Saturday, July 08, 2006

Those crazy Emmys!

I have company this weekend, so this will likely be the only post that goes up. Savor it!

I've started this post a number of times and come up short every time. There's just no way to say how deeply hilarious I find the Emmy nominations. When I first saw the drama list, I was a bit unhappy with it. But as I continued down the list, I grew more and more amused by it, to the point where I sort of thought that these nominations perfectly encapsulated the Emmys, which are perhaps the absolute worst awards-giving body (it's a close race between the Emmys and Grammys).

The choice that perfectly shows the Emmys history as a whole is the decision to nominate House for best dramatic series (not one I necessarily disagree with) but to NOT nominate Hugh Laurie AS House. He's the WHOLE SHOW. Without him, one of the five best drama series on TV (according to the Emmys) just DOESN'T WORK. Denis Leary and Kiefer Sutherland? Fine. I like 'em both. Martin Sheen? Should have been supporting (and not in the list). Peter Krause? What? And Christopher Meloni? No.

The new system did exactly what it was supposed to: It opened up the race to new people and shows. But instead of delighting TV fans, it horrified them. Whereas the old system was based on people having to watch a tape in their home and working on the honor system to come up with nominees, this system is predicated on which show had the BEST SINGLE EPISODE. Therefore, it's unfairly skewed toward shows and performances on procedurals, not serials. Unfortunately, most of the best work on television is done on serials. I know many were upset with Lost this season, but was it SO MUCH WORSE than in season one? Bad enough to be worse than the five shows nominated?

The people on the panels tend to be a bit older, so they're most inclined to go with people they know. Stockard Channing might not be THE BEST on Out of Practice, but they'll give her a high score just because they know she's been good in other stuff. But Lauren Graham? Might as well not even be on their radar.

What I find most interesting is that if you look at the categories NOT affected by the changes (and the supporting categories were not) is that they tend to look like the Emmys might have shuffled out some of the old and shuffled in some of the new in the top races this year. Despite some star-love (Alfre Woodard) and a depressing note of sameness (William Shatner), the supporting categories are actually GOOD CATEGORIES with some interesting choices (Will Arnett? Elizabeth Perkins? Chandra Wilson? All awesome). They seem to indicate that the top categories would have seen one of those rare Emmy sea changes where old shows get swept aside for new.

But we'll never know. Because the new system was in place, and it made everything that much poorer.

While it was nice to see The Office get in over Desperate Housewives and Will & Grace, I'm not sure it was worth it, overall.

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