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GUEST BLOG #102: TVWW Gang Weighs In On Emmy Nomination Wishes: Who SHOULD Get Noticed...
July 7, 2010  | By David Bianculli
 

GUEST BLOG #102: TVWW Gang Weighs In On Emmy Nomination Wishes: Who SHOULD Get Noticed...

[Bianculli here: With the Emmy nominations coming Thursday morning, I asked our TV WORTH WATCHING contributors to weigh in on the subject. And boy, did they, with a passion that explains why we all spend so much time watching, and writing about, television...]

Breaking-Bad-Paul-Cranston.jpgHow About Some Love for Aaron Paul, Michael C. Hall, and... Tom Bergeron?"

By Diane Werts

There's hope for the Emmys yet, since they've managed to honor both Bryan Cranston and Toni Collette for their stellar work on such little-seen series gems as AMC's Breaking Bad and Showtime's The United States of Tara.

breakingbad-breakage-paul.jpg

So, now, how about a little love for Aaron Paul, the loser teen who helps Cranston's "Mister White" cook meth on AMC's audacious dramedy, while paradoxically serving as this twisted show's moral center? It's actually the tougher role, being so much less defined than Cranston's hapless chemistry teacher and family man. And Paul aces it, till we laugh, pity and marvel at his inarticulate anguish.

At least Michael C. Hall has been nominated for Showtime's Dexter. But he certainly deserves the Emmy for this season, when his serial-killer-of-serial-killers finally searched his own soul, and actually found something there, just before that glimmer of hope was expunged in the season's most shocking cliffhanger twist.

dancing-with-the-stars-tom-.jpg

If those are the two races about which I feel most strongly, there's a third that even I'm surprised gets me worked up. And that's best reality show host. I'm no "reality" fan, yet I am an absolute disciple of Tom Bergeron, whose work on ABC's Dancing With the Stars utterly defines that show. Forget Bruno or Len -- it's Bergeron's effortless wit that makes DTWS a breezy delight. He knows what to express how, when to sympathize or prod, and best of all, when to joke with real bite. He does it all on live TV, too. Bergeron losing to Survivor host Jeff Probst continues to be Emmy's biggest shaft.

--

friday-night-lights_l.jpgMy Emmy Thoughts: "Friday Night Lights" or Bust

By Diane Holloway

If Zach Gilford (playing Matt Sacaren, eligible for supporting actor), Connie Britton (Tami Taylor, lead actress) and Kyle Chandler (Coach Eric Taylor, lead actor) don't get drama acting awards, the Emmys lose all credibility.

Seriously, what is it about Friday Night Lights that causes Emmy voters to slam the door? Makes no sense.

That's all I have to say about the Emmys.

--

friday-night-lights178.jpgDitto on "Lights" -- Among Lots of Other Emmy Thoughts

By Ed Martin

When it comes to Emmy nominations, no series in the history of television has been so egregiously overlooked as Friday Night Lights. The first three seasons of this remarkable drama about life in one of those small Texas towns where high school football rules were all award-worthy, yet it has never once been in the running for Outstanding Drama Series. Outrageous!

Further, the fact that FNL leads Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton have never even been recognized makes me sick. I'd like to see them both nominated this year, along with the series itself and three of its supporting players: Taylor Kitsch, Michael B. Jordan and especially the awesome Zach Gilford.

For reasons known only to the guy himself, Gilford has submitted his work for consideration in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, where he doesn't stand a chance against John Lithgow's terrifying turn as a serial killer in Dexter. That's a shame, because I think as male supporting players go, Gilford gave the performance of the year, especially in the episode in which his character dealt with the sudden death of his estranged father. (The female supporting performance of the year, by the way, came from Lily Tomlin in Damages, but she, too, has been submitted in a guest category.)

Along with FNL, I hope that voting members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences see fit to nominate Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Lost, Damages and Dexter for Outstanding Drama Series. If FNL is once again benched, then HBO's Treme should make the cut.

good-wife-margulies-w-priva.jpg

Meanwhile, Julianna Margulies of CBS's The Good Wife, Glenn Close of Damages, Holly Hunter of TNT's Saving Grace and Kyra Sedgwick of TNT's The Closer are top of mind in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Here's hoping the Academy also gives some serious thought to January Jones of Mad Men, Mary McCormack of USA's In Plain Sight and, especially, Katey Sagal of FX's Sons of Anarchy. If it were up to me, Sagal or Hunter would take home the award.

And with all due respect to the amazing Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad, I'd like to see the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series finally go to Jon Hamm of Mad Men or Michael C. Hall of Dexter, as they both had extraordinary seasons.

jim-parsons_l.jpg

On the comedy front, I'm certain that Jim Parsons of CBS's The Big Bang Theory will be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. I’d like to see him take home the award, rather than perennial winner Alec Baldwin of NBC's 30 Rock. My choice for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series is the consistently surprising Courteney Cox of ABC's Cougar Town, but I suspect the award will go to Toni Collette for United States of Tara or Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie.

In the supporting arena, the Academy should consider honoring John Noble of Fringe, Martin Short of Damages and Josh Holloway of Lost with nominations, but I think Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad deserves the actual award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Similarly, I think Sharon Gless deserves a nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her underappreciated contribution to USA's Burn Notice, and it wouldn't suck if her striking co-star Gabrielle Anwar were acknowledged, as well.

Greys-anatomy-Chandra-Wilso.jpg

But I think it's time for the Academy to finally honor the work of either Sandra Oh or Chandra Wilson in ABC's Grey's Anatomy. They both deserve awards for their contributions to the show's shattering season finale. On the comedy front, I'm pulling for Peter Facinelli in Nurse Jackie over industry favorite Ty Burrell in ABC's Modern Family as Outstanding Supporting Actor, and Julie Bowen of Modern Family over seeming shoo-in Jane Lynch of Fox's Glee for Outstanding Supporting Actress.

--

New-Adv-old-Christinejpg.jpgA Big Vote for an Under-appreciated Broadcast TV Sitcom

By Tom Brinkmoeller

I would be amazingly happy if Julia Louis-Dreyfus and/or anyone associated with that series, CBS's The New Adventures of Old Christine, won big. I'm guessing most of the nominated and winning shows will come from premium cable.

--

jim-parsons-as-sheldon.jpgLove Letters to Jim Parsons, Hugh Laurie... And "So You Think You Can Dance"?"

By Theresa Corigliano

And the Emmy should go to:

JIM PARSONS (as Sheldon Cooper, CBS's Big Bang Theory).

I have never done this before. I was stopped at a light on a major street in Los Angeles when I saw him. Quickly, I rolled down the passenger side window and yelled: 'I love you!" I was grinning like an idiot. He smiled shyly and acknowledged the compliment and, lucky for him, when the light changed, I drove on. (Believe me, there was a moment, just a moment, when I considered getting out of the car and...well, I don't know why I would have done that, but I considered it.)

It was early in the first season of Big Bang, and at the time, I didn't even know Jim Parsons' name. All I knew was that he made me laugh, and that's what "I love you" meant to me. To me, Parsons is the Fred Astaire of comedy: so nimble, so organic in his delivery of the impossible tongue-twister dialogue of BBT, I marvel every week how he and his fellow actors manage to do it. But the thing Parsons has nailed down is the truth of the misanthropic Sheldon -- he has found the character's humanity, and that's what makes his performance sing.

Of course, it's always about the writing -- if it's not on the page, the actor will be hard-pressed to make it work. (This is why, in most sitcoms, actors have a tendency to yell. I can only assume it is the same thinking that leads people to shout at non-English speakers, in the hope that they will be able to get their ideas across at a higher decibel level.)

If you are still not watching BBT, you have to trust me on this: it is the funniest show on television. How Parsons did not earn an Emmy for the Christmas gift episode ("The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis") is inexplicable to me... Did the Emmy voters actually bother to watch it?

I have been known to carry around seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and say casually to my unsuspecting friends: "Just watch the pilot." The Lays potato chip effect takes hold -- they have all simply been unable to watch just one episode, and I am pleased, knowing that if it means converting one person at a time, I will do it.

house-hugh-laurie-house-3a.jpg

Drama? Hugh Laurie. Period. The man is marvelous and he is and has been the best actor in a drama. If you need further proof than his searing portrayal of Gregory House, rent episodes of the British comedy Jeeves and Wooster, and then watch Fox's House. Contrast and compare -- the man is British, he does not walk with a limp, for starters.

Just try to catch him slip in the dialogue. He doesn't. He has a created a pathetic, brilliant, wry, sad, touching mess of a character, and always transcends, even when the plots betray him. (Patient sick, no one knows why, doctors on his dysfunctional team try a bunch of stuff, House has his eureka moment after he has pissed everyone off with his arrogance and anti-social bedside manner, most patients live.) It's been six years -- give the man his due!

so-you-think-you-can-dance-.jpg

So You Think You Can Dance... an entertainment magazine recently observed if you've seen one dance competition show, you've seen them all. What a stupid comment. SYTYCD is stunning. Cat Deeley does the best hosting on television -- not even reality television, frankly, but it's always about the dancers. Some of the kids who are competing are 18 years old, the others not much older.

They are babies when they speak to the judges -- and then, they take flight, and something ageless and not of this world happens. The dedication, the training, the passion they exhibit every week is mind-boggling. I danced for many years, and I can tell you that the easier a dancer makes the choreography look, the harder it is. Trained in one kind of dance, and asked to do something completely outside their expertise, week after week, these kids deliver goose bump performances. When they soar, you will. When they triumph, you'll melt.

If the dance numbers are good enough to honor with Emmys, than the show deserves to be honored. Note to Nigel Lythgoe -- I say this even in a season when the format changes are not working for me. Love the "All-Stars" -- but we learned so much more about these dancers when they were partnering each other.

[What are YOU hoping gets noticed this year?]


3 Comments

 

Eileen said:

I'm totally with Tom B! Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Wanda Sykes, in particular, need to be singled out. Why this show was cancelled remains a mystery to me when such deadwood remains on tv.

If any of the Mad Men ladies are to be honored, I go with the fabulous Elizabeth Moss. She's managed in three short seasons to turn Peggy from an innocent girl into a real threat to the guys. Excellent work.

Has Kyra Sedgwick ever won? Don't think so. Surprising since she's a terrific actress, and has pulled in huge ratings.

I totally agree re: Hugh Laurie. And the leads of Friday Night Lights. A complete shame all of their work hasn't been honored.

Although 30 Rock has been the big winner for the last few years, recognition of the supporting cast hasn't come through. This should be Kenneth's year -- he's hilarious and a mainstay to every story line and episode. 30 Rock is truly an ensemble show, but the supporting actors haven't gotten their fair share of the Emmys.

Speaking of overlooked, the excellent Chris Meloni is always nominated for L&O SVU, but has yet to win. Ridiculous.

And speaking of L&O and its recent demise, shouldn't the Emmy have some sort of tribute to Dick Wolf? Aside from keeping thousands employed, he's an amazement. Truly wonderful entertainment over a staggeringly long period of time. Some of the best actors/actresses on tv, and the always entertaining "guest stars" on every single episode of his franchise. Let's give this man his due...

Comment posted on July 7, 2010 11:14 AM


Tausif Khan said:

I believe Jim Parsons lost to Jon T. Cryer last year at the Emmys(this in a category with Neil Patrick Harris). If something like this happens again. I will not watch the Emmys anymore.

I would love if Enver Gjokaj to be nominated for supporting actor for his amazing work on Dollhouse (even though I don't think he submitted an entry). Similarly I believe Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tanacheron for the episode "The Attic" for the same show.

I definitely think that Friday Night Lights should be nominated as well as Lost to start the impetus for more serialized drama and sci fi on network television.

Comment posted on July 7, 2010 5:36 PM


Rich said:

As strange as this sounds - I don't think the Emmys are relevant in terms of what takes off or becomes popular. It's the industry patting itself on the back. The critics are often always at odds with what actually gets ratings & becomes culturally relevant.

I think critics' choices hold more weight than the Emmys because there's a methodology and reason for why something is "excellent" in the mind of the viewer. Plus, the cultural gap between Gen X'ers, Baby Boomers, and Millennials might as well be "Night & Day."

I'd like to see shows like "How I Met Your Mother" & "Big Bang Theory" get noticed. "House," "Fringe," "True Blood" and "Lost" were all good. I think the two shows that blew my mind this season were "Dexter" and "Mad Men." Sadly, no amount of attention given to "Mad Men" is going to make it any more mainstream than it is.

The most original show I've seen was an anime called "Angel Beats" about a group of teens who all wake up in a purgatory-like high school world and wage a war against its creator for various reasons. Every character has a backstory (past life) and many are hiding secrets and motives for allying or fighting. Every episode, the series re-invented the 'goals' or perils.

The Heroes, Villains, comedy, musical soundtrack, heartfelt moments, internal struggles, and moments of joy were all top notch! I even cried a little at the end. It was only 13 episodes. Then again, the newest explosive sensation from Japan is "High School of the Dead" (currently being showed in real-time with Japan on Anime Network in the USA) which involves a Zombie apocalypse hitting Japan, sort of like "Zombieland."

I think we need a new version or 'measuring stick' for the Emmys, Oscars, Grammys, etc. Are these awards even relevant anymore??

[Good question, and a perennial one. By the way: We older folk may not be as fluent in anime as you are, but high school as purgatory, or zombieland? THAT we can relate to... -- David B.]

Comment posted on July 7, 2010 8:57 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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