Ahh, yes. The announcement of the nominees for the Television Critics Association Awards was something to behold, wasn’t it? “Parks & Recreation” ruled the world, “30 Rock” was utterly ignored and “Friday Night Lights” finally got a little love from the people who bestow love upon those who deserve love.
But alas, that was merely the opening act, friends. It was the opening act for what has become the quintessential awards ceremony in television: The Primetime Emmys (or, for us “30 Rock” fans, the “E” in Tracy Jordan’s “EGOT” chain). Last week, the nominees were announced, and I’d be remiss and irresponsible if I opted to ignore the calendar year’s most important night in television, especially when this particular blog has the letters “TV” appear not once, but twice, in its title.
Much like I did with the Television Critics Awards nominees, I will offer up five talking points for this year’s ceremony. Also, if you glance to the right of these words, you will find a list of nominees for the more mainstream categories the ceremony offers. The event is set for Sept. 18, it will be aired on FOX, and your host will be Jane Lynch. As for now, consider the following when you eventually sit down to fill out that Emmys office poll we all know you obsess over.
Onward and upward …
1. It’s raining men: Without question, the most intriguing moment of the night is going to go to the winner for best actor in a drama series. For reasons that I wasn’t even aware of until the nominees were announced, my new obsession (yes, an “I am an idiot” post is on its way soon), “Breaking Bad,” wasn’t eligible for the ceremony this year, ultimately leaving the door open for some guys who have never taken the individual award home, no matter how many times they may have been in the running (Bryan Cranston has cleaned up each year “Breaking Bad” has been on the air). Check it out:
– While Jon Hamm’s Don Draper is easily one of the most talked about characters on television today, the actor has been shut out of the category despite being up for the trophy three times before this year. That’s a bit surprising, isn’t it? Sure. But if that caught your eye …
– This is the sixth time Hugh Laurie has been nominated for his now somewhat over-looked portrayal of the smartest, angriest doctor a hospital has ever seen. The shock? He’s never won. Honestly. For all the praise the show seems to receive year in and year out, the guy has never been able to pull off the victory.
– Michael C. Hall probably won’t step in for Bryan Cranston this year, if only because he’s already won the award once. But people seem to love him. And “Dexter” is showing signs of a shelf life. Knowing he won’t have many more opportunities to be in this position, would the voters turn to him?
– And how great would it be for Kyle Chandler to win and bring “Friday Night Lights” to the forefront as the series comes to an end? Super-duper great.
2. One for the ladies: Laura Linney has never lost an Emmy race she has been in. Ever. She won the Golden Globe for her performance in “The Big C,” so who’s to say she won’t find her way to the stage in September, beating out the crowd favorite Melissa McCarthy or the always-fabulous Tina Fey for best actress in a comedy? Her turn as Kathy Jamison made me cry a grand total of three times within the inaugural season of the show last year. I know she’s obnoxious, and for as much as I have always been in love with her, I can completely understand why people have lost all patience with her, considering how pretentious she can appear. The real shocker of the night, though, could go to Elizabeth Moss if she somehow happens to pull out the upset for best actress in a drama series. I know, I know. “The Good Wife” is the best show on television. Blah, blah, and blah. But “Mad Men” won’t eligible next year because of this silly contract dispute that will keep the show off the air until 2012. Oh, and considering rumors have been flying about Joanie not returning when the show finally does come back, why not give Christina Hendricks a nod this year for her supporting role? There hasn’t been a better female secretary in the history of television.
3. The best of the best: There aren’t any real surprises when it comes to best drama series this year. If “Friday Night Lights” won, the 50 people in America who actually watched it would probably all convene for some type of carnival. But, as we all know, that’s highly unlikely. In fact, it’s hard to imagine “Mad Men” not taking the trophy this year, especially considering how “Breaking Bad” is AWOL. As for the comedies, I have come to grips with the fact that “30 Rock”‘s days at the top are over. But at least it got nominated here, you stupid critics association, you. It shouldn’t be a shock when “Modern Family” — a show, I’d like to add, that finished this year with a grand total of 17 nominations — laughs its way to the podium. Still, how shocked would you be if “Parks & Recreation” came out of nowhere to finally live up to all that praise its been receiving lately.
4. Quotes, quotes and more quotes: The Associated Press complied a list of memorable reactions last Thursday, and among them were some gems …
– “It doesn’t suck. I’ll put it that way.” — Jon Hamm, of “Mad Men” fame, being Jon Hamm.
– “I’m very excited. This time, I’m going to put a whole rabbit on my key chain.” — Hugh Laurie, of “House” fame, after being asked about never winning the best actor in a drama series award.
– “I’m really excited. I’m with my daughter. I woke her up as well and she was really excited about it. I said, ‘Daddy got nominated for an Emmy.’ She’s like, ‘Really?’ She goes, ‘Daddy, you’re going to be as famous as the guys from ‘Twilight.'” — Idris Elba, of everything-that’s-ever-been-cool fame, describing a cute conversation he had with his daughter.
– “To confirm people’s image of what goes on here, yes, we would have been drinking tonight no matter what. And this afternoon.” — Matthew Weiner, of “Mad Men” fame, speaking as though he is a man who gets paid $50 trillion to be a writer on a television show.
5. Things that don’t fit anywhere else:
– Kyra Sedgwick, last year’s winner for best actress in a drama for her work on TNT’s “The Closer,” wasn’t even nominated this year. Oddly enough, the show comes to an end after next season.
– HBO totaled 104 nominations. Of those 104, my beloved “Treme” didn’t garner a single opportunity.
– Steve Carell got the nomination for best actor in a comedy, and while no one in the world is paying any attention to it, you have to admit it would be lovely to see him finally win one of these things on his way out the door.
– “Episodes” is brilliant and words can’t express how glad I am to see it receiving a little recognition.
– And finally, the biggest snub of the year? How about the Emmys. Wait. What? In the category for outstanding special class programs, the Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammys and Tonys were all nominated. The Emmys, however, didn’t provide enough good television to be included in this year’s competition.