Thursday, 19 July 2012

Primetime Emmy Awards 2012: Nominees

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The nominations have been announced for the Primetime Emmy Awards 2012, and it makes for interesting reading. Below is a list of the major nominees, together with thoughts from my good self under each category. Obviously, I don't watch everything on US TV, so some of this is down to gut instinct and wishful thinking...

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Girls
  • Modern Family
  • 30 Rock
  • Veep
Thoughts: I'd like Girls to win because it's new and, to be frank, most US awards show are tedious because a good 90% of the nominees are cut-and-paste from last year.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Lena Dunham – Girls
  • Melissa McCarthy – Mike & Molly
  • Zooey Deschanel – New Girl
  • Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
  • Amy Poehler – Parks & Recreation
  • Tina Fey – 30 Rock
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Thoughts: Claiming Nurse Jackie's a comedy is one thing, but claiming Edie Falco's in any way funny on that show is another thing entirely. I can envisage Julia Louis-Dreyfus winning, because of residual Seinfeld love, despite the fact she was the fourth funniest person on Veep.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory
  • Larry David – Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Don Cheadle – House of Lies
  • Louis C.K – Louis
  • Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock
  • Jon Cryer – Two & A Half Men
Thoughts: Louis C.K should win, obviously, but Jim Parsons probably will because more people watch Big Bang Theory and it's easier to laugh at geek stereotypes.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory
  • Kathryn Joosten – Desperate Housewives
  • Julie Bowen – Modern Family
  • Sofia Vergara – Modern Family
  • Merritt Weaver – Nurse Jackie
  • Kristen Wiig – Saturday Night Live
Thoughts: I'm not best placed to say, but Merritt Weaver is the only thing that even makes me understand why Nurse Jackie gets nominated in comedy categories, so give it to her. She's fun.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Ed O'Neill – Modern Family
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Modern Family
  • Ty Burrell – Modern Family
  • Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family
  • Max Greenfield – New Girl
  • Bill Hader – Saturday Night Live
Thoughts: The Modern Family award will most likely go to... oh, throw a dart.

Outstanding Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Breaking Bad
  • Downton Abbey
  • Game Of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • Mad Men
Thoughts: Finally! Americans have woken up and realized Downton Abbey is a TV series, not a miniseries. This has huge repercussions, as you'll see later. Breaking Bad is the best show on TV, so one hopes this is a no-brainer. Interesting that none of these dramas are on mainstream networks.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Glenn Close – Damages
  • Michelle Dockery – Downton Abbey
  • Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
  • Kathy Bates – Harry's Law
  • Claire Danes – Homeland
  • Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
Thoughts: Oh, Claire Danes, for sure. Michelle Dockery? America really needs to get over its UK period drama fetish. She's fine, but... God.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  • Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire
  • Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
  • Michael C. Hall – Dexter
  • Hugh Bonneville – Downton Abbey
  • Damian Lewis – Homeland
  • Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Thoughts: Bryan Cranston, duh. How is Michael C. Hall still getting nominated for Dexter? Hugh Bonneville? Oh, Lord. Jon Hamm's my #2.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • Anna Gunn – Breaking Bad
  • Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
  • Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
  • Archie Panjabi – The Good Wife
  • Christine Baranski – The Good Wife
  • Christina Hendricks – Mad Men
Thoughts: See, they've gone Downton crazy this year! I'm going to say Christine Baranski, because I've seen her play drama and comedy and she's terrific at both. Christina Hendricks is lovely, but I don't see why she gets nominated. Unless Emmy voters just want to see her on the red carpet.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

  • Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
  • Giancarlo Esposito – Breaking Bad
  • Brendan Coyle – Downton Abbey
  • Jim Carter – Downton Abbey
  • Peter Dinklage – Game Of Thrones
  • Jared Harris – Mad Men
Thoughts: Ordinarily, Peter Dinklage would be my pick, but the Emmy's have come good and given Giancarlo Esposito a nomination. So he's my pick, because he was absolutely astonishingly good in Breaking Bad's fourth season.

Outstanding Guest Actor in Comedy

  • Michael J. Fox - Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Greg Kinnear - Modern Family
  • Bobby Cannavale - Nurse Jackie
  • Jimmy Fallon - Saturday Night Live
  • Will Arnett - 30 Rock
  • Jon Hamm - 30 Rock
Thoughts: I can't judge this one, sorry...

Outstanding Guest Actress in Comedy

  • Dot-Marie Jones - Glee
  • Maya Rudolph - Saturday Night Live
  • Melissa McCarthy - Saturday Night Live
  • Elizabeth Banks - 30 Rock
  • Margaret Cho - 30 Rock
  • Kathy Bates - Two and a Half Men
Thoughts: Or this one.

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

  • Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad
  • Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
  • Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
  • Jeremy Davies, Justified
  • Ben Feldman, Mad Men
  • Jason Ritter, Parenthood
Thoughts: Excellent category. I'd love for Mark Margolis to win, considering his performance was 99% communicated with a glare because his character in Breaking Bad could't talk. But I'd be happy with anyone else, except for Jason Ritter in Parenthood (which I haven't seen).

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series

  • Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife
  • Loretta Devine, Grey's Anatomy
  • Jean Smart, Harry's Law
  • Julia Ormond, Mad Men
  • Joan Cusack, Shameless
  • Uma Thurman, Smash
Thoughts: I can only really comment on Martha Plimpton and Julia Ormond here, who were fine but nothing Emmy-worthy. Was Uma Thurman worth the nomination for Smash?

Outstanding Reality Show Host

  • Tom Bergeron - Dancing With the Stars
  • Cat Deeley - So You Think You Can Dance
  • Phil Keoghan - The Amazing Race
  • Ryan Seacrest - American Idol
  • Betty White - Betty White's Off Their Rockers
Thoughts: This is a genuine category? Oh. Umm, Cat Deeley to win. I like her.

Outstanding Reality Series Competition

  • The Amazing Race
  • Dancing With the Stars
  • Project Runway
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Top Chef
  • The Voice
Thoughts: From what I hear, The Voice or Dancing With The Stars have this sewn up.

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series

  • The Colbert Report
  • The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
  • Real Time With Bill Maher
  • Saturday Night Live
Thoughts: I don't watch any of these regularly, but tend to find The Colbert Report funniest.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

  • American Horror Story
  • Game Change
  • Hatfields & McCoys
  • Hemingway & Gellhorn
  • Luther
  • Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia
Thoughts: Oh, now the Emmy's think Sherlock isn't a TV series. Give it a few years and they'll learn – but, okay, the paucity of episodes means it's a hard one to categorize. I'd pick Sherlock here because it's more fun and creative, but wouldn't mind Luther winning.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

  • Connie Britton – American Horror Story
  • Julianne Moore – Game Change
  • Nicole Kidman - Hemingway & Gellhorn
  • Ashley Judd – Missing
  • Emma Thompson - The Song Of Lunch
Thoughts: I can't judge this one, but my gut says Julianne Moore.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie

  • Woody Harrelson – Game Change
  • Kevin Costner - Hatfields & McCoys
  • Bill Paxton - Hatfields & McCoys
  • Clive Owen - Hemingway & Gellhorn
  • Idris Elba – Luther
  • Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia
Thoughts: It has to be Cumberbatch, followed by Elba. Patriotism, see.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

  • Frances Conroy - American Horror Story
  • Jessica Lange - American Horror Story
  • Sarah Paulson – Game Change
  • Mare Winningham - Hatfields & McCoys
  • Judy Davis – Page Eight
Thoughts: Jessica Lange was the standout of American Horror Story, in a role that's practically revived her career. Disliked the show, by and large, but she was great.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie

  • Denis O'Hare - American Horror Story
  • Ed Harris - Game Change
  • Tom Berenger - Hatfields & McCoys
  • David Strathairn - Hemingway & Gellhorn
  • Martin Freeman - Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia
Thoughts: Denis O'Hare? He's great, but his role on American Horror Story was negligible. I actually thought Watson's role in series 2 of Sherlock was noticeably weaker, but I haven't seen the others, so will have to go with Martin Freeman.

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

  • Tim Van Patten - Boardwalk Empire
  • Vince Gilligan - Breaking Bad
  • Brian Percival - Downton Abbey
  • Michael Cuesta - Homeland
  • Phil Abraham - Mad Men
Thoughts: Hmmm, tricky. I think there's more involved with directing Boardwalk Empire, so Tim Van Patten gets my hypothetical vote.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

  • Julian Fellowes - Downton Abbey
  • Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff - Homeland
  • Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner - Mad Men
  • Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton - Mad Men
  • Erin Lev & Matthew Weiner - Mad Men
Thoughts: Julian Fellowes? Haha. He had terrible problems with Downton Abbey series 2. Just give it to one of the Mad Men posse.

Overall thoughts
A strong showing for British shows (Luther, Downton Abbey, Sherlock) and the actors involved in them (but not the writers?), plus some love shown for excellent dramas like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. It's just a tragedy Community doesn't feature anywhere—being not only the funniest show on TV, but one with the best comedy ensemble I've seen in years.

The Emmy 2012 winners will be announced on 23 September at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, with host Jimmy Kimmel. The complete list of nominees can be read here.