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1st Annual TeleFilmiest Awards – Winners (Part 1)

1st ANNUAL TELEFILMIEST AWARDS – WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT
     Welcome. This has truly been an incredible year in television. Some of these categories were incredibly difficult to decide. I will now present the best in television in 24 categories.  Let’s get right to it.
The nominees for Best Guest Acting in a Comedy Series are:
 
Maria Bamford as DeBrie Bardeaux in Arrested Development
Melissa Leo as Laurie in Louie
David Lynch as Jack Dall in Louie
Parker Posey as Liz in Louie
Ben Stiller as Tony Wonder in Arrested Development
Elaine Stritch as Colleen Donaghy in 30 Rock

And the award goes to…
 
 

 

PARKER POSEY as LIZ in LOUIE
 

 

From the moment I finished watched the incredible Louie episode “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 2”, I knew Posey would be my favorite guest star of the season. Representing the archetypical Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Posey expertly meshed charming spontaneity with genuinely psychotic behavior, and created a hauntingly memorable character in the process. Her rooftop scene at the end of the episode gives me chills just thinking about it.

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The nominees for Best Guest Acting in a Drama Series are:
Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing in The Newsroom
Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn in Homeland
Margo Martindale as Claudia in The Americans
Gerald McRaney as Raymond Tusk in House of Cards
Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones
James Wolk as Bob Benson in Mad Men
 
And the award goes to…
 
JAMES WOLK as BOB BENSON in MAD MEN
 
Wolk’s character Bob Benson single-handedly kept me interested in this season of Mad Men. Wolk had a very difficult job of portraying a character whose personality was so opaque that it had the Internet abuzz with crazy conspiracy theories. As the series gradually revealed the complicated motivations of Bob Benson, Wolk managed to plausibly toe the line between charming and genuinely creepy. I love that I still have no idea who Bob Benson really is.
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The nominees for Best Directing for a Miniseries/Movie are:
 
Jane Campion & Garth Davis for Top of the Lake
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon for American Horror Story: Asylum (“I Am Anne Frank, Part 2”)
Steven Soderbergh for Behind the Candelabra
And the award goes to…
 
STEVEN SODERBERGH for BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
 
The fact of the matter is, Soderbergh is a modern Hollywood legend. So it’s no wonder his take on one of the most critical moments of Liberace’s life was expertly crafted. Behind the Candelabra unfolds with such a traditional, classy style that hearkens back to a less cynical time period. Liberace was over-the-top elegant both in public and private, so Soderbergh sweeps the audience in with a biopic that both honors and uncovers the man hiding behind his opulent costumes.
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The nominees for Best Writing for a Miniseries/Movie are:

 

Jane Campion & Gerard Lee for Top of the Lake
Brad Falchuk for American Horror Story: Asylum (“I Am Anne Frank, Part 2”)
Richard LaGravenese for Behind the Candelabra
 
And the award goes to…
JANE CAMPION & GERARD LEE for TOP OF THE LAKE
 
I didn’t know what to expect when I started watching Top of the Lake. I was surprised by how confident the miniseries felt from its very first episode, creating an intricate cast of characters in a lived-in setting. The central mystery of a 12-year-old girl going missing is a tried-and-true plot device for television but Campion and Lee infused each episode with enough tension and intrigue that I genuinely wanted to know what happened to Tui, something I can’t say about most shows of similar nature.
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The nominees for Best Actor in a Miniseries/Movie are:

 

James Cronwell as Dr. Arthur Arden in American Horror Story: Asylum
Matt Damon as Scott Thorson in Behind the Candelabra
Michael Douglas as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra
Peter Mullan as Matt Mitcham in Top of the Lake
Al Pacino as Phil Spector in Phil Spector
Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond in Political Animals
 
And the award goes to…
MICHAEL DOUGLAS as LIBERACE in BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
 
There is no competition here. I don’t even know why I made any other nominations in this category. Douglas simply is Liberace in Behind the Candelabra, through Liberace’s public persona and Liberace’s private life. Douglas excels in impersonating the pianist in his entertaining stage shows, but it is in the private moments when he reveals all of his vulnerabilities that he ultimately soars. If Behind the Candelabra was released in theaters, he would probably win the Best Actor Oscar.
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The nominees for Best Actress in a Miniseries/Movie are:

 

Jessica Lange as Sister Judy Martin in American Horror Story: Asylum
Helen Mirren as Linda Kenney Baden in Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss as Det. Robin Griffin in Top of the Lake
Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters in American Horror Story: Asylum
Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice in American Horror Story: Asylum
Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish in Political Animals
 
And the award goes to…
ELISABETH MOSS as DET. ROBIN GRIFFIN in TOP OF THE LAKE
 
There were few performances on television this season as fearless as Moss’ in Top of the Lake. Rivaling Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs, Moss created a compelling, tough-as-nails female detective in a male-dominated world and managed to remain likable and interesting throughout the miniseries. This category was a tough call between Moss and Lange, but Moss ultimately wound up becoming Robin Griffin as opposed to Lange’s showy performance.
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The nominees for Best Miniseries/Movie are:

 

American Horror Story: Asylum
Behind the Candelabra
Political Animals
Top of the Lake
 
And the award goes to…
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
 
Behind the Candelabra was the most acclaimed HBO film in years, and for good reason. The film managed to unweave the truth behind Liberace while remaining true to the tortured pianist. Though the film’s many performances are captivating, it is in those private moments between Liberace and Scott that the film really fires on all cylinders. It is rare to see such an earnest, honest production in today’s cynical film market, but Behind the Candelabra truly gets at the heart of old Hollywood.
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The nominees for Best Variety Series are:
 
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Portlandia
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
 
And the award goes to…
PORTLANDIA
 
If any show is scratching my sketch comedy itch, it certainly isn’t Saturday Night Live anymore. It’s Fred Armisen/Carrie Brownstein’s weird little IFC show Portlandia. With a loving yet biting view of Portland’s hipster culture, the show manages to excel with some of the most original writing on television, which no other variety show is tackling these days. And of course, the show would not work without the fearless performances of Armisen and Brownstein, who both appear in every single sketch.
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The nominees for Best Directing for a Comedy Series are:
 
Louis C.K. for Louie (“Late Show Part 3”)
Mitchell Hurwitz & Troy Miller for Arrested Development (“Off the Hook”)
Beth McCarthy-Miller for 30 Rock (“Hogcock!”/”Last Lunch”)
Richard Shepard for Girls (“One Man’s Trash”)
Max Winkler for New Girl (“Cooler”)
Craig Zisk for Parks and Recreation (“Leslie and Ben”)
And the award goes to…
LOUIS C.K. for LOUIE (“LATE SHOW PART 3”)
 
This is really an award for the entire three-part “Late Show” arc, but “Part 3” really cemented Louie as one of the best shows on television. As Louie stepped out on the Late Show stage and gave the best hosting performance he could, I couldn’t help but root for him, even if I knew that things were never meant to work out. As he stepped out into the streets of New York City and raised his arms in the air, I couldn’t help but feel the same victorious, cathartic emotion.
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The nominees for Best Writing for a Comedy Series are:

 

Jack Burditt & Colleen McGuinness for 30 Rock (“My Whole Life is Thunder”)
Louis C.K. for Louie (“Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 2”)
Lena Dunham & Sarah Heyward for Girls (“Bad Friend”)
Tina Fey & Tracey Wigfield for 30 Rock (“Last Lunch”)
Dean Lorey & Richard Rosenstock for Arrested Development (“Queen B.”)
Michael Schur & Alan Yang for Parks and Recreation (“Leslie and Ben”)
And the award goes to…
TINA FEY & TRACEY WIGFIELD for 30 ROCK (“LAST LUNCH”)
 
For seven seasons, 30 Rock remained a consistent source for rapidfire humor. This was true all the way up to the show’s incredible finale, written by the multi-hyphenate Fey and fellow writer Wigfield. From Liz’s sendoff to Jack to the beautifully comedic “Rural Juror” to the final Kenneth reveal, the finale was jam-packed with heartfelt moments and wonderfully stupid gags. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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The nominees for Best Directing for a Drama Series are:

 

David Fincher for House of Cards (“Chapter 1”)

Alex Graves for Game of Thrones (“And Now His Watch is Ended”)

Rian Johnson for Breaking Bad (“Fifty-One”)
Lesli Linka Glatter for Homeland (“Q&A”)
David Nutter for Game of Thrones (“The Rains of Castamere”)
David O’Connor for The Americans (“Pilot”)
And the award goes to…
RIAN JOHNSON for BREAKING BAD (“FIFTY-ONE”)
 
I would’ve given Johnson the award just for creating the beautiful shot seen above, but “Fifty-One” was also one of the best episodes in the show’s history. The entire episode is essentially devoted to the crumbling marriage of Walter and Skyler, and both Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn, especially, became the most fascinatingly flawed couples on television since Tony and Carmela on The Sopranos. This episode was beautiful, cinematic directing at its finest and more than deserves the distinction of best directed episode of the year.

 

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The nominees for Best Writing for a Drama Series are:

 

 
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss for Game of Thrones (“The Rains of Castamere”)
Sam Catlin for Breaking Bad (“Fifty-One”)
Andre & Maria Jacquemetton for Mad Men (“The Quality of Mercy”)
Graeme Manson for Orphan Black (“Natural Selection”)
Meredith Stiehm for Homeland (“New Car Smell”)
Moira Walley-Beckett for Breaking Bad (“Gliding Over All”)
And the award goes to…
DAVID BENIOFF & D.B. WEISS for GAME OF THRONES (“THE RAINS OF CASTAMERE”)
 
No other episode of television has shocked me as much as “The Rains of Castamere” in a very long time. For Benioff and Weiss to take such an integral part of the book series and utterly destroy both readers and non-readers alike is a testament to their skills as adapters. Having seen it again, the episode is structured with remarkable care and builds the tension so incredibly that it’s no wonder people were talking about the ending for weeks.
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That’s all for now, folks. Tune in next time to see the winners of the final 12 categories, including Comedy Series and Drama Series. Thanks for reading!
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