Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Predicting the 2009 Emmys
And the nominees are…
- Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
- Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live)
- Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
- Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)
- Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
- Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)
With last year’s winner Jean Smart out of the race, let us take a moment to remember that nobody in their right mind really predicted Jean Smart to win this award last year. This means that there is a definite air of unpredictability around this award that makes for an interesting battle.
I think that Perkins and Williams are out of the running at this point: I don’t think either of them have the material or the buzz factor to be able to successfully mount a competitive fight here. I’m also going to suggest that Wiig is probably not going to make it either. I like her, and I think that she was better overall on SNL this year, but I think her lack of name recognition will keep her out of the winners’ circle as known entities tend to do better in the Supporting categories.
That leaves Amy Poehler (favoured to win last year but shut out), Kristin Chenoweth (whose show is cancelled) and Jane Krakowski (whose show dominated the Emmy nominations). Part of me thinks that all have something working against them that could let one of the other sneak in. Poehler was supposed to win last year, but didn’t even when her profile (due to Baby Mama) was at an all-time high. This year, her profile wasn’t enough for her to sneak into Lead Actress Comedy for Parks and Recreation, and she’s been overshadowed by Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin performance in terms of SNL. That’s a tough situation to balance, but she’s well-liked and remains a major player.
Chenoweth and Krakowski have the exact opposite problem, really. In Krakowski’s case, I don’t think she had the same kind of strong material this year (when she and her co-stars picked up on the 30 Rock Emmy train with supporting nods) as she did last, with her fat period providing a lot of great comic material overall. Jenna was a bit more all over the place this season, but on a show with that much buzz it might not matter. Chenoweth’s Olive Snook, meanwhile, was in fine form on Pushing Daisies, in the midst of deeply personal but hilarious storylines played out in the show’s trademark zany and surrealistic environment. However, no one watched Pushing Daisies, and for all of her Tony-winning brilliance the cancelled show factor could weight heavily on her ability to win the award.
Predicted Winner: Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
All of that being said, going with my heart and my gut on this one: I think Emmy voters appreciated Pushing Daisies enough and find Chenoweth charming enough in a winning submission to give her and the show the sendoff they deserve.
Dark Horse: Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
And the Nominees Are…
2009 Emmy Nominations
For analysis of the surprises, the snubs, and everything in between, check out:
Power to the People?: 2009 Emmy Nominations Analysis [Link]
However, in list form, the nominees for the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards are…
Outstanding Drama Series
- Big Love
- Breaking Bad
- Mad Men
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- Glenn Close (Damages)
- Mariska Hargitay (Law and Order: SVU)
- Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)
- Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
- Holly Hunter (Saving Grace)
- Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
- Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment)
- Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
- Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
- Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
- Hugh Laurie (House)
- Simon Baker (The Mentalist)
Outstanding Comedy Series
- Family Guy
- Flight of the Conchords
- How I Met Your Mother
- The Office
- 30 Rock
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
- Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords)
- Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
- Steve Carell (The Office)
- Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
- Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
- Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
- Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?)
- Toni Colette (United States of Tara)
- Tina Fey (30 Rock)
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus (New Adventures…Christine)
- Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)
- Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program)
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
There are some years where you expect a lot of turnaround in categories, and this is a fine example of that: Kristin Chenoweth is unlikely to make it back for canceled Pushing Daisies, Vanessa Williams could lose her spot with Ugly Betty’s fall from cultural relevance, Amy Poehler is focusing her efforts on the Lead Actress race, and even last year’s winner Jean Smart could be in trouble with Samantha Who? being canceled. This leaves only Holland Taylor, whose role on Two and a Half Men seems to be pretty safe in terms of garnering another nomination, and thus five spots are potentially open for new entrants into the category.
Chances are that some of those faces will actually be familiar ones, just those which have been out of the category as of late. Elizabeth Perkins has made it here before for her role on Weeds, and there’s every chance that she could return. She could be joined by Conchata Ferrell of Two and a Half Men, who could return depending on the way the popular vote reacts to Two and a Half Men: was its success driven by popularity or by its traditional sitcom familiarity in the panels? Only time will tell, for now.
The one return that feels absolutely necessary is Jenna Fischer, who did some really strong work on The Office and deserves recognition for it after being snubbed last year. Similarly, Jane Krakowski is playing a tough role on 30 Rock, as Jenna is often used in ways that don’t really do the character justice and turn it into a thankless, one-note part of the show. However, when she has strong material (like when she faked her death, or had an epic battle with Tracy resulting in Jenna wearing black face), she’s absolutely fantastic, and deserves to ride the show’s momentum to a nomination.
The new contender in the field, meanwhile, is Rosemarie DeWitt, whose role on United States of Tara showed some nice evolution. While the similarity of this role to her role in Rachel Getting Married (woman jealous of her damaged and thus attention-seeking sister) was at times a detriment to understanding how good she is at it, it’ll work well for voters who know her from that film and who know that she probably deserved a shot at the Oscar with her performance, and likely deserves a shot at the Emmy here.
Predictions for Supporting Actress in a Comedy
- Rosemarie DeWitt (“United States of Tara”)
- Jenna Fischer (“The Office”)
- Jane Krakowski (“30 Rock”)
- Jean Smart (“Samantha Who?”)
- Holland Taylor (“Two and a Half Men”)
- Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Betty”)
“No Man is Pudding”
July 14th, 2008
When Weeds started its fourth season with a rather stunning departure from its original setting, there was a question of how long it would take to get back into a groove, so to speak. Albert Brooks did a fine job of integrating into the cast, propping them up for a while, but eventually things would have to return to normal (Or whatever whacked out concept of normalcy applies to these people).
And this is the episode where that happens, albeit not exactly in a welcome fashion across the board. Shane, Silas and Doug are given a paper thing “Bees” storyline (“BEADS?!”), and the show continues to believe that the only characters arcs Andy is capable of are “Crazy Hijinx Leading to Criminal Investigations.” So on those two fronts, normalcy (Sidelining the supporting players to silly storylines that aren’t nearly as interesting as our central conflict) isn’t so much welcome as familiar.
But sometimes familiar can be a good thing, and the episode is the triumphant reunion of probably the show’s best two characters. If you wanted this to feel like the Weeds of old, with high stakes combining with high emotions and dark comedy intersecting with personal drama, look no further than the teaming of Nancy Botwin and Celia Hoades. Elizabeth Perkins and Mary-Louise Parker are at their top of the game here, and the end result is television magic.
And, Andy’s episode title quote is pretty funny too.
“The Three Coolers”
July 7th, 2008
A cooler can be many things, but the eponymous ones referred to by this week’s episode title are of two varieties: two literal coolers, the refrigeration equivalent of The Matrix’s red/blue pills, and one cooler that follows another definition.
From Urban Dictionary:
A hand in poker in which a person with a very strong hand (often the 2nd best possible hand) is beaten by the best possible hand (usually a very rare full house, four of a kind, or straight flush). The 2nd best hand is so strong that it is impossible to fold, usually resulting in the loss of a lot of money and sometimes, an existential crisis.
For Len Botwin, his Cooler was his mother, and while her departure leaves him with a house he can’t sell it also leaves him without that other hand there to beat him at every turn. Albert Brooks’ short stint on the show, spanning only this first set of episodes, has been a strong one largely because he hasn’t been a dominant hand. What made the character so strong is that he was a disruptive but not destructive element for all of these characters: he didn’t destroy anyone, but laid the seeds in all of them for a season’s worth of development.
And it looks like a good season: with everything now mostly settled, including how to bring Celia and Doug back into the fold and how to normalize Nancy’s drug work for Guillermo (All ruined by the previews, although maybe not in a bad way), it’s time to move on from Len and focus on how these characters will truly embrace their new habitat.
“Lady’s a Charm”
June 23rd, 2008
When Nancy Botwin is wearing an extremely short dress, her family knows the score: she isn’t shopping for a bed skirt, that’s for sure. After we learned last week that Guillermo had plans for her that went beyond the “sales floor,” it was pretty easy to put two and two together that he had plans to exploit his muse to the fullest, so to speak.
The result is the usual theme for Weeds, as Nancy’s new experiences are told through an alarming sequence wherein she’s way over her head and where Mary-Louise Parker can continue to indicate why she’s so great in this role. It’s at least, though, more of a learning experience for Nancy than before, as she might just have some time to grow into this one without fear for her life…but probably not.
The second episode of Weeds’ fourth season is a lot like the first: a lot of setup with little payoff. This isn’t a bad thing, I’ll stress that point a lot, but it does mean that the most shocking thing about the episode was that Silas got a new haircut. This isn’t to say that Weeds needs to shock us, but it does mean that things are continuing at the snail’s pace the show can be known for.