by pat howard

THE FRIDAY FIVE | Emmy nomination reactions

In The Friday Five on July 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm

It’s taken me a day to ruminate over these new, popular ballot-style nominations. I have some thoughts.

Comedies are full of surprises
Family Guy‘s nod in the Outstanding Comedy category took everyone by surprise, I think. Expanding the marquee categories to include seven nominees was bound to scare up some new blood (what’s up, How I Met Your Mother), and Family Guy shares a similar rapid-fire style with its live-action counterpart 30 Rock. Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live racked up thirteen nominations, including guest star nods for Justin Timberlake and Tina Fey as Sarah Palin.

30 Rock overkill
Critical and Emmy darling 30 Rock scored a record 22 nominations. I love this show, but I have to wonder whether this is slightly ridiculous. The series is nominated multiple times in several categories, including guest actor, comedy writing, and comedy directing. How will voters decide among the many entrants, and will split votes end up shutting it out of some of these awards? It is nice, though, to see Jack McBrayer recognized for his endearing oddball performance as Kenneth the Page. The silver lining to 22 nominations is that it is highly unlikely the show will go home emptyhanded.

Weeds gets noticed for the wrong season
Again, this is a show for which my love is well-documented. But season four, being a transitional year for the story, was kind of all over the place, and not always in a good way. Where was the love a couple years ago? Props to Mary-Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins for their nominations. I’m glad Weeds made it into the best comedy category (even though that classification is a tad dubious), but I hope the Academy saves its love for next year, because if season five keeps going the way it’s going, Weeds could be a legitimate contender. I definitely expect Justin Kirk to score a nomination next year, Academy. Don’t leave us hanging.

Grey’s Anatomy gets little love
Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson will go head-to-head for drama supporting actress; these are the fifth and fourth consecutive nods for these ladies in this category, respectively; you’d think one of them would eventually get around to winning. Wilson is also nominated for her turn as a homeless woman in Hallmark’s “Accidental Friendship.” You may have noticed that Katherine Heigl didn’t make the cut, after winning in 2007 and making headlines last year for withdrawing her name from consideration. The most egregious snub, though, is that Justin Chambers wasn’t noticed for his affecting job of carrying the brunt of Izzie’s cancer storyline. It would seem that Grey’s glory days are behind it either way; it certainly didn’t earn any writing accolades this last time around.

Embarrassment of riches
Some categories are just chock full of worthy contenders. How often are roughly all the nominees in a category deserving? Part of me will be happy no matter who wins in some categories. Consider:

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad · AMC · Bryan Cranston, as Walter White
Dexter · Showtime · Michael C. Hall, as Dexter Morgan
House · FOX · Hugh Laurie, as Dr. Gregory House
In Treatment · HBO · Gabriel Byrne, as Paul
Mad Men · AMC · Jon Hamm, as Don Draper
The Mentalist · CBS · Simon Baker, as Patrick Jane

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
30 Rock · NBC · Tina Fey, as Liz Lemon
Samantha Who? · ABC · Christina Applegate, as Samantha Newly
The New Adventures Of Old Christine · CBS · Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as Christine
The Sarah Silverman Program · Comedy Central · Sarah Silverman, as Sarah Silverman
United States Of Tara · Showtime · Toni Collette, as Tara Gregson
Weeds · Showtime · Mary-Louise Parker, as Nancy Botwin

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
30 Rock · NBC · Jane Krakowski, as Jenna Maroney
Pushing Daisies · ABC · Kristin Chenoweth, as Olive Snook
Saturday Night Live · NBC · Amy Poehler, as Various Characters
Saturday Night Live · NBC · Kristin Wiig, as Various Characters
Ugly Betty · ABC · Vanessa Williams, as Wilhelmina Slater
Weeds · Showtime · Elizabeth Perkins, as Celia Hodes

All the action goes down in just two months. Kathy Griffin hosts the Creative Arts Emmys Sept. 12 (to be later telecast on E!). Neil Patrick Harris toplines the big show Sept. 20 on CBS.

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