Well, they’ll almost certainly will lose. But truly, in this case, to be nominated is a victory in itself.
After years of campaigning and subsequent snubbing, Friday Night Lights finally got two acting nominations. Their phenomenal stars Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler were nominated for Oustanding Actress and Actor in a Drama Series. The work they have done for four seasons is incredible and it’s about time they got recognized for it. DirectTV certainly helped.
The rest of the Emmy nominations, which were announced this morning, were equally as pleasing to me. I haven’t had time to think about snubs, but some of the nominations have me so happy/excited, I won’t worry about that until later.
Of course, most every category is full of the usual suspects, some of whom don’t deserve to be nominated. But the new additions are so great, leaning on critical favorites instead of fan favorites, that I can’t complain, at least not right now.
Except on one thing. 19 nominations for Glee? A little bit excessive. It’s a fun show, but certainly not deserving of awards. Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison: I like them, but they don’t deserve to be nominated.
There are plenty of places on the internet you can find the list of nominees. For instance, here for the big categories, and here for the mostly complete list. So instead, my analysis will be on the best categories to watch. And probably some that other reviewers won’t focus on.
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
This is my favorite of the categories, but probably the biggest slam dunk. It’s John Lithgow‘s to lose. He gave a stirring performance in Dexter this season. Made a serial killer a family man, but just as disturbed either way. Basically, the only reason to watch Season 4. The easy favorite, even though he should have been supporting not guest. But…he has some fantastic challengers. First among them: Gregory Itzin. He was nominated for his work as a supporting actor in Season 5, and his portrayal of President Logan lost nothing in Season 8. He’s one of the finest actors in 24 history and should get this award in any other year. There’s also two actors with serious Broadway credentials that gave great performances on TV this season: Robert Morse (Mad Men) and Alan Cummings (The Good Wife). Throw in a Ted Danson (for an unremarkable performance in Damages this time around), Beau Bridges (The Closer) and Dylan Baker (The Good Wife), and this could have been the best nail-biter of the bunch. If not for Lithgow.
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Not to be outdone, the ladies showed up in full force for their guest actress category. It features multiple double-nominees seen else where on the list, but there’s no clear front runner. Will the public’s insatiable Betty White obsession give her the Emmy for her hosting of Saturday Night Live? Or will they go with the old SNL and Emmy favorite, Tina Fey (last year’s winner)? Perhaps the voters will continue their love of 30 Rock by rewarding Elaine Stritch again (2007 winner). All three of them were actually nominated last year too, as was Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory). Here come the wild cards: Kristin Chenoweth for Glee (she won the Supporting Actress Emmy for Pushing Daisies last year); Jane Lynch for Two and a Half Men (she will win the Supporting Actress Emmy this year for Glee); and Kathryn Joosten. Yes, Mrs. Landingham, for her work as Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives. My money’s on Betty White. Nobody can resist her charms.
Oustanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
OK, the ladies were actually outdone. The Guest Actress in a Drama category doesn’t excite me, so the boys get two focuses. But when you see this list, you’ll understand why. I watched all of these nominees except Eli Wallach (Nurse Jackie), and I can attest that their episodes were some of the best of the entire season for their respective shows. Jon Hamm, beloved for his work on Mad Men (though not enough to actually win), continues to show his versatility on 30 Rock, hamming it up (sorry, had to). Will Arnett just plays himself on that show, but he’s darn funny at it. Another one who’s awfully good at playing himself: Fred Willard. The perfect fit for Phil’s father in Modern Family. But then you get to my two favorites. The first, a huge shock. This category is usually reserved for big names. Mike O’Malley is not one of them. But he did such on outstanding job as Kurt’s father on Glee, that they couldn’t keep him off this list. He brought to the show what they need most: heart. Then, my man crush on Neil Patrick Harris is well documented. But his guest starring role as Bryan Ryan was the best episode of the season for Glee. With all the Glee obsession this year, this is a perfect way to reward NPH and the show all at once. So I’d say he’s the winner.
Did you even know that was a category? I have to include this, only because it’s going to be an epic battle: Betty White vs. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. Two of the most talked about ads from this past year. Will it be the Snickers commercial that was pretty much responsible for White’s guest actress nomination? Or will it be one of the most quoted commercials ever for Old Spice (“I’m on a horse”)? I say the latter. Just so well shot as well. In mostly one take. Also nominated: Absolut’s Anthem, Coke Finals, Audi’s Green Police, and Nike’s Human Chain. I honestly don’t remember those at all. I hope they show these during the telecast. I’d love to see him ride out on a horse to accept the award.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
And now for some categories you’ll actually see. I’m floored that Modern Family got three of the six nominations. Very much deserving, but I thought they’d only get two at the most. But that wasn’t the only surprise in this category. Chris Colfer, Kurt on Glee, was nominated. He’s a bit of a one-trick pony for me, but he does a very nice job and is deserving of a nod. Probably more so than Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), the old standbys. But, one of those three could walk away with the trophy (perhaps defending champ Cryer) if Modern Family splits the votes. Do you go with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell or Eric Stonestreet? Each of them a key cog in what makes this the funniest show on television. My favorite is Burrell…I think he’s hilarious. But Stonestreet is probably most deserving. A great comedic straight actor who’s playing a gay man. But, I bet Cryer will win.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Another loaded category. One where Martin Short should be the favorite for his incredible performance in Damages, showing his versatility, if not for so many other wonderful repeat nominees. John Slattery is one of the most enjoyable things on Mad Men, and Aaron Paul is arguably a better actor in Breaking Bad than two-time winner Bryan Cranston (blasphemy, I know). Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) probably should have been nominated instead for his guest work on House, but Emmy voters love him. And then there’s the two previous winners: Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn for Lost. A darn-near impossible category to choose. If Emmy voters love Breaking Bad so much, then they should recognize Paul. Short’s work was unexpectedly great, but he played a smaller role than Paul. However, I think the Academy wants to reward Lost in some way, and this is their best chance. But who? Locke or Linus? Remember, they’re only supposed to base it off one episode. And while O’Quinn had the tougher task of playing two characters, “Dr. Linus” was such a great character piece, I think Emerson wins it again.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Most of the other categories are pretty much the same group as always, with a few exceptions. But this one has a lot of newcomers. Of course, for Modern Family, Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen. I don’t find them as funny as the male members of this ensemble cast, but they are very deserving of the nominations. Holland Taylor gets a nod. I can’t say anything about her performance because I don’t watch Two and a Half Men. Kristen Wiig got another nomination for Saturday Night Live, as did Jane Krakowski for 30 Rock. But there’s no suspense in this category. Glee‘s Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) will wipe the floor with these also-rans and use their tears to polish her trophy.
Other things of note I like:
Matthew Fox and Lost each getting nominations for the final season (O’Quinn, Emerson and Elizabeth Mitchell did as well). Fox’s first.
Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm getting nominations for their great “Seinfeld Reunion” season
Charlie Sheen didn’t get a nomination for the second time. They’re sick of him.
Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler getting nominations for Friday Night Lights (yeah, I mentioned it already…it’s worth saying twice!)
Amy Poehler getting a nomination for Parks & Recreation. Sure, it’s because of their love of her, not because the show is the second-best comedy on the air. But still, it makes me think Nick Offerman was this-close to getting his own nomination if not for Modern Family and Glee.
Sharon Gless getting the biggest surprise nomination of the bunch. She got a supporting nod for her role as Michael Weston’s mother, Madeline, on Burn Notice. Awesome!
We’ll do more predictions and breakdowns in August before the Emmys (August 29). I wasn’t looking forward to them as much with Jimmy Fallon hosting instead of Neil Patrick Harris…but these nominees make up for it.
Maybe I’ll do a post about problems with this list too. But I feel like focusing on the positive, not 30 Rock and Glee‘s ridiculous crop of nominations…or 24 being snubbed.