Friday, July 17, 2009

22 is the Luckiest Number

Dear Emmy Voters,

Thank you so much for your recent list of Emmy nominations. They were both surprising and welcome, with a few disappointments here and there. But most of all, it seems you listened to what people are watching, and I don't mean Boston Legal.

First, let's look at the seven nominees in each of the series categories. It's great to see Damages and Mad Men return in the Drama category, and even Big Love is a welcome surprise, but I am absolutely thrilled to see Breaking Bad get recognized for its even-better second season. On the Comedy side, it's no question that 30 Rock is going to win (22 nominations, for God's sake!), but the voters nominated three first-time programs as well: Weeds, How I Met Your Mother, and the fantastic Flight of the Conchords. Overall, no complaints here, but I wasn't a fan of Battlestar Galactica, so its snub doesn't mean a whole lot to me. Oh, and thank you for snubbing the vampy train wreck that is True Blood. I am eternally grateful.

In the lead acting categories, you more or less kept things the same, with a nice inclusion of Simon Baker for The Mentalist, and though I would have liked to see Tim Roth from Lie to Me get nominated, I don't think there's anyone from this group I would drop. I will remain silent about the insufferable Mariska Hargitay getting nominated again over the superb January Jones from Mad Men, and instead praise the nomination of Elisabeth Moss from the same show. Sarah Silverman's nod is a head-scratcher, as is Jermaine Clement's, because they're both just playing themselves, but the biggest annoyance is Tony Shalhoub's seventh nomination. Monk is done; it shouldn't hog any more nominations.

The supporting acting categories are where you guys went a little bit off the rails. First, you paid almost no attention to my suggestions (¿Dónde están B.J Novak y David Costabile?), and worse even, you didn't nominated Mad Men's sublime Christina Hendricks! She had a rape plotline in this season! You guys are suckers for that! Nonetheless, even with these glaring omissions (and by glaring, I mean I'm glaring at you), you still made some good choices. I love seeing two differerent In Treatment ladies get nominated, even if neither of them is named Allison Pill, and Cherry Jones really is the only award-worthy thing about 24 anymore. Katherine Heigl's snub is a bit puzzling (again, a cancer plotline should be irresistible), and I'm irritated that once again, even though John Slattery (a terrific actor) made it in, Vincent Kartheiser did not. Vanessa Williams' nod in a year otherwise Bettyless doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but she's good, so I'll say she deserved it. Rose Byrne was fantastic this past season in Damages (arguably better than her more famous co-stars), and I really hope she wins this Emmy. Finally, the recognition for Amy Poehler and Kristin Wiig should make it clear to all of their male Saturday Night Live compatriots who exactly are the stars of the show.

Glossing over the reality show categories, I thank you for the inclusion of Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi and Tom Collichio and the omission of Howie Mandel, but wonder what So You Think You Can Dance and its host, Cat Deely, need to do to get a little love. Jon and Kate Plus Eight's snub was a welcome surprise, even more because it makes Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List right where it belongs: in the frontrunner's seat.

I never have much to say about the movie/miniseries categories, but I'm thrilled with Grey G-ah-dens' 17 nominations, especially the ones for Jessica Lange, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and the absolutely spectacular Drew Barrymore.

In the guest actor categories, I love that SNL's Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake category-frauded their way to nominations (and a surefire win for Tina Fey, don't cha know) but I'm also thrilled for Jon Hamm, Steve Martin, Jennifer Aniston, Elaine Strich, and Alan Alda's nominations for 30 Rock, though I have a feeling only one of them is going to win (I'm looking at you, Arnie Vinick).

Thank you for snubbing Jay Leno. That is all.

It's nice to see almost all modern comedians fill out the Variety, Music, or Comedy Special category, including Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, Kathy Griffin, and Will Ferrell. I'm rooting for Gervais or Griffin, mainly because their speeches will be the best part of the show if they win.

Finally, just one note for the writing categories. In both comedy and drama, one nod each went to a show OTHER than 30 Rock and Mad Men. Woe to you, Conchords and Lost; the odds are stacked against you this year, 4-1. Better luck next year.

Overall, I was very happy with your crop of nominations, Emmy Voters, and hope that your wisdom continues when the actual voting starts. I'll be posting my choices soon; you'd be wise to follow.

Thank you for your time,

Kevin O'Keeffe

PS: Great job getting Neil Patrick Harris!

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