Friday, June 08, 2007

For Your Consideration

Rather than try to do one of those "dream Emmy ballots" that other publications put out, I decided to write about one or two choices in each category about actors who have done good work but have gone unnoticed by the Academy in the past or are on new shows. Thus, I won't be mentioning the big names like James Gandolfini of "The Sopranos" here, since he's pretty much a shoo-in.

The Academy is putting together the official ballot this weekend.

It's actually pretty difficult to limit myself to one or two choices in each, but here goes:

THE DRAMAS:

Best Actor: Hugh Laurie, House. Now it may seem to be a waste of pick to submit Laurie's name - after all, he's won two Golden Globes for this role - but Emmy voters didn't even him nominate him last year, which to me is unfathomable.

Also on the list is fellow UGA grad Kyle Chandler of "Friday Night Lights." Believe me, I've probably met more high school football coaches than any TV critic in America, and Chandler is spot on in his performance.

Best Actress: Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights: Any time I pick this category and I'm NOT picking Edie Falco of "The Sopranos" and Mary McDonell of "Battlestar Galactica," it's a safe bet that this is a special choice. Britton, who has been a solid actress on shows like "Spin City" and "24" absolutely blew me away this year as "Mrs. Coach" (as one of the players calls her). Britton's frank talk about teen sex with TV daughter Aimee Teegarden was the single best-filmed scene on TV this year.

Best Supporting Actor: These are the names I'm NOT throwing out there: Zach Gilford of "Friday Night Lights"; Masi Oka, "Heroes"; and Walton Goggins, "The Shield." It's not because they aren't worthy; each could walk away with an Emmy and I'd be thrilled. I just wanted to show how deep this category really is. There are about 20 actors I could legitimately put here. (The only reason I'm leaving Goggins off is because if the Emmy voters have snubbed the likes of Glenn Close and Forest Whittaker in past years from "The Shield," then they are likely going to screw over Goggins as well, which is a shame.)

So, limiting myself to two choices, I've got:

Michael Emerson, Lost: In addition to being a nice guy off the set, he's flat-out one of TV's best villains. What makes the character of Ben Linus so intriguing is that he thinks he's the good guy. As my co-worker Linda Morris says, "He really creeps me out!"

Jack Coleman, Heroes: Like Emerson, Coleman was originally a guest star who became so popular with the fans, they made him a regular. Though Oka's popularity and enthusiasm might net him a deserved nomination from the show, Coleman's character of HRG was a true study in shades of gray and revitalized the actor's career.

Best Supporting Actress: Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost: I love Elizabeth Mitchell. I really do. I mean, I'd want to marry her if she weren't already married. So when I heard she was joining "Lost," I had high hopes for what she would bring to the show. And she still cleared the high bar I had set, taking her game to a whole other level. It's annoying to know that Mitchell will probably lose to a "Grey's Anatomy" doctor, but she was the single best addition to an established cast this year.

THE COMEDIES:

Best Actor: Ricky Gervais, Extras: Gervais is more likely to get a writing nomination for his brilliant, but little-seen "Extras," but as he usually is, Gervais was brilliant.

Best Actress: America Ferrera, Ugly Betty: Actually, this is almost a wasted pick. Not because Ferrera isn't deserving, but because I think she's so deserving that she's a near lock to win this year. If you want to put your money down on one choice in an Emmy pool, make it this one.

Best Supporting Actor: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother: Harris' scene-stealing Barney could have been one of those annoying TV characters (like Kramer on "Seinfeld") that chews up the scenery, but Harris found the perfect note of obnoxiousness and humor. Barney's savant-like "Price Is Right" ability, as well as the slap bet, made for some of the funniest sitcom moments this year.

Best Supporting Actress: What is a supporting player? Here's my dilemma. Look at "Ugly Betty." On the one hand, you have Vanessa Williams, who has been nearly perfect as the bitchy Wilhelmina Slater. But that character, while technically supporting, is almost a lead in that she drives much of the drama and is essential to the show.

On the other hand, you have Becki Newton, whose Amanda is much less essential to the overall plot, but steals virtually every scene she's in. So how do you choose? I can't; so either of these lovely ladies is a worthy choice.

So, what are your picks? Who did I leave off, or who did I choose that was right or wrong in your eyes? Write in, and tell your friends.

WASHINGTON DONE: Embattled "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington is done, TVGuide.com is reporting. The actor, who made derogatory anti-gay remarks to co-star T.R. Knight this year, won't have his contract renewed. It's probably a good thing, since Washington's offscreen drama had detracted from the onscreen one, but Washington's character Burke had also reached a crossroads, walking out of his own wedding in the show's season finale.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Fans of the short-lived drama "Standoff" (Fox, Fri., 9 p.m.) can catch the remaining few episodes as Fox burns them off. This was a decent little show with great chemistry between the leads, but failed to measure up in the ratings.

The "Gil Mayo Mysteries" are airing tonight with two episodes on BBC America. I haven't seen this one before, but BBC mysteries are usually worth your time.

"Hex" is brand-new (BBC America, Sat., 9 p.m.) I'd love to be able to tell you how the season premiere was, but alas I didn't watch it before my ceiling caved in and haven't had a place to set my VCR up since. I'll have to miss this week's as well, since my hotel doesn't get BBC America.

Is there anything on Sunday? Let's see, the Tony Awards (CBS, Sun., 8 p.m.); a new episode of "The Loop" (Fox, 8:30 p.m.) Anything else of note?

Oh yeah, something called "The Sopranos" (HBO, 9 p.m.) is airing its final episode, probably one of the most anticipated finales in the history of television. My advice is to catch it live and not tape it, since someone will likely blurt out something you don't want spoiled.

4 comments:

Phillip Ramati said...

Oops, I left out the new HBO series, "John From Cincinnati" which will premiere on Sunday at 10 p.m. after "The Sopranos." I don't know much about it, but it is produced by David Milch of "NYPD Blue" fame. I met Milch at the Austin Film Festival, and the guy is hilarious, so it may be worth checking out.

zodin2008 said...

Wow, Phillip, so much meat this morning. Where do I begin with my Blog?

Let's start with the Emmys and give my own picks.

Best Drama:

My pick this year would be "Friday Night Lights" but to be fair, we haven't yet seen the premier of "Rescue Me", which I felt was hands down one of the best shows last year.

I would also love to see "Battlestar", "The Shield", "Lost" among the choices but I feel certain that of my fave five, only 1 would make it.

Best Actor, Drama:

I am not going to start a war with you, but I will simply say that the reason I hated "House" when I started to TRY it 4 years ago was Hugh Laurie. It's the biggest mystery in Television that you or anyone else finds him remotely appealing; he wouldn't even make my top 30.

That being said, my Emmy here, tenatively, would go to Kyle Chandler, but again, the giant caveat of not having Denis Leary perform yet, makes a difference. Leary was my pick far and away last year.

Best Actress, Drama:

I share your love of Connie Britton and Mary McDonnell. Hard to argue either. And as up & down as "Veronica Mars" was in its final season, Kristen Bell should be nominated every year.

But until Edie Falco stops making series television (and she's about to), she should be handed the Emmy, regularly. She's possibly the best working actress alive. Seriously.

Best Supp. Actor, Drama:

Ok, I LOVE "Heroes", but I cannot understand the Emmy love for Masi Oka? I loved the character of 'Hiro' the way Paul Rudd just made me laugh in "Knocked Up". But I won't be starting an oscar Campaign for Rudd anytime soon. you seem to be mixing up comic gold and enthusiasm with breathtaking acting.

if you want breathtaking supporting acting, you left off James Callis, who was amazing as Baltar on "Battlestar". But If I was giving an Emmy this year, I would also hand it gladly to Walton Goggins of "The Shield", who had his juiciest year ever as Shane Vendrell.

But yeah, you are dead on...if they could ignore the likes of Forest Whitaker, Glenn Close (and Anthony Anderson), then no way will Goggins get the Emmy love. But he should. I was glued to every scene he was in.

Best Supporting Actress, Drama:

I am sure the Emmy folks will go gaga over some soapy Grey's actress (though I do love Katherine Heigl), but my vote goes to Elizabeth Mitchell. Phillip, we are on the same page again here.

However, a few overlooked actresses to always consider, year in and year out: Tricia helfer for "Battlestar" and Callie Thorne for "Rescue Me".

Best Comedy Series:

Wow, this is super hard with so many brilliant comedies to pick from, but my Emmy would go to a show they likely won't even nominate, "How I met Your Mother".

I would be thrilled if "The Office", "Entourage" or "30 Rock" wins, but 'Mother' was just slightly ahead in my book. "Scrubs" is a great show but it was an uneven year in too many ways to get my vote.

It's truly impossible to compare 1 hour shows, but "Ugly Betty" was brilliant and arguably, it had the best season finale of any of the Comedies. A lot of meat there. I would be happy if "Betty" won as well.

Best Actor, Comedy:

Carrell or Baldwin, Baldwin or Carrell. I love Ricky Gervais but it has to be these 2 guys.

Best Actress, Comedy:

America Ferrera should probably win and will probably win. This is one the Emmy people will likely get on the dot.

I am also extremely hopeful that with the brilliant arrival of "Ugly Betty" and its array of great actors, that no more Emmy slots will ever be stolen by anyone from "desperate Housewives" or that awful show itself.

Look, I love Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman as actors, they are amazingly talented and it's not offensive if they do get nominated. But the show is pure garbage at this point.

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy:

I am with Phillip again on this one: Neil Patrick Harris for my $ is as good as it gets. But "Entourage" has two guys who spend every scene, stealing it...Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven.

A darkhorse I like a lot to watch for is Jack McBrayer, the scene stealing 'Kenneth the Page' from "30 Rock". The Emmy folks may also love 9though I don't love) Mark Indelicato from "Ugly Betty", betty's nephew. The far funnier Gay character is Mark, Wilhemina's assistant.

Also, he gets overlooked every single year, but when will John McGinley's Dr. Cox ever get noticed? he's always amazing.

Best Supp. Actress, Comedy:

Becki Newton is definitely my #1 choice as Amanda on "betty". Betty is loaded with great options including Vanessa Williams and don't forget Judith Light...the former "Who's the Boss?" star stole just about every scene she was in as well. Rebecca Romijn? Not so much.

Speaking of always overlooked on "Scrubs"...Sarah Chalke as Elliott.

Jamie Pressley deserves another nomination for "Earl", but unlike last year, she won't just walk away with such a bevy of talent she's facing from the 'Betty' cast.

Phillip Ramati said...

Thanks for the post, Zod.

A few things:

1) These aren't my picks to win, necessarily, just who I want the Academy to remember when voting.

2) I also have love for the BSG actors, but if McDonnell can't even get nominated - and few are more deserving in any category - I carry little hope for the likes of Helfer and Callis.

3) Good call on Callie Thorne, though likely I should have also mentioned Aimee Teagarden from "FNL."

4) I should have also mentioned Jack McBrayer, from good, old Macon, GA, but I'm pretty sure he's going to get a nomination anyway.

zodin2008 said...

These are all my personal picks as well, Phillip. No one from BSG will get a nomination, but I do my Fantasy picks because I am so sick of all the undeserving Greys Anatomy/Desperate Housewives nods.