The 2011 Primetime Emmy Nominations came out today, and generally they look pretty solid. It was the usual mix of old standbys and random new faces. The only difficult thing for me was realizing that I watch so much reality TV now that my authority on scripted fare isn’t quite what it used to be. No problem though: an uninformed opinion has never stopped me from pontificating.
After the jump, a look at the nominees in all the major categories and my thoughts on each one.Outstanding Drama Series
Friday Night Lights
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Okay, the only one of these I watch is Mad Men, and while I am woefully unversed with the others, I still feel confident in saying that Mad Men is so damn good that I can’t imagine anything being better. Sure it’s won three years in a row, and yes, it’s time for new blood. But you’re going to deny the episode when Don broke down in tears with Peggy? (I have to assume that was one of the submissions for the category)
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Parks and Recreation
Modern Family will probably take the crown again, which is a shame since in its second season it became more formulaic and less funny. My pick? 30 Rock. I know, I know. I’m only reinforcing the notion that Emmy voters hate changing things up. Quite frankly though, 30 Rock had a great season, and it’s the show on this list that makes me laugh the most. I might have swapped out Glee for Community. You’ll be hearing me trumpeting Community a lot throughout the rest of this post.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire
Kyle Chandler – Friday Night Lights
Michael C. Hall – Dexter
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Hugh Laurie – House
Timothy Olyphant – Justified
I love that Timothy Olyphant snuck in a spot on this list. However, it’s time for Hugh Laurie to get the trophy he so madly has deserved all these years.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates – Harry’s Law
Connie Britton – Friday Night Lights
Mireille Enos – The Killing
Mariska Hargitay – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
I stopped watching Friday Night Lights a long time ago, but I’ve always loved Connie Britton’s naturalistic performances. She truly deserves the Emmy.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock
Louis C.K. – Louie
Steve Carell – The Office
Johnny Galecki – The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc – Episodes
Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory
Steve Carrell has never won the Emmy for his iconic portrayal of Michael Scott. It’s overdue.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Laura Linney – The Big C
Melissa McCarthy – Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton – Raising Hope
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
Hmmm… of these shows, I only watch 30 Rock (I know, I should watch Parks and Rec — I’ll start. I promise!). In a weird way, while I don’t like to reward generic CBS sitcoms, I would love if Melissa McCarthy won the Emmy. Where is Courtney Cox for Cougartown?
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
Josh Charles – The Good Wife
Alan Cumming – The Good Wife
Walton Goggins – Justified
John Slattery – Mad Men
Andre Braugher – Men of a Certain Age
Tough category. Walton Goggins is one scary mother-effer on Justified. Then again, it’s hard to beat John Slattery’s pitch-perfect WASP portrayal of Roger Sterling. And let’s not overlook Josh Charles, who I’ve always thought was a surprisingly strong actor. I don’t watch The Good Wife though; so I have no idea how he is on the show.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Kelly Macdonald – Boardwalk Empire
Archie Panjabi – The Good Wife
Christine Baranski – The Good Wife
Margo Martindale – Justified
Michelle Forbes – The Killing
Christina Hendricks – Mad Men
Will this finally be the year for Joan? And by Joan, I mean Christina Hendricks, who can steal any scene just by batting her lashes? I hope it is. And if it isn’t, give it to Michelle Forbes, who’s been a wonderful, unheralded character actress for years and years (I’ll always have a place in my heart for her after her exit on 24, season 2 — she played Lynn). Biggest snub: January Jones. HA. Just kidding.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Chris Colfer – Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Modern Family
Ed O’Neill – Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family
Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Jon Cryer – Two and a Half Men
I don’t care for Modern Family, but I can’t deny the talent on the roster. Ed O’Neill, Eric Stonestreet, and Ty Burrell are all wonderful. Jesse Tyler Ferguson — solid but not Emmy-worthy. Instead I might swap his nomination out for Donald Glover on Community. I would also suggest knocking Jon Cryer off the list in favor of Daniel Pudi, also from Community, but the poor guy has already been through enough this year.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Jane Lynch – Glee
Betty White – Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen – Modern Family
Sofia Vergara – Modern Family
Kristen Wiig – Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski – 30 Rock
Now THIS is a category. All these women are fine comedic actresses. Jane Lynch — hard to deny. Betty White — I mean, it’s Betty White. Julie Bowen — well, I might have opted for Alison Brie from Community instead. Sofia Vergara — still one of the funniest parts of Modern Family. Jane Krakowski — can’t get enough of her. And Kristen Wiig — well, we all know how I feel about her. I’m hoping that Wiig takes the win, and with all the buzz around Bridesmaids, she might just do it. If not her, then Jane Krakowski, who has emerged as the funniest member of the 30 Rock troupe.
Outstanding Reality Program
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
The only series on this list I watched was Kathy Griffin, and thus I think it should win the Emmy. It helps that it was a funny show. It doesn’t help that it’s going up against Deadliest Catch, which has a rabid following of its own. I’m with my colleague Matt Whitfield, who bemoans the exclusion of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on this list. The season finale alone deserved its own special Emmy. And dare I say it: where’s the love for Jersey Shore?
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
A solid but unremarkable field of contenders here. The Amazing Race had two unspectacular seasons; so while I’m okay with its nomination, I can’t get behind a win. American Idol had its worst season to date. It shouldn’t even be nominated. Celebrity Apprentice would have been a delightful replacement. In the end, Top Chef: All-Stars was too fun and too compelling to be denied. It should and will win. Additionally, I think it’s time Food Network Star got more respect too.
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Phil Keoghan – The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest – American Idol
Tom Bergeron – Dancing With the Stars
Cat Deeley – So You Think You Can Dance
Jeff Probst – Survivor
Jeff Probst is still the best.
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
I love that Conan earned a nom. I love that The Tonight Show didn’t. Heck, even Jimmy Fallon received a nod. Karma’s a bitch, Jay. Then again, Letterman and Ferguson also went without nominations. Hmmm… By the way, I think it’s time The Soup wound up on this list.
What do you think about the Emmy nominations?
For a full list of nominees, click here.