Thursday, July 18, 2013

My thoughts on today's #Emmy nominations

Phil Spector is the big man in his prison today. His TV biopic received 11 nominations, a staggering amount considering there’s no “Worst Movie or Mini-Series” category. The guys must be congratulating him in the yard; I wouldn’t be surprised if the cook doesn’t give him an extra dollop of beans tonight. To the victor go the spoils!

This may be the only day of the year when Phil Spector is happier than Matt Weiner. For the first time, there’s not a single MAD MEN writing nomination. Considering how MAD MEN campaigned harder for Emmy consideration than Mitt Romney in Ohio last October I’d say that’s a clear message that the torch is being passed, even if it has to be wrestled out of his hands.

Some surprises this year, some not. I would not have bet that AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM would lead all shows with 17 nominations. I would predict that GAME OF THRONES racked up the noms – 16 in all. That PHIL SPECTOR would get as many as HOMELAND still has me scratching my head. Next year I wonder if all the actors on MAD MEN will wear giant fright wigs.

Other wacky things: Betty White got nominated for reality show host. Robert Morse got nominated for best guest actor in a drama for MAD MEN even though he’s a series regular. ROBOT CHICKEN got as many nominations as THE AMERICANS. 2 BROKE GIRLS even got one.

In the Best Comedy category GIRLS got nominated again. I think of all those times I got shot down at CHEERS for pitching forced anal sex and now I feel vindicated. The other nominees (who even tried to be funny): MODERN FAMILY, 30 ROCK, THE BIG BANG THEORY, LOUIE, and VEEP. Usually a long running show will get a nod for its last season – not so with THE OFFICE. VEEP might just be a dark horse.

Noticeably absent: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, COMMUNITY, PARKS AND RECREATION, THE MIDDLE, and anything on Fox.  Expect Mindy Kalin to be sodomized next year. 

In the Best Drama category, MAD MEN got a token nod joined by DOWNTON ABBEY. HOMELAND, BREAKING BAD, GAME OF THRONES, and HOUSE OF CARDS. All are worthy contenders (in other words: Best Dramas that attempted to be dramatic), but it’s hard to believe that THE GOOD WIFE didn’t make the cut. Is being on a major broadcast network and having to make 24 episodes instead of 13 that much of a detriment? FX also got shut out. JUSTIFIED, THE AMERICANS, and SONS OF ANARCHY got no Emmy love. Both JUSTIFIED and THE GOOD WIFE were funnier this year than GIRLS.

In the acting categories, both Michael Douglas and Matt Damon were nominated for BEHIND THE CANDLEABRA.  Interesting race there.  Happy to see that Robin Wright was nominated for HOUSE OF CARDS. Also, Vera Farmiga as sweet mama Bates. Shoo-ins were Claire Danes and Kerry Washington. There are a lot of people pissed that Monica Potter didn’t get recognized for PARENTHOOD.

Wouldn’t it have been a riot if Chevy Chase had been nominated for COMMUNITY?

A glaring Emmy snub was Melissa McCarthy. Does the academy hate Chuck Lorre that much?

For best lead actress in a comedy it’s winner Julia Louis-Drefus and everybody else.

For best actor and actress in a movie or mini-series it’s always whichever feature actor is eligible. Congratulations to Helen Mirren and Al Pacino for your nominations.

Now for major snubs: THE NEWSROOM. Aaron Sorkin didn’t realize how many Tea Party members were also members of the Television Academy. Jon Cryer. Even past winners on Chuck Lorre shows can’t get nominations. BOARDWALK EMPIRE and Steve Buscemi. And all non-nominated actors are now one degree of Kevin Bacon.

There are so many networks vying for coveted spots that snubs are inevitable. Hell, your show doesn’t even have to be on a network anymore. Netflix shows count. And you throw in the usual vendettas and undeserving academy darlings and what you’re left with is a fairly, sorta decent representation of the best in television. It should be a very competitive year and as always, I look forward to reviewing it. And for the first time in years, the fellas in maximum security prisons have someone to root for.

Here's a full list of nominees.

36 comments:

Toledo said...

Re Melisa McCarthy's nonnomination. It's for the Emmy not the Oscar, unless you have a premonition.

Jeremiah Avery said...

I was disappointed to see that "The Walking Dead" didn't receive a nomination for best drama, especially considering how stronger the writing and performances were this season.

"30 Rock" getting two best writing nominations but "Modern Family" and "The Big Bang Theory" didn't even get one? If a show is nominated for best comedy or best drama, shouldn't they have at least one writing nomination as well, otherwise how can the show be considered "best" overall?

Vera Farmiga's nomination is well earned though I would have liked to have seen Freddie Highmore get one for Norman.

I'm hoping Ed O'Neill wins best supporting actor in a comedy. Would not like it if "30 Rock" wins best comedy - it's undeserved. I'm a fan of "The Big Bang Theory" but I'd rather see "Modern Family" or "Louie" win than "30 Rock".

Dave Mackey said...

Want to reduce the number of snubs? Bring back the CableACE awards. When cable shows were deemed capable enough of competing with broadcast shows, they were dropped. Now, due to higher budgets, fewer episodes, and looser censorship on cable networks, the shows on cable - Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, etc. - are better than those of their broadcast counterparts and should no longer be considered their equals.

Matthew said...

"And for the first time in years, the fellas in maximum security prisons have someone to root for."

Obviously you've never seen Oz...

(hint: rooting means something else outside America, which leads to lots of hilarity and several volunteers when a cute girl announces she wants to root for the team).

J. Allison said...

Ridiculous that Parks and Rec didn't get a nomination. Best comedy on TV.

Finally finished slogging through the new Arrested Development episodes. I'm a huge fan of the first 3 seasons but they really dropped the ball in season 4. The characters aren't allowed to develop the story; instead we get gobs of voiceover exposition from Ron Howard. The narrator bit was funny in the first 3 seasons because it fit in the gaps. Season 4 uses it way too much. I guess it's an effort to explain the hyper-convoluted plot and fragmented storytelling method. Exhausting to watch and just not funny. What a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck Charlie got a nomination. Should be exciting for your daughter.

chuckcd said...

Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc?
How do you get nominated for playing yourself?

Sad that Justified didn't get a nomination.

Jack said...

I agree with you on "Girls," but you couldn't be more wrong about "Veep." Despite a brilliant cast, it is a truly horrible show.

Arrested Development didn't deserve Emmy nods...the fourth season was dramatically worse than the first three.

"The Americans" just wasn't very good, but that "Sons Of Anarchy" wasn't nominated for Best Drama is ridiculous. "Homeland" had a genius first season and a sub-par second season; it didn't deserve the nod over "Sons" or even "The Good Wife."

I really liked the first season of "The Newsroom," but it seems like the world has turned on Aaron Sorkin and is only interested in him as a punching bag these days. At the very least, Jeff Daniels deserved a nom for a portrayal we haven't seen from him before.

And finally, "Archer" is one of the best written shows on TV and should have been nominated as well.

Pete Grossman said...

Louis CK takes great chances and cringe-worthy "WTF?" leaps. Delighted he's nominated.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Toledo: I think Ken is thinking of McCarthy's work in MIKE AND MOLLY, which is very much TV.

Lorre wasn't a total washout - BIG BANG THEORY is nominated for best comedy, Jim Parsons for best actor, and Mayim Bialik for best supporting actress. Plus Bob Newhart (YES!) for his guest shot on BBT.

THE GOOD WIFE had a notable drop-off in quality this year, especially in the first half, which a lot of people found really distasteful, so I'm not really surprised they didn't get a nod - and Margulies didn't have as much interesting work to do, either, so again.

I was disappointed that both HOMELAND and, especially, DOWNTON ABBEY got nominated for what actually weren't such great seasons (compared to the first season of each). Especially since that meant missing out JUSTIFIED.

I thought Matt LeBlanc deserved his nomination if only for being such a good sport about playing an egotistical sleazeball version of himself. So many actors take themselves far too seriously to do something like that.

And finally, although even Diana Rigg's presence in GAME OF THRONES could not end its utter tedium for me yay! for her nomination. I've been a fan of hers since I was 13 and seen a lot of her brilliant British stage work (MEDEA, HEARTBREAK HOUSE, PYGMALION, NIGHT AND DAY...), and it's great to see her being appreciated in the US again. And with her real face!

wg

Ane said...

Not sure why Julie Bowen is nominated as supporting actress in Modern Family. In my opinion she's a main, not supporting. I've only seen two seasons but I assume her part hasn't gotten any smaller. If Mary is a main character in Downton Abbey then surely Claire is on MF.

Breadbaker said...

Looks like you may have your own nomination, Ken: http://www.theonion.com/articles/netflix-receives-10-emmy-nominations-for-season-4,33163/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:1:Default

Breadbaker said...

I should add, now that I've actually read the nominations, that it was good to see both Linda Cardellini and Harry Hamlin nominated for Mad Men. They did their best with difficult characters to make distinctive in the crowded cast. And both had more series screentime than Robert Morse, who has always been billed as a guest star. The shame is John Slattery not getting a director's nod. The episodes he directs are always the best on the show.

Brian Doan said...

They gave Melissa McCarthy an Emmy a year or two ago to reward her for her BRIDESMAIDS success. They nominated her this year in the guest star category (for a truly awful SNL gig) to reward her for her IDENTITY THIEF success. MIKE AND MOLLY was a truly horrible show, and right now McCarthy is a far more mannered, insular and less interesting actress than she was in her seven criminally underrated seasons on GILMORE GIRLS.

GirlWonder89 said...

Yeah, this year's Emmy noms were boring/predictable. A few of my thoughts:

Please, stop giving Modern Family Emmy's.

I like that show "GIRLS", even though I think it falls into that weird category of not being quite a comedy and not being quite a drama. I didn't find this most recent season funny at all.

I'm glad to see the prestige baton finally getting passed on from "Mad Men".

I think the reason Melissa McCarthy was snubbed is because "Mike & Molly" is a truly terrible show.

I'm probably alone in this, but I wish Jennifer Carpenter had gotten a nod for her work this season on "Dexter". She's been really tremendous, although the show's earlier season start this year may have put them outside of the Emmy nomination deadlines? So maybe she still stands a chance next year.

I can't believe Keri Russell on "The Americans" didn't get a nod, that is tragic.

Juanita's Journal said...

If "MAD MEN" didn't receive any writing noms, how did it end up being nominated for Best Drama? And "DOWNTON ABBEY" is also nominated in the same category, but "THE AMERICANS" didn't? What the hell?

Igor said...

Wow, that's the first quasi-positive mention of the Tea Party I've seen in a Hollywood blog.

As for VEEP, from the start, the dialogue has struck me as a compendium of things I've actually heard people say in Washington. Tweaked, and with better timing - for sure - yet entirely familiar. That said, I laughed when I heard real people say those things in the real world, and I laugh again when I hear the characters say it on VEEP.

Greg Ehrbar said...

In a book called "Difficult Men," it says that Matthew Weiner has created a policy in which, if he rewrites more than 20% of a script, he shares the writing credit. Could that explain why Mad Men does not have any writing nominations?

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Seriously, didn't we just have the Emmy's?

Xmastime said...

I've written a book about my three years as a Manny (male nanny, natch) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Would love to talk to you about it. Thank you! :)

Steve said...

J. Allison - "Parks" did get one nomination. Amy Poehler was nominated in the lead actress in a comedy category.

Steve said...

On the subject of "Mad Men" - What's Vincent Kartheiser have to do to get nominated?

I'm Bradman said...

The editing of syndicated reruns is irksome, especially sitcoms. Has any sitcom ever refused to edit for more commercial time, just for the integrity of the show?
Or is that not even possible?

The Mutt said...

I know it's too late for tomorrow's Friday Questions, but maybe next week?

If you made a list of the the ten best TV shows of all time, and a list of your ten favorite TV shows of all time, how much cross-over would there be?

olucy said...

Every single nomination for Downton Abbey should have gone to someone on The Americans.

A_Homer said...

The timing is odd when 30 Rock, a wonderful series that wrapped up its story well, is nominated but it already feels from another year, too far back. Add to that, Tina Fey again in competition against Julia-Louis Dreyfus. In Fey's earlier award speech (Globes or Emmy, I forgot now) she said whenever she was stuck how to play the scene, she thought of how Dreyfus would do it. I've got a feeling it's Dreyfus's year.

I do think Chuck Lorre should be nominated for his vanity title card texts in the end of Big Bang Theory.

Mike said...

...all those times I got shot down at CHEERS for pitching forced anal sex...
Ah yes, the alternate ending to S01E16 The Boys in the Bar. A dark day for Norm.

Michael Stoffel said...

There should be separate categories for full season dramas like "The Good Wife" and the cable shows that do short "seasons".
And us fans of "The Middle" are happy that it gets ignored by all the awards shows. There's no network pressure to do a very special episode or change it's tone to fit the trend of the year.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Jack: Jeff Daniels is nominated.

wg

Mr. First Nighter said...

Sofia Vergaro has made a career of being a Charo impersonator.

The biggest snub again is omitting Eden Sher from THE MIDDLE. Maybe if she started shouting "Coochie coochie!"?

Charles H. Bryan said...

Can I just say that I'll root for Morena Baccarin? Just to see how awesome she'll look up on that stage? And because she was in FIREFLY?

After that, proving I'm not a robot should be redundant. (I'd understand if Captcha was asking me to prove I'm not a 15 year old.)

Matt said...

Now for major snubs: THE NEWSROOM. "Aaron Sorkin didn’t realize how many Tea Party members were also members of the Television Academy."

Or he just made a boring and sanctimonious pile of crap.

Great breakdown of why The Newsroom is a bad show...besides it's caricature of people who have different political opinions than Sorkin.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9484137/newsroom-breaking-bad-other-tv-burning-issues

MuffinMan21571 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MuffinMan21571 said...

Monica Potter was unintentionally funny with her obvious bald cap, unlike Chevy Chase, who wasn't any kind of funny on Community (and wasn't even on the ballot anyway, not that he was getting nominated under ANY circumstances)...

jbryant said...

There's so much good work on TV these days, that unfortunate Emmy snubs are inevitable. I had high hopes for THE AMERICANS, especially the core cast of Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell and Noah Emmerich, but no dice. I love Connie Britton, but if only one NASHVILLE star could be nominated, it should've been Hayden Panettiere. JUSTIFIED got several nods for Season 2, but nothing since. That was a short honeymoon.

Ken, you've got to drop the "forced anal sex" thing. It was from behind, but not anal, and consensual (even though the woman clearly regretted it afterward).

Jeffro said...

How does the nomination process work? Is it like the Academy Awards, based on peer voting? If so, maybe all these actors have a thing against shows like Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and The Walking Dead—all shows that regularly kill-off central characters. Maybe actors don't like to commend shows that regularly put their kind out of a job. Doing so may lead to a more mainstream trend of revolving characters and thus impairing job security even more. It's just a SWAG.