Thursday, July 06, 2006

Of Emmys and Chickens

Well, the Emmy nominations were announced, so please excuse me while I go pound my head against a rock until one of us gets bloody.

I'll rant more about this in the comments after I've had some time to process and to think about what I'm going to write for tomorrow's paper, but my initial reaction is that this is even worse than I was expecting. When the TV Academy announced its plan to revamp the nominations process, I was optimistic for about a half-second about the idea that the likes of Lauren Graham and "Veronica Mars" might finally get some love. Then I realized that the new process involved the same kind of blue-ribbbon panels that, until a few years ago, were responsible for all those years of Tyne Daly and Candice Bergen winning over and over and over again. The people who have the free time to sit on a panel tend to be either unemployed, retired, and/or old, and their tastes don't reflect the working body of the membership.

My fear was that we would just get more of the same nominees, but rather than obvious repeats, we got Emmy's Golden Oldies: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Stockard Channing, Geena Davis, etc., etc., etc. James Gandolfini? Snubbed? Hugh Laurie? Snubbed. Edie Falco, who all but won the damn award with "Sopranos" episode two? Snubbed.

There was a sprinkling of fresh blood -- "The Office," Denis Leary, the First Couple from "24" -- but overall this is a fiasco. Not that "Desperate Housewives" was good this year, but the fact that neither of last year's comedy or drama series winners were even nominated this year makes me think that the Academy is going to do an about-face on the new system in, oh, two or three days.

Meanwhile, today's column link: a preview of "Big Brother: All-Stars" that's really a look back on that wonderfully catastrophic first season of the show.

24 comments:

Chip Chandler said...

Why did I abandon any sense of skepticism when it came to this new nominating system? Why would I ever even think that Lauren Graham or Kristen Bell would have a shot? Now I'm bummed for the rest of the day.

Devin McCullen said...

Well, Christopher Meloni finally got nominated, I guess I'm happy about that. (Of course, they had to give him the award-bait episode with his painful childhood memories to get it.) But beyond that....wow. I'm not as big a Lost fan as some folks, but all they pull down is a Guest Actor for Desmond? Debra Messing over Marcia Cross??? I mean, this is bad even by Emmy standards. I guess I should be relieved Chandra Wilson made it.

And the official "Categorical Confusion" of this year: Jon Cryer's a supporting actor? Huh?

Louis said...

Christopher Meloni and Kiefer Sutherland both got nominations, but James Gandolfini didn't? I can only take that to mean the TV Academy now values squinting over acting.

Mariska Hargitay over Edie Falco? The hell you say!

And Two and a Half Men shouldn't even be in the same room with the other nominees for Best Comedy.

Adam said...

Nothing for The Office's supporting cast?

At least South Park's "Trapped In The Closet" was nominated.

Lindy said...

Where is My Name is Earl on this list? I didn't really expect our favorites on the WB or UPN to be nominated, but I am surprised that the Emmy people practically ignored a popular newcomer on a major network. A single episode of Earl is funnier than a season's worth of Two and a Half Men highlights. (Then again what isn't?) At least they didn't nominate Will and Grace for Best Comedy.

I'll be pulling for Jaime Pressley, but other than that I couldn't care less. What a weird, boring list.

undercover black man said...

Glad to see: Ricky Gervais and "Extras" nominated for writing (the Kate Winslet ep.).

Shocked to see: Lisa Kudrow nominated for "The Comeback," which blew.

Cheers to Andre Braugher and Clifton Collins Jr., two hellified actors (even though I never got around to watching "Thief").

undercover black man said...

Also, the Emmy voters again take notice of "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!"... which more people ought to.

lady t said...

I think it's totally appalling that Veronica Mars was ignored-explain to me how Geena Davis can get nominated for a show that was canceled mid-frickin'-season but Kristen Bell can't get some pirate love? Not to mention the excellant supporting cast,writers,etc.

And speaking of supporting cast,why was Rainn Wilson not up for Best Supporting Comedy? Or Jenna Fischer for Best Comedic Actress? I'm happy to see Denis Leary and Christopher Meloni,not to mention Steve Carell but many of these choices were so uninspired.

Dark Tyler said...

My first reaction was shock, then disappointment, then shock again. That's one step further than the previous years (I usually stopped at disappointment). I'm not sure if these noms were the best or the worst thing that ever happened to the Emmys. I mean, there will always be stuff to cry over (The Shield, Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, Gilmore Girls and other great shows were and will keep getting snubbed, mostly) but the big picture is that the Academy needed a shakeup, and that's what they got.

To me, the new system might have been half-baked, but it still was a step towards the right direction. Call me elitist, but a blue ribbon commitee will produce better result than the full body's popularity contest, should it be chosen more wisely. I mean, I read posts over at the Gold Derby forums by people who were in the panels, who were essentialy watching, like, 4-5 stupid shows like Two and a Half Men or dinosaurs like Will & Grace; of course the results would be horrific. How difficult is it for these panels to consist of people who actually watch TV?

Still, I'm glad for the complete snubs of Lost and DH, the many nods for Grey's, 24 (the curse is lifted! The witch is dead!) and the finale of Six Feet Under.

Oh, and for Kenny Ortega's multiple nods. What? (lol)

David Carroll said...

Hooray for Kevin James! Finally some recognition for "King of Queens," which has been as consistently funny as any show for the past eight years, thanks in large part to James' gift for physical humor.

My only major disagreements are the nomination for Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback was as bad as TV gets) and the lack of nomination for James Gandolfini. Even in a down year for the Sopranos, he's easily the best actor on TV.

Edward Copeland said...

As my friend Josh R has pointed out, Ellen Burstyn got nominated for supporting actress in a movie for a "12 second performance." He clocked it twice. This slate is just bizarre.

vance said...

Emmy and I are officially OVER. Broken Up. I've been hurt too many times before and this was the last straw. What a horrible slate of nominees.

Vic said...

I agree with pretty much every complaint voiced here, especially w/r/t to the inexplicable exclusion of Gandolfini and Falco.

But for the moment I'm choosing to ignore all of the injustices and enjoy the fact that Will Arnett finally snagged a nom for the best comedic performance of the decade. I'll miss you, GOB.

Carrie said...

Can I join you in the rock head beating? I need it. The only (ONLY) things that aren't making me completely angry are the comedy series nominations -- The Office, Arrested Development, Curb (even though this wasn't its best year) AND Scrubs? That's good stuff. Also, the supporting actor comedy nominations have some gems. Jamie Pressly nominated? Great stuff. Will Arnett nominated? BEST STUFF EVER. GOB!!!

Everything else sucked. I'm going to go cry now.

Anonymous said...

No Falco, Graham, Gandolfini, I agree, they must have blinders on.

And what about John C. McGinley, hasn't he done enough the last 4 years for a supporting actor nod. John Cryer? Bryan Cranston?

At least Will and Grace is over now, but somehow I feel 2.5 Men is going to take over the Raymond/Friends/Frasier tradition of taking home bagfulls of undeserved emmys year after year after year.

Anon said...

Sure, there are always snubs -- the Laurie snub seems weirdest to me, and the Bell snub hurts most -- but I don't see how this list is so much worse than any other recent year. A mix of old and new, with too much old and not enough new. I will agree that the Lead Actress categories in Comedy and Drama seem totally out of whack, particularly when shows like Scrubs, Grey's, and The Office are recognized in other categories. Nonetheless, there's _some_ recognition of Grey's, House, Thief, Earl, Scrubs, Arrested, Bleak House, Lost -- even Weeds and Big Love got directing nods, though I would have preferred those nods to go to Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls.

It seems like premium cable _and_ basic cable are getting some respect, while the WB/UPN=CW crew still gets dumped on. Still, two out of three ain't bad. In general, I can find someone to root for in most categories, which is about all one can hope for.

Maybe I'm just mellow because I don't have to be apoplectic that The Wire got snubbed this year.

Anon

Jeremy said...

The fact that "According to Jim" got nominated for anything at all makes me nauseous.

Glad to see my sad-it's-cancelled-guilty-pleasure "Out Of Practice" getting some love in the Lead Actress category though.

Anonymous said...

I am actually glad that "The Sopranos" got snubbed. The show definitely suffered this past season (I'm calling it a season - I don't care what anyone says), especially in the writing category, so this will hopefully serve as a wake-up call.

Alan Sepinwall said...

But "Sopranos" did get a writing nomination, and a nod for best drama. I loved this season, but even the people who didn't can't honestly argue there were 10 better actors on TV than Gandolfini and Falco.

Dark Tyler said...

The fact that the smaller categories don't seem to be in agreement with the big 6 is solely because of the new system. That's why Alfre Woodard is nominated but no major players are, that's why Lost has 9 nods but no major ones, that's why SFU is EVERYWHERE except up for Best Drama.

And that's why The Sopranos are up for writing and direction and many more stuff (Imperioli? Oh, come on!) but no Lead Actor/Actress. Frankly, altough I find it ridiculous that the lead couple of the show has gone AWOL, I have to admit I'm a little bit happy. We have seen better stuff in the past from Gandolfini, and I'm fairly certain there were, actually, 5 better actors this year. Ditto for Falco. The fact that the ones who were nominated were NOT, in fact, better, is a different story.

Plus, HBO was cheating anyway when they broke the season in two parts. So, what, were they gonna get nods twice for, supposedly, one season? That's just wrong. After all, the academy is probably gonna take the new system back, so Gandolfini and Falco are both going to win next year, with their swan songs as those specific characters.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Dark Tyler, you can maybe (maybe) make an argument for Gandolfini's absence (though not for some of these nominees, and not without Hugh Laurie in the bunch), but there is not a single actress anywhere on television who was better than Edie Falco was in the first four or five episodes of this season. Not Kristen Bell. Not Mary McDonnell. Nobody.

Who are the five you would say were better?

And the whole "it's all one season" thing was just contractual BS designed to avoid the salary renegotiations they wound up having to do anyway. It's two seasons. "Kaisha" ended with a family tableau, just like most of the other season finales.

Toby said...

I agree with Gandolfini being snubbed; I don't think there was anything special in his performance this season. But Edie Falco nailed it in the early part of the season with her bedside vigil.

And when talking about 'Lost', I'm sure most will think in terms of Terry O'Quinn or Josh Holloway being overlooked, but what about Jorge Garcia? He definitely had the best range among the regulars this season.

Stevie said...

After that scene in the second episode, I turned to my husband and told him that every other TV actress should forgo an Emmy tape this year. I love me some Kristen Bell, but I didn't think she'd really get nominated ... but this? No Edie Falco or Mary McDonnell? But Two and Half Men gets multiple nominations? No thanks.

Dark Tyler said...

Guess I stepped into that one. I actually started making an argument about Gandolfini, who would not, in fact, have made it into my Dream Ballot. Nor would, for that matter, Chris Meloni, Denis Leary or Martin freakin' Sheen (whom I love but for god's sake, he was barely in five or six episodes this season).

Somehow, though, I also mentioned Falco, without having actually thought which actresses would have filled my Ballot instead. Having in mind that this is TV we're talking about (so I'm not going to judge a season-long performance based on a couple of episodes, however brilliant she might have been there), I'm going to insist that there are a couple of actresses I liked better this season. Kristen Bell was essentially in every single shot of a very demanding show, delivering sarcastic one-twos while playing the drama to the maximum. Frances Conroy made me cry. Again. Mariska Hargitay carries a procedural show on her shoulders and makes every scene seem more interesting than it actually is (I think that her '911 Call' tape should become part of drama school courses... I watched breathless through 45 minutes during which a woman was talking to a machine).

But after these, I think I'm done. I tried to find two more, I couldn't. Falco beat me. Argh.