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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2020-09-06 23:57:43
Typefacelarge in Small
Up for 15 Emmys in its sixth and final year, this very funny Canadian small town comedy is an emotional refuge in a fretful time. (Netflix, which reruns the series, has yet to stream the concluding season.) There are nominations in all four comedy acting categories (for Catherine O'Hara, Annie Murphy and son and father co creators Dan and Eugene Levy) and for writing, directing, casting, hair, makeup and costume all crucial to the series, fans will know. And there is a nomination for the series itself, which began as a riches to rags, fish out of water comedy about a formerly wealthy family sharing adjoining rooms in a motel, and built into a surprisingly high stakes story of acceptance, self knowledge and love. The initial premise may seem familiar, but there is nothing trite about where they take it, and nothing stock about the characters. This is most obviously true of O'Hara's variously bewigged Moira Rose, an artiste in search of an audience, who speaks as no human ever has, but as much can be said of every cast member, major to minor. Their originality makes their quirks not just real, but really kind of moving. Robert Lloyd

To make that task easier, The Times TV team has recommended seven series we love from the pool of nominees and though several of the most nominated shows, including "Watchmen" (HBO), "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime) and "Ozark" (Netflix) didn't make the list, it might be prudent to catch up on those before you enter your (virtual) office pool. Wink, wink. That is, of course, a testament to the talent and range of the stars Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Quinta Brunson and Gabrielle Dennis who exemplify the revolutionary possibilities of a show that includes more than one (token) funny Black woman. On top of the humor, there is a tangible sense that everybody involved relished bringing each sketch to life. The six episode first season was packed with standout sketches; my favorites include "Invisible Spy," "The Basic Ball," "Courtroom Kiki" and "Dance Biter." Additional "A Black Lady Sketch Show" nominations include directing in a variety series for Dime Davis and guest actress in a comedy series for Angela Bassett. Tracy Brown

"Ramy" should have been nominated for comedy series, but perhaps the omission of streaming's sharpest show in the top humor category makes sense. Now in its second season, the Hulu series about a misguided Muslim American millennial (played by series creator and star Ramy Youssef) who's looking for spiritual guidance and affirmation in suburban New Jersey dives deeper than most dramas into themes of identity, assimilation and good ol' American self loathing. Youssef is up for comedy director and performer. Mahershala Ali (who plays Sheikh Ali Malik in Season 2) is up for his supporting performance. Taboos are tackled with humor and insight across both seasons, inside a narrative that constantly challenges the norms of series TV. If you want something entirely fresh, brilliant and somewhat twisted to get you through yet another Emmy season, watch "Ramy." Lorraine Ali

Up for 15 Emmys in its sixth and final year, this very funny Canadian small town comedy is an emotional refuge in a fretful time. (Netflix, which reruns the series, has yet to stream the concluding season.) There are nominations in all four comedy acting categories (for Catherine O'Hara, Annie Murphy and son and father co creators Dan and Eugene Levy) and for writing, directing, casting, hair, makeup and costume all crucial to the series, fans will know. And there is a nomination for the series itself, which began as a riches to rags, fish out of water comedy about a formerly wealthy family sharing adjoining rooms in a motel, and built into a surprisingly high stakes story of acceptance, self knowledge and love. The initial premise may seem familiar, but there is nothing trite about where they take it, and nothing stock about the characters. This is most obviously true of O'Hara's variously bewigged Moira Rose, an artiste in search of an audience, who speaks as no human ever has, but as much can be said of every cast member, major to minor. Their originality makes their quirks not just real, but really kind of moving. Robert Lloyd

To make that task easier, The Times TV team has recommended seven series we love from the pool of nominees and though several of the most nominated shows, including "Watchmen" (HBO), "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime) and "Ozark" (Netflix) didn't make the list, it might be prudent to catch up on those before you enter your (virtual) office pool. Wink, wink. That is, of course, a testament to the talent and range of the stars Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Quinta Brunson and Gabrielle Dennis who exemplify the revolutionary possibilities of a show that includes more than one (token) funny Black woman. On top of the humor, there is a tangible sense that everybody involved relished bringing each sketch to life. The six episode first season was packed with standout sketches; my favorites include "Invisible Spy," "The Basic Ball," "Courtroom Kiki" and "Dance Biter." Additional "A Black Lady Sketch Show" nominations include directing in a variety series for Dime Davis and guest actress in a comedy series for Angela Bassett. Tracy Brown


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