The Ten Best Things About The Emmy Nominations, And The Five Worst

By Katey Rich 2010-07-08 08:14:11 discussion comments
The Primetime Emmy Award nominations went out this morning, and hopefully by now you've had time to pore over the list of nominees and feel excited and disappointed in equal measure. Unlike the Oscars the Emmys give you the chance to be infuriated over the same thing every year and then also give you hope, so when they don't nominate your favorite this year, you hold out hope they'll come around next year…. and then get disappointed all over again. It's a cruel, cruel cycle, but we love it anyway.

I've gone through the list myself and, to get the conversation started, have listed my 10 favorite things about the nominations, and five least favorites. It was actually much harder to come up with bad things, which speaks partly to the strength of the nominations this year, and partly to the fact that I just don't watch The Good Wife, so I have no idea if it's taking up more space than it deserves. Take a look at my thoughts below and chime in with your favorite and least favorite snubs and surprises below.



They made room for all three Mad Men actresses. By putting Elisabeth Moss in the supporting category and January Jones in lead, they not only managed to include both actresses but threw in a third, Christina Hendricks, who might have been the best of the bunch in Season 3. Way to recognize both a talented actress and the now-iconic character of Joan Holloway.

Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson will compete one last time. Much as Locke and Ben struggled against each other on The Island, Lost's most frequently nominated actors have been up against each other for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series before, and each has won in years when the other was left out. With stiff competition all around them they're both likely to lose, but it's just nice to see Ben and Locke together one more time.

Five acting nominations for Modern Family. Five! That's one for every adult member of the cast, save Ed O'Neill-- and we'll get to that later. The Modern Family cast all agreed to submit themselves in the supporting category because of their belief in the ensemble show, and look how well it paid off. Now next year we try and get recognition for Rico Rodriguez, the indispensable child actor who plays Manny.

Mike O'Malley nominated for Glee. You might have missed it since he's counted as a guest star, but O'Malley's nod for Glee proves that the Emmy voters really understand this show, and the showiest and goofiest performances would mean nothing if not grounded by characters like O'Malley's, a roughneck father tentatively embracing his gay son. He's nominated for "Wheels," the episode in which Kurt throws his audition for "Defying Gravity" to protect his dad-- one of the show's better episodes, and a great example of how O'Malley's character grounds the show.

Chris Colfer nominated for Glee. And where would Mr. Hummel be without his sparkly son Kurt? Colfer is the heart of a show that frequently-- very, very frequently-- flies off the rails into camp. I would have been happy if he managed to be the show's only nominee.

Betty White nominated for hosting Saturday Night Live. Just further proof she's taking over the world.

Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton nominated for Friday Night Lights. I admit, I don't actually watch the show, but I've spent enough years listening to friends sing its praises that I can surely get behind it, especially when it's been such an underdog both with viewers and the Emmys. You guys say Chandler and Britton are the best part of the show, and that's good enough for me.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien nominated for Outstanding Variety Show. I guess now we know where the Emmys stand on the "Jay vs. Conan" debate.

Elizabeth Mitchell nominated as Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Her work in previous seasons of Lost was far more substantial, but Lost is riding a crest of nominations for its final season, and it's great to see Mitchell nominated at last, and especially for her great work in the series finale "The End." Hopefully this means all the Emmy voters cried along with her reunion scene with Sawyer as much as I did.

The Office nominated for writing. NBC's old warhorse doesn't get much credit from anyone these days for being clever or original, and yes, its best days may be behind it. But "Niagara," a.k.a. the two-part Jim and Pam wedding episode, was a particularly great demonstration of how the show balances the ridiculous and the sublime, and it's great to see it nominated-- especially since it was written by Mindy Kaling and Greg Daniels. Kaling deserves a Supporting Actress nomination at some point for playing Kelly, but this is good for now.



Ed O'Neill snubbed for Modern Family. This is, simply, inexplicable. The one thing anyone was counting on was for O'Neill to lead his cast with a nomination, with maybe another actor or two filling in around him. But for every adult actor on the show except O'Neill to be nominated is completely bizarre. You guys will have to come up with some anti-Married with Children conspiracy theory to explain this to me, since I'm at a loss.

Friday Night Lights snubbed in drama. Like I said above, I don't watch the show, but it just seems cruel to finally nominate the two lead actors, string along fans with the hope that they might get that top recognition this year… and then no. Was it really so important to include True Blood?

Parks & Recreation and Community snubbed in comedy. I was hoping that at least one of these genius NBC comedies would get nominated, but both were left out entirely, save a nod for Amy Poehler in Lead Actress in a Comedy, and that's probably just because they remember her from SNL. I just hope both shows pick up steam in coming seasons and manage to at least sneak in nominations for their supporting casts, or at least writing! Can't they even throw me that bone?

Treme snubbed in the major categories… not that I should be surprised. Brilliant and complicated shows on premium cable never get nominated unless they're called The Sopranos, and the curse of The Wire should have really made this a done deal, but I was still hoping maybe John Goodman could be recognized as part of the supporting cast. I can console myself knowing it was nominated for Outstanding Direction in a Drama Series and for its outstanding title song. At least now we know they at least watched it.

Three 30 Rock guest stars were nominated… but they deserved more! 30 Rock has always completely dominated the Guest Actor/Actress in a Comedy Series category, but this year they backed off a bit, making it in only for Jon Hamm, Will Arnett and Elaine Stritch (a perennial favorite). But what about the less starry guests, like Cheyenne Jackson as new cast member Danny or Jan Hooks as Jenna's mother? Or even the actual movie stars who were far better used than Arnett or Stritch this season-- Matt Damon, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco, even Julianne Moore and her terrible Boston accent. It's like they were looking at an entirely different season when picking these nominees.
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