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@LIVE@ Awards—72nd Primetime Emmy Awards || Today Watch 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards Live Stream 2020

 The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sunday on ABC

A pandemic isn’t stopping the Television Academy from honoring its finest when the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards take place on Sunday.

Here’s what you need to know.

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[Stephen] The most accurate barometer to measure the collective consciousness of a culture, I think, is television. Sure, movies are fine. The book is blah, blah, blah. But episodic television is the pervasive medium and the most reliable standard by which to gauge. It’s always there, night-after-night. And, if necessary, it can evolve, instantly adapting to our changing tastes. If only there was an annual televised ceremony, in which we awarded said TV shows for having made a significant impact, subsequently offering a composite report of who we are during a given period of time. Oh wait, there is. I’m talking, of course, about the Emmy Awards.

With this year’s telecast approaching, for the record, the 70th, let’s reviewed the current nominees for Outstanding TelevisionSeries, both drama and comedy, to examine how we collectively process our world. In drama, how we editorialize it, and in comedy, how we cope with it. For each, I’d like to compare this year’s nominees with the nominees from the past, to see what, if anything, has changed. Specifically, I’d like to take a look back at the Outstanding Series nominees from the 40th Emmy Awards, dated August 1988. So without further ado, let’s travel back in time to the Pasadena Civic Center, 1988, to

The Emmy Awards telecast hosted by old screen legend, John Forsythe. In the Outstanding DramaSeries category, nominees were: thirtysomething, about a group of boomers transitioning from the radical counter-culture of the 70s to the Yuppie 80s; — Excuse me, just biological clock going off. — [Stephen] Beauty and the Beast, a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale; L.A. Law, a drama set in a fictitious law firm about tackling hot-button cases; Rumpole and Bailey, a British drama about an aging litigator defending underdog clients; and St. Elsewhere, about the goings-on of fictitious teaching hospital imperiled by financial woes. — Don’t you ever, ever question my authority again, lady or I’ll slam the door so hard on you, you won’t know what hit you. (record scratching) — [Stephen] Got it? Good. Now, let’s fast forward back to the present. (dialogue reversing)(melodic music) And we’re here. Weeks away from the 2018 Emmy telecast hosted by young and comedy personalities, Michael Che and Colin Jost, known primarily for social and political commentary as the hosts of the weekly SNL segment, Weekend Update. A far cry from the noted stiff, uptight white host, John Forsythe. –

We’ve not had any problems with our family. — [Stephen] Nominated for outstanding Drama Series this year are the following: The Handmaid’s Tale, an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s grim novel about a dystopic future under the governance of a fundamentalist regime; Game of Thrones, based on GeorgeR.R. Martin’s book series, famous for cutthroat politics, and cutthroats; (dramatic music)(breathing heavily) Long-running family spy drama, The Americans, depicting a 1980s in which soviet sleeper-cell agents infiltrate American suburban life; Stranger Things, a nostalgic sci-fi romp centering on a town that seems to attract the dark forces of an alternate dimension; This Is Us, a family drama about a trio of siblings, one adopted, alternating between present-day, and the past; Historical drama, The Crown, chronicling the life of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II;

And finally, Westworld, a cautionary tale about an immersive amusement park that goes haywire. — There’s a path for everyone. — [Stephen] So as I said, drama, as it were, is a way to highlight what is right, or wrong, with the times we live in. What all the nominees have in common, both from 1988 and now, are, at their best, they’re trying to capture their respective zeitgeist. Thirtysomething, for example, the winner in 1988, is a chronicle of the common tribulations of that generation transition into the next. (baby crying)(melodic music) L.A. Law, by its own standards within the semi procedural format, tackled cases that concerned issues integral to the time.

Today, The Handmaid’sTale is hailed by critics for it’s social and political presence, depicting a future where women have been stripped of rights, even as the United States faces the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice who may try to dismantle Roe versus Wade. As well, the re-imagined near-past of The Americans follows spies living out the illusion of normal lives as an over, constantly forced to diversify individual pursuits of freedom, and happiness, in favor of patriotic duty. — You’re my wife. (dramatic music)- Is that right? — [Stephen] But obviously the zeitgeists of either year are a composite of two very different collective moods. For example, what nominees 1988 offered us that 2018 does not, is optimism. But then again, optimism was indicative for that time, almost wholly defined by prosperity. Beauty and the Beast, a spin on the fairy tale genre, although rife with contemporary conflict as the main characters navigate a relationship that can never be, possesses, still, an overall sense of hope. Our current fairy tale, maybe, is Westworld, and it could not project a bleaker assessment of mankind or a bleaker projection of the future. –

These violent delights have violent ends. — [Stephen] Okay, so that’s how we analyze and editorialize our world, but how do we cope with it? Comedy is, for all intents and purposes, a tool to dilute the harrowing weight of our time that drama manages to capture. How has the way in which we cope changed since 1988? In 1988, the nominee’s for outstanding Comedy Series were: The Wonder Years, a show about chasing nostalgia for the 1960s; Cheers, which concerned workplace hijinks at the eponymous Boston pub; Night Court, chronicling manhattan municipal court; In The Golden Girls, an unlikely quartet of older women share a house in Florida; and lastly, the short-lived Frank’s Place, about a college professor Allen under a voodoo spell, ran on CBS for only a single season.

This year, the Outstanding Comedy category boasts the following nominees: Atlanta, the critically-acclaimed series about life in Georgia’s hotbed; Dark comedy, Barry, follows the cringe-worthy pursuits of a low-rent hitman; Larry David’s gleeful narcissism is back in new episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm; (banging) — Did you listen to one word. Yoo-hoo! — Did you just yoo-hoo me? — Oh, oh you can’t yoo-hoo a judge? — [Stephen] the Johnson Family returns as fish in-and-out-of-water on Black-Ish; GLOW chronicles the rise of female wrestlers; A housewife breaks onto the stand-up scene in the late 1950s in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; And finally, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows a plucky survivor a doomsday cult as she makes her way in The Big Apple.

Ultimately, our methods of coping now, as opposed to 1988, suffer from more differences than similarities. The nominees of 1988 reflect a nostalgia for a time, or a place, a bygone decade, our childhood, the safe, albeit complicated, the refuge of home, or simply, where everybody knows your name. Even if it is just NightCourt’s Harry Stone, who, in the dank bowels presiding over the byproducts of urban blight, prevails as a beacon of fairness. But today, our coping reflects fatalism. Atlanta and Barry both feature main characters who are totally self-reliant, as well as totally selfish. At any given time, these immature manchildren face adversity with no allies to turn to, featured in shows that have been critically lauded for the uncertain terms on which their seasons frequently end. Curb Your Enthusiasm is a fan favorite, I understand, but Larry David is nothing more than a whining assemblage of our worst qualities. And yet, we happily watch him shit-talk old women, or dine-and-ditch at the local diner, or parade his shallow acquisitions, all while scoffing modern social convention.

We seem, as a culture, certain that the end is near, and we have given up maintaining any integrity while on our way. On a more positive note, though, it bears mentioning that in 2018, there is a majority stake in this category of once non-represented, or under-represented, characters, and their stories. Women wrestlers dropping elbows in a man’s ring; On all sides, in the rare depiction of the African American upper-middle-class; Women stepping out during a time in which they were expected to be staying in. These are ringing endorsements that, actually, we’ve made progress. –

Awww NOICE! — [Stephen] In contrast,1988’s Frank’s Place, which was canceled only after a season, but remains on TV Guide’s list of all-time shows that were canceled too soon, was the only nominated show that year, in either of these categories, that depicted culture as not exclusively white. So though it seems we’ve lost our sense optimism in the last thirty years, we have experienced a commitment to progress, and that might mean that the optimism from times past was nothing but an illusion, one that clouded our perception of the world in front of us. This has been GammaRay. Please like and subscribe. Share in the comments, what your favorite television show that gets you totally bummed out? Enjoy the Emmys, folks.

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