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.
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
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
Least Surprising Nominee(s)
Everything Associated with The Sopranos
It has 15 nominations, five of which are for acting, so it isn’t too surprising that The Sopranos dominated so completely. The series ended its final year with a lot of buzz, most of it deserved, and the result was a whole lot of unsurprising Emmy praise.
Runner-Up: Dexter – Opening Title Sequence (Trust me, it is going to win)
Most Glaring Omission
Michael C. Hall (Dexter) – Lead Actor in a Drama Series
He was nominated for a Golden Globe, a SAG, but it appears that the Emmys love James Spader more than they are willing to embrace Michael C. Hall’s rather creepy serial killer. Hall gives a great performance in the series, but it seems that Showtime just isn’t able to crack the actor races.
Runner-Up: Lost – Outstanding Drama Series
Most Mistreated Show
Friday Night Lights
The series garnered a nomination for Direction, but it was unable to break into any other major categories. This is a serious mistreatment of the wonderful cast (The show was nominated for a Casting Emmy as well), and it is rather unfortunate that the ATAS doesn’t realize how great this show really is.
The Most Improved
The series has been on Jeremy Piven’s back at the Emmys for two years, but now Entourage has scored its first comedy series nomination along with a supporting actor nod for Kevin Dillon. That’s the type of growth that Emmy voters take notice of for future years.
Runner-Up: Two and a Half Men (Begrudgingly)
Most Back-Handed Compliment
The Academy gave it a drama series nomination and four supporting nominations, but the show was shut out of writing and directing. It is clear that this show, once a success thanks to quality writing, has become just another popular doctor show in the eyes of the non-panelled categories.
Runner-Up: Friday Night Lights (“Your casting was great, but we won’t nominate your cast”)
Most Nominated Night
With 30 Rock’s 10 nominations, The Office following with even more, and then Grey’s Anatomy, and…well, it’s the night of television that critics appear to be watching the most of. Must See TV indeed.
Runner-Up: Sunday (The Sopranos, Entourage, ABC’s lineup)
Least Nominated Night
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fridays garnered absolutely zero nominations. This could chance next year, as Friday Night Lights makes the move over to the other side.
Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
I am wholly convinced that these two helped each other immensely. While O’Quinn got in on really a single episode, the panel rules cut the tapes down to entire that character’s scenes. This meant that Emerson was not only in his own episode, but basically everything that voters saw of O’Quinn’s as well. Their discussions were a highlight all season, and Emmy voters noticed it. Which is good.
Most Random Nomination
Drive – Visual Effects (Miniseries or TV Movie)
It’s the most random because Drive apparently submitted as a miniseries, which I wasn’t aware of. I don’t see how it could win anything else, though, since it had no ending.
Most Frustrating Category
Original Song Written for Television
Scrubs has two nominations, one of which it really doesn’t deserve. It’s frustrating because the brilliant Let’s Go to the Mall, as performed by Robin Sparkles on the “Slap Bet” episode of How I Met Your Mother, got snubbed in favour of one of them. The only mention it got was that the editor of the piece got a nomination, which is still good…I guess.
Most Disappointing Reality
Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) Never Being Nominated for an Emmy
In the show’s last season, Lauren Graham couldn’t break through to take an Emmy nomination. The result of this is that one of the best actresses of the past decade on television will not be recognized by the medium’s largest awards show in any form. Boourns to that.
Most Depressing Statistic
The CW’s ONE Nomination
The CW only managed a sound editing nomination for Smallville…or was it Sound Effects? Either way, it just goes to show you that the network is basically doing nothing to increase their profile at this rate.
Most Deserving Accolades
It might never break through in acting or series contention, but the writing and directing nominations scored by the series are most deserving, and show that outside of the panels the show actually scores quite well. People seem to really think it’s well-made, it’s just not penetrating the minds of the majority as a real contender.
Most Nominated Individual
Tina Fey (For Writing, Producing and Starring in 30 Rock)
Hats off to Tina for completing the trifecta: Clint Eastwood would be proud.