Devoted TV watchers name their dream Emmy winners
A couple of weeks ago, I invited a pair of newsroom cohorts and a few local television personalities to join me in offering a few picks from their Emmy dream ballots (the nominations will be announced early Thursday, July 8). Their responses raised a couple of questions: First, has Chet Garner ever heard of a show called "Community?" (see his nominations below); and second, whatever happened to girl power? Look at their picks it's reigning men!
I guess I should have expected as much from a quartet of guys. I did invite a few women to join in but, for one reason or another, they were unable to participate.
So I'll give you these fellas' picks, but I'll start off with my own all-female list of deserving nominees. While some of my fellow award-wishers' dream nods are distinct possibilities, you're unlikely to hear nomination announcers Sofia Vergara (ABC's "Modern Family") or Joel McHale (NBC's "Community") repeating any of mine. But, hey — that's why they call it a dream ballot, right?
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Merritt Wever, ‘Nurse Jackie,' Showtime. "The Sopranos" star Edie Falco capably carries this show on her back, there's no doubt. But what makes this hot mess of a series great is the fine ensemble work by the supporting cast, especially Wever, whose intern Zoe is clueless, frank, endearing and consistently hilarious.
- Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Kiernan Shipka, ‘Mad Men,' AMC. This 10-year-old actress was so affecting as troubled Sally Draper last season it seems odd that she's only just been upgraded to series regular. If Shipka's upcoming "Mad Men" work — struggling with the broken marriage of her parents and entering preteendom in the tumultuous 1960s — remains as amazing as it was in Season 3, this is a ballot wish that could come true next year.
- Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Emily Cutler and Dan Harmon, ‘Community,' Episode 23: Modern Warfare, NBC. Yeah, it took a while for this amusing show to find its footing and become a Thursday night comedy powerhouse. And it probably happened before this episode, which was the funniest half-hour of television I've seen in years. "Community" aped other movie genres during its freshman season (the mafioso-mocking "Contemporary American Poultry" was also co-written by Cutler) but never with such accuracy and agility. If you missed it, check out this episode while you can still get on Hulu.com for free.
Fred Cantu, Telemundo news anchor
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a comedy series, Jim Parsons, ‘Big Bang Theory,' CBS. In a word, "Bazinga!" His Sheldon Cooper character is all at once childlike, brilliant and, as his roommate Leonard once said, "One lab accident away from becoming a supervillain."
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Mark Harmon, ‘NCIS,' CBS. This show gives him a chance to be boss, colleague, friend and even dad to his quirky underlings. He does not disappoint in any of these roles.
- Outstanding Comedy Series, ‘Glee,' Fox. I know they're running as a comedy, but this is a show that really defies category. It is very funny, but it also tactfully takes on serious subjects like teen pregnancy and homophobia. Plus, I love the music!
Chet Garner, host of Public Television's ‘Austin Daytripper'
- Outstanding Comedy Series, ‘Community,' NBC. This newcomer to NBC is blowing my mind and has quickly become my Thursday night favorite. The ensemble cast is stellar, the hilarious pop culture movie references are abundant, and the writing is fresher than the next weekend's farmers' market. Please let me join this study group.
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Joel McHale, ‘Community,' NBC. He's incredibly cocky yet incredibly likable, and makes for the perfect imperfect leading man. Jeff Winger the character might simply be Joel McHale as himself, but I don't care. Heck, it's worked for Alec Baldwin.
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Danny Pudi or Ken Jeong, ‘Community,' NBC. It's a toss-up between Pudi's Abed and Jeong's Señor Chang. Jeong's character must only walk on-screen and I start giggling like a little girl. Pudi's character seemed too familiar at first but has slowly played itself into my heart. Both performances deserve to be nominated in this category. Might as well throw in the Dean, too.
- Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, Ricky Gervais, ‘The Office,' NBC. OK, OK, this hasn't actually happened yet, but if we can give his performance a preemptive Emmy, it might actually happen. Please, Mr. Gervais, your Emmy is waiting!
Matthew Odam, Austin American-Statesman pop culture blogger
- Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series, ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,' Comedy Central. Those worried that W.'s exit from the White House would make it hard for Stewart and his writers to stay ahead of the pack realized they have nothing to worry about.
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Alec Baldwin, ‘30 Rock,' NBC. A master of the dry delivery, Baldwin plays the smarmy Jack Donaghy with just enough warmth and vulnerability to make the character irresistibly endearing.
- Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, Brett Johnson and Matthew Weiner, ‘Mad Men,' Episode 12: ‘The Grown-Ups,' AMC. On the day that everything changed in America, the unraveling of Don Draper's life is hastened against the backdrop of the John F. Kennedy assassination. After a plodding season, this portentous episode served as a catalyst for sea changes among the characters and the world in which they live. It was the season-making episode of AMC's brilliant "Mad Men."
Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman books editor
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, John Noble, ‘Fringe,' Fox. For making the mad scientist on the most comic-booky show since "Lost" one of TV's truly intriguing men.
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Zach Gilford, ‘Friday Night Lights,' NBC. Because a whole bunch of people on Facebook are not, in this case, wrong.
- Outstanding Miniseries: ‘Torchwood: Children of Earth,' BBC America. Leave it to the British to make visceral, Lovecraftian horror on a planetwide scale chillingly intimate.