Emmy Nominations announced today, boys and girls. Here are the top five reasons why I am happy and frustrated all at once:
- Mad Men’s writing nod for the best episode of anything of 2010: I’ve already discussed on this blog why “The Suitcase” was the most compelling hour of television offered last year. What was essentially a Don/Peggy duet is in no way hindered by a viewer unfamiliar to the complicated relationship of our two leads. It helps to know the whole story behind the screams, the laughs, the tears, the poor punches (Duck does make an appearance), and the ultimate love on display between the unraveling genius and the protegé who is more than possibly even he ever imagined. Naturally the experience is only enhanced if you know the entire backstory, but so sublime are the performances from Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss and so skilled the words making their way from page to screen, a glimpse into what makes any “most important” connection between two people work, that I cannot see how it will be denied the trophy (but of course, this is the Emmys, people).
- Parks and Recreation a contender for Outstanding Comedy Series: Guess the Emmys will never got on board with Community (their loss), but Parks and Recreation definitely made moves to find its own identity on NBC’s Thursday night lineup. April and Andy’s wedding, the permanent additions of Ben and Chris, Ron Swanson’s turkey burger, and Leslie at something of a professional and/or personal crossroads at the season’s conclusion added up to a show that I will be rooting for even if I think it has zero chance of claiming a title it held for more weeks than not.
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series?: Where the fuck are the Boardwalk Empire boys? Michaels Pitt and Shannon (especially Shannon) mesmerized with characters who defied expectations. At one point, Pitt’s Jimmy seemed doomed to fall into a self-loathing addiction reminiscent of Christopher Moltisanti, but he got his head together to partner with his long-estranged birth father, and he is poised to go after father figure Nucky in Season Two. And Van Alden? Van Alden?! Only the most twisted character in a world of gangsters and murders. And he’s the law! Should have both been recognized.
- Everybody from Mildred Pierce but…: I didn’t get a chance to properly praise HBO’s compelling mini-series, but let me express how pleased I am to see most of the stellar cast and the brilliant writing rewarded with nominations. Evan Rachel Wood is worthy for her turn as the older Veda, a budding singer who betrays her titular mother in the worst way imaginable. But Morgan Turner’s performance as the younger Veda showed the audience how and why Veda could and would go to such monstrous lengths. I adore Kate Winslet (and she will win the Emmy), but this was the highlight of an awesome collection of episodes.
- Where’s Jason Segel?: How I Met Your Mother has been better, but props where props are due. Jason Segel acted the shit out of Marshall’s fear of trying to have a baby/becoming a dad, the loss of his own father, a radical change in career paths, and the news of Lily’s pregnancy in the season finale. Should have been nominated, wasn’t, so while I’m looking forward to the telecast, you can see why I’m far from pleased with today’s announcement.