Something has gone terribly wrong. Is a masked man to blame? A creature of the night? A disfigured maniac? No, we have no one to blame but the members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. These people took what could have been a beautiful thing and turned it into a big old mess. Since I have so many things to lament, I thought I would do so in installments. First up, the Outstanding Series nominees.
Outstanding Drama Series:
I didn’t choose any of these shows on my Dream Emmy Ballot. (My choices included Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, and Lost. I really thought that Lost and Friday Night Lights would make it on to the list – in a world where justice still exists. I have no problem with House and The Sopranos being given nods. House is always excellent, and it would have been quite an insult not to nominate The Sopranos for its last season (although since I don’t watch the show I have no opinion on how good the season was). However, (deep breath), I am sickened by the other three nominees. Let me break it down.
- Boston Legal – Am I out of the loop? I just don’t get it. What is the big deal about this show? I can never stand to watch more than a few minutes of it. The characters are caricatures, the show relies too heavily on guest stars… Can someone please explain to me why the Emmy voters are so fascinated by this legal comedy? No one could convince me that this show deserved to be nominated over Friday Night Lights or Lost. Boo!
- Grey’s Anatomy – I have always been a fan of this show – until the second half of this season, when I lost interest amidst a series of absurd storylines (Izzy and George, Meredith and Derek, Meredith’s stepmom’s sudden death… I could go on). Shows with subpar seasons should not be rewarded (case in point, I’m okay with 24 being “snubbed” this year), particularly when there are shows waiting in the wings that had near-perfect seasons (aka Lost and Friday Night Lights). But, from what I understand, nominations are based on a single episode that is submitted to the Academy. How can a Best Show award be given out fairly when it is based on one fragment of the full product? Last year Grey’s deserved its nomination. But not this year. Boo again!
- Heroes – While I’ve never liked Boston Legal and I’ve given up on Grey’s Anatomy, I am a big fan and supporter of Heroes. However, I’ve always felt that it lacks the caliber of writing and acting that better shows possess. In my opinion, it mainly earned its nomination because of its popularity and buzz-worthiness. It is extremely creative, and I liked the comic book touches, but in terms of overall quality, I just don’t think it’s in the same league as a Sopranos or a Lost. Boo again. This is the nominee that I was most shocked by. Surely Friday Night Lights deserved a spot over this!
Final Word on the Drama Nominees:
What are the criteria for Best Drama nominees? I would hope the voters are looking for a show that possesses excellence across the board: writing, acting, directing, production design, etc. But based on what they came up with, I’m not even sure they watch television. I’m not bitter at all… As for the winner, The Sopranos might as well go ahead and clear a space on the mantle for their trophy.
Outstanding Comedy Series:
Two and a Half Men
Since there aren’t many comedy series to choose from to begin with, these nominees aren’t too surprising. Somehow, though, I only managed to include two of these in my dream world ballot (The Office and 30 Rock). I couldn’t be happier that those two gems are receiving kudos for their comedic genius. Hooray! As for the others…
- Entourage – I’ve seen a few episodes of this show, and I don’t really get it. (In its defense, though, I’ve only seen season one episodes, so I have no opinion on the current season.) It must be a decent show since so many people love it. But it had better not win over one of the aforementioned comedy treasures!
- Ugly Betty – Like Entourage, I’ve watched a few episodes of this show, and it’s too campy for my taste. I don’t laugh much when I watch it, and isn’t that the purpose of a comedy? I am constantly rewinding 30 Rock (as I used to do with Arrested Development) to catch the dialogue that was drowned out by my laughter. I can appreciate America Ferrera’s spot-on performance as Betty, but I’m not sure I’d reward this show above some others.
- Two and a Half Men – This is a show that I put in the same category as Boston Legal. It is over the top, and not very funny. Surely there were more deserving sitcoms to include on this short list. So, of the five nominees, this is the only one that I think was a definite mistake. If the Emmy voters wanted to represent CBS comedies, why not go with How I Met Your Mother?
Final Thoughts about Comedy Series:
I was pleased to see that My Name is Earl didn’t make the cut this year. I have never found its trailer trash humor very amusing. It’s NBC Thursday counterparts are far superior in terms of quality and entertainment value. As for the snubs, I would have liked to see How I Met Your Mother nominated. It was on my Dream Ballot, along with Monk and Psych (very funny show). Monk has been nominated enough times, but it would be nice to recognize the hilarity that is Gus and Sean on Psych. Not gonna happen. I’m hoping for a 30 Rock win!
Outstanding Reality Series:
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Is it really necessary to award reality television? We shouldn’t encourage it – it will just continue to spiral out of control. However, I do admit that I have respect for a show like The Amazing Race (as opposed to fluff like Big Brother or The Bachelor). I’m very curious to know the Academy’s criteria for “quality” reality programming. Sensationalism? Manipulation? Humiliation? Yep, I’m not a fan of reality tv (except for my summertime passion – So You Think You Can Dance). How could you tell?
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series:
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Late Night with Conan O’Brien
Late Show with David Letterman
Real Time with Bill Maher
Nothing to complain about here. These shows are all very good at what they do. In fact, the Academy got it right on this one by including pretty much everything except The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Sorry Jay, but you just aren’t as funny and entertaining as Dave, Conan, Jon, and Stephen Colbert.
Drama, Comedy, Reality, Variety. That does it for the major Outstanding Series categories. I don’t watch tv movies and miniseries, so I won’t throw my opinions around about those nominees except to say that based on what little I saw of The Starter Wife, it is embarrassing to put it in a category next to Prime Suspect: The Final Act. No contest there.
- Click here to read my full Dream Emmy Ballot. I think it’s a lot better than the real thing.
- I’ve now posted my thoughts about the nominees for acting in drama series.
- Share your pain in the comments section. What are you most angry about, what did the voters get right, and who should win?