Some quick thoughts on this year’s Emmy Awards nominations.
With 19 nods, TVs latest phenom, the enchanting wunderkind GLEE leads the pack at this years Emmy race, and as an unabashedly proud GLEEK, I couldn’t be happier (only HBOs miniseries THE PACIFIC garnered more noms – twenty-four!!!) Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison were shoo-ins for the Lead Actress and Actor category, as was timeless Jane Lynch a given in the Supporting Actress category race. But, in an unexpected, delightful turn, Chris Colfer was recognized in the Supporting Actor Comedy category for his exemplary work as gay teen Kurt Hummel! And, to add more cookies to the ice cream, comedian Mike O’Malley was nominated as Outstanding Guest Actor for his portrayal of Burt Hummel, Kurt’s totally supportive, conflicted father. Rarely has the angst, fear, confusion, terror and finally, unmitigated joy of a gay teen coming out to himself, his friends,and a parent so splendidly and perfectly portrayed, and even rarer is the beautiful interaction of father and son in such scenes. Kudos to both for their most deserved noms.
Colfer’s in great company. As an act of solidarity, the cast of TVs great, neo-classic MODERN FAMILY submitted themselves in the Supporting categories. But a question for the ages is, how do you nominate every adult actor yet fail to recognize the ACTUAL STAR OF THE SHOW (and my favorite in the ensemble)? Ed O’Neil’s snub as the crotchety patriarch with a secret heart of mush Jay Pritchett is a glaringly stupid omission. This is not to negate nominees Jesse Tyler Ferguson or Eric Stonestreet, as the gay couple with a recently adopted child, or the brilliant Ty Burrell as the clumsily hip Phil Dunphy (or for that matter, Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy or Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett). But O’Neill is the rack that holds the pool balls together. Included in the Supporting Actor Comedy category is the always riotous Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson in the still-awesome-after-all-these-years HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. (Incidentally enough, Harris was ALSO nominated for his Bryan Ryan guest role on GLEE). That Jon Cryer continues to get nominated for the still-unwatchable-after-all-these-years TWO AND A HALF MEN remains a mystery.
There was Emmy love for LOST as well, and, despite its controversial final episode, the accolades are deserved – this final season was its most exciting, powerful, moving and finely acted since its first. Besides its citation for Outstanding Drama Series, Matthew Fox’s portrayal of Jack Shepard was finally recognized – and long overdue. Along with perpetual Supporting Actor nominees Terry O’Quinn as John Locke and Michael Emerson as Ben Linus (I don’t watch MAD MEN or MEN OR A CERTAIN AGE, so I can’t root for John Slattery or Andre Braugher, respectively, but I just started watching season one of acclaimed BREAKING BAD so congrats to Adrian Paul), I was thrilled that the magical Elizabeth Mitchell was singled out in the Outstanding Guest Actress for her Juliet Burke.
There should be hell to pay if John Lithgow does NOT receive the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his astonishing portrayal in DEXTER – quite possibly the most riveting juxtaposition of evil and redemption I’ve ever witnessed in this medium, his depiction of serial killer Arthur Mitchell was – and remains – a revelation. And Michael C. Hall’s title role should be another surefire victory – the psychological manipulation and weekly mind-fucking between the two characters is a new archetype of performance art. And, yes, it should win OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES.
Other faves of mine were on ample display this year with nominations. NURSE JACKIE was well-represented with eight nods (including Outstanding Actress in a Comedy nominee Edie Falco, Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy for Eli Wallach). Two for UNITED STATES OF TARA (including Outstanding Actress in a Comedy for Toni Collette). In an annual tradition, 30 Rock was nominated copiously (it won Outstanding Comedy three times) in most categories, including perennial favorites Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, as well as past nominee Jane Krokowski in the Supporting Actress category). The brilliant Jim Parsons received his second consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor nominee for the hilarious BIG BANG THEORY (once again one of the funniest, most smartly written shows on TV was snubbed in the Outstanding Comedy category, though it was a delight to see Christine Baranski pick up an Outstanding Guest Actress nominee for her portrayal of Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) mother). Julia Louis-Dreyfus picked up another nod for the final season of the still-biting NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, though the series had dwindled this past year.
The moment that made me proverbially cheer the loudest was also the sweetest revenge – nominated for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series was THE TONIGHT SHOW…WITH CONAN O’BRIEN!! Take that, Jay Leno, you back-stabbing, loathsome prick.
And, of course, there were the usual curios, head-scratchers and moments of revel. The continual omission of CHUCK only proves the Emmy’s snobbery. The inclusion of Tony Shaloub for the dreadful MONK AGAIN proves their lack of spontaneity. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE was snubbed once again in the Outstanding Reality Competition, even though there’s more talent in one backstage leg warmer than all the earwig’s combined on the worst season yet of nominee AMERICAN IDOL. Despite the aforementioned nods, it would have been justice to throw in a few other nominations for LOST‘s other cast members (Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway and the exceptional Yunjin Kim immediately pop to mind). And no love for UGLY BETTY‘s final season, its best since its first? And snubs for two of TVs best dramas, SOUTHLAND and PARENTHOOD, even though the complete shut-out of BROTHERS & SISTERS and GREY’S ANATOMY was a welcome relief? Not cool. Nor was the incessant rebuffing of the aforementioned BIG BANG THEORY and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER in the Outstanding Comedy Series. But I’m also beyond thrilled that enchanting past Emmy winner (for my long-lamented favorite PUSHING DAISIES) Kristen Chenoweth was cited for her guest role as April Rhodes in GLEE.
It’s fair to say that I don’t watch – or have never seen – many of the shows in which the seeming bulk of the acting nominees were cited for. MAD MEN, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, THE GOOD WIFE, DAMAGES, HOUSE have all been perpetual nominees in the past (save for FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and the freshman drama THE GOOD WIFE) and on my radar, but never etched a spark in my TV-viewing habits. Long allergic to anything vampiric, I’ve also never seen an episode of Outstanding Drama nominee TRUE BLOOD.
In a year of stellar acting, irreproachable drama and comedic heights, the only real depressing moment could be if unremitting douche-bag Ryan Seacrest – nominated twice…TWICE! – walks away holding sweet Emmy in the palm of his hands.
You can see the full list of nominees HERE. The Emmy Awards will be held live August 29th.