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Snap Judgment: The Emmy Drama Nominations

While there were a few pleasant surprises in this morning's Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, the choices overall struck me as safe and boring. I say it every year, but I wish the Emmys would recognize quirkier or lesser-known shows alongside the more mainstream fare. Then again, I'd also like a unicorn.

Over the next couple of days, I'll be sharing some of my thoughts on the nominations. Here's my take on the dramas:

  • I might as well get this out of the way first: "Friday Night Lights" being shut out of all the major categories is nothing short of ridiculous. The show won a Peabody award and is a major critical favorite, and I can't think of another show that consistently moved me to tears this season. And yet, it's passed over for "Boston Legal"? Not that I don't like the show, but I'm not sure anyone has ever finished an episode of "Boston Legal" and thought, "Wow, that changed my life."
  • On the other hand, go "Heroes"! It had two big strikes against it when it came to the traditional Emmy biases: It's a new series, and it's sci fi. But it managed to break through anyway — plus snag a nomination for the lovably geeky Masi Oka.
  • Honestly, I could talk all day about the drama series category alone (should the strong second half of "Lost" have vaulted it above the weak second half of "Grey's"? Did a show like "Dexter" even really have a chance?) But I'm not sure how any show but "The Sopranos" could win this year. Yes, the ending was controversial; no, it didn't necessarily get the great ratings that previous seasons did. But it was the final season of a show that gets a lot of credit for changing the creative climate of TV, and with 15 nominations, it's clearly going to be rewarded this time around.

More thoughts, so

  • I didn't think "24" deserved a series nomination this year, and indeed, it was kept out of the category. But did Kiefer deserve his acting nod despite the weak season? And what about James Spader? Again, not trying to trash "Boston Legal," but I would have rather seen Kyle Chandler or Michael C. Hall in that spot. For that matter, why couldn't have six men been nominated? There are six nominees in the best actress category, after all.
  • Speaking of which: Back at the Golden Globes, I was whining about the lead dramatic actress category and how it paled in comparison to the actors' nominees. Well, I think the women have a leg up on the guys this time; Sally Field and Minnie Driver were great surprises. But Mariska Hargitay? Again? Is she actually that good?
  • Half of the nominees in the female supporting actress category came from "Grey's." I'm thrilled to see Chandra Wilson get a nod after her SAG Award win, and this is a great argument for giving Bailey more to do next season. Sandra Oh gave some great performances this season, though I'm assuming voters didn't see the episodes when all she did was fight childishly with Burke. Izzie is a divisive character, but Katherine Heigl probably locked up this nomination when she drilled that guy's head. Can any of them actually win? Or will they just cannibalize each other's votes?
  • On the other side of things, the only "Grey's" guy nominated was TR Knight. I feel a little weird about that, but I can't quite put my finger on why. Meanwhile, Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn fulfilled my wish of getting acting nominations for "Lost" beyond the leads. Michael Emerson is outrageously creepy — yet sometimes almost pitiable — so I'd almost rather see him take the win over Terry O'Quinn, but either one would be satisfying. I'm so pleased about these two nominations it almost makes up for the best drama series snub. Almost.

"Friday Night Lights" photo Source
Minnie Driver photo courtesy of FX

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