Each year when the Emmy nominations are announced, it is clear that the Emmy voters value sameness over innovation or change. How else can you explain repeated nominations for shows like Two and a Half Men and Boston Legal, and The West Wing in its less impressive final seasons, while excellent shows like Battlestar Galactica and Gilmore Girls are nearly always ignored? Since there are so many “Dream Emmy Ballots” drifting around in cyberspace lately, I thought I would add my own to the pool. And although I’m aware that most of the “real” Emmy categories include five nominees, I only listed as many as I felt were truly worthy (of the shows that I watch). As you peruse this list, keep in mind that I don’t watch some of the shows that are included on many people’s best-of lists, such as The Sopranos, The Wire, and The Shield, and I only nominated shows and actors that I know enough about to have an informed opinion.
- The Office
- 30 Rock
- How I Met Your Mother
Winner: The Office – It was nearly pitch perfect this season, from the writing to the acting to the directing.
- Battlestar Galactica
- Friday Night Lights
Winner: This one’s really hard! These are, in my opinion, the three best shows on tv, in every way – entertainment value, acting, writing, etc. I didn’t even bother tacking on 2 more shows because they wouldn’t be in the same league. Since this is the “drama” category, I will go with Friday Night Lights, since it is very emotionally involving. I would have chosen Lost, but it did have those six sub-par episodes before it got its game back on this spring.
Lead Comedy Actress
- Lauren Graham (Lorelai, Gilmore Girls)
- Tina Fey (Liz, 30 Rock)
- America Ferrera (Betty, Ugly Betty)
Winner: Lauren Graham, because she has deserved it for seven years! Besides, I have to give her the award in my dream world since the Emmy voters have never even heard of The CW. (Tina Fey can win next year – I bet her show will only get better and funnier).
Lead Comedy Actor
- Steve Carrell (Michael, The Office)
- Alec Baldwin (Jack, 30 Rock)
- Tony Shalhoub (Monk, Monk)
- James Roday (Shawn, Psych)
Winner: Let’s not pretend that someone other than Carrell or Baldwin will win in this category. My pick is Alec Baldwin because he played Jack so consistently and hilariously all season, from the mannerisms to the voice to the everything. Well, okay, Steve Carrell does the same with Michael. So it’s a tie!
Lead Drama Actress
- Connie Britton (Tami, Friday Night Lights) – She is my favorite character on tv! I would love to have her as a co-worker, neighbor, or friend. I just had to say that. Connie Britton makes Tami so real that I want to be her (Tami’s) friend.
- Kristen Bell (Veronica, Veronica Mars)
- Mary McDonnell (President Roslin, Battlestar Galactica)
- Sally Field (Nora, Brothers & Sisters)
Winner: Connie Britton
Lead Drama Actor
- Edward James Olmos (Adama, Battlestar Galactica)
- Matthew Fox (Jack, Lost)
- Kiefer Sutherland (Jack, 24)
- Kyle Chandler (Eric, Friday Night Lights)
- Hugh Laurie (House, House)
Winner: This may be the most competitive category (More proof that men get all the juiciest roles). My pick to win is Matthew Fox, as he kicked his portrayal of Jack up a notch this season. Not everybody liked him, but at least he made us question Jack’s allegiances and motives. And how about his fantastic performance in the season finale? Update: I changed my mind! Matthew Fox had a great final episode, but for consistently excellent acting, I am changing my choice to Kyle Chandler. He and Connie Britton were a dream team on Friday Night Lights. I can’t reward one and not the other!
Supporting Comedy Actress
- Angela Kinsey (Angela, The Office)
- Phyllis Smith (Phyllis, The Office)
- Melora Hardin (Jan, The Office)
- Liza Weil (Paris, Gilmore Girls)
- Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore, Gilmore Girls)
Winner: Melora Hardin – She showed us many sides of Jan, taking her from ultra calm to totally high strung and out of control. Angela Kinsey is a close second.
Supporting Comedy Actor
- John Krasinski (Jim, The Office)
- Leslie David Baker (Stanley, The Office)
- Neil Patrick Harris (Barney, How I Met Your Mother)
- Jack McBrayer (Kenneth, 30 Rock)
- Tracy Jordan (Tracy, 30 Rock)
Winner: Neil Patrick Harris – While all the guys in this category make me laugh – a lot – every week, Neil Patrick “My Name Is Not Doogie” Harris is the funniest thing about his show and has even created some new pop culture catchprhases (The Lemon Law, Legen – wait for it – dary, Suit Up, etc.).
Supporting Drama Actress
- Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet, Lost)
- Sandra Oh (Cristina, Grey’s Anatomy)
- Chandra Wilson (Bailey, Grey’s Anatomy)
- Liz Mikel (Corrina, Friday Night Lights) – She wasn’t in every episode, but she plays “Smash” Williams’ mom with such realism and intensity that I think she deserves a nomination.
- Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck, Battlestar Galactica)
Winner: Chandra Wilson – Amidst all the ridiculous storylines on Grey’s Anatomy this season, Chandra Wilson’s Miranda Bailey was a stabilizing presence. She brought the other characters back to Earth in their scenes together. She kept the drama real this season, and for that she deserves an Emmy!
Supporting Drama Actor
- Michael Emerson (Ben, Lost)
- Josh Holloway (Sawyer, Lost)
- Terry O’Quinn (Locke, Lost)
- James Callis (Gaius Baltar, Battlestar Galactica)
- Jamie Bamber (Lee Adama, Battlestar Galactica)
Winner: This is another tight race, as all of these actors had at least one stand-out episode this season: Ben’s flashback episode, Sawyer finally facing his namesake, Locke confronting his “daddy issues,” Baltar battling his inner demons, and Lee giving a crucial speech at the end of Baltar’s trial. It comes down to Emerson and Callis, because they both portrayed their characters in fascinating ways. But, Michael Emerson takes the trophy because he plays Ben with so many nuanced layers that you don’t know what to think of him, or even where to begin. Well done, creepy man!
Related Link: Eclaire’s Dream Emmy Ballot: Part Two