Emmy Nominations Miss The Mark
Published: Sunday, July 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, July 23, 2012 17:07
When I was younger, I would watch the Emmys with my parents, who aren’t the type of people to watch much television. Letting me to stay up a little past my bedtime, my mom would always remark that she didn’t really enjoy the awards ceremony, because she didn’t watch any of the shows. Neither did I.
This year, when the Emmy nominations were released on Thursday, I realized how much has changed. I guess I watch a lot of television. I’ve seen the majority of shows nominated and many of the ones that were not. Given how much I watch TV, I feel qualified enough to tell you where the nominators got it right and where they got it completely wrong.
To start, I don’t think there’s much in the drama categories that we can complain about, which is ironic.
Interestingly, of the six shows nominated for the top honor of the category — “Boardwalk Empire,” “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “Homeland” and “Mad Men” — none are on basic cable. The executives at NBC, CBS and ABC can’t be too happy.
In the acting categories, I was glad to see that “The Good Wife,” by far the best show on CBS, got three nominations. I’m also excited that Elizabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks were nominated; this season of “Mad Men” was dominated by the stories of these strong women, played by incredible actresses. I was pleasantly surprised that Joanne Froggatt was nominated for her role as Anna, the maid on “Downton Abbey.” She and Jim Carter — nominated for his role as Mr. Carson — both deserve it for bringing levity to some of the more outlandish plotlines.
In general, nothing in the drama categories shocked me, though I would have liked to see some love for the women of “Game of Thrones.” I’m also slightly more convinced that I should watch “Breaking Bad.”
The comedy nominations are a completely different story.
After watching the first season of “Veep,” I agree that Louis-Dreyfus certainly deserves the lead actress nomination for carrying the strange show. The series itself was mostly enjoyable, but I think “Veep” got votes simply because it’s on HBO. Voters seem to think that everything on HBO must be good. Even my beloved “30 Rock” — once a gold standard of comedy — is no longer as good as the HBO shows in their eyes. That being said, “Modern Family” definitely isn’t.
Okay, maybe I’m only critical of “Modern Family” because I’m so mad about their acting nominations. That every member of the main cast — minus the kids — was nominated for an acting award is absurd. They can’t all be that funny. If anything, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara should have gotten the nod for particularly funny turns as Cameron and Gloria, but that’s it. To nominate the entire cast in the face of equally funny, if not funnier, actors and actresses is absurd.
I don’t understand how Nick Offerman didn’t get a nod for his work on “Parks and Recreation.” Amy Poehler’s name was called for her work as the main character on the show, but “Parks and Rec” is an ensemble comedy: Every character is a hysterical, essential piece. The same is true for “Community” — which garnered just one nomination for the writing of the episode “Remedial Chaos Theory.” This unique episode imagines different, hysterical timelines developing when different study group members each answer the door. In the acting department, Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs all deserve recognition for changing the face of comedy.
I can’t help feeling that these two shows were utterly robbed. Sure, they don’t have the prestige of an HBO show. They’re not as “accessible” as “Modern Family.” And, yes, Joel McHale isn’t exactly Alec Baldwin — yet. But these are amazing shows; shows that could have used a boost in their fight against a network that wants to cancel them.
The one comedic area where I think the Emmys got it right? Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy and Jimmy Fallon were all nominated as guest stars for their three exceptional hosting gigs on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” I find Fallon particularly deserving, but he did host during the holidays and I’m always biased toward Christmas episodes. Rudolph might deserve it just for her pitch-perfect Beyoncé impression.
In the end, I guess I’ve learned not to take the Emmy nominations too seriously. But then again, I take television seriously — most people do, really. More than a movie, a TV show is something you watch every week, building hours of anticipation and an eventual attachment over the course of a season. People become connected to characters and plotlines, learning something about themselves as they grow with the cast.
It’s hard not to feel strongly when people make judgments about the things you love.
I probably won’t tune in on Emmy night, since I don’t have a television and I don’t think they broadcast online, but I’ll look at photos the next day and complain to my friends about who wins. That’s all I can really ask of an awards show.