Thursday, July 19, 2012

My reaction to todays Emmy nominations

The 2012 Emmy nominations are out! Here are the Best Comedy nominees:



Thoughts: When the Academy isn’t crazy about a show that gets a lot of buzz they toss it a bone or two (acting noms, writing noms, best lighting noms). Such is the case with LOUIE. Louis C.K. got an acting and directing nomination and his stand-up show got recognized but no big prize. Personally, I thought his screener DVD hurt him. There were better, funnier episodes he could have submitted. The first one he offered opens with him waiting at a subway platform. There’s a violinist playing furiously for five minutes and a homeless guy showering by pouring bottled water on himself. This goes on endlessly. Then the subway arrives. We see the refuge of New York City. On a seat there is some disgusting sludge. People stare at it. Louie finally gets us, takes off his jacket, and mopes up the disgusting mess. If you’re a LOUIE fan, I’m fan this was all rollicking. But if you’re not, or you’ve heard good things but were sampling the show for the first time, I think by the seven-minute mark you were done.

The Academy doesn’t like COMMUNITY.  It just doesn’t. Don’t yell at me, COMMUNITY fans. I’m only the messenger. It got one token writing nomination.

I’m not a fan of VEEP but at least it aggressively tries to make you laugh. GIRLS is a drama to me – very well-done and at times engrossing and even provocative but essentially a drama. Still, it’s clear, Lena is this year’s Emmy darling.

THE OFFICE is now Willie Mays playing for the Mets.

PARKS AND REC deserved a nomination.  And they had a particularly good season this year. 

My guess is MODERN FAMILY will win again.


This is really the battle of the Titans. There are so many good dramas out there that THE GOOD WIFE, JUSTIFIED, WALKING DEAD, THE KILLING, SONS OF ANARCHY, and DEXTER didn’t even make the first cut. There should be a category for “Best Drama Other Than the Best Drama.”

(Note to procedurals like CSI: NEW YORK – don’t even bother sending screeners. With this field, who are you kidding?)

I’m disappointed but not surprised that SONS OF ANARCHY got shut out. For whatever reason the Academy just dismisses this show. On the other hand, creator-Kurt Sutter’s rants are always highly entertaining.

Too many voters hated the season ending of THE KILLING. THE GOOD WIFE’S move to Sunday night I think hurt its chances. Being in a bad time slot on a crowded night slowed its momentum. Fans of the show (like me) love it and will follow it anywhere (well, our DVR’s will), but it didn’t attract any new fans or positive buzz.

Ultimately, it'll be a two horse race between MAD MEN and HOMELAND with BREAKING BAD as the long shot. My pick: HOMELAND by a nose.

The big question in Drama this year is who will Jon Hamm lose to?

AMERICAN HORROR STORY got a whopping 17 nominations. I didn’t see that coming. Jimmy Kimmell was finally shown some Emmy love. Long overdue. THE VOICE squeezed out AMERICAN IDOL in the Reality Show category. IDOL is clearly on its last legs. Don’t be surprised if they ask me to be a judge.

Jeff Probst, who usually wins for Best Reality Show Host wasn’t even nominated. And poor Kyra Sedgwick. It’s her last year, she’s a previous winner and she didn’t get a nom. Hugh Laurie, always the bridesmaid, this year didn’t even get that. Here’s what will happen. He’ll do a guest spot on a show next year, be on camera for six minutes, and for that he’ll finally win an Emmy. John Slattery and Tim Olyphant were victims of the numbers game but both had Emmy-worthy years.

GLEE is over. Stick a pitch-fork in it.

But to me, the biggest shocker – not just this year but any year – is that HEMINGWAY AND GELLHORN got nominated for Best Miniseries or Movie. (See my review)  And it gets worse. Nicole Kidman received a Best Actress nod. HEMINGWAY AND GELLHORN was the Worst Miniseries or Movie since BRITNEY AND KEVIN (CHAOTIC). No wait, HEMINGWAY was worse. I’m not just shaking my head. I’m beginning to question the Laws of Gravity.

As always, I will be reviewing the Emmys and will probably have an Emmy post or two before then. Probably to bash HEMINGWAY again. Please let me wake up and discover this was just a dream. Congratulations to all the Emmy nominees.

While you’re here, check out the post scheduled for today. I slaved for 45 minutes on it.


Danielle Solzman said...

Thanks for explaining why Louie was snubbed. I guess the screeners do make all the difference.

I give Breaking Bad an edge over Mad Men.

Rock Golf said...

I've only seen one episode of Louis, too. In in a teenager threatens Louie in a coffee shop, and the Louie spends about 10 minutes surreptitiously following the punk on the subway, on to the Staten Island Ferry, then down the streets of Staten Island until he arrives at the hood's home. Nothing funny or dramatic or even interesting occured on the trip.

Between that episode and this one, I was reminded of the words of Umberto Eco: "If, to go from A to B, the characters take longer than you would like, then the film you are seeing is pornographic."

repoob said...

Slattery, Kartheiser and Shipka from Mad Men all deserved a nom. "The Middle" was robbed, big-time. Kaley Cuoco and Simon Helberg from "Big Bang" too. "The Killing" got what it deserved, except for Joel Kinnamon, that series' only saving grace.

Ane said...

I'm in the official Smash fangroup on facebook. Uma Thurman got nominated for best guest part or something like that and within minutes theg group was flooded with messages, not congratulating her or wishing her luck, no, the fans of the show are shocked by the jury's horrible taste! They all say she's the worst thing that ever happened to Smash. Personally I do not have an opinion on that, I just thought it was an amusing read. I do hope their songs and choreographies win though, quite a few of those are nominated and they're all very good if you ask me.

Other than that I hope Big Bang Theory and Curb Your Enthusiasm gets something. And it would be great if the deceased Kathryn Wooster from Desperate Housewife got one, also. She seemed like a cool lady.

Anonymous said...

For the most part, the shows that get nominated are the shows that are the most aggressive in getting their staff and crews to join the Academy and vote. Good old fashioned ballot studying is alive and well. Many shows pay the membership fees and fill out not just the paperwork, but also the actual ballot.

Anonymous said...

That should have read "stuffing" rather than "studying."

Dude of The House said...

I got about 7 or 8 minutes into the VEEP pilot before turning it off because I couldn't take it any more.

How can a show like that get a nom, but Parks & Rec can't? And the bigger crime is Nick Offerman not getting nominated.

Paul said...

The oldest 30% of Academy voters should be put to sleep. I'm tired of Julia Louis-Dreyfus getting nods for every awful show she's in just because people fondly remember her as Elaine from Seinfeld.

Bob Claster said...

Also MIA: TREME and EPISODES. Then again, THE WIRE and HOMICIDE never got much Emmy gold either.

byrd said...

Campaigning aside, I notice that all but one of the Best Drama Series Emmy nominees is on a basic- or pay-cable channel. The only one that's on a broadcast channel, "Downton Abbey", is on non-commercial PBS, perceived as tax-supported but is mostly "member-supported", and even that show is co-produced with a British commercial channel, ITV.

solid said...

The best thing American Idol could do is ask you to be a judge. That would make it worth watching again.

-bee said...

Oh man, I enjoy Downton Abby but this season was not nearly as good as last (and even with that its essentially a well-polished soap) and I really don't think it deserves ANY nominations outside of cinematography & production design. The Good Wife is so much the better show.

I guess the whole subplot with the head of the house being infatuated with the maid really hit home with the Emmy-voting base.

The one nomination I was really hoping to see was for Giancarlo Esposito (in Breaking Bad)- so was very, very happy to see his name.

I agree, its a real shame Parks & Rec was not nominated for best comedy. I watched the first season of Louie on DVD and thought it was OK but found it kind of to naval-gazingly repetitive. Does it improve in season 2?

Tina Fey is the court jester for network executives - that 30 Rock is still on the air despite terrible ratings goes to show that ratings aren't as important as they used to be.

I have a Friday question for you Ken - as you know people in showbiz, what is the 'inside' reason why the Hemmingway biopic got all those noms?

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

Jesse Tyler Ferguson deserves that award this year. Mitchell was put to great use in these last few episodes.

On the other hand, was it really necessary to nominate every single adult cast member on the show? Talk about hogging the competition slots from other capable contenders.

And also, at least two of the younger members on Modern Family deserved recognition, namely Nolan Gould and Ariel Winter.

On the drama side, all I have to say is HOMELAND. That's a show that deserves every award it can get.

Snubbing John Noble was also a real sin, especially after his stunning performance this past season, in what was probably the best, most emotional finale the show's ever done.

Also, there was no need to nominate three separate Mad Men scripts for best writing. As talented as Weiner, the Jacquemettons, and the other writers can be, it really wasn't necessary. One would have sufficed. One should have gone to Vince Gilligan.

Unknown said...

I just re-watched the episode of Louie where he reluctantly plays the role of a cop in a Jewish Godfather movie starring Matthew Broderick.
Louie, thinking himself a horrible actor, has to say the line, "Your father's dead" and can't get it right. Everytime he says it, the emotion isn't conveyed properly and it is one of the funniest TV moments I'd seen in a long time.
That one scene could have gone on for another 5 minutes before it got old. If any clip would have showcased the brilliance of the show to Emmy voters, it's that one.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

The Office is no longer in the conversation, Ken, I'm surprised you mentioned it. It's three years past its prime.

The thing I can't believe is that awful Ashley Judd show slid into the miniseries category. So, if you get canceled after one shortened season, you are a miniseries? In that case, I'd like to retroactively nominate Freaks & Geeks and Terriers and probably lots of "one and done" shows for Emmys.

And Jon Cryer? Really Academy? Oy.

I'm happy for Jared Harris, truly I am, but John Slattery's LSD trip was nomination worthy.


James said...

Ugh, Modern Family again. It was atrocious this past season. And all the actors getting noms? Geez.

Hey Ken, knowing how much tv shows are a collaborative process for the writing staffs, wouldn't a better use of the Best Writing category be 1 nomination for a show overall? Mad Men this year takes up 3 spots, and while I love it, you can't tell me Breaking Bad didn't deserve a spot there (if not all 5!)

Stephen Kelsey said...

Too hip for the room?
A gritty comedy.
It is the melancholy aspects of the show that like the most. He swears far more than I do which makes it a little difficult for me to identify with his character. I wonder if that comes from spending too much time with other stand up comics.
I like the show more than his act.
Great director!

ankara escort said...

The oldest 30% of Academy voters should be put to sleep. I'm tired of Julia Louis-Dreyfus getting nods for every awful show she's in just because people fondly remember her as Elaine from Seinfeld


gezi said...

thank you root.

Deanna said...

"THE OFFICE is now Willie Mays playing for the Mets." Yes. THIS!

Johnny Walker said...

What about YOUR nominations, Ken? :)

Anonymous said...

I still say "Episodes is the best comedy out there now. It's a tutorial on how to do raunch funny. (Wake up Whitney, et. al.) I'll have to check out Louie, tho and see what the fuss is all about.

Larry said...

I agree there were plenty of unfortunate snubs, and, especially in comedy, the Emmy voters are in love with the wrong shows.

But the one snub no one is talking about much is Hugh Laurie. I thought his work as House over the past eight years was one of the greatest performances in the history of television, yet he never won an Emmy, and wasn't even nominated in his final year.

Anonymous said...

That episode of Louie is probably one of the better episodes from season 2, and the subway scenes are a standout. Of course, it's not particularly funny, but I think the Emmy's are supposed to recognise quality rather than hilarity.

By Ken Levine said...

No Anonymous (and please have the courage to leave a name), the Emmy for Best Comedy is supposed to recognize COMEDY.

ellen said...

Ken, is Modern Family funnier than Parks and Rec in your opinion? It seems to me that the Emmy for best comedy goes to the show that most resembles the shows voters used to work on.

YEKIMI said...

I know you have a link to "Boss Radio" KHJ on your site. One of the management guys who worked there [and a hell of a lot of other big name stations over the years] passed away July 19th, Ted Atkins aka "Captain Showbiz". Any memories of him?

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I think it's insulting that DOWNTON ABBEY got nominated over JUSTIFIED, THE GOOD WIFE, and the others you mentioned. (THE GOOD WIFE's third season I thought was uneven compared to its last two, but still.) Season two of DOWNTON ABBEY was a soap operatic mess.

Agree with repoob about Simon Helberg and Kaley Cuoco on BIG BANG THEORY: I think Cuoco gets overlooked because there's rarely an episode that's completely built around her, and yet she's impeccable throughout the series. Helberg is overshadowed by Parsons but should have gotten nominated this year - Howard has developed so much as a character, and Helberg's made that work so well. Along those lines, I thought Galecki submitted the wrong episode last year.

As for HOUSE, the show was so godawful in its final years it's not surprising it took Laurie down with it. At the beginning, the voters probably thought there'd be time later.

What this all says is that we're in a great period of drama at the moment.


Anonymous said...

What's worse is Ashley Judd gettin nominated in the mini-series category for MISSING, a show that was cancelled from what I could tell. When did it become a mini-series?

danrydell said...

The Emmys sold out to hype with Veep and Girls nominations. I think Veep will be great one day, but not yet. And Girls...just don't get it.

KXB said...

If The Office is Willie Mays with the Mets (no argument there, sadly), Murphy Brown in Seasons 6-10 was Steve Carlton with the White Sox/Twins/Giants/Indians et al, and Chevy Chase during the last 20 years (Community included) is even more feeble...

Ben Kubelsky said...

Looking at the late night slate for a second, I notice that Leno and Conan each got just one nod, and for web content at that. Letterman, I believe, got one or directing and one for technical work. How the mighty have fallen.

Anonymous said...

Big Bang ...your thoughts?

Michelle said...

This is an article describing a study where humor helps ease pain. For this, I thank you for making life bearable with all the humor you provide.

Lorimartian said...

"The Middle" is appointment television for me. Patricia Heaton is the total package -- stellar talent and personally grounded. The show is well written and should have been nominated.

I haven't been able to get into "Modern Family". I like the concept and the actors are talented, but the execution seems exaggerated for exaggeration's sake. It may be based on experiences in the creators' lives, which is fine, but seems overly-embellished. I appreciate quirky characters, but these simply don't resonate with me.

I stopped watching "Parks and Recreation" after two or three episodes when it turned out to be restricted to the office setting. I expected there to be more stories the parks. The most I can say about Amy Poehler is she does an excellent Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, she is mediocre at best as is her husband, Will Arnett. They deserve each other. She/they are INCREDIBLY fortunate to have risen through the ranks with the truly immensely talented, multi-threat Tina Fey and ride on her coattails.

Happy for Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. Would like to see Kristen's work recognized this year.

I also love "Undercover Boss" and was very happy to see it nominated. Also, glad to see Mare Winningham in the mix.

RIP "Pushing Daisies". I was very disappointed they didn't stick with you. Oh, ye, of little faith. Great innovative entertaining show.

Matt Tauber said...

I think "Hemingway" got a lod of nods because it's an uncrowded category and they're gaga over Kidman slumming on the tube.

I'm not unhappy with the list, though I think "South Park" has been as good as ever.

Nick Offerman really deserves a nomination, but gets squeezed out by the multi-"Modern Family" noms. Is that a recent phenomenon, one show dominating the noms in a category?

Brian said...

I will say this about the "Communty" episode, the nomination went to one of their best episodes.

David Crewe said...

"No Anonymous (and please have the courage to leave a name), the Emmy for Best Comedy is supposed to recognize COMEDY."

I can respect approaching the selection as being a selection of the funniest shows (as you seem to), but I don't know that I agree with this statement, in the same way that best shows in the Drama category shouldn't necessarily be the most DRAMATIC - the definition of Comedy TV Shows is a bit more complex than just making you laugh. I think Louie is worth recognising simply because it's redefining what we mean by this category - it's definitely not a drama, but equally I can understand people's reluctance to slot it into the Comedy category.

(And name included this time!)

bevo said...

Notably absent: ARCHER!

As uneven as Community, it is five times funnier than any of the shows that got nominations. Note to Emmy voters: not one show was actually, um, funny.

Yes, Glee was done after season one. At that point, it turned into every episode of Fame (the original that aired on NBC and not the remake that may or may not still be in production).

At to the dramas, I am pressed to swap a nominated show for an un-nominated show. Dramas have gotten that good.

jbryant said...

The Academy apparently thinks LOUIE has nomination-worthy acting, writing, directing and editing, but somehow falls short overall? Still, Louis CK garnered six individual nods for himself, I think, so it's clear that they dig him. I certainly think it's one of the best things on TV, and the fact that it can't be pigeon-holed as a "pure" comedy is no biggie. You don't see anyone calling for the disqualification of any Drama Series contender that contains witty moments, so who cares if a generally comedic show has some content that's not designed to be fall-down funny?

Anonymous said...

How's the ride on the short bus, Lorimartian?

Unknown said...

I am happy for the new guys on the nomination list, like Lena Dunham, but what is up with Parks and Rec not getting any love this year? It is honestly one of the funniest shows on TV these days (not like that’s saying much)! I haven’t missed an episode of it once, partly because it is absolutely brilliant and partly because I have the PrimeTime Any Time feature on my Hopper DVR that auto-records everything on the major networks during primetime hours, so I don’t miss much of anything. I can sincerely say that Parks and Rec is as funny today (possibly funnier) as it was during season one, a feat that is hard to achieve for most shows! The characters are flawlessly written and acted. Leslie Knope is my hero, and I swear that Ron Swanson is based off my boss at Dish; they are both exactly alike, down to the insane obsession for beef. LOL! I just hope Amy Poehler and the rest of the cast know how much us fans love them because that matters way more than some lame award show!