Emmy Nominations 2012 [this week in “things I probably care too much about”]

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I expected to be enraged. 

I usually am, and at first, I was.

And then after about an hour I realized this year’s Emmy nominations aren’t terrible. In fact, they’re better than they have been in recent years. Still, that doesn’t leave me looking for things to complain about. When it comes to award shows, two things remain constant: there is always something to bitch about, and there is never really any reason to care. But, I care.

[Note: I don’t watch television dramas so this post will be discuss pretty much exclusively the comedy categories. Though I would’ve liked to see Hugh Laurie with a nom for the final season of “House,” even though I haven’t watched the series in years, it’s still one of the biggest Emmy crimes of my lifetime that he didn’t win for the series’ first season. But I suppose if Steve Carell never won for “The Office,” neither should Laurie – both stars of TV shows that started off astonishingly strong (we’re talking best seasons of television history when it comes to “House” S1 and “The Office” S2) and then plummeted at equally impressive speeds]

The nominations were announced this morning at 8:40 while I was mid-commute. Outstanding Comedy Series was the only category I was able to read and digest before heading down into the subway. Which is unfortunate, because it is the second worst category of the bunch. The only thing running through my mind as the 2 Train passed 72nd street: HOW THE FUCK WASN’T “LOUIE” NOMINATED? Its second season is easily the best season of television to air in the past year, and it’s not really close. I’ve already extolled the merits of the show on this blog, so I won’t ramble on again, but it’s a perfectly crafted piece of television, and considering the academy’s hard-on for cable shows this year, it’s baffling it wasn’t nominated.

Then I drew back a bit from “Louie” and noticed what other shows weren’t nominated: “Parks and Rec” and “Community.” I never expected “Community” to get a nomination –it’s become obvious to me no one cares about the show outside of Dan Harmon, the cast, and the baker’s dozen of people who watch it. But how did “Parks” go from having a nom last year to coming up short this year? Yes, quality did drop off a bit but it was still one of the better shows on TV. Were “The Big Bang Theory” and “30 Rock” that good? Don’t get me wrong, I love “Rock” but its heyday has passed. And jesus christ can the academy please get over “Modern Family.” The show was all right when it started, but now it’s no better than any sitcom on CBS (bazinga!), and for the love of god, WHY DO THE CHARACTERS DO INTERVIEWS? The mockumentary format makes no sense in that show.

What’s really interesting about this year’s nominations is not that the academy got it all wrong. After seeing that first category, I figured the rest were equally botched, but they weren’t. I figured “Louie” didn’t get a nomination for best comedy because the whole show was snubbed, but that isn’t the case. Louis CK cleaned up, grabbing nominations for lead acting, writing, directing, producing, and whatever else was thrown at him. He deserves it all too – “Louie” is 100% his creation – but it’s hard to rationalize why the series as a whole wasn’t nominated if every other aspect of the show was. Do the parts not equal the whole?

Speaking of that, the writing category is hands down the best category this year. With nominations to “Louie,” two for “Parks,” one to “Girls,” (though why for the pilot episode, I do not know), and most notably, “Community’s” only nomination, which is also the most deserving nom in recent memory. Go watch Remedial Chaos Theory and tell me that isn’t the best-written episode of TV you’ve seen in the past five years, period. It not winning will be akin to “Parks” not winning best comedy last year – I will lose just a little more faith in humanity. Though I must say, I can’t hate any of the nominees, whichever wins.

Worst category goes, with no surprise, to supporting actor in a comedy series. DOES EVERY ADULT ON “MODERN FAMILY” REALLY NEED A FUCKING NOMINATION AGAIN? Four of the six nominees in the category went to “MF” actors. The other two went to Max Greenfield as Schmidt in “New Girl” (he is the best part of the show, but still, nothing about that show warrants nomination), and out of the blue, Bill Hader for SNL. The only option here is to pull for Hader, because him and Wiig have carried the show for ~3 years. But there are so many actors who should have been nominated in this category. RON FUCKING SWANSON. Come on, no character on TV is more beloved than Nick Offerman’s Swanson. I also would’ve liked to see Adam Driver nominated for “Girls” because he’s largely responsible for the show’s turnaround (and yea, I know there’s issue in attributing the show’s improvement with one of the male characters, and I do have some inner-turmoil over that, but I can’t really deny it either).

All in all, not a terrible year for the Emmy nominations. Things will either go really right, or really wrong. I’ll have a longer and [most likely] angrier blog post come September 23rd. Because, let’s be honest: “Modern Family” is going to win best comedy again, and I’m going to be upset. Though, now that I look at the list, I don’t really think any of the nominees should win, so maybe I’ll pull for “30 Rock” just so I can see Tina give a speech.

But I swear to fucking god, if Melissa McCarthy beats Amy Poehler for best actress again, I’ll lose it.

– Ben Cosman

 

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