Emmy Nominee Primer: What's 'Top of the Lake' and 'Parade's End'?
"Scandal," "The Big Bang Theory," "Breaking Bad" … even if you've never watched them, you know what they're about. But there may be a few entries on today's list of 2013 Emmy nominees that have you scratching your head, and with that in mind (Ha! Head … mind, get it? Anyway …), here's a quick primer on a few Emmy-nominated programs to put on your must-catch-up-with viewing list:
"Top of the Lake"
Star Elisabeth Moss earned one of her two 2013 Emmy nominations for this intense, emotional drama about a detective (Moss), who returns to her New Zealand hometown to visit her mother, and gets drawn into the mystery surrounding a 12-year-old pregnant local who's gone missing. Think "Twin Peaks"-meets-"The Killing," with a thoroughly fantastic cast (which also includes Holly Hunter), and writing and direction by Oscar winner Jane Campion. The Sundance Channel miniseries received eight Emmy nominations, including Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Moss, Supporting Actor for Peter Mullan, Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, and nods for writing, directing, casting, editing, and cinematography. So, yeah, it's good.
Watch: On Netflix and iTunes, and Sundance Channel is running a marathon of the series on July 28 starting at 1 PM
Charlotte Rampling, currently starring as the "Psychopath Whisperer" who helped create serial killer Dexter Morgan on "Dexter," got her first Emmy nomination (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie) for this Sundance Channel original series, in which she stars as World War II spy Sally Gilmartin, who went into hiding after a mission ended badly. Now, Sally draws her daughter Ruth ("Downton Abbey" Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy nominee Michelle Dockery) into her dangerous past so she can uncover the truth about who her mother really is. The series also stars Michael Gambon and Rufus Sewell.
Watch: Sundance Channel is running a marathon of the series on July 31 starting at 8 PM
The man with the most fun name in Hollywood — Benedict Cumberbatch, of course — stars in this Tom Stoddard-written adaptation of Ford Madox Ford's novels about the World War I love triangle between Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch), his spoiled, plotting wife Sylvia (Rebecca Hall), and young suffragette Valentine (Adelaide Clemens). The miniseries, which aired on HBO in February and also stars Rupert Everett and Rufus Sewell, received Emmy nods for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (Cumberbatch), as well as writing, costumes, cinematography, and music.