AMC’s “Preacher” retains some of the cult comic’s ’90s cool, but it’s a solid TV show on its own

Dominic Cooper plays Jesse Custer in AMC's "Preacher," based on the comics by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. (Lewis Jacobs/AMC/TNS)
Dominic Cooper plays Jesse Custer in AMC’s “Preacher,” based on the comics by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. (Lewis Jacobs/AMC/TNS)

For comics fans, writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon’s 1995-2000 DC/Vertigo series “Preacher” was one of the era’s iconic books.

Concerning one Jesse Custer, a small-town Texas preacher who becomes gifted with “the voice of God” (which can compel anyone to do whatever he says), “Preacher” became a vector for everything the Irish writer thought about America, Westerns, God, faith, good, evil, cowboys, patriotism, the nature of organized religion, the Vietnam War and vampires.

Not all of it holds up perfectly, but thanks to Ennis’ incredible ear for dialogue and Dillon’s canny storytelling, “Preacher” became an influential must-read for a certain strain of geek. (There is more than a little of the Irish vampire Cassidy in Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”)

Now, after years of development, a television adaptation premieres Sunday on AMC. The pilot screened at South by Southwest, to a typically rapturous SXSW reception.

Nerds, beware: This is in no way a straight adaptation of the comic. Plotlines have shifted, various bits sewn together. Instead of walking the earth with his pals like Caine in “Kung Fu,” it seems Jesse will be confined, more or less, to one place (possibly for budgetary reasons).

But creators Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin have molded elements of the comic into something that could very well succeed on its own.

MORE FROM JOE GROSS: How comic book movies are making comic books worse

The pilot, directed by Rogen and Goldberg, opens with something flying through the cosmos — a ball of light, crying like an infant. It slams into a Christian preacher in Africa. For a second, all seems well. Then … disaster.

Eventually, we find ourselves with Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), the pastor of a small, poorly attended Texas church. We are told that Jesse has a checkered, violent past but has returned, out of a sense of obligation, to the church where his daddy preached. (For the record, West Texas is played in “Preacher” by New Mexico.)

Other disagree, but I found the casting of Cooper to be a bit wobbly. Quite frankly, the British-as-it-gets Cooper — who played Howard Stark in the “Captain America” movies and in the show “Agent Carter” — couldn’t look, let alone sound, LESS Texan, no matter how many badass signifiers he sports — the drinking, the smoking, the swagger, the ‘tude.

And he is a pretty terrible preacher. This is probably intentional; running a dying church is probably not what Jesse wants to be doing with this life  (and explains the poor Sunday turnout).

But it’s also hard to imagine a Texas church, any Texas church, putting up with his lifeless yakking for long. He does have one supporter in Emily (Lucy Griffiths), a widow and single mother whose character is just screaming, “I have a weird secret that will be revealed down the road.”

Things liven up with the arrival of his ex-girlfriend and former partner in crime, Tulip (the excellent Ruth Negga, an Ethiopian-Irish actress who can’t quite locate a Texas accent, either). A bit of a manic criminal dream girl, Tulip nevertheless gets a memorable scene involving explosives that’s easily the show’s joyous highlight. Tulip was a terrific character to begin with; Negga find in her new depth and energy.

Other supporting players include Sheriff Hugo Root (good to see you, W. Earl Brown) and his disfigured-thanks-to-an-attempted-suicide son Eugene (Ian Colletti, a nice surprise). And then there’s Cassidy (Joe Gilgun), an Irish outlaw and undead wanderer who comes to Annville, bringing trouble with him. Gilgun knows he has the fun part — he gets to drink everything in sight, swear and chew scenery like a vamp draining a helpless blonde.

Cassidy and Tulip are the show’s beating heart (no vampire pun intended), the id to Jesse’s superego, which is clever. After he is infused with the Lord, so to speak, Jesse suddenly has power beyond imagining, directly from a God that he probably no longer believes in. Cassidy and Tulip (and even Emily) show Jesse various directions he could go with his power.  Clearly, he will have to find his own path.

Thus far, it’s a decent adaptation of material that wasn’t exactly screaming to be put on television. But in a world where “Walking Dead” rules everything around it,  you can’t exactly blame AMC for rolling the dice.

“Preacher” premieres Sunday with an encore presentation May 29 .

ATX Television Festival announces marquee events, panels, programming

Aaron Sorkin, Denis Leary and the folks from “Ugly Betty” will be part of the ATX Television Festival which returns for a fifth year June 9 to 12.

Leary at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International
Leary at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International

We already know about the a “Friday Night Lights” High School reunion on Panther Field, but the fest announced a whole host of other programming Thursday.

Look for a “The West Wing Administration” Panel, featuring Sorkin and members of the cast, an “Ugly Betty:” 10 Year Reunion on the fest’s closing night, featuring America Ferrera and the cast, and a  panel on FX’s “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” featuring Leary. (Boy, I thought that guy tried to stay out of Texas, but maybe I am wrong.)

USA Network’s upcoming new series “Queen of the South” will kick things off on opening night with a premiere screening and panel featuring the cast and creators.  Based on the global bestseller “La Reina Del Sur” by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, the drama follows Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga), a woman forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America after  the murder of her cartel-connected boyfriend.

“The West Wing Administration” panel will featuring creator/executive producer Aaron Sorkin and director/executive producer Thomas Schlamme, along with cast members Bradley Whitford, Dule Hill, Joshua Malina, Richard Schiff and Janel Moloney.  The panel marks the 10th anniversary of the “The West Wing” finale, the finale to a season which magically predicted President Obama’s ascendancy.

The “Ugly Betty”panel will feature ast members America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Becki Newton, Michael Urie, Ashley Jensen, Ana Ortiz, Tony Plana, Mark Indelicato, Vanessa Williams and Rebecca Romijn.

ATX will also host a screening and panel of America Ferrera’s newly renewed NBC comedy “Superstore,” featuring Ferrera, who stars in the series along with serving as a producer, together with fellow cast members Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nico Santos and Nichole Bloom, and creator/executive producer Justin Spitzer.

Leary is on a panel both for his FX comedy “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” (along with cast members Elizabeth Gillies, Elaine Hendrix, John Ales and Bobby Kelly) and a “Rescue Me” reunion, with fellow creator Peter Tolan, along with cast members Callie Thorne, Andrea Roth, Michael Lombardi, James McCaffrey, Lenny Clarke and Larenz Tate.

Starz will host the season three première of its comedy “Survivor’s Remorse,” featuring creator Mike O’Malley and director Ali LeRoi, along with cast members RonReaco Lee, Jessie Usher and Teyonah Parris.

WGN’s new series “Outsiders” will host a panel with executive producers Peter Tolan and Peter Mattei, discussing season one and where the show is headed in season two, and will screen never-before-seen footage.  Participating cast members will be announced at a later date.

AT&T Audience Network will be part of ATX for the first time, with a panel for their original series “Kingdom,” produced by Endemol Shine Studios, featuring creator/executive producer Byron Balasco and cast members Jonathan Tucker, Joanna Going and Matt Lauria.  Additional panelists will be announced at a later date.

ATX will screen the upcoming TBS series “Search Party,” followed by a conversation with Alia Shawkat, who was previously announced as part of the “State of Grace” reunion, along with creators Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers.

These panels join “The O.C.” Writers Room reunion with creator Josh Schwartz and the show’s writers, along with a script reading of the pilot episode, presented by CW Seed; a special “Everybody Loves Raymond” 20 year reunion with cast and producers; “The Shield” Writers Room reunion with creator Shawn Ryan and the show’s writers; a “State of Grace” reunion with cast Mae Whitman and Alia Shawkat, along with creators Brenda Lilly and Hollis Rich;  a script reading of the never-picked-up pilot “Big” with creators Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce, along with surprise cast and much more.

Norman Lear will also receive this year’s ATX Award for Achievement in Television Excellence.

Check out for the full slate.

Get ready for the F-Society Ferris wheel during SXSW

mrrobot__twocolumncontentTuesday, the Austin Movie Blog discussed the forthcoming SXSW panel regarding USA’s critical smash hit “Mr. Robot.”

Here is the description:

Coding on Camera: MR. ROBOT & Authenticity on TV

Sam Esmail, Rami Malek and Christian Slater will take part in a “Coding on Camera: MR. ROBOT & Authenticity on TV” a panel in the Future of Entertainment Convergence track at SXSW 2016. Mr. Robot World Premiered in the Episodics section of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and went on to win critical and audience acclaim.

(Sunday, March 13, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM, Room EFG, Austin Convention Center)

But that is, of course, for badgeholders only.

Wednesday, “Variety” reported that  the USA Network would sponsor a ten story, 100-foot ferris wheel “in the heart of downtown from March 11 to March 14 where fans can board one of the gondolas for an aerial view of the city.” This is in tribute to the show’s Coney Island setting, out of which the hacker group F-Society operates.

It will come with a “hacker lounge” and “a retro arcade full of retro games for attendees to play,” a photo booth, giveaways, a screen-printing T-shirt bar and more.

“Mr. Robot” picked up the audience award at last year’s SXSW; the show became a cultural conversation soon after.

HBO’s ‘Vinyl’: When records, and the folks who made them, were still king

How do you know you are in a Martin Scorsese movie? Look for the following:

  • A massive coke snort in the back of the limo (the first of many, so many that one wonders if it’s a product placement).
  • A voice-over letting us know backstory we would have to otherwise infer (or learn from another character).
  • Loving shots of recreated 1970s downtown New York, all underbelly and tagged subway cars.
  • The worship of old blues, 50s R&B and primeval early rock ‘n’ roll, to the point where several songs are given their own here-is-the-artist-in-the-imagination-of-the-main-character scenes.
  • An act of savage violence that isn’t completely necessary to the plot but acts as a catharsis for a central character.
  • Mick Jagger’s son in a slightly mystifying role.

A few of these apply to any number of his films, but if the answer is “all of the above,” you are in “Vinyl,” the new 10-episode series airing on HBO, the two-hour pilot for which airs Sunday. Written by “Vinyl” showrunner Terence Winter (“Sopranos,” Boardwalk Empire”), the pilot was directed by Scorsese, who co-created the show with Winter, Rich Cohen and Mick Jagger.

Bobby Cannavale in "Vinyl
Bobby Cannavale in “Vinyl

‘Vinyl” follows Richie Finestra (Bobby Canavale), whose record label American Century is in a bit of a transitional moment. It is 1973 and Finestra is ready to sell the label to the German multinational PolyGram.

But A.C. is struggling: they don’t have the next big thing, nor do they have Led Zeppelin, who they have promised Poly they will sign.

Finestra has the gorgeous wife (Olivia Wilde), the mansion in Connecticut and a few entertaining underlings: Ray Romano is the radio promotions guy Zak Yankovich, prone to slipping some $20 bills and an eight ball of coke to DJs, Max Casella is A&R chief Julie Silver (who we learn passed on Abba) and J.C. MacKenzie is Skip Fontaine, the sort of accountant who can make a load of albums disappear into the East River for tax purposes. (Andrew Dice Clay, of whom I never tire in dramatic roles, is hypnotic as a nasty radio executive.)

The pilot takes its extremely padded time following two threads: where Richie is now (struggling to figure out what his next step is) and how he got there (managing, then screwing over, a young blues musician (Ato Essandoh); doing time at a label cranking out the ’50s R&B Essandoh’s character called “kiddie music”).

The Nasty Bits in 'Vinyl"
The Nasty Bits in ‘Vinyl”

Elsewhere, an ambitious Century gofer (Juno Temple) —  who seems responsible for maintaining the label’s stash of every drug you could possibly want — decides to back a young punk band called the Nasty Bits, whose (bafflingly British) lead singer is played by Jagger’s son James.

(This bit of casting feels just as weird as that time Adrien Brody went from Queens to England to discover punk rock via the Who in “Summer of Sam?” Anyone remember that? Yeah, probably not.)

While the New York Dolls were destroying stages at that point, ’73 is slightly early for this kind of punk. That said, in perhaps the show’s only ingenious move, the Nasty Bits’ music is that of Jack Ruby, a brilliant proto-punk act who were indeed a few years ahead of their time.

It is hard to know exactly what to make of “Vinyl,” except that for every trashy moment that connects (or is at least vaguely entertaining), there are a dozen more that are cringe-worthy Scorsese by-numbers. (Not to mention the egregious coincidences: Ritchie’s limo driver JUST HAPPENS to drive him by a party where DJs JUST HAPPEN to be cutting up records in a way awfully reminiscent of what would become hip-hop.)

Much the like the casino scenes in “Casino,” the stuff about how the record business worked back then is kind of fun (the music supervision, by increasingly legendary supervisor Randall Poster, is top-notch). But, also a bit like “Casino,” everything else (Finestra’s blues fetishism, his excesses, his marital woes) feels warmed over and dull.

There were also the sorts of factual errors that make music nerds nuts but your average “Entourage” fan won’t care about: No, the Mercer Arts Center did not collapse during a Dolls show (if it had, many, MANY more people would have died). Yes, Led Zep’s manager Peter Grant was about twice the size of the actor who played him. Would a British punk in 1973 really be THAT offended by hearing Slade in a record company office? Probably not. (I will just assume they couldn’t license “Dark Side of the Moon” or something of that ilk.)

But, just to zoom out for a bit, it’s my firm belief that pop music in general and rock music were topics about which it was massively difficult to write really good literary fiction.

There are a few decent exceptions: “A Visit from the Goon Squad” does a good job, “Ten Thousand Saints” (a good book which was turned into a movie almost nobody saw) was another.

Film and television doesn’t do such a hot job either. Sure, I enjoy Fox’s “Empire,” but that show is exceptionally canny about its balance of music-making, office politics and shooting people in the face.

(Small aside: You know who would love “Vinyl?” Christopher Moltasanti. Not only is he the ultimate Scorsese fan (recall what he shouts to Scorsese in an early Sopanros episode (“Marty! ‘Kundun’… I liked it!”) but he was the central character in “A Hit is a Hit,” maybe the best episode of television ever made about popular music.  That episode does nearly everything “Vinyl” tries to do but does it richer, smarter and funnier.)

Anyway, the scenes that work best in, say, “Almost Famous,” a movie I have softened on in my dotage, aren’t the scenes of the band on stage (though the performances are uniformly excellent) but of the main character as a FAN — the wonder on the kids’ face as he flips through his sisters records might be the movie’s most perfect moment of actually relating to the music: its wonder, its power.

Same with “Velvet Goldmine,” I movie I like probably far more than it deserves. As a movie about fandom, it is a blast. As a meditation on the actual power of glam, it is less strong.

“Vinyl” wants to be about both the business and the music, to focus equally on both the “suits” and the musicians. This feels like a mistake.  For example, how much less cringe-worthy (and braver) would “Vinyl” be if we never saw the actors playing Zeppelin or the Dolls? If we only heard a recording by the actual artist, not a warmed-over cover by some all-stars.

My favorite moment in “Vinyl” comes when Finestra sees the Dolls, one of the greatest rock bands that ever existed.

He isn’t dancing, he is too overwhelmed, he doesn’t want to miss a detail. It was the only time the felt experience of seeing and hearing truly great music felt authentic.

THAT is what having good ears is like.



“The X-Files” s10 e2 “Founder’s Mutation:” Well, that was an improvement

So Monday night’s X-Files, the second of the show’s revival, was not the emotionally draining trash fire that the first one was, which is good.

Mulder and Scully interview a hapless victim. Could Mulder look more bored?
Mulder and Scully interview a hapless victim. Could Mulder look more bored?

This puts “Founder’s Mutation” on par, but no better than, say, your average third season episode.

Tonally, it was technically a “Monster of the Week” episode, but featured plot tendrils that extended into the show’s wider mythology.

The plot, more or less: Mulder and Scully investigate a mysterious death and discover a psychic janitor (his powers the result of genetic manipulation) is attempting to contact his missing sister. After he nearly destroys Mulder with a ultra-high pitched mental scream and some horribly mutated children (mostly with cartoonishly exaggerated versions of real-life maladies) our heroes eventually lock down the doctor doing the manipulation. A short battle follows, the doctor gets what it coming to him (in grotesque fashion) and the brother and sister escape.

A couple of things:

  • Personal beef: Mulder, fix your tie! When Mulder accidentally picks up a guy in a bar, he has his tie loosened but his top button buttoned. Lord, I can’t stand that. Either fix your tie knot or unbutton your top button, Mulder. This is relevant to nothing. It just got on my nerves.
  • Dana Scully, smooth of face, rough of voice. What was up with Gillian Anderson’s voice? She sounded two-packs a day here. Her countenance on the other hand? Exceptionally smooth. (Also she sounded high as heck when saying “He didn’t answer my question” as, well, someone avoids her question.)
  • The horribly mutated kids and the psychic subplot felt like a shout out to something like “Akira.” Not that the Japanese have a monopoly on creepy psychic children (and psychic children are ALWAYS creepy), but there was something distinctly manga-ish in the way the kids were on display
  • I want more alien/human hybrids. There was a smooth tie-in to the larger X-Files mythology when Mulder mentioned that the Syndicate was trying to fuse humans and aliens as part of their we-made-a-deal-with-the-alien-invaders shtick, and that these kids might be related to that project. It was thin, but I will take it.
  • CZnI1zCWcAAsUJO.jpg large
    Thank you, @wingtipsloat for the photo

    Fantastic shout-out to Planet of the Apes. In one scene, a pregnant teen is talking about the possibly manipulation of her fetus with Mulder and Scully. Behind her, we see Zira, Cornelius and newborn Milo from “Escape from the PLanet of the Apes.”

  • I am mixed on the dream-sequences. The mutated children forced Mulder and Scully to reflect on William, their child together who may be (who is probably) some sort of alien/human hybrid. I was fine with the slightly melodramatic bits with Scully.  She sold being a mom well. Mulder, on the other hand, seemed like the same Mulder we know with some kid in the room. Not that pople automatically change  when they become parents, but Duchovny could have been a little broader here.
  • And then, he imagines William kidnapped by aliens. And we end on a shot of him looking very sad indeed. The idea of the Mulder family as intrinsically, as forever fated to be, tied to alien invasion is a fun, if tragic one. I am a sucker for cyclical family tragedies and that aspect of the mythos fit that bill nicely.
  • Mitch “Skinner” Pileggi is in town for a play. He mentioned to the inimitable John Aielli this (Tuesday) morning that he went here for a meal.

The “X-Files” returns: We want to believe! And yet….

Welp, that was kind of like an X-Files episode.

 Joel McHale, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in “The X-Files.”
Joel McHale, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in “The X-Files.”

The ’90s-defining show returned Sunday night after the Panthers and the almighty Cam Newton absolutely wrecked the Arizona Cardinals on your local Fox affiliate. Said hammering took the game into the 9 p.m. hour, prompting a flurry of tweets from people getting a little impatient waiting for their Fox Mulder.

I wonder if, after the episode, those same folks were like, “OK, maybe we could have waited a little longer.”

If you kept your expectations Marianas Trench-low, the first of six episodes was, well, a reminder of who these folks were. Mulder (David Duchovny, delivering a performance of Harrison Ford-level who-cares-ness) lives in the woods, Scully (Gillian Anderson, who didn’t look like she could move her forehead) is a doctor (surgeon?) at a DC hospital.

After a listless voice-over from Mulder that noted writer Maggie Serota characterized nicely (“Imagining it was some PA’s job to wake David Duchovny up at 4am and then shove a mic in his face for those voiceovers”), the episode, apparently one of only two conspiracy episodes in this six-ep arc, delivers, well, a lot of confusing setup.   Joel McHale shows up as a conservative talk show host named  Tad O’Malley who’s some sort of blend of Alex Jones, Art Bell and Bill O’Reilly.

Add in an abductee named Sveta (Annet Mahendru, best known as Nina in “The Americans”), some genuine alien tech than manages to get destroyed and Mulder’s seeming conviction that no, aliens aren’t real at all but it was all a massive conspiracy by actual homo sapiens with all-too-human motives — cut to the still-amazing Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) who now smokes through a hole in his neck. (For my money, “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” is one of the most enjoyable, most tragic, most epic hours of TV of the 1990s.)

A few thoughts:

  1. Mulder’s sunglasses are from the Al Pacino in HEAT collection. We all miss the 1990s in different ways.
  2. It was somehow very Bedelia to see Scully in a limo.
  3. Walter Skinner is not aging. Dude is definitely part alien.
  4. The dialogue continues to be a trainwreck. There has to be a happy medium between, say, David Mamet and whatever creator Chris Carter is doing here. Carter is very much like George Lucas in this regard: Great big picture guy, not so hot with the chatter.
  5. O’Malley’s monologue was a bit much. The man used the phrase “weather wars,” people. Now, were this a dialectic on the fraught relationship between the West and developing nations regarding climate change, that would be one thing. But it was not.
  6. I will be seriously bummed if they end up just scrapping the shadowy-human-elite-making-a-deal-with-actual-aliens aspect of the show. Carter and the rest of the “X-Files” actually did a bang-up job for about four seasons on making that aspect hang together. And then the wheels came off, mostly through piling on too many details. Then the show got nearly unwatchable. Then the two main characters left. (And yes, it happened in that order.)
  7. As many, many people have pointed out virtually from the moment the series ended in 2002, “The X-Files” struggles for a post-9/11 context. The show calls back to a time when the U.S. economy was on fire, we weren’t in a state of perpetual war against a tactic and the Internet was a legitimate frontier. The U.S. just didn’t have all that much to complain about, so it was fun to make up stuff about the government and aliens and weirdness. Now, things are far less pleasant, certain and stable.
  8. Which brings me to my biggest beef (and one I hope will be addressed in the coming monster-of-the-week episodes, but I am not holding my breath):
  9. Mulder should be way, way crazier. Given his paranoia and conflict about working for the government while not trusting them back in 1996, he should be a gibbering loon 20 years later. There are amazing places to take the story of these two people — two people who have seen things, over and over again, that nobody will confirm or deny — in the age of total information awareness. (“Mr. Robot” does this sort of thing incredibly well.)
  10. I would have loved to see Mulder completely around the bend and Scully (and Skinner) trying to coax him back to reality, a reality that all of us deal with every day. Seeing this character attempting to deal with the 21st century and his demons and the possibility of the truth still being out there would have made for outstanding TV.












Where To See All of the Shows Nominated for (and Awarded) Golden Globes

So one of the bigger stories to come out of the Golden Globes was the wins by “Mozart in the Jungle,”  which picked up both best TV series (musical or comedy) and a best actor in a musical or comedy nod for Gael García Bernal

MV5BMTc5NjE1MjA4MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTI0ODczNzE@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_AL_It is a program a lot of folks on social media claimed to not have seen or even heard of. Which points to the increasing diversity of venues for television programs.

“Mozart in the Jungle” is on Amazon Video, which is only available on Amazon’s streaming video service. (However, it is streaming for free from midnight Eastern time on Friday until 11:59 p.m. local time on Sunday night.)

Streaming actually owned the musical or comedy category.  “Mozart” joined its Amazon-based sibling “Transparent,  “Casual,” which is only available on the Hulu streaming service, the ground-breaking Netflix streaming show “Orange Is the New Black,” and two HBO shows (“Silicon Valley” and “Veep”).

Over on the drama side, networks and cable still dominated the nominees: “Empire” is on Fox, “Game of Thrones” reigns over HBO, the time-travel romance “Outlander” is on Starz, and the winner, “Mr. Robot,” is on USA. Only “Narcos” is on Netflix.

As for best TV limited series, only ABC’s “American Crime” and PBS’ “Wolf Hall” are on broadcast networks. The rest were on cable: “American Horror Story: Hotel” and “Fargo” on FX, while “Flesh and Bone” is on Starz.

Jon Hamm won best performance by an actor in a television drama for AMC’s  “Mad Men,” which is off the air but can be found on DVDs or streaming services.

Other nominees included Rami Malek for “Mr. Robot,” Wagner Moura for “Narcos,” Bob Odenkirk for AMC’s “Better Call Saul” and Liev Schreiber for Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.”

Cable and streaming also dominated the best actor (musical or comedy) category.  Aziz Ansari stars in the Netflix show “Master of None,” Jeffrey Tambor in “Transparent” and Patrick Stewart in the Starz show “Blunt Talk.” Only Rob Lowe represented the networks for starring in Fox’s “The Grinder”

Oscar “Poe Dameron” Isaac won best actor in a leading role in TV movie or limited series for the HBO mini “Show Me a Hero.” Idris Elba was nominated for the BBC show “Luther,” David Oyelowo for the HBO movie “Nightingale,” Mark “Rudolf Abel” Rylance for “Wolf Hall” and  Patrick Wilson for “Fargo.”

The “I REALLY have no idea what that show is” goes to the Netlifx streamer “Bloodline,” whose Ben Mendelson was nominated for best supporting actor  in a limited series or TV movie. He lost to Christian Slater playing a dad in “Mr. Robot,” as did Alan Cumming for CBS’s “The Good Wife,” Damian Lewis in “Wolf Hall” and Tobias Menzies  in “Outlander.”

Nobody was mad to see Taraji P. Henson win best actress in a drama for “Empire;” she beat Caitriona Balfe as the lead in “Outlander,” Viola Davis in ABC’s increasingly bonkers “How to Get Away With Murder,” Eva Green on Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” and  Robin Wright on Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

Maura Tierney picked up best supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie for HBO’s “The Affair,” which some people remain convinced is really good. She beat Uzo Aduba in “Orange Is the New Black,” Joanna Froggatt on PBS’s “Downton Abbey,” Regina King in “American Crime” and Judith Light, who is amazing on “Transparent.”

Lead actress went to Lady Gaga (which Leo found amusing) for her role on “American Horror Story: Hotel”; she beat Queen Latifah in the title role of HBO’s movie “Bessie,” Felicity Huffman in “American Crime” and Sarah Hay on Starz’s “Flesh and Bone.”

Rachel Bloom took best actress in a TV musical or comedy for the CW’s underseen  “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” winning over  Jamie Lee Curtis in Fox’s “Scream Queens,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus in HBO’s “Veep,” Gina Rodriguez for the amazing CW series  “Jane the Virgin” and  Lily Tomlin in the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie.”

TONIGHT: We will be live-tweeting Jon Stewart’s final “Daily Show”

Hey, folks, Joe Gross here. I will be live tweeting the final episode of Jon Stewart’s 16 year run on The Daily Show TONIGHT

A man and his paper take their final bows tonight.
A man and his paper take their final bows tonight.

from 10 to 11 p.m. Central.

Follow @austin360movies to join the conversation.

You can also find a roundup of the tweets over at Austin360’s Buzzworthy blog  over at

See you at 10, folks!