Thursday, 19 July 2012

Emmy Wrap Up and Wrapping up my Dream Ballot

I’m almost always bad on reacting to award nominations in a blogging capacity. Even if I spend days predicting them, or anticipating them or writing up my fake ballots about them I almost never like writing reactionary posts to them. For, I often feel sad because people I like don’t get love and criticising people for who they love is a bit silly and more importantly – everyone else always has a look at their issues so it ends up making for something of a white noise situation. Do we really need ANOTHER response?

Still, I’ve been doling out my personal emmy ballos in some major categories and I feel it’d be remiss of me not to complete the final ones (writing, directing and series) because the nominees are announced. So, I’ll take a look through the nominees of the major categories and give my thoughts on inclusions and omissions. You’d be better suited heading elsewhere for a list of complete nominees (like HERE), although I’m sure you’ve already perused them. If you haven’t, though, or just care to hear me blather on – join me in my Emmy nominees’ post-mortem.

Christine Baranski in The Good Wife
Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey
Anna Gunn in Breaking Bad
Christina Hendricks in Mad Men
Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife
Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

(My ballot HERE)

Omissions: Rose Byrne in Damages; Lena Headey in Game of Thrones; Kelly MacDonald in Boardwalk Empire;

It feels curmudgeonly to complain about this list when all six performers add goodness to their show. And, of the six – Panjabi and Branski make my ballot, and Gunn and Hendricks make my runners-up list. The Downton ladies were my favourite part of the first series, but I’ve been underwhelmed by the entire show’s second season as well as their performers.
The Macdonald nonappearance hurts terribly especially since I didn’t see it coming. I’d even thought with the open field she’d have a shot at winning, alas no. I’d choose Panjabi or Baranski to win, both with a number of fine submission episodes to choose from – a win for the former (already a winner two years ago) is unlikely, a win for the latter is possible as is one for Hendricks and Smith. Hendricks seems like a lock in pundits eyes, but I don’t think it’s that much of a runaway.

SHOULD WIN: Panjabi or Baranski
WILL WIN: Smith or Hendricks

Mayim Bialik in The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen in Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten in Desperate Housewives
Sofia Vergara in Modern Family
Merritt Wever in Nurse Jackie
Kristin Wiig in Saturday Night Live

(My ballot HERE)

Omissions: Eve Best in Nurse Jackie; Anna Chlumsky in Veep; JANE KRAKOWSKI in 30 Rock; Zosia Mamet in Girls; Busy Philipps in Cougar Town

The Krakowski snub hurts. For a number of reasons. For one, she’s been replaced with six performers (one on my ballot, see below) neither of whom has done finer work than she this season. She’s the MVP of her show, she’s somewhat overdue and this category is the poorest acting category.
 Even the delightful shock of Wever’s name doesn’t dull the blow, especially since she’s the least likely to earn a win. This category, save for Wever, is open-ended. The few episodes of The Big Bang Theory I watch (I show I cannot appreciate) seem pointed towards playing up Bialik’s performance and she’s been trumpeted much, Bowen could repeat a win, or Vergara could get lucky. Wiig could be rewarded on her departure or sympathy could win Joosten the vote. And that sounds gauche, but delightful as she is on the season’s final episodes the nomination is a head scratcher.

WILL WIN: Vergara or Bialik

Jim Carter in Downton Abbey
Brendan Coyle in Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones
Giancarlo Esposito in Breaking Bad
Jared Harris in Mad Men
Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad

(My ballot HERE)

Omissions: Dylan Baker in Damages; Alan Cumming in The Good Wife; Walton Goggins in Justified; John Goodman in Damages; Vincent Kartheiser in Mad Men; Michael Pitt in Boardwalk Empire

I think most, if not all, of you know how much I was trumpeting Michael Pitt. The lack of nomination for him does not surprise me, but it’s sad either way.
Yes, I am crying over Michael Pitt at the moment. Excuse me.
The two nods for Downton gentlemen proves that love for the show is significant, but as someone who’s cooled on the show’s second season it only upsets me. Even though only Paul makes my ballot, the other three gents do fine work but I’d have been fine with no Esposito and would have preferred Alfie Allen over Dinklage and Kartheiser over Harris. But, such is such.

WILL WIN: Not a clue

Ty Burrell in Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson in Modern Family
Max Greenfield in New Girl
Bill Hader in Saturday Night Live
Ed O’Neill in Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet in Modern Family

(My ballot HERE)

Ommissions: Peter Facinelli in Nurse Jackie; Jason Gann in Wilfred; Nick Offerman and Chris Pratt in Parks and Recreation; Oliver Platt in The Big C; Damon Wayans in Happy Endings

Here’s how it goes – not a single of these gents make my ballot (although one in particular is a worthy nominee). The inclusion of the four males from Modern Family is unfortunate, especially since only Ferguson – and maybe Burrell – did significantly good work this season for me. And the category seems rather open, like its supporting counterpart. Will Burrell or Stonestreet win a second? Or will the baton be passed on to other cast members? Is Hader a threat?

SHOULD WIN: Greenfield
WILL WIN: O’Neill, maybe

My thoughts on the leading and series races, and my ballot for writing and directing nods below the jump...

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

(My ballot HERE)

Omissions: Adam Scott in Parks and Recreation; Elijah Wood in Wilfed

This was always something of a weak category, and things like Cryer being included were a given. I do not care for his show, so I won’t comment on two-time winner Parsons, I’ve not seen all of their but C.K. and Cheadle don’t seem to be poor choices and I’m behind on Curb Your Enthusiasm but David doesn’t seem to be a reprehensible choice either. Who wins? It seems like it could be anyone’s game. Except Cheadle.

SHOULD WIN: Baldwin (or C.K. based on a few episodes)
WILL WIN: Parsons for third?

Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall in Dexter
Jon Hamm in Mad Men
Damian Lewis in Homeland

(My ballot HERE)

Omissions: Kelsey Grammer in Boss; William H. Macy in Shameless; Timothy Olyphant in Justified

I’d like to make a point, Hall doesn’t make my list of personal nominees (he’s a runner up) but even if Dexter has seen better days to claim that Hall is giving a bad performance on speaks to one of my least favourite tropes of awards’ reaction. Even if a show is no longer excellent, it doesn’t mean that a good performance suddenly become substandard. This is a fair line-up. Bonneville sticks out, but he did fair work. I’ve colder on Hamm that everyone else, but he still had a good season and he (along with Hall) make my list of runners up. The remaining three are all worthy winners.
Cranston seems poised for a fourth, but I’m immediately doubtful, if Lewis wins I don’t see the show losing series and thought Boardwalk Empire makes series the love seems a bit more muted…still, I don’t think he’s out of the game.

SHOULD WIN: Lewis (or Buscemi or Cranston)
WILL WIN: Buscemi or Lewis or Cranston….or Hamm? Yikes

Lena Dunham in Girls
Zooey Deschanel in New Girl
Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey in 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in Veep
Mellissa McCarthy in Mike and Molly
Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation

(My ballot HERE)

Omissions: Laura Dern in Enlightened; Laura Linney in The Big C; Martha Plimpton in Raising Hope

The thing is, this isn’t a bad lot, but the omissions of the Laura’s hurt because it’s a ballot of seven and really I could do without Deschanel and McCarthy, and even Dunham. And, let me focus on another bone to pick. It’s been said before, and the opposing views are loud – but the category says outstanding actress IN a comedy not best COMEDIC actress.
And I know that the opinions get bandied around that it’s unfair for actor in a show that’s not as funny has an easier chance of winning – but if we’re judging not assumed funniness and not actual performance that seems somewhat bizarre to me. And, I wonder if with its laugh-track the decidedly subpar Mike and Molly deserves love over the more low key humour in Enlightened? It’s the thirty something and forty something women who have done great work this year. The category seems down to Poehler and Louis-Dreyfuss and yet, considering the surprises we’ve seen, it could be more competitive than we imagine.

SHOULD WIN: Poehler (although Fey, Falco and Louis-Dreyfuss are good – in that order)
WILL WIN: I’m going out on a limb and saying Dunham, I don’t think she’ll win elsewhere so who knows (spoilers, Poehler and Louis-Dreyfuss

Kathy Bates in Harry’s Law
Glenn Close in Damages
Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey
Claire Danes in Homeland
Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men

(My ballot HERE)

Omissions: Mereille Enos in The Killing; Emmy Rossum in Shameless; Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer; Kerry Washington in Scandal

Without Bates this is a fantastic line-up, sure I’d ex out Dockery and probably Moss for Sedgwick and Rossum but I won’t complain. Each of these other women are making strident steps in making acting in television drama better and although I suspect this shall be Claire Danes to lose, kudos to all the women for a year for performances well delivered.

SHOULD WIN: Danes (or Close)

Community (“Remedial Chaos Theory”)
Girls (“Pilot”)
Louie (“Pregnant”)
Parks and Recreation (“The Debate”)
Parks and Recreation (“Win, Lose or Draw”)


Nurse Jackie (“One Armed Jacks”)
30 Rock (“Kidnapped by Danger”)
Parks and Recreation (“The Debate”)
Parks and Recreation (“The Trial of Leslie Knope”)
Wilfred (“Happiness”)

The thing is, the pilot episode was one of the weaker instalments of Girls, but voters love giving nods to pilots and they seemed to especially love Girls. True, there’s one spill-over from my ballot, but it’s a fine group of nominees. I’m especially thrilled that Modern Family didn’t manage a slew of nominees for its writing this year – I’d love for Poehler to be victorious, the category itself seems particular up in the air.

SHOULD WIN: Parks and Recreation (“The Debate”)
WILL WIN: Parks and Recreation (“Win Lose or Draw”) or Girls

Downton Abbey (Episode 7)
Homeland (“Pilot”)
Mad Men (“The Other Woman”)
Mad Men (“Commissions and Fees”)
Mad Men (“Far Away Places”)


Boardwalk Empire (“What does the bee do?”)
Boardwalk Empire (“Under god’s power she flourishes”)
Breaking Bad (“Crawl Space”)
Homeland(“Good Soldier”)
Justified (“The Devil You Know”)

I don’t know if I’ve quite given significant ink to the disconnect I feel to Mad Men, in short, I like but do not love it. Of the three nominated ones, the most deserving is “Commissions and Fees” (although their finest episode “Signal 30” just barely missed by ballot). I knew Justified was a long shot, but the lack of love for Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad for their writing is disappointing. Although I preferred later episodes of Homeland, the writing in the pilot is just as on point as the later ones. I may be misreading cues, but I don’t think the three nominations means Mad Men is heading to a win.

SHOULD WIN: Homeland
WILL WIN: Homeland or Downton Abbey

Curb Your Enthusiasm (“Palestinian Chicken”)
Girls (“She Did”)
Louie (“Duckling”)
Modern Family (“Virgin Territory”)
Modern Family (“Baby on Board”)
New Girl (“Pilot”)

The Big C (“Little C”)
Community (“Basic Lupine Theory”)
Enlightened (“Pilot”)
Girls (“Hannah’s Diary”)
30 Rock (“Meet the Woggels”)
Wilfred (“Pilot”)

The thing is, even if I’ve flipflopped on being committed to Girls the “Hannah’s Diary” episode was so easily its peak, it’s a true shame it didn’t get the citation for direction – but I suspect voters were eager to trump Dunham more than the show itself. I can’t comment on either the Louie or Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, which leaves me with four episodes I don’t care much for. Shame the fine opening episode of Enlightened or Wilfred couldn’t get some love, but – alas – both shows were resolutely shut-out.

SHOULD WIN: None that I saw, Girls if pushed (Louieor Curb Your Enthusiasm must have been better)
WILL WIN: Modern Family (“Baby on Board”) or Louie

Boardwalk Empire (“To the Lost”)
Breaking Bad (“Face Off”)
Downton Abbey (“Episode 7”)
Homeland (“Pilot”)
Mad Men (“The Other Woman”)

Boardwalk Empire (“To the Lost”)
Boardwalk Empire (“Under god’s power she flourishes”)
Breaking Bad (“Crawl Space”)
Game of Thrones (“Blackwater”)
Homeland (“Clean Skin”)

How bizarre, even I – who am oftentimes frustrated by Game of Thrones - cannot deny the fine direction at work in “Blackwater”, but there it goes. I’m glad one of my picks made it in, and the pilot of “Homeland” and the finale of “Breaking Bad” were both considered – the former more than the latter. My issues with “The Other Woman” aside, I’d admit it’s better directed than written, the Downton Abbey nod is not my favourite, but it’s hardly unsavoury.

SHOULD WIN: Boardwalk Empire
WILL WIN: Homeland

The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Modern Family
30 Rock

Cougar Town
Happy Endings
Nurse Jackie
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock

It amused me that the outrage this morning was over 30 Rock gaining an “unfair” nod, which only proves that people didn’t watch this season or being deliberately obtuse. With Parks and Recreation being surprisingly omitted it’s the best of the nominees, from my – potentially skewed – perspective. Another argument I heard, is that one cannot be mad at Girls being nominated because it’s a unique choice, and forward thinking. I’m hardly a hater of the show (it diverts between being good and occasionally very good) but forgiving a series with issues because its intentions are good isn’t noble, it’s lazy. But, with the only comedy series getting mentioned for acting, writing and directing could it be the frontrunner….? Nah…

WILL WIN: Modern Family

Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

Boardwalk Empire
The Good Wife

No good shows are on network TV! Because, apparently, The Good Wife and Parenthood don’t exist. Whatever. Even with my lack of love for Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones this is a solid lineup and although I don’t look forward to a fifth win for Mad Men I’ll be happy that at least my two favourite dramas of the year (Homeland and Boardwalk Empire have been remembered.

SHOULD WIN: Boardwalk Empire
WILL WIN: Homeland….maybe? Possibly Mad Men

Stray Thoughts
  • The Office earns not a single Emmy nomination. Make of that what you will.
  • Neither Susan Sarandon nor Carrie Preston earned guest nods for their work on The Big C and The Good Wife. Even perennial nominee Mariska Hargitay was left off (thank god). Is there a smear campaign on against redheads?
  • American Horror Story ruled the miniseries category gaining 17 nods.
  • JASON RITTER got a nomination for his guest work on Parenthood. My favourite surprise.
  • No network dramas up for Drama Series, three (of six) network comedies up for Comedy Series
  • Four performers nominated for acting in a drama series from network shows (three from The Good Wife, one from Harry’s Law)
  • First time that 30 Rock hasn’t manage a nod for its writing since its series premiere.
  • The Emmy’s are worth something. Seeing what the collective academy thinks of their peers is significant and I’m just a bit sad, now, that what I love doesn’t match up with theirs. It doesn’t make them idiots, or out-of-touch. (Except in the case of snubbing Jane Krakowksi and Michale Pitt. That’s just stupid.)

So, there goes my lengthy reactions to the Emmy awards. Regardless of whether you read all through or not, what made you happiest and saddest about the nominees this morning?


Luke said...

I LOVE that someone else out there on the blogosphere loves them some Good Wife as much as I do - nobody does procedural-on-its-face-but-SO-much-more-than-that better! It's CBS's crown jewel, as far as I'm concerned. And what do you think it will take for the ensemble at Parks and Rec to EVER get recognized?? I thought maybe Scott would sneak in this time around, but no such luck. For shame, Emmy! (And I'm with you on Krakowski - 30 Rock has had such a resurgence of greatness this past season.)

Marcy said...

It kind of frustrates me that Elisabeth Moss doesn't just submit herself in the supporting role category. She has a better chance winning there (well not this year, but probably previous years).

The Office snub seems to suggest that it's time for the show to end. I haven't cared for The Office since season three and from what I've seen from post-season three hasn't really impressed me.