The nominees for this year’s Primetime Emmy awards were recently announced but what has become even more exciting the nominations themselves is the griping and complaining as to who or what made the cut versus who or what did not. Below are reactions to and opinions of the nominations in the marquee comedy and drama categories — series, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Parks & Recreation, NBC
The Office, NBC
Modern Family, ABC
30 Rock, NBC
The Big Bang Theory, CBS
NBC’s Chuck and CBS’s How I Met Your Mother should have made the cut. The former series has orchestrated a rather fascinating reboot of sorts for its upcoming fifth and final season while the latter series bounced back this year with two very strong and well-executed storylines. Glee, a carryover from last year, had an uneven season that was tripped up by a continued reliance on guest stars and tribute episodes. ABC’s underrated The Middle and FOX’s Raising Hope (one of the few bright spots among new series last season), should have also been included. Veteran series The Big Bang Theory and Parks & Recreation are first-time nominees. The inclusion of the three other carryovers — The Office, Modern Family and 30 Rock were no-brainers.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Steve Carell, The Office
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Parsons, Baldwin and Carell are returnees from last year so nothing new there. Surprise entry LeBlanc returns to the category for the first time since 2004 — the last of this three consecutive nominations for Friends. Galecki, who was so great on Roseanne as a teenager, is finally able to steal some Emmy spotlight from his breakout co-star. Louis CK’s inclusion on this list is not out-of-the-blue but certainly unexpected. Missing from this list are James Roday and Dule Hill of Psych as well as Zachary Levi of Chuck. For obvious reasons, Charlie Sheen wisely sat this one out.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Laura Linney, The Big C
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Falco, Poehler and Fey are the returnees to this category. The well-liked Linney’s nomination was almost required. McCarthy (see below picture) was just as surprised as the rest of us. Mike & Molly has not been the best-reviewed show but McCarthy was such a joy on Samantha Who? In his Emmy post, Ken Levine joked that she was nominated mostly for Bridesmaids. Given Emmy’s history with blue-collar sitcoms, it’s great that the more-than-deserving Plimpton made the list. However, there must be some sort of vendetta against former stars of Everybody Loves Raymond as Patricia Heaton was snubbed for The Middle.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
With the exception of O’Neill, who was the only adult cast member of Modern Family not to be nominated last year, all the nominees are the same from 2010. O’Neill replaces Neil Patrick Harris, who had his best season on How I Met Your Mother. It’s interesting how the Emmys operate sometime. The only other argument here is that Jon Cryer is actually a lead but has always submitted as supporting to better his and Sheen’s chances to be nominated. Perhaps it was goodwill that Cryer was nominated this year, but the Harris snub is almost criminal. Also missing from this list are Garret Dillahunt for Raising Hope and Adam Baldwin for Chuck. With four contenders, Modern Family sets a new record for having the most performance nominations in a single comedy category.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
With the exception of White, whose well-deserved nomination (her first in this category since 1977 for The Mary Tyler Moore Show) was also more or less required, all nominees are repeats from last year. White replaces the oft-nominated Holland Taylor of Two and a Half Men. There are three problems with this category. First off, Wiig should be in the erroneously now-defunct catch-all category of Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety Series or Special that should have itself split into series and specials instead of being eliminated altogether. Secondly, Cloris Leachman was entered into the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category for what is essentially a supporting role in Raising Hope because she had been billed as such for most of the season. Lastly, Vanessa Williams, who was annoyingly snubbed last year for the final season of Ugly Betty, was once again overlooked for Desperate Housewives.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Boardwalk Empire, HBO
The Good Wife, CBS
Mad Men, ABC
Friday Night Lights, DirecTV
Game of Thrones, HBO
TNT with Southland and Men of a Certain Age as well as FX with Sons of Anarchy and Justified all took an unfortunate backseat to what people are considering to be the resurgence of HBO in this category. Friday Night Lights finally received some recognition for its lauded fifth and final season. The Good Wife, Mad Men and Dexter are all back for another round.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified
This has been the most competitive category of the last several years. Hall, Hamm, Laurie are up to bat for a respective fifth (if you count his 2002 nomination for Six Feet Under), fourth and sixth time with Chandler up for his own second go-round. Buscemi’s nomination was expected. Olyphant was snubbed last year, making his nomination this year among the most celebrated. Missing from this list is Charlie Hunnam for Sons of Anarchy and Ray Romano for Men of a Certain Age (mirroring Raymond co-star Heaton’s fate this year). Three-time nominee (for this category) Bryan Cranston was not eligible this year for Breaking Bad since there were no new episodes.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Juliana Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Moss, Britton, Hargitay and Margulies are the repeat nominees — Hargitay for the EIGHTH consecutive year. Moss, however, was nominated here in 2009 but competed in the supporting category last year to make room for co-star January Jones — who was nominated last year but not this year as she had far less screen time. Enos and Bates are newcomers to this category, though Bates has been nominated many times before in many other categories. Once again, Katey Sagal was ridiculously overlooked for her stellar work on Sons of Anarchy. Kyra Sedgwick, nominated for each of the last five years, was also overlooked for her work on The Closer. Also missing from this list is Jada Pinkett Smith for Hawthorne. Previous nominee Glenn Close was not nominated as Damages took the year off. Three-time nominee (in this category) Sally Field was also not nominated for the final season of Brothers & Sisters.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Walton Goggins, Justified
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
If the lead actor category is the most competitive, this category is the deepest with multiple candidates from several series. Slattery and Braugher are the only carryovers from last year. Cumming was nominated last year as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series but was made a regular this year. Goggins, who was never nominated for his acclaimed work on The Shield, finally breaks through. Along with Cumming, Dinklage and Charles are new to the category. Missing from this list are Vincent Kartheiser for Mad Men, Ron Perlman for Sons of Anarchy, Scott Bakula for Men of a Certain Age, Shawn Hatosy for Southland and Chris Noth for The Good Wife and Matt Czuchry for The Good Wife. Since Breaking Bad aired no new episodes last season, two-time nominee Aaron Paul was not eligible.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Hendricks, Panjabi and Baranski are the carryovers from last year’s race. Martindale’s nomination is among the most celebrated of this year. Elizabeth Moss was nominated here last year but was upgraded this year to the lead race. Missing from this list are previous nominee Rachel Griffith for Brothers & Sisters, Regina King for Southland, Maggie Siff for Sons of Anarchy and Kiernan Shipka for her breakout season on Mad Men.
There will be predictions, prognostications and other nonsense as we get closer to the Emmycast September 18th on FOX