and directed by Michelle MacLaren, hits a bunch of Breaking Bad’s favorite devices, from the idea of characters trapped in a confined space and forced to deal with each other to a sudden, bitter reversal of fortune that should leave everyone happy but has the effect of making our central character, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) even more miserable than he should be in the first place. It was another exemplary episode in a season full of them, and if nothing else, it sets us up nicely for what is to come. It’s also staggeringly beautiful, drinking in the desert landscape that dominates its running time with a wide-eyed sense for the beauty of the wilderness.

Breaking Bad Recap Season 2, Episode 8, "Better Call Saul"

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Breaking Bad Recap: Season 2, Episode 8, “Better Call Saul”

AMC

Breaking Bad Recap: Season 2, Episode 8, “Better Call Saul”

“Better Call Saul” is the kind of episode that made me get interested in television in the first place. It’s not perfect, by any means, but it would be nauseatingly hilarious in one shot and then cut to another that would load on the unbearable tension. In so many ways, it’s a minor encapsulation of so many of the show’s major themes (from the idea that you can’t be just a little bit of a criminal to the thought that resisting temptation is so very, very hard), but it’s also a surprisingly fast-paced episode of the notoriously slow-moving series. The episode even manages to make famed comedian Bob Odenkirk seem like a part of its universe with a character who is both the sort of joke-y character he plays well and a necessary piece of the puzzle of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) burgeoning criminal empire. Season two has been building to this. Hell, the SHOW has been building to this. We’re at a precipice, and the RV is pointed downhill. We just passed the point of no return.