Funny ha ha, funny awkward, or funny something else? What was running through the Emmy voters’ minds when they selected the following batch of nominees for acting in comedies? Some of their choices perplex me, but at least they found a lot to love on 30 Rock and The Office, which, in my opinion, are the two funniest current comedies on television.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)*
Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine)
Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)
I’m relatively happy with these nominees. I do wish there had been room for Lauren Graham. It’s very shameful that she never received much-deserved recognition for her spot-on portrayal of Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. I’d like to see Tina Fey win this category, but Liz Lemon may be too understated a character to garner the same amount of attention as America Ferrera’s more flamboyant Betty or Felicity Huffman’s high strung desperate housewife.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Steve Carell (The Office)
Ricky Gervais (Extras)
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Let’s face it. CBS doesn’t have any strong leading comedic men. So, if the Emmy voters felt like they must include someone from the network, I suppose Charlie Sheen was the best choice. Why not just snub that network’s lead comedy actors, and instead go with the less conventional choice of James Roday, for his hilarious role as Shawn on Psych? Well, that would be a crazy idea to Emmy voters. They’ve probably never heard of Roday, and Sheen is a member of one of Hollywood’s favorite families. I hate favoritism. Tony Shalhoub’s nominations are getting tiresome, as is Monk itself. It’s always nice to see Carrell get recognition for his pitch perfect portrayal of Michael on The Office, but I’d imagine Alec Baldwin has this one in the bag. He shares Charlie’s benefit of being one member of a well-known Hollywood family, but he also actually deserves to win this award for his hilarious role on 30 Rock.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl)
Jenna Fischer (The Office)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)
This is the silliest category – and I don’t mean that in a good way. My main issue is with Two and a Half Men taking two slots, when there are enough, more deserving, funny ladies on The Office to fill up this category. I guess when it comes to women in comedy, Emmy voters have different taste than I do.
I would have chosen Angela Kinsey (uproariously uptight Angela), Phyllis Smith (surprisingly colorful Phyllis), and Melora Hardin (the sometimes calm, sometimes manic Jan) over Jenna Fischer from The Office. I love Pam, but her character doesn’t stand out as much to me, in terms of comedy, as do the three I mentioned. Oh well.
I also don’t find Jaime Pressly very amusing, but am instead somewhat offended by her caricature of a Southern woman on My Name is Earl. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that Ugly Betty is too campy for me, so of course Vanessa Williams would not be my first choice to be nominated. But at least the Emmys are showing some variety in the types of comedy they are recognizing.
Speaking of variety, they still didn’t show any love to another hour long comedy, the admittedly past-its-prime Gilmore Girls. Two of its supporting players would have been more worthy choices here than the Two and a Half Men nominees: Liza Weil as Paris, and Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore. I guess Gilmore Girls fans will have to settle for honoring these underrated actors on our own time.
If I have to choose a winner out of these lackluster nominees, I will go with Jenna Fischer. She deserves it more than most in this list, and maybe she can share it with her Office mates.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Kevin Dillon (Entourage)
Jeremy Piven (Entourage)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Rainn Wilson (The Office)
Hooray for the Neil Patrick Harris nomination! He is by far the most deserving player on any CBS comedy, so his recognition shows that there is still some justice in the world. I also have no complaints with Piven and Dillon from Entourage. I guess Jon Cryer was a given – can’t recognize one Man without the other, at least not in Emmy-land. Again, I was surprised by who Emmy voters chose from The Office. Then again, Emmy voters seem to go for the conventional over the unconventional. (Dwight is the token comic relief on The Office). For me, though, Rainn Wilson’s exaggerated character takes away from my enjoyment of the other, equally funny actors on the show.
With that in mind, I would have nominated John Krasinski (what happened to Emmy voters recognizing two parts of a pair – where Pam is, shouldn’t Jim follow?) and Leslie David Baker (the hilariously morose Stanley) over Wilson.
I wish space could have also been made for a couple of 30 Rock’s supporting men – if not Tracy Morgan (who can be too over the top sometimes on the show), then at least Jack McBrayer, for his refreshing, seemingly effortless portrayal of Kenneth the page.
Given the actual nominees, and even if my other choices had made the cut, Neil Patrick Harris deserves this award. No question. His character is… LeGenDary.
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:
Dixie Carter (Desperate Housewives)
Laurie Metcalf (Desperate Housewives)
Elaine Stritch (30 Rock)
Judith Light (Ugly Betty)
Salma Hayek (Ugly Betty)
I don’t have much of an opinion here, since I only saw Elaine Stritch’s appearance. She was pretty funny as Jack’s mother on 30 Rock, but I wonder if Isabella Rossellini was also considered in this category, for her role as Jack’s ex-wife, and a formidable opponent for him. I really have no preference about who should win this one.
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series:
Martin Landau (Entourage)
Sir Ian McKellen (Extras)
Stanley Tucci (Monk)
Giovanni Ribisi (My Name Is Earl)
Beau Bridges (My Name Is Earl)
I only saw Stanley Tucci’s imitation of Monk on Monk, and while it was entertaining, I don’t think it is Emmy worthy. So I have no clue who should win this one.
I’ve now voiced my opinion about all the major Emmy categories. There are still a few odds and ends I’d like to wrap up, such as the less publicized categories in which some great shows did get recognized. Look for that some time soon. Until then, take a look at these related Emmy posts: