A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY IRISH & IRISH AMERICAN AFFAIRS 
Summer 2019 / VOL. 19 ISSUE 2

Did you read about the two large earthquakes in Los Angeles recently? It’s always an odd feeling when you suddenly experience the unexpected side-to-side motion a quake like this produces.

 

For a moment you wonder if you’ve just had too much coffee (or too many Guinnesses last night!), but then you realize it’s an earthquake. Luckily the epicenter was out in the unoccupied desert, but it does make you think – and check your emergency kits!

 

There was a record-breaking event here in Hollywood recently too, when Northern Ireland-based epic drama Game of Thrones brought home a massive 32 nominations for the Primetime Emmy television awards, easily beating the previous record of 26 for NYPD Blue back in 1994.

 

The award ceremony takes place in September, and GOT’s nominations include acting nods for Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke – though the well-publicized mixed reviews for the final season of the fantasy show could damage its chances of winning many outside the technical categories.

 

Most notably perhaps, GOT goes up against Bodyguard, Killing Eve, Better Call Saul, Ozark, Pose, Succession and This is Us for outstanding drama series.

 

Harrington will compete against Jason Bateman (Ozark), Sterling K Brown and Milo Ventimiglia (This is Us), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) and Billy Porter (Pose) for lead actor in a drama series, while Emilia will be vying for actress against Judy Comer and Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder), Laura Linney (Ozark), Many Moore (This is Us) and Robin Wright (House of Cards).

 

There were other acting nods too: four nominations no less for supporting actress in a drama series (Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams) and three nominations in supporting actor (Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage). Carice van Houten was recognized in the guest actress category as well.

 

Interestingly – and weirdly – Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, submitted herself for consideration, as did Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, and van Houten, who plays Melisandre.

 

The membership obviously thought they had done a good job – so that was the $225 entry fee well spent by all of them!

 

Over its full eight seasons, GOT received 161 nominations overall, though so far, the only GOT actor to actually win an Emmy for the HBO series is Dinklage, who has won three times in the supporting actor category for his role as Tyrion Lannister. He’s been nominated every single season.

 

Moving into television and streaming, and RTÉ and Acorn Media Enterprises have partnered to commission “Dead Still,” an Irish period mystery produced by outfits in Dublin and Toronto, Canada.

 

Set in 1880s Ireland in the Victorian era heyday of “postmortem photography,” the six-episode

period drama follows a renowned memorial photographer as he investigates the murders of his recently deceased subjects.

 

Blending mystery and drama with gallows humor, it features an ensemble cast including Michael Smiley (whom I spoke to briefly here in Los Angeles, when he was on vacation with his kids), as Brock Blennerhasset, Kerr Logan as Conall Molloy, Eileen O’Higgins as Nancy Vickers, and Aidan O’Hare as Detective Frederick Regan.

 

The story takes place at a time when the practice of memorial portraiture was at the height of its popularity – that is, taking formal portraits of the recently-deceased.

 

As renowned memorial photographer Blennerhasset (Smiley) expands his business with the help of his would-be actress niece Vickers (O’Higgins) and assistant Molloy (Logan), someone with more sinister designs is getting in on the death photography game.

 

A dastardly serial killer is cashing in on the sordid side of things, and has developed a taste for ‘snuff’ imagery – causing and taking pictures of people in their actual death throes.

 

The murders escalate and Detective Frederick Regan (O’Hare) of the Dublin Metropolitan Police suspects that Ireland may have its first serial murderer at large. As Blennerhasset becomes a possible suspect and his family is put in harm’s way, they must track down the killer before he strikes again.

 

Written by John Morton and directed by Imogen Murphy, it was developed with the support of Screen Ireland and will be available on the subscription service that’s Acorn TV in the USA next year.

 

True crime and the more unusual stories from our historical past are really having a moment in the sun right now, and this sounds like a series that could be really popular – keep an eye out for it in the future!

Game of Thrones Shakes Up

Emmy Award Season.

‚Äč

By: James Bartlett

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