Friday, July 20, 2007

Emmy Nominations

The 2007 Emmy Award Nominations were announced Thursday morning. Here's my quick take on the whole mess.

A lot of people are up in arms over 24's lack of a Best Drama nod. A lot of stupid people. 24 has never been anything close to the best drama on TV, despite its previous nominations and wins; at its best, at the height of its thrilling action, it still just barely avoids being a comedy, due to its insanely laughable lapses in logic and continuity, occasionally involving mountain lions. Kiefer Sutherland (who was nominated for Best Actor, the show's only nomination in a major category) has always sold the show as a credible drama with his outrageously committed hamminess. Not this year!

What did get nominated for Best Drama? Oh, it'll just make you sick. Boston Legal, which, like David E. Kelley's Ally McBeal, is definitely a comedy, not a drama; Grey's Anatomy, which is barely passable as a nighttime soap, let alone a genuine medical drama; Heroes, which I loved the hell out of, but come on; House, which deserves it; and The Sopranos, which I didn't watch, aside from the last five minutes on YouTube (which I loved - "Don't stop!"), but which couldn't have not been nominated if it consisted of 12 hours of James Gandolfini picking the lint out of his belly button.

Not nominated: the best show ever, Deadwood. The best show ever that I have yet to watch, The Wire. The Shield, whose complete shut-out boldly underscores the contempt the Emmys have for basic cable. If you can't find room to nominate Michael Chiklis or CCH Pounder, you don't deserve to watch television. Battlestar Galactica, which, as with any sci-fi show, will never gain any respect from the Emmys because the Emmys, for the purpose of this analogy only, are jocks, and sci-fi shows are nerds, and jocks hate nerds. (I guess you could count Heroes as sci-fi, but there aren't any aliens, or spaceships, or robots, which makes it palatable sci-fi to the jock mainstream.) Lost (similarly palatable sci-fi), which had a rough-as-hell beginning to its season, but which snapped back in the second half with its best run of episodes ever. And, of course, One Tree Hill, which cultivated incredibly touching observations of --

Nah, I'm kidding. Just seeing if you were paying attention.

The Best Comedy nominees are a much better batch, with one striking exception. See if you can pick it out: 30 Rock, Entourage, The Office, Ugly Betty... Two and a Half Men.

Really, Emmys? Really??

I've admitted to watching, and liking, Two and a Half Men before, though I pretty much gave up on it halfway through last season. But even at my highest fondness for it, I would never, ever posit it as one of the five best comedies on television. No love for the other two great Thursday night NBC sitcoms, My Name Is Earl or Scrubs? Not even a bone to throw to How I Met Your Mother, or The New Adventures of Old Christine? What about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, whose second season was even more brilliant than its first, and which made the attention-grabbing move of adding Danny DeVito to the cast, for such genius episodes as "The Gang Exploits a Miracle," or "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass," or the immortal "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom"? Nothing? Frickin' Emmys!

Lead Actor in a Drama -- does include: James Spader, Kiefer Sutherland. Does not include: Michael Chiklis, Ian McShane. Nuff said.

Lead Actress in a Drama -- I've said it many, many times before (often enough that I need to make it a tag), in many different ways, and I'll say it again: if you're nominating Mariska Hargitay for an acting award, you just ain't looking hard enough.

There are six nominees for this category. I admire the breaking of conventions, going beyond the traditional five nominees. But one of them is Mariska Hargitay. And one of them is Patricia Arquette. They should've gone with less nominees, not more.

Lead Actor in a Comedy -- three awesome nods: Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, Ricky Gervais; two awful: Charlie Sheen, Tony Shalhoub. Tony Shalhoub is proof that once a name gets imprinted on the Emmys' hivemind, it never leaves. Monk has been awful for a good three seasons now, but because Shalhoub, and the show, were so great in their first season, he will never stop getting nominated. In fact, he'll probably win.

Lead Actress in a Comedy -- pretty good picks here. I won't even argue that Felicity Huffman is in a show way past its prime -- and which is as much a comedy as Boston Legal is a drama -- just because I like her. So there.

There are six nominees each in the Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in a Drama categories, which makes me wonder all the more how they couldn't fit Chiklis or McShane in the Lead Actor category. The Actor noms are decent, if missing obvious contenders from Deadwood and The Shield. The Actress category, on the other hand, is 50% Grey's Anatomy, which blows. Six nominations, and no room for CCH Pounder. What a world.

Two and a Half Men snuck three nominees into the Comedy Supporting Actor and Actress categories (while ignoring the best performer on the show, the kid, Angus T. Jones, and I swear to you I am not kidding about that). At least they join several incredibly deserving nominees, such as Rainn Wilson and Jenna Fischer from The Office, and one of this blog's all-time favorites, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney from How I Met Your Mother. NPH's snub last year gave me great pain, and I'm thrilled to see him on the list for 2007. Hopefully either he or Rainn Wilson take the Emmy; even one of the two Entourage nominees (by which I mean Jeremy Piven -- who has retained his awesomeness while the rest of the show floundered this year -- and not Kevin Dillon) would be better than Two and a Half Men's Jon Cryer.

And that's enough of that. This should be enough to stir up some hatred for right now. I'll pick the winners in the 28 (!) main categories when we get a little closer to the actual date of the ceremony.

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