Thursday, July 10, 2014
My take on today's Emmy nominations
It’s now just a joke.
Actors who are series semi-regulars got nominated for best “guest” stars. Robert Morse, who has been on MAD MEN since the beginning is a “guest” star? Beau Bridges and Allison Janney who are series regulars on MASTERS OF SEX also qualify for this category? So appearing in like 8 episodes of 10 constitutes “guest” star?
Among the many other deserving actors who got passed over this year were Andy Samberg, Liv Schreiber, Matthew Rhys, Kerri Russell, Tim Oliphant, Walton Goggins, and the list goes on.
And how many episodes is a series vs. a mini-series? THE GOOD WIFE got snubbed for Best Drama while MAD MEN and BREAKING BAD did not. THE GOOD WIFE made 22 episodes. MAD MEN made seven. BREAKING BAD made eight.
MAD MEN got a nom for Best Drama but not one writing nomination. In other words, it’s dead. So if it’s dead, why not give the nomination to a more deserving show like THE GOOD WIFE, WALKING DEAD, JUSTIFIED, THE AMERICANS? Or (considering this absurd Academy) 2 BROKE GIRLS?
TRUE DETECTIVES, an AMAZING show, only made seven episodes and the two stars will not be returning next year. That’s a “series” and not a mini-series. But AMERICAN HORROR STORY, that also did just a few episodes with a revolving cast is considered a mini-series. Again, the Oscar equivalent: Best Motion Picture – the nominees are THE GODFATHER and a four-minute Pixar cartoon.
Readers of this blog know I love ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. But I’m sorry folks, it’s not a comedy. It’s a drama with comedic elements. Newcomer SILLICON VALLEY is a comedy. LOUIE, (that’s nominated) used to be a comedy. If by “comedy” you mean the show that’s really funny and makes people laugh the most – then BIG BANG THEORY or VEEP should win. But since it’s this Academy they’re probably both dead. Meanwhile, THE MIDDLE (which was funnier than MODERN FAMILY this year) and MOM were both no-shows. I guess they made the mistake of going for jokes in a comedy and not brutal beatings.
Similarly, Taylor Schilling as Piper in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK is wonderful but it is not a comedic role. For her to even be nominated as best comedienne against Julia Louis-Drefus is her only real laugh this year. And also in that category is Lena Dunham playing the least funny woman on television. The gold standard for comedy should be Lucy not Sela Ward.
As I said, the problem is that the nominating process is now way too unwieldy. Too many shows, members not getting certain channels or delivery systems and not bothering to devote a gazillion hours to screeners, shows being selected on the basis of buzz, shows being selected because of familiarity (DOWNTON ABBEY sucked this year. It was great the first season or so, but now is a faint carbon of its brilliant self), and shows are entered in categories in which they don’t belong.
If the Academy doesn’t address this, if it doesn’t set strict guidelines for what constitutes series, mini-series, guest performances, genres, etc. the awards will become so meaningless and the public will so little care that they might as well disband the whole practice. Not only is this year’s Emmy nominations a sham, it cheapens the accomplishments of past winners and lessens the honor of recognition to those among the chosen this year who do deserve it.
I’ll be reviewing the Emmycast again this year. If you think the nomination were absurd, just wait until you learn the winners.
Here’s a complete list of the nominees.