Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Emmy Poll Round Up – Who Should Win and Who Will Win

Or at least who I think will win. Since of course should win and will win are entirely different animals.

In the Outstanding Actress in a Drama category the result was a three-way between Glenn Close, Connie Britton and Mariska Hargitay. Wait, let me try to scrub that image from my mind. No, that's not going away. Of these three I think that Glenn Close has the best chance of taking it home, the Academy tending to follow a policy of giving the statue to whoever won it last unless they've got a damned good reason not to. The thing is that the more I think this over the more I think that they do have a damned good reason to give it to someone else, but that someone else is someone who didn't get any votes in this poll. That would be Julianna Margulies, whose performance as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife is a strong one and is getting a lot of favourable buzz the closer we get to the Emmy's. She already has a SAG Award, a Golden Globe and a Satellite Award for the part. And it's a good fit for her. I think the Academy will complete the set by giving her the Emmy, and I think it's probably well deserved.

In the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy category, the poll came up with Amy Poehler from Parks & Recreation as the winner. This is really a category that I have no strong opinion on because I don't watch any of the shows. The one thing that I will say is that I don't get Edie Falco's nomination here, even though reportedly this is a performance that will make you forget she was ever Carmela Soprano. But is it a comedy? In a situation like this I will retreat to "Emmy Entropy" and suggest that either last year's winner Toni Collette or the winner in earlier seasons Tina Fey will take it. Still you can't ignore the fact that the Academy does love Edie Falco. This one's a real scramble.

The poll for Outstanding Actor in a Drama gave us Dexter's Michael C. Hall as your choice to win the Emmy. It is a very strong field this year and I think that Hall is probably deserving of the award. I just don't think he'll win it. As I said in the article when I gave out the poll results, I think that Bryan Cranston is almost certainly going to win this category for a third year in a row. Anyone else, but in particular Kyle Chandler is a long shot. The academy has shown that they prefer the complexities of Cranston's performance to just about When you consider that everyone in this category except Chandler and Fox – both of whom have been nominated for the first time in this category – has lost to Cranston in the past two years, it seems unlikely that there'll be an upset in this category. Give the Emmy to Cranston again, but at least you can't belame "Emmy Entropy"; he's earned it.

Turning to Outstanding Actor in a Comedy responses to the poll came down heavily on the side of Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory an opinion that I personally share. Incumbent winner Alec Baldwin was a distant second in my poll. I won't disagree that Parsons is what elevates The Big Bang Theory above the level of some sort of Friends knock-off and for that alone he is deserving of the award. I desperately want him to get it, hope that he'll get it, will that he'll get it. I just fear that, like last year, the Emmys will ignore Parsons's performance and give the thing to Alec Baldwin... in which case I'm blaming Will Wheaton because that's something Sheldon would do.

Of the three "Outstanding Series" categories that I polled on, Outstanding Reality-Competition Series is probably the least suspenseful of them all. The poll picked Top Chef over American Idol but the perpetual winner in the category is The Amazing Race and despite what I think most viewers would consider a pair of less than stellar outing in the past TV season, it's the show most likely to succeed. Part of the reason is that American Idol didn't exactly have a great season either. And while Dancing With The Stars did have two strong seasons I don't think the Academy will reward it. The problem with all of this is that none of these shows was the real Outstanding Reality-Competition Series this year. The true Outstanding Reality-Competition Series was Survivor: Heroes vs Villains and everyone except the Academy knows it. The show had all the elements that a good Reality-Competition show needs; drama, comedy, a bit of carefully blurred nudity, injuries, despair, a villain that you could really hate (Russell Hantz), an unlikely hero (Boston Rob, the first person who really saw Russell for the rat that he was), and a winner who was both unexpected and likeable (Sandra Diaz-Twine). But for whatever reason – probably because the Academy thought it "unworthy" – the show wasn't nominated. Of the shows that were nominated Amazing Race is the one that they probably liked the best.

In the Outstanding Comedy Series category the poll chose Modern Family over The Office. Now I won't disagree with Modern Family as the winner. I think that it's a show that has altered the dynamic of the family comedy significantly. That said I'm not convinced that it will be the winner in the category for two reasons. The first is that it might be a victim of "Emmy Entropy" and lose to repeat Emmy winner 30 Rock even if the show has been weaker this year than in previous years. The other possible winner is this year's critical darling Glee. All things considered, while I personally think that Modern Family should win, 30 Rock is the show that I think will win.

Finally, in the Outstanding Drama Series category, Lost won the most votes in my poll. I think this reflects in part the show's cult following and also the fact that the show has left the air. I think that if it does win the Emmy it will be because it was the show's final season. I just don't think that it will win. I'm mostly convinced that Mad Men will repeat in this category for the third season in a row. It would be my personal pick, but The Good Wife has a lot of buzz. Still, I think that "Emmy Entropy" will win out again, and that Mad Men will be the last show to be honoured in tonight's show.

I won't be live-blogging the Emmy's this year, but I will be taking notes and will be doing a wrap-up, after I recover from the show.

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