Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Alterna-Emmys

So in past years, I've just presented my Alterna-Emmy ballot as being an alternate list of the best people/shows that didn't get nominated. But I just now realized that that made zero sense, since in a lot of cases, my favourites did get justly nominated, so I wasn't really presenting a true vision of what I thought the nominations should have been. It was as inefficient as Bizarro Germany. So what I'm doing this year is listing the actual nominees, an 'alterna-list' of people who were also great, and then combining them to form one uber-ballot that will then come to life and destroy half of Tokyo.

On with the show!

Actual nominees: Entourage, Family Guy, Flight Of The Conchords, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, 30 Rock, Weeds

Alterna-nominees: American Dad, Eastbound & Down, My Name Is Earl, Party Down, Pushing Daisies, The Simpsons

Ok, first of all, we have to talk about Family Guy's nomination, which is one of the most stunning moves in Emmy history. An animated show hasn't been nominated for Best Comedy since the Flintstones in the 60's....and it's fucking Family Guy?! In a season where it was a piece of crap? Just totally inexplicable. I guess Emmy voters really dug that Surfin' Bird episode. It is impossible to believe that FG gets the breakthrough nomination while the Simpsons (which had a great rebound year) has never gotten the nod. Hell, FG isn't even the best Seth Macfarlane show, since American Dad has been way better for the last three years. So in this uber-ballot, swap out FG for AD, swap out the terrible Entourage for the dearly departed Pushing Daisies, and get rid of Weeds (which, admittedly, I've never seen) for Party Down, which inexplicably got zero love from the Emmys in any category. 30 Rock is going to win the actual award, and rightly so.

Actual nominees: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Steve Carell (The Office), Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Charlie Sheen (Two And A Half Men)

Alterna-nominees: Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down), Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl), Bret McKenzie (Flight Of The Conchords), Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies)

Strange to see Jemaine get nominated and Bret get snubbed, but hey, I'll take some love for 'Conchords' wherever I can find it. I won't watch BBT, but Jim Parsons is a guy who has been getting raves for his performance since that show came on the air, so it's good to see him get some recognition. For the uber-ballot, ditch Shalhoub (Monk is still on the air?) and Sheen, and replace them with Bret and Danny McBride. Ol' Kenny Powers deserves something for his total commitment to being an asshole. As for the winner, it's going to be hard to stop the Alec Baldwin juggernaut, but Steve Carell is way overdue for an Emmy, doncha think?

Actual nominees: Christina Applegate (Samantha Who), Toni Collette (United States Of Tara), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (New Adventures of Old Christine), Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), Sarah Silverman (Sarah Silverman Show)

Alterna-nominees: Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies)

Tina Fey wins this in a cakewalk. Or a Muppet walk. Friel goes onto the uber-ballot in place of Sarah Silverman. You either love Silverman or you don't get her appeal at all, and I'm in the latter camp. I think the only one of her jokes I've ever found amusing is when Bill Simmons told the story of her going to the Jimmy Kimmel staff Halloween party dressed as 'Sexy Hitler.'


Actual nominees: Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies), Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds), Amy Poehler (SNL), Kristin Wiig (SNL), Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)

Alterna-nominees: Lizzy Caplan (Party Down), Jane Lynch (Party Down), Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl), Amy Ryan (The Office), Kristen Schaal (Flight Of The Conchords), Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)

What a disappointing category. Toss out everyone but Chenoweth and Krakowski, and fill in the uber-ballot with Lynch, Ryan, Schaal and Smulders. I'm counting Amy Ryan as a supporting actress rather than a guest actress since I've seen past actors get full nominations for guest roles, and if anyone deserves it, it's Amy Ryan. Kristin Chenoweth deserves it the most and I'd love to see her win as a going-away present for Pushing Daisies, but I'm not holding my breath. Just to add to the Chenoweth love, here she is with Ellen Greene covering 'Birdhouse In Your Soul' from the S1 Pushing Daisies soundtrack. Great stuff. If Amy Poehler wins, I'm throwing something at my TV.

Actual nominees: Jon Cryer (Two And A Half Men), Kevin Dillon (Entourage), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Tracy Morgan (30 Rock), Rainn Wilson (The Office)

Alterna-nominees: Rhys Darby (Flight Of The Conchords), Ed Helms (The Office), Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies), Jeremy Piven (Entourage), Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother)

Welp, so much for worrying about Piven stealing another Emmy from a more deserving actor. He goes from winning three in a row to a total snub? The moral of the story is, don't wuss out of a play due to a ridiculous mercury-related illness. This is once again a very strong category to pick and choose from. Replace Cryer with Chi McBride, and slot in Jason Segel for Kevin Dillon. Not that Dillon isn't still doing good work as Johnny Drama, but Segel's never been nominated and more than deserves it. With Piven out, the winner is up in the air, but I'd suspect that since he's actually hosting the bloody Emmy telecast, this will finally be the year that NPH takes home the gold.

Actual nominees: Big Love, Breaking Bad, Damages, Dexter, House, Lost, Mad Men

Alterna-nominees: Dollhouse, The Shield, 24

BTW, what's up with the seven-show nominee lists? Did the Emmys take a cue from the Oscars and decide to bump up the list to give viewers more chance to root for their favourites? I actually don't have much of a problem with this list, given that I don't watch Big Love, Damages or House, and the other four are some of the best shows on TV (well, maybe not Dexter, not this season). But for the uber-ballot, let's just take out Big Love and put in the Shield, since even though I don't watch it, its last season was apparently so incredible that its lack of a nomination seems out-of-place. It's pretty obvious that Mad Men is going to win the actual award, but hey, Breaking Bad shocked the world last year with Bryan Cranston's acting win. It would be great if it could do it again in the series category.

Actual nominees: Simon Baker (The Mentalist), Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Hugh Laurie (House),

Alterna-nominees: Michael Chiklis (The Shield), James Spader (Boston Legal), Kiefer Sutherland (24)

Simon Baker? Seriously? Baker-for-Spader is the only swap from last year's insanely good dramatic actor list, but man, at least Spader was still good in his over-awarded role. Baker is just some grinning jackass. Vic Mackey got snubbed for some would-be psychic? Oh, that is not cool. Amidst these great nominees (and Baker), the clear choice is Bryan Cranston. He is so good that it's very possible the Hall/Hamm/Laurie trinity will be lifetime Emmy snubs, in spite of their own great work. Their only hope is if their shows are still going after Breaking Bad finishes its stated four-season run.

Actual nominees: Glenn Close (Damages), Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters), Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order SVU), Holly Hunter (Saving Grace), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Kyra Sedgwick (Closer)

Alterna-nominees: January Jones (Mad Men)

Wow, I just realized that I watch virtually zero female-led shows. Elisabeth Moss is the only nominee whose work I've seen, so yay, default! Not sure why January Jones didn't get a nod, given that Mad Men cleaned house in virtually every other category and that Jones really stepped up her game in the second season. Stick Jones onto the uber-ballot in place of, oh, let's say Mariska Hargitay.

Actual nominees: Rose Byrne (Damages), Hope Davis (In Treatment), Cherry Jones (24), Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy), Dianne Wiest (In Treatment), Chandra Wilson (Grey's Anatomy)

Alterna-nominees: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), CCH Pounder (The Shield), Annie Wersching (24), Olivia Williams (Dollhouse)

Again, I watch none of these shows save 24, and Cherry "President Grandma" Jones certainly didn't deserve to make the cut. But then again, I like all of the nominated actresses and can certainly see them delivering quality work. So for the uber-ballot, let's just cut Cherry and insert Olivia Williams to show 'Dollhouse' some recognition. The buzz is that this is Weist's award to lose in real life, so let's pick her to win the actual Emmy and Pounder or Williams to win my alterna-Emmy, which is like a regular Emmy statue except wearing a Groucho mustache. Also, Rose Byrne is hot. I have no other statement to make.

Actual nominees: Christian Clemenson (Boston Legal), Michael Emerson (Lost), William Hurt (Damages), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), William Shatner (Boston Legal), John Slattery (Mad Men)

Alterna-nominees: Jeremy Davies (Lost), Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse), Walton Goggins (The Shield), Josh Holloway (Lost), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), Jimmy Smits (Dexter)

Smits was nominated in the guest actor category, but....he was in every episode. He played the key role of the season aside from Dexter himself. How was he a 'guest actor'? The uber-ballot includes all of the alterna-nominees save Davies and Goggins (I don't watch the Shield so he's cut, but that's ok, I understand his character copes well with disappointment....wait....), and none of the actual nominees save Emerson and Paul. This is two straight years that Kartheiser hasn't been nominated in spite of turning in arguably the best and most interesting work on the show. No knock on Slattery, but Kartheiser far outshined him this season. Just to keep track of things on Emmy night, I'll only be slightly pissed off if Michael Emerson loses to Aaron Paul. If Emerson loses to anyone else, lock your doors and head downstairs to the bomb shelter.


Hal Incandenza said...

God...the Emmys are fucking pathetic. For every semi-trendy selection (Aaron Paul, FotC, Clement) there are a dozen more inexplicable blunders (FG--a nomination I was blissfully unaware of until I read this post and actually led me to burst aloud "WHAT IN THE HELL?"--the entire cast of Boston Legal, continuing to overrate the pretty damn overrated already Damages), etc.) And, of course, most egregious of all: The Shield getting completely snubbed. At a bare minimum Goggins, Chiklis, Karnes, Pounder, and the show itself were slam dunk nominees. Seriously, Family Guy got more nominations than one of the five finest seasons of any show I've ever seen? Are you fucking kidding me?

(On the plus side: President Grandma made me laugh out loud.)

Time for an angry nap.

Chad Nevett said...

The Family Guy nomination shocked the hell out of me. Way to be only ten years late with THAT one.

Surprised at the lack of Boston Legal nominations since it's been a favourite of the awards and this was its final season. I figured this would be the year it finally won best drama -- and Spader continued his dominance of the best actor in a drama category.

Other than that, I have a hard time getting worked up over awards. It is nice to see How I Met Your Mother get a best comedy nom, though. Too bad this was a weaker season -- but that's what they get for being behind the times year after year, so when they finally recognise a good show or actor, everyone jumps on them for doing it when the show has gotten weaker. Funny.