Thursday, July 19, 2012

Emmys surprises – and a few notable snubs

When I took a look at the Emmys list today one thing jumped out at me: ‘American Horror Story’ got a lot of nominations.

Then I realized that they were all in the miniseries category.


How is ‘American Horror Story’ – which is returning for its second season this fall – a miniseries?

I’ve seen a lot of people discussing how the show managed to cheat the system this way. The main argument seems to be that AHS is billing itself as an anthology – changing the setting and storyline each season – so it’s not really a show.

That’s a huge cop out.

Personally, and I watched AHS from the first episode until the last, I think they did it because they knew the show didn’t have a shot against all the other cable dramas that are vastly superior.

In my estimation, the only two nominees that AHS might have been able to garner against legitimate competition were Connie Britton in the lead actress category and Jessica Lange in the supporting actress category.

Quite frankly, all of the nominations for AHS are kind of a joke. I just hope they're not rewarded for it.

Here’s a breakdown of each category:

DRAMA SERIES: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downtown Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Mad Men.

Nothing strikes me as surprising in this category – with the possible exception of ‘Game of Thrones.’ I love the show, don’t get me wrong, but the second season was nowhere near as good as the first. Frankly, I would have preferred to have seen ‘Justified’ get the nod, or even ‘The Walking Dead’ or 'Sons of Anarchy' – but I can live with ‘Game of Thrones.’

It’s interesting to note that not one network show made the list. There’s a lesson here. Quality doesn’t stem from procedurals and lame reality shows. It does exist – it just lives on cable.

COMEDY SERIES: The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, Modern Family, 30 Rock, Veep.

This is kind of a boring list – except for HBO’s ‘Girls,’ of course. That show was a little diamond in the rough. Funny. Engaging. Different. Quite frankly, ’30 Rock’ is way past its prime. I think voters just give the show nods because Tina Fey is so awesome. Personally, I would have subbed ’30 Rock’ out with ‘Community’ or ‘Wilfred.’

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: Hugh Bonneville (Downtown Abbey), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), John Hamm (Mad Men), Damien Lewis (Homeland).

This is a pretty solid list. I’ve seen a lot of people crying about Hugh Laurie not getting a nod for the last season of ‘House,’ but I don’t honestly think he deserved one. The only thing I’d sub out here is Timothy Olyphant (Justified) for Hall. Hall is a great actor, but ‘Dexter’ has seen better days and seasons and I didn’t think Hall’s performance was anything spectacular this season. Also, I know it’s a genre show, but can't Andrew Lincoln get some love for his performance in this season's 'The Walking Dead'?

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA: Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law), Glenn Close (Damages), Claire Danes (Homeland), Michelle Dockery (Downtown Abbey), Juliana Margulies (The Good Wife), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men).

This is without a doubt the most boring category in the bunch. I would think that Claire Danes will win this one easily. This is where I would have expected Britton to go if AHS hadn’t tried to trick voters. As it stands, I have very little interest in the category -- and I'm glad Britton has moved on to something new.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA: Jim Carter (Downtown Abbey), Brendan Coyle (Downtown Abbey), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Jared Harris (Mad Men), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad).

This is a busy category. I don’t really want to remove anyone, but I think that John Noble (Fringe) and Walton Goggins (Justified) deserve to be on the list – so I guess I’d bump the ‘Downtown Abbey’ duo to make room for them. I guess it doesn’t matter. Dinklage will win again. He deserves it, but I wish Goggins and Noble would at least garner nominations.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA: Christine Baranski (The Good Wife), Joanne Froggatt (Downtown Abbey), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife), Maggie Smith (Downtown Abbey).

This is another lackluster category for me. I think Smith probably has it wrapped up anyway. This is where Jessica Lange should have been placed to make Smith work for her award.

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Louis C.K. (Louie), Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory).

Baldwin and Cryer don’t deserve to be here. Neither is giving unique performances. Elijah Wood (Wilfred) and Joel McHale (Community) should have gotten their spots. 

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly), Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation).

Again, I like Fey, but she doesn’t belong on the list. I would have subbed her out with Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls). While I think this is McCarthy’s award to lose, I’m hopeful for Dunham. ‘Girls’ was a revelation this season and Dunham was the reason.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY: Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Max Greenfiedl (New Girl), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live), Ed O’Neill (Modern Family), Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family).

I like ‘Modern Family,’ but all four men getting nominations is ridiculous. Personally, I think O’Neill should submit himself in the lead category. Maybe even Burrell. They apparently don’t have the guts, though.  There are a lot of people I can see taking some of these spots over ‘The Modern Family’ men – including a couple from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and Jason Gann (Wilfred).

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Merritt Weaver (Nurse Jackie), Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live).

Bowen should have submitted herself in lead and Vergara has no business on the list. While I’d like to see Bialik get the award, I think Joosten’s death cements the win for her. The notable omission is Zosia Mamet (Girls).


I’m glad to see the nods for Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in ‘Hatfields & McCoys,’ as well as Woody Harrelson (Game Change) in the lead actor in a miniseries category. All are well-deserved.

Julianne Moore should win for 'Game Change' as well, and I’m a little miffed that Ashley Judd is in the category for ‘Missing.’ Since when is a cancelled show a miniseries? That’s just bull.

And, finally, ‘Supernatural’ is never going to get nods for the two leads. However, Jim Beaver deserved a guest actor nod for his fine work this year as the much loved Bobby said goodbye (twice).

What do you think? Which nominees were well deserved? Who got snubbed?


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