Sunday, September 20, 2009
Not that awards mean much in the grand scheme of things -- though I still can't stand that Mickey Rourke didn't take home the Oscar last year -- but tonight is a television fan's big night, the Emmy Awards! Airing on CBS tonight at 8pm (or whenever in your time zone), there is much to look forward to, including Neil Patrick Harris at host. The Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy nominee should be a knockout, after having aced the Tony Awards earlier this year, and the show might actually be entertaining -- hooray!
We would be neglecting our mandate if we didn't give you our Flaming Nose favorites in the various categories. The Nose isn't necessarily of one mind on these picks, of course, and I encourage everyone to chime in with their own takes on these categories! One thing you will notice is that there are more nominees in the races, making for quite a crowded horserace of talent!
So here goes:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
• Big Love, HBO
• Breaking Bad, AMC
• Damages, FX
• Dexter, Showtime
• House, Fox
• Lost, ABC
• Mad Men, AMC
Nose Pick: I guess we all know the sublime Mad Men is going to take this one again, though it's great to see HBO's consistently fascinating and unjustly neglected Mormon melodrama Big Love in the race, plus of course AMC's searing Breaking Bad. There isn't a low-achiever in this group of nominees; they're all great dramas, but amazing how the cable shows are truly the best of the bunch.
LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA
• Simon Baker, The Mentalist, CBS
• Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment, HBO
• Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC
• Michael C. Hall, Dexter, Showtime
• Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC
• Hugh Laurie, House, Fox
Nose Pick: I have to go with Bryan Cranston again in Breaking Bad, last year's winner. Jon Hamm's tight and sublime performance as Don Draper is cool perfection, Gabriel Byrne is a reactive genius, Simon Baker made his show into a surprise hit, Michael C. Hall is always Grade A, as well as is Hugh Laurie, but Cranston gives a consistently gut-wrenching portrayal of the most conflicted character out there. He's a wonder.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
• Glenn Close, Damages, FX
• Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters, ABC
• Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NBC
• Holly Hunter, Saving Grace, TNT
• Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC
• Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer, TNT
Nose Pick: Let's give it to Glenn Close again. The trio of crime fighting ladies are strong enough, sure, and Sally Field is an able contender. Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men is an interesting addition to the pack but the acting on that show is not the main thing that makes the series such a piece of art. Close is probably the best all-around force to be reckoned with here.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
• Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal, ABC
• Michael Emerson, Lost, ABC
• William Hurt, Damages, FX
• Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC
• William Shatner, Boston Legal, ABC
• John Slattery, Mad Men, AMC
Nose Pick: Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad. Unbelievable work, far beyond anything asked of the other worthy nominees here. From an unlikely character -- a drug dealer -- we get Paul's brilliantly nuanced work, a perfect companion piece to Bryan Cranston's lead actor strength. If you aren't watching these two, you are missing so much. There's nothing cliched about anything these actors are doing, ever.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
• Rose Byrne, Damages, FX
• Hope Davis, In Treatment, HBO
• Cherry Jones, 24, Fox
• Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy, ABC
• Dianne Wiest, In Treatment, HBO
• Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy, ABC
Nose Pick: I haven't got a feeling at all about this one. Been hearing that Chandra Wilson is a favorite, so let's go with her, though it's great to see Hope Davis in here.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
• 30 Rock, NBC
• Entourage, HBO
• Family Guy, Fox
• Flight of the Conchords, HBO
• How I Met Your Mother, CBS
• The Office, NBC
• Weeds, Showtime
Nose Pick: 30 Rock here again, not even Flight of the Conchords which we love but it's not the kind of finely-tuned intellectual slapstick that is 30 Rock. Family Guy? No, funny as it is, it's on a different level with just too many scabrous bits to make it fit for an honor like this. Just because Entourage is on HBO doesn't make it an automatic nominee, thought it seems to...this is an interesting category with worthy shows but 30 Rock still towers above.
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY
• Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, NBC
• Steve Carell, The Office, NBC
• Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords, HBO
• Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory, CBS
• Tony Shalhoub, Monk, USA
• Charlie Sheen, Two And A Half Men, CBS
Nose Pick: Jim Parsons, from The Big Bang Theory. It's an divinely eccentric performance with never-miss comic timing, and Parsons makes the show the continuing success it is. In terms of funny, Jim Parsons is it. We also love Clement from FOTC, Baldwin has already proved his comic chops and can move over for somebody new...all good guys here but Jim Parsons is the wonder boy in this category. And about time The Big Bang Theory got some love from the Academy, too.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
• Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?, ABC
• Toni Collette, United States of Tara, Showtime
• Tina Fey, 30 Rock, NBC
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine, CBS
• Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds, Showtime
• Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program, Comedy Central
Nose Pick: Tina Fey again, from 30 Rock. Great group of gals here, much love for the adorable Applegate, and of course Julia is a comic pro and nobody does it better. She's the Lucy of this decade -- too bad the show doesn't have as high a profile as it should. But in terms of defining a certain mood in the air, Tina Fey does it without peer.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
• Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men, CBS
• Kevin Dillon, Entourage, HBO
• Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother, CBS
• Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock, NBC
• Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock, NBC
• Rainn Wilson, The Office, NBC
Nose Pick: Who makes me laugh the most? Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock. Who should win? Neil Patrick Harris for making HIMYM far better than the show would be without him. Tracy Morgan is also a real comic force in 30 Rock, too.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
• Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies, ABC
• Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock, NBC
• Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds, Showtime
• Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live, NBC
• Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live, NBC
• Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty, ABC
Nose Pick: The artsy pick here is probably Chenoweth on the zealously-fanloved Pushing Daisies, the sentimental one Poehler because she had a baby, but let's toss this one to Kristen Wiig who is a truly gifted character comedienne.
MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE
• Coco Chanel, Lifetime
• Grey Gardens, HBO
• Into the Storm, HBO
• Prayers for Bobby, Lifetime
• Taking Chance, HBO
Nose Pick: For overall achievement, Grey Gardens.
LEAD ACTOR IN A MINI OR MOVIE
• Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance, HBO
• Kenneth Branagh, Wallander: One Step Behind, PBS
• Brendan Gleeson, Into the Storm, HBO
• Kevin Kline, Cyrano de Bergerac (Great Performances), PBS
• Ian McKellen, King Lear (Great Performances), PBS
• Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Redemption, Fox
Nose Pick: I'm going to eschew the traditional acting dynamos McKellen and Kline in Lear and Cyrano, and go for Kevin Bacon's tight, intelligent and brilliantly understated work in Taking Chance. No scenery-chewing here, it was all in his tortured eyes.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINI OR MOVIE
• Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens, HBO
• Jessica Lange, Grey Gardens, HBO
• Shirley MacLaine, Coco Chanel, Lifetime
• Sigourney Weaver, Prayers for Bobby, Lifetime
• Chandra Wilson, Accidental Friendship, Hallmark Channel
Nose Pick: In a perfect world, a co-win for Barrymore and Lange, though I will admit that the leg up these gals had in terms of being able to call upon the real images from the famous documentary has to be some kind of advantage, though Barrymore was heartbreaking in the scenes of younger Little Edie in NYC, and she didn't have a template for that. If it has to be one, then Barrymore, but boy, they were a combo. One of them will take it unless they split the vote. All these actresses can do no wrong.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINI OR MOVIE
• Len Cariou, Into the Storm, HBO
• Tom Courtenay, Little Dorrit, PBS
• Ken Howard, Grey Gardens, HBO
• Bob Newhart, The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, TNT
• Andy Serkis, Little Dorrit, PBS
Nose Pick: Len Cariou.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINI OR MOVIE
• Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Saddam, HBO
• Marcia Gay Harden, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, CBS
• Janet McTeer, Into the Storm, HBO
• Jeanne Tripplehorn, Grey Gardens, HBO
• Cicely Tyson, Relative Stranger, Hallmark
Nose Pick: Shoreh Aghsdashloo, just to take it away from the usual suspects. She's a tremendous actress.
Little Dorrit, PBS
Generation Kill, HBO
Nose Pick: Is that all there is? Generation Kill, why not...
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Beau Bridges, Desperate Housewives, ABC
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live, NBC
Steve Martin, 30 Rock • NBC
Jon Hamm , 30 Rock, NBC
Alan Alda, 30 Rock,, NBC
Nose Pick: The unexpected delight that was Jon Hamm in 30 Rock. But of course Justin Timberlake won.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Edward Asner, CSI: NY, CBS
Ted Danson, Damages, FX
Jimmy Smits, Dexter, Showtime
Ernest Borgnine, ER, NBC
Michael J. Fox, Rescue Me, FX
Nose Pick: Michael J. Fox in Rescue Me. He was outstanding, otherwise Jimmy Smits in Dexter. (And Fox won!)
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Gena Rowlands, Monk, USA
Betty White, My Name is Earl, NBC
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live, NBC
Jennifer Aniston, 30 Rock, NBC
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock, NBC
Nose Pick: Tina Fey for hilariously nailing the dangerous dimwit Sarah Palin on the nose -- admittedly, there was a lot to work with -- and making SNL relevant again. 2nd choice, Elaine Stritch on 30 Rock.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Sharon Lawrence, Grey's Anatomy, ABC
Ellen Burstyn, L&O: SVU, NBC
Brenda Blethyn, L&O: SVU, NBC
Carol Burnett, L&O:SVU, NBC
CCH Pounder, The No. I Ladies' Detective Agency, HBO
Nose Pick: If they can't think out of the box and give it to Pounder, then either Blethyn or Burstyn. Why do I think they'll give it to Burnett...sentiment. (Burstyn won.)
OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Late Show with David Letterman
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
Nose Pick: The Colbert Report, which manages to stay consistently satirical and smart.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Entourage, Tree Trippers, HBO
Flight of the Conchords, The Tough Brets, HBO
The Office, Stress Relief, NBC
30 Rock, Apollo, Apollo, NBC
30 Rock, Reunion, NBC
30 Rock, Generalissimo, NBC
Nose Pick: I've got to go with the tremendous FOTC West Side Story-influenced episode "The Tough Brets", one of my favorite episodes anywhere this year. Or else "Generalissimo" from 30 Rock.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, SyFy
Boston Legal, Made in China, ABC
Damages, Trust Me, FX
ER, And In The End, NBC
Mad Men, The Jet Set, AMC
Nose Pick: Let's go with Mad Men for this one.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Generation Kill, HBO
Grey Gardens, HBO
Into the Storm, HBO
Little Dorrit, PBS
Taking Chance, HBO
Wallander: One Step Behind, PBS
Nose Pick: I'm going to have to say Taking Chance, with its dignified grace.
There are a few more that I'll try to get in in a second post, if I have time!
Be sure to watch tonight, no matter what!!