Happy Thursday, b-rollers! I’m here bright and early this morning, since the Emmy Award nominees are being announced at 8:30am. In a related story, I shall probably be late to work as I insist on finding out who made the cut. I don’t care if you find that ridiculous; it’s part of the wonder of b-roll.
Anywho, before we find out who is taking home a nomination, as voted on by people who unfortunately aren’t me, here are a few names I’d like to see called this morning. I didn’t fill out complete (pretend) ballots – ie, five nominees per category – as I didn’t want to write in names of people who are apparently excellent on shows I don’t watch just to fill slots, so keep that in mind. So in no particular order, here are the people that b-roll officially endorses for an Emmy nomination:
Best Comedy Series
- Glee – Like, duh. My adoration is well-documented. I realize that others have tackled the “this show is a musical dramedy; which category should it be entered into?” conundrum, but let’s be real – Glee is a comedy. Any show that includes the line, “It’s almost as barren as me in here” is a comedy. End of conundrum.
- Modern Family – Another new show that is immediately funnier than everything else on television. In fact, I’m even, um, maybe…uh, rooting for it to win. (Ducking from the shrapnel being hurled by infuriated Gleeks). Look, I know Glee is awesome, but I mostly watch for the musical performances; Modern Family is more layered, and boasts seven – seriously, seven – Emmy-worthy performances (every adult actor, plus the hysterical Rico Rodriguez as Manny). And the funniest moment of the entire TV season was the Lion King homage in the pilot episode. I rewatched that four times and howled every time.
- 30 Rock – It was a weak-ish season by 30 Rock standards, which means that it’s still better than 80% of the shows on television (and 100% of the shows on E!).
- The Office – See above, please. Also, the Jim-Pam wedding episode more than made up for any sub-par episode that followed. They were playing with house money after that.
Best Drama Series
- The Good Wife – This season really belonged to the newbie shows, didn’t it? The Good Wife is already the smartest, best-acted procedural on television. It’s engrossing and surprising, every single week. It may not be as iconic as Lost or as stylish as Mad Men – see below – but I’m rooting for it.
- Mad Men – Still ridiculously captivating, and I absolutely can’t wait to see where they go from here. I’m counting down the minutes until the Season 4 premiere.
- Lost – Okay, I haven’t actually watched the final season; I’m still on Season 2. But given my burgeoning fandom and everything that I’ve read about Lost‘s final year, I think it deserves a nod – even if it’s a cumulative one.
Best Actor in a Comedy
- Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock – I know, he’s won 432 times in this category, and it’s kinda boring because he’s the anti-Susan Lucci. But he’s freaking brilliant as Jack Donaghy, and as long as he’s on the show, he should always – ALWAYS – be one of the nominees.
- Steve Carell, The Office – Ah, ditto on every count. Except that he’s kinda the Annette Bening to Baldwin’s Hilary Swank (fun fact: Hilary Swank has TWICE beaten out Annette Bening for a Best Actress Oscar. Seriously, what are the odds?!). He’s always nominated because he’s wonderful and completely deserving, but he never wins. He might not win this year, either, but pencil him in anyway. He’s earned it.
Best Actor in a Drama
- Hugh Laurie, House – House might have lost a step, but Hugh Laurie sure as hell hasn’t. He only manages to play one of the most complex and fascinating characters on television while delivering every caustic line in a pitch-perfect American accent. Give this man an Emmy, for the love of God!
- Jon Hamm, Mad Men – I adore Hamm’s Don Draper. Okay, not adore – that’s not the right word. Fascinated by? Confused by? Simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by? Impressed with? All of the above, I guess. Whatever. He’s captivating, at least.
Best Actress in a Comedy
- Tina Fey, 30 Rock – I know. Again. She owns this category, give the others a chance. I get it. But did you see the episode when she stalled for time at a wedding by reading impromptu passages from the Bible? Pure genius – as always.
- Lea Michele, Glee – I’m on the fence about this one. I’m not sure if she should really even be characterized as a lead – it’s an ensemble show, after all – and I like her acting, but it’s her voice that really impresses. I think she’s worthy of a nomination for her “I Dreamed a Dream” performance/episode with Idina Menzel…but that was pretty dramatic, not so much with the comedy…ugh. I’m torn. We’ll see what the voters have to say.
Best Actress in a Drama
- Juliana Margulies, The Good Wife – She’s the beating heart of the best new drama on TV; of course she should get a nomination. Only caveat: She occasionally underplays a tad too much, which is why I do hope that she submitted the episode when she visited her imprisoned husband Peter (Chris Noth) and begged him to “make it stop” and end the drama plaguing her family. It was the most emotion her character ever showed, because she was desperate, and it was heartbreaking.
- Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer – Another perennial, but she’s so damn good that she deserves it. Who else could make a Southern-twanged “Thank you!” into a simultaneous dismissal and threat?
Best Supporting Actor, Comedy
- Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell, Modern Family – Apparently, the entire cast of Modern Family entered themselves into the supporting categories as a show of solidarity and an acknowledgment of the ensemble nature of the program. As if I couldn’t love them more. Anyway, with five solid contenders, it’s hard to whittle down; but ITHOOBR, Eric Stonestreet’s Cameron is the MVP of the show, with Ty Burrell’s clueless Phil a close second. Every second that Cameron is onscreen is a riot, and Phil has evolved from a Michael Scott clone into a rich and unique character. If Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson or Rico Rodriguez get nominated too/instead, I’ll be okay with it; but if forced to choose, I vote for these two.
- Ed Helms, The Office – Rainn Wilson gets more love, and John Krasinski is more deadpan (and more attractive – seriously, where can I get one?), but Ed Helms has emerged as the funniest of the supporting Office-ers. His facial expressions during the game of “hot and cold” with Erin are alone worthy of a nomination.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
- John Slattery, Mad Men – A treat to watch on that show; he’s slick and funny and eminently watchable. A worthy sidekick (sometimes adversary) to Don Draper.
- Robert Sean Leonard, House – This is more of a “Lifetime Achievement” nomination, because this guy has deserved an Emmy nod for the past, oh, seven years or so. House – the show and the character – simply wouldn’t be the same without Wilson.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
- Jane Lynch, Glee – I’d love nothing more than to spend the next several lines reciting Sue Sylvester’s Greatest Hits, but it’s pointless; no one does them better than Jane Lynch. And on top of everything, she actually made Sue Sylvester a character worth liking, and not just for the sarcasm. This is a comedic tour de force; if Jane Lynch’s name is not called, there will be outrage in Casa b-roll.
- Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen, Modern Family – These two women can deliver a zinger – and Bowen proved pretty adept at slapstick, too – but they bring such a wonderful dynamic to the show. Contrary to appearance, Gloria is not a bimbo, but a tough, funny woman; and Claire is the show (and family’s) anchor, even in her most absurd moments. A virtual round of applause to whoever (perfectly) cast this show.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
- Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy – I mean, did you see that season finale? Did you see it? Did you see the moment when Cristina refused to stop operating – even though she had a gun to her head? And when Bailey held the hand of the mortally wounded doctor and told him that yes, he was going to die, but it was okay because he wasn’t alone? CHILLS. Say what you want about Grey’s – and there’s admittedly a lot to say – but these two never fail to bring it.
- Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks, Mad Men – Two characters who are completely and utterly different, each played to perfection, and each indispensable to the show – and Sterling Cooper (or, now, Sterling Cooper Draper Price). Elisabeth Moss has come a long, long way from playing Zooey on The West Wing (Side note: God, I miss that show).
- Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife – Like the show, Archie Panjabi’s Kalinda always keeps you guessing. Is she good? Bad? Straight? Gay? Tough? Sentimental? All of the above? You can never quite tell, but it’s to her credit that Kalinda is intriguing rather than infuriating.
- So You Think You Can Dance and Cat Deeley for Best Reality Show/Host – I’ll say it again: SYTYCD is the better, smarter, less popular version of American Idol. And Cat Deeley is an infinitely better host than the Seacrest-Bot 2000; she’s relaxed, personable, and genuinely seems to care about the people on her show, and you end every episode wanting to send her a friend request on Facebook. Please, please show her – or at least the show – some love, Emmy voters.
- Grey’s Anatomy season finale, Best Writing for a Drama Series – Remember when I mentioned how spectacular the finale of Grey’s was? In a related story, those were two of the tensest, most strikingly plotted hours of television I’ve seen in a really long time. It was a welcome return to Season 1/2 form for Grey’s.
- Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris, Glee, Best Guest Actress/Actor in a Comedy – Wait, I really have to elaborate? Neil Patrick Harris should be nominated for breathing; I don’t watch How I Met Your Mother so I can’t comment on his worthiness in that, but in general, the man is a walking representation of awesome. Kristin Chenoweth’s two-episode arc as the floozy April Rhodes was one of the season’s high points. And if they could both perform on the Emmy telecast – perhaps the April-Will duet “I’m On Fire”, with NPH slotted in instead? – well, that would be completely delightful.
- Matt Damon and Michael Sheen, 30 Rock, Best Guest Actor in a Comedy – 30 Rock is known for dipping into the “big name guest actor/actress” well, sometimes too often for its own good. But they nailed it with these two; Michael Sheen was hysterical as the other Wesley Snipes (another fun fact: British Wesley Snipes has the same bike helmet as me – we both rock the Bern faux-visor look), and Matt Damon was wonderful as the perfect (obviously) yet slightly bitter pilot (“Know what I do every day? NOT hit the birds! Where’s my ticket to the Grammys?”). It was a marvelous chance for both to show their comedic chops, and they both succeeded beautifully.
- Betty White, Saturday Night Live, Best Guest Actress in a Comedy – Let’s keep the Betty White Revival Train on the tracks, shall we?
Okay, I’ll be back tomorrow morning with some quick Emmy reax. Hopefully, there won’t be any “Why, God?! WHY!!!!” comments sprinkled into the mix, but you never know how fickle the Emmy voters will be. Until then, b-rollers!