Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Get Your Venti Red-Eye Ready...It's Almost Time for Emmy Nominations

I do this every year, but it never gets less fun. Emmy predictions (of trophies and nominations) give me a sort of thrill, as I anticipate the year when I get 100% of these correct. Maybe it’s this year, maybe it’s not.

Best Actor in a Drama
• Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
• Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy
• Matthew Fox, Lost
• James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
• Hugh Laurie, House

Of course the Drs. Sheph(e)(a)rd continued to make me fall in love with them—that is, of course, when they weren’t being assholes. Patrick Dempsey’s post-ferry-crash performance was really the highlight of that arc, although I despised the way he carried out the rest of the season. I really don’t care for i, but it’s going to get nominated, probably. (It took me a long time to figure out that Emmy Predictions should be more realistic than, say, nominating all of the socks from Lost and The Office.) Hugh Laurie is a previous winner, and House is still one of the biggest things coming from the Fox network... I’m predicting, though, that Friday Night Lights is going to take home a lot of trophies, and it’ll probably start with Coach himself.

Best Actress in a Drama

• Courteney Cox, Dirt
• Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
• Evangeline Lilly, Kate Austen, Lost
• Ellen Pompeo, Dr. Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy
• Kyra Sedgwick, Brenda, The Closer

Look, people! Members of my favorite TV families! Courteney Cox is doing something new, a little edgy, and definitively non-Monica. Sally Field is Sally Field, and she’s so good on Brothers and Sisters. I still haven’t watched every episode, but it is just joyful to see her back on television. Kyra Sedgwick is The Closer, and it wouldn’t be the top-rated cable series of all time (or so TNT keeps telling me) without her fantastic performances week after week. Ellen Pompeo is Grey’s Anatomy in the most literal sense, and while she’s not necessarily the greatest character on the show, she is the de facto leader of the ensemble. But it’s Evangeline Lilly, with her gorgeous portrayal of the strongest Kate we’ve seen so far, who stops my heart. The Jate!Hands scene in “The Man from Tallahassee” is enough to merit her an Emmy.

Best Actor in a Comedy
• Zach Braff, Scrubs
• Steve Carell, The Office
• Ricky Gervais, Extras
• Jason Lee, My Name is Earl
• Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock

NBC really does have a monopoly on funnymen right now, even if their ratings are still in the toilet. (Remember Conan’s opening sketch last year at the Emmys when he sang “We got trouble, folks, right here at NBC”? Yeah, things haven’t gotten better.) But, Jesus, Steve Carell is hilarious. So are Jason Lee and Tracy Morgan. Zach Braff is kind of a wild card, because he’s talented, but no comic genius. I wouldn’t peg him to win this category, but he could eke out a much-deserved nomination. Ricky Gervais could get nominated, too, for the brilliance that is Extras, although it would be a slap in the face to the truly hilarious men of American television comedy.

Best Actress in a Comedy
• America Ferrara, Ugly Betty
• Tina Fey, 30 Rock
• Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
• Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
• Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program

Tina Fey is a new kind of TV woman, one who I very much appreciate. America Ferrara is the face of Ugly Betty, a role that requires, I’m sure, a great deal of guts and dedication. She’s not the greatest actress I’ve ever watched, but neither is Nicole Kidman, and she won a freakin’ Oscar for wearing Virginia Woolf’s nose, if you know what I mean. Sarah Silverman is so so funny, and while I’m not sure she’s in the right category, she’s still an hysterical comedian. And then there are my two favorite actresses of all time. Mary-Louise Parker has basically inspired my career choice, which is pathetic but true. She’s so unbelievably talented that she turned me on to pay-cable for the first time in my life. Weeds remains the one non-network show I make a point to watch weekly. And Felicity Huffman was the shining star of a so-so Desperate Housewives season. The episode “Bang,” her Emmy submission, was phenomenal. Let’s face it: I just want to see Ann Stark face off with Amy Gardner.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

• Dave Annable, Brothers & Sisters
• Michael Emerson, Lost
• Robert Iler, The Sopranos
• T.R. Knight, Grey's Anatomy
• Masi Oka, Heroes

Three of these (Annable, Iler, and Oka) are from shows with large ensembles, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see co-stars replace any of them. They’re on acclaimed shows, and while they are fantastic supporters, they don’t necessarily stand out ahead of the pack. Hopefully this won’t lead to Brothers & Sisters or Heroes getting shut out (Mae would flip), although I wouldn’t be disappointed with a non-Sopranos category. T.R. Knight’s got the Hollywood gossip machine working majorly in his favor, and it would be a nice opportunity to support the gays. The Emmys haven’t really had the chance to do that since Will and Grace got bad. And Michael Emerson is such a great villain. It’s his beady little eyes (the Jason eyes we call them in my family) and his creepy little voice. He’s so scary! And apparently very nice in real life, which means he must be a very good actor.

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
• Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
• Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
• Sarah Paulson, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
• Aida Turturro, The Sopranos
• Kate Walsh, Grey's Anatomy

This is a huge category, and also the category I hope to one day win. Elizabeth Mitchell is great as Juliet, even though I basically want to hurt her, and Sarah Paulson was the one saving grace of an otherwise sad Studio 60. Grey’s Anatomy continues to have the best ensemble, while still allowing characters to step into the spotlight. For Katherine Heigl’s Izzie, this resulted from her wide range of scene-stealing. In episode one, she had taken to the bathroom floor, in the ferry crash she was using a power drill to perform a craniotomy, and by the finale she was pining for George. It’s Kate Walsh, though, who has truly made a name for herself, so much so that they’re spinning her off. She’s the most high-profile supporting actress on television right now, and I would be shocked if she didn’t get a nod.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

• Danny DeVito, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
• Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
• Jeremy Piven, Entourage
• Ethan Suplee, My Name is Earl
• Rainn Wilson, The Office

Probably the category I am least familiar with, and one chock-full of big personalities. Ethan Suplee’s sweet-but-stupid Randy is one of the most huggable guys on television, and Jeremy Piven plays the opposite—but just as hilariously. Neil Patrick Harris could be the nod for How I Met Your Mother, a show that’s not going to win Best Comedy, but at least deserves something. My money stays on Rainn Wilson, who was way funnier than John Krasinski this year. (Sorry, Jim, I love you, but you were mean to Pam.)

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
• Jenna Fischer, The Office
• Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
• Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
• Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl
• Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

Jenna Fischer did some serious back-breaking work this year (har har), and she deserves this award. She’s so funny, so charming, so precious... Her face there in the last moments of the finale was just the happiest face I’ve ever seen. The others, I’m sorry to say, are seat-fillers, at least in my Emmy predictions. They’re all wonderfully talented, funny ladies, but they just don’t live up to Fancy New Beesly.

Best Drama
Friday Night Lights
Grey’s Anatomy
The Sopranos

Lost is back on track and deserves back on the list after last year’s shut-out. (Who didn’t love Jorge Garcia’s Emmy night joke during Conan’s opening, though: “Dude, we kinda weren’t invited.”) Heroes and Friday Night Lights are the saving grace of NBC, and Grey’s had 24 episodes of greatness (#25 was just horrible), and The Sopranos has one last chance to piss me off. Nobody’s got a lock on this one.

Best Comedy

30 Rock
Two and a Half Men
The Office
Ugly Betty

The buzz is on for Two and a Half Men, although I DON’T GET IT. Whatever, Emmys, keep watching washed-up CBS non-coms. The real laughs are, of course, over at NBC, with 30 Rock and The Office. Weeds is brilliant, too, and in an unconventional way. And Ugly Betty remains boring with its one joke, but it’s a pretty funny one joke.

That’s it. I’m probably way off this year, but I’ll see you July 19 for the nominations! Big day!

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