How adorable is Melissa McCarthy reacting to the news that she was nominated for an Emmy? (with Joshua Jackson and Television Academy Chairman John Shaffner)

No joke, I had a dream about the Emmy nominations last night.  Mostly it was about me being at the nomination announcement, but I woke up with a giddy anticipation which was kind of fun.  Part of me was a little reluctant to find out the full list of nominees, because until I did that, I still had hope for some of my favorites.  But most of me was just super excited to see who was nominated.  I taped the announcement this morning (as much as I love TV, no way am I waking up at 5:30am to watch these things live) and was rewarded with seeing Melissa McCarthy’s stunned reaction to hearing herself nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy.  I kind of like that the nomination announcements for these award shows have become a thing.  It’s kind of weird, but kind of fun at the same time.  Plus, a little Joshua Jackson first thing in the morning never hurt anyone.

Overall, there were some shoe-ins and some great surprises (Cat Deeley!  Matt LeBlanc!  FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!!), but the supporting actor categories were supremely disappointing to me.  The biggest snub is definitely Nick Offerman’s exclusion from the supporting actor in a comedy category as well as the total shut out of Fringe (especially the lack of nomination for John Noble and Anna Torv).  But I think we have to be excited about the surprises we did get and keep our fingers crossed that there aren’t any sweeps or repeat winners this year.  HBO leads the nominations with 104 with the next highest number of nominations going to CBS who received 50 nominations in total.  Mildred Pierce was the most nominated of all programs with 21, Mad Men wins in the drama category with 19 nominations, Modern Family topped the comedies with 17, and in reality American Idol came out ahead with 10 nominations (I am happy to report that So You Think You Can Dance came in second with 8 nominations – 4 of those in the Outstanding Choreography category).

The full list of nominees (including all of the technical awards that I don’t really understand) can be found on the Emmy website, after the jump a list of the main categories and my gut reactions. Continue reading

Upcoming Summer TV Premieres: White Collar, Pretty Little Liars and more!

Even in a suit and tie, Matt Bomer looks laid back and relaxed. Perfect for summer viewing.

Happy June everyone!  Now that the regular TV season has officially ended, it’s time for the summer season to start.  What used to be a dumping ground for lame game shows, reruns and burning off episodes of previously cancelled shows, is now a time for lighthearted capers, silly tween dramas, and well, lame game shows.  I actually look forward to summer TV these days which wasn’t the case while I was growing up (thank god.  Lord knows I probably wouldn’t have seen the outdoors as much as I did).  It is a nice respite after all of the serious dramas and the comedies that require me to use my brain most of the time in order to get the jokes.  Give me White Collar and Pretty Little Liars, shows I can float through.  There is nothing too demanding about a summer TV show, and that’s a good thing.  Here are the shows (new and old) I’m most looking forward to this summer. Continue reading

Golden Globe Nominations – Best Actor/Actress in a Musical or Comedy

Alec Baldwin & Tina Fey from 30 Rock

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy

Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock

Steve Carell – The Office

Thomas Jane – Hung

Matthew Morrison – Glee

Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory

Here’s the thing about comedy – it’s hard to do and even harder to do well.  I don’t watch Hung or The Big Bang Theory. I tried watching Hung when it first started, but I found it a bit too distasteful and also a little boring.   I just never got into The Big Bang Theory which, from what I hear, is too bad.  Apparently Jim Parsons is really good.  So taking Thomas Jane and Jim Parsons out of judgement, I am throwing my support behind Alec Baldwin.  The Office is a dying show that has had moments of humor this season, but I have felt like Steve Carell was sort of sleepwalking through it and relying on the audience’s good will to carry him through.  But he wasn’t actually that funny.  Matthew Morrison is great on Glee, but I never really think of him as funny.  He is the heart of the show, but he’s not the funny.  Alec Baldwin is the funny on 30 Rock (well, he’s a big part of it.  I don’t want to give him all the credit).  What’s interesting about his performance is that just when I feel like he’s phoning it in, he takes it one notch further and just intensifies the humor.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

Toni Collette – United States of Tara

Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie

Tina Fey – 30 Rock

Laura Linney – The Big C

Lea Michele – Glee

Oy.  I think this category is kind of a mess.  I understand that The Big C, Nurse Jackie, and The United States of Tara are all 30 minute shows, but I don’t know that I would really qualify them as comedies.  I mean, Nurse Jackie is about a pill-popping adulterous nurse.  Edie Falco is amazing on that show, but it’s not really a laugh a minute.  The Big C and The United States of Tara have a bit more comedic elements than Nurse Jackie but still, they’re pretty much dramas for the most part.  Apparently every TV awards committee disagrees with me as these Falco and Colette have been nominated (and won) in the comedy category since the beginning of their shows and it looks like Linney is about to do the same.  They’re all fantastic actresses and fantastic in their respective roles (and if I have to choose a winner from these 3, Linney’s my pick), but I just don’t think their roles are comedic enough.

I think Lea Michele does a great job with what she’s given on Glee and is actually really funny, however her character has become a bit harsh and far more unlikable this season.  The thing about the Globes is that they do like to award young, new talent which would make Michele a great candidate for the win, but not my pick.  My pick is Tina Fey.  She is my comedic idol because she’s not only a talented performer, but she is a great writer and has done so much to promote the role of women in comedies.  Yes, it can be a little exhausting to see the same actress win all of the awards all the time, when you’re as good as Tina Fey, you sort of deserve it.

The Golden Globes will air on NBC on Sunday January 16, 2011 at 5pm (PST)/ 8pm (EST)

American Film Institute’s Top Ten TV Shows of 2010

A zombie from "The Walking Dead"

AFI just released the list of their picks of the top ten TV programs and films of 2010 as voted on by a unique panel of industry insiders including critics, writers, actors, professors and AFI trustees.  The AFI awards honor the collaborative teams involved with creating the films and TV programs they nominate as opposed to a single producer, writer etc.  The jury selects the nominees based on works which best advance the art of the moving image; enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form; inspire audiences and artists alike; and/or make a mark on American society.

AFI TV Programs of the Year
The Big C
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Modern Family
The Pacific
Temple Grandin
30 Rock
The Walking Dead

For the most part, I like this list.  I didn’t watch The Pacific and am a couple of seasons behind in Breaking Bad, but the only show I really disagree with is Boardwalk Empire.  Maybe I have to give it a second chance, but on first viewing I thought it was a whole lot of set dressing and costumes without compelling characters and stories to back it up.  In other words, I found it to be kind of boring, but within the context of the AFI’s qualification I suppose it has advanced the art form and inspired audiences.

The rest of the list shows not only how much good TV there is, but how disparate the good is.  I mean, zombies (The Walking Dead), cancer (The Big C), high school glee club (Glee), and meth dealers (Breaking Bad), make for very strange list companions.  But I love them all and love that they’ve been honored.

Connecting Through TV

Last night I met up with two friends at a great little wine bar in LA called Covell (it’s awesome.  Check it out!) and as usually happens with me, the conversation naturally turned to television.  More specifically, the last show that made me and my friend E. cry like little babies – “The Big C“.  Since our other friend, N., had never seen the show, we gave her a quick recap of the season and then I told her about the final episode (she was not averse to the spoliers; I checked first).  I kid you not, as I recounted the final scenes of the season finale, all three of us teared up a little.  It was that powerful of an episode.

Situations like this are part of the reason why I love TV.  E. and I were able to bond over our love of the show and pass that love to our friend.  We connected through the emotions that the show brought up for all of us and it spurned us onto other, more personal topics.  It reminded me that one of the things that TV does so well is connect us through a common language and stories.  If you’ve watched the same episode or show as someone else, you can talk about it and then let it lead you to a deeper knowledge of that person.  It just proves that we are not as alone in this world as we might think.

What I Watched Last Night – 11/15

A quick recap of all the shows I was able to watch last night.

In Treatment (HBO) – Sunil finds his daughter-in-law’s birth control pills, decides she’s having an affair and recounts the end of his own first love affair.  In the second half-hour appointment, Frances struggles with her life as a lonely divorcée and explores her grief over her mother’s death.  In short, 2 30-minute duets, sung magnificently.

The Big C (Showtime) – After mourning her neighbor Marlene’s death, Cathy FINALLY decides to get treatment for her cancer.  After stoically enduring the Marlene’s funeral and his mother’s announcement, Adam finds the stockpile of gifts Cathy left for him in case she dies before he grows up.  His outpouring of grief in combination with the song “Lullaby” by Sia started about 30 minutes of big fat tears for me.  It was sincerely beautiful and I look forward to where the writers take these characters next season.

How I Met Your Mother (CBS) – “It’s Robin Sparkles 3, y’all!” Barney announced at the top of tonight’s episode.  Robin’s popstar alter ego returned with an episode from her Canadian sitcom.  It is always great when Sparkles makes an appearance and tonight was no exception.  However, the best part was definitely Barney’s recitation of every reality show kiss off phrase ever.  It was Legen – wait for it – dary!

90210 (The CW) – To be honest, I sort of just had this show on the background and wasn’t really paying attention.  I watch it more for the inevitable fashion disasters than interesting story-lines.  Basically, Annie’s BF tells the sob story of his childhood abuse, Teddy continues to deny his sexuality, Adrianna continues to be a horrible self-obsessed fake pop star, Navid’s dad flees the country to avoid jail on child pornography charges, the adults do boring stuff, and Naomi, Silver, Dixon, Liam, and Ivy turn up to look pretty for a minute or two.  Yawn.

Chuck (NBC) – “Chuck” has been so on point this season, it’s scary.  And tonight was no exception.  After Chuck’s mom suppressed the intersect, the CIA flies in a specialist to help him access it again.  Proving that it doesn’t have to kill a show to get the leads together romantically, Sarah reveals that she doesn’t think Chuck is a real spy and the specialist reveals that Chuck doesn’t think he can do anything if Sarah’s not there to protect him when things inevitably go wrong.  In the end, the specialist is killed, Chuck is kidnapped by Batman (or Adam West playing this week’s baddie), Sarah takes a jet to Chuck’s rescue and we’re left to wait another week to see if he can get the rock that is Sarah off the intersect long enough to fight back.  Also, Summer Glau guest stars, awesomely as usual, as a new Buy More Employee/CIA Agent who attracts the wrong kind of attention from Lester and Jeff.  She can seriously kick ass with a look.  It’s awesome.

Castle (ABC) – I was so disappointed by tonight’s episode.  I suppose they can’t all be sweet and charming and fun and interesting.  Oh well.  A woman is discovered having died from something that can supposedly only happen in space which leads Castle down the path of alien abduction that is, of course, just your ordinary Chinese secret agent.  I don’t know, the episode just fell flat for me.  However, Stana Katic’s hair is phenomenal this season.