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Unpopcult at The Emmys 2012 Part 3: Best Supporting Actress

July 27, 2012 3 comments

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:

Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie

Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory

Unpopcult in 2010, commenting on the nominees in this category: ” I would like to have seen the sublime Merritt Wever in here…”; Unpopcult in 2011, commenting on the nominees in this category: “Merritt Wever remains better than all of them”. Unpopcult in 2012, commenting on the nominees in this category: “MERRITT WEVER FTW!!!!!11!!”. As ever, the Modern Family adult cast have cleaned up both here and in the Supporting Actor category, with Julie Bowen defending champ, and Sofia Vergara a realistic contender. As is Kristin Wiig, another frequent Emmy flyer. And a big welcome to Mayim Bialik, whose nomination is a thoroughly deserved recognition of her individual talent, and an acknowledgement of the way in which writers and actors on The Big Bang Theory have successfully grafted a very strong female cast onto what was, at first, a male-dominated comedy. However, I suspect that none of the above will win, and that Emmy voters will be unable to resist giving a posthumous award to Kathryn Joosten.

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey

I was on holiday last week, with infrequent internet access, in a non-Anglophone country, and I kind of missed Emmy nomination day. So I’m a bit late to this party, but Downton? WTF? Admittedly Unpopcult is handicapped by not having actually watched it, but really? Anyway, I’m very obviously a zillion miles away from being a professional Emmy Kremlinologist, but it seems to me that the emergence of Downton makes this year’s awards very difficult to predict: if the voters love it, it could sweep. (I thought that Homeland was more likely to do that, but the lack of nominations for Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin suggest that the affection for the show among voters is more qualified.) Otherwise, you know where Unpopcult stands: we heart The Good Wife – even if there remains a nagging sense that the writers could do a little more with Panjabi – and Mad Men.

Categories: The Emmys

Unpopcult at the Emmys: Part 2 – Leading Ladies

July 23, 2012 1 comment

“All the ladies, who independent…”

Yup, next on our shuffle through the Emmy pack, it’s time to look at the Outstanding Lead Actress nominations.  Holla!

Comedies first this time and, unusually, despite “I don’t do comedy” being my life motto, I have actually seen some of these shows.  Not all of them this season, but still!

The only ones I’ve never even seen a second of are Lena Dunham in Girls which we won’t have in the UK till the autumn  and Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation which I don’t know if we’re ever getting at all.   Poehler has a devoted following and has already been nominated 4 times before without a win so if it’s her year, lovely, but first-time nominee Dunham is definitely the bright young thing at the moment as both writer of and lead actress in Girls, so she seems more like the front-runner to me.  I wouldn’t begrudge either of them the win, though.

In fact, I wouldn’t begrudge any of the nominees in this category the win except Zooey Deschanel.  I’m sure she’s a wonderful, intelligent actress but her alter ego Jess in New Girl makes me want to throw my television down the stairs.  One of the most intensely irritating and stupid female characters on tv, she sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the stronger, fiercer examples in the category, and she drives me insane.  Anyone else to win, I’m good with, be it Dunham, Poehler or hey, Julia-Louis Dreyfus is very good in Veep, Edie Falco is excellent in Nurse Jackie (even if  it still isn’t actually a comedy), Melissa McCarthy is very likeable in everything - pick anyone but JESS, please.   Sorry, Zo.

But enough with the funny ladies (and Edie Falco) for now, and onto Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama where, for the first time in EIGHT years, Mariska Hargitay is not nominated for Law and Order: SVU.  Gosh.  I’m guessing this is because the Emmy voters are extremely angry Benson/Stabler shippers – aw, you guys.  They’ll always be together in fan fic.

Of course, somebody else getting a look-in is long overdue, but as per my recent comments about the Downton Abbey nom-fest, I’m not sure it should have been Michelle Dockery.  It is, though, so congratulations to her.   The rest of the nominees are far less surprising, however, being three repeat nominees and winner-in-waiting Claire Danes.

As I may have said several times already, I didn’t enjoy Homeland or Danes’s performance at all, but a) I’m in the minority and b)I don’t get to vote in these things, I just get to rant about them.  If I did get to vote, I couldn’t really give it to Kathy Bates for Harry’s Law because I’ve only ever managed a minute or so of it.  I wouldn’t give it to Elisabeth Moss for Mad Men because, seriously, who are we kidding here?  She was absolutely excellent, yes, but her role was supporting this year (thanks again, Megan) and I’d have kept her in that category.  So in the CJ Emmys, it’d be a straight fight between Glenn Close for Damages and Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife. Both are amazing, but you know how much I adore TGW and La Margulies is incredible in it so that one’s easy.  Team Julianna!  Although Claire Danes is still going to win.  Hurrumph.

Categories: The Emmys, TV

Unpopcult at the Emmys: Part 1 – Leading Men

July 20, 2012 4 comments

The Emmy nominations are out, so it’s time for our annual series of posts complaining about dissecting the primary categories. First up is of course, my specialist subject, the Leading Men nominees.

I do tend to whinge a bit every year about lack of surprises in the noms, given the number of  regular, almost lifetime, nominees, and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama series does have its fair share but, in truth, the only one of the repeat nominees who looks out of place this year is Michael C. Hall for Dexter.  Not that I actually watch Dexter, but the prevailing mood amongst fans and critics (including our own Jed) seems to be that this was not a great season and Hall’s performance was not his best.  I can’t see him winning.

The other repeat nominees make far more sense.  I’m sure Steve Buscemi is excellent in Boardwalk Empire (again, not that I watch it), and he’s a movie star in a tv show for which the Emmys usually award extra points (although, interestingly not enough to give Dustin Hoffman or Nick Nolte a nod for Luck – maybe they couldn’t work out whether it was a “mini-series” or not) anyway.  And of course, I can’t quibble with the nominations for Ultimate Emmy Champion Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad (um, I don’t watch that either) or “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” Jon Hamm in Mad Men.  The statuette is obviously Cranston’s to lose, though, and given that poor Hamm has indeed lost it to him repeatedly, much as it saddens me, it seems like Jon’s chance has passed.  Don Draper isn’t ever going to win his Emmy.

Sigh.  Let’s move on to the two newbies in the category, shall we?  I may be the only person I know who hated, I mean, really hated,  Homeland, but even I can see that Damian Lewis was very good in it.  But was he good enough to sweep past Cranston to the finish line?  Maybe, maybe not.  I don’t think it’ll happen, regardless.  In fact, weirdly, if there is a surprise winner in this category – and, for the record, I very much doubt there will be – it’s probably more likely to be the completely left-field Hugh Bonneville.  Not that he’s not a great actor – he is – but, to be honest, I find the truck-load of nominations for Downton Abbey completely baffling.  Obviously, I haven’t watched it (given the number of times I’ve said that, I’m beginning to wonder if I should be writing a tv blog at all) but it’s British, it’s a costume drama, and it’s from the ITV stable.  EH? 

Jed and I are both on record about the massive chasm between standards in US drama and UK drama, and I find it hard to believe that ITV, of all people, have suddenly produced a drama sufficiently multi-layered and challenging to elicit an Emmy-award-winning performance from anyone in it.  I’m sure the entire cast is fabulous and does the best possible job with the material they’re given, but surely it’s like giving Emmy drama noms to the cast of Balamory? Especially when it means cutting Justified’s astonishing Timothy Olyphant from the list, despite that man burning up the screen every time he’s on it.  Really, Emmy people?  REALLY?!?

Sigh again.  Of course, I’m being ridiculously unfair.  Downtown Abbey might be the best thing on tv ever.  I sincerely doubt it, but I think we’ve established I’m not in any position to judge.  Speaking of which: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy is something I’m not in any position to judge either, because I - say it with me now – don’t watch any of the shows involved.  (I know you’re shocked.)  Alec Baldwin is nominated again for 30 Rock, Larry David for Curb Your Enthusiasm and last year’s winner Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory.  All of which I’ve tried and given up on at various stages.  There’s also Don Cheadle for House of Lies, Louis C.K for the critically adored Louis, and Jon Cryer for the critically reviled Two and a Half Men.  There was me thinking Ashton Kutcher was the lead in that, but, hey, whatevs.  I have no idea who’ll win.   Feel free to educate me with your guesses, though!

Categories: The Emmys, TV

The Emmys 2011: the winners

September 20, 2011 14 comments

First things first: you could argue all day about who could have won the Best Drama and Best Comedy awards, but both Mad Men and Modern Family are worthy winners.

It all gets a bit more difficult when you get to some of the acting categories, though, in particular Kyle Chandler’s unexpected triumph in the Best Actor in a Drama category. I need to stipulate a couple of things: we in the UK have only seen two seasons of Friday Night Lights, and in fact Unpopcult loves both the show and the actors; Chandler’s a deserving winner in many ways. I’m guessing, though, that he wasn’t that much better in season 5 than in seasons 1 and 2, when he couldn’t even get nominated. (Perhaps I’m entirely wrong.)

The reason, of course, that I’m a little torn about Chandler’s win is that with Bryan Cranston ineligible this, finally, was supposed to be Jon Hamm’s year. Next year Cranston will be back, most likely facing the as-yet-unrewarded Hugh Laurie on the back of (probably) his final season as Gregory House, and therefore eligible for the same length-of-service award as Chandler. If Justified continues to improve at the same frightening rate, Timothy Olyphant will be in the running again, as will perennial contender Michael C. Hall. So the question has to be asked: will Jon Hamm ever win? Damn.

Elsewhere in the acting categories there were wins for Unpopcult favourites Julianna Margulies (Best Actress In A Drama for The Good Wife), Margo Martindale (Best Supporting Actress In A Drama for Justified), Jim Parsons (Best Actor In A Comedy for The Big Bang Theory), Ty Burrell, and Julie Bowen (Best Supporting Actor/Actress In A Comedy for Modern Family), although Sofia Vergara might be regarded as unlucky not to have won in the last of these categories. (And Kaley Cuoco’s ongoing omission from the list of nominees continues to baffle me, if no-one else.) Game Of Thrones I haven’t seen, but Peter Dinklage’s performance seems to be well-regarded, even if he did beat out some of our favourite guys (Messrs J Charles, W Goggins, J Slattery, and A Cumming).

Slightly more controversial was Melissa McCarthy’s triumph in the Best Actress In A Comedy category, holding off some genuine Emmy and acting royalty: Showtime ladies Edie Falco and Laura Linney, America’s sweetheart Tina Fey, and critical faves Amy Poehler and Martha Plimpton. There seems to be speculation that McCarthy’s award was as much for her performance on the big screen in Bridesmaids. Me, I’m not buying it, for two reasons: firstly, it seems to have escaped the attention of some people that there are one or two actual award ceremonies for films; secondly, I suspect quite a few of the naysayers haven’t actually seen Mike & Molly, in which she is really, really good.

So overall I’m feeling OK about the Emmys: it’s good to see recognition for dramas like Friday Night Lights (which also netted a writing award for show runner Jason Katims), Justified, Mad Men, and The Good Wife. These are the sort of shows we love, and in many ways the reasons why Unpopcult exists at all.

Categories: The Emmys, TV

Unpopcult at the Emmys: Part 6 – Best Comedy

September 16, 2011 4 comments

30 Rock

The Big Bang Theory

Glee

Modern Family

The Office

Parks and Recreation

CJ has reminded me that we didn’t quite finish our speculative and ill-informed look at the main Emmy nominations. The ceremony’s on Sunday, so it’s now or never for our guess in the Best Comedy category.

So, is anyone going to knock Modern Family off its perch? Of the contenders, you’d have to say that Glee is an unlikely winner; not even its biggest fans would argue that season 2 was anything like as good as its first season, so if it didn’t win last time out it won’t win this time. The same, I reckon, goes for The Office and The Big Bang Theory, although I’d be happy for the latter to edge it. As for Parks and Recreation: I’ve never seen it, and it seems to have a devoted fanbase, but I wonder whether it has the momentum yet to take Emmy home.

Which leaves previous winner 30 Rock, and defending champ Modern Family. 30R  admittedly had a bit of a return to form last season, but my feeling is that, even though it was a little less consistent in its second season than it was in its first, it’ll be Modern Family FTW.

This year there’s only one dramedy (Glee) on the list of nominees, which at least makes it easier to compare like with like. I was interested to see that the possibility of introducing comedy/drama categories has at least been considered by the Academy, because it might address the absurdity of putting terminal cancer victim Laura Linney up against laugh tracked sitcom star Melissa McCarthy. Hardly fair on either show or either actor.

Categories: The Emmys

Unpopcult at the Emmys: Part 5 – Best Drama

July 30, 2011 1 comment

No real surprises here, except perhaps the exclusion of Justified’s superb second run.

Defending champion and three-time winner Mad Men is nominated again, entirely deservedly, and has an excellent chance of hanging onto the crown.  I’d be quite content if it did win again, it’s still brilliant, but wouldn’t a change be nice, though?  Shake things up a bit?  By that, I don’t mean giving it to Boardwalk Empire, which would be the antithesis of shaking things up – with Hollywood royalty Scorcese and Buscemi at the helm, and HBO footing the enormous bill, it’s hardly an underdog.  But then I practically nodded off during the trailer for Boardwalk Empire, never mind actually sat through an episode, so I’ve no affection for it whatsoever.  It’s in with a very good shout, anyway.

Dexter is another nominee I’ve no affection for.  Back in the early days of unpopcult, I tried a few episodes before the friendly serial killer and I decided we didn’t suit, and Jed took him back under his wing.  The show still has a devoted following, but I don’t see it winning - if only because it’s been nominated in this category three times before and hasn’t won yet; fourth time lucky seems a very long shot.

Which leaves us with three shows I absolutely love; category newbies Game of Thrones, nominated for its first season, and Friday Night Lights, nominated for its last, as well as second-time nominee The Good Wife, now two for two on the nom/season front. 

Game of Thrones’s pedigree is almost as imposing as Boardwalk Empire’s; an impressively starry cast (Have I mentioned Sean Bean?  Oh, only a few hundred times.), a budget to match and, again, the might of HBO behind it.  But, despite a pretty fabulous first season and a masterclass in balancing the needs of both the diehard fans of the books and the unspoiled newcomers to the story, the difference between its chances and Boardwalk’s is that GOT’s a fantasy genre show and fantasy genre shows very rarely (Lost being the only example I can find of one which actually did) win this category. They’re lucky (astonishingly lucky in the case of True Blood last year) if they’re even nominated, and I think that’s as far as GOT will get.

So The Good Wife or Friday Night Lights? You guys know how much we adore The Good Wife round here. Last season was very good but this season was magnificent. I’d love to see it win, and being one of the only two network shows on the list (if you count FNL), I think plenty of industry bigwigs would love to see it win too, if only to justify the mounds of money the networks put into the Emmy broadcast.  But I’d be equally pleased to see FNL take it home.  As I keep saying, we’re only up to season 2 in the UK (can somebody fix that, please?) but there’s nothing else quite like it on tv,  it should have been nominated long before now, and, unlike all the other shows on the list, it’s not coming back next year to try for the title again.  It does feel weird rooting for a season I haven’t actually seen, but what the hey – it’s not like Emmy will actually listen to me.  I think it’ll be Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire regardless.

Unpopcult at the Emmys: Part 4 – Best Supporting Actor and Best Guest Actor

July 29, 2011 1 comment

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy:

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family

Ed O’Neill, Modern Family

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Chris Colfer, Glee

Wide open. Wide, wide open. I could make a convincing case for any of the six. Jon Cryer might get it simply for the dignity he displayed in response to Charlie Sheen’s antics. Chris Colfer had a big year on Glee, but the firm Unpopcult view is that he’s not funny enough as a comic actor or good enough as a serious one.

Apart from them, it’s all about Modern Family in this category. Eric Stonestreet’s defending his title, but I just wonder whether he did quite enough this time. The show’s had its critics this season, but it still makes me laugh more than just about anything else on TV, and in turn most of that’s down to Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neill. I’d like one of them to get it, and my guess is that one of them will; I could happily live with Jesse Tyler Ferguson winning as well.

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama:

Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

John Slattery, Mad Men

Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Josh Charles, The Good Wife

Walton Goggins, Justified

Plenty to be pleased about here as well. I haven’t seen Andre Braugher or Peter Dinklage’s performances, but their track records would suggest that either would be a worthy winner. Josh Charles has had an absolutely stellar year on The Good Wife, although the buzz seems to be than Alan Cumming – also fantastic – might be the favourite. John Slattery’s always awesome on Mad Men. If I had a vote, though, it would probably go to Walton Goggins for his breathtaking series of powerhouse performances on Justified. I suspect that Cumming might edge it.

 

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy:

Will Arnett, 30 Rock

Nathan Lane, Modern Family

Matt Damon, 30 Rock

Idris Elba, The Big C

Zach Galifianakis, Saturday Night Live

Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live

I liked Idris Elba in The Big C, but I’d be lying if I said I cared about this category. Not feeling it.

 

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama:

Jeremy Davies, Justified

Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife

Robert Morse, Mad Men

Bruce Dern, Big Love

Beau Bridges, Brothers & Sisters

Paul McCrane, Harry’s Law

This category, in the other hand, sees three of my favourite performers (Davies, Fox, Morse), in the three best dramas on TV, facing off against each other. I don’t know who I want to win. Davies. No, Morse. No, Fox. Definitely. Michael J. Fox.

Categories: The Emmys, TV

Unpopcult at the Emmys 2011: Part 3 – Leading Ladies

July 17, 2011 1 comment

Ladies, leave your man at home… it’s Outstanding Lead Actress time.

Let’s dismiss deal with Comedy first; unusually for me with this category, I’ve actually seen some of the shows mentioned.  Gosh.  Okay, I didn’t make it past an episode, but Laura Linney in The Big C and last year’s winner Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie weren’t to blame for that.  Nor was Tina Fey when I gave up after three seasons of 30 Rock.  They’re all excellent at what they do, even if it still seems a bit incongruous to have Actors-with-a-capital-A like Linney and Falco competing with Fey, who, much as I love her, has a very different stock in trade – like, y’know, actual COMEDY.

I hear good things about Amy Poehler in Parks and Rec and Martha Plimpton in Raising Hope too, although there does seem to be some feeling out there that Melissa McCarthy’s nomination may have more to do with her turn in Bridesmaids than her day job in Mike and Molly.  Who will win, though?  They’re all pretty popular, but I’d say Edie Falco, again, or maybe Laura Linney at a push, because the laugh count has no bearing on how the Academy will vote here.  At all.

But enough of that – on to Lead Actress in a Drama, which, as usual, I’m madly over-invested in.  Last year’s surprise winner, The Closer’s Kyra Sedgwick, erm, surprisingly didn’t score a nomination this year, but it’s no shock to see lifelong nominee Mariska Hargitay up again.  Let me just state my position here: SVU is not actually very good. It’s over-written, preachy and about as subtle and delicate in its handling of sensitive issues as a boot to the head.  Mariska herself is absolutely fine, if frankly not THAT amazing, but I think we’ve learned, after her EIGHTH nomination in a row, that it doesn’t matter – she gets nominated every year anyway.  Whatevs.  She got the Emmy in 2006, I can’t see her winning again.

Despite “mixed” reviews for the show itself, Kathy Bates is a new entry for Harry’s Law, but then, I say again, the Academy loves a movie star on tv. Mireille Enos, meanwhile, also gets a nod for The Killing; based on the 2 episodes I’ve seen, I’d put her in the same category as Mariska.  Good but not that good.  Especially since – have I mentioned? – THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE TRUE “THE KILLING”, AND IT IS DANISH.

Er, anyway, back to the task at hand.  Even though I’ve never warmed to Peggy herself, Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men would be a worthy winner, especially given the universal approval for her and lovely Jon Hamm’s work together in The Suitcase, and over the past 4 seasons.  Honestly, though, I’ll only really be happy if either Connie Britton or Julianna Margulies (or ideally, both), frankly in a different class to everybody else, wins.  If Connie’s work in seasons 1 and 2 of Friday Night Lights (all we’ve seen of it in the UK, rant, moan, rant) is anything to go by, she deserves all the awards in the world. Tami Taylor rocks.  And, with the show finished, it might be her last chance at a nomination, too.

But, much as I love Connie Britton, I’ve seen this year’s The Good Wife, so I can’t see past Julianna Margulies - the woman was phenomenal.  She was instrumental in helping to raise the first season of  TGW from good to great, and the spectacular second season just gave her a chance to be even more incredible.  In lesser hands, Alicia Florrick could have been one-dimensional and flat, especially with a supporting cast as amazing and amongst characters as vibrant as TGW’s (of which, more in later categories), but, thanks to Margulies, she’s a living, breathing, mesmerising force to be reckoned with.  She should be a lock to win, but then she was supposed to be a lock to win last year and look what happened.  If Mrs Coach Taylor pipped her to the post, I’d be fine with that, but the others, not so much.

Categories: The Emmys, TV

Unpopcult at The Emmys 2011: Part 2 – Best Supporting Actress and Best Guest Actress

July 16, 2011 3 comments

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy:

Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Jane Lynch, Glee

Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Five of the six were nominated last year, with only Betty White a newcomer. As it were. Jane Lynch deservedly won, but I wonder whether Glee’s indisputably weaker second season – and a feeling that the writers didn’t quite know what to do with her – will count against her? If so, it could be Sofia Vergara’s year, being reliably amusing in – let’s not forget – her second language. Merritt Wever remains better than all of them.

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama:

Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Michelle Forbes, The Killing

Margo Martindale, Justified

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Archie Panjabi’s the defending champion, and The Good Wife had a jaw-droppingly good second season, so the stars should be aligned. Except… as with Jane Lynch, I’m not sure the writers made the best possible use of Panjabi this year, apart from a couple of episodes when she was given a chance to shine. Of course, if she submits one of those episodes she’s got every chance. (I’m not sure that Christine Baranski was always given a fair crack of the whip either.) Christina Hendricks should win, but I always say that; Michelle Forbes, in what I’ve seen of The Killing, has been fine. But there’s a real buzz about Margo Martindale this year, and if the voters aren’t inclined to award any other acting awards to Justified they might compensate by giving her a well-deserved Emmy.

 

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy:

Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock

Kristin Chenoweth, Glee

Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live

Cloris Leachman, Raising Hope

Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee

Dot Marie Jones, Glee

Me, I’d give it to Gwyneth, if only because she injected Glee with the fun and sass it had been missing, and obliged some of the permanent cast to raise their game (yes you, Matthew Morrison).

 

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama:

Cara Buono, Mad Men

Joan Cusack, Shameless

Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy

Randee Heller, Mad Men

Mary McDonnell, The Closer

Julia Stiles, Dexter

Alfre Woodard, True Blood

I haven’t seen most of these performances, and I don’t yet know what to make of Julia Stiles in Dexter. So let’s just say that either Dr Faye or Miss Blankenship would be worthy winners.

Categories: The Emmys, TV

Unpopcult at The Emmys 2011: Part 1 – Leading Men

July 14, 2011 4 comments

It’s Emmy time again – hurrah!  Once again, unpopcult will be looking at the nominees over the next few days, and sighing/swooning over various inclusions as well as bemoaning the absence of any shoulda/woulda/couldas we think should have made the cut.  Mainly because we have nothing else to talk about in the summer time.

If there were a Best Vampire category, obviously that would be my top priority, but the Academy’s still a bit behind on that front, so I’m covering the Leading Men categories first as the next best thing.  I can live with that ;-)

If you bear with me while I get my smelling salts and a large fan for my fevered brow…

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama is wide open this year, given the usual winner Bryan Cranston and his show Breaking Bad are ineligible, but the category’s newbies still have to get past the other serial nominees.  It’s been years since I’ve watched either Dexter or House, but I guess I’ve no real quibble with Michael C. Hall or Hugh Laurie being nominated. Again.  Not that it would matter; they’re nominated every year anyway, even if their shows are looking a bit creaky. 

I’m obviously much more enthusiastic about Mad Men’s marvellous Jon Hamm getting his usual berth (But is it 3 times a bridesmaid? Hmmm….), and absolutely over the moon that I can now call Friday Night Lights’ wonderful Kyle Chandler a two-time nominee.  (Even if, living in the UK, there’s no immediate prospect of me getting to see the last 3 seasons of his show.  Hurrumph.) 

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose?  After all, it is FNL’s swansong year.  But it’s far from a foregone conclusion because, hey, look who’s joined the party!  Somebody either read my post last year or actually watched Justified at last – hooray for brilliant (and lovely) Timothy Olyphant finally getting the nomination he deserves.  He’s been absolutely amazing and I’m delighted people have taken notice at last.

But then, as I’ve said, Hamm and Chandler are fantastic too, so I’m in the same position as last year; an impossible choice between three of my favourite actors. How can anyone decide between them?  It pains me to say it, but I’m guessing the Academy won’t bother.  It will probably take the easy option and go with the movie star – Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire.  Now I’ve never watched it and I’m sure he’d be a deserving winner, but I’d absolutely love to be wrong about the result – Timothy Olyphant/Jon Hamm/Kyle Chandler for the win!  With a wee tear in my eye for Sean Bean who should have been nominated for being the heart and soul of Game of Thrones.  Miss you, Ned.  Sniffle.

*Pulls self together*  Anyway, onto the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy category and….. er, yeah, whatevs.  Last year’s winner Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory, The Office’s Steve Carell, and 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin are all nominated again; plus ca change.  On the new entries front, we have Matt LeBlanc for Episodes, Louis Ck for Louie and Johnny Galecki, also for Big Bang Theory.  I can’t even pretend to be interested in this category full of shows I don’t watch, but if I absolutely had to pick a winner, I’d vote Matt LeBlanc.  Why?  Why not?  He was funny as Joey.  We’ll see if the Academy applies the same logic.

Categories: The Emmys, TV
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