Emmy nominations – thoughts…

The Emmy nominations were announced today – as expected Mad Men dominated – deservedly so. There were some ommissions (Kaley Cuoco still was undeservedly shut out).

Outstanding Drama Series
Broadwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Mad Men
-I hope that it’s either Mad Men or Downton Abbey that wins – MM had a fantastic year, and really I think the year and a half that it was off the air gave a great shot of adrenilen and creativity to Matt Weiner and company; DA has become a trendy “flavor of the month” hit, but it’s still a fantastic show. It’s a great show, and I hope that if there is a MM upset, it’ll be DA.

Lead Actress, Drama Series
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law; Glenn Close, Damages; Claire Danes, Homeland; Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey; Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
-This should be Moss’ year – she did an amazing job on MM. The year was full of surprises and twists and turns, but none more so than Peggy Olson’s defection from SCDP (and her farewell scene with Jon Hamm is really a stunner). The other actresses do well – I’m glad Dockery was nominated, but I’d love to have seen her onscreen mom, Elizabeth McGovern, nominated as I think she’s criminally underrated. Danes’ work has been really well-regarded, so she might take the trophy this year – but I’m hoping that it’s Moss’ year.

Lead Actor, Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey; Steve Buschemi,  Boardwalk Empire; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Damian Lewis, Homeland
-All these guys are great, but it’s Hamm’s turn to stroll up to get a trophy. Cranston’s perennial wins are a little ridiculous (he’s great, but it’s getting to repetitive), and I’m thrilled that Bonneville got a nod for his subtle work as the patriarch in DA. But it’ll be criminal if Hamm is shut out again – this year, his performance as Don Draper was truly transcendant (just watch Hamm’s heartbreaking kiss with Moss’ Peggy as she leaves the agency and I dare  you not to feel something).

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, Modern Family, 30 Rock, Veep
-This list is a little goofy – TBBT had a decent year, but I don’t think it’s deserving of outstanding comedy series over Parks and Recreation, which was unfairly overlooked – PAP had a great season: Leslie Knope’s political campaign was a surprisingly awesome plot arc that added a lot of heft to the show. Also, Veep is only notable for the great performance of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but the far more interesting Web Therapy should’ve been given its slot. Girls is a huge critical hit, so it will probably take the trophy this year, although voters like familiarity, so MM and 30 Rock may prevail; CYE is so under the radar, that I’m not even sure if people knew it was on.

Lead Actress, Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl; Lena Dunham, Girls; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
– This was a surprisingly strong year for women in comedy, and there aren’t a whole lot of surprises. Deschanel’s a popular favorite, and Dunham’s performance garnered some great reviews as well. I don’t think McCarthy’s work this year was all that interesting, and even though she was last year’s champ, I don’t think her performance warrented a nod – I’m upset that Lisa Kudrow’s abrasively brilliant work as faux therapist Fiona Wallice on Web Therapy didn’t get noticed; I hope that this will be Poehler’s year – the work she did as Leslie Knope was hilarious, touching and often she was the best comedic actress on television (the season finale is just a corker).

Lead Actor, Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Don Cheadle, House of Lies; Louis C.K., Louie; Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men; Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm; Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
-Baldwin’s performance this  year was pretty great, so I’m hoping he’ll be a victor. Louis C.K.’s also brutally hilarious, but his persona is so left of mainstream, he may turn of some voters. Parsons’ great, but I can totally see him becoming a Kelsey Grammar or Tony Shaloub and being automatically dropped in the nominations regardless of his work. I never was a fan of TAAHM, so my affection for Cryer is just, eh – I’m hoping it’ll be another win for Baldwin.

Outstanding Made for TV Movie/Miniseries
American Horror Story, Game Change, Hatfields and McCoys, Hemingway and Gellhorn, Luther, Sherlock: Scandal in Belgravia
-This is a pretty tony list of films – all great and well done; it’s been a pretty strong year for TV movies. My personal fav is Sherlock, though it’s a first among equals.

Leading Actor, TV Movie/Miniseries
Woody Harrelson, Game Change; Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn; Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia; Idris Elba, Luther; Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys; Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
-As it was a great year for TV movies, there are a lot of great performances by actors. Harrelson’s performance as Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s campaign manager was wonderful as was Owen’s performance of Ernest Hemingway (it’s always tricky to play real-life people). Costner and Paxton did solid work. Brits Elba and Cumberbatch were probably the best of the lot, and I’m hoping that the latter gets a trophy – his fantastic portrayal of Sherlock Holmes deserves some hardware.

Lead Actress, TV Movie/Miniseries
Julianne Moore, Game Change; Connie Britton, American Horror Story; Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn; Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch; Ashley Judd, Missing
-As strong as the male competition is, the female competition isn’t quite as impressive. Dominated by movie stars – three Oscar nominees (two winners). Moore’s performance as Sarah Palin got a lot of good press, so she’s probably the front runner – it’s a good, solid turn. Kidman’s performance also got some great notice. Thompson’s performance is good, but the film that she’s in is a bit ponderous and very obscure. Judd’s performance is standard mother in distress, and she does her usual professional work, but again, nothing terribly interesting. This will probably be Moore’s year.

Supporting Actor, Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad; Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad; Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey; Jim Carter, Downton Abbey; Jared Harris, Mad Men, Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
-This is a pretty good slate of performances – I’m glad DA scored two nods – Coyle’s particularly good as the put-upon valet, though his story line started to get a bit soap-opera. Harris is a standout – his tragic performance as Lane Pryce is nothing short of brilliant – outdoing Hamm’s fantastic work, at times. An Emmy would be a fitting send-off tribute to his character. It would’ve been nice to see other MM actors nominated – John Slattery’s work as Roger Sterling was excellent this year – especially in the LSD scenes, where he got to show off his comic muscle; also Vincent Kartheiser is due a nod for his work as the slimy Pete Campbell – Pete’s been put through quite a lot this season, and Kartheiser has been able to keep up with all the plot twists.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife; Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad; Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey; Joanna Froggatt, Downton Abbey; Christina Hendricks, Mad Men; Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
-I’m hoping for a Mad Men sweep – Hendricks was funny, sad, infuriating and tragic – she was great, and this year was pretty great for Joan Harris; also, Kiernan Shipka deserves a nomination for her brilliantly complex performance as Don Draper’s daughter, Sally.  Smith’s performance in DA is also brilliant – again, few can do so much with so little, and she easily steals her scenes. Froggatt’s good as the head housemaid, Anna, but other performances from that show deserve nods like Jessica Brown Findlay, who charts the feminist awakening of Lady Sybil beautifully or Siobhan Finneran as the villainous O’Brien.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family; Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family; Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live; Max Greenfield, New Girl.
Obviously, Modern Family dominates this field – and O’Neill could be a victor, but so can Burrell who gets consistently high marks. Hader’s one of SNL‘s MVPs, and is a great find, too. It’s a shame none of Poehler’s costars from Parks and Recreation, nor any of Fey’s 30 Rock cohorts were included, though – also, Parsons got a nod, but his supporting cast did work that was just as funny.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory, Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie; Julie Bowen, Modern Family; Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
-The late Joosten could win the awared posthumously – DH had a pretty uneven year, but her performance was pretty consistent and funny. MF has two nods – last year’s champ, Bowen and her costar Vergara who got some great reviews, so she could prove to be a winner. Wiig also should get some love because of her Oscar nod last year for Bridesmaids as well as it being her last year at SNL (and she was unequivocally, the most versatile member of the cast). Bialik’s performance was great and I’m glad she got a nod for TBBT, but I’m upset at Cuoco being overlooked for her funny turn as the beautiful wannabe actress Penny. Also Parks and Recreation wouldn’t be near the show it is without the able support of scene-stealer Retta or the criminally underratted Rashida Jones. 30 Rock also should’ve gotten a nod for Jane Krakowski as the monstrously conceited Jenna Maroney.

Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie
Sarah Paulson, Game Change; Frances Conroy, American Horror Story; Jessica Lange, American Horror Story; Judy Davis, Page Eight; Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys
-Like with the lead actresses, this is a pretty thin batch – Davis is a popular lady with the Emmys and she’s a reliable performance, and Lange’s work with AH did get some notice, so it’ll be a race between those two, unless Hatfields gets to be a sweep.

Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie
Ed Harris, Game Change; Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story; David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn; Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia; Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
-If there is any sense among voters, Freeman would be given the Emmy for his beautiful, funny, troubled and sad performance as Watson. Harris does good work as John McCain, but Freeman really deserves the win.

Guest Actress, Comedy Series
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee; Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live; Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live; Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock; Margaret Cho, 30 Rock; Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men
-This is a surprisingly strong list of performances. Rudolph got some good notices for her hosting gig at SNL – which is interesting because she was clearly a gigantic talent, but often underused when she was a castmember; McCarthy got unanimous raves for her turn at hosting, and will probably be the deserving winner, though Banks is always reliably hilarious as Alec Baldwin’s neocon wife on 30 Rock.

Guest Actor, Comedy Series
Michael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm; Greg Kinnear, Modern Family; Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie; Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live; Will Arnett, 30 Rock; Jon Hamm, 30 Rock
-Like guest actress in a comedy series, this is a great list of funny turns – SNL vet Fallon will probably get the Emmy – hosting gigs often get awards, though Hamm’s consistently funny performances on 30 Rock as Liz Lemon’s hapless doctor beau.

Guest Actress, Drama Series
Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife, Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy; Jean Smart, Harry’s Law; Julia Ormond, Mad Men; Joan Cusack, Shameless; Uma Thurman, Smash
-Devine won last year, so she may be a repeat winer – Smart, a TV vet is a favorite for this category, so she may prevail too – but I think the clear winner should be Ormond as Don Draper’s sophisiticated French-Canadian mother-in-law. The role reminds viewers why Ormond was once Hollywood’s It Girl.

Guest Actor, Drama Series
Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad, Dylan Baker, The Good Wife, Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife, Jeremy Davies, Justified, Ben Feldman, Mad Men; Jason Ritter, Parenthood
-Michael J. Fox has a pair of nominations, and look for him to be the winner in this weak field.

So, there you go – thoughts? Opinions?

 

 

 

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