Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Kristin Chenoweth "Pushing Daisies"
Amy Poehler "Saturday Night Live"
Kristen Wiig "Saturday Night Live"
Jane Krakowski "30 Rock"
Vanessa Williams "Ugly Betty"
Elizabeth Perkins "Weeds"
Surprise: Wow! 'Pushing Daisies' was cancelled like half-an-episode into the season and its delightful pie shop wench still gets a nomination. That's crazy.
Snub: They whiffed on nominating the brilliant Di Rossi for three years on 'Arrested Development' and now they're 0-1 on her lizard-like machine of a boss on 'Better Off Ted'. Even the straight lines are funny coming from Di Rossi on this show as she constantly finds a way to ensure her delivery maximizes the funny in every instance. That doesn't get a nomination? Sad.
Shouldn't Be Nominated: It isn't that Amy Poehler wasn't a solid performer on 'Saturday Night Live' this year. It isn't that Kristen Wiig isn't the funniest person on the planet and so good she made viewers wish she were the only person on the show. It's that 'Saturday Night Live' is a variety series! It isn't a comedy series! It's even nominated for Best Variety Series! How are these actresses in one category when their show is in another? Because their agents submitted them in that category? C'mon, Emmy. Police yourself!
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
William Shatner "Boston Legal"
Christian Clemenson "Boston Legal"
Aaron Paul "Breaking Bad"
William Hurt "Damages"
Michael Emerson "Lost"
John Slattery "Mad Men"
Surprise: A very pleasant surprise here as the exceptional Aaron Paul lands a nomination for his complex performance on 'Breaking Bad'. Let's see, this year he became a drug kingpin, rediscovered his soul with an abandoned child, lost it again underneath an ATM machine, fell in love, fell into drugs, lost love and ended up as a shell. Yep, sounds like a good reason to get a first nomination.
Snub: Why exactly was this the year Terry O'Quinn didn't get nominated? Is it because he died and came back to life - essentially playing (spoiler alert) two different characters in the process. Balancing the transition to his new life with the deceitful recognition of his old self as portrayed through the eyes of a con man? This is when Emmy fails to nominate him? That must be what happens when you cross Jacob.
Also, why was Jimmy Smits nominated as a Guest Actor? He was on every single episode of the season. Just because (Spoiler Alert) a character is killed at the end of the season doesn't make him a guest when he has a substantial role in every single episode. That's just madness.
Shouldn't Be Nominated: This is another very solid list. We could give Emmy a bit of grief for again nominating the somewhat-hammy Shatner, but it's his last year on the show so we'll let it slide.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
Rose Byrne "Damages"
Sandra Oh "Grey's Anatomy"
Chandra Wilson "Grey's Anatomy"
Dianne Wiest "In Treatment"
Hope Davis "In Treatment"
Cherry Jones "24"
Surprise: Just like the Drama Actress category this is a very ho-hum list. Davis and Jones are first-time nominees, but with their pedigrees and their shows' popularity among critics and voters, it's hard to be at all shocked by their inclusion.
Snub: Davis and Wiest have the pedigree but Allison Pill's had-it-with-life college student was the best couch guest of the season on 'In Treatment'. This is what happens with Emmy, who you are matters more than what you did.
Shouldn't Be Nominated: Enough is enough with the 'Grey's Anatomy'. These same two actresses get nominations every year for performances and a show that have been on auto-pilot for two years now. Time for some fresh blood.
Best Comedy Series
"Flight of the Conchords"
"How I Met Your Mother"
Surprise: A comedy series made for about 45 bucks and watched by fifteen people. One that features impromptu music videos and Kiwi accents. This got nominated for an Emmy? What sort of parallel universe is this? Oh wait, maybe because 'Flight of the Conchords' is absolutely hilarious? Kudos, Emmy voters.
Snub: It's been twenty years now and 'The Simpsons' has never been nominated in this category. Even with seven nominations it's still left out, even though the series is still funnier than 90% of the comedy shows on television. Instead we get another animated series nominated. . .
Shouldn't Be Nominated: What exactly does nominating 'Family Guy' show? That Emmy loves a series that plagiarizes everything from 'The Simpsons' to Gary Larson calendars? That crude comedy is better than clever humor? That Emmy voters don't really have any taste? Oh wait, they've been showing that for years now, so I guess this nomination makes sense.
Best Drama Series
Surprise: The new Emmy voting process must be working because two deserving series in their second and third seasons, respectively, got nominated. It's nice to see 'Breaking Bad' and 'Big Love' invited to the big kids table. After all, they do feature some of the finest writing and most compelling characters on the small screen. It's nice, just strange. This is an awards show that nominated 'Boston Legal' the last several years after all.
Snub: It's just sad that with seven nominations to hand out, Emmy voters missed the Best Drama on television this season. That would be 'Friday Night Lights', which stripped out the far-fetched plots of its second season and melodrama of its first to deliver a raw and organic third season that may as well have been a documentary about small-town life during football season. A brilliantly written and intensely well-acted documentary.
Shouldn't Be Nominated: This is a very good list, but since 'Friday Night Lights' was the Best Drama of the season, something has to go off, right? That would be 'House' which has really always been a one-man show and a bit too formulaic to compete amongst these brilliant series.
That's it for this game, but check back in September (that's right, the actual ceremony isn't for two months) when we play everybody's other favorite game: Who Should Win/Who Will win.
Story by Andrew Payne
Starpulse contributing writer