Friday, June 27, 2008

Emmy Finalists (sigh)

I'll keep this brief since this isn't The TV Experience. What can be done about the Emmy Awards? Who are the people who think Two and a Half Men is the best that the creative community in Hollywood can come up with in terms of laughs? And yet there it sits each year in the Emmy comedy zone.

Grey's Anatomy is a big hit, we can give it that. But as dramas go, it's not that well written. The lead character is tremendously annoying and whiny. The plots are repetitive. The medical stuff is lazy. I've watched enough episodes (friends love it) to know. Just one example: I sat their flabbergasted that a hospital show would pretend that a character could survive drowning and going braindead for a long stretch of time with absolutely no side effects and look not much worse for the wear and carry on long emotional conversations without even a hitch in their voice mere moments after being revived. It's a silly show. Even Katherine Heigl, willing to bite the hand that feeds her, doesn't think it's all that. And yet there it is on the shortlist for Best Drama and the challenging, emotionally potent and increasingly complex Battlestar Galactica --regularly considered by critics and TV geniuses (like Buffy's Joss Whedon) to be the very best thing on television -- isn't even considered finalist material? Nor is Brothers & Sisters. It's histrionic sure but still more entertaining than Grey's Anatomy plus it's got Sally Field doing her best work since the late 70s/early 80s. UGH.

This is why I could never write about the Emmys the way I write about the Oscars. There would be so few happy turns of events to enjoy. Here are the finalists...

Pushing Daisies: Whimsical, inventive and sweet whilst somehow avoiding
sugar coma or non-intentional repetitiveness AND it appeals to the masses!?! (wow)

Comedy Finalists: (my favorites in bold) Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Family Guy, Flight of the Conchords, The Office, Pushing Daisies YES, 30 Rock, Two and a Half Men, Ugly Betty and Weeds

Drama Finalists: (my favorites in bold) Boston Legal, Damages, Dexter, Friday Night Lights YES, Grey’s Anatomy, House, Lost, Mad Men, The Tudors and The Wire

The actual nominations are announced on July 17th. Here's how the voting works.
Are your favorites still in the running?


Anonymous said...

It is mind-boggling that Two and a Half Men gets included over How I Met Your Mother, another sitcom on the same network that is ridiculously sharp. 30 Rock is the funniest show on TV, but I have an unending soft spot for HIMYM.

Anonymous said...

In my experience daytime soap lovers are suckers for Greys Anatomy...I think its Ok but not great you know!
and HIMYM should get nominated! why isn't it on the list!grrrr....

Anonymous said...

my favorite show is "Intervention" on Monday nights. Is "seinfeld" still eligible???...I still watch that in reruns. wish Mary Tyler Moore was available somewhere....and of course "Golden Girls." Thank you for being a friend....

Anonymous said...

Firstly, The Wire is one of the greatest shows in the history of humankind, so I'm doing cartwheels that it's in the running to finally FINALLY get that nomination. They've shafted it over for too many years now.

I love Grey's as much as your friends who love Grey's, so I'm going to plead the fifth on that one.

As for the comedy category, for me it's all about Weeds. Give me a double whammy of Mary Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins nominations, and I'll be content. Actually, scrap that; I want Mary Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins WINS damnit!

Finally, I'd like Eva Longoria Parker to get a Leading Comedy Actress nod. She hasn't got a cat in hell's chance, but it strikes me as somewhat odd that the funniest character who nails the best lines and habitually steals the show is the ONLY ONE to not receive an Emmy nod thus far.



agreed on Longoria. I think the problem is probably the writing. Her character seems the most changeable from episode to episode like they've never quite decided what her heart is made of but she is really funny on the show nonetheless.

Michael B. said...

Okay. I'm a HUGE Emmy blogger. Eva Longoria has a great chance to get nominated becuase she submitted an amazing tape. What baffles me is how the biggest scripted show of the year gets snubbed (Desperate Housewives!)...Anyways. Longoria has PERFECT comedic timing. Her film choices are horrible but she's a perfect Gabrielle. The Top 10 for acting should come out today.

Weeds sucks this year. But the Emmy consideration is for last year, and I would love to see Mary Louise Parker win it, but she chose an awful submission tape so a nomination could be out of the question.

Anonymous said...

"Grey's Anatomy" is fine and deserved its placement. There's no need to always shit over that show when tripe like "Boston Legal" and "The Tudors" are there as well. "Battlestar Galactica" was never going to make it in there, ever. That's just the Emmys.

But "Family Guy"? Voters really should be ashamed of themselves for that one.


but the point remains... why are EMMY voters so resistant to critical adulation and awards? If a sci-fi movie got as much praise as BSG it would probably be up for a few Oscars ... even if it didn't reach the BP shortlist.

maybe the problem is that television critics really have no power at all (even less important than film critics)

you're probably right about boston legal and the tudors being worse than GREY'S but i don't watch them... hence the no comment.

i did see a few episodes of TUDORS and was not at all impressed. Though BOSTON LEGAL i've never been able to sit through even one episode. dreadful from my limited exposure.

Anonymous said...

The Emmys have such a ridiculous system. The nominees are decideed after watching ONE episode, resulting in serialized shows like Lost and The Wire to constantly miss the cut.

I hope they get in, but I'm sure Boston Legal (gag) and Grey's Anatomy (ugh) will make it instead.


BW --that is indeed ridiculous considering that serialization is television's one undeniable advantage over several other narrative arts.

Michael B. said...

The nominations are split 50-50 between the popular and the watching of the video tapes. So let's say that, Tina Fey has the most popular votes for Actress (We won't ever know if she does) she's ranked #1. Let's say she submitted a horrible tape, and for some strange reason she becomes #9 on the viewing list. They average those two out and she is stll a nominee. It's kind of stupid, yet it somehow works in a strange way.

lylee said...

They base nominations on seeing only ONE episode? What kind of BS is that??

...on a positive note, I am glad to see that all 3 of my favorite shows ("Friday Night Lights," "Mad Men," "Lost") made the shortlist. Not expecting all of them to make the final cut. But if none of them do and "Boston Legal" DOES, I am seriously going to shit a brick.

Won't watch "The Wire" b/c my ex loved it. Petty, yes, I know.

Cinesnatch said...

Even though the live action sit-com is pretty much dead, "New Adventures of Old Christine" is an above average show and should be up there before 2 1/2 men.

Cinesnatch said...

Grey's Anatomy is a pretty horribly written show. I thought it had a great 1st season and then it went kerplunk.

Cinesnatch said...

Oh yeah, where's the big love for "Big Love"? ... blegh on the Emmy's. All the wives should be in there.

Glenn said...

How many ways can I say: Give Dexter a trophy.

jahs34 said...

Family Guy? didn't they see the South Park episode that "explained" how that show got written?

Deborah said...

Mad Men Mad Men Mad Men YAY.

(Did I mention I blog Mad Men? Yeah, I thought so.

I honestly thought Saving Grace deserved a nod, and I love Life, which is way better than, say, House. I'm a fan of House, and of Grey's Anatomy, but both have done some hardcore shark jumping this year and are getting legacy votes from prior years when they were much better.

par3182 said...

i'm thrilled (yet amazed) that flight of the conchords made the shortlist - if there was ever a show i was sure the emmys wouldn't 'get' it's this slice of genius

Anonymous said...

The comedy list is half brilliant (Flight of the Conchords!!!! Pushing Daisies! And though they're Emmy darlings, The Office!!!! 30 Rock!) and half crap (Two and a Half Men, as ever! Family Guy!).

I can't really bear to watch TV drama (I'm on edge enough with The Office, at times), so I can't comment on that. Grey's Anatomy used to really be great, and now it's crap. At least they didn't have Heroes, which had the absolute worst sophomore slump ever.

Anonymous said...

Pushing Daisies became one of my favorite shows of all time with its first season, so I'm certainly rooting for that. I remember watching an episode and being embarrassed that I was letting out a coo every three minutes due to the sheer beauty of it all. When is it coming back?

Dame James said...

Desperate Housewives was absolutely amazing this year- it's a mystery why Emmy voters forgot it. It's not exactly an "under the radar" show. Hopefully, Marcia Cross still has a shot at a nomination in Best Comedy Actress (if Felicity Huffman gets one this year and not her, I will scream...I love Huffman, but she was kinda dull this season).

The Pretentious Know it All said...

I was so resistant to Desperate Housewives when it first came on. And now I'm discovering how awesome it is. I totally agree about Eva Longoria...

As much as I adore awards shows, I generally ignore the Emmy's because it is a maddening exercise in banality. For me, my disdain of the Emmys dates back to 2000/2001 when Sarah Michelle Gellar didn't get a
nod for the fifth season of Buffy. And this is after the stodgy Hollywood Foreign Press gave her a Golden Globe nod!
The episode where Buffy's mom died still remains for me one of the most visceral viewing experiences ever, an incredible acting showcase for the entire cast, esp. Gellar and Alyson Hannigan. And nothing...
Foreshame, Emmys! Rant over.

Anonymous said... love for How I Met Your Mother. It wasn't the best season of the show, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it -- and remains one of the better comedies on television now.

I also don't understand the "Family Guy" nod. REALLY?

Loved the fact that Flight of the Concordes made it...especially because of the wacky episode submission policy the Emmys have (or at least, I believe that they have). I thought for sure some of the moments would go over the voters heads. Also a huge The Office & 30 Rock fan...but it was a foregone conclusion that they would be nominated.

Anonymous said...

Once again BSG gets left out... the Emmys suck!!! :o(


well after reading how this works. the entire voting body decides the top ten... a blue ribbon panel chooses 5 form there... and both are 50/50 scoring...

so you can be ignored by the blue ribbon panel and still get a nomination if the general voting body loved you enough.

I assume BSG is having hte problem of everyone's #1 favorite who watches it and not on any other ballots. ARGH.

Anonymous said...

These voters are lazy. You can't expect them to watch entire seasons of anything to determine Emmy nominations or wins. They like what they like, and all they can be bothered to watch in the end is either the really popular shows that they've always liked in the first place, or a sampling of the single episodes that they are "forced" to watch during voting. There's a lot of great material on here -- "Damages", "30 Rock", "The Office", "The Wire", "Grey's Anatomy", "Lost", "Dexter" (!!!), "Weeds", etc. I won't deny that they blew it with some of their picks too, like no "Big Love", "Two and a Half Men", "Family Guy", "Boston Legal", etc. That has to be expected with the Emmys. There's too much out there right now, and great things will get lost in the shuffle, while average mess can wiggle its way into play too if it's accessible enough.

Barry said...

I had a dream last night that Chandra Wilson was going to win the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Grey's Anatomy. Maybe this was a premonition of things to come? I hope so. =)

I also think that Kristen Bell should get a nod for Heroes, even though the 2nd season wasn't as good as the first. They should nominate her, making up for the 3 years where they didn't give her a nod for Veronica Mars.

Barry said...

Out of the Comedy finalists I love Family Guy, Pushing Daisies, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty and Weeds.

Out of the Drama finalists I love Damages and Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I only love 2 of the Drama series. Grey's Anatomy deserved it for the episode it put in (Freedom) and Damages just kicks ass.

Desperate Housewives was so good this year. It should have been in the comedy shortlist, as well as the New Adventures of Old Christine. Flight of the Conchords and Entourage should be outta there.

Barry said...

Oh, and how do you find out what episodes were submitted for the actors' performances?

Michael B. said...

If you go to and then to forums and than to Primetime Emmys, they will have ALL the episodes submitted by the performers from this year and the years prior. Some actors make stupid, stupid choices. I don't think Mary Louise Parker will get in becuase she choose 'Bill Sussman' which was not her best choice. Others picked fantastically (Eva Longoria has the best tape out of her 4 co-stars...)

Ásta said...

Curb Your Enthusiasm - I had no idea it was still on
Entourage - don't watch it, didn't like what little I saw
Family Guy - don't watch it anymore - am indifferent
Flight of the Conchords - like but don't love
The Office - have been meaning to watch as I suspect it's genius
Pushing Daisies - lovely
30 Rock - good but not for me
Two and a Half Men - where are the people who seem to be voting for this show and can we have them shot?
Ugly Betty - yes please although it's a drama in my mind
Weeds - again; good but don't watch it

And no How I met your mother. Unfathomable.

Boston Legal - don't get the love
Damages - a thousand times yes!
Dexter - always entertaining
Friday Night Lights - don't watch Grey’s Anatomy - love it in spite of everything
House - probably had its best season
Lost - probably had its best season since the first one
Mad Men - two thousand times yes!
The Tudors - don't watch
The Wire - have only seen a couple of episodes but would not dipute that it's a quality show. Am I right in thinking it was the last season? Hence the belated love.

But no love for Battlestar :(

Michael B. said...

The Top 10 for Comedy Actresses:

Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" ("The Restraining Order")
Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now You Know")
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" ("Odor in the Court")
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Sandwich Day")
Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies" ("Bitter Sweets")
Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now I Know, Don't Be Scared")
Eva Longoria Parker, "Desperate Housewives" ("In Buddy's Eyes")
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" ("One and a Half Men")
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" ("Bill Sussman")
Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program" ("Bored of the Rings")

Michael B. said...

Oh, as you can see, Hatcher is snubbed. Which is a pretty big shock.

Michael B. said...

Terry O Quinn is snubbed (He was last years winner)

Naveen Andrews, "Lost" ("The Economist")
Bruce Dern, "Big Love" ("Good Guys and Bad Guys")
Christian Clemenson, "Boston Legal" ("Roe vs. Wade, The Musical")
Ted Danson, "Damages" ("Jesus, Mary and Joe Cocker")
Michael Emerson, "Lost" ("The Shape of Things to Come")
Zeljko Ivanek, "Damages" ("I Hate These People")
T.R. Knight, "Grey's Anatomy" ("Freedom, Parts 1 & 2")
William Shatner, "Boston Legal" ("Mad About You")
John Slattery, "Mad Men" ( "Long Weekend")
Blair Underwood, "In Treatment" ("Alex: Week 6")
Jake Weber, "Medium" ("Wicked Game, Part 1")


those acting finalists aren't listed @ the EMMY site (where the drama and comedy series finalists are listed)

so i wonder how accurate they are?

Michael B. said...

They are 100% accurate. The Emmy's said they will not give out the acting Top 10's but voters have gotten the DVDs and they are telling Tom O'Neil (Hate him during Oscar, like him during Emmys) is finding out the Top 10's and won't release them until he is 100% positive. These 2 categories he is 100% in.