Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Katherine Heigl: Darling Or Diva?

In case you missed it last week, "Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl announced she wouldn't submit her work to the Emmy voters this year because she feels her work on the show didn't warrant a nomination.

It's pretty big news, since it means that Heigl, who won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama last year, won't be defending her title.

Heigl attributed her decision in part to the weak storylines her Izzie character got this year, implicitly casting blame upon the show's writers.

Reaction in the blogosphere has been mixed. Many feel Heigl is doing the honorable thing by allowing someone more worthy to earn a nomination. Others feel Heigl is forcing the writers to give her a bigger role this year and don't like her outspokeness.

I asked the Cherry Blogger, Stephanie Hartley, a "Grey's" fan, what she thought of the decision. She said Heigl didn't have much of a role this season and was stuck in the background most of the time, so it was probably a good choice on the actress' part.

On the other hand, as some critics of Heigl point out, the writers' strike severely hampered the show's creative staff. Especially with a show of the soap opera nature of something like "Grey's," losing a quarter to a third of the season is severely going to hamper storylines and character arcs, so it's hard to place the blame fully on the writers because of the way they were handcuffed.

Heigl has been the center of controversy before, when she was the most vocal opponent of former castmate Isaiah Washington, who used an anti-gay slur against co-star T.R. Knight a couple of years ago, which eventually got Washington fired. Most of the rest of the cast toed the company line and kept silent, but Heigl defended Knight. (Reportedly, so did co-star Patrick Dempsey, who got into a scuffle on the set with Washington).

Heigl certainly has the most blossoming film career of the cast, with films like "Knocked Up" and "27 Dresses" on her resume, so there is a feeling that she can move on whenever she likes and not pull a David Caruso and torpedo her own career.

My take is that Heigl is doing the honorable thing by not denying an Emmy slot to someone whose work was better this year, though the way she called out the writers and drew attention to herself might not have been the best approach to do it.

Still, Heigl's decision points out a fundamental flaw in the Emmy process, that once an actor or series becomes an Emmy favorite, they occupy a nomination slot for years even when it is undeserved. Think of all the years Candice Bergen won for "Murphy Brown," even when the show moved past its point of freshness. Or all of the nominations "Boston Legal" has nabbed each year, keeping out far more worthy nominees.

If Heigl's actions force Emmy voters to open the field up for more shows and stars, then I'm all for it.

MONDAY'S RECAP: You know, some days it's great to be a Georgia Bulldog.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: You know it's the summer because another AFI list show is on. This time, it's"AFI's 10 Top 10" (CBS, 8 p.m.), which lists the top 10 shows in 10 distinct film genres, such as sci-fi, mystery and romantic comedy. I'll probably end up watching it, then telling you where they went wrong.

It's a tough call for me, because "Nova" is repeating the documentary "Secrets of the Samurai Sword," a supercool documentary about the forging of katanas in both ancient and modern Japan (PBS, 8 p.m.)

The documentary series "30 Days" (FX, 10 p.m.) is brand new tonight.

Everything else is pretty much so-called reality, including the return of "America's Got Talent" (NBC, 9 p.m.)

Oh, and the Lakers and Celtics meet in Game 6 of the NBA Finals tonight (ABC, 9 p.m.)


zodin2008 said...

Yes, it is GREAT to be a Georgia Bulldog. Maybe a championship during the College World Series is to whet our appetites for the potential of this year's football team...

Katherine Heigl - I think it's fair to say, a mix of both. But ultimately, I feel as you do and glad she took herself out of the running so the slot could be filled by a more deserving nominee.

I would fill the supporting dramatic actress slot with women like Tricia Helfer (Battlestar), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar), CCH Pounder (The Shield), Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights), Chloe Sevigny (Big Love), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), January Jones (Mad Men), or even a real dark horse, Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) as Walter's long suffering and overprotective wife.

Just a few women far more worthy an Emmy nomination than Katherine Heigl, so a grateful nation thanks you.

Which probabky means the ancient, biased and out-of-touch emmy voters will pick Candice Bergen for her lifeless work on "Boston Legal".

Anonymous said...

The mockdock.com hates Katherine Heigl. Not to crazy about her myself.

Phillip Ramati said...

Heigl's outspokeness has proven to be unpopular with some fans, but I find it refreshing for the most part.

Anonymous said...

This is one actress who I find to be so truthful that some people can't take it, to me she a kickass artist who don't kiss anyone asses to get to the top. She'll said what she think it need to be said and that reflected that she loved and value her work and you couldn't fault her if you've been following Grey's. It was common knowledged of the poor quality of Greys' S4, the TV critics commented it, the main casts critisized it and even fans raise their fist at the writers for the deterioting S4 and what kathrine commented on was not about S4 writings as a whole only the quality for her character who was barely, she had like less than 5 mins storyline per episodes. The barely there character run for Best Supporting Actress? She also said she think other actors who was given that good material was more deserving to be in the race and compete unlike her which is only fair and I said right-on Miss Heigl but too bad the people in the media had ceremoniously turned your great gesture into something ugly.