A Memo To Emmy Voters
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Emmy Voters:
I am writing because I understand your ballots for this year's nominees are due this week. In the past, you've had quite a difficult time selecting the proper honorees. I'm not blaming you. I completely understand that between Botox injections and berating your assistant for buying the wrong type of hummus, it can be nearly impossible to follow TV. Imagine you actually keeping up with your industry!
Because of this, you're stuck with a couple of episodes of each show from which to glean your opinion. These are usually selected by agents who probably know even less than you, and it can be very confusing when you see a few standalone episodes of shows like "The Wire" or "Lost" to know what is going on.
I come not to bury you for your lack of informed voting but to help you make the best selections. Below, I've listed a few entries in each category that are either too new for you to know about, or that you've never before given the proper respect.
I know your attention span is brief, so let's start with the big kahuna. Do you realize that everybody who's anybody considers "The Wire" to be the best drama in the history of television? Despite this, you've only seen fit to honor with one Emmy nomination in the past: for Best Writing. Why not honor its final season with its first nomination for Best Drama?
"The Wire" notwithstanding, it's clear you love HBO. After all, its batting average for nominations make Ted Williams look like Manny Mendoza. Despite this adoration, you did not see it fit to show "Big Love" the amount of affection its title commands. Its second season was even better than its first and deserves its first nomination.
Another pair of shows that you've never nominated aren't nearly as old, but almost as good. The second season of "Friday Night Lights" might not have been as good as its first, but it still deserves a freshman nomination for its sophomore year, and "Breaking Bad's" debut on AMC this year was easily the best of the season. Give it a nod.
Finally, there's this little show you might have heard of called "Lost." I know you gave it the whole doggone Emmy for its first season, but somehow it didn't even get nominated for its second or third. Please right this wrong, because the fourth season of "Lost" was its best.
Before I tell you what to nominate, here's a few shows you shouldn't. Don't nominate "The Office." It's completely lost its way and now delivers unwatchable episodes with the same regularity it produces good ones. Don't nominate "Ugly Betty." It's undoubtedly the most overrated show on TV. Finally, don't nominate "Entourage." It's completely abandoned everything that made its first couple seasons so great and begun to focus solely on the bad parts.
Now that we have that unpleasantness out of the way, I must urge you to give a nod to HBO's "Flight of the Conchords." It's simply the funniest show on TV, and at the end of the day, isn't that all a comedy should be?
On the network side of things, CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" may just be the best multi-camera sitcom since "Seinfeld." The first part of this season was inarguably its best, and certainly deserves the series' first nomination. Its companion on Mondays "The New Adventures of Old Christine" has grown beyond a great performance from its leading lady and matured into one of the best comedies on TV. Why not throw more than just Julia Louis-Dreyfuss a bone?
Finally, you've a terrible track record of honoring animated series. "King of the Hill," "The Simpsons," and "South Park" were all great this season. Think you might be able to squeeze one of them onto your ballots? Maybe?
Best Actress in a Comedy
Honestly, you guys have been doing a great job with this category. Skip it.
Best Actor in a Comedy
They write! They sing! They dance! They have funny voices! Both Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie deserve a nomination as the dynamic folk parody duo on "The Flight of the Conchords."
David Duchovny won a Golden Globe for "Californication," a role that suits his talents like none other up to this point in his career. Just sayin.'
And don't forget about David Caruso. Wait, he's not trying to be funny?
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Wanda Sykes is just plain funny, and her work on "The New Adventures of Old Christine" holds the show together nicely. She definitely deserves a nod.
Speaking of glue, where would "30 Rock" be without Jane Krakowski's hilarious self-parody? She gets absolutely no attention from anyone despite playing an attention whore. Give her what she so sorely needs, a nomination.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
J.B. Smoove gave the single-best comedic performance on TV this season and single-handedly made it one of the best seasons for "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He must be nominated.
Also, a couple actors on the little-seen "Reaper" deserve a nod. Ray Wise has found the role of his life as The Devil and as Sock, Tyler Labine shows the bombast of a young Jack Black, in a good way.
Best Actor in a Drama
I know it's far too much to ask you not to nominate James Spader again, so I won't bother. Instead, I'll point out that you've yet to nominate either Bill Paxton or Kyle Chandler. Time to change that. You're starting to embarrass yourselves.
But the ultimate embarrassment would be to ignore Bryan Cranston's revelatory work in "Breaking Bad." His Walter White is one of the most fully-realized characters ever to hit the small screen. A real feat considering Cranston was only afforded 8 episodes to let him grow.
Best Actress in a Drama
While we're still kind of on the subject of Kyle Chandler, I should also point out that you missed his better half, Connie Britton, at last year's awards. This is simply inexcusable, unless of course you hate good acting.
You can find more good acting over on HBO with each of Bill Paxton's three wives. I simply can't choose between them, so why not get into the spirit of things and nominate them all? They're certainly worthy.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
You can't really tell me you're going to ignore quite possibly the best performance in the history of television are you? Please. No. You can't be serious. I think you are though so I'm just going to hammer it into your head. You. Must. Nominate. Clark. Johnson. From. The. Wire. Please. Just do it. This performance was a true marvel as Johnson mesmerized with just one look across his desk. I won't even bother you with the many other people you should nominate, because this nomination is enough to redeem the entire category, if not your entire ballot.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
All right, I know you have no clue what on earth is happening on "Lost" but that shouldn't prevent you from nominating Elizabeth Mitchell's stoic work as Juliet. She's managed to keep the audience at arm's length from the heart of her character for the better part of two seasons, still not revealing her true self but staying compelling the whole way.
If you prefer your nominees a little bit younger, you can't get better than Amanda Seyfried from "Big Love." Her Sarah Henrickson is the real-world center of the series through which the deviant actions of the rest of the characters are contrasted. Seyfried plays it with a sort of self-immolating shock, as though she's completely comfortable with herself and surroundings yet utterly horrified at the same time. Brilliant.
There ya are, Emmy voters. Your one-stop guide for voting on this year's nominees. Please follow my advice. You'll sleep better.
Story by Andrew Payne
Starpulse contributing writer
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