8:40 a.m. Damages is nominated! Dexter too! Squealing ensues, and I realize I cannot possibly type fast enough to actually live blog this event. I resort to typing snippets of notes, and now I'm reconstructing them.
I'm also distracted by Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris standing next to each other. I was under the impression she was freakishly short, and I always imagined him to be quite normal sized, yet she's holding her own height-wise next to him. (According to imdb she is 4'11" and He's 5'11 3/4". Seriously, she had to be standing on a box.)
The six nominees for outstanding drama series are: Boston Legal (as I said yesterday, they always have one great episode a season, which is all that matters in Emmyland, and legal dramas lend themselves to this format brilliantly), Damages (hooray! it is absolutely the best, most riveting show on television), Dexter (brilliant television, even if the writers can't write a believable female role), House (I'm seriously baffled; it doesn't belong with this crowd. My only guess is medical dramas are also historically capable of pulling one good episode together.), Lost (I'm sticking to my theory from yesterday: it's a thank you for making a wildly popular show good again), and Mad Men (it was a given). I want to have a few words with the Emmy voters who actually think House is a better show than The Wire (or The Tudors for that matter.) My heart is with Damages, but my money is on Mad Men.
Outstanding lead actress in a drama: Sally Field (sure, she cries a lot on Brothers & Sisters), Glenn Close (her performance on Damages is pure brilliance), Mariska Hargitay (she's my perennial favorite, and the writers at SVU have been quite savvy the past few seasons writing episodes that appear specifically geared to getting Hargitay and Meloni nominated for Emmys. Seriously, it's a running joke with nomadreadboy "Ooh, it's time for the "win Mariska another Emmy episode!"), Kyra Segwick (I'm a huge fan of her and The Closer, and she gave her best, most nuanced performance in season three. Still, Glenn Close should take this category), and Holly Hunter (Is a great performance more or less impressive on a bad tv show?). My heart and my money are with Glenn Close.
Outstanding lead actor in a drama: James Spader (no big surprise here, he won last year, and I'm sure he gave at least one emotionally riveting legal speech last season), Gabriel Byrne (I'm ecstatic to see him nominated for In Treatment - the format was revolutionary), Bryan Cranston (his performance is brilliant on Breaking Bad, and I'm glad to see the show get some attention, as it shares a network with the biggest critical darling, Mad Men), Michael C. Hall (the dark horse candidate, perhaps, but his layered performance of a serial killer is as mesmerizing as the show itself), and Jon Hamm (I've finally stopped referring to him as Jennifer Westfeldt's man, and his performance is riveting on Mad Men. I imagine he'll follow his Golden Globe win with an Emmy. If only he could use new found clout to get Notes from the Underbelly back on the air.) I'm hoping for Michael C. Hall to win for Dexter, but I imagine it will be Jon Hamm.
Outstanding supporting actor: William Shatner (again, I'm sure he gave at least one great, impassioned legal speech), Ted Danson (his performance on Damages was absolutely masterful), Zeljko Ivanek (two Damages nominees? Then they can't both win!), Michael Emerson, and John Slattery (who is good, but his performance isn't memorable enough for him me not to still think of him first as the creepy politician from Sex and the City). Ted Danson should win, but I imagine Slattery will.
Outstanding supporting actress: Candice Bergen (really? With her face looking like it did in Sex and the City? How can she move it enough to actually act?), Rachel Griffith (I love Rachel Griffith, and I have ever since Me Myself I, which is the most brilliant celebration of single life I've ever seen. She is good on this show, and I'm sure she had many tear-filled scenes to choose from, and tear-filled scenes win supporting actress Emmys.), Chandra Wilson (I always realized her performance was amazing, but the more I read and hear about her real-life demeanor and shyness make me realize even more how amazing she is), Sandra Oh (I love Sandra Oh, and I love her performance on Grey's), and Dianne Wiest. This category is absolutely stacked, as it usually is, because good supporting roles are easier to find for women than good leading roles. It's not a coincidence the lead actress nominees are mostly on cable shows, and the supporting actress nominees are mostly on broadcast shows. I imagine Chandra Wilson will win this year, but this category is wide open, with the exception of Candice Bergen, impassioned legal speech aside. Also, Rose Byrne was shafted, but I expect a nomination for her next year, perhaps as lead actress.
Outstanding Reality Competition Program: American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, The Amazing Race. The nominees in this category were no surprise, but Kristin Chenoweth endeared herself to the millions (okay, thousands) watching this telecast, when she opened the category's announcement of The Amazing Race by saying "we should do that next year," to Neil. No one besides The Amazing Race has ever won this award. American Idol is coming off of its weakest season, and I don't think it has a chance, despite being the most watched show in the country. Project Runway might win this year, however, with one of its strongest seasons yet. Ultimately, I think the ubiquitous product placement on both Runway and Top Chef will turn off voters and keep The Amazing Race's record going.
Outstanding Host for a Reality Program: Tom Bergeron (seriously?), Ryan Seacrest (were they afraid to have only two nominees in the category, or do voters want to see what date he'll bring to the telecast?), Howie Mandel (I confess, on the infrequent occasion I start watching Deal or No Deal, I have a hard time turning off the episode; the man is good at his job), Heidi Klum (hooray!), and Jeff Probst (no big shock here, he's the originator, but it was shocking to learn Kristin Chenoweth once went on a date with him). I'm most surprised Phil Keoghan of The Amazing Race was left off this list, especially considering Tom Bergeron was nominated. Do the voters think The Amazing Race has had too much Emmy love? Also, somewhere Tyra is pissed!
Outstanding Comedy series: 30 Rock (hooray! It's the funniest show on tv!), Curb Your Enthusiasm (as I said yesterday, it's the voters' love affair with Larry David), Entourage, The Office (it is the other funny show on tv), and Two and a Half Men (seriously? I actually watched an episode of this recently, and it's even less funny than I thought possible.) How in the world was Weeds left off this list? It's a fight between 30 Rock and the The Office for this one, and everyone knows I think it should go to 30 Rock.
Outstanding actor in a comedy: Alec Baldwin(I realize I overuse this phrase, but his performance on 30 Rock is brilliant. Did you see the scene he played every member of Tracy's family in therapy? That scene alone should merit a lifetime best actor in a comedy award!), Tony Shaloub (I have no opinion on Monk, as I've never seen it), Lee Pace (Kristin Chenoweth and I both squealed when his name was announced, but I'm so glad to see him get attention for his unique role), Steve Carrell (it's a given, and he deserves it), and Charlie Sheen (I'm seriously baffled.) Alec Baldwin should win, but Steve Carrell might eke it out. If Charlie Sheen wins, Denise Richards and I will be throwing things at the television.
Outstanding actress in a comedy: Tina Fey (I love Tina Fey, but I agree with her: she's a better writer than actress. She's had her kudos, and she's nominated because there is a serious lack of funny women on television.), Christina Applegate (I adore her on Samantha Who?, where she essentially plays two different roles, and she makes them both funny and believable, which is no small feat.), America Ferrera (she is the funniest part of this mediocre program, and I've already mentioned the lack of funny women, and lack of funny shows period, to be fair, on tv), Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (I repeat, there are not enough funny women on tv. I like Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, but her show is also not funny. Awkward does not equal funny.), and Mary Louise Parker (I was ready to riot if her name didn't come up with this crowd. Her role on Weeds is comedy and drama, and she pulls both of effortlessly.) My heart and my money are torn between Christina Applegate and Mary Louise Parker.
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy: Jeremy Piven (sure), Kevin Dillon (nice), Neil Patrick Harris (the only funny thing on his program, and I imagine, the reason anyone watches it), Rainn Wilson (sure) and Jon Cryer (I'm still unclear how he's a supporting actor, but the show still sucks). Neil Patrick Harris should, and I imagine, will win.
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy: Kristin Chenoweth (I adore her performance on Pushing Daisies, and if the episode submitted was the one she revealed her past as a competitive jockey, she should win), Jean Smart (she always makes me laugh on Samantha Who?. She makes me laugh so hard I usually have to hit the pause button to collect myself.), Amy Poehler (for SNL, and I imagine, specifically, her humorous and enjoyable portrayal of Hillary Clinton), Holland Taylor (I love Holland Taylor, but even she is not funny on a show as dreadful as Two and a Half Men. Please note I did find her funny on Saved by the Bell: The College Years.), and Vanessa Williams (I know her performance is supposed to be over the top, but her performance is exactly why I don't really like the show: everyone except America Ferrera and Eric Mabius take their characters way too seriously). Jean Smart will probably win this one, but I'd be happy if either she or Kristin Chenoweth do.
To round up the less notable categories:
- In the Outstanding art direction for a variety or nonfiction program, Hell's Kitchen is nominated alongside the usual award shows.
- The outstanding children's program nominations do not include Jack's Big Music Show, which is clearly silly and a travesty.
- So You Think You Can Dance got three nominations for choreography: Mandy Moore's "Table" routine, which was one my favorite routines last season, Wade Robson's "Hummingbird and Flower" and Shane Sparks' "Transformers". May I mention again how much I miss Wade and Shane this season? Perhaps the reason we think there aren't as many good dancers is due, at least in part, to the lower level of choreography without these two around. I'm surprised to see Mia Michaels not nominated for her "Heaven" routine, but I'm pleased to see Julianne Hough get nominated for something. She's the lone visionary choreographer on Dancing with the Stars (although Edyta rarely gets a capable celebrity to work with).
- The outstanding costume for a series category is ridiculously stacked this year: Mad Men, Ugly Betty, The Tudors, Pushing Daisies and Desperate Housewives (which shouldn't have a chance against the other four.)
- Clearly I'm not the only one who adores 30 Rock, as it nabs four of the five nominations for guest actor in a comedy: Rip Torn, Will Arnett, Steve Buscemi & Tim Conway (plus Shelley Berman on Curb Your Enthusiasm). It might be #102 in ratings, but it's still the destination for guest stars. 30 Rock also nabbed three of the six nominations for guest actress in a comedy: Carrie Fisher, Edie Falco and Elaine Stritch. Also, it's the only comedy with more than one nomination in the writing category.
- Cynthia Nixon should win the Emmy for guest actress in a drama for SVU.
- Phyllicia Rashad should win for A Raisin in the Sun.
- I sincerely hope Sarah Silverman wins an Emmy for "I'm F***ing Matt Damon", even it's a little bittersweet since she and Jimmy Kimmel broke up.
- I'm excited to see Tina Fey (for SNL) nominated alongside Jon Stewart (for the Oscars) and Stephen Colbert for individual performance in a variety or music program.
- The nominations for best clips are hilariously amazing: the Oscars tribute package, Idol's David Cook goes home package, "I'm f***ing Matt Damon," "I'm f***ing Ben Affleck," and something from Dancing with the Stars.
- HBO has all five nominations for outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie: three for John Adams and two for Recount.
- George Carlin is nominated for his variety special, and he has a chance of winning.
- Despite 30 Rock's two nominations for best comedy writing, Pushing Daisies should win for "Pie-lette". I like the series less as it went on, but the pilot was amazing. It would have been a great miniseries.
Kristin and Neil were lovely presenters. They actually made the nominations interesting to watch. Sadly, they might end up stealing the show from the Emmys themselves. Here's hoping the actual ceremony can live up to its nominations and nominations presenters this year.
Now we're left with three months to speculate on who will win. My first experiment in live blogging lasted for two hours. I'm simply not concise.