Emmy 2011 Preview

See that little ginger girl whose mom remarried some guy named Oscar a couple years ago?

doesn't look as good as the oscar statue either

doesn't look as good as the oscar statue either

She’s the Emmys. The red-headed stepchild of the Oscars.

That’s what makes it so weird that I enjoy the Emmys more than the Oscars. It’s more fast-paced, there always seems to be a major award being handed out and people seem to have more fun. The nominees aren’t as drunk as they are at the Golden Globes, but they seem to take it a little easier than the Oscars. People are legitimately nervous at the Oscars because there’s a good chance that most of the people nominated will never even sniff a nomination again (hi there, Gabourey Sidibe). At the Emmys? Whether they win or not, the major acting nominees at the Emmys will be back again next year.

It’s harder to project emmy winners because there is such a large body of work, at least 10 hours of screen time for just about everyone nominated. you can pack a lot of great acting and emotion into two hours of a movie. To space it out over 10 hours is a lot harder.

But here’s a guess at how the 2011 Emmys play out on Sunday night (8 p.m., Fox):

BEST DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Dexter, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, Mad Men

one time, one time!

one time, one time!

Why you should care: Because a vote for Friday Night Lights is a vote for the underdog. Forget about how good the show is for a second. Actually, don’t do that. Keep that in the back of your head. But just think about what this show has done. It has such a devoted fanbase that it stayed on the air for five years despite having Nielsen ratings that ‘Til Death would have laughed at. In its first season, it ranked as the 95th-most-watched-show on network TV, a complete death sentence for any TV show. But not only did NBC bring it back for season 2 — where it ranked as the 101st most watched network show and was yanked from the schedule early — it was so scared of fan and critic reaction to a cancellation that it worked out a dealwith DirecTV to keep it on the air for three more years. THREE MORE YEARS! For a show that no one watched, like, ever. Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones will have chances in the future, Mad Men already had its years of glory, Dexter isn’t as good a show as anything else in this category and The Good Wife is still finding itself. Look at that, I just talked myself into FNL!

Should win: Friday Night Lights.

Will win: Boardwalk Empire.

Snubbed: Justified. Best show I’ve watched in 2011 that isn’t already nominated (it’s behind Friday Night Lights).

BEST COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: Modern Family, 30 Rock, Glee, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation

a win for big bang theory is a win for stale tv

a win for big bang theory is a win for stale tv

Why you should care: Because we have a chance to get rid of the sitcom laugh track for good — and we should take it. Shutting out Big Bang Theory in this and other categories hopefully will send the message to any show that even thinks of taping in front of a live studio audience to play for laughs or lazily piping in laughs from dead people: Stop it. Write better jokes. Get better actors. Make with the realfunny. There are five very funny shows in this category, and then there is Big Bang Theory. Any one of them is a better choice. And if you’re looking for a choice to cheer for witha local connection, cheer for The Office. Not because of the Northeast Pennsylvania connection, but because exec producer Danny Chun is from Stroudsburg.

Should win: Parks and Recreation.

Will win: Modern Family

Snubbed: Community

BEST DRAMA ACTOR

The nominees: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire; Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights; Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Hugh Laurie, House; Timothy Olyphant, Justified.

the look of a winner

the look of a winner

Why you should care: Because it’s the battle royal of the night. First of all, you have Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad ineligibleafter winning the last three. Hello there, Tim Olyphant! You have the most likable person on TV, Jon Hamm. You have the most likable character, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler). Michael C. Hall and Hugh Laurie have been snubbed something like 5,643 times in this category despite both being awesomely awesome. And then there’s Buscemi, who probably should have been nominated for about six Oscars by now and never has. He won the Golden Globe in this category in January. Six guys, all of them likable in great parts, all of them seemingly likable guys in real life. Maybe that’s what this category should be, the Best Likable Actor. 

Should win: Hamm.

Will win: Hamm.

Snubbed: None. It’s a great list.

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS

The nominees: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU; Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law; Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights and Mireille Enos, The Killing.

still can't believe how much hotter she is now than she was almost 20 years ago

still can't believe how much hotter she is now than she was almost 20 years ago

Why you should care: Ummmmm … I’m not sure. There isn’t really an overwhelming fan favorite here. Maybe you  can just cheer against the lady from The Killing. That way we can send a message once and for all that what they did this year was not cool. Oh, wait, you thought I meant the ending? Nope. I just mean the utter booooorrrrreeeeedooooommmmmm of the show as a whole. Boredom sucks.

Should win: Britton

Will win: Margulies. You should have to do something to lose your title, or someone has to seriously outshine you. Not sure either happened this year. 

Snubbed: Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy. She should go Gemma on the voters. Oh, wait, her husband takes care of that.

BEST COMEDY ACTOR

Nominees: Steve Carell, The Office; Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Louis C.K., Louie; Johnny Galecki, Big Bang Theory. 

Why you should care: It’s a crime that Steve Carell hasn’t won this prize before, but this was arguably his most deserving year and the weakest the category has been since he started The Office. To even compare him to Jim Parsons and his grown-up Urkel act to Carell is an insult.

Should win: Carell

Will win: Carell

Snubbed: Joel McHale, Community

BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR

keep it warm for me this year, guys

keep it warm for me this year, guys

The nominees: Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age; John Slattery, Mad Men; Alan Cumming, The Good Wife; Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones; Josh Charles, The Good Wife; Walton Goggins, Justified.

Why you should care: Because if Sunday’s Breaking Bad episode is any indication, Aaron Paul goes right back to winning this award for the next two years “Can you walk?” So if one of your favorite actors is here, you’re going to have to hope they win now.

Should win: Goggins

Will win: Cumming, and I’m fine with that.

Snubbed: John Noble, Fringe. Looks like it just ain’t happening for Walter. Also Stacy Keach from Lights Out.

BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS

The nominees: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife; Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire; Christine Baranski, The Good Wife; Michelle Forbes, The Killing; Margo Martindale, Justified; Christina Hendricks, Mad Men.

eenie, meenie, baranski, mo

eenie, meenie, baranski, mo

Why you should care: It will probably be early in the night and it could set the pattern for the rest of the night. Maybe Michelle Forbes gets it, and we’ll find out the Emmys won’t be swayed by public opinion by penalizing Forbes’s unnerving performance for how much The Killing sucked. If Christina Hendricks wins for the six or seven episodes of Mad Men she was actually in, pack it up everyone, it’s Mad Men’s night. If Archie Panjabi repeats for a year where she was only so-so, then it could be chalk up and down the board. If either Margo Martindale or Kelly Macdonald win, Emmy voters may be looking for new blood. If Christine Baranski wins, it must mean Emmy voters are picking winners randomly using the time-honored “Eenie, meenie, minie, mo” method instead of watching the actual shows.

Should win: Martindale.

Will win: Martindale.

Snubbed: Lauren Graham, Parenthood. There should be something said for being the only completely tolerable female in an ensemble drama aimed at females, right? She may have been submitted as a lead actress, I have no clue. But I don’t think there are any leads in the show other than Peter Krause.

BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR

The nominees: Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family; Ed O’Neill, Modern Family; Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family; Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men; Chris Colfer, Glee.

Why you should care: Unless you’re a crazy Modern Family fan, umm … I don’t have a good reason for you.

Should win: O’Neill

Will win: Cryer. The sympathy vote for having to deal with Charlie Sheen.

Snubbed: I’m pretty comfortable saying any of the supporting cast of Parks and Recreation is better than any of these nominees other than O’Neill and Burrell. Don’t believe me?

BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS

why do i believe al bundy actually can get her?

why do i believe al bundy actually can get her?

The nominees: Julie Bowen, Modern Family; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Jane Lynch, Glee; Betty White, Hot in Cleveland; Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live; Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock.

Why you should care: For one thing, you should want to protect comedy as a whole and hope Betty White doesn’t win for the startlingly unfunny Hot in Cleveland. Congrats, Betty. You’ve had an amazing career. Now step aside, please. Lynch seemed like she was only in about half of the Glee episodes this year. A repeat win doesn’t seem fair. I’m cool with either Modern Family nominee, but I have a sneaking suspicion Lynch wins again.

Should win: Bowen

Will win: Vergara

Snubbed: I probably could make a better list of snubs than the actual nominees. Actually, I think I will: Jenna Fisher, The Office; Alison Brie, Community; Aubrey Plaza, Parks and Recreation; Kaitlin Olson, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Bowen. Bing, bang, boom, there’s your nominees and they’re somewhere between 50 and 75 times more exciting and funny than Emmy’s list.

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