Saturday, July 28, 2012
EMMY NOMINATION ANALYSIS! A LITTLE LATE, BUT BETTER NOW THAN NEVER!
While I spent most of this past week discussing the las Vegas Film Festival, I was paying attention to the Primetime Emmy Nominations that were announced last week. I consider them to be the award that not only honors the best in television, I consider them the Awards that honors the best programming television has to offer. Talk, variety, sitcoms, drama, even reality television, if it's truly the best on TV, it's on in Primetime. I discussed that somewhat when I wrote out my blog last week on the Ten Greatest TV Shows of All-Time, which by the way, I still want others to contribute their lists to that by either leaving comments on my blog, leaving their lists on twitter, either to my account or to #TENGREATESTTVSHOWS, or on my Facebook, and every show I listed, was a Primetime series. I've looked at some of the discussions on the Awards so far, but it's time for me to add my analysis on the nomination, and their were a lot of good and bad nominations, and non-nominations, and we're gonna take out a first look at them now.
Let's start with the Best Comedy Series category, where, I would've predicted that this would've been the year "Parks and Recreation," would win, so I was beyond shocked when it didn't even get nominated. It was clearly the funniest show on TV, and had it's best season to date, got two writing nominations as well, this was a complete shock, and am just kinda of befuddle by it. HBO, came back in a big way, grabbing 3 nominations in the category, after last year, not a single cable channel got one. "Curb Your Enthusiam," and "Girls," were "as expecteds," knocking out "The Office," which didn't get a single nomination this year, I think that's a bad call, but it was a transitional and weaker year for the show, and "Glee," which finally fell out of favor. "Veep," sneaking in, over not only "Parks and Rec..." was the surprise entry, 'cause I had heard mostly lukewarm reviews of that show since it aired, so that one surprised me. I would've thought either "Nurse Jackie," or "The Big C," would've snuck in, or "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23,", the latter, I'm not sure was eligible. I know "Community," is the critical hit, and the cult hit, that everybody thought should've gotten in, I disagree with that. It's a good show, and I wouldn't have minded it getting a nomination, but it's overrated to begin with, isn't as good as "The Big Bang Theory," which was nominated again, and which it competed with most of the year, and while it can be funny as hell, it's inconsistent as hell too. A dream nomination, I would've liked to have seen "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," finally get credit, but the strangeness of "Parks and Rec..." not getting in, really befuddling to the category, the biggest single omission this Awards year.
In the acting categories, seven in the Best Actress comedy, instead of six, but no name that's shocking, mostly the same with Best Actor, although Jon Cryer, who switched from Supporting Actor to Lead Actor this year, getting nominated, is surprising. I'm not sure I understand the continual need to nominate him, every year. That seems like a good spot for a more creative choice, like maybe Oliver Platt for "The Big C" or Ed Helms for "The Office". Strange one there.
My big complaint last year was Mayim Bialik not getting nominated for "The Big Bang Theory," for Supporting Actress, I'm happy to report, she did get nominated this year, in a very different-looking Supporting Actress category. Last year's winners Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara, of "Modern Family," and "SNL"'s Kristen Wiig, got in from last year, but on top of Bialik, one of my favorite actresses, Merritt Weaver, getting a well-earned nomination for "Nurse Jackie" this time around, smart choice there. Then, a sentimental choice, the late Kathryn Joosten, she passed away recently, she had won two Guest Actress Emmys for "Desperate Housewives," before, she was also Mrs. Landingham on "The West Wing," before that, she recieved a Best Supporting Actress nomination as well, for "...Housewives"'s last season. "Modern Family," four nominations again in Supporting Actor, no surprise, but the other two, were shocking nominations. One for "SNL"'s Bill Hader, even he said, he didn't consider the possibility of getting nominated, it happened. He is really good on the show, although I don't know about all of you, I'm starting to wonder about whether these "Saturday Night Live" supporting actor nominations should keep happening. I might write a whole blog on it in the future, 'cause there's a few different reasons why this trend has been happening. The other nomination, way out-of-nowhere, Max Greenfield, for "New Girl". I expected Zooey Deschanel to get in, like everybody I think did, this one, I don't think anybody expected. You know, I've watched a good number of "New Girl" episodes, and as much I do love Zooey Deschanel, I gotta say, I don't get this show. It's so weird, for like minutes at a time, it can be really good, and then, it suddenly just turns into a "What the hell is this?" moment, and it's way too often, and it's practically every episode. As for the three men in the apartment, honestly they're interchangable to me, so I don't know why Greenfield got distinguished enough to get a nomination, especially considering, again, "Parks and Recreation," Nick Offerman, Rob Lowe, not nominated, Neil Patrick Harris for "How I Met Your Mother," not nominated, Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon for "Weeds," there's an underrated supporting acting performances, not nominated. That's the nomination in comedy this year, that makes the least amount of sense to me.
Onto the Drama Series categories, a lot of weird shifting in this category, even before the nominations were announced. First of all, "Mad Men," wasn't supposed to be eligible this year, suddenly their air dates got moved, so now "Mad Men," is eligible to win a record, 5th straight, Best Drama Series Emmy, but it's got tougher competition than ever before, with "Breaking Bad," "Boardwalk Empire," and "Homeland," and this was before the big twist, when last years Miniseries winner, "Downton Abbey," not only came back for a second season on PBS, it switched, and put its name in the Drama Series category, so there was a new wildcard in this already crowded category(ies), and all those shows I named, plus "Game of Thrones," nominated, "Dexter," knocked out for the first time ever, as was "The Good Wife", so now, for the first time ever in the history of the Emmys, no show on the Big 4 networks, NBC, ABC, CBS, or FOX, got a nomination in the category, and PBS, the only basic channel to get a show nominated. Drama categories, across the board, are officially unpredictable this year.
Lot of new and surprising names in the Lead Actress category. "Downton Abbey"'s Michelle Dockery, "Homeland"'s Claire Danes, probably a favorite, Kathy Bates, nominated for the cancelled "Harry's Law," for the second year in a row, they join Elisabeth Moss for "Mad Men," and here's another anamoly, two defending winners in the category. Julianna Margulies won last year, but Glenn Close, won three years in a row for "Damages," before it was cancelled from FX, but brought back on DirecTV, similar to what happened to "Friday Night Lights," last year, she's nominated again. Not much strangeness out of the Lead Actor, Hugh Bonneville for "Downton Abbey"'s and Damian Lewis from "Homeland," joining the as expecteds of three-time winner Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, and Steve Buscemi. The name left off though, Hugh Laurie for "House", not nominated in his final season, and never won before either, sentimental vote didn't work this year, and that's unfortunate.
Supporting Actor categories, loaded with "Downton Abbey," and "Breaking Bad," Anna Gunn, getting her first nomination for "Breaking Bad," was a nice surprise in the Supportina Actress category. Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski from "The Good Wife", and Christina Hendricks from "Mad Men," nominated again, join Maggie Smith and Joanne Froggatt for "Downton Abbey" in the actress category. Totally new category practically from last year. The Supporting Actor category, also has two defending winners against each other. Last year Peter Dinklage won for "Game of Thrones," he's up against Aaron Paul, who won two years ago, for "Breaking Bad," which wasn't eligible last year, so this is an odd occurance. The snub was John Slattery, losing out to his "Mad Men," co-star Jared Harris this year, first time he wasn't nominated, but a great nomination, again for "Breaking Bad," Giancarlo Esposito, great nomination for his work on the show. Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter, more reminders that I have to jump "Downton Abbey," on my netflix queue, pronto!
The Miniseries/Movie category, also had a bizarre pre-nomination occurance, when a show that was looked as a favorite in the Drama Series category, "American Horror Story," switched it's not nomination to the Miniseries or Movie category this. It's also like them and "Downton Abbey," chose to switch roles this year, to through everyone. From all accounts though, and based on the quality of work in the other nominees, this has lead to one of the most interesting and most competitive years in these categories in a while. Even the HISTORY channel with "Hatfields & McCoys" got in on this mix. Lotta big stars and big actors across the board for the nominations in the categories.
Jimmy Kimmel is hosting this year, and perhaps that's the reason why his show "Jimmy Kimmel Live," earned it's first ever nomination in the Best Variety series category. The rest of the names are familiar enough, "Daily Show," "Colbert"... the name that was off this year, "Conan" not nominated for the first time in years, on any show he's done. Not sure I agree with that. I like Jimmy Kimmel, but if I was gonna pick someone new for the category this year, "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," is way more inventive and funny. I also should note Kathy Griffin's new show, "Kathy" on Bravo, probably should've be more considered as well. And, more importantly, then need to come up with a Best Variety Show Host Award. There's gotta be at least 15 legitimate hosts out there, that's gotta be enough to institute it's own category by now. Really should be at least.
Speaking of Kathy Griffin, it's kinda sad to me looking at the Best Reality Show category, and not seeing her show, which ended last season on there, but they did end up with some decent nominations. "Antiques Roadshow," "Mythbusters," and "Undercover Boss," they're the repeat nominees. "Shark Tank," and "Who Do You Think You Are?", both got in as well, and I'll tell you what, they were both on Friday nights at eight o'clock, most of the time against each other, and from week to week, that might have been the most difficult viewing choice I had to make. Those are two very good shows, for very different reasons, and both really show just how good reality TV can be, I'm happy they both got in this year, both well-deserved. Didn't see an episode of "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution," can't even pretend to judge that one, but I'm surprised it's there. I guess I'm glad none of the "Real Housewives..." made it, but would it have killed them to throw in something like "Pawn Stars", or maybe my favorite, "History Detectives"?
I know some of you loyal readers were waiting for me to get to the Reality-Competition Category, and you'd be damn right in assuming that I was happy about the nominee list for this one. "American Idol," out, "The Voice," is in, and that's completely the correct way to go. No other changes in the category, "Amazing Race," "Project Runway," "Top Chef," "So You Think You Can Dance," and for some reason "Dancing with the Stars". Maybe they can't find a legitimate 6th nominee for the category, so they keep letting it fill up space. I'd understand that actually, but they really should something better soon. Off the top of my head, I'd recommend "MasterChef", but that's iffy to begin with too.
The Reality Show Host category has been won by Jeff Probst every year the category existed, but not this year; he didn't even get nominated surprisingly. Who did? Betty White, for her show "Off Their Rockers!" Well, at least it wasn't for "Hot in Cleveland," like last year. It wouldn't be her first Emmy for hosting either by the way. She was the first woman to win the Emmy for Game Show Hosting years ago, for a TV show called "Just Men," which only lasted one year, so there is some legitimacy to the nomination, but with all the Betty White love, and I do love her, but it's starting to get a little tiresome. No new names other than hers in the category. Phil Keoghan, Tom Bergeron, Ryan Seacrest, and Cat Deeley, round out the rest. I think Padma Lakshmi and Heidi Klum have better arguments for nomination that Seacrest nowadays, but there's no horribly incorrect nomination on there. And for those wondering, as much as I've praised "The Voice," I would not have nominated Carson Daly in this category, and I don't think anybody of sound mind, including Carson Daly, would either.
Well, 57 days until the Awards, according to the countdown clock on Emmys.com. Lotta time to start making your predictions, so I'm not gonna make them now. In the meantime, go see a movie, go watch the Olympics, and maybe catch up on some of these shows you might've missed. I'm still doing that one, myself. Looked like it's starting to shape up into a very entertaining and good Emmys broadcast this year though, so I'm happy about that anyway. Still pissed that "Parks and Recreation," isn't nominated though. Boy, am I pissed at that one....