Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pre-Emmy Predictions

What I'm doing here is putting together the results of the polls that I've been running this summer, and my own opinions. There are also going to be some categories that we haven't covered in the polls because I didn't have time. Finally, while I haven't seen any of the "long-form" material (Made For TV Movies and Mini-Series) because those forms are virtually dead on broadcast TV and usually on the premium services that I choose not to pay for up here in the Great White North, I do have a couple of thoughts on what "should" win.

Let's start with the comedies:

Outstanding Comedy Series

Survey says 30 Rock. I happen to agree. In my view, the only show on the list that even comes close is The Office. And this is coming from someone whose dislike of the sitcom form quite strong. Although, as I have confessed before, I haven't watched any of the shows on the nomination list so I am hardly the best judge. Still, what sets this show – and all but one of the other nominees – apart is that they break thoroughly with the traditional sitcom mould. Or perhaps I should say the traditional sitcom mould as in the stuff that makes houses unlivable.

Actor in a Comedy

You said Alec Baldwin. I said Alec Baldwin. The Emmy voters are likely to say Alec Baldwin, if only because last year's winner Ricky Gervais isn't nominated this year. His biggest competition, and the only actor I really think is likely to have a shot at winning this is Steve Carell of The Office. My reasoning is that Shaloub has been around and has won for a long time, and the Academy has far less respect for Charlie Sheen than it did for his father, and absolutely no respect for his show. As for Lee Pace, he and his show Pushing Daisies are new and innovative, while Baldwin and Carell are proven quantities. His turn may well come but not this time around.

Actress in a Comedy

You gave your votes – both of them – to Tina Fey, and for the most part I'll agree with that because I think that the lady is absolutely brilliant. However someone I have a lot of respect for – that would be Dianne Kristine of the TV, Eh? and Unified Theory Of Nothing Much blogs – prefers Christina Applegate for her work on Samantha Who? and someone else I respect a lot – Alan Sepinwall in his Emmy column – thinks she's a dark horse candidate who make rack up some sympathy votes because of her recent bout with cancer. The poll I can't trust (2 votes?!) so I'll stick with my gut and say Tina Fey.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy

I won't go through the nominees in this one. It probably comes down to two – well maybe three. My personal favourite is Kristin Chenoweth I love and adore this pocket dynamo who sings, dances, does comedy and as she proved on The West Wing, ain't half bad as a dramatic actress either. And if Aaron Sorkin does her bad again, I'd like her to know I'm available. Still there's a bit of me that worries that Amy Poehler, who I think is one of the first nominees from Saturday Night Live to be nominated individually in a comedy category in a long time (if ever) and because of that might have something close to a lock on the category. And Jean Smart in Samantha Who? probably has a shot, just because she's Jean Smart. But I'll say that the Emmy will go to Kristin and hope I'm not proven wrong.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy

In my view it comes down to Neil Patrick Harris or Rainn Wilson. I think it should be Harris because, well let's face it the character of Barney is legen – wait for it – dary, but there are aguments in favour of Wilson for his portrayal of Dwight Schrute and I think the Emmy voters are more in love with The Office than they are with any of the comedies on CBS. My heart says Harris but it will probably be Wilson

Outstanding Drama Series

Survey couldn't make up its damned mind and said either House or Mad Men. I love both shows but give my personal nod to Mad Men because it was more consistently good than House was by just a little bit.

Actor in a Drama

The category with the most votes, eighteen. You guys gave the nod to Gabriel Byrne for In Treatment with Hugh Laurie and Michael C. Hall a close second and no votes for John Hamm. Which is funny because I think John Hamm is going to win for his portrayal of the conflicted advertising executive with a very deep very dark secret, "Don Draper" (except the real Don Draper was blown to bits on a Korean hillside). Byrne is a tremendous actor and some day the Emmy voters are going to wake up and give Hugh Laurie the award he's deserved since House started but this time around it's going to be Hamm.

Actress in a Drama

You guys gave it to Mariska Hargitay from Law & Order: SVU. Again I think you're wrong (one does not insult one's audience by calling them nuts). You ignored two Oscar winners and a multiple Oscar nominee and the woman with the world's greatest Kevin Bacon number. This one is going to go to Glenn Close if for no other reason than she is Glenn Close and even though Hunter and Field each have more Oscars by some oversight, Glenn Close is the best actress of the lot.

Supporting Actor in a Drama

A great category that's wide open. Any one of them can win and with one exception I wouldn't be unhappy (I'm talking about you Shatner). As much as I liked John Slattery's performance as the silver fox with a king size libido and a heart condition to match Roger Sterling, I think it comes down to Michael Emerson as the duplicitous Ben in Lost and Ted Danson as the duplicitous Arthur Frobisher in Damages. I think I'll go with Danson mainly because this role represents such a huge switch from the roles that Emmy voters are used to seeing him in.

Supporting Actress in a Drama

Another great, wide open category with impressive performances from everybody who is nominated. I can't even dismiss Boston Legal because I've had the hots for Candice Bergen since The Wind And The Lion and even before. I think it comes down to Rachel Griffiths and Dianne Weist and while I love Griffiths, I think Weist is probably the bigger name and eventual winner.

Reality-Competition Series

You said American Idol and I said "Ha!", "Piffle", and "Don't make me laugh." I say it is going to be The Amazing Race because the Emmys have shown no love for American Idol in the past and I don't think they're going to show any this time either. If any show is going to knock The Amazing Race off its pedestal this year, it could be Dancing With The Stars (rather than Alan Sepinwall's pick of Project Runway) because most of the people in the room would secretly like to be on it.

Reality or Reality-Competition Host

The winner should be Phil Keoghan but he wasn't nominated. Of those nominated, Jeff Probst is probably the most deserving if only because he defined the role of host in one of these shows. But as Alan Sepinwall points out, Ryan Seacrest, who isn't even the most important permanent member of his own show – Simon Cowell is and even Paula and Randy are more important than him – inexplicably has a lot of friends in the room. I still say Probst.

Variety Music or Comedy Series

The Late Show With David Letterman for no other reason than he was with the writers during the strike when others weren't.

The Various Movie/Mini-Series Categories

I'm no expert on these categories so I'll just say this – expect to hear the words John Adams a lot. Certainly there'll be Emmys for the mini-series, Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney.

I'll be live-blogging when the ceremonies start. This means, watching the show, taking notes, shovelling down a few bites of dinner down my gullet while I'm doing it, running to the computer to edit the awards entry while hopefully avoiding running over the dog during the commercials, and getting back to my reviewing position before the commercial ends. If nothing else I'll get some exercise.


Here's the tally of how the poll did and how I did versus reality.

Poll: 3.5/7 - You got the Comedy categories right and the Drama and Reality-Competition category wrong except for a half point for Mad Men (because you had it tied).

Me: 8/13 - I picked more categories but even in the categories where I polled I got more right. I added Drama, Dramatic Actress and Supporting Actress as well as Reality-Competition and Reality Host. I missed the Comedy supporting categories and dramatic Supporting Actor. Only one person who voted one got the Dramatic Actor right.

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