2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 4: BAFTA Nominations Reaction

King Richard / Warner Bros.

The BAFTA Awards announced their nominations this past Thursday morning. There were a lot of surprises, both good and bad, which will directly impact how predictions for the 2022 Oscars. Shall we travel across the pond?

BAFTA Nominations

If you love Dune, then you were jumping for joy as Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic led the field with 11 nominations as the film will be the frontrunner to pick up hardware in many technical categories. Oscar favorites The Power of the Dog and Belfast followed behind with eight and six nominations, respectfully. Click here to see all of the categories. Right now, I want to focus on the major categories especially the acting nominations.

Big Wins

  • Don’t Look Up in Best Film and Leonardo DiCaprio in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Everyone in the Best Directing category besides Paul Thomas Anderson and Jane Campion
  • Will Smith for King Richard in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Alana Haim for Licorice Pizza and Renate Reinsve for The Worst Person in the World in Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Mike Faist for West Side Story in Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter and Ann Dowd for Mass in Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Big Losses

  • No West Side Story in Best Film
  • No Steven Spielberg for West Side Story, Denis Villeneuve for Dune, or Kenneth Branagh for Belfast in Best Director
  • No Denzel Washington (!!!) once again or Andrew Garfield for tick, tick… Boom! in Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • No Oliva Colman for The Lost Daughter, Nicole Kidman for Being the Riccardos, or Kristen Stewart for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Keep in mind that Oscar voting ended on Feb. 1 so voters turned in their ballots before these nominations were revealed. However, the BAFTA results can have a direct impact on Oscar winners. Just ask Olivia Colman in 2019 or Anthony Hopkins last year, who both benefited from BAFTA victories in Best Actor and Actress on their way to upset wins at the Oscars in the same categories.

The Top 2 In Acting Categories

If you were on #FilmTwitter today, then the phrase “top 2” was being thrown around left and right. This is in regards to voting for two lead acting and two supporting acting categories. These are the rules straight from the BAFTA website.

The BAFTAs released longlists of 15 actors and actresses in each category back in January. From the pool of 15, the top 2 are nominated. Then, the jury will determine the final four nominations from spots 3-15 with a vote.

In simpler terms, think of this voting process like it’s American Idol during the deliberations. The top vote-getters automatically move on to the live shows. For the remaining spots, the judges would choose the wild cards from the rest of the pool, and they too would also advance to the Finals.

Why is this important? Although the BAFTAs won’t reveal the top 2, correctly guessing these two positions will help predict the Oscars as the top 2 selections will typically receive a nomination in their respective category. By some process of elimination, we can narrow down the answer as to who made the top 2 and make educated guesses.

As Matt Neglia and many other critics pointed out on Twitter, there are a select group of individuals who received nominations by four major guilds: Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and the BAFTAs.

Let’s start with the easy decisions. Troy Kotsur, Kodi Smith-Mcphee, Caitríona Balfe, and Ariana DeBose have racked up nominations all over so it’s safe to say those four made the top 2 in the supporting categories.

In Best Actor, Benedict Cumberbatch is in all likelihood in the top 2 because of the eight nominations for The Power of the Dog including Best Film. It gets trickier with Will Smith. Smith might be the frontrunner for the Oscar, but he was probably saved by the jury while Leonardo DiCaprio made the top 2. DiCaprio’s biggest nomination to date occurred at the Golden Globes. That’s his only real nomination throughout awards season. If that’s the case, why would the jury save him? It makes more sense for DiCaprio to be in the top 2. Regardless, the voters loved his outburst on The Daily Rip, as did I.

Then there’s Lady Gaga, who definitely made the top 2 thanks to her nomination dominance these past few months. Who also made the top 2? Time for the process of elimination. Emilia Jones has received a lot of best new actress or rising star nominations, but rarely cracked the lead actress category so cross her off. Renate Reinsve is the lead in one of the best films of the year, but the film just opened in the U.S. so without big nominations in North America, cross her off. Joanna Scanlan is in a British film and the BAFTAs typically like to reward performances like hers despite little awards recognition so cross her off. Tessa Thompson is a nice surprise in this category, but her co-star, Ruth Negga, has gotten the bulk of the nominations in supporting so cross Tessa off.

This leads us to my best guess for the other member of the top 2, Alana Haim. First of all, fuck yes! I love HAIM, the band, so I almost fainted when I read she would be the lead in a PTA film. Haim is phenomenal in her debut film performance, and the voting body agreed as well. This gives me hope that Haim will sneak her way into Best Actress at the Oscars. You’ll never hear me shut up about it if Haim makes it to the final five.

All of these debates will end when the Oscar nominations are announced on February 8, 2022. Until then, predict away!

Previous Discussions:

Tweet me, @danny_giro, with your best Oscar predictions!

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 5 Recap: Piano Woman

This Is Us / NBC

If any piano players are reading this, then tell me how to properly play “Heart and Soul.” I can do one hand at a time, but I can never play both hands at once. Tom Hanks, could you help me out? While I practice, continuing reading the recap for last night’s This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 5 Recap: “Heart and Soul”

U Up?

Kevin is not only coming to terms with his life as a co-parent but as a spectator in Madison’s relationship with Elijah. You could say Kevin is in his feelings, which is why he calls Cassidy to meet him up at the cabin for the weekend with Uncle Nicky. When Cassidy asks if it’s a sex thing, Kevin laughs it off but also wonders if she’s serious.

At the cabin, Nicky introduces his girlfriend, Edie, to both Kevin and Cassidy. It turns out Nicky is a real ladies’ man. Who would’ve thought? Not me! When Nicky and Edie cuddle on the couch, Kevin elects for ice cream with Cassidy. When he grabs her hand, Cassidy shuts him down, saying they will never be in a relationship. As Cassidy puts it, Kevin is “chasing the wrong blonde in the wrong city.” Does this mean Sophie or Madison? Cassidy respectfully asks Kevin to keep her out of his love life. Afterward, Kevin sends a “u up” text to Elijah and gives him advice on how to handle Madison when it comes to food and her battle with an eating disorder.

Going To Boston

Randall and Beth are surprised to learn that Malik and Deja want to cook dinner for the family and most likely apologize for their weekend getaway in Boston. Randall and Beth bring back the Worst Case Scenario Game and determine that Deja is either pregnant or eloped. Those are not great options, but that’s why it’s called the worst-case scenario and not a happy ending!

At dinner, Deja opens door number three and informs her adopted parents about plans to graduate high school a year early and move to Boston to live with Malik. What is it with This Is Us and awkward dinners? Randall disagrees from the start, but in a surprise move, he tells Malik to break up with Deja so she can figure out the next two years of her life. In true Malik fashion, he remains calm, tells Randall about his love for Deja, and states he will not mention this to his girlfriend for fear of ruining their father-daughter relationship. Malik is a true gentleman.

When Randall sits down with Beth to discuss the bombshell, he insists that they need to put their foot down and say no. Beth warns Randall about the consequences of this decision as they could lose Deja’s trust for good.

Piano (Wo)Man

In the past, Rebecca and Miguel try their hand at speed dating, but not before getting a lecture from teenage Kate about needing a social life. Speed dating turns out to be a disaster until Rebecca matches with Matt, the man who asked her out a short time after Jack died. The two hit it off, and Rebecca agrees to go out with him for coffee. The date is a success, and Rebecca finally feels good about herself until teenage Kate goes full you know what on her. Kate yells at Rebecca for dating, calling her mother a slut (yikes), to which Rebecca slaps her across the face. Both women instantly regret the decision, and Miguel attempts to calm Rebecca down over the phone. Once again, thank you, Miguel.

In the present, Kate spends the entire day with Rebecca while Toby spends time on a yacht. That does not seem like a fair trade-off. Anyway, Rebecca brings Jack and Hailey to Kate’s school, and Rebecca tickles some keys on the piano as she leads the class in a song.

As it turns out, Kate has an ulterior motive for the meet-up with Rebecca. Due to Rebecca’s latest PET scan, Kate informs Rebecca that she can no longer watch the children by herself. As expected, this crushes Rebecca, and she leaves the house in tears. However, Kate later apologizes and asks Rebecca to teach the piano to Jack as a way to spend more time with her grandkids. The episode ends with Rebecca embracing Kate over multiple timelines while playing “Heart and Soul.:”

Chopsticks?

This Is Us will return on Feb. 22 due to the Winter Olympics. See you then.

What are your thoughts on last night’s episode of This Is Us? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Buy, Sell, Or Hold: What Each NBA Team Should Do At The Trade Deadline

Erik Spoelstra and Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat

Crank up the hot stove and fire up the NBA Trade machine because the deadline is coming. With the NBA Trade Deadline set for Feb. 10, each team will need to decide whether to buy, sell, or hold. As of Jan. 27, here are the current standings in each conference.

For teams at the top and bottom of each conference, the decision to buy or sell is quite easy. The worst place to be in the NBA is the 8-13 range. It’s the heart of mediocrity. It’s here where teams typically made mistakes in free agency and must decide on how to amend those decisions. For some organizations, buying or selling isn’t an option. Because of roster construction and salary cap limitations, the only thing a team can do is hold and play out the season.

Below is a breakdown of which teams should buy, sell, or hold. Playing The Clash while reading the article is optional, but highly suggested.

Buy

If a team sits at the top of either respective conference, then it’s an obvious “go.” Last year proved that anything can happen. The Lakers and Nets were the betting favorites at the beginning of the year, but injuries derailed their seasons as both failed to make the Conference Finals. Teams with superstars like the Bucks or a healthy mix of young talent and veterans like the Suns took advantage of last year to the fullest and expedited their season trajectories.

As a “go,” these teams will need to bring in another player or two via trade or buyout to gear up for the postseason run. Here are the “Go” teams by conference, and suggestions on what each team should seek to acquire.

East

Miami Heat: The Heat need another big man who can rebound (Heat rank 16th in rpg in NBA) to back up Bam Adebayo. Keep in mind that Victor Oladapio could return before the playoffs. Player to consider – Robin Lopez.

Chicago Bulls: The Bulls should pursue size, but injuries to Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball could force them to get a guard. Players to consider – Jerami Grant or Thaddeus Young.

Brooklyn Nets: Two words: Kyrie insurance. Player to consider – Goran Dragic.

Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks need another center especially if Brook Lopez doesn’t return. Player to consider – Brook’s brother, Robin Lopez.

Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs have been such a great surprise. They should not trade away any young pieces, and should only make a move if they can do it at a discount. They are still a year to two away, but it’s a promising start. Players to consider – Caris LeVert or Harrison Barnes.

West

Phoenix Suns: The Suns should add a forward that can guard multiple positions and shoot a three. Players to consider – Robert Covington or Thaddeus Young.

Golden State Warriors: This is a James Wiseman question. If you believe in him, stay put. If you don’t make a big trade to the Indiana Pacers. Players to consider – Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner.

Memphis Grizzlies: Shooting, shooting, and more shooting. Grizzlies rank 24th in 3PA and 23rd in 3P%. Players to consider – Terrence Ross or Eric Gordon.

Utah Jazz: The Jazz need a veteran who knows how to handle the pressure in the playoffs. I’m being serious, by the way. Player to consider – Harrison Barnes.

Dallas Mavericks: With the injury to Tim Hardaway Jr., the Mavs desperately need another guard. Players to consider – Goran Dragic.

Los Angeles Lakers: If your team has LeBron James, there is no next year. If the Lakers can’t trade Russell Westbrook, then they will need to somehow bring in a “3 and D” guy with a huge emphasis on the defense. Players to consider – Marcus Smart or Goran Dragic.

Sell

Most of these teams sit at the bottom of each conference, but there are a few teams in that 8-13 range that should consider selling as well. I’m looking at you, Portland.

East

Indiana Pacers: The Myles Turner-Domantis Sabonis pairing hasn’t worked. The spacing is off. The team should build around one or the other, and sell the other to a contender.

Detroit Pistons: Go with the complete rebuild around Cade Cunningham and trade Grant.

Orlando Magic: Ross, Lopez, and Gary Harris should all be off this team in February.

Washington Wizards: The Wizards are fading fast. Blowing a 35-point lead to the Clippers should make them sellers. Start preliminary discussions with Bradley Beal about a trade in the offseason.

West

Sacramento Kings: The Kings are such an enigma. On paper, a lineup of De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes should be good enough to make the NBA Play-In Tournament. But, the Kings aren’t going anywhere. Do me a favor and trade Fox to the Knicks.

Oklahoma City Thunder: I don’t need to tell Sam Presti about who or how to trade.

Houston Rockets: Do whatever it takes to get Eric Gordon off the roster. Then, turn your attention to John Wall.

New Orleans Pelicans: The Pelicans have a huge Zion Williamson problem. Because of that, moving Brandon Ingram for picks and young players would be in their best interest.

Portland Trail Blazers: Every player including Damian Lillard should be on the trading block. It’s time to start over.

Hold

Depending on how the next few weeks will determine how these teams will operate.

East

Philadelphia 76ers: Before the Sixers can do anything, they need to figure out what to do with Ben Simmons. If a deal for Simmons can’t be completed by the deadline, expect the Sixers to go with what they have in the playoffs.

Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets are a Play-In team so there aren’t a lot of moves they can make that will improve their chances. Although Terry Rozier has played well as of late, the Hornets should consider trading him as an expiring contract for assets if he’s not part of their plans.

Toronto Raptors: The Raptors aren’t going anywhere, but they’re building something. I was wrong about Fred VanVleet when I said the Knicks should not overpay him. That looks stupid as the Knicks are down 30 to the Miami Heat.

Boston Celtics: Brad Stevens and the rest of the management team must finally answer the question they’ve been dreading for two years. Are Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown the right duo of the future?

New York Knicks: I’ll keep this short. If the Knicks are around 10th or 11th place at the trade deadline, they should make a deal for a player like Fox, Sabonis, or LeVert. If they continue to slide, they should trade all of their veterans and try again next year.

Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks just need to get healthy. The talent is there. If the Hawks make the NBA Play-In tournament, I would not want to see Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs.

West

Denver Nuggets: The best move thing the Nuggets can do is pray that Jamal Murray comes back healthy.

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves should do whatever it takes to make the playoffs. Not sure what move there is to make, but they should consider a D’Angelo Russell for Ben Simmons package.

Los Angeles Clippers: Like the Nuggets, the best moves the Clippers can make are non-moves aka hope Paul George and Kawhi Leonard come back.

San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs will have to build in the draft and free agency per usual. However, Dejounte Murray is playing like an all-star.

What should your NBA team do at the deadline? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 4: Call Your Mom

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 4

If you didn’t call your mother after finishing this episode of This Is Us, what are you doing?

Also, I apologize for not having a recap of last week’s episode. I was not able to watch the episode until Wednesday night and at that point, it would have been too late for the recap. I will be better.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 4: “Don’t Let Me Keep You”

Jack, the Son

Unfortunately, Jack’s mother, Marilyn, has died of an aneurysm so he leaves Rebecca, much to her disagreement, and the Big Three behind for Ohio, where his mother was living. Upon arrival, he’s greeted by her cousin, Debbie, who takes a dig at our favorite father by saying it only took him “13 years to visit.”

We soon learn that Jack drove his mother to Ohio to get her out of the abusive relationship with his father. Debbie has so much emotional trauma from the relationship that it prevents her from traveling back to Pittsburgh frequently. When she did visit the Big Three as newborns, Marilyn was on edge that her husband might come to visit. In turn, Jack never took the kids to see their grandmother in Ohio. Jack and Marilyn’s only form of communication was Sunday evening telephone calls.

Funny enough, I always call my mom on Sunday night. Is this in the Mother-Son Playbook? When you move out of your mother’s house, you’re required to speak with her every Sunday night despite being hungover with a stomach full of taco bell.

Much to his surprise, Jack meets his mother’s boyfriend, Mike, who reminded me of a hybrid between Sam Elliot and David Crosby. Mike tells Jack about how the two met, and how Marilyn built a new life for herself in Ohio. After sharing a few 7 and 7’s, a drunk Jack calls his father to let him know about Marilyn’s death. When Mr. Pearson suggests coming to pay his respects, Jack quickly shuts his father down and orders him to stay home. Jack starts to feel guilty about the years he lost with his mother.

At the funeral, Jack starts to hesitate during his eulogy until Rebecca and the kids walk in. “Saved by the Wife,” coming to NBC this fall. Upon seeing his family, Jack realizes that both he and his mother created new lives for each other. Although it strained their relationship to an extent, they finally lived in safe and loving homes, which was always their goal. It was at this moment where I thought The Cinematic Orchestra would come in with “To Build A Home.”

After the Big Three finally skate with the equipment Marilyn made, Jack and Rebecca head back to their home in Pittsburgh. Moved by thoughts of his mother, Jack cooks hot dogs and tomato soup for dinner, which is the same meal Marilyn made for him after a day in the snow. All of these memories finally hit Jack at once, which brings him to the realization that his mother is gone. Jack quickly sheds his tears, puts on his Superman cape, and heads back to the kitchen with the Big Three.

Shoutout to all the moms in the world. You the real MVP.

See you next week when Miguel and Rebecca explore the life of speed dating!

Did you enjoy tonight’s episode? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

New York Knicks: Is The Season Over?

Julius Randle of the New York Knicks

If you’ve ever rented a beach house, then you’re bound to see what I call “white suburban mom quotes” scattered throughout the house. Quotes like “Live Laugh Love,” “Life is better at the beach,” or “Salt life” might hang from the walls. If Madison Square Garden is the beach house and the New York Knicks are the residents, then the picture on the locker room wall might read “Things will get worse before they get better.”

Will they?

The Knicks lost to the New Orleans Pelicans (17-28 record) last night, 102-91. That’s three straight losses for the Knicks, all at MSG, and all against teams with a similar talent level.

So I bring in (my friend) Zac Efron to ask the all-important question. With a 22-24 record, are we [the knicks] ever going to be better than this?

The loss against the Pelicans followed the same script we’ve seen when the Knicks play poorly. Slow start, comeback in the second quarter, atrocious third quarter, and a tiny run to make it a respectable loss in the fourth. Julius Randle had 4 points on 1-9 shooting with a +/- of -26. That’s simply unacceptable from Randle. Bad games happen, but what’s even more disappointing is the team’s refusal to let him speak after games.

Many fans are at a crossroads with Randle. The MOP from 2021 is one of the three biggest reasons (Leon Rose and Tom Thibodeau as the other two) as to why the team made the playoffs as a four-seed a season ago. However, Randle has struggled to live up to last season’s greatness as his points and shooting percentage have significantly decreased. That deserves criticism.

The thumbs-down controversy and inability to step in front of the mic especially after losses is a bad look for the supposed leader of the team. I have no defense for those decisions. However, the Knicks would not be two games under .500 if Randle was out of the lineup. I’d venture to say they’d be seven to eight games under .500. As long as Randle is a Knick, the team needs him to play and produce. His production does not grow on trees.

Once again, Randle deserves criticism, but fans have to keep that same energy when criticizing other aspects of the team. The Knicks’ struggles do not fall solely on Randle’s back. Most fans including myself believe Randle would be a good second player or great third-best player on a team. He needs help. The Knicks brought in Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to help bolster the offense, which ranks 27th in the NBA. Both players have been extremely inconsistent (Fournier and Kemba combined for 11 points against the Pelicans), and neither guy has shown they can stay in front of another player on defense.

Upon arrival, Thibs installed a toughness that the Knicks so desperately needed. With his style comes concessions especially in the rotation. If you’re not “his guy,” then Thibs won’t give you big minutes. Younger players get shorter leashes. Just ask Obi Toppin, who has the third-highest PER (17.25) on the roster, but plays less than 16 minutes a game.

It’s becoming a reoccurring theme to post the +/- of the Knicks roster after a game and laugh at how the bench typically outplays the starters, which happened against the Pelicans.

Take it with a grain of salt. Younger players like Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, and Cameron Grimes deserve more minutes. But let’s not forget when Randle missed two games because of Covid in Dec. The Knicks lost two-straight games and scored 80 points against the Thunder and 105 points against the Raptors. Benching Randle is not necessarily the answer when the team fumbled two opportunities to win games without their star player.

Leon Rose is not free of blame as well. Rose has won almost every trade he’s made including the most recent acquisition of Cam Reddish. However, Rose signed:

  • Fournier – 4 years, $73m
  • Derrick Rose – 3 years, $43m
  • Alec Burks – 3 years, $30m
  • Nerlens Noel – 3 years, $27m
  • Kemba Walker – 2 years, $17m

All of these contracts have team options in the final year of the deals so it’s not a total disaster. However, Rose, who was the most deserving of a contract, and Noel are both injury-prone players who are hurt once again. Kemba is a limited asset. Fournier is allergic to defense. Burks is a nice, not great, player. The Knicks were blown out by the Hawks because of their lack of talent. Are any of those signings better than the Hawks starting five? How about their top 7? Rose can say he is, but the others can’t.

I once again return to Mr. Efron and ask if things will get better. With nine out of the next ten games coming against teams that currently sit in playoff contention, the season might get a lot worse.

The Knicks are a Play-In team at best this year, which means every single player besides Reddish (since he was just acquired) should be on the block with the trade deadline three weeks away. Yes, that means Randle and RJ Barrett, who has improved dramatically over the last month, can be traded. This team needs star players, and Leon Rose knows that. The Knicks should be calling teams like the Kings and the Sixers to check on the availability of De’Aaron Fox and Ben Simmons. If upgrading the roster isn’t possible before the trade deadline, at least call teams to set up future relationships for the off-season.

Technically, the season is not over. A trade could spark a winning streak as it did with D-Rose in 2021. But if this 10-game stretch turns into a 10-game losing streak, then the Knicks are in for a long offseason.

If you have thoughts about the Knicks, leave them in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 3: SAG Nominations Aftermath

Don't Look Up / Netflix

Here is your daily reminder that the 94th Academy Awards will air on March 27, 2022. For those that struggle with the math, that means the Oscars are more than two months away. That’s inexcusable in my humble opinion, but I’m trying to be nice since I will be the host one day. But first, SAG Awards.

How SAG Nominations Affect The Oscars

On January 12, 2022, the Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced. With the Golden Globes taking a step back this year (more on this later), the SAG Awards will arguably be the second most important awards show this season behind the Oscars. It’s not the “be all, end all” for Oscar nominations and wins, but it’s a good barometer for what to expect when at the Oscars.

Below are the nominations for this year’s SAG Awards, which will air on February 27, 2022.

For those not familiar with these awards, it’s all about acting and not about the technical categories (besides stunt). If you watch the ceremony, the opening monologue is split between a handful of well-known stars who make a joke or comment about the industry before ending it with “I am ____, and I’m an actor.”

A SAG nomination does not guarantee an Oscar nomination, but many actors and films can use this nomination to strengthen their campaigns. Instead of comparing the results of last year’s unprecedented ceremonies, let’s go back two years to the 26th SAG Awards in 2020.

Every SAG winner went on to win the Oscar in their respective category including Parasite, which built off the momentum gained at this ceremony to win Best Picture at the Oscars. At 2018’s ceremony, all four actors who won the SAG went on to win at the Oscars. The precedent is there. A SAG win will only strengthen the campaign for an Oscar win.

Looking at this year’s nominees, the big winners are Don’t Look Up and House of Gucci. Belfast and King Richard are locks for Best Picture nominations. The “little engine that could” aka CODA should sneak into the Best Picture category as well. Before these SAG nominations, Don’t Look Up and House of Gucci were on the outside looking in. Now, at least one of them will make the Best Picture category, and my money is on Don’t Look Up.

In the acting categories, the big winners are The Power of Dog and Being the Ricardos, who scored both three and two nominations, respectfully. Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, and Jared Leto were also winners with supporting acting nominations. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Troy Kotsur are favorites for the Oscar, but it’s not out of the question for someone like Cooper, an 8-time nominee, to make the race interesting.

The biggest omission has to be Kristen Stewart, who was an Oscar favorite for her portrayal of Princess Diana in Spencer. No actor has won Best Actress without being nominated for the SAG. Other notable omissions are Rachel Zegler and Alana Haim. I would still count on Zegler to receive a Best Actress nomination, but this virtually ends Haim’s Oscar campaign. I’m upset. #JusticeForAlanaHaim

Quick Hits

  • Oscar nominations will be announced on February 8, 2022.
  • Frame this tweet from the Golden Globes.

Previous Discussions:

Tweet me, @danny_giro, with your best Oscar predictions!

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 2 Recap: Awkward Dinners

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 2

To the writers on This Is Us, you did it again. I call it “the swerve.” You set us up thinking Nicky will end up with one woman, only to hit us with the swerve and introduce us to a new character. I’m tipping my hat right now.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 2 Recap: “One Giant Leap”

Deja Heads To Harvard

On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again. Sing it!

Deja is off to visit a friend, but it’s not the friend she discussed with Randall and Beth. Instead, Deja heads to Cambridge to visit Malik at Harvard. As someone who once visited his significant other at college via bus, it’s a commitment. You’re lucky if the Wifi works. Good luck going to the bathroom because it smells bad. The things we do when we’re young…

After arriving at the bus station, Deja unexpectedly meets Jennifer, Malik’s ex and mother of his child. After the awkward encounter, Deja quickly learns that Malik is tired and stressed from balancing his studies along with fatherhood. In a typical Pearson move, Deja lets Malik finish his paper on Russian literature before heading out to a party.

Their time at the party doesn’t last long because Deja tells Malik she’s ready to have sex. The young lovers eventually go back to Malik’s apartment to have sex. Although nervous at first, Deja and Malik lovingly embrace and do the deed. Afterward, a glowing Deja tells Malik that she wants to feel this way forever with him.

Will this love story have a happy ending? More importantly, will Malik be the father of Deja’s child in the future?

The Awkward Dinner

After last week’s demand from Rebecca, she, Nicky, and Miguel go on a road trip to visit Sally, Nicky’s love from the 60s. After stopping at a vintage shop to purchase an old camera for Sally, Nicky starts to get cold feet, and in the process, reveals he never connected with his long-lost love and has no idea if this is “his” Sally. Showing up unannounced at the doorstep of a woman you haven’t seen in over 50 years is bold!

Nicky arrives at Sally’s house, and it turns out that it’s really her! Although she barely remembers the 60s, the camera triggers Sally’s memory, and she embraces Nicky. However, the happy reunion comes to an abrupt end when Sally’s husband, Eric, enters the living room. Nicky panics and asks to leave, but Miguel and Rebecca agree to stay for dinner.

If you thought Malik’s encounter with Jennifer was awkward, then this dinner scene puts that meeting to shame. Where to even begin? Nicky’s clearly upset about Sally’s marriage and he tries to insult Eric by saying Sally deflowered (LOL) him. When Sally forgets a detail from a story, she makes a remark about early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Yikes.

To make things even more awkward, Rebecca tells Sally and Eric about her Alzheimer’s, stating that memory loss makes you care more about the small stuff. Everyone goes around the table with trivial confessions about things they care too much about. Nicky tells Sally about how he’s thought about her for decades, and Sally responds by discussing her marital problems.

Big Yikes!

Things blow over (eventually), and Sally and Rebecca have a sweet moment about how they shouldn’t care about what people think. These insecurities made Sally give up posing for pictures while Rebecca stopped salsa dancing with Miguel. As the night comes to a close, Nicky finds a picture of himself on Sally’s wall, which reassures him that the trip was a success. The love of his life still cared about him despite her memory lapses.

Finally, Rebecca, Miguel, and Nicky leave (thank god!), but not before Nicky kisses Sally on the cheek and Rebecca agrees to salsa dance again with her husband. The happy ending we were all looking for!

Flash-Forward

For the first time in Season 6, we got a flash-forward! In the clip, Randall and Deja greet the person in the white car at the cabin. A woman named Edie steps out and consoles both Randall and Deja. Edie then walks up to Nicky and kisses him, but not before flashing a wedding ring on her finger.

Back to the present day, Nicky is on a flight and playfully chats up the flight attendant. The flight attendant is, you guessed it, Frank Stallone!

Or Edie.

Edie, not Sally, is Nicky’s future wife. The swerve got us again!

Tune in next week for an episode about fatherhood. Hopefully, it’s not as awkward as the dinner table!

Did you enjoy this week’s episode of This Is Us? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

New York Giants Fire Joe Judge

Joe Judge of the New York Giants

Joe Judge is no longer the coach of the New York Giants. Judge was relieved of his duties as head coach late Tuesday afternoon.

As someone who has criticized Judge on this website ad nauseam, I can honestly say I’m shocked with this decision because for the first time in a while, the Giants did the right thing. The Giants did not take a half measure. Somewhere, the ghost of Mike Ehrmantraut is smiling.

Judge compiled a 10-23 record over two seasons as head coach. After making strides with the team last season and building something that resembled a culture, Judge took seven steps back in year two. The Giants ranked 31st in the NFL in both points and yards per game. For those who are not good at math, there are only 32 teams in the league. On the defensive side of the ball, which was the team’s strength in 2020, the Giants dropped from 9th in team defense all the way to 23rd according to Pro Football Reference.

It’s not what you want to see out of your second-year coach.

I drank the kool-aid last season. I wanted to run through a brick wall after Judge’s press conference. He said all the right things, which won me over instantly. Perhaps the disciplinarian was exactly who the Giants needed to run the ship.

I learned this year, Week 2 against the WFT to be exact, that the “hardo schtick” only works when you win games. The loss to the WFT on the final play of the game was my heel turn. For a recent reference, it was my red pill moment.

Much to my dismay, Adam Schefter reported the Giants were bringing back Judge and Daniel Jones in 2022 in late December.

After defeating the Eagles on Nov. 28, the Giants had six games remaining on their schedule. It’s unfair to grade this team strictly on wins and losses because of the injuries and talent disparity. However, that’s no excuse to get embarrassed.

Make no mistake, the Giants were embarrassed in six straight games to end the season.

This is solely my opinion, but if Judge just took his lumps and made no excuses, the team would have brought him back for the third year. The press conference after the Chicago loss sealed his fate.

Excuse after excuse after excuse. Who wants to play for the Giants that’s not here? Seriously. Even if that is true, and I don’t believe it to be, it’s so outlandish that it should be kept to oneself.

If the press conference didn’t do him in, then this play was the icing on the cake.

This wasn’t all Judge’s fault. It starts at the top with John Mara, who hired Dave Gettleman to build a winning team. Under Gettleman’s regime, the team went 19–46 which was good enough for the worst record in the NFL. Gettleman also put the team in cap hell for 2022.

Thank you, Dave.

But, the Giants did the right thing. They forced Gettleman to retire, fired Judge, and requested to interview some really smart guys outside of the organization. This is the right way to build a team. Get the GM and coach on the same page. Then, get your QB and build the rest of the team.

Brian Flores, Jim Harbaugh, and Doug Pederson would be my top 3 candidates. If the Giants land one of those coaches, I’ll be a happy fan for the first time in years.

The Giants have a long way to go, but today was finally a step in the right direction.

Do you agree with firing Joe Judge? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 1 Recap: Can’t Save Everyone

This Is Us Season 6

This Is Us is going to build us up, break us down, and then try to build us up back again. Between Rebecca’s devasting diagnosis to the downfall of Kate and Toby’s marriage, there are going to be a lot of heartbreaking moments this season. Here’s to the good times!

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 1 Recap: “The Challenger”

Rebecca’s Devastating News

Rebecca’s health is the overarching storyline of Season 6. Kevin, Kate, and Randall’s decisions from here on out will all consider their mother’s health.

In the past, Jack and Rebecca confront the Big Three about the Challenger explosion after the children watch it on television. Kate tries to find the silver lining, saying the astronauts are now closer to heaven. Randall takes the sympathetic route, wondering who will feed the children of the teacher on board. Kevin chooses to hide his pain and pretend it wasn’t real.

Later that night, Rebecca and Jack rationalize their children’s decisions. Jack believes Kevin is protecting himself from getting hurt while Rebecca compares Randall to Holden Caulfield and how he’ll eventually realize that he can’t save everyone.

Did they nail those comparisons or what?

In the present day, Rebecca, Nicky, and Miguel take Kevin’s kids to the park and ride a kiddie train. Rebecca starts to reminisce about how she loved going on trains with her father, but she struggles to remember her favorite cart. At Kate and Kevin’s party, Rebecca reveals her PET scan revealed plaque building in her brain. In other words, early-onset Alzheimer’s. At the end of the episode, Rebecca tearfully remembers the word, “caboose.”

The Downfall Of Marriage

That headline may be harsh, but it’s true. Kate and Toby are heading towards a divorce whether you like it or not. Kate is going to marry Phillip at age 45, but her marriage to Toby has to crumble first and foremost.

Damn. Have a soul, Dan.

Toby video chats with Kate to wish her a happy birthday, but ends the call abruptly to get back to work, much to Kate’s dismay. After a birthday massage, Phillip texts Kate to come to the school due to an emergency. Before entering the office, Kate eavesdrops on Phillip’s brutal breakup with his partner. I’m not a romantic expert like Mystery, but calling someone “boring” is grounds for a nice slap across the face. After the awkward breakup, Phillip surprises Kate with a performance of “Time After Time” from her students.

Later that night, Kate views pictures of the day when she stops to text Toby, who ends up surprising her in person for her birthday.

Calling my shot: One of the pictures will be of Phillip admiring Kate.

The Manny Reboot?

If I were left at the altar, I would move out the next day. Kevin, on the other hand, decides his best course of action is to move into the garage to be closer to the babies. Good idea? Hold that thought.

It’s easy to forget that Kevin is an actor considering how many projects he’s left. Kevin heads to the studio to meet with Casey, the former producer of The Manny, who offers him a role as the father in the reboot of the same show he walked off of in Season 1. Due to Kevin’s outbursts and sporadic behavior, Hollywood isn’t exactly clamoring to cast Kevin as the lead in a movie. Although Kevin would rather die than go back to The Manny, he decides to take the job so he can stay in Los Angeles to be closer to his kids and mother.

Also, Madison connects with Elijah, a friend from the book club. Jealousy gets the best of Kevin and leads to him leaving the garage in favor of Kate’s couch.

Randall Can’t Save Everyone

Spider-Man learned that he can’t save everyone, which is a lesson Randall tackles head-on. Randall receives news that the burglar who broke into his house has been caught and arraigned that day. Instead of spending the birthday with the beautiful, awesome, and charismatic wife, Beth, Randall opts for a day in court.

When Randall confronts the burglar, he soon notices the burglar’s mental health problems along with drug addiction. Randall decides to bail the burglar out and offer him a bed at a local homeless shelter. When the burglar never shows up, Randall reveals to Beth that he must help out more people in the city.

Randall can’t save everyone, but he’s going to try.

That’s it for now. Tune in next week when we get to see Nicky stalk Sally in real life!

What are your thoughts on the last night’s This Is Us? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet me, @danny_giro.

This Is Us Season 6 Preview And Predictions: The End Is Near

This Is Us / NBC

To quote Phoebe Bridgers, “The end is near” for the Pearson family. Tonight marks the beginning of the sixth and final season of NBC’s This Is Us.

It’s hard to believe that this show has been in our lives since 2016. My dad deserves all the credit for my fandom as it was him who suggested that I would like the show after a few episodes into Season 1. The old man knows what I like so golf clap to him.

Speaking of family, we last saw the Pearsons sitting down in Adirondack chairs after Madison called off her wedding with Kevin. For one of the worst moments in someone’s life, Kevin handled it quite well and even smiled which leads me to believe it was for the best.

With Season 6 upon us, the journey to Kevin’s house begins tonight. Like the previous four seasons, I will be recapping every episode on Wednesdays. Before that, here’s a quick season preview with some predictions of what lies ahead on This Is Us.

*Optional: Listen to “I Know the End” while reading the preview and predictions. Be prepared to scream at the top of your lungs by the end of the article. Playing the air-sax is also optional.

Season 6 Preview

“Sometimes you’ve got to go back, to move forward.” – Matthew McConaughey

Let’s follow Matthew’s advice and briefly recap the Season 5 finale.

  • Madison and Kevin agree to call off the wedding.
  • Rebecca asks Kevin to build her the house she always wanted.
  • Kate agrees to try a long-distance relationship after Toby receives a job offer in San Francisco.
  • Rebecca aplogizes to Randall for witholding knowldge about William for upwards of 30 years.

Flash-forward from Season 5 finale:

  • Kevin is at a wedding in the future. He’s practicing a speech in the mirror, but it’s not for him.
  • Big Three Construction is a real thing.
  • Kevin has a girlfriend (women’s clothes in his room), but who?
  • Randall has a “Rising Star” profile in a magazine.
  • Uncle Nicky is alive and married.
  • Beth and Madison are still alive.
  • Kevin is 45 so this flash-forward is about five years into the future.
  • Madison and Kevin seem to be on good terms. I did not spot wedding rings on their fingers, but both seem to be cordial and happy.
  • The location is Kate’s second wedding.
  • Kate is marrying… PHILLIP FROM MUSIC SCHOOL.
  • Kate and Toby are divorced.

The stage is set for Season 6. We’ve seen five years into the future when the Big Three are 45. We’ve seen 10 (?) or so years into the future at Kevin’s house. Now, it’s time for Season 6 to fill in all the details of how the characters reach those two checkpoints.

I encourage every fan to read Dan Fogelman’s interview with Entertainment Weekly about how Season 6 will be the show’s “most ambitious” season to date. Fogelman mentioned family, time, and memory as the show’s core themes. Using those themes, there are four major storylines to address before the series ends.

  1. Rebecca’s battle with Alzheimer’s 
  2. The dissolution of Kate and Toby’s marriage as well as the journey to Kate’s remarriage to Phillip
  3. Kevin’s career and love life
  4. Randall’s political rise and how it affects his family

If there’s a fifth bullet point, it would revolve around Miguel and his relationship with Rebecca especially in the early days of their courtship.

Safe to say there’s a lot of ground to cover for Fogelman and the writers. It’s very ambitious to resolve all of these storylines that will leave fans satisfied so I’m expecting some discourse, especially around Kate and Phillip. I highly doubt infidelity will lead to the dissolution of their marriage. Imagine Kate stayed after class one day and Phillip went in for a kiss after they sang a Fleetwood Mac song. I’ll save that for the soap opera spinoff.

Hopefully, you’ve reached the third verse of “I Know the End” so it’s time to make predictions as the song speeds up. I’d like to think I have a good track record of predictions on This Is Us. I correctly predicted the brotherly feud would end around the birth of Kevin’s twins, and I’m very confident that Rebecca will die in the series finale. However, it might be time to take the L on my “Kate will die” theory.

Season 6 Predictions

Miguel Dies: Chrissy Metz teased that this season will mark the end for “two very important characters.” One of these characters has to be Rebecca. I’m predicting that the other character will be Miguel. It would be fitting for Miguel to finally get his episode in the spotlight, only for it to be revealed in a flash-forward that he died.

Kevin Meets His Eventual Wife During The Construction Of Rebecca’s House: Kevin is going to be the leading force behind “Big Three Construction.” He’s also going to find love. Rekindling with Sophie or Madison are the easy choices so I’m predicting that we haven’t met his wife just yet. Perhaps Kevin meets her while building the house and asks her to eventually move in.

Predictions I previously made that could come true:

Nicky Pretends To Be Married To Rebecca: This is my outrageous prediction. In the flash-forward, Nicky is wearing a wedding ring while sitting next to a dying Rebecca. There’s no chance in hell that Nicky marries Rebecca. However, since Rebecca’s memory is shot, Nicky pretends to be Jack on the surface since most of her memories are gone and she only remembers Jack. Nicky wears the wedding ring and acts like Jack even though he’s serving as Rebecca’s caretaker. It’s an odd prediction, but a spicy take.

Rebecca Will Die In The Series Finale: Rebecca will die in the bed surrounded by her loved ones in the series finale. Rebecca’s death will complete the circle of life.

Here’s to one last season with the Pearson family. To quote Bridgers for the last time, “Yeah, I guess the end is here.”

What are your predictions for the final season of This Is Us? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.