Thursday, July 06, 2006

My Emmy Vice

This year’s Emmy nominations have been announced. Some random initial thoughts:

How can LOST win last year, have an even better season this year and not even be nominated for Best Drama?

Same with last year’s winners James Spader, Felicity Huffman, and Patricia Arquette (okay, her I get).

I love that DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES was not nominated for either Best Comedy or Best Drama. Maybe Best Sophomore Disappointment? And none of the divas were nominated either (although Felicity Huffman should have been). Expect Teri Hatcher to terrorize her domestic staff and go on a sixty day tantrum.

After the scene where Tommy rapes his wife, say goodbye to ANY Emmys for Denis Leary and RESCUE ME. That’s jumping an entire school of sharks.

And I guess the bloom is off the rose for NIP/TUCK (now so weird it’s entered Bjork country) and THE SHIELD. But Forrest Whittaker deserved not just a nomination but to win.

James Gandolfini was not nominated for Best Actor in a Drama but Chris Meloni was???

Alfre Woodard is the Meryl Streep of the TV Academy. If she were in a mini-series about Little Eva she’d be nominated.

How come PRISON BREAK’S Tea Bag wasn’t recognized by the Academy?

And what a piss poor year for comedy. The nominees are:

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT – No one watched. And not nearly as good as it’s been in the past. This is like the All-Star balloting when fans select players who are hitting .205 or on the Disabled List yet get votes anyway based solely on reputation. If it loses (which it will) can we FINALLY stop hearing about AD? Please? Pleeeeeease?

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM – Most uneven, worst season ever. I suspect I’ll get some angry comments but I stand by that statement. Other than scalping tickets for High Holiday services I didn’t laugh once this year. And in seasons past I was often in stitches.

THE OFFICE – Should be the winner. More smiles than laughs but that still puts it way ahead of the field. And what a concept? Cast the show with FUNNY people. Not Paula Marshall.

SCRUBS -- Glad to see the Academy recognizing this show even though NBC obviously doesn’t. Seen better days. And now there’s a better version – it’s called GREY’S ANATOMY.

TWO AND A HALF MEN -- Best of the retro multi-camera old-familiar-rhythm sweetened laugh track sitcoms but that’s like saying Shasta is the best of the fake colas.

Interesting what comedies were NOT nominated: WILL & GRACE (now if they could just rescind all the times it WAS nominated), MY NAME IS EARL (great pilot then 23 faint carbons of it), EVERYONE HATES CHRIS (they’ll blame being on UPN but that’s not why), ENTOURAGE (there must be too many former Ari Emmanuel clients now in the Academy), and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (the Emperor’s new sitcom).

For Best Animated Series: Good luck to FOSTER’S HOME FOR IMAGINERY FRIENDS going against FAMILY GUY and the SIMPSONS.

This has to be the first year since 1947 that James Burrows didn’t get the obligatory directing nomination just for entering. Although he did deserve an acting nomination for his role in THE COMEBACK.

Most of the actors and actresses nominated for “Best Guest Stars” were playing themselves. They should just call the award “Best Stunt Casting”.

Most absurd nomination (maybe EVER): Stockard Channing for OUT OF PRACTICE, playing Kelsey Grammer on crack. Were voters confusing funny with scary???

Larry David was nominated but I thought he played himself better in other years.

Cheryl Hines for Best Actress in a COMEDY? Larry David’s REAL wife is funnier. Bill Clinton’s real wife is funnier.

There should also be a new category for “Best Packaging in For Consideration DVD’s.” Each year they get more and more elaborate. I was relieved when the 24 DVD didn’t come in a nerve gas canister.

And finally, I hope THE DAILY SHOW wins for everything, even in categories it’s not nominated for.

Good luck to all the nominees (except Stockard Channing). I’ll be reviewing the Emmys on August 27th. And if you think I’m bitchy now…


Christina said...

This season - in reruns - I've been enjoying Two and a Half Men, and the New Adventures of Old Christine. The kid in the first one has me by the balls. That's what I was like as a kid. (Ever notice he has the same persona as Alf?) Every Monday night, from 9 to 10PM, you'll find me on an elliptical machine at the health club watching those two shows. I often laugh out loud and people around me stare. I love being the crazy person.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I loved James Burroughs on The Comeback. Of course I kept wondering if he was really like that.

Ger A.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think most people would probably agree with you about Curb Your Enthusiasm, I've never been a huge fan (lots of people being argumentative because they've been told to, rather than for any reason that makes sense), but there's always been good jokes. This year it was just tasteless.

Tasteless can be funny too, but you just expect more from Larry than gags about a maid stealing from her employer by smuggling items out of the house via her watusi. Saying that, that was probably the biggest laugh I got out of the show this year - but it was a pretty cheap laugh. Sitcom expert Steve C signing off now.

Anonymous said...

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM - after this season my enthusiasm is not only curbed it’s park with a flat tire.

THE OFFICE- agree with you more smiles than laughs, but the weed episode written by Steve Carrell was killer.

SCRUBS- like the show but always gives me a headache for some reason?

TWO AND A HALF MEN- the half a man is the best part of the show.

MY NAME IS EARL- and my show is real corny.

Anonymous said...

ken -- i did not know you until the wonderful july 4th radio show -- thanks for "being there" for those of us who " being there" -- you are great

Tenspeed & Brownshoe said...


I agree with mostly everything you've said except for:


That show is/was the funniest show on television. It's the only show where you'll laugh every 5 seconds without the support of a laugh track. That whole MR. F, storyline was absolutely hilarious. And Justine Bateman appearing as a love interest for Jason Bateman? Inspired.

Anonymous said...

this is a great blog -- i did not know who you were until stephanie's radio show --

Anonymous said...


You mentioned that My Name is Earl had a great pilot but the others were not so hot.

Why did you say that? what did you think they didn't do enough to recapture the magic in that pilot?

love to hear your opinions.


Cunningham said...

I have to take exception with your comment re: MY NAME IS EARL. Every tv show is a carbon copy of the pilot. That's why they're tv and not movies. Tv is about the same characters every week in new situations... If we were to use your indictment of EARL as the standard then CHEERS would be guilty as well.

Re: Emmy

Where are the nominations for:


Both had outstanding, compelling seasons that apparently no one in the academy saw. Maybe there should be a campaign to get the Academy member's kids involved. Maybe they will tell their parents what they should be watching...

By Ken Levine said...

I loved the pilot of EARL, but over the course of the season the shows became the same, and the targets became the same. It's a series I wanted to love but just can't.

I don't know what the answer is. Maybe it's a trap with the series' format. But I'm not surprised it wasn't nominated. I don't think I'm the only one who's lost enthusiasm for it.

That said, I hope Greg Garcia wins the Emmy for writing because that was a terrific pilot.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed thet THE OFFICE is on NBC. A superb intelligent show like this would normally never even get on a network! It belongs on HBO, but here's hoping they win big!

Emily Blake said...

Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica will continue to be better than 90% of what's on TV, and they will continue to be ignored. Just like Buffy.

On the upsode, I don't care what the emmys say. This was a good year for television. I don't have enough time to watch everything. And have you checked out BBC America lately? Their shows are brilliant. Emmy shmemmy.

Scribe LA said...

Wow, tell us what you really think, Ken?! I think I understand your rant on "Arrested Development"... The Third Season was not the best, but the last 4 episodes, which they packaged as a Season and Series Finale were ridiculously clever, funny, and brilliant. Just read one of the scripts (ie. "Storming the Castle") and see the genius. I think it would have been amazing and challenging to have been on staff for the show, to continuously live up to the level that they started with... and yet the show book-ended itself with greatness.
And "Entourage" is clearly so much better than 99% of the stuff on TV... I think it got the snub because it's too good, and theoretically has a more limited audience. More people can seem to relate to The Mob ie. "The Sopranos," than they can to the rich and famous ie. "Entourage."
And can't wait for the post-Emmy review... Retract those claws, my friend. And, I think "How I Met Your Mother" has potential to hit its stride next year. Lots of charm in that show.

Anonymous said...

Scribe and all...

tend to agree about "Met you ma". It's got some charm and romance to it. Arrested seems like another of those shows that would've been better on HBO.
2.5 Men is just plain vulgar and stupid.

NBC. Are they still on?

Tom Dougherty said...

Never a Curb Your Enthusiasm fan, but I've got a lot of love for Arrested Development. I think that it must have been a drag to be part of a series that the network obviously didn't get. Even with that cloud hanging over their heads, I think that the third series was still one of the best things on TV this year. We'll see if it can withstand the repeat viewings the first 2 seasons enjoy in my DVD player. I suspect they'll do just fine.

Phil said...

You nail it Ken, LOL. Very well done. The Gandolfini thing confused me too....what the F?

Anonymous said...

who can't use a little nerve gas around the house?

me, I haven't even seen Stockard Channing's performance and I'll be rooting for her. I've been rooting for her ever since the Motion Picture Academy rudely overlooked her fine work in "The Big Bus"

Toby O'B said...

Even if 'Lost' had maintained the momentum and received more nominations, I'll bet the Academy still would have overlooked one person on the show who did incredible work this season: Jorge Garcia. His portrayal of Hurley ran the gamut and he proved he can be more than just the fat guy who says "Dude"....

But that alone was always good enough!

Anonymous said...

I belonged to the Academy until this past year, when I realized what a joke the Emmys are... and I've won one so I can say that. They keep screwing with the voting system and the only fair way to do it is by number of votes... bottom line, the most votes win. That's it. Case closed. None of this "Blue Ribbon Committee" crap. I resigned from the Academy when I finally realized it is run by people who could not qualify to join it... that's a fact. Look at the President and all of the others who make the decisions... no credits. They couldn't join, so where the hell do they get off making up rules for the creative community that pays the dues and creates the shows. The Emmys are almost as meaningless as "The Golden Globes", but don't get me started on THAT bribe-taking, whorefest.

Anonymous said...

you say "bribe taking whore-fest" like that's a BAD thing!!

the globes is where you can get seriously buzzed, no?

Anonymous said...

There are so many tabloid shows now. They need to create a new category for Best Tabloid Hero/Heroine. Like Jen Aniston or Tori Spelling. Or Tom Cruise for his historical leaps and bounds over TV's best couches.

Anonymous said...

Please explain your intense dislike of Paula Marshall. I'm not a fan, but you seem to be pretty rough on her.