Tag Archives: For Your Consideration

The 2007 Emmy Awards: The 12 Biggest Snubs

The good people at AOL Television have put together a photo gallery featuring various thoughts on who got snubbed for the 2007 Emmy Nominations, and I was lucky enough to be one of their featured commentators.

Emmys Blog Reactions – AOL Television

However, their list has admittedly got me thinking about some of the most frustrating snubs that could possibly have arisen out of the various Emmy nominations (Even the obscure ones). And so, I’ve created a list of what are my ten largest snubs of the nominations, individuals who deserved a chance to be recognized by their peers.

‘Lost’ for Best Drama Series

There is no question that Lost reached creative highs in its third season, it’s a pity that an arguable lowpoint in its opening episodes kept it from gaining enough traction to overcome lesser shows like Heroes or Boston Legal which skated by with newness and familiarity respectively. It’s hard to know what got it snubbed: a lack of voter interest, a poorly submitted episode, or the spread of the opinion that the show was past its prime. I don’t understand any of those options, but Lost will sit out another year regardless.

Michael C. Hall (Dexter) for Lead Actor in a Drama Series

It was the single worst snub of the Emmy season, greater than any of the other missing individuals. While James Spader and Kiefer Sutherland went through the pace, Michael C. Hall crafted a serial killer that we not only grew to empathize with but actually kind of liked in the end. His performance made the entire concept work; without some level of empathy, the show would collapse under an unlikable hero incapable of emotional contact with others. After the Hollywood Foreign Press and his Screen Actors Guild peers recognized him, it is unfortunate that the Academy members could not do the same. The fact that he won’t have a chance to challenge for this award is the season’s greatest travesty.

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Filed under 30 Rock, Award Shows, Dexter, Emmy Awards, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Heroes, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, NBC, Television, Weeds

The Highlights and Lowlights of the 2007 Emmy Nominations

The nominations for the 56th annual Primetime Emmy awards have been released, and the result is a whole lot of frustration. While there are certainly some attributes in these categories that certainly warrant some sort of positive feelings, the overall impact is limited with some rather vile mistakes made by the voters. Yes, I said mistakes. Let’s take a look at the Best and the Worst of the nominations.

Best Category

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

This one is simple, really. While there were some other categories that had either too many familiar faces or the wrong mix of people, Supporting Actor in a Comedy gets it just right. Jon Cryer is the token nominee for the popular vote, but then you’ve got four awesome comedic talents: last year’s winner Jeremy Piven along with new (And fantastic) fresh faces in Rainn Wilson, Kevin Dillon and Neil Patrick Harris. I really can’t argue with any of these selections. I would have liked to see Justin Kirk in there, but it’s still a great category.

Runner-Up: Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Worst Category

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Three Grey’s Anatomy actresses, two Sopranos actresses, and perennial Emmy favourite Rachel Griffiths. It is clear that the men are where the new talent is making an impact, because these nominees couldn’t be much more predictable. The lack of new talent (Elizabeth Mitchell for Lost, Hayden Panettiere for Heroes) is the biggest problem, and I really hope that this can change in the future.

Runner-Up: Outstanding Drama Series

Most Surprising Nominee

Michael Emerson (Lost) – Supporting Actor in a Drama

I had written off Michael Emerson, one of my early picks, after Elizabeth Mitchell failed to crack the Top 10. However, it appears that Emerson was able to make it in, and with 6 nominees in his category worked his way into the fold. This was likely supported by Terry O’Quinn’s tape, which featured Emerson heavily. It is most deserved, and the most pleasant surprise of the morning.

Runner-Up: Boston Legal – Outstanding Drama Series

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Cultural Learnings’ 2007 Emmy Nominations: Final Predictions

Tomorrow morning at 5:35am PDT, the nominations for the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced. I will now put myself out there on a limb with my own predictions of whose names will be called. I’ll have all the final nomination information as soon as it breaks, as long as my plan to be online at that point in time works out. I will literally stop working to do this for you, remember that.

NOTE: Some of these predictions have changed thanks to the leaked Top 10 lists. Most have not.

Oustanding Drama Series

Lost

I think it’s the best show on television, and I think that its season was certainly worthy of an Emmy nomination. The show is unmatched on network television in terms of writing, production and performances.

Grey’s Anatomy

It’s season was uneven, but its popular support and wide-range of acting talents will be too hard for the ATAS to ignore.

The Sopranos

The show’s final season kept the buzz level high, and the finale basically clinched it: no one will be forgetting The Sopranos this year.

House

It’s the second biggest drama on television, and people just seem to love the show to death. I think that it is a show that has proven itself worthy in the past, unlike Heroes which still hasn’t won that level of respect.

Friday Night Lights

Admittedly, this is a sentimental choice. However, I can’t not believe that Emmy voters will find the heart of this series too endearing to pass up. With Kyle Chandler making the Drama Actor Top 10, I think the show has a shot.

Oustanding Comedy Series

The Office

Last year’s winner had another strong and buzz-worthy season. It was a bit of a dark horse last year, but this time around it’s absolutely a front-runner…but in a category full of them.

Ugly Betty

One-hour comedies have a distinct advantage over half-hour ones, but even ignoring that Ugly Betty was a charming series that features some great performances. With Becki Newton and Vanessa Williams making the Top 10, I also think this show is a shoe-in.

30 Rock

The other new show to make this list, 30 Rock is a show made for the Emmys: prestigious talent (Fey, Baldwin, Krakowski), relevant and relatable theme (Show about a show), and it’s incredibly liberal. Plus, it’s kind of also the best new comedy of the year. Just sayin’.

Two and a Half Men

The only traditional sitcom left in the Emmy race, I think that voters will trend towards it like the sheep they are. That being said, the show is not the worst sitcom ever: it’s just similar to them in every way.

Entourage

While Scrubs did have the musical episode, I think that Entourage is the closest the category has to a hip show that hasn’t quite gotten its due. 30 Rock is actually quite safe, The Office is now almost too popular, so it’s Entourage that best fits the bill. With Kevin Dillon breaking the Top 10 for Supporting Actor, the show has a shot.

Extra Prediction:

The Sopranos will garner the most nominations on the drama side, while 30 Rock and The Office will fight it out for the most comedy nominations with Ugly Betty not far behind.

The rest of the nominations can be found below, with full explanations found here (Drama) and here (Comedy).

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For Your Consideration: Drama Series – “Lost”

Outstanding Drama Series

“Lost” (ABC)

Here at Cultural Learnings, we did a lot of coverage on the post-hiatus portion of Lost’s third season, which is of course considered to be its strongest. As a result, for the purposes of this post, I’m not going to go into that too greatly, and will instead provide links to my reviews at the bottom of the page. I want to instead focus on the season’s first six episodes, the ones that caused millions to abandon the series and the ones that people call “uneven” or “awful”. Because, even if they don’t reach the pinnacles of the show’s final throes in May, I strongly believe in the quality of the prologue to this season.

While there were certainly pacing issues, the intention behind those first six episodes was a smart one, and the work done by Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse and the entire cast of Lost during that period is still worthy of Emmy consideration.

I don’t quite understand the hate for the first quarter of Lost’s third season. The episodes are certainly lacking part of the show’s most personable elements (The disconnect between Jack/Kate/Sawyer and the rest of the characters is responsible), but as six hours of dramatic television there’s some strong stuff here. But after the show was snubbed last year for what I think was also an Emmy worthy season, I think it deserves a nomination even more this year. And, perhaps against popular opinion, I think you can find evidence for that in its opening six episodes.

A Tale of Two Cities, the season premiere, featured the fantastic cold open to Juliet’s book club and the Others’ perspective of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. The entire episode is basically Jack, Sawyer and Kate, along with us viewers, finding ourselves in a world we’d never seen, and the effect is strong.

YouTube – “A Tale of Two Cities”

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Words and Pictures: Emmy Writing and Directing Contenders (Comedy)

Every year, writers and directors kind of get the short straw, if you will, when it comes to Emmy night. In the past, these categories have served as catch alls for the Academy to recognize series that aren’t getting the same level of attention at higher levels. Two years ago, House won for Best Writing in a Drama Series while Lost swept Directing/Drama Series; last year, My Name is Earl won writing and directing despite being otherwise shut out. This year, these categories will be yet another chance for shows to be recognized.

Today, I want to highlight five comedy episodes in both directing and in writing that, I believe, should be recognized by the Academy and its voters this year. [For my list of Drama candidates, click here]

Oustanding Writing in a Comedy Series

30 Rock“Hard Ball” (Writer: Matthew Hubbard)

It’s hard to believe a former staff writer on Joey was capable of writing such a fantastic episode of 30 Rock, but it happened: this episode made Jenna tolerable, had some great moments from Jack and Liz, and gave Tracy and Kenneth an engaging storyline. It was satirical, it was funny, and while it isn’t perfect I think it’s as close as 30 Rock came to achieving it in its first season.

Entourage“Manic Monday” (Writers: Doug Ellin, Marc Abrams & Michael Benson)

I think that Entourage had a few well-written episodes, but Manic Monday caught me eye for being so focused on Ari. Jeremy Piven knocks all of his material out of the park, but this particular episode showcased a human side, just briefly. The writing allows Ari to progress naturally, and features perhaps the best overall arc of the show’s eligible episode within his character.

Desperate Housewives“Bang” (Writer: Joe Keenan)

Joe Keenan did the impossible: he took a character that was seriously just there to be annoying, and by the end of the episode you actually mourned her death. While Laurie Metcalf and Felicity Huffman certainly elevated the material to a different level, Keenan’s bones were structurally fantastic and resulted in a tense, engaging hour of television.

The Office“Business School” (Writer: Brent Forrester)

A former writer on The Simpsons, I think Forrester absolutely nailed so many characters in this episode that I don’t see how it can’t be nominated. Michael was funny, Pam was crushed, and Jim and Dwight were as ridiculous as ever. It was an episode that has emotional sentiment and a lot of universal themes…and a bat in the office. That’s inspired writing.

How I Met Your Mother - “Slap Bet” (Writer: Kourtney Kang)

From the episode ending 80s-inspired Robin Sparkles reveal to the initiation of the Slap Bet, this episode is a slow build to a conclusion that is basically just a music video…but it works. We spend the entire episode wondering what Robin’s secret it, and its reveal is about as perfect as you could imagine. This is the episode that could have garnered the series an Emmy nod; it’s also a strong writing candidate.

Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series

The Office“Business School” (Director: Joss Whedon)

The Buffy/Angel/Firefly creator was one of two guest directors in the month of February, and I think that he personally nailed the comic timing of the series for me. The show felt the same, but the angles were really a lot of fun. He had the classroom, the art show and the office to play with, and he used some dynamic camera moves and really cool angles to get the most out of them. Listening to commentaries that he does shows he has an eye for direction, and it was proven here.

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Filed under 30 Rock, Award Shows, Emmy Awards, Entourage, How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Television, The Office, Ugly Betty, Weeds

Words and Pictures: Emmy Writing and Directing Contenders (Drama)

Every year, writers and directors kind of get the short straw, if you will, when it comes to Emmy night. In the past, these categories have served as catch alls for the Academy to recognize series that aren’t getting the same level of attention at higher levels. Two years ago, House won for Best Writing in a Drama Series while Lost swept Directing/Drama Series; last year, My Name is Earl won writing and directing despite being otherwise shut out. This year, these categories will be yet another chance for shows to be recognized.

Today, I want to highlight five drama episodes in both directing and in writing that, I believe, should be recognized by the Academy and its voters this year.

Oustanding Writing in a Drama Series 

Lost“Through the Looking Glass” (Writers: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse)

Taking over as full-time co-showrunners, Lindelof and Cuse were behind some great episodes this season. Nothing, however, lives up to this beautifully plotted and mind-bending finale that incorporates action, drama, romance and of course the season-ending twist that was eloquently foreshadowed throughout. It’s a great piece of script work, and deserves to be considered for an Emmy award.

Lost“Expose” (Writers: Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz)

This is perhaps a surprising choice, as the episode was quite divisive. However, in terms of single episodes, this was a wondrous throwback to Twilight Zone storytelling with an amazing slow reveal to the buried alive conclusion. It was a tragedy and a morality tale all wrapped in one, and I think it was an achievement that the writing came together in such a sharp fashion on what could have been (And may have been, for some) a complete disaster.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip“Pilot” (Writer: Aaron Sorkin)

Say what you will about what the series became over the span of its twenty-two episodes, but this pilot is still a fast-paced rollercoaster that does a brilliant job of setting up a series with a lot of potential. It’s contrived, but so is just about everything else on television: Sorkin’s work on the pilot was his best in the series, and I think it is the show’s only chance at garnering a nomination. And, well, it kind of deserves it.

Heroes - “Company Man” (Writer: Bryan Fuller)

Rumour has it that Tim Kring might have a better chance with the series’ pilot, and if that is nominated but Company Man is not I will personally hunt down Bryan Fuller and apologize to him on behalf of the Academy. The single best piece of writing to come out of the series if not the season, Company Man shined a magnifying glass on the world of Heroes to find stories, people, development and subtle qualities I didn’t know the show had. Fuller elevated the material, without a doubt, and deserves recognition for the amazing achievement.

Battlestar Galactica“Occupation / Precipice” (Writer: Ronald D. Moore)

As the show’s third season began, BSG turned into a post-colonial study of people being oppressed, and their only hope losing hope that they could do something about it. Having flashed forward over a year, Moore had a lot of pieces to pick up and did it well. The introduction of the resistance and its plight was real, relevant to today’s politics, and felt like the series was finding a new ground. It is almost unfortunate that they left New Caprica so soon, because the material to be mined there was very solid. And Moore knew it.

Oustanding Direction in a Drama Series

Friday Night Lights“Pilot” (Director: Peter Berg)

Some people are turned off by the show’s handheld style, but without it I think this pilot may have been just a pedestrian football drama. So much of the show’s heart comes from our intimate location during both the football games and conversations: being able to capture that allowed his characters to grow, and Berg’s touch made sure that happened.

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[Not] For Your Consideration: Drama Series – “Heroes”

[As part of Cultural Learnings’ For Your Consideration Emmy Nominations Preview, the next two weeks will feature 7 Drama Series and 7 Comedy Series worthy of Emmy consideration. However, invariably, we don’t like all of them. Even some shows we watch, well, aren’t exactly Emmy worthy. So, [Not] For Your Consideration was born. For all of Cultural Learnings’ Emmy Coverage featuring Supporting and Lead Acting candidates, check out our For Your Consideration Index.]

Outstanding Drama Series

Heroes (NBC)

In preparing to write these pieces, I knew that I was going to have a problem with Heroes. I have a lot of opinions about this series, and admittedly not all of them are positive: despite enjoying the series immensely at certain points, at others I cringed and wondered just why I was watching it. So, knowing that I would likely end up writing an article about its season as a whole, I tried to distill my thoughts into something positive, but tentative. But then I realized that would not work, and that I needed to be honest. And so, here we are, with what is my first venture into this territory. Because, you see, even though it officially made the Drama Series Top 10…I don’t think that Heroes should be considered for an Emmy award for Outstanding Drama Series.

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For Your Consideration: Comedy Series – “Ugly Betty”

[As part of Cultural Learnings' For Your Consideration Emmy Nominations Preview, the next two weeks will feature 7 Drama Series and 7 Comedy Series worthy of Emmy consideration. Check back daily for a different series, with drama and comedy alternating positions. For all of Cultural Learnings' Emmy Coverage featuring Supporting and Lead Acting candidates, check out our For Your Consideration Index.]

Outstanding Comedy Series

Ugly Betty (ABC)

There are certain shows that are all hype and no follow through; they launch in September to rave reviews and high ratings, but immediately falter and fail to pull you in. For a brief period, I felt Ugly Betty was that show. And then, something clicked: the soap opera elements of the show’s plot were given resonance, and the series returned to its characters and settings that made it a success in the first place. And that’s really the hallmark of a series’ first season: does it end in worse or better shape than when it started. With perhaps the strongest melodramatic finale of the season (Take that, Grey’s), Ugly Betty proved that its initial success was no fluke, and its growth makes it deserving of Emmy consideration.

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For Your Consideration: Drama Series – “Friday Night Lights”

[As part of Cultural Learnings' For Your Consideration Emmy Nominations Preview, the next two weeks will feature 7 Drama Series and 7 Comedy Series worthy of Emmy consideration. Check back daily for a different series, with drama and comedy alternating positions. For all of Cultural Learnings' Emmy Coverage featuring Supporting and Lead Acting candidates, check out our For Your Consideration Index.]

Outstanding Drama Series

Friday Night Lights (NBC)

Attempting to sell people on NBC’s Friday Night Lights has always been difficult, as it is tough to describe just what makes it one of the best shows on television. Is it a football show, or is it just another teen drama? Does it value principles such as family or principles such as teen lust? Is it trying to be a broad political commentary on the War in Iraq, or rather a representation of isolated small town America? What I believe I’ve decided upon is that Friday Night Lights is that it is an amazing achievement because it manages to be all of these things: through a handheld camera lens, Peter Berg and Jason Katims have created a window into the lives of families, teenagers, high school football, and even the ramifications of world politics on small town America. The best new network drama of the Season, Friday Night Lights it without a doubt worthy of Emmy consideration.

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For Your Consideration: Comedy Series – “How I Met Your Mother”

[As part of Cultural Learnings' For Your Consideration Emmy Nominations Preview, the next two weeks will feature 7 Drama Series and 7 Comedy Series worthy of Emmy consideration. Check back daily for a different series, with drama and comedy alternating positions. For all of Cultural Learnings' Emmy Coverage featuring Supporting and Lead Acting candidates, check out our For Your Consideration Index.]

Outstanding Comedy Series

How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

I don’t quite understand why How I Met Your Mother was almost not renewed for a third season this past year. The show’s second season was a bit uneven, but it has a charm and wit that few multi-camera sitcoms can relate to. On a network where its most successful sitcoms star middle-aged men and women, How I Met Your Mother follows twenty-somethings adjusting to life out of college and in the real world. What began as a moderately intriguing premise of figuring out how Ted met his wife has turned into a cohesive and diverse comedy that has been able to exist outside of the cultural radar.

The Office became a cult hit and had a lot of pressure placed on it, Two and a Half Men has the highest ratings and needs to keep them, but How I Met Your Mother didn’t need to prove anything to anyone. It resulted in a lot of fun material and slow builds of storyline that have helped the show in the long run. While the show struggled to live up to its November Sweeps genius, it ended the season with a series of episodes that were both really well made and also incredibly well organized. The show was sadly not voted into the Top 10, which means it can’t be nominated, and that’s a shame: because How I Met Your Mother deserved to meet the Emmy awards this season.

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