2017 Primetime Emmy Ballot

Once again, it's time for my yearly primetime Emmy ballot in anticipation of tomorrow's Emmy nominations. This was another great year for comedy series and not for drama despite the fact that a ton of new dramas premiered. It was also a strong year for miniseries and other event series. This year's nominations could either be a pleasant surprise or a mess depending on which of the new shows the Emmys like and how many they are even watching.

Below are my nominee picks in all three genres (comedy, drama, movie/miniseries) in all the major categories with winners in bold. Enjoy.


2016 Dream Oscar Ballot.

Today we culminate my year of film with my yearly Oscar wishlist for 2016. This year's Academy nominations come out on Tuesday, so in preparation, here is my ballot in the majority of the Oscar categories and a couple of additional ones.

This year's Oscars will hopefully share some major titles with mine, with Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea likely to scoop up a large number of nominations. But at the Patties™ there are plenty of other films that Oscar voters likely won't even consider so here they can finally have their day in the sun! As always, I've extended each category to six contenders, with winners bolded and runners-up italicized. Enjoy!


The Best Films of 2016.

Another year has finished and it's time to list my favorite movies of the year. 2016 was, in many ways, a god awful year. But as far as the year in film, it was mostly pretty good; a little less impressive than last year, but better than the year before that. As per usual, below you'll find the 25 movies I loved the most this year, plus some extra ones and the ones I didn't enjoy so much. 


2016 Primetime Emmy Ballot

Emmy nominations are tomorrow and yet again I am posting my preference ballot in each of the major categories across all three genres for your (but mostly my own) enjoyment. Last year's actual Emmy nominations were pretty decent, so here's hoping that this year's will live up as well. Although, with the sheer amount of television, it seems impossible most of these shows will find away into the elusive club.

Once again, it was a much stronger year for comedy than drama. Overall, it was much harder to narrow down the comedy (and even miniseries) categories, but some of the drama categories required some stretching. But of the many programs I watched that were eligible this year, most of the ones below are ones I would recommend, and even the ones I wouldn't have at least one worthwhile facet that earned them a spot on this ballot.

Below are my personal nominees in most of the major categories in comedy, drama and miniseries/movie. Enjoy!


2015 Dream Oscar Ballot.

For the last piece of the puzzle in completing this year's Best Of lists, I've written up my dream Oscar ballot for 2015. The Academy announces its nominees this Thursday and, while they always get plenty wrong, this year threatens to be particularly egregious. Two of the most beloved and clear masterpieces of the year, Mad Max and Carol, could be honored or mostly left in the dust in favor of some of the year's most generic prestige fare. But not at the Patty's (patent pending) where they and a number of other movies are justly celebrated! Oh, what a lovely day!

As usual, I've extended each category to six rather than five contenders (I'm sure I watch more films than the Academy does) and added a few of my own personal superlatives at the end of the list. The winners are bolded and runners-up italicized. Read below and agree or disagree as desired. Enjoy!


The Best Films of 2015.

The time has come! 2015 has come to an end, and a few days into the new year, after having caught up on the last few titles I was missing, I've decided on my favorite films of the year. This year I managed to catch 110 movies and the year offered more pleasures than I expected. As it stands, instead of doing my usual top 20, I've elected to go to 25 this year to reflect just how great I think the year was. I've ranked them all this year so you know exactly where everything falls into place, but given the quality of the year's films, I can confidently look at all the films listed here and give them a passionate recommendation. So take a look below and enjoy my favorite films of 2015!


2015 Primetime Emmy Ballot

The Emmy nominations are being announced this week and with it comes my yearly attempt to pick my favorites in each category only to watch them be passed over in favor of Downton Abbey in a week. This year, a lot of great shows from last year came to an end, while others simply fell in quality, so much of who showed up below were new picks.

Overall, this was a pretty good year for television, but decidedly uneven in how quality was spread across categories. When comparing the two, it tended to be a stronger year for comedy than drama, although the distinction between the two at these awards has never been more confusing. And it must be said: female performers this year brought it much harder than the men did. Any number of these female categories could have expanded to nine or ten nominees, while coming up with six was difficult for any number of the men's. Meanwhile, this was not by any means a good year for miniseries and tv movies and certainly not enough to justify those categories being as large as they are.

Below are my picks in the Emmy categories I feel I viewed enough in to have an opinion. They stick mostly to Emmy eligibility and category placement, but otherwise are fever dreams compared to what will actually be nominated. Enjoy!


2014 Dream Oscar Ballot

Tomorrow are the Academy Award nominations and at this point their success rate is anyone's guess. This year was so uneven that the Oscars have a real chance to think outside of the box and honor some deserving contenders. Or, more likely, they could play it entirely safe and stick within their playhouse of designated Academy fare. 2014 was a better year than they're making it out to be, but you wouldn't guess that by some of the frontrunners.

I could go on complaining or I could present my own choices for the Oscar nominations tomorrow. Nominees below, there are six nominees in each category to spread the love, except Best Actress which had to have seven this year (a "weak year" for women). Winners are bold, runners-up are italicized. Enjoy!


The Best Films of 2014.

Another year comes to a close and compared to other film years, 2014 ranks squarely down the middle. Some of its highest achievements are films I know I'll think about for years to come, while others already seem a forgotten memory. None of the films listed below have to worry, though. Whether they burrowed into my brain, immediately won over my affection, or challenged me enough to feel they had accomplished something, these films below represent (for better or worse) my favorite movies of 2014. Enjoy!


2014 Primetime Emmy Ballot.

Emmy nominations came and went this year with a lot of good and a lot of bad and now we're here inexplicably on a Monday to celebrate the best in television. For a season of television with a lot of highlights, I found that my picks included a lot of the same picks and a lot of old favorites. Below are my picks (and runners-up) for the best in TV over the last year. Enjoy!


2013 Dream Oscar Ballot.

Having now wrapped up my review of the film year that was, I have finally finished my 2013 Oscar ballot in all of the major categories just before the Oscar nominations are announced tomorrow. And boy, was it a doozy. Each category has six nominees (one more than Oscar, but still not enough) with one winner bolded and a runner-up italicized (lest I deprive someone the prestigious honor of being second place on my ballot).

Deciding on a few of these categories was truly heinous (leading actor could have easily merited a three-way tie) while others were utterly vacant (supporting actor continues to be a wasteland). Some of these categories have been set in my mind for a long time while others formed spontaneously as I wrote them which lead to a number of surprises (Spring Breakers with a pretty big technical haul).

Meanwhile, even I was surprised at all the Oscar favorites that didn't drum up my passion and the deserving candidates who surely won't show up tomorrow morning. But our favorites are favorites for a reason, not because awards bodies agree, and so with that I sum up 2013 and lay out my personal choices.


The Best Films of 2013.

The time has come. 2013 has already come to a close, but now that the film year is winding down with awards season, it is the perfect time to reflect on the year as it was. And it was a busy one. As of this posting, I have a list of 105 (!) films that I saw this year (the vast majority of those were free, before you begin thinking that anyone can rightly afford to see that much with ticket prices being what they are) and still plenty more that I couldn't quite get my hands on (I made up this list before seeing Philomena so please be aware that I cannot conclusively say Philomena is not the best at everything ever).

It must be said that 2013 was a fantastic year for movies. Certainly, looking back at 2012 when I had trouble even deciding on ten films that felt worthy of being on a Best Of list, it has surpassed even my depleted expectations. But what was even more impressive was how diverse the lineup of films were - numerous genres feeling accurately represented and a number of ambitious achievements that won't soon be forgotten.

List making is an inherently difficult task because there's little chance that your personal preferences won't vary as films age and tastes change. But this year, looking at my lineup, I feel confident that I've narrowed down ten films that I confidently love (and another ten that I greatly admire) that will stay with me long after the year is over. So here are ten runners-up (ranked alphabetically) and my top ten favorite films of the year. Enjoy!


2013 Primetime Emmy Ballot.

Emmy nominations come tomorrow and it is time for my yearly tradition of writing up my personal picks so I can be filled with righteous indignation when the Academy disagrees tomorrow. It is truly what keeps the world turning.

Below are my picks in most of the major categories (unless I really didn't feel knowledgeable of enough of the submissions) and a few extras I've decided to include. Winners are pictured and any runner-up is noted in italics. In a few instances, I've gone beyond the official submissions of each show, but sometimes you just have to stick up for what you believe and if I don't defend what is right then who will? Enjoy, if you will.


Dream Oscar Ballot 2012

One of the most unpredictable yet strangely disinteresting Oscar races gets into full gear tomorrow when the nominations are finally announced. I say finally despite the fact that they're coming early because so many of the contenders seemed like sure things the minute they went into production. Was the world ever not going to bow at the feet of an Abraham Lincoln biopic created by Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner starring Daniel Day-Lewis?

Not that many of these choices are bad (or even close to it) yet there's lots of opportunities for exciting choices and perhaps just as many chances for disappointment. This year, more than ever, my own picks seem particularly far from the Academy's realm. Which is not to do a disservice to their choices, but to say that this year the typical Oscar fare by-and-large didn't do it for me. On the other hand, a number of under the radar films took me by surprise and found themselves popping up regularly throughout my list.

Coinciding the two is hard yet I have one basic rule: if I'm stuck between a film/performance that I admire on a technical level and one I connect with on a personal one - I'll likely choose the latter. After all, these are my choices, and who knows how long they'll stick. Some decisions were particularly grueling (Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence might be my two favorite actresses to emerge in the last few years, yet I had to choose against both of them here, although they each have taken a win from me before) and others entirely simple (the Supporting Actor category is a wasteland with only one performance I can genuinely say I'm passionate about making it an easy victory).

Each category runs between 5-6 nominees (you can never have too much) and has a bolded winner and italicized runner-up (because why not?). Most of my categories follow Oscar territory until the end where I have fun and throw in my own for good measure. Agree or disagree as you wish. Read along and enjoy!


The Best Films of 2012.

After all is said and done, I don't know if 2012 was a great year for movies. People keep telling me it was and yet as I look over everything I watched, there is much more in the middling-to-good category than the great one. This year's Oscar frontrunners exemplify that. Hardly a bad film among them (although one or two are close) but very few films to get passionate about.

Updating the blog kind of fizzled out for me over the second half of the year, but I saw no less films than I normally do. Overall, between theaters, DVDs and the persistent glory of Netflix, I saw about 80~ films compared to last year's 90. Hardly a quiet year, but as I compiled this list, there were few films I felt absolutely rushing to write about.

But it wasn't a bad year. And this list, filled with films I nonetheless do feel passionate about, showcases that fact. It actually ended up being semi-difficult to whittle it down to merely ten (with five runners-up because you can never have too many). List making is fun, but ultimately useless, especially looking back. Sometimes it has its purposes - my last two #1's, Drive and Black Swan, still remain films I love - but things sometimes get murkier. Last year, The Artist made my #5, and in the time since I have hardly felt compelled to go back and rewatch it even once. While my Top 5 here seem the most solid and filled with films I feel will only increase in stature with time, that caveat tells you all you need to know. And so, with that, enjoy.