Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: Handicapping the Emmys

In today's column, I make my usual misguided attempt to predict who will win the Emmys, along with saying who I want to see win.

Feel free to use this post to discuss the show and the awards as they go along. I'll drop in to kibbitz when I have time during the telecast, but my primary focus is to get two different columns (one for the early edition, one for all the others) done for tomorrow's paper. I should have the final version posted by around 11:30 tonight.

124 comments:

EOTW said...

I'm only going to say this once: Michael Emerson should win. Period. No discussion needed. He is AMAZING to watch on LOST. I just recently watched all 4 seasons in less than three weeks and to say I LOVE the show is not even beginning to describe how much i'm into it. I'd love it to pick up the Best Drama award, but I just feel like MAD MEN had one of those perfect first seasons that few shows get. NO matter what, surely the Hammster is a lock, right, Alan?

J said...

Is it possible to give an anti-Emmy to last night's SNL episode? It was a black hole of suck from which no funny could escape. Miserable. Burn the joint.

David J. Loehr said...

Not to nitpick, but didn't 30 Rock have 17 nominations to Mad Men's 16?

T said...

I can't speak to who _will_ win, but as to who _should_:

-I agree with all the Mad Men and 30 Rock love.
-I think The Amazing Race is still much more entertaining and insightful than Project Runway.
-I like Seacrest, but he's a little bland. Probst is a little smarmy and intrusive for my taste. I find Tom Bergeron smart and funny. I think Bergeron should win.

par3182 said...

"Cranston (who was never even nominated for his hysterical work on "Malcolm in the Middle")"

he was nominated three times

Alan Sepinwall said...

he was nominated three times

Can I hire you as my fact-checker? I seem to have fallen down on the job.

I can pay you in cookies.

LA said...

Two words. Mad Sweep.

Nicole said...

Although I want Mad Men to take it all, I won't be surprised if James Spader or Boston Legal steals a win. I have no faith in those Emmy voters but I do hope to be proved wrong.


I also want Alec Baldwin to win his category. He pulled it off last year as well, and more than deserves it. And for the sake of great comedy, I want Don Rickles to pull the win over Colbert. It's ridiculous that he's even in the same category as the rest of the guys who host a daily show, and continues to outline the idiocy of the non main categories.

I think Bergeron will come off as the best host and deserves the Emmy, not because Dancing with the Stars is a great show, but because he's the one who works live and off the cuff more than any other of the nominated hosts. Heidi Klum's hosting abilities including repeating the same lines over and over again, which is a joke. Probst is a close second in terms of repeating the same thing over and over again, but does have some leeway on Tribal Council.

Zac said...

Here's my picks for the major categories:

Best Drama: Mad Men
Best Actor Drama: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Best Actress Drama: Glenn Close, Damages

Best Comedy: 30 Rock
Best Actor Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Best Actress Comedy: Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Best Mini-Series: John Adams
Best Actor Mini-Series: Paul Giamatti, John Adams
Best Actress Mini-Series: Laura Linney, John Adam

Best Made for TV Movie: Recount

Supporting Actor Comedy: Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Supporting Actress Comedy: Jean Smart, Samantha Who

Supporting Actor Drama: John Slattery, Mad Men
Supporting Actress Drama: Rachel Griffiths, Brothers and Sisters

Supporting Actor Mini-Series: Tom Wilkinson, John Adams
Supporting Actress Mini-Series: Laura Dern, Recount

Writing Drama: Mad Men, "The Wheel"
Writing Comedy: 30 Rock, "Cooter"

I wonder how wrong I'll be?

My personal picks would be vastly different.

Brian said...

The Emmys have basically been illegitimate ever since they started ignoring The Wire and completely lost me when they didn't give one to Gregory Itzin in 2006. I fully expect them to not give one to Emerson tonight.

T said...

Re: Glenn Close, she is a great actress. I am tempted to add an "of course" to that sentence. But in the case of _Damages_, (a) I didn't find the series itself to be entertaining or well-made enough to warrant Emmy consideration for the people involved--particularly with such a dull performance from Rose Byrne, whose character was supposed to be intelligent; and (b) I'm rather inclined to say that even Ms. Close herself didn't really _do_ that much. (I suppose someone could argue that the lack of showiness is a virtue or something, but I'm not getting that kind of vibe in this case.) But I also wouldn't know who to give the Emmy to if not to Ms. Close.

Brent McKee said...

The winner of the Reality or Reality-Competition Host category should be Phil Keoghan, if for no other reason than he effectively has to run the race along with the competitors and stay ahead of them (and he's just as good as Probst). Inexplicably however he was not nominated.

Matt said...

The thing with both Close and "Damages" is that while the middle part of the season was more than a bit of a mess (the bizarre "Patty's son goes crazy" plotline, for instance), the pilot and conclusion are both really really good, and judging on individual episodes? Also, Danson and Ivanek were great through the whole season.

And the Spader episode submission was perfect awards bait--a well-performed monologue that's also politicially fashionable? Cha-ching!

Anonymous said...

THose I dislike , in general, reality shows, Kat Deeley from SYTYCD is the best reason to watch the show. How could she not have been nominated in the host category.

I'm still bitter about the snub, once again,of BSG and it's cast, particularly leading lady Mary McDonnell.

Im surprised that a show with the wit and style of MAD MEN even caught the eye of Emmy. If Mad Men wins, Emmy MAY gain a bit of crediblity again. Maybe.

Debbie

Anonymous said...

Off topic but Alan, I would love to hear what you think of today's NY Times article about the current state of the sitcom.

They argue that with Reality Shows pushing the envelope so much in terms of how willing they are to embarrass their contestants, it's left sitcoms without a place to play that traditional role (in the past embarrassing their characters has been a big source of humor, but now it's harder to do as reality shows have taken it to such an extreme.)

What's your take?

Nicole said...

There only seem to be three hosts talking.. hope it's a bit.

Nicole said...

Piven again... couldn't they even try to watch the other shows?

I sense Spader will win his category.

Uncle Ira said...

Probst's tux didn't come with a tie??

Alan Sepinwall said...

Piven was barely even in "Entourage" last year. Sigh...

Roger said...

I'm disappointed with the first two picks so far. But, then again, I'm pretty consistently disappointed with the Emmys anyhow, so its living up to expectations.

Mrglass said...

It doesn't start well... Congratulations to Boston Legal people!

Andrea said...

OK - It's already a joke. Jean Smart? Really?

Nicole said...

The audience seemed a bit quiet when Jean Smart won.. is she unpopular?
Not thrilled with her win either, when Amy Poehler showed in 3 minutes why she should have won.

And Josh Groban singing 30 songs? Is this the Bizarro Emmys?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Never underestimate both the narcissism of Hollywood when it comes to honoring work about Hollywood (Piven) or the number of voters of a certain age who like to honor peers who are still out there working (Jean Smart).

Alan Sepinwall said...

Probably the last guy I would have expected in this category, but people who watched Damages all the way to the end insist he was brilliant.

Nicole said...

Wow - unexpected and yet still a worthy win. Yay Zelko!

Gervais/Carrel - best moment so far.

Jenn said...

Well, I'm 0 and 3. But that Ivanek guy is a bonafide HiTG, so that's cool

Alan Sepinwall said...

Ricky Gervais? Genius. Steve Carell? Even funnier just keeping a straight face.

Nicole said...

For once the "comedy" was funny with Gervais.. more of that and less of the boring host banter.

Stewart and Colbert didn't even bother keeping a straight face so it must have been hard for Carell to keep it straight.

Ryan said...

Piven shouldn't have won; I thought Kevin Dillon actually brought a few welcome human moments to Drama last year and should have won it.

That said, at least Piven took a shot at the unfunny rotating host format.

Also, kudos to Zeljko Ivanek. I never saw Damages, but he's been turning in solid work for almost 20 years.

Andrea said...

I have a feeling we have seen the funniest part of tonight.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Dianne Wiest was awesome on "In Treatment."

Jenn said...

God, even SNL's writer intro was lame and boring. Yay, Colbert Report.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The Miis were great, but overall, those clips disappointed.

Nicole said...

Glad for Dianne Wiest and even moreso for the Colbert Report, which has been funnier than the Daily Show more often than not.

And Carell already has another Emmy...

Tom said...

No one's ever tried to top Da Ali G Show writers submitting stills from gay porno. Shame...

Andrew said...

So far as line of the night goes, it'll be hard to beat Gervais's "Look at his stupid face."

Nicole said...

This Groban bit cannot end fast enough. Was Baywatch nominated for Emmys? I don't even get why it was included.

All this shows is that there are few good theme songs in today's current shows.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I dunno. It's going on forever, but Groban deserves some props for both the versatility and his willingness to look like a complete fool (South Park, Fresh Prince).

Austin said...

Did he really just say Lauren Conrad? Ugh.

Tina said...

Hooray Laura Linney! Yeah, I know, not a surprise, still good. Nice speech too.

Nicole said...

I didn't watch the Smothers Brothers, but I was wondering if there is a show on network television at the present time that is as political as it was back in its day. I can only think of when Politically Incorrect, but that was cancelled not long after 9/11.

And all awards to the John Adams mini-series are well deserved. Laura Linney was great, and I hope Paul Giamatti gets one too. It was nice to learn something and be entertained.

And this is the second secret political reference tonight...

Nicole said...

The Guest Actor categories should be renamed to "Best Guest Actor in a 30 Rock episode"

And could David Boreanaz be any more awkward around that chick from the Hills. (Why is she there?)

Tina said...

Martin Sheen! That's it, I'm breaking out the West Wing DVDs at the first possible moment...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Thank God it's so boring right now. I'm almost up to the deadline for the early-edition story.

Austin said...

God, I hate prunes.

However, I do love me some Stewart/Colbert.

Alan Sepinwall said...

"America needs a prune!"

Anonymous said...

Do we really need all the, "Go vote!" comments? At least when actors give political rants, it is interesting.

Austin said...

Cutting off praise for articulating thoughts in complete sentences for a plug about best reality show competition?

For shame, Emmys, for shame.

Matt said...

The "go vote" stuff is clearly the "try and be non-partisan" direction that was given. I mean, I'm just impressed that Martin Sheen managed not to crack up while saying that the West Wing was "non-partisan."

Nicole said...

Cranford was really good, I swear.
The prune joke was the best bit after the Gervais bit, which I rewatched on Youtube because the show was that boring.

Anonymous said...

Seems like they just censored Kirk Ellis (John Adams) acceptance speech:

"...this amazing opportunity to talk about a period in our history when articulate men articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences. They used words..."

Cut to commercial - what the hell???

Alan Sepinwall said...

Don Rickles for Emmy host!
Ricky Gervais for Emmy host!
Anyone but the reality people for Emmy host!

Mrglass said...

What Austin said. A shame to cut the first non-sanitized speech with reality crap.

Tina said...

austin: It's possible that was just a cueing error. He paused long enough that I thought he was finished too. The irony of his next few words was admittedly interesting.

Alan Sepinwall said...

It is UNSTOPPABLE. RAAAAAAAACE!!!!

Nicole said...

I second the vote for Rickles as host, making the predictable TAR win a little funny.

It's painful otherwise.

Mad Men put on a rerun for this?

Nicole said...

Yay for The Amazing Race winning, but how does that win and Phil not be nominated for host?

Anonymous said...

Boy I would rather be watching a new episode of Mad Men right now than this load of self congratulatory yap.

Austin said...

Tina: I realized that after a few minutes. It still was an unfortunate coincidence.

Holy crap! I can't believe that Andromeda Strain was even nominated. That show was utter crap.

Andrew said...

That Rickles bit was surreal, watching him go back and forth between his own funny jokes and the terrible pre-written jokes. I concur with the Rickles for Emmy host sentiment.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I can't believe that Andromeda Strain was even nominated.

Almost nobody makes miniseries anymore. They needed something to fill out the category.

Austin said...

Wow. Did I really just see the High School Musical 3 cast shilling for bread?!

Weird. The boys of Mad Men would have a field day with that one.

kathy said...

This show is grim. Why is Tom Hanks wearing my grandmother's glasses?

I fear that Man Men is going to get hosed tonight. If that freaking James Spader walks off with the Emmy, I'm gonna have a cow. I could live with Gabriel Bryne winning, or Michael C. Hall but not Spader.

How is this show so incredibaly awful? I don't understand it's so hard to make a decent awards show?? The hosts are deadly....I love PR but it's clear that Heidi Klum should never ever do live TV...no one in charge saw that before the show went on the air?

Gervais should have hosted the whole night. Or maybe NPH (who rules).

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I was enjoying Rickles until he wouldn't shut up and the TAR people didn't even get to say thank you. I know they've won a million of 'em and probably wouldn't have much new to say, but still: shut up, Don Rickles. (Kathy Griffin hollering "GET UUUP!") was funny, though.

I can't believe they tried to play off Tom Hanks, either. Being Mayor of Hollywood doesn't carry much weight anymore.

Alan Sepinwall said...

NPH talking trash about Howie Mandel! Everyone in the room hates the hosts.

Austin said...

Oh, I can't wait for Tuesday's Colbert Report where he rips Don Rickles a new one.

Is it too early to call Colbert the new Lucci?

Alan Sepinwall said...

That was a pretty good episode of "House," but that's not a good sign at all for "Mad Men."

Nicole said...

I'm so happy Glynn Turman got the Emmy!

I wasn't surprised Rickles got the win, and it will surely lead to Colbert funniness.

I also loved the juxtaposition of how Rickles never won anything but an ashtray and then the shot to Piven, the director subtly indicating someone who has undeservedly won too many too soon. It seems everyone on this show is funnier than the Emmy writers and hosts.

kathy said...

I'm telling you, "Mad Men" is going to get hosed...look for "House" to rob them of best drama series.

Alan Sepinwall said...

"The Wheel" was better than the pilot, but I'll take it.

Austin said...

Alan: Agreed.

Nicole said...

I'm am getting a bad feeling about this. I think Weiner getting the writing award was akin to when the Oscars give the writing award to the quirky film but it doesn't get anything else.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Keep in mind, guys, that Mad Men has only been up for three awards so far tonight, won one, and lost the other two to people who are decidedly not the usual suspects. '

I'm still bracing myself for Spader's fourth win, etc., but it's not like Mad Men has been losing left and right this evening, and it already had four wins at the Creative Arts ceremony.

Tina said...

Well there's a win for Mad Men, hooray. Although to see BSG and of course The Wire lose out is sad. One hopes against hope that The Wire will see justice triumph and then....well, life imitates the show at times...

Uncle Ira said...

I wonder if House won because the Mad Men vote was split between the two episodes..?

Uncle Ira said...

Sorry... Brain fart on my last comment

Anonymous said...

Enough with the political speeches by the winners -- they're preaching to the choir. Take a cue from Linney and Giamatti and go for a well-crafted dig -- not a stump speech.

Indeed said...

At least somebody from the Wire got to be on that stage!

Alan Sepinwall said...

YES!

"They got me! Da honkies shot me!"

Austin said...

Hooray Baldwin! Hooray 30 Rock!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Most predictable award of the night.

Stef said...

Glad to read these comments and see people are having the same reactions I am. The hosts and the writing are terrible. I loved Rickles, Gervais/Carrell, Stewart/Colbert, Pohler/Fey, and the incomparable Steve Martin. I still have hope for Mad Men, but I am just ticked that Michael Emerson, and LOST in general, are not getting the recognition they deserve.

Tina said...

Seconding the hooray! And hearing Elaine May name-checked in Baldwin's speech (and Fey's obvious pride at the compliment) gives you hope for comedy.

Nice to see Glenn Close win, and to pronounce Zeljko Ivanek's name right!

Nicole said...

I'm happy that Baldwin and Close won. Surprised that Baldwin didn't throw in a political comment though.

I am tired of the playing out of people that I want to hear when I was forced to listen to a painfully boring intro.

Stef said...

I also liked Candice Bergen's comment, so I guess I can forgive her being on Boston Legal. For the moment.

Andrew said...

I really liked the Carlin bookends in the "In Memoriam" montage.

Stef said...

I am happy for all the "John Adams" wins, which was one of the most well-done artistic offerings I've seen in years. And I just watched "Recount" today and it was pretty good, though it made me angry remembering 2000.

Bryan Cranston??? That's a shock!

Alan Sepinwall said...

HOLY BLEEPING BLEEP!

I never in a million years expected it, but totally deserved, even if Hamm and Laurie have to wait at least another year.

Austin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Austin said...

Whoops, guess I should have bleeped myself ...

Holy. Bleep. That's incredible.

Also, is it just me or did they ditch the hosts?

Nicole said...

YAY TINA FEY!!

Charles said...

Good for Cranston, even if he isn't in Jon Hamm's league. (To be fair, nobody else on TV is)

Austin said...

Hooray Tina! If 30 Rock gets shafted for best comedy, I'll boycott something. Not sure what, yet.

They had better not leave the reality show host award for last.

David J. Loehr said...

HOLY BLEEPING BLEEP!

Over on another part of the interwebs, I thought Twitter was going to explode from people reacting to that award.

Austin said...

God, this award could not be any more annoying. They were cutting people for this?

Mrglass said...

OK the reality show hosts were good for something at last. That sketch was hilarious.

Uncle Ira said...

They're rushing people through their speeches to make time for this crap?

Andrew said...

I got a chuckle out of the fact that the best Kimmel could say of the hosts was "sufficient."

Nicole said...

Probst got it because his was the first of the "reality shows". The bit was unnecessarily long and should not return next year.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I love MTM and Betty White, but get on with the show, people! I have a deadline to meet!

Austin said...

I <3 Betty White.

Matt said...

They only have 2 left, and 6 minutes for 11 PM--going to make it under the wire.

Austin said...

Huzzah!

Tina said...

They had Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White waiting in the wings and they spent time on that reality host crap?

Hooray 30 Rock.

Austin said...

Judah's hat: Best Dressed

WIN.

Stef said...

WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ryan said...

At least they didn't screw up the big one.

Austin said...

Amazing. Fantastic. So happy.

Nicole said...

Best way to finish a night!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Well, alright! The show was heinous for at least two hours, but this last hour mostly made up for that. Gotta write. Back around 11:30 or so.

Stef said...

Overall, I guess my reaction is mixed -- but they did get most of the major categories right. Next year, they should ditch hosts in general and give Michael Emerson a statue. Then I'd be happy.

Anonymous said...

Which show won for best drama....I missed it!

Anonymous said...

Unsurprising that Mad Men won. I don't get it, myself; I find it horribly overrated.

Dave T said...

Martin Sheen thinks West Wing was non-partisan. How precious.

Tommy Smothers is telling "jokes" left over from 1968, and whoever got cut off was regurgitating an SNL joke ... from 1988. (Can these award-winning professionals come up with some new material?)

It's the same excrement - coming out different anal orifices. Does this show always have to be a left-wing cluster-shtupp? Just one year, couldn't they stick to honoring television and the people who work in it?

There's more to free speech than spewing gratuitous insults whenever and wherever one feels like it. They think they're "speaking truth to power" when it's nothing more than adolescent tantrum. Sometimes it's about knowing when not to speak.

Even Alec Baldwin had enough class to respect the occasion of the show.

(I admit I was pleasantly surprised to hear Tina Fey celebrate tax cuts for "the rich.")

uncle ira said...

Have to say it's nice to see both Cranston and Ivanek get their first wins on the same night. Two actors who have done such good work for so many years, on so many shows.

Mrglass said...

Dave T, when right-wing writers start having creative talent, then maybe the Emmy's will celebrate conservatives.

And sorry to burst your bubble, but Tina Fey was talking about NY tax cuts for movie and TV productions, not Bush's schemes.

Anonymous said...

Did The Wire get any recognition. I like Mad Men, but it is not close to the show The Wire was.

And Dave T you should be happy with playin on the winning team. The rest of us have to suffer through 4 more years of neocon rule.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, Emmy recap column is up at NJ.com, and we can move the discussion to the new post at the top of this page.

Dave T said...

Dave T, when right-wing writers start having creative talent, then maybe the Emmy's will celebrate conservatives.

Did I complain about liberals winning awards? (Answer: no, I did not.) The comment was about liberals spewing their silly politics non-stop. They just can't give it a rest. It's TEDIOUS.

As for right-wing writers and their talent, I assume you've heard of "24."

And sorry to burst your bubble, but Tina Fey was talking about NY tax cuts for movie and TV productions, not Bush's schemes.

My bubble is fine, but thanks for your concern. I didn't mention Bush. Are you saying it's OK for a city to cut taxes for rich movie and TV producers, but not for the federal govt to cut taxes?

The rest of us have to suffer through 4 more years of neocon rule

I hope so. Actually, I'd prefer paleo-con.

Anthony Foglia said...

Dave T wrote,

"Did I complain about liberals winning awards? (Answer: no, I did not.) The comment was about liberals spewing their silly politics non-stop. They just can't give it a rest. It's TEDIOUS."

I love comments like these because they seem to say that although we live a democracy, no one should dare have strong political opinions. If someone has strong political opinions, and soapbox to speak up, then they can. Hopefully most people are smart enough to realize Hollywood stars have no special knowledge, and ignore them.

But to attack them for speaking their mind, is just being overly sensitive.

Anthony Foglia said...

Dave T wrote,
"My bubble is fine, but thanks for your concern. I didn't mention Bush. Are you saying it's OK for a city to cut taxes for rich movie and TV producers, but not for the federal govt to cut taxes?"

We're saying Tina Fey was talking about cuts for movie and TV production, not movie and TV producers. It's the difference between a corporate tax cut on profits and an income tax cut on multibillionaire CEOs.

LA said...

Hellish show, but at least 30 Rock was properly recognized and Mad Men took the big one.

That host experiment was a spectacular faiure. It was so bad, it made me long for Seacrest in the round.

Anonymous said...

dave t - the same can be said for FOX news x100