Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brief Comments on Emmy Noms

So they've come out (you can see the entire list HERE).

The ones that I'm happiest about:
-Kristin Chenoweth ("Pushing Daisies") and Amy Poehler ("Saturday Night Live") in the Best Supporting Comedy Actress category. Poehler makes history by being, believe it or not, the first "SNL" performer to get a major acting nomination since the show began in 1975.
-"Dexter" for Best Drama series and Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall, for Best Drama Actor.
-Jeff Probst ("Survivor") for Best Reality Host. Even if the show itself has not been consistently good (though the last one was pretty exciting), Probst is a pioneer in this field and has always been good at his job.
-The multiple nominations for Ricky Gervais, one of the funniest people on the planet, and his "Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale."
-Multiple nominations for "Battlestar Galactica," though that's only a consolation for its not having made even the semi-finals round for the Best Drama Series category.

The ones that spoiled my fun:
-No Mary McDonnell ("Battlestar Galactica") in the Best Drama Actress category. Travesty! But it was sort of expected.
-Despite reaping an astounding 12 nominations, "Pushing Daisies," one of the most inventive and amusing shows on TV, failed to get a nod for Best Comedy Series. What gives?

Honestly, those two things have dissipated my interest in the awards this year, though of course I'll still be rooting for my favorites. Right now I'd love to see this happen on Emmy night (21 September):

BEST DRAMA SERIES - "Dexter" (Or: "House")
BEST DRAMA ACTOR - Hugh Laurie, "House" (Or: Michael C. Hall, "Dexter")
BEST DRAMA ACTRESS - Glenn Close, "Damages"
BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR - William Shatner, "Boston Legal"
BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal" (Or: Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy")
BEST COMEDY ACTOR - Steve Carell, "The Office" (Or: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock," Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies")
BEST COMEDY ACTRESS - Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" ( Or: Tina Fey, "30 Rock")
BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR - Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother" (Or: Jeremy Piven, "Entourage")
BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live" (Or: Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies," Jean Smart, "Samantha Who?")

Friday, July 04, 2008

Emmy Awards Wish-list

The television Academy that awards the yearly Emmys is doing something new this year: releasing their top 10 lists in the major categories. That means we know in advance the 10 shows or people who have a chance of being the five nominees for each of those categories. No more nail-biting and hoping against all hope until nomination night for your favorites to be nominated. And this time, the voters will get to really see those 10 shows and performances and pick their five favorites from those.

The lists for the categories can be seen here. I'm happiest about the Mary McDonnell nod (she totally deserves at the very least a nomination). Now that the lists are out, here's my wish-list for the nominees (and winners in bold) in the comedy and drama series and acting categories:

"The Office"
"Pushing Daisies"
"30 Rock"
"Two and a Half Men"

Of these, I only regularly watch "Entourage" and "Pushing Daisies." The latter is amazing. Maybe not as funny as outrageous comedy shows could be, but it's the most outstanding one in this bunch in terms of overall production and concept. I don't actually watch a lot of "The Office" and "30 Rock," but Steve Carrell is great and so is the cast of "30 Rock." The few episodes of "Two and a Half Men" that I've seen were really funny, so I'm choosing it over the other shows, which I'm either sadly unfamiliar with or not liking at all ("Family Guy" and "Ugly Betty").

"Boston Legal"
"Friday Night Lights"
"The Tudors"

I love "Dexter" and "House." I've also always liked "Boston Legal." I think "Friday Night Lights" deserves a nomination. I have not seen a single episode of "The Tudors," but I like costume dramas, so it's getting my vote. I've heard that "The Wire" is really good, but I haven't seen an episode. Ditto the others...except "Grey's Anatomy," which IMO should NOT be here over great shows like the criminally overlooked "Battlestar Galactica."

Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
Brian Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Hugh Laurie, "House"
James Spader, "Boston Legal"

Laurie deserves an Emmy NOW. It's unbelievable that he has not won yet. Hall should at least be nominated with his charmingly deceptive performance as Dexter Morgan. Spader, last year's winner, is always great, so he should be in the top five again. I just chose Chandler because I'm familiar with the show and he's decent in it, and Cranston because I love the idea of him doing drama. I'd probably have chosen Gabriel Byrne if I had been able to watch his show, as I like the guy as an actor.

Glenn Close, "Damages"
Minnie Driver, "The Riches"
Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters"
Mary McDonnell, "Battlestar Galactica"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

McDonnell totally deserves this. Her performance in her submitted episode, "Faith," is a masterclass in acting. I like Field's and Sedgwick's performances in their respective shows. Close is great in anything, especially when she plays someone mean as she does in "Damages." I like Driver, so I chose her over Hargitay (whose performance I don't particularly like), Hunter (whose show I can't be inclined to watch), and the others about whom I cannot form an opinion.

Christian Clemenson, "Boston Legal"
Ted Danson, "Damages"
T.R. Knight, "Grey's Anatomy"
William Shatner, "Boston Legal"
Blair Underwood, "In Treatment"

Shatner is a hoot; I love watching him in anything. Clemenson as Jerry Espenson is endearing. Much as I hate the show he's in, Knight's performance has been okay for me. I just chose Danson and Underwood because they're the ones I know among the other semi-finalists. I wouldn't mind either of them getting dropped.

Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal"
Jill Clayburgh, "Dirty Sexy Money"
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers and Sisters"
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy"

This was a tough one for me, at least for picking my preferred winner. I love Bergen in "Boston Legal," but unless she's had a much meatier role in this latest season (which I haven't seen), I'm not so convinced that she should win. On the other hand, Wilson and Oh are just about the only good things in "Grey's Anatomy" for me. And Wilson is great. I also like Griffiths in "Brothers and Sisters." I don't watch "Dirty Sexy Money," but I loved Clayburgh in Running with Scissors.

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
*Zach Braff, "Scrubs"
Steve Carrell, "The Office"
Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies"
*Josh Radnor, "How I Met Your Mother"

Like I said, I don't regularly watch "The Office," but Carrell's hilarious anywhere. So is Baldwin. I love Pace's show much more than him, but he makes for an endearing hero. I'd like Braff and Radnor to get in, but I put in asterisks because the last two slots are uncertain and they might not be in the semi-finals after all.

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies"
Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine"
Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program"

Another tough one to pick the winner for. I ultimately went for Fey because, while I've laughed harder at Louis-Dreyfus's turn, I appreciate Fey's more subdued performance more. Friel is simply adorable. I normally find Silverman overly crass, but it would be amusing to see her get nominated. Huffman's a great actress, whether it's drama or comedy, so she deserves this over her co-stars (especially Longoria, who inexplicably got into the semi-finals whereas Teri Hatcher did not).

Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"
Kevin Dillon, "Entourage"
John Krasinski, "The Office"
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"

Harris or Piven? I love them both. In the end I chose the former, as I like his show more and Piven's been winning everything. It's time for Barney Stinson! Cryer's pretty funny as support to Charlie Sheen in their show. I just chose Dillon and Krasinski because I either do not know or like the others. Rainn Wilson annoys me.

Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies"
Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock"
Amy Poehler, "Saturday Night Live"
Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men"
Vanessa Williams, "Ugly Betty"

I love the fact that Chenoweth, Krakowski, and Poehler are all in the list. Chenoweth is hilarious as Olive Snook. Krakowski has always been a great comedian and should have been nominated several times already even back during her "Ally McBeal" days. But I chose Poehler because she's simply a riot and can be so in so many guises, whether it's as Dakota Fanning, Hilary Clinton, or "Project Runway" winner Christian Siriano. Taylor's okay, much more deserving than co-star Conchata Ferrell in my opinion. I don't like the "Ugly Betty" show, but Williams works out her role pretty well.