Saturday, July 20, 2013

VIEWS ON THE 65th PRIMETIME EMMY AWARD NOMINATIONS

This year’s Emmy nominations were announced earlier this week, with several new series and performers joining the race for television gold. The list was disappointing in some ways, and not completely predictable... Here’s a look at all the major categories


Outstanding Drama
BREAKING BAD
DOWNTON ABBEY
GAME OF THRONES
HOMELAND (2012 winner)
HOUSE OF CARDS
MAD MEN

There were no surprises in this category. I was especially pleased to see HOUSE OF CARDS in this list. The show had an excellent first season, and all good things said and written about the show are not enough.

Outstanding Actress In A Drama
Connie Britton, NASHVILLE
Claire Danes, HOMELAND (2012 winner)
Michelle Dockery, DOWNTON ABBEY
Vera Farmiga, BATES MOTEL
Elisabeth Moss, MAD MEN
Kerry Washington, SCANDAL
Robin Wright, HOUSE OF CARDS

This list was the most disappointing for me. Despite all the buzz surrounding Kerry Washington’s performance in SCANDAL, I thought the Academy would look through her grossly over-the-top performance on the show. What makes it even more surprising is that her nomination is in a list that also features drastically understated performances by Michelle Dockery, Connie Britton and even Elisabeth Moss. Moreover, the Academy stretched the list to seven nominees, and still excluded Julianna Margulies after her amazing performance in the fourth season of THE GOOD WIFE, and Keri Russell (THE AMERICANS). However, I was thrilled to see Vera Farmiga’s name up there. She’s been one of the most impressive performers on TV this past season.

Outstanding Actor In A Drama
Hugh Bonneville, DOWNTON ABBEY
Bryan Cranston, BREAKING BAD
Jeff Daniels, THE NEWSROOM
Jon Hamm, MAD MEN
Damian Lewis, HOMELAND (2012 winner)
Kevin Spacey, HOUSE OF CARDS

All the performers in this list deserve their nominations. Except for Hugh Bonneville, I’d find it hard to pick the best one from this list. I was disappointed to see Matthew Rhys (THE AMERICANS) missing from this category. I thought he deserved a nomination and was almost sure he would get one.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama
Anna Gunn, BREAKING BAD
Maggie Smith, DOWNTON ABBEY (2012 winner)
Emilia Clarke, GAME OF THRONES
Christine Baranski, THE GOOD WIFE
Morena Baccarin, HOMELAND
Christina Hendricks, MAD MEN

I was very glad to see Morena Baccarin in this list, after her layered and fascinating performance in the second season of HOMELAND. Christina Hendricks also delivered some excellent work in MAD MEN’s latest season. Anna Gunn’s performance in BREAKING BAD has been quite underrated, so it’s good to see her name up there as well. One person who definitely should've been on this list this year is Jennifer Carpenter, after her extraordinary performance in DEXTER's penultimate season last year. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama
Bobby Cannavale, BOARDWALK EMPIRE
Jonathan Banks, BREAKING BAD
Aaron Paul, BREAKING BAD (2012 winner)
Jim Carter, DOWNTON ABBEY
Peter Dinklage, GAME OF THRONES
Mandy Patinkin, HOMELAND

This was an interesting mix of nominees. While I don’t think Jonathan Banks deserves to be in it, I was happy to see Mandy Patinkin up there (he deserved a nomination simply for that look he gave Claire Danes in HOMELAND’s season two finale, while standing amidst the bodies of all the victims of the bomb blast). However, Aaron Paul is still my favourite performer in the list.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama
Margo Martindale, THE AMERICANS
Diana Rigg, GAME OF THRONES
Carrie Preston, THE GOOD WIFE
Linda Cardellini, MAD MEN
Jane Fonda, THE NEWSROOM
Joan Cusack, SHAMELESS

This is probably the most satisfying list of nominees, with extraordinary performers like Carrie Preston (she’s so effective as Elisabeth Tascioni in THE GOOD WIFE), Margo Martindale (who kicks ass in THE AMERICANS), Linda Cardellini (who became Don Draper’s most memorable mistress in MAD MEN) and Jane Fonda (who exudes an intimidating level of power as Leona Lansing in THE NEWSROOM).

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama
Nathan Lane, THE GOOD WIFE
Michael J Fox, THE GOOD WIFE
Rupert Friend, HOMELAND
Robert Morse, MAD MEN
Harry Hamlin, MAD MEN
Dan Bucatinsky, SCANDAL

I wasn’t too convinced about the MAD MEN actors being nominated here, but all of the rest deserve their spots, especially Michael J Fox and Rupert Friend.

Outstanding Comedy
30 ROCK
THE BIG BANG THEORY
GIRLS
LOUIE
MODERN FAMILY (2012 winner)
VEEP

I was surprised that the Academy snubbed THE OFFICE, given that it’s the last time it could’ve got this nomination. GIRLS definitely does not deserve to be in this list. I would really like to see THE BIG BANG THEORY win this one finally.

Outstanding Actress In A Comedy
Laura Dern, ENLIGHTENED
Lena Dunham, GIRLS
Edie Falco, NURSE JACKIE
Tina Fey, 30 ROCK
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VEEP (2012 winner)
Amy Poehler, PARKS AND RECREATION

I personally think that Lisa Kudrow (WEB THERAPY) should be on this list, but I’m not unhappy with the list as it is. Amy Poehler should finally get some recognition for her work on PARKS AND REC.

Outstanding Actor In A Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 ROCK
Jason Bateman, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Louis CK, LOUIE
Don Cheadle, HOUSE OF LIES
Matt LeBlanc, EPISODES
Jim Parsons, THE BIG BANG THEORY

Last year’s winner Jon Cryer (TWO AND A HALF MEN) didn’t make it to the list this year, but I don’t miss seeing his name up there. I hope the Academy gives this one to Matt LeBlanc, who’s always been excellent on EPISODES.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy
Mayim Bialik, THE BIG BANG THEORY
Jane Lynch, GLEE
Julie Bowen, MODERN FAMILY (2012 winner)
Merritt Wever, NURSE JACKIE
Jane Krakowski, 30 ROCK
Sofia Vergara, MODERN FAMILY
Anna Chlumsky, VEEP

I’m surprised that Jane Lynch has made it back to this list, because when an actor stops being nominated for a role, one usually doesn’t see them return to the category for that role. I am happy that Anna Chlumsky is on the list this year. Her performance in VEEP may be in the background, but it creates quite the impact. Melissa Rauch (THE BIG BANG THEORY) should have been on this list for sure.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy
Adam Driver, GIRLS
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, MODERN FAMILY
Ed O’Neill, MODERN FAMILY
Ty Burrell, MODERN FAMILY
Bill Hader, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Tony Hale, VEEP

It’s annoying that SNL acts are put in this category, when SNL itself does not fall in the main comedy series category. In the process, other deserving nominees go unacknowledged, like Simon Helberg perhaps (THE BIG BANG THEORY). It’s good to see Tony Hale up there—another background but strong performer from VEEP. Adam Driver also deserves his nomination. It’s a little disappointing that Eric Stonetreet is off the list, but he has won twice for MODERN FAMILY.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy
Molly Shannon, ENLIGHTENED
Dot-Marie Jones, GLEE
Melissa Leo, LOUIE
Melissa McCarthy, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Kristen Wiig, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Elaine Stritch, 30 ROCK

Here’s another category where SNL hogs spots that should go to other shows, especially considering the vast number of guest performers in mainstream comedy series.

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy
Bob Newhart, THE BIG BANG THEORY
Nathan Lane, MODERN FAMILY
Bobby Cannavale, NURSE JACKIE
Louis CK, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Justin Timberlake, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Will Forte, 30 ROCK

And another one! Bob Newheart also doesn’t deserve to be on this list, as endearing as his character was in THE BIG BANG THEORY. Nathan Lane is probably the most impressive performer here.

Outstanding Reality Show Host
Ryan Seacrest, AMERICAN IDOL
Betty White, BETTY WHITE’S OFF THEIR ROCKERS
Tom Bergeron, DANCING WITH THE STARS (2012 WINNER)
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, PROJECT RUNWAY
Cat Deeley, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
Anthony Bourdain, THE TASTE

Does Betty White ever do anything on TV and not get nominated?! I think even she must’ve had enough of the courtesy nominations that she gets because of her age. Among the others, I’m happy that Ryan Seacrest is still on this list, despite the fact that AMERICAN IDOL is not in the next one anymore.

Outstanding Reality Show Competition
THE AMAZING RACE (2012 WINNER)
DANCING WITH THE STARS
PROJECT RUNWAY
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
TOP CHEF
THE VOICE

THE VOICE doesn’t deserve this acknowledgement, simply because the coaches’ comments on the show are a sheer waste of air-time, because they are not only uninteresting, but also unproductive.

Outstanding Variety, Music, Or Comedy Series
THE COLBERT REPORT
THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (2012 winner)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON
REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Why does the Academy even bother with this category anymore?! They should just place a standing order for annual statuettes for Jon Stewart and team!

Outstanding Tv Miniseries Or Movie
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
THE BIBLE
PHIL SPECTOR
POLITICAL ANIMALS
TOP OF THE LAKE

This year, it’s most likely going to be BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, but I’m glad to see POLITICAL ANIMALS up on the list.

Outstanding Actress In A TV Miniseries Or Movie
Jessica Lange, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
Laura Linney, THE BIG C: HEREAFTER
Helen Mirren, PHIL SPECTOR
Sigourney Weaver, POLITICAL ANIMALS
Elisabeth Moss, TOP OF THE LAKE

Outstanding Actor In A TV Miniseries Or Movie
Michael Douglas, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
Matt Damon, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
Toby Jones, THE GIRL
Benedict Cumberbatch, PARADE’S END
Al Pacino, PHIL SPECTOR


I’m glad to see that Matt Damon wasn’t sidelined, because even though everyone spoke of Michael Douglas’ performance as extraordinary, I thought that Damon’s Scott Thornson stole the show.


What were your thoughts on this year's Primetime Emmy Award nominations? Did your favorite shows and performances make the cut?

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