Thursday, July 03, 2008

Macon's McBrayer Among Emmy Semifinalists

Way to go, Emmys! In a bold move I never dreamed possible, the Emmy voters have put Mary McDonnell on the list of 10 semifinalists for Lead Actress (Drama) for her role on "Battlestar Galactica."

I've been calling for this ever since the show debuted, but Emmy has been notorious for ignoring quality shows in the fantasy genre like "BSG" or "Buffy," for example.

Here's the list of the Lead Actress nominees, courtesy of
Patricia Arquette, Medium
Glenn Close, Damages
Minnie Driver, The Riches
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order: SVU
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Jeanne Tripplehorn, Big Love

Any field with Close and Field in it is going to be tough, as those two are shoe-ins to reach the finals. Moss is an interesting choice, since I feel her role is more of a supporting one. Why the Emmys love Arquette is beyond me.

Best Actor (Drama) semifinalists include:
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Patrick Dempsey, Grey's Anatomy
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Eddie Izzard, The Riches
Hugh Laurie, House
Denis Leary, Rescue Me
James Spader, Boston Legal

Seeing Cranston on this list is another reason for me to smile, since I think he turned in the performance of his career. Actually, except for the inexplicable love the Emmys show Spader, this is a pretty darn good list, and paring it down to five is an unenviable task.

Macon's own Jack McBrayer ("30 Rock") is among the semifinalists for Supporting Actor (Comedy):
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Justin Kirk, Weeds
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
John Krasinski, The Office
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Fred Willard, Back to You
Rainn Wilson, The Office

Again, another fine list. It will be interesting to see how the Emmys thin it out with so many nominees on the same shows.

On the Supporting Actress (Comedy) side, the biggest shock is that last year's winner, Jaime Pressley of "My Name Is Earl," didn't even make the cut. Here's who did:
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Conchata Ferrell, Two and a Half Men
Jenna Fischer, The Office
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Judith Light, Ugly Betty
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Jean Smart, Samantha Who?
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

It's a pretty decent group, though again, "Two and a Half Men" continues to be more popular with the Emmys than it should be. Chenoweth, Fischer and Krakowski are all very good picks, and I was pleasantly surprised for the talented Poehler. One big disappointment - no Cheryl Hines of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Finally, Gold Derby also released the list of Best Guest Actress (Comedy):
Polly Bergen, Desperate Housewives
Edie Falco, 30 Rock
Vivica A. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Annie Potts, Ugly Betty
Carrie Fisher, 30 Rock
Shirley Knight, Desperate Housewives
Jane Lynch, Two and a Half Men
Amy Ryan, The Office
Sarah Silverman, Monk
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock

While I'm thrilled to see Amy Ryan's name on here for her terrific guest turn on "The Office," I'm disappointed that Sarah Chalke's name was omitted for her work on "How I Met Your Mother." With three actresses listed for "30 Rock," it will be interesting to see how that shakes out, though I can't imagine the voters will leave Edie Falco off their ballot.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: I was chided last week for not mentioning "Last Comic Standing" (NBC, 8 p.m.), so here is me mentioning it. It's followed by a new "Fear Itself," easily one of the most uneven series of the summer.

ABC continues with its documentary/reality show "Hopkins" at 10 p.m., which will air opposite a new "Swingtown" on CBS.

Finally, a full hour of comedy on TBS beginning at 9 p.m. with "The Bill Engvall Show" and followed by "My Boys" at 9:30 p.m.


zodin2008 said...

A crazy short day at work yesterday so I missed your entertaining column until today - but worth commenting on.

First, I am overjoyed at the inclusion BSG's Mary McDonnell. Sure, she has NO chance of winning but even seeing her among the final 10 gives me some small hope that the Emmys will stop just giving out awards to undeserving winners in the future like James Spader, William Shatner and anyone from "Grey's Anatomy".

They still should have found a spot for Connie Britton for "Friday Night Lights" and easily could have left out (again) Mariska Hargitay, Patricia Arquette, Holly Hunter, Minnie Driver or Kyra Sedgewick, all performances I am NOT a fan of - especially Driver. Her performance should get a RAZZIE, not an emmy.

As for Elisabeth Moss, apparently the Emmy voters think as I do that she truly was the lead female on the show. Your brain sees January Jones' Betty Draper character as married to the lead, and uses that as a way to say she's the lead actress, but if you look at screen time and importance to the show, Moss' character is arguably the 2nd most important character on the show, after Don Draper, of course.

On the men's side, I am ecstatic at the inclusions of Kyle Chandler and Bryan Cranston. Two shoe-ins on my "dream" emmy ballot. I had already heard Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") was a shoe-in so I wasn't worried about him making the list.

I would have loved to have seen some emmy love for Edward James Olmos (not to mention some of the supporting actors on BSG like James Callis, Tricia Helfer, or Katee Sackhoff) but the fact that Mary McDonnell made the "top ten" is nothing short of a minor miracle. A major one, in fact.

Again, a strong list overall but certainly Patrick Dempsey nor James Spader would make my cut, and I would rather see Michael Chiklis ("The Shield") not be forgotten about as Vic Mackey is one of the most indellible characters in the history of the small screen, or two extremely underrated performers such as Matthew Fox ("Lost") or Jensen Ackles ("Supernatural") who's extremely underrated.

The supporting comedy actor list is fairly strong and hard to complain too loudly. I wish there was some more love for the various great supporting comedy performances by the "Scrubs" cast such as John C. McGinley, Donald Faison and Neil Flynn, but the show has been around forever and the fact that the Emmys have even nominated Braff or the show in the past is the best you can hope for. (and the show is not a top five comedy anymore, imho.).

And I love Jack McBrayer on "30 Rock". He's the definition of a scene stealer and his Kenneth the Page character maybe one of the best creations for any series in the last 5-10 years - his performance and character are that good and that entertaining.

As for the guest actors, yes, I would mail Amy Ryan her Emmy now. Yes, she may not even win, but her performance in "The Office" season finale, was not only comic gold and perfectly understated at the right parts (not to mention her amazing on screen chemistry w/ Steve Carrell and Brian Baumgartner) but her performance was so beloved, "The Office" writing staff had NO CHOICE but to bring her back for the next season - thanks goodness.As for supporting actress, a strong list and while Jaime Pressley does a great job, that show has gotten old already (we stopped watching it) and while Pressley is funny, her character is rather one note and you're like "enough already" when watching her.

The Amy Poehler thing maybe deserved, but rather surprising - I've never seen an individual SNL performance like that brought out. They need to go back then and send a host of emmys to various SNL performers over the years to people like Dana Carvey & Chris Parnell and maybe posthumous ones for Phil Hartman and Chris Farley.

Phillip Ramati said...

I too would have loved to see some more BSG performers, but at this point, I'm happy to get one.

It's the actors who decide which category they want to nominated themselves in, not the Emmys who decide. I think if Connie Britton had nominated herself as lead, she'd have had a better shot. You could have made a case that Moss is either a lead or supporting, but I think her chances would have been better as supporting.

I'll get into my picks later on when the lists are pared down to the finalists.