Song of the Day #1,494: ‘Outside’ – Childish Gambino

Next up in this week’s summer catch-up are some thoughts on the 2012 Emmy nominations.

I’ve chosen a track from Childish Gambino’s 2011 album Camp as my accompaniment because Gambino is the alter ego of actor Donald Glover, an actor on NBC’s Community, one of the shows I believe was wrongly shut out of the major nominations.

While I can point to a handful of disappointing snubs, I can’t say the Emmys got things terribly wrong. The problem is that there are just too damn many good shows on the air right now.

Danny Pudi without question deserves a supporting actor nomination for his portrayal of Abed Nadir on Community — I’ve never seen a character like him, and he manages to be both hilarious and heartfelt in every episode. But would I be happy to kick out any of the four Modern Family actors, or the guy who plays Schmidt on New Girl? No way.

And I don’t even watch many comedies. I know fans of Parks and Recreation are up in arms about those cast members not making the cut. And they’re probably right, too.

Community should have made the cut for Best Comedy as well, though it didn’t have much of a shot without any other nominations. Louis, on the other hand, missed out in that category despite Louis CK picking up seven nominations by himself. How can the show not sneak in over The Big Bang Theory or Curb Your Enthusiasm given that?

I know The Big Bang Theory has many fervent fans, but I’ve seen a couple of episodes and do not see the appeal at all. This will come across as snobbish, but I think we’ve evolved to a point culturally where no show that utilizes a laugh track or live studio audience should be eligible for a major award.

The other show I feel was unjustly ignored is Justified. The Best Drama category is crowded, and I can’t argue against three of the nominees (Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire and Homeland) because I don’t watch them, but Justified is so freaking awesome that I can’t accept that it doesn’t belong. I rank it just below two of the other nominees, Breaking Bad and Mad Men — those are the three best shows on TV.

Even if the show couldn’t make it, please throw Timothy Olyphant a bone as Best Actor. Bryan Cranston and John Hamm are the front-runners, sure, but Olyphant’s Raylan Givens is a character for the ages, and he plays him with such effortless swagger and humor. I have a serious man crush on this guy.

I suspect Cranston will win the Emmy for the fourth time, and while I usually hate the repetitive nature of Emmy wins, I’m definitely cheering for this one. Granted, he’s working with the best material, but Cranston is simply working on a whole different level than most. I also hope Aaron Paul picks up his second Emmy for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman, Walter White’s heartbreakingly naive partner.

My prediction, though, is that Giancarlo Esposito will win for his portrayal of the treacherous villain Gustavo Fring. I remember first seeing Esposito as Buggin’ Out in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Fring is the polar opposite — a man so quiet and still you want to touch him to see if he’s made of wax. I’ve never seen somebody be that frightening while underacting that much.

Obviously I want Breaking Bad to win Best Drama — it’s the best thing I’ve seen on the big or small screen for years. But if Mad Men repeats for a record fifth straight year, I can’t say I’ll be disappointed. That show is always superb and had one of its best seasons. It’s truly a work of art (though I did feel a bit let down by the anti-climactic finale).

On the comedy side, I wish Louis was up for the award because I’d be rooting for it all the way, but in its absence Modern Family should easily repeat. That is one of the best-written shows I’ve ever seen, and you won’t find a better ensemble cast. I’d like to see Ed O’Neill or Jesse Tyler pick up the Supporting Actor trophy, as Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet have already won. Tyler, in particular, impressed me this year.

As for the women, supporting actress has to go to Sofia Vergara. I could see Kristen Wiig picking up the award given that it was her last season on SNL but Vergara steals every scene she’s in and has been passed over twice already.

And that would be one hell of an acceptance speech.

[Verse 1]
I used to dream every night, now I never dream at all
I’m hopin’ that it’s cause I’m livin’ everything I want
I used to wake up in a bed between my mom and aunt
Playing with this Land Before Time toy from Pizza Hut
My dad works nights, putting on a stone face
He’s saving up so we can get our own place
In the projects, man that sounds fancy to me
They called me fat nose, my mom say you handsome to me
Mrs. Glover ma’am, your son is so advanced
But he’s acting up in class and keeps peeing in his pants
And I just wanna fit in, but nobody was helping me out
They talking hood shit and I ain’t know what that was about
Cause hood shit and black shit is super different
So I’m talking hood shit and cool it now like New Edition
Mom and dad wouldn’t listen
They left the Bronx so I wouldn’t be that
All their friends in NY deal crack
It’s weird, you think that they’d be proud of ’em
But when you leave the hood they think that you look down on ’em
The truth is we still struggle on a different plane
7 dollars an hour, WIC vouchers, it’s all the same
Facebook messaging hopin’ that could patch up shit
But all they get now is, “Can your son read this script?”

[Hook] x2
There’s a world we can visit if we go outside
Outside, outside
We can follow the road
There’s a world we can visit if we go outside
Outside, outside
No one knows

[Verse 2]
Dad lost his job, mama worked at Mrs. Winner’s
Gun pulled in her face, she still made dinner
“Donald watch the meter so they don’t turn the lights off”
Workin’ two jobs so I can get into that white school
And I hate it there
They all make fun of my clothes and wanna touch my hair
And my uncle on that stuff that got my grandma shook
Drug dealers roughed him up and stole his address book
He’s supposed to pay ‘em back
He owe ’em money but his bank account is zero
So my momma made us sleep with Phillips heads under the pillow
Like that would do somethin’
But she’s got six kids, she’s gotta do somethin’
She don’t want me in a lifestyle like my cousin
And he mad cause his father ain’t around
He lookin’ at me now, like
“Why you so fuckin lucky? I had a father too
But he ain’t around so I’mma take it out on you”
We used to say “I love you,” now we only think that shit
It feels weird that you’re the person I took sink baths with
Street took you over, I want my cousin back
The world sayin’ what you are because you’re young and black
Don’t believe ‘em
You’re still that kid that kept the older boys from teasin’
For some reason

[Hook] x2

Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me now?
Oh, help us Lord
Oh, baby baby baby

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,494: ‘Outside’ – Childish Gambino

  1. pegclifton says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more about Justified and Timothy Olyphant!

  2. Dana says:

    As we are now watching Community, I can say that, while the show is very good, I don’t feel it screams out for nomination. However, it is certainly better than Big Bang theory, and while the show claims it doesn’t use a laugh track, they are clearly adding enhanced laughter in post production and it’s just plain annoying.

    Meanwhile Justified has been completely off our radar screen, but it sounds like it shouldn’t be. And I want to see breaking bad and give mad men another shot, but Amy isn’t so interested in breaking bad and I’m not sure how much mad men would grow on me.

  3. Clay says:

    I wouldn’t have nominated the first season of Community, but in Season Two it reached a whole new level. The last few episodes of Season One are also excellent, IMO.

    Amy needs to suck it up and give Breaking Bad a shot. Who knows, she might hate it, but I suspect not.

    • Dana says:

      interesting comment about Community. I have found the first season to be erratic, but will certainly stick with it based on your recommendaton.

      • Clay says:

        I agree, the first season is erratic. Hell, the whole series is somewhat erratic, but at its best I put it up there as one of the great comedies. I believe it was the My Dinner With Andre homage (in Season Two) that won me over once and for all.

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