Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Emmy Nominations

I haven't really talked about TV in months on this blog, which is strange considering the ridiculous amount of shows I follow. I didn't even make predictions for TV's big night, the Emmy Awards, and completely forgot that the nominations were announced this morning. As is usual with the Emmys in recent years, there's quite a bit here that I like, but also plenty of disappointments and missed opportunities.

**For a full list of nominees, go HERE.

Outstanding Comedy Series:
Parks and Recreation
The Office
30 Rock
Modern Family
The Big Bang Theory

All I really care about here is that Parks and Recreation has finally broken into the Emmy race. After an iffy debut season, the show has rapidly gained steam, and season 3 was easily its best to date. If the show can pull an upset win on September 18th, I'd be thrilled.

Outstanding Drama Series:
Boardwalk Empire
Friday Night Lights
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men

Another solid line up, although if any of these deserve to be replaced, and it pains me to say it, it's Dexter. Season 5 simply wasn't up to par, especially coming off of the incredible 4th season. FX's Justified deserved one of the six slots instead, especially since there wasn't an eligible season of Breaking Bad (the soon-to-start 4th season is eligible for next year, however). The nomination for Game of Thrones is a nice surprise as well. The show may lack the more intimate, high-intensity acting of Breaking Bad or Mad Men, but as compelling narratives go, it was one of the best. And speaking of Mad Men, I'm starting to wonder: can the show take the Drama trophy for the fourth consecutive year, or will Emmy voters go for something different to shake things up a little?

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Steve Carrell - The Office
Johnny Galecki - The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc - Episodes
Louis C.K. - Louis
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory

All I can think while reading this is "why doesn't Rob Lowe have one of these slots?" This is, LITERALLY, one of the worst snubs of the year. As evidence, I present the following:

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire
Kyle Chandler - Friday Night Lights
Michael C. Hall - Dexter
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Hugh Laurie - House M.D.
Timothy Olyphant - Justified

Along with the usual suspects (minus Bryan Cranston), I'm thrilled to see that both Buscemi and Olyphant have scored nominations this year for their strong work (now if only Justified can break into Best Drama at some point...). That said, with Cranston out of the way, I'm hoping that Jon Hamm can finally claim an Emmy this year, for what was perhaps his best work yet on Mad Men.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey - 30 Rock
Laura Linney - The Big C
Melissa McCarthy - Mike and Molly
Martha Plimpton - Raising Hope
Amy Poehler - Parks and Recreation

Now this is a strong line up, one that is, surprisingly, made up of mostly new entries (the only returning nominees are Falco and Fey). Linney's role has the most drama to it, which gives her an edge over the other comedic roles (save for Falco, who some say isn't even in a comedy...). Still, I'm glad that Amy Poehler finally earned a nomination for playing Leslie Knope, and that Martha Plimpton was recognized for her work on the surprisingly hilarious Raising Hope.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Kathy Bates - Harry's Law
Connie Britton - Friday Night Lights
Mireille Enos - The Killing
Mariska Hargitay - Law and Order: SVU
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss - Mad Men

While Mireille Enos is an interesting surprise, Emmy voters, I'm begging you, please finally reward Elisabeth Moss. Like Hamm, she had possibly her best year yet, and considering that she's one of the show's most interesting characters, that's really saying something.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Chris Colfer - Glee
Jon Cryer - Two and a Half Men
Jesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern Family
Ed O'Neil - Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet - Modern Family

It's really nice that Ed O'Neil was actually able to join the other men of Modern Family this year; he's just as deserving as the rest of that excellent ensemble. Less deserving is Jon Cryer, who is here in a slot that should be filled by either Nick Offerman or Adam Scott from Parks and Recreation. Not that it matters, since I have a hard time seeing anyone but Chris Colfer taking the award home this year.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Andre Braugher - Men of a Certain Age
Josh Charles - The Good Wife
Alan Cumming - The Good Wife
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Walton Goggins - Justified
John Slattery - Mad Men

Now here's a category where it's pretty much up in the air. Of the repeat nominees, none were considered front-runners, which could leave this race wide open for an excellent newcomer like Dinklage or the slithery Goggins to walk away with the trophy. Somewhat mystifying, though, is how, with all of the Boardwalk Empire love, the Emmy voters passed over Michael Shannon's scary-as-hell turn as a hardline Christian/Prohibition-enforcing federal agent.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Julie Bowen - Modern Family
Jane Krakowski - 30 Rock
Jane Lynch - Glee
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family
Kristen Wiig - Saturday Night Live
Betty White - Hot in Cleveland

Though I fear that Lynch will win again even after season 2 wasted her character, I have hope that one of the Modern Family ladies will pull through. Bowen, in particular, was on fire this year, and would be a perfect change of pace for the category.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Christine Baranski - The Good Wife
Michelle Forbes - The Killing
Christina Hendricks - Mad Men
Kelly MacDonald - Boardwalk Empire
Margo Martindale - Justified
Archie Panjabi - The Good Wife

Another strong set; the women really hit it out of the park this year on TV. As nice as it would be to see Hendricks win (how her show hasn't won a single acting Emmy is beyond me), I think the two best here are MacDonald and Martindale. Martindale's chilling scene in the first few episodes of Justified alone was worthy of a nomination, and the rest of her work didn't disappoint.

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