Which limited series deserves the Emmy?


Headed to Vegas, wondering if the Kardashian Kloset sells kardigans and listening to Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” on the drive because if I’m going to be spending 48 hours in a soulless hellhole, I’m going to need to hold on to something that’s as “constant as a northern star.”

Also: Emmy nominations voting is just about over, meaning that after plowing through dozens of shows, we can now go outside, feel the sunlight on our faces and maybe learn to like the Clippers. Or at least hate them a little less. I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times, host of the Envelope’s Friday newsletter. Consider this my foggy lullaby to you.

Why the limited series Emmy categories are impossible

When Emmy nominations are announced July 13, all those cries of “snubbed” will mostly be about the limited series categories, which, thanks to quirky Television Academy rules, are too small to include all the deserving work.

Nobody needs a participation trophy … except for when my son was playing soccer at the age of 3 and a shiny bauble added a nice little touch to his bookcase full of board books. (R.I.P. Eric Carle.) But with the format more popular than ever, good lord (bird), some accommodation needs to be made for television’s most prestigious space. Until then, even if you possess some kind of special chaos magic, it might not be enough to earn a nomination. I took a look at the limited series Emmy categories in a recent column and wrestled with the painful choices that voters have been facing. And, you know, if I wrote it today, I might have gone for an almost entirely different slate.

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant talk about dishwashers …

… and Stanley Kubrick and smoking weed (or not), ugly crying, the power of denial and a bunch of other stuff. Seven months after the finale of their HBO limited series, “The Undoing,” in which they starred as Jonathan and Grace Fraser, Grant and Kidman reconvened to answer the questions that have haunted me well into this year. They were candid, witty, self-effacing and everything else you’d expect.

A composite portrait of Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, stars of "The Undoing."

A composite portrait of Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, stars of “The Undoing.”

(Kidman: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times; Grant: Christopher Proctor / For The Times)

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Samuel L. Jackson is finally getting an Oscar. Who’s joining him?

The motion picture academy will present honorary Oscars to Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May and Liv Ullmann, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Danny Glover at its 12th Governors Awards on Jan. 15, 2022.

The ceremony will mark a resumption of the Governors Awards, which were not held this year because of the pandemic.

“We are thrilled to present this year’s Governors Awards to four honorees who have had a profound impact on both film and society,” Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President David Rubin said in a statement. “Sam Jackson is a cultural icon whose dynamic work has resonated across genres and generations and audiences worldwide, while Elaine May’s bold, uncompromising approach to filmmaking, as a writer, director and actress, reverberates as loudly as ever with movie lovers.

“Liv Ullmann’s bravery and emotional transparency has gifted audiences with deeply affecting screen portrayals, and Danny Glover’s decades-long advocacy for justice and human rights reflects his dedication to recognizing our shared humanity on and off the screen.”

To which I can only add, in the parlance of Samuel L. Jackson, it’s about motherf— time.

Samuel L. Jackson on a red carpet in a tuxedo and matching newsboy cap.

Samuel L. Jackson will receive an honorary Oscar at the 12th annual Governors Awards in January.

(Elijah Nouvelage / Invision/AP)

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