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Emmy nomination thoughts

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  July 14, 2011 08:39 AM

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Do I have to be happy?

There were good things afoot in the Emmy nominations, which were announced this morning. "Game of Thrones" got some due, as did my beloved "Friday Night Lights" -- not just for actor and actress, but for best drama. That's a nice farewell gift, as "FNL" ends on NBC tomorrow night. It's a few years late, but at least the voters didn't hold out yet again out of pride.

Also, I suppose I should be glad about the best comedy nomination for "Parks and Recreation," the love for "The Good Wife" (the only non-cable drama nominee), the 25 nods to "Masterpiece," and the acting nominations for Mireille Enos, the great Martha PlimptonMatt LeBlanc, and Idris Elba (from the not-nominated but amazing "Luther"). And I ought to be ecstatic about the nods for "Justified" actors Timothy Olyphant, Margo Martindale, and Walton Goggins.

And I am glad and ecstatic, respectively. BUT -- yes, this is an awards show blog entry, so there must be BUTs -- where oh where are some of the year's very best TV shows and performances? I continue to be struck by how the Emmy voters can get on board a show such as "Boardwalk Empire" so quickly, but then drag their heels on the likes of "FNL" and completely ignore classics such as "The Wire."

Specifically, here are some of the good things missing from the nominations list -- you know, the SNUBS:

"Treme," and its indelible cast, including Wendell Pierce and Khandi Alexander; "Shameless" and any one in its ensemble cast, most notably William H. Macy, who is completely authentic and funny and hateful as the drunk dad; and Ray Romano, who is remarkably good on "Men of a Certain Age." Yes, Andre Braugher was nominated, but the show belongs to Romano. And no Kyra Sedgwick, who is so fierce and funny on "The Closer"? That's a particularly strange oversight since she won last year.

Also making me whiny: No supporting acting nods for "Parks and Recreation." If voters watched the show enough to honor it with best comedy and lead actress nods, then how could they miss the great work of the ensemble? All due respect to Jon Cryer, but that slot belongs to Nick Offerman. And likewise, no best drama nomination for "Justified," even while voters paid enough attention to the show to see the excellence in the performances? "Dexter," I love ye, but last season you lost significant mojo with the whole Lumen arc; your best-drama slot belongs to "Justified." And btw, where are the uber-clever "Community" and Joel Kinnamen, whose work on "The Killing" was unforgettable? 

There's something about the randomness of the nominations that undermines the Emmys. Some choices make perfect sense (Jon Hamm) and some are welcome additions (Peter Dinklage), but then others are so misguided (sorry, Mariska Hargitay and "Glee") that they make me question the whole venture. "The Kennedys" for best miniseries? Really?

Anyhow, here are the numbers: "Mildred Pierce," 21 nods; "Mad Men," 19; "Boardwalk Empire," 18; "Modern Family," 17; "Saturday Night Live," 16; and "Game of Thrones" and "30 Rock," 13.

  

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