Monday, August 28, 2006

Emmys Wrap

So, not a great run for the TV Guy in his first round of Emmy picks.

I nailed Best Comedy, Best Actor (Drama) and Best Supporting Actress (Comedy), but that was it. I would point out that in three other categories — Best Actress (Comedy) and Best Supporting Actor (Comedy and Drama) — the person I said who should win actually did.

The problem lies not with myself but with my stars. There is really no way to predict the oddball nature of the Academy, especially with all the changes in the voting. How can you have a night of what is supposed to be the best of TV and have shows like "Lost" and "The Sopranos" (among others) not represented in most of the key categories? When the Academy chooses to nominate Chris Meloni over the likes of James Gandolfini and Hugh Laurie, how you can you predict the fickleness of voters? A show that is "hot" is just as likely to suffer for it ("Grey's Anatomy" this year) in the voting as it will be rewarded for it ("Desperate Housewives" last year).

I read a major TV columnist over the weekend comparing an Emmy win these days to a bowling trophy in terms of its significance, which is kind of a shame, actually. Perhaps one day, they will figure out a nomination process that gets it right, you know, like the Golden Globes do annually.

MONDAY TV: I finally got around to watching the pilot for Fox's "Vanished" (9 p.m., Fox) over the weekend. Those who say good things come to those who wait obviously never saw the "Vanished" pilot.

The wife (Joanne Kelly) of a Georgia senator (John Allen Nelson of "24") is kidnapped at a reception in her honor. Two FBI agents assigned the case (Gale Harold, Ming Na of "ER") quickly discover that there is more here than meets the eye. What is supposed to unfold over the rest of the season is an overly complicated, conspiracy driven plot that will lead the agents all over the place.

"Vanished" didn't work for me on a lot of levels. One, the dialogue is terrible. Dialogue is one of those things a writer needs to get right, or else it destroys the credibility of what you are watching. It isn't easy to do, and sadly most writers end up with dialogue closer to "Vanished" than to the best of Aaron Sorkin or Joss Whedon.

Two, after "24" and "Prison Break," two Fox shows that have a lot of flaws but still do the season-long serial pretty well, Fox appears to have gone to the well once to often. Putting "Vanished" on after "PB" is just going to make it suffer by comparison.

Three, as my brother pointed out, no one actually speaks with a Georgia accent, a problem for a show set in Atlanta. (Not to mention the producers seem to lack knowledge of Atlanta geography). Actually, I was less upset about this than my brother, because there is nothing more grating to my ears than a fake Southern accent. I'd rather the actors not try at all, which is what they seem to do here.

Finally, the biggest problem with "Vanished" is that NBC is running a similarly themed show, "Kidnapped," this seasons. "Kidnapped," which I reviewed last week, follows the season-long kidnapping of a teenager son of a very wealthy Manhattan couple and is a much better show. My worry is that with "Vanished" airing first, it will turn people off to "Kidnapped." My advice is to stick with "Kidnapped" this season and hope NBC doesn't yank it before we have a chance to see it resolved.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: "Prison Break" (8 p.m., Fox) started with a literal bang last week, killing off a major character — Veronica (Robin Tunney) — and adding William Fichtner as an FBI agent in charge of chasing down the escapees. Talk about your two-for-one deals; not only do you get rid of the show's most grating character, you add on potentially really cool character by giving Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) a true foil. Tonight, Michael and Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) try to free Lincoln's son L.J. (Marshall Allman) from incarceration.

And don't forget the coolest show on TV, "Life on Mars" (10 p.m., BBC-America).


stanr said...

Excellent thoughts. Agree with you about vanished. Everyone must be Californian Georgians. Who lives in "Chamblai"

stanr said...

Glad you are watching BBC America.. Try watching Sharpe Saturday and Sunday this weekend

Zodin2008 said...

I think "24" is one of the most exciting television shows of all time and if even if they take liberties with time during the show, the writing and entertainment value have me completely hooked. I was absolutely thrilled that the show and Kiefer Sutherlnad won.

Yes, my first choice for best Drama was "The Shield" also and my first choice for best Actor would have been Denis Leary, but I couldn't be happier with Kiefer and his show winning.

Along with "The Office" and Jeremy Piven, there was actually enough good wins to be happy about this year.