If you think that the Emmy nominations have officially sunk in for me, you’d be wrong. Even though, as you read this, they happened twenty-four hours ago, some nominations (the plethora of “Sherlock” and “Downton Abbey”) surprise and excite me, while the significant lack of others (“Community” in particular) continue to baffle me. So let’s discuss my particular point-of-view when it comes to some of these nominations. I won’t cover all of them (because once we arrive at things such as sound mixing and/or lighting design, I don’t have much of an opinion). If you didn’t see my tweet from last night, feel free to check out my updated blog post from a few weeks ago – “The Road to the Emmys (Or Jenn’s Slightly Narrowed Ballot)” which I updated to highlight the nominees of categories that I predicted. If you want to check out the complete list of nominees, you can view a PDF version of the list here.
The most important thing to remember when reading this blog post is that I am not a television critic, nor do I profess to be. If you’re looking for someone who professionally watches television and has a more educated and well-rounded point of view when it comes to certain shows (see: “Girls,” “Louie,” and “Veep”), then I would highly recommend reading Alan Sepinwall. But since chances are you’ve found this blog because of the “Community” reviews or because you’re tired of seeing me shamelessly promote it on Twitter, I hope you enjoy reading from the point of view of a television fan and semi-professional writer. ;) So, are you ready to discuss some Emmy nominees? Jump below the cut, because we’re about to kick it off with the category that “Community” was snubbed out of – Outstanding Comedy Series.
"The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)
"Modern Family" (ABC)
"30 Rock" (NBC)
I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised to discover a lack of “Community” nominations at the Emmy awards. Though the show is usually branded as a sleeper-hit with a cult-like following, it is very much niche-oriented in its audience (but is usually pretty well-receives by critics, in my personal observation). This season, in my opinion (and as someone who has practically watched the show religiously for the past two years – yes, I started later on in the series than most people), has been the strongest season yet of the show. I don’t think that Dan Harmon ever went out of his way to purposefully try and alienate viewers from his show – I think that he knew who his audience was and built the show around them. He doesn’t cater to fans (because that requires falling over their every whim), but he rewarded fans for their loyalty by doing things like slipping in Easter eggs or providing running inside jokes. To say that “Community” is a smart show is an understatement. But, somehow, the series was not nominated. And perhaps it’s juvenile to believe that it’s because it’s not a “mainstream” enough show, but that’s my personal opinion. “Community” could have been nominated for an Emmy the past three years if it turned itself into something that it was not. But for the record, I’d be okay with the show receiving no Emmys if it meant staying true to itself.
Now, onto the nominated shows – I expected “Girls” to be nominated, even though I haven’t actually watched the show. Critics and fans have been buzzing about it since the pilot, so that was no surprise to me. Veterans like “The Big Bang Theory” and “30 Rock” also come as no surprise either. I suppose that everyone expects “Community” fans and “The Big Bang Theory” fans to be mutually exclusive. But can I let you in on a little secret? I actually like that show. (About a dozen of you just did an Annie Edison gasp, didn’t you?) Yes, the show is a formulaic sitcom. Call me a sucker for cliché, but part of what I enjoy about the show IS the formula of it. It genuinely makes me laugh, and Jim Parsons deserves his Emmy nomination (we’ll discuss that momentarily) for episodes like “The Rhinitis Revelation” and “The Good Guy Fluctuation.” My affection for “The Big Bang Theory” doesn’t extend very far beyond just that – affection. The relationship that I have with this show is similar to one that I have with cats: yes, I think they’re sometimes cute, but I’ll take a puppy any day, especially if I need a pick-me-up. (The puppy in this scenario is… well, I’m sure you get it.) “30 Rock,” on the other hand, has not made me laugh once this season, and it baffles me as to why it was nominated in the first place.
I am not able to judge this season of “Modern Family,” since I am only as far as season 2 in my marathoning of it, but I can say that I do find the show funny. More important than that though, this show has something that shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “30 Rock” really lack (and something “Community” has) – heart. So I appreciate the show for that reason.
Like I said earlier in my introduction, I cannot properly judge shows like “Veep” and “Girls” (which are both critically lauded shows, but HBO and lower-viewed shows), and I’m throwing “Curb Your Enthusiasm” into this category too. Here’s an interesting tidbit to chew on: the average that “The Big Bang Theory” drew in for viewers is about fourteen times the size that “Girls” drew in, and yet they are both nominated in the same category. Just some food for thought.
Wait! We’re missing… “Community,” “Parks and Recreation” (surprising that this was shut out, no?), “New Girl” (I’m surprised that this didn’t receive a nomination, though not surprised that Zooey did), and “Louie” (again, though I have never seen the show, it is critically praised, so it’s surprising that it is missing from the list).
Thank GOD you forgot… “Glee” (whose third season was the worst of an already backsliding show) and “The Office” (you had been good once, show. What happened? Oh, wait. I know.)
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in "The Big Bang Theory"
Larry David as Himself in "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan in "House of Lies"
Louis C.K. as Louie in "Louie"
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy in "30 Rock"
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper in "Two and a Half Men"
Can I just say that I don’t know of many people who seriously consider “Two and a Half Men” to be considered quality television? I know people who enjoy it, but not as Emmy award-winning material. But maybe I just hang out with the wrong people, because apparently Emmy voters love Jon Cryer. I’ll admit, he was talented… in “Pretty in Pink.” Since then, I’ve only found him to be moderately funny at best and annoying at worst. Yet, he was nominated over Joel McHale, which I do not comprehend.
As I said above though, I really do enjoy Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory.” I feel that, since the introduction of Amy, Sheldon’s character has gotten progressively more dimensional. In ways similar to Abed, the introduction of a meaningful relationship has helped his character understand the world around him and learn to make some sort of sacrifices. But (and here is where I struggle), even though I do think Jim Parsons to be hysterical (see: “The Ornithophobia Diffusion”), I usually consistently laugh more at Johnny Galecki (who has yet to be nominated for this show, along with the rest of his cast members). So take that as you will.
I can’t give proper thoughts on the remainder of the category, with the exception of – like I said earlier – “30 Rock,” whose season seemed to be inconsistent in terms of humor. Still, I suppose that even after controversies in the media, Alec Baldwin is likely to be nominated for the show until its end.
Wait! We’re missing… Joel McHale (this man deserves an Emmy for everything that he has done with the character of Jeff Winger), Josh Radnor (isn’t it boggling that he has yet to win an Emmy for playing Theodore Evelyn Mosby?), and Neil Flynn (I really do love him in “The Middle”).
Thank GOD you forgot… Matthew Morrison (… do I even have to explain why?) and Ashton Kutcher (it’s bad enough that we have Jon Cryer nominated).
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath in "Girls"
Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn in "Mike & Molly"
Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day in "New Girl"
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton in "Nurse Jackie"
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in "Parks and Recreation"
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon in "30 Rock"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in "Veep"
I really didn’t have too many spots in my ballot that I desired to fill in this category. Inevitably, I knew that at least one of them would go to Tina Fey (and look! There she is!) and one to Melissa McCarthy. As I haven’t taken the time to watch “Mike & Molly,” it’s difficult to judge her acting, but I do believe that she probably deserves the nomination. Again, in terms of “30 Rock,” my feelings are summed up as “meh,” but I adore Tina Fey in all ways, so I’ll let this one slide, Emmy voters.
Two women made the nomination category that I was rooting for – Zooey Deschanel and Amy Poehler. And look, I know it’s become like Coldplay, Part II when it comes to Zooey. Apparently it’s cool to hate her. Whether or not you think of her every time you ask Siri if it’s raining or not, or think that she’s weird for painting her nails with little tuxedos, I’ll stop you and affirm her talent as Jess Day in “New Girl.” The FOX show has moved its way up a few pegs in my heart since it first aired, and while I refuse to use the term “adorkable” (crap, I just did it!), I think that Zooey brings a lot to the character of Jess. It’s easy for a person like Zooey to be typecast into these kind of quirky roles, but I enjoy that Jess isn’t just a one-dimensional character who makes up songs for everything and wears brighter colors than a Kindergartener. Episodes like “Injured” really allowed Zooey to shine as Jess, and I honestly am happy for her nomination.
And Amy Poehler? Amy is the type of actress who can be hilarious one moment, and the next yank on your heartstrings. I really enjoy that “Parks and Recreation” represents strong, female characters like Leslie Knope. It’s refreshing to see and even more refreshing to know that it is being recognized.
Wait! We’re missing… Patricia Heaton (who I absolutely adore in “The Middle”).
Thank GOD you forgot… Lea Michele (Rachel’s story arc this season was the worst. It was the opposite of Batman. It was literal human tennis elbow), Whitney Cummings (do I even need to express why I am glad that she was not nominated?), Kat Dennings (look, I really loved Kat in the indie film “Renee” – partially because I was in the film, but whatever. But I cannot, for the life of me, get into “2 Broke Girls.” At all.)
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Ed O'Neill as Jay Pritchett in "Modern Family"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett in "Modern Family"
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy in "Modern Family"
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker in "Modern Family"
Max Greenfield as Schmidt in "New Girl"
Bill Hader as various characters in "Saturday Night Live"
I think a television show should have to set a cap on how many actors they submit for a certain category to be considered. Every year until “Modern Family” goes off the air, the Supporting Actor category will be overrun with their cast members. As I said earlier, “Modern Family” is not a BAD show. It’s not unfunny, either. But it does seem a bit unfair to have 4/6 of the category devoted to a single show.
That being said, my nominee pool for actors was so large for this category, and I knew there would only be two slots to be filled. One of them, I argued internally, would HAVE to go to Max Greenfield for “New Girl” or else I’d make every Emmy voter put $50 in the douchebag jar. Quite honestly, even though I do adore Zooey Deschanel (and all of the cast), Schmidt is what MAKES “New Girl” as hilarious as it is. Chances are, if there is a line that you laughed at in the show, Schmidt said it. So to rob Max of this nomination (and hopefully a win) would have been a crime.
I also am not entirely mortified at Bill Hader’s nomination. I have one word for you: Stefon. Bill Hader really does a fantastic job at keeping “SNL” funny (though, I will admit, I haven’t found this season to be very consistent in terms of humor at all. In fact, the show slipped quite a few times to the point where I would only watch for Seth Meyers and Weekend Update.)
Wait! We’re missing… Danny Pudi (Emmy voters, why are you not streets ahead?), Jim Rash (I mean, Jim would have been able to introduce himself as Academy Award Winner and Emmy Nominee Jim Rash. Try fitting THAT onto a check), Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segal (how have they NOT won all the awards yet?), Donald Glover (three words: “Pillows and Blankets”).
Thank GOD you forgot… Cory Monteith (“Glee” did not deserve to have any nice things this year), James Spader (just… no).
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler in "The Big Bang Theory"
Kathryn Joosten as Karen McCluskey in "Desperate Housewives"
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy in "Modern Family"
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in "Modern Family"
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow in "Nurse Jackie"
Kristen Wiig as various characters in "Saturday Night Live"
Someday I will live in a world where the men and women from “Community” are just as recognized as the men and women from “Modern Family.” I do very much enjoy Julie Bowen and Sofia Vegara on the show, so I am not entirely opposed to them being nominated (though, as I said earlier, I haven’t seen the most recent season so I can’t exactly be a proper judge). I will say that I am surprised that Mayim Bialik is nominated for “The Big Bang Theory” – a show in which Kaley Cuoco has starred for five years and not been nominated. I suppose the Sheldon/Amy relationship is received a lot better than the Leonard/Penny one (and perhaps their characters and performances are judged as such), because it is less cliché and more entertaining to watch than a series of will-they-won’t-they moments.
I am thrilled that Kristen Wiig was nominated for her final season of “SNL” because (if I’m being honest) she was the best part of that show in terms of being consistently funny. I haven’t seen “Nurse Jackie,” so I am unable to judge. I do know that Kathryn Joosten recently passed away and I presume that the Emmy may go to her posthumously (though can “Desperate Housewives” pass for a comedy?)
Wait! We’re missing… Alison Brie (her Christian Bale impression alone should have won her an Emmy), Gillian Jacobs (Britta has been a lot funnier this season than last, and Gillian deserves recognition), Yvette Nicole Brown (“Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts” and “Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism” should win her SOMETHING, people!), Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan (HOW are these woman overlooked?).
Thank GOD you forgot… Carly Chaikin (I’ve attempted to watch “Suburgatory” a few times, and had to turn it off each time because Dalia annoyed me so much), Dianna Agron (NO “GLEE” NOMINATIONS. Additionally, Quinn’s character is written worse than anyone else’s on the show and I just can’t live with a nomination for that.)
"Boardwalk Empire" (HBO)
"Breaking Bad" (AMC)
"Downton Abbey" (PBS)
"Game of Thrones" (HBO)
"Mad Men" (AMC)
My British shows had an amazing time at the Emmy nominations, and I can honestly say that they deserve it. “Downton Abbey” is a show that I was told I HAD to watch, because of how fantastic it was. I laughed, I cried, and I fell deeply in love with this wonderful piece of television. So for it to be nominated for an Emmy is a big deal.
Apart from that, I have only heard wonderful things about “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Mad Men” (though I have yet to get into any of those shows, personally).
Wait! We’re missing… “Once Upon a Time” (perhaps this isn’t as critically-acclaimed as fan-praised) and “Awake” (the few episodes that I managed to see were quite good. The pilot was fantastic, so I’m surprised that it didn’t get a nomination).
Thank GOD you forgot… “Smash” (there’s a reason we created the #SmashBash hashtag for Twitter).
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes in "Damages"
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in "Downton Abbey"
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in "The Good Wife"
Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn in "Harry's Law"
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in "Homeland"
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in "Mad Men"
Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in "Dexter"
Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham in "Downton Abbey"
Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in "Homeland"
Jon Hamm as Don Draper in "Mad Men"
I’m lumping the Drama Actor/Actress and Supporting Actor/Actress into sections together because I have so little to say about the nominees (I’m a comedy girl, if you couldn’t tell). I will say that I was very pleased to see that Michelle Dockery was nominated for “Downton Abbey.” If anyone in the cast deserved that nomination this year, it was her. Series two was completely and utterly Mary Crawley’s year, and Michelle plays her with such emotion that it’s hard to not feel for the character.
I’m very intrigued by the fact that Hugh Bonneville received a nomination as well. He’s in a category with a critically-praised group: Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, and Michael C. Hall, so while I am not expecting a win, it’s a pleasant little surprise to see more “Downton Abbey” representation.
Wait! We’re missing… Jason Isaacs (he did a fabulous job in “Awake”), Ginnifer Goodwin (I am surprised by the lack of nominations for “Once Upon a Time”), Jennifer Morrison (I do enjoy her performance as Emma Swan, and the scene where Graham dies is heartbreaking).
Thank GOD you forgot… Debra Messing (can we just revoke any nominations for “Smash” in addition to “Glee”?)
SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS
Anna Gunn as Skyler White in "Breaking Bad"
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham in "Downton Abbey"
Joanne Froggatt as Anna in "Downton Abbey"
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma in "The Good Wife"
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in "The Good Wife"
Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway Harris in "Mad Men"
SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad"
Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo 'Gus' Fring in "Breaking Bad"
Brendan Coyle as John Bates in "Downton Abbey"
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in "Downton Abbey"
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in "Game of Thrones"
Jared Harris as Lane Pryce "Mad Men"
Dame Maggie Smith deserves to win Supporting Actress because she is honestly the best thing about “Downton Abbey.” And she plays the Dowager Countess with such ferocity and sharpness that it’s astounding. Joanne Froggatt is FLAWLESS as Anna, however, and she too deserves some sort of recognition for her role in the show.
Surprisingly, the men of “Downton Abbey” were also nominated. My co-worker and I were discussing our surprise over a nomination for Jim Carter, since Carson is a character that we enjoy, but didn’t necessarily anticipate a nomination for. I do, however, believe that Brendan Coyle deserves a nomination for his role as John Bates. Additionally, I have only seen his work on “Community” and “Once Upon a Time,” but I enjoy the fact that Giancarlo Esposito is nominated for “Breaking Bad.”
Wait! We’re missing… Robert Carlyle (it’s clear that Rumple/Mr. Gold is one of the best parts of “Once Upon a Time,” is it not?), Christian Borle (he is the only thing, literally, that redeems “Smash” even a little bit), Lana Parrilla (seriously, she is AMAZING as the Evil Queen/Regina).
Thank GOD you forgot… everyone else from “Smash.”
MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
"American Horror Story" (FX)
"Game Change" (HBO)
"Hatfields & McCoys" (History)
"Hemingway & Gellhorn" (HBO)
"Luther" (BBC America)
"Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia" (PBS)
LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt in "Game Change"
Kevin Costner as 'Devil' Anse Hatfield in "Hatfields & McCoys"
Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy in "Hatfields & McCoys"
Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway in "Hemingway & Gellhorn"
Idris Elba as John Luther in "Luther"
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia"
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Denis O'Hare as Larry Harvey in "American Horror Story"
Ed Harris as John McCain in "Game Change"
Tom Berenger as Jim Vance in "Hatfields & McCoys"
David Strathairn as John Dos Passos in "Hemingway & Gellhorn"
Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson in "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia"
… why no, no I am not merely copying these categories for the sole purpose of bragging about the number of “Sherlock” nominations. (Yes, I am.) “Sherlock” has become one of my favorite series, and one that I always highly recommend to others. It’s inventive, smart, often funny, and poignant. And – in typical Steven Moffat fashion – it always keeps you wondering and biting your nails while perched on the edge of your chair. Series two ended spectacularly and there was some FANTASTIC acting by both Benedict and Martin.
Go watch the show if you haven’t already (bonus: since it’s a British show, everything is shorter! The series themselves are only three episodes long and run about an hour and forty five minutes apiece).
GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Dot-Marie Jones as Coach Shannon Beiste in "Glee"
Maya Rudolph, host in "Saturday Night Live"
Melissa McCarthy, host in "Saturday Night Live"
Elizabeth Banks as Avery Jessup in "30 Rock"
Margaret Cho as Kim Jong-il in "30 Rock"
Kathy Bates as Charlie Harper in "Two and a Half Men"
I’m very much intrigued by this category. Even though this season of “Glee” was the worst thing since… well, let’s just say it was bad, Dot-Marie Jones’ scenes in her episode were very poignant, though dramatic. I would have much rather had NeNe Leaks nominated because I legitimately found her scenes to be funnier.
As for “SNL” and the hosts, I wasn’t a big fan of either of the women, and… well, we already know how I feel about the rest of the shows that were nominated.
Wait! We’re missing… Lizzy Caplan (she was quite enjoyable on “New Girl”).
Thank GOD you forgot… Nazanin Boniadi (I was not a huge fan of Nora), Whoopi Goldberg (… what did I say about “Glee?”)
GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Michael J. Fox as Himself in "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Greg Kinnear as Tad in "Modern Family"
Bobby Cannavale as Dr. Mike Cruz in "Nurse Jackie"
Jimmy Fallon, host in "Saturday Night Live"
Will Arnett as Devon Banks in "30 Rock"
Jon Hamm as Abner and David Brinkley in "30 Rock"
This was a category that I actually (apparently foolishly) thought that “Community” stood a decent chance to be nominated in. I thought that, for certain, either John Goodman or Michael K. Williams would have been nominated for their roles as Vice Dean Laybourne and Professor Kane respectively, but apparently that was not the case. Instead, Jon Hamm (who was in exactly one episode of “30 Rock” this season with very little screen time) was nominated. I expected Jimmy Fallon, perhaps, because of his history and longevity with “SNL,” and haven’t watched any of the other shows enough to judge the guest actor performances in any of them.
Wait! We’re missing… John Goodman, Michael K. Williams, Mike O’Malley (arguably the only good thing left about “Glee”), Matt Bomer (who was delightful as Cooper Anderson, I will admit), and Justin Long (who was, again, delightful in “New Girl”).
Thank GOD you forgot… Jim Carrey (is anyone else finding Jim Carrey more and more annoying as the years go on? Anyone?).
GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Martha Plimpton as Patti Nyholm in "The Good Wife"
Loretta Devine as Adele Webber in "Grey's Anatomy"
Jean Smart as D.A. Roseanna Remmick in "Harry's Law"
Julia Ormond as Marie Calvet in "Mad Men"
Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson in "Shameless"
Uma Thurman as Rebecca Duvall in "Smash"
There is one nomination I am at a loss for in this category and – if you haven’t read anything I’ve written until now, you probably cannot guess what that nomination is. Uma Thurman being nominated for “Smash” literally baffles me. If anyone (and really, it’s like choosing the worse of two evils) had to be nominated for that show in this category, my vote would have gone to Bernadette Peters for Leigh Conroy. However, I just cannot fathom how Uma was nominated for her role because I found it to be one of the most dull and (mainly) irritating parts of an already poorly constructed show.
Wait! We’re missing… Meghan Ory (seriously, how did she NOT get nominated for “Red Handed”?), Barbara Hershey (again, the lack of “Once Upon a Time” love from the Emmys saddens me), and Bailee Madison (again – she was fantastically nuanced in “The Stable Boy” and they LITERALLY could not have chosen a better child to play the young version of Ginnifer Goodwin’s character).
Thank GOD you forgot… (None to mention)
GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Mark Margolis as Tio Salamanca in "Breaking Bad"
Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney in "The Good Wife"
Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning in "The Good Wife"
Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett in "Justified"
Ben Feldman as Michael Ginsberg in "Mad Men"
Jason Ritter as Mark Cyr in "Parenthood"
I’ve been meaning to watch “Parenthood,” because I’ve only heard amazing things about the show. So I applaud Jason Ritter for receiving a nomination, even though I have yet to see his performance (because I adore him). Other than that nomination, I have nothing much else to comment on because I am terrible when it comes to sticking with any sort of dramatic series. Whoops.
Wait! We’re missing… Sebastian Stan (really, Emmy voters? Was “Hat Trick” not amazing enough for you or something?).
Thank GOD you forgot… (None to mention)
WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Chris McKenna, "Community"
Lena Dunham, "Girls"
Louis C.K., "Louie"
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"
Michael Schur, "Parks and Recreation"
And now we arrive at the only category for which “Community” is (rightfully) nominated. If we’re being honest, this episode deserves to win an Emmy for its writing. It was, in my opinion, the best half hour of television this entire year. Chris McKenna did an OUTSTANDING job at writing six different timelines, while managing to somehow weave both the normalcy that makes “Community” relatable with the absurdity that makes it unique. Honestly, “Remedial Chaos Theory” is my favorite episode of the entire series to date, and I am thrilled that Chris is getting the recognition that he deserves for it. It will be an episode that viewers of the show continue to look back on and say: “Yes. THIS is something special.” In addition to how brilliant the writing was, Troy’s timeline and the end tag will forever leave me in stitches laughing, no matter how many times I see it.
Someone had pointed out the sheer irony in the fact (and I believe it was probably Alan Sepinwall) that the shows nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series are – with the exception of “Girls” – not the same as those nominated for Writing for a Comedy Series. Which begs the question: why? I think it’s pretty telling in terms of Emmy voters and their viewing habits for them to nominate shows like “Modern Family,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “30 Rock,” which are arguably decent shows, but not extraordinary. Additionally, it seems like these shows – the ones that get nominated every year in the Outstanding Comedy Series category – are shows that are… massively consumed shows. And what I mean by that is the fact that most of these shows do not contain anything that makes a viewer think or consciously pay attention (unlike “Community,” where you sometimes have to watch an episode a few times to catch all of the jokes or references). When I come home from my 8-9 hour work day, I’ll be honest – sometimes I just like to watch something on television that requires little to no thought. If I’ve had a stressful week, this is especially true. And I feel like this is what most of the Emmy voters must do too, because their nominations for Comedy Series seem to reflect that. I’m not insulting “The Big Bang Theory” or “Modern Family,” but if we’re being honest with one another (which I hope we are), then you can admit that these shows don’t require a whole lot of brainpower to keep you motivated. An episode like “Remedial Chaos Theory” requires a LOT of brainpower and thought and effort, which makes it less of an episode that you can watch on autopilot, and more one that you have to think about and pay attention to.
And I think that’s why “Community” snagged a writing nomination – because the episode itself is irrefutably amazing, even if the show itself is something that voters cannot understand or appreciate to its full extent.
(Additionally, I have to commend “Parks and Recreation” for their nomination! I haven’t seen the entire series through, but I thoroughly enjoyed “The Debate” and “The Trial of Leslie Knope.”)
Wait! We’re missing… “Injured” (which, behind “Remedial Chaos Theory” is my second-favorite episode of comedy television this year. Honestly, everything about that episode was flawless, so I’m a bit disappointed that it wasn’t nominated), “The Magician’s Code – Part 2” (I quite enjoyed that episode, to be honest).
Thank GOD you forgot… anything of “The Office” this year (the writing is not what it used to be, nor is the acting), “Glee” (with the exception of “Asian F,” which was actually decently written, nothing else deserved a nomination).
WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Julian Fellowes, "Downton Abbey"
Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff, "Homeland"
Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men"
Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton, "Mad Men"
Erin Levy & Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men"
Once again, “Downton Abbey” reigns over the Drama Series’ categories (and with good reason, because the show itself is fantastic), among three nominations for “Mad Men” and a “Homeland” nomination as well. I’m intrigued to know exactly what it is about “Downton Abbey” that has caught the eye of Emmy voters this year. As someone who very recently finally began watching the show, I’ve managed to add it to my queue of British obsessions (nestled among “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock”). And, if we’re all being truthful, there is something about being an American and watching British shows that makes you feel… more cultured. So perhaps that is what has begun to happen, seeing as “Doctor Who” has greatly expanded in the United States since its reboot in 2005. I feel like more and more Americans are beginning to become fascinated with television shows from across the pond, and perhaps the Emmy nominees this year are an example of that. But that’s just one theory, of course. If you have any other ideas, sound off in the comments!
Wait! We’re missing… “Everybody Dies” (I didn’t watch “House” consistently, but there is something to be said about watching the final episode of a television series, so I managed to settle in and watch this one), “Skin Deep”/ “Pilot” (seriously… NO love for “Once Upon a Time?”).
Thank GOD you forgot… anything “Smash”-related, with the exception of a fairly decently written pilot episode.
So there you have it, folks!
What do you think of my stance on the nominations? Do you agree or disagree? Do you want to know my opinion on any of the other nominated categories? (I won’t type a new post up, but if you ask politely, I will reply in the comments!) Who do YOU want to see win at the Emmys this year?
Thank you all for reading and for being so patient. Next week, don’t forget that we return to Community Thursday Night Re-Watches with my favorite (if only) Shirley/Abed episode “Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples.” Hop over to Twitter at 8PM EST and join me then! Have a great weekend. :)