Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Whuh-whuh-whuh? A worthwhile awards show?!

July 8, 2006

Though I’ve been growing increasingly irate and resistant towards award shows, *cough* Oscars and Tonys *cough* I couldn’t have been more delighted by Thursday’s announcement of this year’s Emmy nominations. It’s almost as if the Emmy votes had found those everlong lost brian cells and actually decided “Y’know what? Let’s actually nominate some of the best this year.” It’s too early to make predictions, I’ll just state who should. I know it’s a bit late, but here’s my thoughts on a category-by-category basis:

Comedy Series: “Arrested Development,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Office,” “Scrubs,” “Two and a Half Men”

If “My Name is Earl” took the place of “Two and a Half Men,” these would easily be the five best comedies on television (yeah, I’m not an “Entourage” lover—sorry). “Scrubs” has long been consistently great, as has “Curb,” and some reward for either would be much appreciated. However, the winner here will likely be “Arrested Development” or “The Office,” and frankly, it deserves to be. “The Office” pulled off the impossible: remaking a classic and still turning out wonderful, and “Arrested” is (in my view, at least) the greatest show of all time.
Deserves to win: “Arrested Development” (though I’ll be happy with anything besides “Two and a Half Men.”

Drama Series: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House,” “The Sopranos,” “24,” “The West Wing”

I must admit, I’ve never seen “Grey’s Anatomy” or “House”—never been one for doctor shows. Nor have I seen “West Wing”—though given my interest in politics, I’ve been told I should check it out on DVD one day. I’ve watched every episode of “24” up until this season, where I finally gave up on the repetiveness and excessive ridiculousness. On top of all that, I actually loved this season of “The Sopranos.” Despite the masses critiquing it as “too boring” (apparently, not enough people getting “whacked” for John Q. American), I thought it was the best season since Season 2. It and “Deadwood” are the only drama series I still watch, and “Deadwood” was ineligible this year, so….
Deserves to win: “The Sopranos” (by default)

Actor, Comedy Series: Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"; Kevin James, "The King of Queens"; Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"; Steve Carell, "The Office"; Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men"

I like Kevin James and Charlie Sheen, but they don’t deserve to be here for their audience-pandering generic CBS shows. And Shalhoub and David are both wonderful, but this is Carell’s award easy. He’s going to win this, and he deserves to.
Deserves to win: Steve Carell, “The Office”

Actor, Drama Series: Christopher Meloni, “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”; Denis Leary, "Rescue Me"; Peter Krause, "Six Feet Under"; Kiefer Sutherland, "24"; Martin Sheen, "The West Wing"No James Gandolfini? Whuh?! Anyway. I love LOVE Christopher Meloni and Denis Leary, but regrettably, I’ve never seen their shows. Kiefer does a great job, but he’s almost on autopilot by this point. I hear the same thing about Sheen. I like Krause on “SFU” but he doesn’t deserve an Emmy now nearly as much as he did during the early seasons. I guess I’d vote for him, but I’d be fine for some love for any of these guys.
Deserves to win: You’d be better off asking somebody else…

Actress, Comedy Series: Lisa Kudrow, "The Comeback"; Jane Kaczmarek, "Malcolm in the Middle"; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine"; Stockard Channing, "Out of Practice"; Debra Messing, "Will & Grace"

I’ve never heard of “Out of Practice.” “Old Christine” is alright, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus is only nominated because she’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I want to punch Debra Messing in the face—what can I say, the woman irritates me. And for all it’s gay-friendly subject matter, it’ll be a cold day in hell when “Will & Grace” deserves an Emmy for anything. Though my viewing of “Malcolm in the Middle” has dwindled in recent years, when I catch it, it’s just as funny as I remember it being, and Kaczmarek is truly fantastic. I’d be perfectly happy if she landed an Emmy; however, huzzah and kudos to Kudrow for giving what is by far, the best performance on television this season. Most people hated “The Comeback,” and understandably so. It was strange, uncomfortable and above all, the humor was awkward and a little mean. Me, I loved it (you can find my editorial on the show somewhere by googling). But fan of the show or not, Kudrow was absolutely wonderful, and made Valerie Cherish, an impossibly cheerful and sad (and often selfish) character into one of the most brilliant portrayals I’ve ever seen. I doubt she can eke this win out, but given the weak competition, it’s possible.
Deserves to win: Lisa Kudrow, “The Comeback”

Actress, Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"; Geena Davis, "Commander in Chief"; Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"; Frances Conroy, "Six Feet Under"; Allison Janney, "The West Wing"

Again, the only one of these shows I watch is “Six Feet Under.” While I’m sure the Emmy votes were tired of nominating Edie Falco, if there was ever a season where she deserved it, it’s this one—her Paris episodes alone (and the episodes where Tony was in a coma) were award-worthy. I know nothing of Mariska Hargitay, and hear Allison Janney is quite good. On the other hand, I loathe Geena Davis (especially in the clips of “Commander-in-Chief” that I’ve seen), and Kyra Sedgewick’s always annoyed me, though I liked her in “Loverboy.” Still, even if it wasn’t by default, Frances Conroy has done her best work in the entirety of the series in this final season of “Six Feet Under.” I hope the Emmy voters show her some love, she’s earned it.
Deserves to win: Frances Conroy, “Six Feet Under”

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Will Arnett, "Arrested Development"; Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"; Bryan Cranston, "Malcolm in the Middle"; Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"; Sean Hayes, "Will & Grace"

Fuck Sean Hayes in his mouth (probably not an unrealistic scenario). I’m sick of him winning awards for this character which he hasn’t changed or grown since day one. I’ve heard from people who know that Jon Cryer’s an uber-nice guy, but I’ve never seen his show—sorry. Piven is great on “Entourage” but my excitement for his performance has dwindled after three seasons. I love Bryan Cranston—easily deserves an award of some kind… but he’s no Will Arnett. After two seasons of being overlooked, “Arrested Development’s” best performance/character finally gets some recognition, and I think he stands a good chance of winning. Given that he’s a supporting actor in a show that got dismal ratings, the fact that Arnett has already been cast in three starring roles in upcoming films should tell you how funny he is on this show. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again—BUY THESE DVDs!!
Deserves to win: Will Arnett, “Arrested Development”

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: William Shatner, "Boston Legal"; Oliver Platt, "Huff"; Michael Imperioli, "The Sopranos"; Gregory Itzin, "24"; Alan Alda, "The West Wing"

So it seems I’m dangerously unqualified to evaluate any of the Drama categories. Still. I think Imperioli’s great, but I fell in love with Oliver Platt on the few episodes I’ve seen of “Huff.” Shatner’s also solid in what I’ve seen of “Boston Legal,” and while I missed most of this season of “24,” I’ve heard people rave about Itzin. It’s basically throwing darts blindfolded here, but I’m going with Platt.
Deserves to win: Oliver Platt, “Huff”

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Cheryl Hines, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"; Alfre Woodard, "Desperate Housewives"; Jaime Pressly, "My Name Is Earl"; Elizabeth Perkins, "Weeds"; Megan Mullally, "Will & Grace"

A pretty solid little category (though you all know how I feel about “Grace” and “Housewives.” Perkins is great, Hines is great (and really should be in the leading category). And while I never thought I’d be saying Jaime Pressly deserves to win an award, she is BRILLIANT on “My Name is Earl.” It’s one of the funniest depictions I’ve ever seen of white trash, and is easily the best thing on the show (which I love). You heard it here folks: Emmy for the star of “Poison Ivy: The New Seduction.”
Deserves to win: Jaime Pressly, “My Name is Earl”

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal"; Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"; Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy"; Blythe Danner, "Huff"; Jean Smart, "24"

Never seen any of these shows. Sorry. Let’s go with Sandra Oh because I like her.

Animated Program (for programming less than one hour): "Camp Lazlo: Hello Dolly/Over Cooked Beans," "Family Guy: PTV," "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Go Goo Go," "The Simpsons: The Seemingly Neverending Story," "South Park: Trapped in the Closet"

I’ve never even heard of “Camp Lazlo” or “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” but I’ve seen the remaining three nominated episodes. “PTV” is the best “Family Guy” episode of the season and “The Seemingly Neverending Story” is typical “Simpsons” brilliance. But anyone who’s seen “Trapped in the Closet” knows it trumps any other episode of any animated show this year. There’s a reason why Tom Cruise demanded Comedy Central not re-air it, and it’s fucking delicious. Do your best to find it on YouTube or Limewire.
Deserves to Win: “South Park: Trapped in the Closet”


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