Emmy night is now one of my favorites. It didn't used to be.
Now, whatever I am doing is better than being at the Emmy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Let me put it succinctly: Being at the show itself is a long night, especially with your bosses in proximity.
Don't get me wrong. Otherwise the Emmy event is an OK time. And that's just it. It's not fabulous, and it should be. And it's not awful, which you kind of hope it will be once you realize it's not going to be fabulous. You always get the idea that somewhere, the right people are really doing something fun or naughty or both.
It is a lot like being in Los Angeles itself.
The winners in the big categories this year are pretty obvious to me, and that won't change even if they don't win. So below, I've picked winners that, if it came to be, would be mediocre choices. Even so, I think a few of these unpredictions may come true.
Like Jon Hamm. He's a good-looking guy. And plays a great character, that Don Draper, so great for television. But there's not much acting there. I could almost pick him. But I would rather stick with Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights, who will never do anything better, even if what he does in that overrated show isn't so remarkable to start with. I hope he wins. I don't mean to be mean. But TV actors only rarely graduate to movies. Chandler never will in any big way. So let's root for him. This is his shot.
Of course, the outstanding actor in a drama is Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad, whose performance is nearly mesmerizing. Academy voters apparently agree. They could give it to Glenn Beck for his purely fictional role as a patriotic American, but, thankfully, he wasn't nominated.
The best actress in a drama ought to be Juliana Margulies for The Good Wife, which also should be named the best drama. Neither she nor the show will win. January Jones, the Mad Men beauty (with ever-folded arms), gets my vote. So does Mad Men, which IS the most unusual and most meticulously produced series on television, but really has a rather slight story to tell. The Good Wife, week by week, is far superior.
(This sidetrack: The real best actress on Mad Men is 12-year old Kiernan Shipka, who plays the ever-watchful Sally Draper and steals every scene she is in, and has ever since she ripped off $5 from her grandfather a couple seasons back.)
It is still true that 30 Rock is television's outstanding comedy series, Tina Fey is the best comic actress and Alec Baldwin the outstanding comic actor. So instead, in the acting role, I choose Matthew Morrison from Glee (though I cannot remember one overtly funny thing he's ever done).
In the comic actress category, could anyone be more unremarkable than Julia Louis-Dreyfuss from The New Adventures of Old Christine? It's a series that is so anonymous that she at least deserves an award for finding the soundstage. It's possible the very clever Modern Family will win, and that would be fine. But since I'm in the business here of picking the least likely, my lack of money is on Curb Your Enthusiasm, which, to me, hit that curb and dented the rim after its first season.
To recap, here's just about the worst that could happen:
Best Drama Series: Mad Men
Best Comedy Series: Curb Your Enthusiasm
Best Actor, Drama: Kyle Chandler
Best Actress, Drama: January Jones
Best Actor, Comedy: Matthew Morrison
Best Actress, Comedy: Julia Louis-Dreyfus