Friday, July 20, 2012

My 2012 Emmy Predictions, AKA I Expose My Actual Pop Culture Skills

The Emmy nominations were announced today.  The zombies get the shaft once again.  Though I openly admit the second season of The Walking Dead was rotten in spots and doesn't really deserve recognition of being one of the premier dramas of the season.  It seems like the Emmy committee doesn't like to acknowledge the supernatural series, because the excellent Once Upon a Time was kicked to the curb.  It is actually pretty clear they have a very set type of show they like to give the nominations to.

Anyway, I was thinking about making my predictions the subject for my next pop culture column over at Collective Publishing, but next Wednesday's piece has to be a review of a little indy film about a guy who likes to dress as a nocturnal flying creature and tries to help his town deal with the unexpected renovations of their beloved football stadium.  And I can't really wait a two whole weeks after the nominations reveal to serve up my predictions. 

More importantly, after reading all the nominations, I realized my opinions and thoughts aren't going to count for much.  This list reveals how little I actually know about pop culture despite the fact I write about it for money.  I'm willing to know much more if a billion dollar entertainment conglomerate wants to throw a little moolah my way. My lack of knowledge or expertise or even competence in a subject has never stopped me from rambling on before.  So, here are my totally ill advised, completely unresearched or thought out and sure to be terrible wrong predictions for this year's Emmy winners.  

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire

Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men
Homeland

Rambling Thoughts: Network TV has been given the boot from dramatic series consideration for almost a decade now.  Cable, especially premium cable, has become the place for top notch dramas.  The reality is that cable allows for the shows to be edgier and deal with issues that network TV can't even think about addressing due to regulations.  Network TV continues to churn out thousand different versions of a cop show, while cable serves up the real original and engaging programming.  It is almost enough for me to want to order HBO, but once again, I'll wait for the billion dollar conglomerate to help pay my bill for that (come on Disney, you know you want me to watch premium cable).

Oh yeah, I was supposed to offer up a prediction here.  Surprisingly, AMC has fared really well in this category for the past several years thanks to Mad Men.  This isn't surprising because of any lack of quality, but rather AMC does have a few more constrictions than a premium cable channel like HBO, which can basically present a story without any form of censorship or restrictions (offer up all the same lovely violence and nudity you'd get in the cinema).  I also know there is a lot of buzz for HBO shows like Game of Thorns and Boardwalk Empire, and there is probably a really good chance that Empire will win here because it had the pedigree and is a critical darling.  I also like to root for the underdog.  So, instead I'm swaying back to AMC, but this time not for Mad Men.  It is Breaking Bad's last year, so I think the committee will toss the statue their way as a "thanks for several wonderful seasons" type gesture.  It really isn't rare that  a long running show that is about to end its run will finally grab the Emmy victory as a token award for many years of consistency, just like the Academy often gives a Best Actor Oscar to someone who is near the end of their career but never given the big Academy recognition previously.

Prediction:  Breaking Bad

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Girls
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep 

Rambling Thoughts: This is the category that Network TV still fares pretty well at.  This is largely due to the fact that comedies don't really need to touch on serious issues or be too ground-breaking, but rather just need to make you laugh.  The lack of being edgy or being limited in what you can present doesn't really hurt effective comedy.  Though, it is a 50/50 split this year between premium cable shows and network comedies, which probably is a sign that the Networks' glory days are wrapping up in the sitcom land too.

I'm thinking the Emmy committee will let Network TV hold on to one more year of the Emmy Comedy Award glow, especially since all three of their offering are critic's beloved play things.  I was leaning towards The Big Bang Theory, because Modern Family has had the stranglehold on the award for three years now.  Then I remembered that the Emmies are different than the Oscars, in that they don't really shy away from continual victories for the same person or show.  Modern Family had a really strong season, and some of the funniest moments of the entire series.  I don't see why they shouldn't get the shiny toy once again.

Prediction:  Modern Family

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, Girls
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Rambling Thoughts:  A really strong list of talented and funny woman.  I thought maybe McCarthy might grab a win to make up for not getting the victory over at the Academy Awards for her performance in Bridesmaids.  I don't really know if there has ever been a case for a sympathy win from one awards show to another, because the other passed them up.  Even if there is a history for that, I'm not really sure Mike & Molly is the show that deserves such sympathies, even if McCarthy is super talented and it is always great when a celebrity with an atypical look gets recognized.  I then started thinking that Fey would get the nod, based off my very likely flawed "give the award because the show is ending" theory.  I decided that my best bet is Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, because people desperately want the Seinfeld curse to end and show one of the actors not named Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld has success after that series entered into rigor mortis.

Prediction: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Rambling Thoughts:  Larry David continues to be awesome in his role, but I think everyone in the world hates him and prefers to see him unhappy.  Though I have no clue if an award would actually make him less of a grumpy pants.  I know people glow over Baldwin's performance on 30 Rock, but I promised my teddy bear I'd never predict victory for a Baldwin.  I've been watching lots of Louis C.K. on YouTube, and the guy really cracks me up.  I think that is good enough reason to give him the nod.

Prediction:  Louis C.K.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Rambling Thoughts: It nice to see that Blossom is getting recognized after all these years.  I watched way more episodes of that series than I'd ever want to admit.  Even in the early '90s, I knew Joey Lawrence wasn't destined for rap greatness, though I wished I could just fall asleep and be transported into my own music video -- I just kept ending up in the front of the whole school in just my underwear.  Anyway, I'll give this one to Sofia Vergara, because she is hot and she also makes me laugh.  But mostly she is hot.  Sorry Blossom.

Prediction:  Sofia Vergara

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Rambling Thoughts:  It appears Modern Family has gone all Friends here, and opted to have no one be the main star.  I guess this is sort of true anyway when you actually watch the structure of the show.  It leaves this category in an interesting spot, as over half of the nominees are from the show.  It sort of declares right there what kind of power the sitcom is wielding, and keeps it a heavy favourite in my books.  Though my books are soaked by spilled Kool-Aid, and are going to be proven to be on the wrong subject when the awards actually arrive.  Despite that, I like Ed O'Neill, and I like rooting for things that I like.

Prediction:  Ed O'Neill

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Rambling Thoughts: I want to give my stamp of approval to Kathy Bates, because it is always great to root for the actress who not only has the atypical star figure but also is not the typical female actor age.  But we all know nobody watched Harry's Law, including most members of the committee.  Even though I don't think there is any crossover between the Oscars and the Emmies, I think Glenn Close was robbed by not even getting a nomination for her amazing performance in Albert Nobbs.  Based off that, I think she deserves the win here, plus I'm sure she is marvelous in Damages.

Prediction: Glenn Close

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Rambling Thoughts: If Breaking Bad has any chance of winning best series, then it needs to get some statuettes in other categories too.  This is why I'm inclined to go with Cranston.  But my grandpa always said, "You never vote against, Steve Buscemi."  I've got no reason to go against that wisdom now.

Prediction:  Steve Buscemi

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Rambling Thoughts: I think Christina Hendricks is the actress who gets all the media attention for having two steroid injected watermelons stuffed in her shirt.  Since I don't watch Mad Men (but I really need to catch up), that is all I know about her.  That is more than I know about the rest of the list.  I am sure I would know them all if I had their pictures, but damn, I've already spent enough time on this blog, so I don't really want to Google all these names.  I'll go with this being the spot that Breaking Bad rakes in another win.

Prediction:  Anna Gunn

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jared Harris, Mad Men

Rambling Thoughts: Or maybe this is the category for the second Breaking Bad win.  They have more people over here.  But I'd rather a little person get a well-deserved win, especially after they all got robbed from getting work in Snow White and the Huntsmen.  I'll give Game of Thorns their first win over here.

Prediction: Peter Dinklage

Outstanding Miniseries
Game Change
American Horror Story
Hatfield and McCoys
Hemingway and Gellhorn
Luther
Sherlock


Rambling Thoughts:  I'm shocked they still even bother with this category anymore.  The miniseries hasn't really had any life for almost two decade now, except for the rare TV Event.  But then again, Event TV has never really been an actual must see event for over a decade thanks to the vast expansion of cable, and the fact, people have found other things to veg out to other than evening Network TV. 

It appears they've even got a little desperate on what is defined as a miniseries now.  American Horror Story is about as much of a miniseries as Quantum Leap was. It has a full season order, or at least, as full as most other FX series.  It is also returning for another season next year.  How is that a miniseries?  Even if this season was standalone, it is still a full series.  I'm pretty sure Sherlock is a full series too, or at least, in how the British define a series.  So yeah, it is a very short season, but I don't think it falls under what is a traditional miniseries.

After saying all that, Hatfields and McCoys was a miniseries, and it was a miniseries that drew the kind of ratings that proved miniseries aren't entirely dead.  You just need to come up with a miniseries that distracts the elderly from Golden Girl reruns.  This seemed to be the magic trick.  Since it broke ratings records, it probably will get the pretty little mantel piece.

Prediction:  Hatfield and McCoys

Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Connie Britton, American Horror Story
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Ashley Judd, Missing
Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch

Rambling Thoughts:  Wait a sec, wasn't Missing just a series that got cancelled?  I'm calling shenanigans in the entire nominations for all things miniseries.  This isn't the style of TV storytelling that it once was.  That is for sure, as the pickings seems to be sparse since they keep on picking non miniseries  Anyway, Emma Thompson is awesome, and even though, I don't even know what The Song of Lunch was about, I'm sure she sang about hamburgers with gusto.  That lady is great.

Prediction:  Emma Thompson

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Idris Elba, Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia

Rambling Thoughts:  Seeing Woody Harrelson's name, reminds me that I really need to see Zombieland.  This also reminds me that apparently there have been talks about making that into a series, because TV apparently, needs two shows about the undead.  Anyway, I feel bad that Kevin Costner has fallen from the tower of Hollywood glory and has become one giant punchline.  I hope he acted the hell out of his role in Hatfields & McCoys, and gets himself back on track.  To help him out, I'll show my faith and predict a win.  If there is anything we love more than kicking celebrities when their down, it is watching them get back up.

Predictions:  Kevin Costner

Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys
Judy Davis, Page Eight

Rambling Thoughts:  I'm going to close my eyes, and whoever I point to, will be the winner.  Okay, I lied.  I just randomly picked Judy Davis, because why not.

Prediction:  Judy Davis

Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story
Ed Harris, Game Change
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia

Rambling Thoughts:   Once again, I haven't seen any of these miniseries and possible movies.  See, I don't even know if any of them were TV films.  I'll pick Ed Harris, because I like him, too.

Prediction:  Ed Harris

Outstanding Reality Competition Show
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars

Project Runway

So You Think You Can Dance

The Voice

Top Chef 


Rambling Thoughts:  I'd rather pick one of the reality shows I pitched to network executives.  But I'll have to wait a whole season before those can be unleashed on the public.  Then again, this is my article, and I can do what I want.

Prediction:  Can Humans Eat This?

Outstanding Animated Program
American Dad
Bob’s Burgers

Futurama

The Penguins of Madagascar: The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole

The Simpsons


Rambling Thoughts: Ugh, I remember this was once a category that actually contained some of the best shows on TV.  Now, I haven't seen all these shows, but I've caught glimpses of their horror.  If this is the best animated programs have to offer, then maybe this medium is dead.  Or the Emmies need to get their heads out of their asses and check out the real quality animated shows.  Simpsons stopped being about quality about a decade ago, and Bob's Burgers is horrendous.  Really, really, really, really, really atrocious.  I haven't seen Futurama since the '90s, but I've heard it is at least borderline witty.

Prediction:  Futurama

Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Real Time With Bill Maher

Saturday Night Live


Rambling Thoughts:  I'm going to flip a coin.  Heads it is The Daily Show.  Tails it is the Colbert Report.  Because bother these shows are truly the awesome, and I wish there could be a tie.  They are equally hilarious, but also are far more informative than most news talk shows.  Okay, I am too lazy to find a coin.

Prediction:  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Outstanding Reality Show Host
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance

Rambling Thoughts:  Why is this a category?

Prediction:  Frontier Bonesaw McGraw (host of Can Humans Eat This?)

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife
Loretta Devine, Grey's Anatomy
Jean Smart, Harry's Law
Julia Ormond, Mad Men
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Uma Thurman, Smash

Rambling Thoughts:   None of the dramas I watch ended up getting nominated.  I apparently watch un-award worthy crap.  Or the Emmies just suck at picking winners.  I'll pick Joan Cusack, because I don't want to bother thinking too hard.

Prediction:  Joan Cusack

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad
Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Jeremy Davies, Justified
Ben Feldman, Mad Men
Jason Ritter, Parenthood

Rambling Thoughts: At least my wife watches one of the shows on this list.  But I'm not picking Jason Ritter.  Because I just noticed Michael J. Fox is on this list, and how do you not let Michael J. Fox win?  The man has Parkinson's disease but still had the guts to pull an award nominating performance.  Thought, so did Kevin Costner apparently.  But still, I've loved Fox ever since he went through all that trouble to get a Pepsi back in the '80s.  He is awesome, and he is like Buscemi.  You're not allowed to vote against him.

Prediction:  Michael J. Fox

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy
Michael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Greg Kinnear, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Will Arnett, 30 Rock
Jon Hamm, 30 Rock

Rambling Thoughts:  Holy shit!  Michael J. Fox just didn't quit this year.  He was in at least two shows in 2012.  Good for him.  Even an idiot like me knows he can't win twice.  Right?  I'll go with Will Arnett, because I'm sure he was funny.

Predictions:  Will Arnett

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock
Margaret Cho, 30 Rock
Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men

Rambling Thoughts:  Actually, I know that Greg Kinnear was funny.  We've moved on, even though I actually don't know how funny Arnett was but know Kinnear hit a homer with his spot on Modern Family.  But what does this have to do with the Outstanding Guest Actress spot?  Nothing.  Because I didn't see any of these performances.  But maybe this can be where Melissa McCarthy gets a win, and ladies with less than Hollywood figures can cheer everywhere.  Plus she is funny, and I'm sure she rocked it on SNL.  I don't know, because I gave up on that show years ago.  Plus I'm a cranky curmudgeon that rarely makes it to 11:35pm even on a weekend night.

Prediction:  Melissa McCarthy

We'll see if I even get one of these right.  Any predictions on that?

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