Can you believe it’s the middle of June already? Honestly, though. One more time to make sure you read the words: IT. IS. JUNE. ALREADY. Color me sunburned and turn up the air conditioning. How did this happen? Before you know it, we’ll be watching leaves fall to the ground, painting everything with depressing colors, and sweaters will be back in our fashion rotation. Where did the time go? Why didn’t we have at least a month’s worth of “it’s not too hot out yet” temperatures? And since when did June mean temperatures akin to a pizza oven?
But I digress. I bring up the time of year because believe it or not, awards season isn’t all that far away. This means three things: 1) We get the pleasure of watching pretty people dress up every other Sunday for yet another trophy banquet that happens to air on any network from NBC to TruTV; 2) Fair-weather television fans will rush to watch as many episodes of critically acclaimed programming for the first time all year; and 3) It is the one time of year clips of the brilliant “30 Rock” are seen by more than the 16 people who typically watch it religiously.
So where does this lead us? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you this year’s nominees for the Television Critics Association Awards. Really. I do. Just check out the box that appears to the right of this.
That’s right. The television shows, actors, actresses and everything else in between that won our collective hearts for the past 10 months are all up for shiny little ego-inflating plaques and I — yes me, the guy with the weird hair in the corner — am here to share such nominee knowledge with you, the wonderfully intelligent blog reader. The ceremony will be held on Aug. 6 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles and for all intents and purposes, this is the beginning of what will now be an interesting string of months as more and more awards shows start to reveal the finalists for their respective awards.
What to do about this, you ask? Give you some bulleted talking points to think about, that’s what. So alas, you will find some water-cooler jargon below aimed at dissecting the ins and outs of this year’s ceremony. Keep in mind, there are a faction of people who are beginning to think this particular awards show is becoming as important as the gold standard for such things, the Emmy Awards. So consider the following as the first look at how the trophy shows may turn out this year.
Onward and upward …
1. No “30 Rock.” That’s sad. Actually. That’s really sad. So does this mean if the show can’t justify its existence by winning awards (there aren’t nearly enough people who watch it regularly to keep it afloat), how much longer does it have? One season? Maybe two? As you will note if you ever stumble upon my incessant Twitter page, I truly do believe this is a show that is simply smarter and funnier than most anything I’ve ever seen (you can’t top “Arrested Development,” but darnit if Tina Fey and her friends aren’t close). So if “30 Rock” is on its way to vanishing from the earth completely, then that must mean …
2. Other shows at NBC are shining like the top of George Costanza’s head in the middle of August. The real shocker this year has more to do with the amount of acclaim “Parks And Recreation” has received than “30 Rock” hasn’t. Even more so, Nick Offerman, the clear resident funniest dude on the show, is hosting this year’s ceremony. Combine that with the fact that the show is tied for the leader in the clubhouse this year by garnering four nominations, and what you have is a night that could prove to be huge for Amy Poehler and company. Who said Adam Scott would never be able to find his niche?
3. The Outstanding Achievement In Drama category. “Mad Men” had one of its most divisive seasons ever last year (people loved it, people hated it), and the fact that no one is going to see Don Draper again until 2012 is something that must weigh on everybody’s minds, right? “Friday Night Lights” is one of the best shows no one has ever seen and how nice would it be to see the show go out on top after NBC famously botched everything about it (really? Airing a season on a different network first is supposed to be a good idea?). “The Good Wife” is a show many call the best on television today and a show I can’t stop hearing about. And “Game Of Thrones” and “Justified” are two shows the writers seem to adore. So who wins? Or better yet, who should win?
4. News, news and more news. “If God Is Willing And The Creek Don’t Rise” is something I’ve been dying to come across, though simply haven’t found the means. “60 Minutes” is an institution. Rachel Maddow’s show is breaking barriers by even being nominated for something that is supposed to be aimed at objective newscasts (not that I have anything against her – I’ve always thought that she seemed to be a pretty neat person, but to think anything down the middle is going to come from MSNBC or Fox News is sort of like saying you think C-Span will eventually be offered in 3-D). And ESPN’s “30 For 30” was and is simply fantastic. Again – who wins? Who should win?
5. Snubs, snubs and yes, more snubs. In addition to the “30 Rock” atrocity, you really mean to tell me there is no love for “Dexter”? What about the fantastic portrait of New Orleans, “Treme”? “American Idol” isn’t considered for reality programming even after it managed to rise from the dead this year, while “The Voice” is up for the award? And of all the people you take from “Community,” you only consider Danny Pudi for best achievement in comedy? Sure, nominating “Louie” was a move both surprising and welcome, but to refuse some of the people who clearly deserved at least a nomination while taking some who could have probably sat this year out (we get it and we love you, Jon Stewart, but really, make room for more fresh faces, please) is an action that is nothing short of disappointing. Please — I beg you, Emmys. Take note of such atrocities and make the world of television right again.