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"I thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities."

By Seth Freilich | Industry | July 16, 2009 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | July 16, 2009 |

Well, the Emmy nominations are out and if you haven’t already seen ‘em, let’ go through the ones we care about (art direction, schmart direction). I’m always intrigued by the Outstanding Guest categories, which are a bizarre mix of legit nominations and sucking up to celebs although, this year, they seem to be more legit and less suckey-upey:

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
30 Rock (Gavin Volure) · Steve Martin, as Gavin Volure
30 Rock (The Bubble) · Jon Hamm, as Dr. Drew Baird
30 Rock (Mamma Mia) · Alan Alda, as Milton Greene
Desperate Housewives (The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened) · Beau Bridges, as Eli Boggs
Saturday Night Live (Host: Justin Timberlake) · Justin Timberlake, as Various Characters

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
CSI: NY (Yahrzeit) · Edward Asner, as Abraham Klein
Damages (They Had to Tweeze That Out of My Kidney) · Ted Danson, as Arthur Frobisher
Dexter (Go Your Own Way) · Jimmy Smits, as Miguel Prado
ER (And In The End) · Ernest Borgnine, as Paul Manning
Rescue Me (Sheila) · Michael J. Fox, as Dwight

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
30 Rock (The One With The Cast Of ‘Night Court’) · Jennifer Aniston, as Claire
30 Rock (Christmas Special) · Elaine Stritch, as Colleen Donaghy
Monk (Mr. Monk And The Lady Next Door) · Gena Rowlands, as Marge
My Name Is Earl (Witch Lady) · Betty White, as Crazy Witch Lady
Saturday Night Live (Presidential Bash 2008) · Tina Fey, as Governor Sarah Palin (Spoof)
The Big Bang Theory (The Maternal Capacitance) · Christine Baranski, as Beverly Hofstadter

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Grey’s Anatomy (No Good At Saying Sorry (One More Chance)) · Sharon Lawrence, as Robbie Stevens
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Swing) · Ellen Burstyn, as Bernadette Stabler
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Persona) · Brenda Blethyn, as Linnie Malcolm/Caroline Cantwell
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Ballerina) · Carol Burnett, as Bridget “Birdie” Sulloway
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (The Boy With The African Heart) · CCH Pounder, as Mrs. Curtin

See, those really aren’t too bad. I must admit that I am a little flummoxed, however, on how Jimmy Smits was a “guest actor” when he was kinda one of the stars of “Dexter” last season.

Here are the three supporting actor categories:

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
30 Rock · Tracy Morgan, as Tracy Jordan
30 Rock · Jack McBrayer, as Kenneth Parcell
Entourage · Kevin Dillon, as Johnny Drama
How I Met Your Mother · Neil Patrick Harris, as Barney Stinson
The Office · Rainn Wilson, as Dwight Schrute
Two And A Half Men · Jon Cryer, as Alan Harper

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Boston Legal · William Shatner, as Denny Crane
Boston Legal · Christian Clemenson, as Jerry Espenson
Breaking Bad · Aaron Paul, as Jesse Pinkman
Damages · William Hurt, as Daniel Purcell
Lost · Michael Emerson, as Ben Linus
Mad Men · John Slattery, as Roger Sterling

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Grey Gardens · Ken Howard, as Phelan Beale
Into The Storm · Len Cariou, as Franklin D. Roosevelt
Little Dorrit · Tom Courtenay, as Mr. Dorrit
Little Dorrit · Andy Serkis, as Rigaud
The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice · Bob Newhart, as Judson

Fuck you Jon Cryer, and holla at your boy, Jack McBrayer, NPH and Rainn Wilson. I love just about all of the Drama nominations. Aaron Paul should win as he was fucking fantastic last season, but I suspect the Shat’s getting the gold. And I kinda have nothing to say on the Miniseries/Movie front. So let’s talk women:

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
30 Rock · Jane Krakowski, as Jenna Maroney
Pushing Daisies · Kristin Chenoweth, as Olive Snook
Saturday Night Live · Amy Poehler, as Various Characters
Saturday Night Live · Kristin Wiig, as Various Characters
Ugly Betty · Vanessa Williams, as Wilhelmina Slater
Weeds · Elizabeth Perkins, as Celia Hodes

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
24 · Cherry Jones, as President Allison Taylor
Damages · Rose Byrne, as Ellen Parsons
Grey’s Anatomy · Sandra Oh, as Dr. Christina Yang
Grey’s Anatomy · Chandra Wilson, as Dr. Miranda Bailey
In Treatment · Dianne Wiest, as Gina
In Treatment · Hope Davis, as Mia

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Grey Gardens · Jeanne Tripplehorn, as Jackie O.
House Of Saddam · Shohreh Aghdashloo, as Sajida
Into The Storm · Janet McTeer, as Clementine Churchill
Relative Stranger · Cicely Tyson, as Pearl
The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler (Hallmark Hall Of Fame Presentation) · Marcia Gay Harden, as Janina

Ok, I love that “Pushing Daisies” garnered a nod for Chenoweth, but I hate that it’s the show’s only nominee, particuarly since I’d put the show itself or any of the other supporting or lead actors/actresses above her. Beyond that, the Comedy nominations are a bit meh. But I love, love, love that Hope Davis got a Drama nomination, and if she doesn’t win that category, it’s a travesty. But she won’t. And frankly, as long as it’s not Sandra Oh, I can live with any of the other gals winning. And, again, I kinda have nothing to say on the Miniseries/Movie nominations, as I haven’t seen a one of them (though three of them are floating on my DVR watch list).

For lead actors, your nominees are:

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
30 Rock · Alec Baldwin, as Jack Donaghy
Flight Of The Conchords · Jemaine Clement, as Jemaine
Monk · Tony Shalhoub, as Adrian Monk
The Big Bang Theory · Jim Parsons, as Sheldon Cooper
The Office · Steve Carell, as Michael Scott
Two And A Half Men · Charlie Sheen, as Charlie Harper

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad · Bryan Cranston, as Walter White
Dexter · Michael C. Hall, as Dexter Morgan
House · Hugh Laurie, as Dr. Gregory House
In Treatment · Gabriel Byrne, as Paul
Mad Men · Jon Hamm, as Don Draper
The Mentalist · Simon Baker, as Patrick Jane

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
24: Redemption · Kiefer Sutherland, as Jack Bauer
Cyrano de Bergerac (Great Performances) · Kevin Kline, as Cyrano de Bergerac
Into The Storm · Brendan Gleeson, as Winston Churchill
King Lear (Great Performances) · Sir Ian McKellen, as King Lear
Taking Chance · Kevin Bacon, as LtCol Mike Strobl
Wallander: One Step Behind · Kenneth Branagh, as Kurt Wallander

No complaints with the drama nominees, although Bryan Cranston should just beat out Gabriel Byrne, for my money — while both put on acting clinics this year, Cranston was just a bit better. The comedy nominees, meanwhile, are a fucking mess as always. No problem with Baldwin and Carell, of course, and interesting to see Jim Parsons get a nod. But Charlie Sheen and Tony Shalhoub again? Really. Can someone explain this shit to me?

My only real complaint with the miniseries/movie nominations is that there’s nobody from “Generation Kill,” and Alexander Skarsgard or James Ransone easily deserve nominations over the Kiefer and Kevin Bacon.

And for the ladies:

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
30 Rock · Tina Fey, as Liz Lemon
Samantha Who? · Christina Applegate, as Samantha Newly
The New Adventures Of Old Christine · Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as Christine
The Sarah Silverman Program · Sarah Silverman, as Sarah Silverman
United States Of Tara · Toni Collette, as Tara Gregson
Weeds · Mary-Louise Parker, as Nancy Botwin

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Brothers & Sisters · Sally Field, as Nora Walker
Damages · Glenn Close, as Patty Hewes
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit · Mariska Hargitay, as Detective Olivia Benson
Mad Men · Elisabeth Moss, as Peggy Olson
Saving Grace · Holly Hunter, as Grace Hanadarko
The Closer · Kyra Sedgwick, as Brenda Leigh Johnson

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Accidental Friendship · Chandra Wilson, as Yvonne
Coco Chanel · Shirley MacLaine, as Coco Chanel
Grey Gardens · Drew Barrymore, as Little Edie
Grey Gardens · Jessica Lange, as Big Edie
Prayers For Bobby · Sigourney Weaver, as Mary Griffith

Love the nominations for Toni Collette and Sarah Silverman. But I suspect Comedy is again Tina Fey’s to lose. The Drama list seems underwhelming to me. Is this really the best we have? Not that any of them are bad, per se, this just feels thin. We gotta get some better parts for women on the TV, I guess. And I haven’t seen a single one of the miniseries/movies that got actress nods, so I ain’t go shit to say about that.

Speaking of which, the Made for TV Movie category is a guaranteed win for either HBO or Lifetime:

Outstanding Made For Television Movie
Coco Chanel · Lifetime
Grey Gardens · HBO
Into The Storm · HBO
Prayers For Bobby · Lifetime
Taking Chance · HBO

Only one of those I saw was “Taking Chance,” which could win because of the whole war angle, although I suspect that several of the other nominees were substantially better.

The Miniseries catgory, meanwhile, is a joke:

Outstanding Miniseries
Generation Kill · HBO
Little Dorrit · PBS

Were there no other miniseries last year? Or did everyone know that “Generation Kill” was such a slam dunk that they didn’t even bother submitting?

So here are the big two. Your nominated Comedy shows are:

Outstanding Comedy Series
30 Rock
Family Guy
Flight Of The Conchords
How I Met Your Mother
The Office

What’s interesting here is that three of the nominees — “Entourage,” “Family Guy” and “Weeds” — aren’t really comedy series as much as they’re former comedy series. Where “It Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Eastbound and Down?” If anything other than “30 Rock” or “The Office” wins, this category is fucked (though at least there’s no nod to “Two and a Half Men”).

The Drama category, meanwhile, is much better:

Outstanding Drama Series
Big Love · HBO
Breaking Bad · AMC
Damages · FX Networks
Dexter · Showtime
House · FOX
Lost · ABC
Mad Men · AMC

That’s a pretty solid list all around. For my money, “Breaking Bad” should win, as Season Two of that show was the single best thing on TV last year. But I could easily live with “Big Love” or “Mad Men” winning, and I wouldn’t be outrageously angry if any of the other nominees won.

So there you have it. Talk and bitch amongst yourselves.

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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