I’ve finally had the time to really contemplate the nominations for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, and by “really contemplate” I obviously mean “catch an article about them because I had no idea they even happened until now,” proving once again that if you’re getting your news from me, you don’t really care about the news.
I watch a lot of TV. I think that’s the fourteenth or fifteenth time I’ve written that sentence in this blog, because I’m proud of it for two reasons: 1. I think TV is a valuable creative medium – both for information and entertainment; and 2. I’m being honest, and I lie about so many other things that it feels good to tell the truth from time to time, unlike those people who say, “I never watch TV.” Who the fuck never watches TV? What do you do at night if you don’t watch TV? My guess is you think up other lies to tell about yourself to make you seem interesting, like “I read,” or “I paint,” or “I think it would be cool to go to culinary school.”
Anyway, I was planning on reviewing every category but then I realized that I don’t know what cinematography is. Or art direction. Or why the hell there is a choreography category. Plus it turns out there are 90 categories. I can’t even come up with 90 things that happen on TV, yet the academy has come up with 90 things that are “outstanding.” Oh, wait, 89 things that are outstanding, and one thing that gets “exceptional merit” – the unique category “Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking.” (Which contains the movies Two Days In October and Three Days In September. Who said nonfiction filmmakers weren’t creative?)
So I guess I’m left just covering the main categories, plus any others that catch my attention. Like “Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Non-Prosthetic).” If you don’t have an opinion on that, you’re an asshole.
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music
Get Ed • Disney
Masters Of Horror • Showtime
Over There • FX Network
Prison Break • FOX
Rome • HBO
My Pick: If the point of title music is to catch the viewer’s attention and make him want to continue watching (and I’m only guessing that’s what its point is, but I think I’m making sense) then these all blow. Sure, I haven’t seen two of the three, but I’m pretty sure you could play a recording of Mandy Moore saying, “Have I ever told you how perfect you are, Dan?” and I still wouldn’t watch “Get Ed” or “Masters of Horror.” My obvious choice is the title music to “Weeds,” which you can hear here (it’s the first song).
Will win: This isn’t good – it’s my first category and I already don’t care.
Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) For VMC Programming
78th Annual Academy Awards • ABC
American Idol • American Classics Songbook With Rod Stewart • FOX
American Idol • Finale • FOX
2005 American Music Awards • ABC
Late Night With Conan O’Brien• Episode #2226 • NBC
I don’t care who wins, I just want to know who watched episode #2226 of “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” sat up off their couch and said, “There’s something different about this episode. Everyone seems bathed in a celestial light. I’ve got to call the academy - that’s the kind of lighting that will land you an Emmy.”
Outstanding Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow • PBS
The Dog Whisperer • National Geographic Channel
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition • ABC
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List • Bravo
Penn & Teller: Bullshit • Showtime
My Pick: If anything other than “Extreme Makeover” wins, it’s just proof that that academy hates poor people.
Will win: “Extreme Makeover.” Because the academy doesn’t hate poor people, I was only kidding about that. They care about poor people. Poor people represent a class of society who struggle for things like cable TV, making it seem important and worthwhile.
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race • CBS
American Idol • FOX
Dancing With The Stars • ABC
Project Runway • Bravo
Survivor • CBS
My Pick: I actually became interested in “Survivor” this year. And while I am loathe to say that it was because of Danielle’s rack, the bottom line is . . .
Will win: How can they possibly ignore the popularity of “American Idol?” I read an entire article in U.S. News and World Reports about how parents are teaching their toddlers to use the phone by voting in to “American Idol.” Of course that’s a lie . . . but it could be the truth!
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Extras • HBO • Patrick Stewart as Himself
Extras • HBO • Ben Stiller as Himself
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Martin Sheen as Harvey
Will & Grace • NBC • Alec Baldwin as Malcolm
Will & Grace • NBC • Leslie Jordan as Beverley Leslie
My Pick: Alec Baldwin, hands down. Even if you hate “Will & Grace,” even if the mere idea of watching this show makes you want to become gay just so you can hate the show on the pretense that it mocks your station in life, you have to enjoy Alec Baldwin, you fruit salad head.
Will win: Patrick Stewart, because everyone loves to hear him speak.
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC • Michael J. Fox as Daniel Post
Boston Legal • ABC • Christian Clemenson as Jerry “Hands” Espenson
ER • NBC • James Woods as Dr. Nate Lenno
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Kyle Chandler as Dylan Young
Lost • ABC • Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond
My Pick: Michael J. Fox. Not just because he was good, but because for almost four years of my life I wanted to be him. Not recently . . . I mean a long time ago. Obviously.
Will win: Michael J. Fox. If he doesn’t, I will be the first one writing a letter here.
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Desperate Housewives • ABC • Shirley Knight as Phyllis Van de Kamp
Extras • HBO • Kate Winslet as Herself
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX • Cloris Leachman as Ida
Monk • USA • Laurie Metcalf as Cora
Will & Grace • NBC • Blythe Danner as Marilyn Truman
My Pick: Kate Winslet. I only watched one episode of “Extras” and it was the episode with Kate Winslet. And while I didn’t find it as HEARTPOUNDINGLY HILARIOUS as everyone made it out to be, there’s still something to be said for Kate Winslet being funny. And that is: “She’s hot.”
Will win: I tried to read some articles on the internet about who Shirley Knight is but I got so bored every time I couldn’t finish. But I’m going to say that she wins, because when in doubt give an award to the show that everyone watches but doesn’t like. It makes the world feel better about itself.
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Kate Burton as Ellis Grey
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Christina Ricci as Hannah
Huff • Showtime • Swoosie Kurtz as Madeline Sullivan
Six Feet Under • HBO • Patricia Clarkson as Aunt Sarah
Six Feet Under • HBO • Joanna Cassidy as Margaret Chenowith
My Pick: I’ve seen none of these episodes, so I’m going to go on pure intuition. Christina Ricci, because she looks good in a bathing suit. What? That’s not intuition? Oh. Bite me.
Will win: Swoosie Kurtz was awesome in “Sisters,” Patricia Clarkson has done like 75 indie movies, and Kate Burton is literally a professional guest star, but Joanna Cassidy’s measurements at 66 years of age are 36C-25-35. Draw your own conclusion.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Arrested Development • FOX • Will Arnett as Gob Bluth
Entourage • HBO • Jeremy Piven as Ari Gold
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX • Bryan Cranston as Hal
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Jon Cryer as Alan Harper
Will & Grace • NBC • Sean Hayes as Jack
My Pick: Sean Hayes. Because it’s brave of him to break through gay discrimination and embrace his role as a spokesperson for changing times. Yes, of course I’m kidding, fuck that progressive shit, Will Arnett deserved this award when he was in the womb, and every step along the way from that womb to my heart.
Will win: Something tells me Jeremy Piven will. And that something is that the Emmy voters are always a year behind, probably because they don’t read blogs and get most of their facts from overhearing their housekeepers on the phone with their relatives in the Dominican Republic saying “Let us hug it out, bitch!”
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC • William Shatner as Denny Crane
Huff • Showtime • Oliver Platt as Russell Tupper
The Sopranos • HBO • Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
24 • FOX • Gregory Itzin as President Charles Logan
The West Wing • NBC • Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick
My Pick: Gotta be William Shatner. And not just because of this.
Will win: The only reason I think William Shatner might not win is because he’s more funny than dramatic. I mean, the entire show is. And you’re up against Alan Alda. I can’t think of any competition in which I would challenge Alan Alda – the man, the mystery, the name with only four different letters in it.
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • Cheryl Hines as Cheryl David
Desperate Housewives • ABC • Alfre Woodard as Betty Applewhite
My Name Is Earl • NBC • Jaime Pressly as Joy
Weeds • Showtime • Elizabeth Perkins as Celia Hodes
Will & Grace • NBC • Megan Mullally as Karen
My Pick: Elizabeth Perkins, and not just because I love the show. She is genuinely good, everything you want in a supporting character. Once, while referring to her teenage daughter, she delivered the line “I should have had an abortion” with such aplomb, that even if you don’t really know what aplomb means, like me, you know that it was awesome.
Will win: Alfre Woodard, because OMG it wouldn’t be an award show if “Desperate Housewives” didn’t win more awards than it deserved. (Side note: On the scale of awesome irony, where would it rank if Jaime Pressly won an award for acting like who she is in real life? Basically for showing up on set and being herself? I think I have to root for this now.)
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC • Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Chandra Wilson as Dr. Bailey
Huff • Showtime • Blythe Danner as Izzy Huffstodt
24 • FOX • Jean Smart as First Lady Martha Logan
My Pick: Candice Bergen. And not because she’s particularly brilliant (her part is generally well written and she’s entertaining) but more because the rest of this list makes me want to punch myself in the leg like five times. Hard! If you don’t think Sandra Oh is a scary person to look at, I’m sorry that you’ve lost your eyesight. It must be difficult.
Will win: Blythe Danner in an upset! I don’t care.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • Larry David as Himself
The King Of Queens • CBS • Kevin James as Doug Heffernan
Monk • USA • Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
The Office • NBC • Steve Carell as Michael Scott
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper
My Pick: Fuck that, I’m writing in Jason Bateman. I can put one chamber of my heart behind Steve Carell, and next year I’ll probably whole heartedly support him, but not while Jason Bateman is still eligible. I was planning on sabotaging the award show by parachuting in when this award was being delivered wearing an “Arrested Development” billboard and a Jason Bateman mask, but the last time I went base jumping, when I woke up I was really scared so I don’t think I’ll be trying it again.
Will win: Steve Carell. And it will be a bittersweet victory for comedy. And when is someone going to stand up and realize that Antonio from “Wings” has won two Emmy awards. Can we stop just accidentally giving these things away? Also, I can’t believe you’re still reading this.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler
Rescue Me • FX Network • Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin
Six Feet Under • HBO • Peter Krause as Nate Fisher
24 • FOX • Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
The West Wing • NBC • Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet
My Pick: Great category. I haven’t watched “Rescue Me” enough to really appreciate Denis Leary, but his performance in the consistently overlooked The Ref has endeared me to him ever since. And I like all of the other shows in the category, and I like all of the actors, but once again I need to balk here: I’ve only recently started watching “House,” and you know what? It’s not a very good show. But you know what else? Hugh Laurie is awesome. Really. For one hour, I prefer watching him more than any of these other guys. I mean, maybe if Kiefer Sutherland dressed up a little more, you know?
Will win: “The West Wing” went out with more of a whimper than a bang, so I don’t know how high the sentiment is right now for Martin Sheen. But if Hugh Laurie can’t win, and I don’t think he will since he’s not nominated, then let’s at least get a Kiefer Sutherland acceptance speech out of this. No one has heard him speak out of character for about four years now. I wouldn’t be surprised is he started his acceptance speech with, “I’m Jack Bauer. Kiefer Sutherland couldn’t make it tonight.”
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
The Comeback • HBO • Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX • Jane Kaczmarek as Lois
The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell
Out Of Practice • CBS • Stockard Channing as Lydia Barnes
Will & Grace • NBC • Debra Messing as Grace
My Pick: They should just give the award to all five of them and make each one give a 30 second speech on why they deserve it. Then have America vote in to see who wins. And the four losers get dunked in a dunk tank. Then I’ll care about this category.
Will win: No one wins in this situation. Unless Stockard Channing wins and says, “What is this ‘Out of Practice’ everyone keeps talking about?”
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
The Closer • TNT • Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson
Commander In Chief • ABC • Gena Davis as Mackenzie Allen
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
Six Feet Under • HBO • Frances Conroy as Ruth Fisher
The West Wing • NBC • Television Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
My Pick: Give it back to Mariska. I can’t give any credit to Kyra Sedgwick because for some reason I blame her for getting ugly. I feel like there’s no reason she shouldn’t be hot, yet she isn’t. So the only plausible explanation is it’s her fault. And maybe the “Six Feet Under” girl is good, but aren’t they all the same person on that show?
Will win: Gena Davis. And the only way I won’t change the channel is if she gets up on stage, says, “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!” and Michael Keaton comes out on stage in full costume and carries her off on his shoulder. Also note that I should be producing the Emmy awards.
Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
Arrested Development • Development Arrested • FOX
Entourage • Exodus • HBO
Extras • Kate Winslet • HBO
My Name Is Earl • Pilot • NBC
The Office • Christmas Party • NBC
My Pick: “Arrested Development” was one of the greatest comedies ever put on television. “My Name Is Earl” is the writing equivalent of taking a crap with a hemorrhoid.
Will win: “The Office.” Because everyone has decided to move on past “Arrested Development” like the autistic child you put in a home and feel bad about, but, you know, there’s no use crying over spilled milk. So you move on with life and think of happy things.
Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Grey’s Anatomy • It’s the End Of The World, As We Know It (Part 1 & 2) • ABC
Grey’s Anatomy • Into You Like A Train • ABC
Lost • The 23rd Psalm • ABC
Six Feet Under • Everyone’s Waiting • HBO
The Sopranos • Members Only • HBO
My Pick: While “Lost” may be an addicting show, I really don’t think it’s due to the writing. And let’s just say that on a list of the Top Five Reasons To Watch “Grey’s Anatomy,” writing is right behind “make-up.” So “Six Feet Under” or “The Sopranos”? I just don’t feel like giving “Six Feet Under” any props today. It’s like supporting suicide. So “The Sopranos” it is.
Will win: “Grey’s Anatomy” will win and I’ll say something to The Girlfriend like, “This is fucking ridiculous. For writing! That show is popular for two things: tits and feelings.” And she’ll say something like, “Why do you care so much?” And I’ll say, “Because it gives tits and feelings a bad name.”
Outstanding Comedy Series
Arrested Development • FOX
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO
The Office • NBC
Scrubs • NBC
Two And A Half Men • CBS
My Pick: It’s a good category, with four genuinely enjoyable shows and one that is included because Charlie Sheen threatened to molest his co-star if it wasn’t on there. But again – I can’t say it enough – “Arrested Development” made me want to be a better person. I want to have kids someday just so I can watch “Arrested Development” with them. And I’m man enough to admit I’m not kidding when I say that.
Will win: Fuck it, I’m practically drunk with writing at this point. “Arrested Development” is my prediction. Because maybe there’s some decency left in the world. And maybe the academy believed my email and thinks I really do have a bomb hidden somewhere in Los Angeles.
Outstanding Drama Series
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC
House • FOX
The Sopranos • HBO
24 • FOX
The West Wing • NBC
My Pick: I think we’re using the term “drama” a little loosely with “Grey’s Anatomy” here. “Grey’s Anatomy” is about as dramatic as that time I was walking down the street and my helium filled balloon slipped from my grip. For my money, “The Sopranos” is the best drama on TV, hands down. And anyone who says it’s getting “boring” just because someone doesn’t get shot every week, you’re probably the one who makes the obnoxious noise when you sink someone’s battleship. So blow me.
Will win: “The Sopranos.” Because I ran out of commentary, so I asked my magic 8 Ball about this one and it said, “Cannot Predict Now,” and I got pissed and threw it away and guessed that “The Sopranos” would win.
(If you’re actually read this whole thing, thank you. Now please go get some exercise.)