A few weeks ago, I had the stellar idea to write a post about which shows and performances the Emmy voters shouldn’t overlook as they cast their ballots for the nomination process. I was going to have the article up the day after the TV season drew to a close (May 25th), but then one thing after another fell on my plate, and here we are now, a month later and three days after the nomination period has ended. So I guess this won’t be so much a memo to the academy as it will be a “You Better Not Have Overlooked…” post. And if none of our choices are nominated, we only have ourselves to blame. That being said, check out some of our picks after the jump…Keep in mind that these aren’t necessarily our picks for who we want to see take home the award. These are more like people we want to see recognized. So don’t get your panties in a bundle when you don’t see your favorite star or show mentioned.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Arrested Development: I thought this was the best season yet for this star-crossed show. The episode featuring four Andy Richters was brilliant.
Everybody Hates Chris: A great, heartfelt comedy that manages to create a universal appeal from a fairly specific setting. This show has a warmth not often seen on sitcoms and an edgy humor too. But since it’s on UPN, chances are it’ll be forgotten about. Don’t forget it, VOTERS.
The Office: This show has a high chance of getting nominated, but in case it doesn’t, we just want to champion it one more time. It’s clever, wry, dry, and hilarious. I mean, c’mon. It’s got Steve Carrell.
EdHill writes: “Scrubs: I still say, take out every moment with John C. McGinley, and its still a darn funny show.”
Outstanding Drama Series
24: This show has been nominated for Outstanding Drama every season, which means that voters might grow tired of it, opting to nominate fresh meat instead. However, this season of 24 has been its strongest yet with tight plotting, intense action, and for the first time, true emotional resonance. Don’t let the action genre fool you: this was the best drama on TV this season.
House, MD: I just became a recent convert to this show, and I absolutely love it. Sure, it’s a standard procedural with all the structural formulas we’ve come to expect, but interwoven amongst the gripping medical scenes are great dialogue and multi-faceted characters. Plus, the writing is often funnier than most sitcoms out there. Definitely worth a nod.
Battlestar Galactica / Veronica Mars: Okay, I don’t watch these shows, but J-Unit does, and he swears by them. So that’s got to be worth something.
EdHill writes: “West Wing: Give the old girl some love. She went out on a high note, with a great final season. Now my “Santos For America” magnet sits proudly on my refrigerator next to my “Save Kaysar” magnet.”
Outstanding Actor, Drama
Hugh Laurie, House, MD: Forget that he’s a Brit, Hugh Laurie takes an angry, bitter, and flawed character and makes us like him. He chews up the scenery without being over-indulgent, making him one of the most compelling actors in primetime. EdHill also adds, “He’s just so damn irascible!”
Outstanding Actress, Drama
Edie Falco, The Sopranos: Hmmm… odds that she won’t be nominated? 100 to 1. But just in case she isn’t, we’re endorsing her.
EdHill adds, “Ellen Pompeo Greys Anatomy: But ONLY if they award it right after Louis Lombardi (24) gets his so we can have a lispy two-fer.”
Outstanding Actor, Comedy
Steve Carrell, The Office: The supporting cast is great, but seriously, this show is all about Steve Carrell. If he’s overlooked, then the Academy don’t know comedy (which is very possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ray Romano earns a nomination just for the hell of it).
Outstanding Actress, Comedy
First of all, none of the Desperate Housewives should be nominated in this category. Not because there weren’t good performances, but because the show is not a comedy. That being said…
Tichina Arnold, Everybody Hates Chris: Playing the mother of a young Chris Rock, lesser actresses would have taken this role as a chance to yell nonstop for 22 minutes. Well, Tichina Arnold yells a lot, but she knows when to dial it back. Her performances are a lot more nuanced than you’d expect, but because of the whole “The Academy is blind to UPN” thing, Heather Graham will probably get the nod instead for Emily’s Reasons Why Not.
Kerri Kenney, Reno 911!: Just because a show’s on Comedy Central and just because a show does not fit the standard norm of televised comedy does not mean that Kerri Kenney should be overlooked yet again. But she will be.
EdHill writes, “Jenna Elfman, Courting Alex. Just to see if she gets the joke.”
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama
Gregory Itzin, 24: Wow. What a season for this guy. Previously a relatively unknown character actor, Gregory Itzin nearly stole the show as the treacherous, cowardly, moody, and daffy President of the United States. He was wonderful in nearly every scene, whether he was playing a spineless wimp (as was the case in the first half of the season) or a crafty villain (second half of the season).
Also from 24, EdHill adds, “Louis Lombardi (Edgar Stiles), because he deserves it and his acceptance speech would rule: ‘Thith ith the happeith day of my life.’”
Robert Knepper, Prison Break: Playing “T-Bag,” the pedophile rapist with the heart of, well, not-gold, Knepper completely stole the show. He was disgusting, loathsome, and creepy, and every time he appeared on screen, you couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable. His performance will be easy to overlook, which would be a shame.
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama
Jean Smart, 24: I know, I know. 24 overload. What can I say? It was a great season. Nevertheless, the Academy has a terrible history of shunning the ladies of 24. Penny Johnson Jerald put in three great years without a hint of recognition. Then last season, Shohreh Aghdashloo outclassed every other actor on television with her bravura performance, only to be snubbed by the Academy. I say the buck stops here. No one can deny Jean Smart and her excellent portrayal of First Lady Martha Logan. She had to spend the entire season teetering on the edge of lunacy and shrewdness, and her scenes with Gregory Itzin were more complicated and emotionally charged than anything else on network TV. If she’s overlooked in this category, shit’s going down.
Also from 24, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jayne Atkinson, and Kim Raver: All three women clocked in three solid performances, each completely different from each other. I’m not saying that this category should be dominated by 24 (okay, I am), but voters definitely shouldn’t overlook these performances. Regarding Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O’Brien) EdHill adds, “I think she deserved it last season when she went nuts with the automatic weapon, but this year she was good to. I want to see her roll her eyes at an Emmy win.”
Papi notes that Chloe Sevigney from Big Love should also receive a nod: “The character you love to hate is a cliché in Hollywood–because so many people take the high-camp, Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford route. Playing a bitch is easy. Playing a passive-aggressive, manipulative, calculating bitch, all the while holding the knife behind your back so successfully sometimes even the audience doesn’t see it…it’s a feat of genius. Not since Nurse Kratchett in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest have we been treated to such insidiousness. The role is brilliantly written, and Chloe Sevigney is the only actress who could pull it off. Which she does.”
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy
Will Arnett, Tony Hale, David Cross, Arrested Development: To paraphrase James Lipton, these three actors — especially Arnett — were a delight. Everyone focuses on Jeffrey Tambor, which is nice and all, but these guys are really the ones who deserve some recognition.
Jeremy Piven, Entourage: I’m not a huge fan of this show, but honestly, Jeremy Piven has this character nailed down. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but he at least deserves a nomination again.
Terry Crews, Everybody Hates Chris: This guy had carved out a career for himself playing the big, muscled, tough-guy in tons of movies from The Longest Yard to Malibu’s Most Wanted to Friday After Next. So it was a surprise that he could play the warm, tender role of Julius on Everybody Hates Chris. I personally think he’s the best part of the show, and his chemistry with Tichina Arnold is pitch-perfect.
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy
Jaime Pressley, My Name Is Earl: Who knew Jaime Pressley could be so funny? Actually, anyone who saw Not Another Teen Movie probably did (and you can include me in that crowd. Yes, I saw it in the theater).
Jessica Walter, Arrested Development: Hilarious.
Outstanding Reality Competition
Project Runway 2: This was probably the best reality competition of the year and stands a real shot to dethrone The Amazing Race (thanks, Family Edition). Papi adds, “I am from Middle America, and I dress in clothes from The Gap every day. Yet I now know what rouching and “on the bias” means, thanks to Project Runway. And I talk about it as if I care! This is the best show on TV.”
Big Brother 6: I know, I know, I know. People are sick of hearing about our love of Big Brother. But mild obsession aside, this was one of the most compelling reality seasons ever. No joke. Unfortunately, voters only base their decisions on specific episodes as opposed to an entire series arc; so chances are this will never make it to the top of the heap. Plus, it doesn’t help it was on last season. Oh well. Adds EdHill, “When a TV show makes you come home 3 nights a week during warm July nights and you live in CT where those are fleeting, you know its a good show.”
Chances are you don’t agree with all our picks. So who do you think the voters should remember (assuming that this post came out last week when it could still make a difference)?