Thursday, July 06, 2006

Predicting the Emmys through ignorance and randomness

Turns out I didn't really get less fangirly for Blogcritics. It's pretty frivolous, and I do what I said I'd never do: try to predict the winners. But really, it's just an excuse to vent about the nominees. I stole much of the first bit from my previous post, but it gets different after the first few paragraphs.

Well, the Emmy nominations are certainly different from last year. I'm not sure many people will be claiming victory for the new voting system, though.

Amid a tiresome sampling of the usual suspects, it turns out the undiscovered gems the new system revealed were not nominations from shows on smaller networks, like Battlestar Galactica, Gilmore Girls, or Veronica Mars. The "blue-ribbon panel" that participated in the final round of voting apparently have a higher tolerance than the average Emmy voter for Two and a Half Men, which they chose over My Name is Earl or Entourage, and Kevin James in King of Queens, who made the list of nominees over Jason Bateman of Arrested Development or Zach Braff of Scrubs.

Some other surprises: Lost and Desperate Housewives were shut out of the major categories. That's right, last year's winner for best drama series is not in the running this year, and none of the women of Wisteria Lane are up for best actress.

I normally don't make Emmy predictions, because I haven't seen most of the nominated shows. But given the Academy's picks, I thought—hey, the Emmy panel obviously voted blind, too (or maybe blind drunk), so what does it matter? I probably have as much chance of guessing right as those who have seen every show on the list. I'll break it down depending on what I want to win, what I think will win, and just for fun, throw in a random number generator, because I suspect that's how the Emmy nominations were really decided.

Outstanding Drama Series
  1. Grey's Anatomy
  2. House
  3. The Sopranos
  4. 24
  5. The West Wing
Heart: House. But I didn't even expect it to be nominated, and I still think the accusations that it relies too much on formula and its outstanding lead actor will hurt it in the final tally (but then where the hell is Hugh Laurie's nomination?).
Head: This is a tough one—it could go any way, but I'm going to say Grey's Anatomy, because it would be my second choice of these options.
Random number generator: 4, so that means 24. Sure, whatever.

Outstanding Comedy Series
  1. Arrested Development
  2. Curb Your Enthusiasm
  3. The Office
  4. Scrubs
  5. Two And A Half Men
Heart: Definitely Scrubs, and I'm completely unbiased by the fact that Bill Lawrence was a great interviewee.
Head: The Office has a piece of my heart, too, and I think it has a reasonable shot at winning.
Random number generator: 1, Arrested Development. One of the three shows I'd be more than happy to see win.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
  1. Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  2. Denis Leary, Rescue Me
  3. Peter Krause, Six Feet Under
  4. Kiefer Sutherland, 24
  5. Martin Sheen, The West Wing
Heart and head: Hugh Laurie, House. Leave me alone. I choose to ignore a reality that makes no sense.
Random number generator: Hugh Laurie. OK, it actually said 2, Denis Leary. I haven't seen the show, and probably won't, but I like Leary. So I hope random generator is wrong, because I will hate whoever wins this category, just on principle.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
  1. Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
  2. Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm In The Middle
  3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures Of Old Christine
  4. Stockard Channing, Out Of Practice
  5. Debra Messing, Will & Grace
Heart: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, just because it was the only one of these shows I caught this year, and it was fine, and she's pretty funny.
Head: I hope I'm wrong, but I'll say Debra Messing because the Emmys love to say goodbye. I care about this category about as much as the best sound editing one, though.
Random number generator: 1, Lisa Kudrow. Aww, I like random number generator. I think Kudrow is more talented than she sometimes gets credit for.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
  1. Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
  2. Geena Davis, Commander In Chief
  3. Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  4. Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under
  5. Allison Janney, The West Wing
Heart: I heart Allison Janney, so I'll go with her even though I stopped watching The West Wing a couple of seasons ago partly because her character became unrecognizable to me.
Head: Frances Conroy, because she deserves it for putting up with that TV family of hers.
Random number generator: 3, Mariska Hargitay. I'm not a fan of the passel of Law & Order shows, so I haven't seen her in this, but I'll still be unreasonably upset if she wins.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
  1. Will Arnett, Arrested Development
  2. Jeremy Piven, Entourage
  3. Bryan Cranston, Malcolm In The Middle
  4. Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men
  5. Sean Hayes, Will & Grace
Heart and head: Jeremy Piven, because I love him. What? You think Emmy voters don't make their decisions like that, too?
Random number generator: 1, Will Arnett. My second choice.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
  1. William Shatner, Boston Legal
  2. Oliver Platt, Huff
  3. Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos
  4. Gregory Itzin, 24
  5. Alan Alda, The West Wing
Heart: Ooh, tricky. I haven't seen more than a few minutes of any of these performances, if that. Alan Alda was my first ever TV crush as Hawkeye Pierce, and I used to love The West Wing (yes, even more than House), so I'll go with him.
Head: My head's not really talking to me on this one. Let's say Gregory Itzin, because I like the idea of an evil president.
Random number generator: 4. The computer agrees.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
  1. Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
  2. Kevin James, The King Of Queens
  3. Tony Shalhoub, Monk
  4. Steve Carell, The Office
  5. Charlie Sheen, Two And A Half Men
Heart and head: No contest—Steve Carell. Both body parts will actually implode if Kevin James or Charlie Sheen pick this one up.
Random number generator: 2, Kevin James. Stupid computer.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
  1. Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm
  2. Alfre Woodard, Desperate Housewives
  3. Jaime Pressly, My Name Is Earl
  4. Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
  5. Megan Mullally, Will & Grace
Heart: Jaime Pressly, who is completely transformed as the awful, hilarious Joy in My Name is Earl.
Head: I'll say the academy will try to compensate Alfre Woodard for getting stuck in a role that didn't do justice to her talents. And I don't think they can't go cold turkey with Desperate Housewives.
Random number generator: 4, Elizabeth Perkins. The computer redeems itself. I've only caught a couple of episodes of this show because I cannot figure out when and where it's on here in Canada, but she and Mary-Louise Parker crack me up.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
  1. Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
  2. Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
  3. Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
  4. Blythe Danner, Huff
  5. Jean Smart, 24
Heart and head: Sandra Oh. I have a total girl crush on her and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
Random number generator: 2. Unanimous!

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
  1. Arrested Development, "Development Arrested," Teleplay by Chuck Tatham and Jim Vallely; Story by Richard Day and Mitchell Hurwitz
  2. Entourage, "Exodus," Written by Doug Ellin
  3. Extras, "Kate Winslet" Written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
  4. My Name Is Earl, Pilot, Written by Greg Garcia
  5. The Office, "Christmas Party," Written by Michael Schur
Heart and head: My heart is torn, and my head hurts on this one - they'd all be good. I'll go with My Name is Earl, because it deserved a best series nomination too.
Random number generator: 1, Arrested Development. That works, too.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
  1. Grey’s Anatomy, "It’s the End Of The World, As We Know It (Part 1 & 2)," Written by Shonda Rhimes
  2. Grey’s Anatomy, "Into You Like A Train," Written by Krista Vernoff
  3. Lost, "The 23rd Psalm," Written by Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof
  4. Six Feet Under, "Everyone’s Waiting," Written by Alan Ball
  5. The Sopranos, "Members Only," Written by Terence Winter
Heart: House, "Autopsy," Written by Lawrence Kaplow. Don't keep scanning the nominees to see if you've missed something—I'm invoking the Ignore Unpleasant Reality Rule here again. This is the episode that won the Writers Guild award this year, and that was House's submission for best drama series, earning them a spot in the top five of that category. What makes the show worthy of best series status, if not the writing and acting?
Head: House, "No Reason" ... OK, OK, I can only be so irrational. I have a feeling the Emmy voters will go with the Grey's post-Superbowl episodes, "It's The End of the World/As We Know It," even though I think the second part is one of the weaker hours of a usually strong show, and I prefer the other Grey's nominee here.
Random number generator: 4, Six Feet Under, "Everybody's Waiting." The series finale, and I could easily live with that. That is, if I didn't know "Autopsy" will win.

The Emmy awards are broadcast on NBC on Sunday, August 27. I'll be keeping score, and stewing in my bitterness.