Emmy Nominations 2012: Reaction

E: Last night I actually wrote and then scraped a post on the Emmy nominations, and my guesses and wishes about who might be nominated this morning.  It won’t be any surprise to regular readers that the nominations themselves are as ever a mixed bag for me.  There’s a pleasantly surprising amount of nods that make me happy.  There are a few omissions that shock me, and some that I hoped would happen, but weren’t expecting.  Here’s the big stuff:

Drama Series:

Broadwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Mad Men

Obviously the big thrill here for me is Downton Abbey; I heard they were submitting it as series (rather than a mini-series) and I wasn’t at all sure how that would pay off.  And look, it did!  I’m not sure they’ve ever gotten a series nod before, certainly not in my memory, and I’m thrilled for the show and for them.  (And hey, this show was a big part of the national conversation, all over the print and online media as well as radio and tv; when you end up talking to the cashier at the grocery store about Lady Mary’s engagement, you know it’s everywhere.)  I’m a conflicted fan of Game of Thrones (I particularly liked this season) so I’m happy at its inclusion.  And I have every intention of getting a dvd copy of Homeland so I can check it out.

But.  No network shows at all?  Unless you count PBS as network and I don’t think you do.  More to the point, no The Good Wife?  Ugh.  Not that they were ever going to let it win, and yes, I totally acknowledge it was a rough season, but wow, that’s so upsetting.

Actress in a Drama:

Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law; Glenn Close, Damages; Claire Danes, Homeland; Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey; Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife; Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men

Notable absences: presenter Kerry Washington, and perpetual nominees/former winners Kira Sedgewick and Mariska Hargitay.  Scandal‘s a new show, and the excellent Washington will have other chances, but The Closer has closed, and Hargitay has left SVU.  Not feeling terribly sentimental, it seems.

The networks are slightly better represented here with two nominations for Margulies (phew!) and Bates.  The marvelous, campy Madeline Stowe was thought to have a good shot for Revenge, but no such luck.  Also missing; Mirielle Enos, nominated last year for The Killing.  I have great respect for all the actresses on this list, and I’m particularly thrilled for Dockery.  What a surprise!

Actor in a Drama:

Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey; Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Damien Lewis, Homeland

The big shocker here is that perennial nominee Hugh Laurie was snubbed for his performance in the final season of Emmy favorite House.  Bonneville definitely counts as a big surprise and I’m thrilled for him; maybe the Academy could only handle one British Hugh at a time?  Hamm, Hall and Cranston were all but assured those spots.  Buscemi is a more recent addition but still a pretty obvious one.  I think the question mark for most people was Homeland, but Lewis and Danes have secured the nods that people generally seem to feel was their due.

Best supporting actress in a drama:

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

Michelle Forbes (and the rest of The Killing) is out.  I hear Gunn is excellent, Hendricks is always wonderful, and while Smith, Panjabi and Baranski are all repeats (Smith won this category when Downton Abbey was in Miniseries last year, Panjabi here two years ago; last year’s winner Margo Martindale was killed and so not in the running) I’m dancing about Joanne Froggart.   Hurrah for Anna!

Best supporting actor in a drama:

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

I’m a fan of Jared Harris from Fringe, so I’m happy for him, but I have to tell you, I’m gutted that the Academy once again ignored John Noble.  What’s going on with that?  I honestly don’t understand it.  It’s painful.  It’s obvious from this list that the Academy is particular to certain shows.  I’m too chicken to watch Breaking Bad, but many of my closest friends do and they rave about Esposito especially.  It’s really left to me to be happy for last year’s winner, the wonderful and witty Peter Dinklage, and for the very surprising but utterly wonderful inclusion of Brendan Coyle’s Mr. Bates and Jim Carter’s marvelous Mr. Carson.

Best guest actress in a drama:

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

Love Jean Smart, love last year’s winner Loretta Devine, love Joan Cusack, so happy to see Julia Ormond and Uma Thurman doing well, but YES!!!!!!  One of the highlights of my Emmy day is definitely Martha Plimpton finally getting her nomination for her hilariously evil Patti Nyholm.  Must go dance and sing, and so freaking happy.

Best guest actor in a drama series :

Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad;  Dylan Baker, The Good Wife; Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife; Dickie Bennett, Justified; Ben Feldman, Mad Men; Jason Ritter, Parenthood

Baker and Fox are always good value, and they’ve been wonderful on The Good Wife.  And wow, Jason Ritter getting some respect?  Nice. I’ve liked him since Joan of Arcadia and while I don’t watch Parenthood, I hear it’s a good show and it makes me happy to see it and Ritter getting a little love.

Mini-Series or Movie:

American Horror Story, Game Change, Hatfields and McCoys, Hemingway and Gelhorn, Luther, Sherlock; A Scandal in Belgravia

How funny to see American Horror Story here rather than in drama series!  I’ve seen a (for me) surprising number of these and am very pleased about Sherlock particularly. Hemingway and Gelhorn has been sitting on my dvr for a month plus waiting to see it with my sister C; gotta make sure we do it before the end of September!

Best 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 (Masterpiece)

Missing is a miniseries?  Is that what we call midseason shows that get canceled?  Okay; I like Ashley Judd a lot, so I won’t complain.  Moore was amazing and I have trouble seeing anyone beat her.  I’m stunned by Thompson; The Song of Lunch was a poem set to screen (literally) and rather slow.  But hey, good for here, good for the voters and good for PBS.

Best 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

How wonderful to see terrific actors like Cumberbatch and Elba and Owen get rewarded! Also, a nice return to prominence for a bunch of 90s stars.  (Oh, I know Harrelson’s worked steadily and Paxton was in Big Love, but still.  Don’t you think of them as entertainment kings from back then? Is that just me?)

Best 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 (Masterpiece)

I like all these actresses, so, cool.  More love for Masterpiece!  Awesome.

Best 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 (Masterpiece)

Love Martin Freeman, thought Ed Harris was ridiculously perfect as John McCain, love David Straithern.  It’s all good.

Best competition reality show:

The Amazing Race; Dancing with the Stars; Project Runway; So You Think You Can Dance; The Voice; Top Chef

This is a nice list, and it shakes stuff up a but, which I love.  The Voice?  Okay!

Best 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

Betty White!  Nice!  Perpetual winner Jeff Probst must have refused (a la Candice Bergen) to submit his name for consideration; he’s won this award 4 out of 5 times.

But of course the best news is that the best host in the business, Cat Deeley, got another nod.  Must go off and do another embarrassing happy dance.


Stacey Tookey, So You Think You Can Dance (“In This Shirt“/”Turning Tables“/”The Heart Asks Pleasure First”); Christopher Scott, So You Think You Can Dance (“Velocity“/”Misty Blue“); Spencer Liff (“Whatever Lola Wants“/”Please Mr. Jailor“/”Where Do I Begin“); Joshua Bergasse, Smash (“National Passtime“/”Let’s Be Bad“/”Never Met a Wolf“); Travis Wall and Teddy Forance, Dancing With the Stars (“Without You“)

This might just be my favorite category – possibly because I know almost everything in it.  These are some of my favorite numbers from Smash (I’m sorry they left off “A Thousand and One Nights” but I’m sure that was a different choreographer) ; National Passtime actually included SYTYCD fave Alex Wong.  The ethereal Travis Wall piece is stocked with SYTYCD alum, and I’m thrilled for him.  And Misty Blue , Velocity, Please Mr. Jailor, Where Do I Begin and The Heart Asks Pleasure First are some of my favorite routines from last season.  I’m sorry Sonya Tayeh wasn’t recognized, because she was brilliant last season, but I certainly can’t fault those who were.

(Sorry, by the way – with the Smash numbers it’s hard to know which version was actually nominated, but these are my guesses.)

Best comedy:

The Big Bang Theory; Curb Your Enthusiasm; Girls; Modern Family; 30 Rock; Veep

The nets traditionally hold sway in comedy, but this year HBO gets three out of the 6 nominations.  I’m particularly surprised about Veep and Girls over network fair like Two Broke Girls, Up All Night and Suburgatory, but hey, this is the year of women in comedy, and it’s nice to see that the new nominees represent that.

Lead actress in a comedy:

Zooey Deschanel, New Girl; Lena Dunham, Girls; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Seven nominees, and still no room for last year’s nominee Martha Plimpton or long time favorite Christina Applegate?  Wow.  Still, it’s exciting to see Lena Dunham make the list; maybe she is the voice of her generation after all.  Or at least, a voice.  Poehler, Falco and Fey were locks; Louis-Dreyfus the Academy has long loved, and McCarthy’s last year’s winner.

Lead actor in a comedy:

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

Baldwin and Parsons have dominated this category in the last several years(Parsons most recently).  Cryer gets bumped up to lead, a nice reward for suffering from fellow 80s teen movie star Charlie Sheen for all those years.  Larry David’s back again.  The critics will go ape for Louie, and the Academy can pat themselves on the back for acknowledging an actor of Cheadle’s skill and reputation.  I don’t have a horse in this race, though, so it doesn’t matter much to me.

Best supporting actress, comedy:

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

It appears that the Academy isn’t entirely without sentiment: the dearly departed character actress Joosten picks up a nom for her work on the now defunct Desperate Housewives.  Blossom proves she’s more than a footnote in television history with a nomination.  Nice going, girl!

Best supporting actor, comedy

Ed O’Neill, Modern Family; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family; Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family; Max Greenfield, The New Girl; Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Modern Family ups its death grip on this category, bringing the total from 3 nominations to 4 with the inclusion this year of O’Neill.  I’m most excited to see Veronica Mars alum Max Greenfield and his douchebag jar making the trip to the big show.  I will say, however, that I thought Jason Segal of How I Met Your Mother might have a shot at a nod this year and I’m a little sad that didn’t pan out.

Best 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

Kathy Bates.  Didn’t she play the ghost of Charlie Sheen?  Nice stunt casting, nice pay off.  I see that the reign of Melissa McCarthy continues, which is really lovely to see.  And hey, good for you, Dot-Marie with Glee‘s lone nomination.  Lo how the mighty have fallen!  And mostly deservedly so, even if it’s great to see Coach Bieste recognized.

Best 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

Comedy and drama nods for Michael J. Fox and Jon Hamm?  Excellent!  And hey, just because you didn’t get lead actor for Up All Night doesn’t mean they don’t love you, Will Arnett.  So, pat yourself on the back, okay?

And there it is!  Are you going to be patting yourself on the back for calling any of these?  Happy with the new nominees?  Sorry about snubs?  Pleased as punch for PBS?  Sound off!

2 comments on “Emmy Nominations 2012: Reaction

  1. M says:

    Yeah, um, here’s my sound off…


    No John Noble? Give me a break. No Neal Patrick Harris or Jason Segal, but FOUR guys from Modern Family (which, literally, cannot make me laugh)? Over-saturating every category with a handful of shows? To paraphrase the also overlooked Dani Pudi from the also overlooked Community… Crap. Crap crap crap. These nominations make me feel like there’s about as much legitimacy to this process as there is in a presidential election in Cuba, or in NBA officiating.

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