Boy, I'm watching less and less TV. Or, just less and less quality TV. Either that, or the Emmys are doing a better jobs of nomination (no, that can't be it). Putting together my list of the alterna-Emmys was actually pretty difficult. The rules are, of course, that I can only nominate shows/actors that weren't actually nominated and are realistic options. For example, as much as I'd love to toss Trailer Park Boys in here, I don't even think it's eligible for the Emmys.
My Name Is Earl
I'm baffled at the lack of love shown to My Name Is Earl. Jaime Pressly looks like she'll become a nominated staple for the length of the show's run (as well she should), but the show itself is absolutely one of the best five comedies on TV. Do the producers of the Simpsons just not bother submitting the show for Best Comedy, and are merely content with dominating the Animated category? I can't help but think that if Simpsons actually got nominated, it could gather momentum and win as sort of a lifetime achievement award. It would be sort of like how Star Trek: Next Generation got nominated for best drama in its final season in a respect vote --- it had no chance of winning due to the sci-fi bias, but hell, everyone in Hollywood has worked on the Simpsons at one time or another. Surely it could muster a number of votes. Any of these shows could've gotten the last nominated spot over Two And A Half Men, which was just...inexplicable.
ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jason Lee, My Name Is Earl
See the earlier comments about MNIE. Lee's two years worth of snubs is hard to figure out. He's turned himself into a real underdog. In a related story, Underdog is released on August 3.
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives
Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives
I'm slotting Desperate Housewives in this category just because it keeps being nominated as a comedy in spite of the fact that it has far more dramatic elements to it. DH and Boston Legal could easily just be switched in the comedy/drama categories. It's also tough in DH's case because of the four leads, Cross and Huffman are better at drama, and Hatcher and Longoria are better at comedy. Huffman is the only one that has gotten consistent nomination love, while Marcia Cross (who arguably does a better job with an arguably more complex character) has been forgotten. I can understand Hatcher's exclusion if the rumours of her being a grade-A nightmare on the set are true.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
John Krasinski, The Office
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
John C. McGinley, Scrubs
Kyle McLachlan, Desperate Housewives
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Ethan Suplee, My Name Is Earl
Nominations in this category are like slots on the Supreme Court. Once you're established in the category, you generally remain for years until your show goes off the air. For example, when Raymond went off the air, Peter Boyle and Brad Garrett's slots were suddenly up for grabs, which made room for Will Arnett and Bryan Cranston last year. Both of their shows, ironically, were then cancelled, along with Will & Grace, which put to end to Sean Hayes' reign in the category. The result is a lot of well-deserved new blood (Neil Patrick Harris, Rainn Wilson, Kevin Dillon) being recognized, but there are still loads of good actors who have yet to break into the category. Just look at those six names I suggested -- that could've been the nominated list proper, and I don't think anyone would've been too outraged unless you're a big Entourage fan. I love the 30 Rock actors so much I want to take them behind the middle school and get them pregnant. Kyle McLachlan's performance was so good that the producers of the show were forced to alter their storyline in order to keep him on the show and to somewhat excuse his character's shady behaviour. Suplee, Krasinski and McGinley are all uniformly hilarious and a million times better than friggin' Jon Cryer. Seriously, am I just missing something about Two And A Half Men? It has no critical buzz, no industry buzz, and yet it has racked up the noms in the last two years.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Sarah Chalke, Scrubs
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives
Due to Hollywod scuttlebutt, Jane Krakowski's inclusion in 30 Rock came about due to the fact that NBC didn't think Rachel Dratch (who was originally slated to play the role) was telegenic enough. I'd be more upset about this if a) it wasn't true and b) if Krakowski wasn't perfect as the air-headed star of the TGS With Tracy Jordan. Frankly, I don't think Dratch is enough of an actress to play a regular character --- she's better suited to her oddball cameos.
Well, you knew this was coming. Lost didn't even get fucking NOMINATED? Seriously Emmys, what the hell. It was neglected in favour of Boston Legal (a comedy), Grey's Anatomy (which is a glorified soap opera), Heroes (which I haven't even seen but I'm already hating by proxy of it sounding like a second-rate rehash of 20-year-old X-Men comics), House ("Oh look, here's a mysterious illness! Can you figure it out, Dr. House?" "Snarky comment." "Wait, but you can't do that, that might kill the patient! And it isn't ethical!" "Snarky comment." "Wow, the patient is safe. Nice work, Dr. House!") and the Sopranos. It's pretty clear Sopranos will win in its last season, but man, toss Lost a frickin' bone.
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars
On the bright side, she's still gorgeous. Bell can join Lucy Lawless, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Lauren Graham in the "actress in critically acclaimed show that was never ever nominated" Hall of Fame.
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Matthew Perry, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Amidst the wreckage that was Studio 60's late, lamented run on network television, the one consistent on the show was Matt Perry's outstanding performance. It was 99-percent free of Chandler mannerisms and it isn't too much to say that without Perry as an anchor, the show wouldn't have gotten as much leeway as it did. Every time Perry was on the screen, you could see the potential that laid within Studio 60 that never quite came to the forefront.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
Yunjin Kim, Lost
Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
For those of you unfamiliar with Emmy voting procedures, how it works is that each actor submits an episode to be considered for nomination. This isn't the ideal way of nominating people (any actor can have one standout episode and mail it in the rest of the season), but given that voters can't be expected to watch entire seasons of several dozen different shows, it's the best method the Emmys have available to them. Elizabeth Mitchell's submitted episode was One Of Us, and I cannot fathom how anyone --- even someone who's never seen Lost before --- could watch that episode and not think she deserved a nomination. The same with Yunjin Kim, who was outstanding in either of her two feature episodes this season on Lost. Surely a couple of the Grey's brigade could've been omitted. Does Chandra Wilson do anything besides make a couple of snarky comments per episode?
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Powers Boothe, 24
Henry Ian Cusick, Lost
Josh Holloway, Lost
Steven Weber, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Aside from Perry, Steven Weber was the highlight of Studio 60. Hindsight is 20-20, but what Aaron Sorkin should've done is focus the show at the network, which would've given him more of an avenue to explore the politics and social issues he holds so dear. Weber's storyline about facing off against the FCC was way more interesting than the somewhat predictable antics of the sketch show. Powers Boothe was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise brutal season of 24. Holloway and Cusick were both fantastic, and it took some temptation to not throw in nearly the entire Lost male cast. Lost got some love with nominations for Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson, and in a perfect world, one of them would win. I think the upcoming Sopranos sweep will give it to Michael Imperioli, or (if the universe really hates me) T.R. Knight will win in some sort of bullshit P.C. apology for Isaiah Washington.
So, early predictions on the actual awards. Sopranos wins best drama, best actor (Gandolfini), best actress (Falco) and supporting actor (Imperioli) as a going-away present. At least once during the Emmy ceremony is there a joke black screen as Steve Perry's music starts playing. Sandra Oh wins best dramatic actress, as well as the award for ugly actress that most people think is pretty for some reason. The Office repeats as best comedy, and Steve Carell picks up the best actor award. Best supporting actress is between Jenna Fischer or Vanessa Williams, supporting actor is a Piven repeat and best actress will almost certainly go to America Ferrera. I also predict an Emmy for Justin Timberlake's legendary "Dick in a Box," which was nominated in the outstanding music and lyrics category. Hopefully Tony Bennett wins the individual performance in a variety series or special, for no other reason than to give Stephen Colbert another year of material after the Barry Manilow win last year. Simpsons wins the animated award again after South Park's Warcraft episode goes over the heads of the older Emmy voters. One of David Chase's episodes wins the dramatic writing award, and I think Tina Fey's episode of 30 Rock wins the comic writing award. That was a particularly tough one to call, but that episode (Tracy Does Conan) featured the debuts of both the Rural Juror and the debut of Dr. Spaceman. That's a hell of a double play.