Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 08/23/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
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?
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
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
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
Orange Is the New Black
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.
American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie & Clyde
The White Queen
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
So You Think You Can Dance
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.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 23, 2014 ??65535
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