Emmy nominations get announced on Thursday. I don't think I'm going to try to predict them, though. The Emmys are always so maddeningly backwards, I'd have to put myself into such a cynical mood in order to figure out what past-its-prime shows and performances will get recognized, I'd be in a bad mood all day. Rather, I'll just present what my Emmy ballot would look like, if I had one. Which I should by now, don't you think? I suppose that'll depend on who's on my list, huh?
Friday Night Lights
Deadwood's long since passed, but it was still the best show on HBO for all its three seasons, Sopranos be damned. Lost really rebounded and delivered a strong season that I hope it gets rewarded for. Big Love boasts what might be the strongest ensemble, pound for pound, on television, though Battlestar certainly gives it a run for its money. Friday Night Lights will likely be the deciding factor for whether the Emmy nominations are deemed satisfactory or not. If it gets shut out, expect a shitstorm of (deserved) criticism.
BEST ACTOR - DRAMA
Kyle Chandler - Friday Night Lights
James Gandolfini - The Sopranos
Michael C. Hall - Dexter
Ian McShane - Deadwood
Edward James Olmos - Battlestar Galactica
No, for right now, Kyle Chandler's Hair does not get a nomination of its own, which will no doubt dismay my girl Sarah Blackwood. Gandolfini, McShane, and Hall continue to hold it down for premium cable. I've only seen a handful of Dexter episodes (holding out for DVD), but that was enough to know he deserves a spot here.
BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA
Edie Falco - The Sopranos
Sally Field - Brothers & Sisters
Mary McDonnell - Battlestar Galactica
Chloe Sevigny - Big Love
Jeanne Tripplehorn - Big Love
It kills me to leave Ginnifer Goodwin off this list, believe me. It's a testament to how fantastic Sevigny and Tripplehorn have been that they have stodd taller than their cast mates. With Goodwin and Kristen Bell on the sidelines, you know this is a strong category. Falco finished her Sopranos run as stong as ever. Battlestar's President Roslin kind of faded around the middle of the season, but McDonnell really stepped up at every opportunity. Consensus seems to be that Sally Field stands a good chance at getting a real Emmy nomination for her B&S work, and it would be incredibly deserved. Every week, she's able to wrap her hands around the emotional center of the episode and bring it home for us.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - DRAMA
Jim Beaver - Deadwood
James Callis - Battlestar Galactica
Jack Coleman - Heroes
Matthew Rhys - Brothers & Sisters
Frank Vincent - The Sopranos
In the wake of Deadwood's demise, one of the great things about watching TV is seeing how many programs have employed our old friend Ellsworth. Jim Beaver did such a phenomenal job with that character on the final season. I'm actually shocked that Jack Coleman and Frank Vincent likely won't be nominated, seeing as they're both featured performers with juicy roles on wildly popular shows. Rhys's Kevin is my personal favorite among the Walker sibs and the man deserves some breakout success. Finally, Callis is the cream of the crop and will surely be among nomination morning's most shameful omissions.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - DRAMA
Connie Britton - Friday Night Lights
Elizabeth Mitchell - Lost
Hayden Panettiere - Heroes
Katee Sackhoff - Battlestar Galactica
Chandra Wilson - Grey's Anatomy
I know that Britton is being campaigned as a lead actress, and Lord knows her value to the show merits such a placement. I've got her supporting because...just because. Shut up. It's not like she's any less ass-kicking or award-worthy. Sackhoff is another maybe-lead who is well overdue for some attention. Grey's as a whole may have taken a turn south this season (on-screen as well as off), but Chandra Wilson can still knock your breath out with one punch. Panettiere proved herself to be one of the most exciting and engaging younger actresses since...well, I'd give the three initials of the girl I was going to compare her to, but I don't want to draw the ire of angry fans. Oh, and Elizabeth Mitchell helped save Lost's bacon.
How I Met Your Mother
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
I cheated with six nominees because I couldn't leave either Ugly Betty or HIMYM off the list. 30 Rock and The Office have re-established NBC as the gold standard for network comedy, but some of those shows' most interesting contemporaries come from cable: Weeds built from a slow start to its second season to a nerve-jangling -- and yet still decidedly comedic -- cliffhanger. And Philadelphia gave the kind of freak-out sublimely funny comedy masquerading as something far lower-brow than it is. I will be ravenously anticipating its third season premiere in the fall.
BEST ACTOR - COMEDY
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Steve Carell - The Office
Charlie Day - It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Glenn Howerton - It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
John Krasinski - The Office
Baldwin and Carell are shoo-ins, so I'll save my praise for when I'm posting about how bullshit it is that they lost the Emmy to Tony Shaloub. It pains me to include two Philly boys and not Rob McElhenny as well. He's a close sixth. And maybe -- hopefully -- this is the year the Emmys realize how much we all love John Krasinski. Perhaps the idea of losing him to a career of Robin Williams movies will have scared the Academy straight.
BEST ACTRESS - COMEDY
Carrie Aizley - Campus Ladies
America Ferrera - Ugly Betty
Jenna Fischer - The Office
Kaitlin Olson - It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Mary-Louise Parker - Weeds
Expect Ferrera and Parker to get well-deserved nominations. And even though she hasn't gotten recognition thus far, Jenna Fischer's career trajectory tells me she'll get nominated sooner or later. I won't delude myself into thinking Carrie Aizley or Kaitlin Olson have a hope in hell, which is really too bad because they are fantastic comic talents. It kills me that nobody watched Campus Ladies.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - COMEDY
Neil Patrick Harris - How I Met Your Mother
Ed Helms - The Office
Jack McBrayer - 30 Rock
Michael Urie - Ugly Betty
Rainn Wilson - The Office
How perverse is it that a television academy that gave Michael Richards and Brad Garrett multiple trophies still has yet to toss a nod to Rainn Wilson? He and Neil Patrick Harris both have roles tailor-made for Emmy recognition, they're both superb comedic actors, and just: nothing. McBrayer is often my favorite part of the stellar 30 Rock ensemble. Helms didn't just fit in seamlessly with the Dunder-Mifflin crew, he brought a whole lot to the table. Finally, Michael Urie took on a very tricky character in the sterotypical gay personal assistant and gave him some depth without sacrificing much of what made him funny.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - COMEDY
Angela Kinsey - The Office
Becki Newton - Ugly Betty
Elizabeth Perkins - Weeds
Jamie Pressly - My Name Is Earl
Judy Reyes - Scrubs
That's right, bitches -- Judy Reyes gets an Emmy nod or shit's gonna burn down. Perkins and Pressly -- fingers crossed -- will end up back on the nominees list and rightfully so. They once again spent full seasons stealing every episode away from the top-billed stars. Angela Kinsey really deserves some time in the spotlight after a season's worth of Eva Peroning her way around the office. I'm still repeating "Goodbye, Kelly Kapur" in ominously satisfied tones. Finally, everything I said about Michael Urie above goes double for Becki Newton. She barely edges out cast-mate Ana Ortiz (a perfect world would make room for both of them).
It's important to note that, like, only 10% of the actors and shows I've mentioned stand a shot at nominations, while the rest won't reap jack squat on Thursday morning, and that is indeed a shame. I suppose it'll give us something to write about, though.