TV

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Emmy-barrassment of riches

Crowning TV's top shows is an exercise in futility when the field is so crowded with gems

  • Print
Matthew  McConaughey (left) and  Woody Harrelson in True Detective.

Enlarge Image

Matthew McConaughey (left) and Woody Harrelson in True Detective.

The Emmy Awards have a problem.

It's a pretty high-class problem, to be sure, but it's a problem nonetheless, and it will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the number of TV viewers who think the medium's annual trophy handout has become irrelevant.

The problem is related to volume, and quality -- specifically, the increasing number of really great programs on television, which has made singling out individual shows for nomination and Emmy Award recognition an exercise in frustration for many TV fans.

For every worthy winner or nominee the TV Academy recognizes with its annual Emmy Awards, there's a handful of omissions that leaves pockets of angry viewers feeling that their favourite shows and stars have been snubbed.

Claire Danes's stellar work in Homeland is fully deserving of its Emmy-season consideration. But omitting Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany from the best actress/drama series category, two years in a row?

That's madness.

Bryan Cranston's final Breaking Bad unravelling merits all the Emmy love his TV-biz peers can muster, but how can voters who supposedly know a lot about television ignore James Spader's work in The Blacklist?

The oversights are overwhelming. How is The Good Wife not nominated for TV's top drama prize? Mad Men's Jon Hamm gets Emmy respect, but what about co-star Elisabeth Moss? And seriously, can Justified's Timothy Olyphant get a bit of trophy-season justice anytime soon?

It's crazy-making for faithful followers of overlooked shows, but in this, TV's greatest golden age yet, there's no getting around the fact that worthy shows and performances are going to be left out because there's so much great TV being made and there simply isn't room to shoehorn it all into the Emmys' limited fields of nominees.

It's enough to make a wise man give up on the whole Emmy experience.

However ... well, here are this TV watcher's annual fearless (and, per usual, probably pointless) predictions for Monday night's Emmycast, which airs at 7 p.m. on NBC and CTV.

As usual, I'm not at all looking forward to tallying up the scorecard after the show.

 

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)

Claire Danes (Homeland)

Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)

Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)

Kerry Washington (Scandal)

Robin Wright (House of Cards)

FAVOURITE: Margulies, whose work in a season filled with surprises and outright shocks was transcendent.

OUTSIDE CHANCE: Danes, who remained strong despite Homeland's lost momentum, and Caplan, in one of TV's most challenging female roles.

 

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)

Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)

Jon Hamm (Mad Men)

Woody Harrelson (True Detective)

Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)

Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)

FAVOURITE: All the smart money is on McConaughey completing the Oscar-Emmy double-up.

OUTSIDE CHANCE: An incredibly deep field -- Cranston and Spacey are as good as TV-acting gets, but this year, they'll surely be left behind.

 

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Lena Dunham (Girls)

Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)

Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)

Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)

Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black)

FAVOURITE: Louis-Dreyfus, whose Veep combination of fury and funny continues to be unbeatable.

OUTSIDE CHANCE: Falco, an Emmy favourite in the past for a show that some argue isn't a comedy, is somehow always a factor, and Poehler could finally attract some votes for her Parks performance.

 

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Louis C.K. (Louie)

Don Cheadle (House of Lies)

Ricky Gervais (Derek)

Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)

William H. Macy (Shameless)

Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

FAVOURITE: Louis C.K. should finally get a nod for working the hardest (in every aspect of production) on the tube's most challenging comedy.

OUTSIDE CHANCE: Parsons, whom Emmy voters adore and who could always be considered a well-chosen winner.

 

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

House of Cards

Mad Men

True Detective

FAVOURITE: Looking for evidence that TV is great these days? See above. In a stellar field, True Detective stands out.

OUTSIDE CHANCE: You can't go wrong by betting on the "of" shows -- both Game/Thrones and House/Cards are capable of pulling an upset.

 

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

The Big Bang Theory

Louie

Modern Family

Orange Is the New Black

Silicon Valley

Veep

FAVOURITE: Veep, on the strength of its star's profane, perfect performance.

OUTSIDE CHANCE: Louie might, and Orange could, but the feeling here remains very Veep.

 

BONUS CATEGORIES:

 

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES

American Horror Story: Coven

Bonnie & Clyde

Fargo

Luther

The White Queen

Treme

FAVOURITE: Fargo will freeze out the competition.

OUTSIDE CHANCE: Sorry, no surprises here. If you're looking for this Emmy, head straight down I-29.

 

OUTSTANDING REALITY/COMPETITION SERIES

The Amazing Race

Dancing With the Stars

Project Runway

So You Think You Can Dance

Top Chef

The Voice

FAVOURITE: After taking one of its rare years off last year, The Amazing Race returns to the top of the heap.

OUTSIDE CHANCE: Only two other shows have won this category -- Top Chef and The Voice -- so they deserve this year's dark-horse designation.

 

brad.oswald@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @BradOswald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 23, 2014 ??65535

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Public finally sees inside the Museum for Human Rights

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Down the Hatch- A pelican swallows a fresh fish that it caught on the Red River near Lockport, Manitoba. Wednesday morning- May 01, 2013   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Two Canada geese fly Wednesday afternoon at Oak Hammock Marsh- Front bird is banded for identification- Goose Challenge Day 3- - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Canada's involvement in the fight against Islamic State?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google