Emmy still suffering from a major case of the snubs
Stars and Stripes August 20, 2006
I know that you and I have never seen eye to eye about things. Look at the past few years — I’ve considered your (sometimes ghastly) nominees, I’ve picked my winners, and loudly “voiced” my concerns to you. Then you pick your winners, a list that rarely matches mine.
But this year, I had high hopes. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences decided to change the way it makes nominations. I’m going to be honest with you, Emmy — I don’t know that I understand this new system. Apparently, instead of just tallying votes, at some point a committee actually makes the selections. But it really doesn’t matter what this new system is, because pundits, and apparently The Academy, believed this new system would make the process more fair. The end result, it was predicted, would mean more new faces, and more previously overlooked faces among the nominees.
For a lot of us “professional TV watchers,” we hoped these changes would mean smaller shows, like “Everwood,” “Veronica Mars,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Battlestar Galactica” and others would finally get the nominations they deserved. And then, obviously, the win.
After reading the list of nominees several times, having my glasses checked, reading the list again, then pounding my head against the wall, I have reached the following conclusion:
The new system isn’t better than the old.
Explain to me, dear Emmy, how anyone could say that the TV show “House” is deserving of a nomination for best drama (which is true), but the actor who is in nearly every scene isn’t nominated?
Hugh Laurie makes being sick look good. Hugh Laurie brings humanity — often in a single gesture — to the jerk that is Dr. Gregory House. (Feel free to substitute jerk with something stronger. I would, but this is a family newspaper.) The English Hugh Laurie manages to recite lines full of medical jargon in an American accent. Hugh Laurie rocks “House” — and he should have been not only nominated for the Emmy, but he should be getting his acceptance speech ready.
And Lauren Graham of “Gilmore Girls”? How could you have overlooked her? AGAIN? I know we’ve talked about this in previous years, dear Emmy, but Graham is the master of both comedy and drama. In the same minute, her portrayal of Lorelai can make you laugh, then twist your heart. When you look at the other nominees in this category, none of them display the same depth and ability she consistently does (which is a limitation of their roles, not a comment on their talent).
My last example — which I believe proves the nominating committee is made up of the people responsible for the last two seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Alias” — is the wonderful comedy, “My Name Is Earl.” Judging from the previews — featuring an uneducated, clueless guy who wins the lottery, then realizes he’s got to make things even with karma by righting old wrongs — the show seemed rather ridiculous. Right up until I watched it. The comedy? The layered plots? The acting? Well timed, well played, well coordinated. In short: well done. However, Emmy didn’t see fit to reward this freshman comedy — which doesn’t look like any other comedy on TV — with a best comedy nomination or a best actor nod for its star, Jason Lee. Badly done, Emmy.
And I realize, I do, that the Emmy nominations have never made sense, that you can’t please everyone. And I know you try. For every deserving nomination, there is one that seems beyond farfetched. For every Christopher Meloni (best actor, “Law & Order: SVU”), there is a Kevin James (best actor, “King of Queens”). For every “24” (best drama), there’s a sigh of relief that “Desperate Housewives” didn’t get a nod. For the head-scratcher of how “Lost,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Everyone Hates Chris,” were overlooked, there are the bizarre nominations of “Two and a Half Men” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” For every forgotten Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars”), there’s a Jaime Pressley (“Earl”.) (And also: there’s a sentence I never thought I would write.)
Emmy, here’s how to make it up to me: This year, if you could go with my picks (previous page) so it will look like I can pick more than two winners correctly, that would be great. If you could see to it that “House” wins and “Grey’s” is humbled, I’d love that. And if next year, you could make sure that Lauren Graham takes home an Emmy for what I am sure will be the last season of “Gilmore Girls,” we’d be close to even.
Danielle L. Kiracofe has been with Stripes for nearly six years. She cried during the series finales of “Alias” and “Everwood.” She would cry if people would e-mail her about this column at email@example.com, but only if they e-mail her to defend “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Outstanding Drama: “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC;“House,” FOX; “The Sopranos,” HBO; “24,” FOX “The West Wing,” NBC. What will win: “House,” to make up for Hugh Laurie not getting the best actor nod. What should win: “24”. Interesting fact: Two of the five shows are first-time nominees (“House” and “Grey’s”). Two of the five have won the award before (“The Sopranos” and “The West Wing.”)
Outstanding Comedy: “Arrested Development,” FOX; “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” HBO;“The Office,” NBC;“Scrubs,” NBC;“Two and a Half Men,” CBS.What will win: “Arrested Development”. What should win: “The Office” or “Scrubs” Nomination most likely to make you say, What?: “Two and a Half Men”.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy:Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” HBO; Kevin James, “The King Of Queens,” CBS; Tony Shalhoub, “Monk,” USA;Steve Carell, “The Office,” NBC; Charlie Sheen, “Two and a Half Men,” CBS. Who will and should win: Steve Carell.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama: Christopher Meloni, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” NBC; Denis Leary, “Rescue Me,” FX; Peter Krause, “Six Feet Under,” HBO; Kiefer Sutherland, “24,” FOX; Martin Sheen, “The West Wing,” NBC; Who will win: Kiefer Sutherland, to make up for “24” not winning Best Drama.Who should win: Peter Krause.
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy:Lisa Kudrow, “The Comeback,” HBO; Jane Kaczmarek, “Malcolm in the Middle,” FOX; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” CBS; Stockard Channing, “Out Of Practice,” CBS; Debra Messing, “Will & Grace,” NBC. Who will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Who should win: Jane Kaczmarek. The shame of this category: The talented actresses who are missing from this category, including the “Desperate Housewives,” Lauren Graham of “Gilmore Girls,” and Tichina Arnold of “Everybody Hates Chris.”
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama: Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer,” TNT; Geena Davis, “Commander In Chief,” ABC; Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” NBC;Frances Conroy, “Six Feet Under,” HBO; Allison Janney, “The West Wing,” NBC. Who will win: Mariska Hargitay. Who should win: NOT Allison Janney.Who should have been nominated: Kristen Bell of “Veronica Mars”.
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS; “American Idol,” FOX; “Dancing With The Stars,” ABC; “Project Runway,” Bravo; “Survivor,” CBS. What will and should win: “Project Runway”.
— Danielle L. Kiracofe