On Monday, August 30, the CDP will unveil its 6th Annual Fall TV Preview. The night before, however, belongs to the 2010 Emmys. So before I tell you what to watch next season, let’s take a look at some of the best television of the season that was, with my 2010 Emmy Picks. Let’s go.
Outstanding Comedy Series:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Who I Want To Win: Modern Family
Who I Think Will Win: Modern Family
This, for me, is one of the only locks of the Emmys. Sure, I know that Glee has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon this last year, but Modern Family succeeded with one of the most perfect first seasons of comedy since Arrested Development. What makes Modern Family such a triumph is their ability to mix new-school sitcom techniques (mockumentary, single-camera, no laugh track) with old-school emotion and timeless storyline devices. Featuring a cast with no weak points, the more-than-welcome return of Ed O’Neil and a slew of hilarious newcomers, Modern Family is the smartest show with the broadest appeal.
If I’m right about this selection, it means that 30 Rock will lose this award for the first time ever. For their first three seasons, 30 Rock has captured the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy all three times. And while their fourth season was more than deserving (as well as the brilliant seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm), Modern Family had the kind of straight-out-of-the-gate debut that you can only hope for with new comedies.
Outstanding Drama Series:
The Good Wife
Who I Want To Win: Lost
Who I Think Will Win: Mad Men
Mad Men has been on fire recently. The ratings have skyrocketed, the critics will not stop yammering, and the self-important Drama fanboys will have you believe that it’s currently the greatest show on television. They may be almost correct in these assumptions, but until Lost is officially off the air (which it now is), every other drama needs to play second fiddle.
We all know that the sixth and final season of Lost wasn’t necessarily their best overall (for my money, that would be Season 1). However, unlike Mad Men or even True Blood, the eyes of a rabid nation were feverishly dissecting each and every episode leading up to the final curtain call for Jack Shepherd and company. If anything, Lost deserves the Emmy as a Lifetime Achievement Award, although I would not be surprised if Mad Men takes the baton and continues to run.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock
Steve Carell for The Office
Larry David for Curb Your Enthusiasm
Matthew Morrison for Glee
Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory
Tony Shalhoub for Monk
Who I Want To Win: Larry David
Who I Think Will Win: Alec Baldwin
When I was obsessed with Seinfeld, I was certain that Jerry Seinfeld was my role model. My doppelganger. The voice of my selfishness, crankiness and ego. However, once I got older and discovered Curb Your Enthusiasm, I realized that this love and respect should have always gone to Mr. Larry David. Every neurosis, every annoyance and every insecurity that made Seinfeld great came straight from the real-world experience and frustration of Larry David, and with the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it has never been displayed in a more hilarious or absurd light.
Any (and perhaps every) fan of Seinfeld should do themselves a favor and pick up the seventh season of Curb if you haven’t seen it already. Not only is it worth your money, but it will probably turn you into a superfan that either grabs every season prior, or subscribes to HBO for the sole purpose of catching Season Eight.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights
Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad
Matthew Fox for Lost
Michael C. Hall for Dexter
Jon Hamm for Mad Men
Hugh Laurie for House M.D.
Who I Want To Win: Matthew Fox
Who I Think Will Win: Bryan Cranston
Kyle Chandler is amazing. Friday Night Lights is one of my favorite television dramas of all-time. However, the fourth season of FNL pales in comparison to what Matthew Fox stepped up to do in the sixth season of Lost. Surrounded by a group of- let’s face it- better actors, Fox made Lost his own again, leading up to a finale that made you a Jack fan regardless of if you fell off of that wagon years ago. He did an unquestionably fantastic job in season six, and for that alone, I feel the Emmy belongs to him.
However, Bryan Cranston is arguably the best actor on television (I love the guy), so it almost seems to be a foregone conclusion that the Breaking Bad captain makes off like a bandit here.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Toni Collette for United States of Tara
Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey for 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus for The New Adventures of Old Christine
Lea Michele for Glee
Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation
Who I Want To Win: Tina Fey
Who I Think Will Win: Edie Falco
I’m biased to Tina Fey. I think that she already belongs on a shortlist of some of the funniest women in television history (I’m talking Lucille Ball/Betty White territory, here), so in my opinion, you can’t hand this woman enough Emmys. However, 30 Rock had a decent-yet-faltering fourth season, and the buzz for Edie Falco is unignorable at this point.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Connie Britton for Friday Night Lights
Glenn Close for Damages
Mariska Hargitay for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
January Jones for Mad Men
Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife
Kyra Sedgwick for The Closer
Who I Want To Win: Connie Britton
Who I Think Will Win: Julianna Margulies
Connie Britton is real, and Friday Night Lights allows her to showcase her acting in the rawest of ways. Her sensitivity, dominance, uncertainty and slew of leading storylines in season four put her in the forefront of a good number of episodes. She deserves this Emmy. Yet, I know how the voters vote, and I understand how happy people seem to be with The Good Wife and Julianna Margulies, so Britton will be facing an uphill battle to say the least.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Ty Burrell for Modern Family
Chris Colfer for Glee
Jon Cryer for Two and a Half Men
Jesse Tyler Ferguson for Modern Family
Neil Patrick Harris for How I Met Your Mother
Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family
Who I Want To Win: Eric Stonestreet
Who I Think Will Win: Neil Patrick Harris
There’s a reason why three of these six nominees are from Modern Family. Their supporting cast of male characters are easily the funniest and most fearless on network television. And while the whole world seems to be in love with Doogie in 2010, I think that someone, anyone from Modern Family is more deserving of the nod. Stonestreet’s portrayal of Cameron is the one that makes me laugh the hardest, but it’s possible that a three-way vote split will send the Emmy in the direction of How I Met Your Mother.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Andre Braugher for Men of a Certain Age
Michael Emerson for Lost
Terry O’Quinn for Lost
Aaron Paul for Breaking Bad
Martin Short for Damages
John Slattery for Mad Men
Who I Want To Win: Terry O’Quinn
Who I Think Will Win: Michael Emerson
This needs to be a Lost lock (or Locke). Pulling triple-duty in season six, O’Quinn nailed it in every which way. I was nearly rooting for the guy towards the end. That being said, the always-magnificent word of Michael Emerson is just as deserving, and I’ll be happy either way.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Julie Bowen for Modern Family
Jane Krakowski for 30 Rock
Jane Lynch for Glee
Holland Taylor for Two and a Half Men
Sofia Vergara for Modern Family
Kristen Wiig for Saturday Night Live
Who I Want To Win: Sofia Vergara
Who I Think Will Win: Jane Lynch
This should be a very interesting contest. While Jane Lynch and Glee have turned heads and created obsessive superfans in less than a season, Vergara’s portrayal of privileged ubermilf Gloria Pritchett has been a welcome (and hilarious) surprise. Keeping up with a cast of Modern Family‘s caliber is hard work, and the fact that Vergara can steal a scene with her humor alone is a real testament to the depth and synergy of the cast. It’s a toss-up, and in my opinion, I’d like to see Modern Family walk off with as many Emmy’s as they can carry.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Christine Baranski for The Good Wife
Rose Byrne for Damages
Sharon Gless for Burn Notice
Christina Hendricks for Mad Men
Elisabeth Moss for Mad Men
Archie Panjabi for The Good Wife
Who I Want To Win: Christina Hendricks
Who I Think Will Win: Christine Baranski
Christina Hendricks has been somewhat of a cultural phenomenon in recent months (her breasts in particular, if you happen to subscribe to the same magazines as me). And as I don’t really watch or care too heavily about any of these four shows, that’s good enough for me. Next!
Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series:
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien
Who I Want To Win: The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien
Who I Think Will Win: The Daily Show with John Stewart
As much as I would like to see the Academy show some class and send the Emmy Conan’s way (and subsequently stick it to Leno), it’s hard to bet against the Daily Show. Really, any of these would be fine with me (Colbert is an easy dark horse pick, too), but I feel that the best way for the 2010 season to end would be for Conan O’Brien to hoist an Emmy for the fantastic job he did with the all-too-short-lived Tonight Show.
Outstanding Reality Program:
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Who I Want To Win: Dirty Jobs
Who I Think Will Win: Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Antiques Roadshow is an addiction for me, and Mythbusters is one of those shows that I can watch reruns of for days at a time (seriously, if you like Mythbusters, we’re going to be good friends). However, Mike Rowe and Dirty Jobs have taken things to another level, and it’s due time that they’re recognized for all of the work, dedication, emotion, humor and heart they throw into every episode. Rowe can make anything charming (even those Ford commercials), and to see him awarded for being neck-deep in pig shit every week would be redemption on a nearly-biblical level.
So, there you have it. Sound off in the comments section with your Emmy picks and enjoy your day. Like I said earlier, the CDP will return on August 30 with our 6th Annual Fall TV Preview. See you then.