Sea­son’s big shows vie for Emmy glory Racial ten­sion vs me­dieval fan­tasy

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - PIYA SINHA-ROY and STEVE GORMAN

LOS AN­GE­LES: The Peo­ple v OJ Simp­son: Amer­i­can Crime Story, a TV mini-se­ries ex­plor­ing racial ten­sion that strained the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem 20 years be­fore Black Lives Mat­ter, dom­i­nated the Prime­time Emmy nom­i­na­tions along with me­dieval fan­tasy Game of Thrones.

The 10-part drama chron­i­cling the sen­sa­tional, po­lar­is­ing mur­der trial of OJ Simp­son in 1995 earned 22 nom­i­na­tions in all, in­clud­ing best lim­ited se­ries and best ac­tor for Cuba Good­ing Jr’s ti­tle role as the dis­graced for­mer foot­ball star.

The Peo­ple v OJ viewed Simp­son’s trial through the prism of racial pol­i­tics grip­ping the na­tion in the af­ter­math of the video­taped beat­ing of black mo­torist Rod­ney King by white po­lice­men in Los An­ge­les.

The show aired against a con­tem­po­rary back­drop of ris­ing ten­sions be­tween mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties and law en­force­ment over a se­ries of killings of un­armed black men at the hands of po­lice in cities across the coun­try, giv­ing rise to the Black­LivesMat­ter protest move­ment.

Game of Thrones led Emmy con­tenders with 23 nom­i­na­tions over­all, in­clud­ing nods for best drama se­ries, two for best sup­port­ing ac­tor and three for best sup­port­ing ac­tress.

The hit show, based on Ge­orge RR Martin’s fan­tasy novel se­ries A Song of Ice and Fire, was named out­stand­ing drama se­ries at last year’s Emmy Awards.

Round­ing out the best drama race are CIA thriller Home­land, Cold War es­pi­onage saga The Amer­i­cans, quirky le­gal story Bet­ter Call Saul, po­lit­i­cal mys­tery House of Cards, the fi­nal sea­son of pe­riod melo­drama Down­ton Abbey and cy­ber­hack­ing drama Mr Robot.

Thurs­day’s Emmy nom­i­nees show­cased a more di­verse crop of tal­ent in tele­vi­sion than in Hol­ly­wood’s film in­dus­try, which drew sharp crit­i­cism this year when all 20 per­form­ers nom­i­nated for Os­cars were white for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year.

African- Amer­i­can ac­tor An­thony An­der­son, who co-hosted the Emmy nom­i­na­tion an­nounce­ments, shouted with joy as he was named a con­tender for best com­edy ac­tor in the sit­com Black-ish.

Pre­mium ca­ble out­let HBO, a peren­nial pow­er­house of Emmy-lauded pro­gram­ming, again led all net­works in nom­i­na­tions with 94 men­tions in to­tal.

FX Net­works was num­ber two with 56 nods, in­clud­ing 18 for crime drama Fargo in the mini-se­ries cat­e­gory.

HBO’s po­lit­i­cal satire Veep led the com­edy race with 17 nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing a nod for best ac­tress for Ju­lia Louis-Drey­fus.

Its com­pe­ti­tion, in ad­di­tion to Black-ish, Mas­ter of None and Trans­par­ent, in­cludes HBO’s Sil­i­con Val­ley, ABC’s Modern Fam­ily and Net­flix’s Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt.

Win­ners of the Emmy Awards will be pre­sented on Septem­ber 18 at a cer­e­mony in Los An­ge­les. – Reuters

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