Thursday, July 19, 2012

Emmy Nominations 2012: The more things change, the more they stay the same

The 2012 Emmy nominations have been announced, and everyone thought that this was the year things would change.  This was supposed to be the year when the Emmy board actually watched television and would be able to make appropriate ballots.

Of course, this did not happen.  Because it's a lot easier to read the names of eligible shows and actors than to actually do your research.

DRAMA SERIES
"Boardwalk Empire" (HBO)
"Breaking Bad" (AMC)
"Downton Abbey" (PBS)
"Game of Thrones" (HBO)
"Homeland" (Showtime)
"Mad Men" (AMC)

Not a bad list at all.  This is the first time in recent memory that not a single network show made the list (unless you count PBS's Downton Abbey), and to be fair, there were no network shows that deserved to be on this list.  I would remove Downton Abbey and replace it with Justified, though, and the only other possible addition would be Luck, which was hurt by all those horse deaths during filming.  My pick goes to Breaking Bad for this category, although Game of Thrones would delight me as well.

DRAMA ACTOR
Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in "Dexter"
Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham in "Downton Abbey"
Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in "Homeland"
Jon Hamm as Don Draper in "Mad Men"

Again, not too much to argue with here, with the very notable exception of Timothy Olyphant from Justified.  Michael C. Hall, whom I would've had no problem on this list in the first 3 seasons, is a tired nomination and one that seems boring and lazy to me.  Any time someone plays a character named Robert, Earl of Grantham has to lead to a nomination.  I believe that's a rule in the Emmys.  I'd give this to Jon Hamm.

DRAMA ACTRESS
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes in "Damages"
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in "Downton Abbey"
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in "The Good Wife"
Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn in "Harry's Law"
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in "Homeland"
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in "Mad Men"

This is Claire Danes' award.  Nothing else need be said.

SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad"
Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo 'Gus' Fring "Breaking Bad"
Brendan Coyle as John Bates in "Downton Abbey"
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in "Downton Abbey"
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in "Game of Thrones"
Jared Harris as Lane Pryce "Mad Men"

Still too much love for Downton Abbey for my liking, and not enough for Justified.  With all apologies to Aaron Paul, there was nothing better than a scene with Walton Goggin's Boyd Crowder.  Let alone one with him and Raylan Givens.   I think Giancarlo Esposito gets this.

SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS
Anna Gunn as Skyler White in "Breaking Bad"
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham in "Downton Abbey"
Joanne Froggatt as Anna in "Downton Abbey"
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma in "The Good Wife"
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in "The Good Wife"
Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway Harris in "Mad Men"

When Fox did their Sarah Connor Chronicles, one of the worst things about the show was Lena Headey as the title character.  Now that she is perfectly embodying Cersei Lannister, her snub from this list is just plain wrong.  I'm sure all those people do a fine job, but no one plays evil and conniving better than Headey does right now.  I'm sure Maggie Smith gets this because everyone has heard of her.  But Anna Gunn should.

Stay tune for a breakdown of the reprehensible comedy categories, where genius is not recognized.  And Ron Swanson is not happy.

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