Friday, July 20, 2007

Random Movie Notes on TV's Emmy Nominations

I really should get TIVO or something akin to it. Still wouldn't make me a television aficionado but if the good stuff was all presented in an easy to digest 'on my time' format I might become less allergic and more complimentary. And then I could bitch about the Emmys with more authoritah. @ Zoom In I looked at the top six categories but here on this movie blog, let's look at movie actors who made the cut slumming (I know I'm not supposed to call it that anymore but it's fun to see TV faces go red) and a few other random notes

James Spader, "Boston Legal," ABC
Kiefer Sutherland, "24," Fox

Spader and Sutherland have essentially given up their movie careers. I don't miss them. Spader always skeeved me out in the movies. Yes, he was often hired to do just that but he was an overachiever if you ask me... The only time I ever loved him Spader was in sex, lies and videotape (1989) wherein the skeeviness served but didn't overpower the character. The rest of that movie was damn good, too.

Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer," TNT
Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters," ABC
Minnie Driver, "The Riches," FX Network
Patricia Arquette, "Medium," NBC

If TV could be applauded for one thing it should be this: it gives movie B listers meatier character than they're ever going to get offered on film and it gives former big screen A listers a second shot at mass adulation once they've passed the half century mark.

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock," NBC
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men," CBS

Alec Baldwin just gets better and better as an actor, doesn't he? His talent is aging well. There's a reason why Charlie Sheen's career never really took off on the big screen. There's NO reason why it should on the small screen either. What the hell is going on with Emmy's love for this series?

Lorraine Bracco, "The Sopranos," HBO
Elizabeth Perkins, "Weeds," Showtime

Remember when Bracco and Perkins were scene stealers in the movies instead of on TV? Yeah, the memory is fuzzy for me, too.

Robert Duvall, "Broken Trail," AMC
Jim Broadbent, "Longford," HBO

Queen Latifah, "Life Support," HBO
Helen Mirren, "Prime Suspect: The Final Act (Masterpiece Theatre)," PBS

Oscar winning Duvall is kind of a workaholic isn't he?
Oscar winning Broadbent needs another plum movie role stat. 2001... (sigh) good times.
Oscar winning Mirren could easily pick up yet more trophies in 2007
Oscar nominee Latifah... here's my thing with the (other) Queen: I adore her as a celebrity but I wish she would try a little harder as an actress. I often feel she's coasting on general charisma and pleasantness (of which she has plenty). "Motormouth Maybelle" for instance in Hairspray. Shouldn't that character have been played with more gusto?

Greta Scacchi, "Broken Trail," AMC
Anna Paquin , " Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," HBO
Samantha Morton, "Longford," HBO
Judy Davis, "The Starter Wife," USA
Toni Collette, "Tsunami, The Aftermath," HBO

This is the silveriest (er...?) screen category for Emmy night even if none of them are "movie stars" per se. They've got buckets of talent between them not to mention 1 Oscar and 5 more nominations.

Aidan Quinn, " Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," HBO

Aidan was always thisclose to becoming a huge star. So TV should embrace him. Or rather he should embrace TV. Someone get him an excellent dramatic series role.

Martin Landau, "Entourage," HBO

Sir Ian McKellen, "Extras," HBO
Stanley Tucci, "Monk," USA
Giovanni Ribisi, "My Name Is Earl," NBC
Forest Whitaker, "ER," NBC
David Morse, "House," Fox
Salma Hayek, "Ugly Betty," ABC
Marcia Gay Harden, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC
Leslie Caron, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC

The "guest" categories at the Emmys always get a lot of flack for their star-f***ing tendencies. There is so much television and so many hours of each series to fill with guest actors that it's difficult to determine how well they're doing in this realm. Maybe they're f***in the wrong stars. Maybe not. I wouldn't know.

Ellen Degeneres, "79th Annual Academy Awards," ABC

I hope they bring her back next year, don't you?



I bitch about the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences a lot but in this particular way they are very smart: technical categories. You have to divide up makeup achievements --otherwise as Oscar voters prove, only prosthetic work is deemed noteworthy. Oscar should have two categories. And Oscar should have a stunt category.

"Family Guy, Peter's Two Dads," Song Title: "My Drunken Irish Dad," Fox
"MADtv, Episode 1209," Song Title: "Merry Ex-Mas," Fox
"Saturday Night Live, Host: Justin Timberlake," Song Title: "Dick In A Box," NBC
"Scrubs, My Musical," Song Title: "Everything Comes Down to Poo," NBC
"Scrubs, My Musical," Song Title: "Guy Love," NBC

Of these songs I've only heard "Dick in a Box" but I'm willing to bet that this lineup is as good as Oscar's choices in any given year in the frequently ear bleeding category.

"Inside the Actors Studio," Bravo

I've said it before. I'll say it again: brilliant concept, boring (drooling) execution. Decide if you're a tribute / toast show or a real examination of the actors craft. It doesn't work to pretend that that's the same thing.

More Emmy Chatter:
Full list of the Emmy Nominations @ The Envelope
Top category brief thoughts @ Zoom In
Emmy Nominee Reactions from Defamer
Co-miserate with ModFab and Low Resolution


J.J. said...

You have to admit, though, that Spader is spectacularly suited to (and wonderful on) Boston Legal.

Anonymous said...

Felicity Huffman didn't deserve that diss for her nod or her film work. She's the best thing about "Desperate Housewives" and earned that nomination, and as for her film career, for my money she should have won the Oscar for "Transamerica". Also, "Desperate Housewives" was ahead of "Ugly Betty" in the Nielsen ratings, so maybe in a pop culture-y sort of way, "Ugly Betty" is thought of more than "Desperate Housewives", but not in a ratings way.

Anonymous said...

Jim Broadbent doesn't need another meaty movie role, because he never quit getting them. Longford is by far the best performance I've ever seen from the actor. It's really good. Rent it. Netflix it. see it. I know it was on HBO, but I seriously think it might make my top 10 list for 07.

Kamila said...

Well, it is not news anymore that most of the movie actors and actress are making appearances on TV. I think that the TV can provide them challenging roles a great paycheck and, of course, the award possibility.

IMO, TV is the best thing that has happened to Kyra Sedgwick's career. She is a star now.

And, coming up next, on a TV near you: Holly Hunter and Parker Posey.

Anonymous said...

I am not an Emmys history buff, but with Heroes, Lost and Battlestar earning 18 nominations in total (including all three of them for directing!), could it be some kind of record for genre shows? It's almost as if the voters took notice that fantastic setting and high quality aren't mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

No mention of Eli Wallach, one of the great film personalities of all time, nominated a the age of 92 for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Studio 60?

Anonymous said...

"It's almost as if the voters took notice that fantastic setting and high quality aren't mutually exclusive."

Yeah, but then they nominated the worst of the three in the big category.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous #1 for your defense of Felicity Huffman (though the "diss" in question seems to have been removed?). The hate for her here saddens me (sniff, tears). Oh well...

I'd have given her the Oscar that year also, and she is a fine theater actress as well.

Glenn Dunks said...

They need to just give Kyra Sedgwick the Emmy right now and be done with it. She's amazing! Of course, they'll probably give it to Edie Falco again because, let's face it, they're the Emmys. They reward the same things over and over.

That Supporting Actress category has three Australians (Davis, Scacchi, Collette) and one New Zealander (Paquin).

So very very happy to see Rachel Griffiths nommed though. It's criminal that she never won for Six Feet Under though.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Falco wins, but this category is weak without Molly Parker or Kristen Bell. Or the BSG ladies.

Sam Brooks said...

I enjoyed these Emmy nominations. With the exception of Dirt and Veronica Mars snubs, I think they did particularly well in all the actress categories. The actor categories, not so much. Two and a Half Men got way more acting nominations than it deserved (4).

Better than last year, though. One of the few years where I won't mind who wins.


sorry anonymouses. I just don't think much of Felicity as an actress. I mean, don't get me wrong. she is definitely good on Desperate Housewives (her best performance imo and i have no problem with her nomination in the first season) but she is only still getting nominated because

a) emmy likes to repeat itself
b) they give her dramatic storylines like shootings and near affairs rather than comedic storylines like seducing politicians, getting lost in the woods, whatever. it's not really a fair playing field because voters always respect drama more than comedy.

please watch georgia rule and get back to me on the great actress thing ;)

i kid. everyone is entitled to a terrible performance once in awhile.

Anonymous said...

It's not as superfical as "the Emmys just love to repeat themselves". Of the housewives this year, Felicity Huffman deserved the nod the most, and it's not just a rote nomination (they snubbed her last year). She's there b/c she earned it.

J.D. said...

My Drunken Irish Dad! YYYEEESSSSS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Word on Aidan Quinn! He really needs something big to make people notice his talent again. I was hoping he could have had that with "The Book of Daniel", but that series was mishandled by NBC and flopped. I'm glad he was nodded this year, and if he had a bit more scenes there, I would have nodded him for "Empire Falls" too.


patrick --i don't know. it seems that when Broadbent is in something now it's a bit part (narnia, vera drake) even gangs of new york arguably underused him.

i want something as delicious as the moulin rouge or iris roles on the big screen. maybe that upcoming "father" movie will do the trick.

love the Broadbent i do.

yes genre series had a better showing this year but their continued snubbing in the best series and acting is so freaking irritating. i've rarely seen performances as good as mary mcdonnell's on television and she has yet to be nominated for battlestar galactica. even BUFFY --which emmy resisted despite YEARS of critical pleading -- was able to manage the random writing and directing nods.

if the writers and directors branches are noticing it really must be the actors branch who hates genre. maybe they just don't understand it? it's aggravating.

Anonymous said...

Jim Broadbent was better in "Longford" than he was in "Iris". See that film ASAP if you haven't.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, Huffman's only been nominated twice. It's not as if she's Helen Hunt or Patricia Heaton. Add she was never nominated for her great great work on Sports Night. It seems unfair to tar her with the "emmys love to repeat themselves" paintbrush because, largely, I don't think she qualifies.

As for the random writing/directing nods given to genre shows.... It's the system that allows for it more than anything. It's worth mentioning that BSG's nods are for "Occupation/Precipice" and "Exodus, II" - both of which lean heavily towards traditional war storylines, whereas Heroes is coming flush on the critical acclaim of many comic book films (Spiderman, The Incredibles, X-Men).

The emmys tend to be very mediocre and this year is no different. It's especially frustrating since the past few years have been SO GOOD for television (it's been destroying film, that's for sure) that it's incredibly disappointing for the emmys to return to their boring slates.

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Anonymous said...

I don't get the Emmys .. I don't think people even watch what they vote for .. it is the same each year.
For example, How in the world could Anna Paquin be nominated for her non-existent role in "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee"?

And I am especially upset that the best series "the Tudors" was soooo overlooked.