Thursday, July 06, 2006

TV: 2006 Emmy nominations

The 2006 Emmy nominations were announced this morning. Here are some early thoughts:

--To Lost and Desperate Housewives: BURN!! Critical and popular powerhouses in their first season, and nominees for Best Drama and Best Comedy last year (Lost even won its category), they weren't even nominated this year. Total burn. And Housewives took up three of the Best Actress slots last year, with a win for Felicity Huffman; this year, nothing but a Supporting Actress nomination for new castmember Alfre Woodard. I'm kind of glad on the Housewives front, because A) as I keep saying, it's not a comedy, and B) it really did suck this year, at least for the half-season I watched that made me never want to watch it again. Lost I think is more of a true snub; it didn't have the buzz of its first year, and some weaknesses in the casting and writing were more apparent, but overall it was still a damn fine program.

--Another burn: last year's winner for Best Actress in a Drama, Patricia Arquette, also wasn't nominated, but three women from cancelled shows were. That's gotta hoit. (Same goes for James Spader: last year's winner, this year's benchwarmer.) And yet, Mariska Hargitay still got a nod. Any year where she gets a nomination is a year where the Emmy committee isn't looking hard enough.

--Even more bizarre: four of the nominees for Best Actress in a Comedy are from cancelled shows. Really? There's only one actress in a show still on the air who's worthy of recognition? That's pathetic.

--The Shield got zero nominations. Not even in minor or technical categories. I'm not 100% sure how eligibility works, but I believe its last season did fall within the nomination dates for this year's awards, in which case: what a crime. CCH Pounder, Michael Chiklis, and especially Forest Whitaker: ROBBED. Whitaker was brilliant. How you can possibly overlook that performance is beyond my comprehension.

--Strangest trend: Two and a Half Men's continuing march toward critical darling. Last year it got two surprise nods for Best Supporting Actress; this year, its two leads got nominations (although it's odd that Charlie Sheen wound up in the Best Actor category, while Jon Cryer had to settle for Best Supporting Actor), and it also got its first Best Comedy nomination. I've admitted before that this show is a guilty pleasure -- in fact, I wouldn't even say "guilty" anymore. It's a funny show. It is. (Maybe not Emmy funny....) But it's just weird to me how some shows can be excellent for so long and get no attention (like, say, Scrubs, which got a Best Comedy nod this year, but literally nothing else), and some shows the awards committees just suddenly glom onto, despite the presence of other, better shows and actors. I'm not outraged by Men's nominations, but it would've been nice to see, say, My Name Is Earl or especially Entourage in there instead.

--I understand Gregory Itzin, who played the President on 24, was very unhappy with his character being turned into a bad guy this year. Now, with he and Jean Smart, who played the crazy First Lady, getting that show's first ever acting nominations aside from Kiefer Sutherland, I'll bet he's somewhat mollified. Just a little. You think?

--Other inexplicable (to me, at least) omissions: Rome, in every major category, most significantly Ciarán Hinds as Julius Caesar and Polly Walker as Atia; Neil Patrick Harris for How I Met Your Mother; and Rainn Wilson for The Office.

No predictions for the time being. I'll save that for the week before the awards ceremony, which will be on August 17 (hosted by Conan O'Brien! Sweet!). I will say this: I already have a feeling the winners will make me very unhappy this year.

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