Thursday, July 19, 2007

Emmy Nominations

So, here's some random thoughts regarding the Emmy nominations announced this morning:

Best Comedy: Don't get me wrong - I think all these shows are very funny. I'm particularly pleased to see some more Emmy love for the perpetually dissed "Two And A Half Men" which, while maybe not a subtle and nuanced program, is ALWAYS funny. But where's "Scrubs"? Or "My Name Is Earl"? Or "How I Met Your Mother"? Or "Extras" (some of the funniest TV I've seen in a LONG time)? I would have picked any of these before "30 Rock", which ended its freshman season strong but was uneven until it hit its stride.

Best Drama: Since when is "Boston Legal" a drama? Have the Emmy selectors ever watched it? "Rescue Me" is more dramatic than "Boston Legal", and would be far more worthy of a nomination. Whatever. I wish I could say that this is definitely "House"'s year, but I'm afraid it will be overshadowed by the "Sopranos" final season hoopla. Not that "The Sopranos" would be undeserving - I think they really got a lot right this season. I just think "House" is long overdue for some recognition.

Lead Actor in a Comedy: Regarding the nominees, as Michael Bluth would say, "I have no problem with that." Good choices all.

Lead Actor in a Drama: Once again, I have no quarrel with the nominees, other than the exclusion of Eddie Izzard for his stellar performance in "The Riches". And while I adore Hugh Laurie and would love to see him take home an Emmy, I think this will (again) be James Gandolfini's year - and rightly so. Often, actors gain nominations from being lucky enough to be in a lot of highly emotional scenes, which allow them to show their range. Gandolfini doesn't need to use the writing, or even the plotline, as a crutch. He adds layers and levels to the character that the writers probably never imagined, and every emotion that flickers across his expressive face seems 100% genuine. Well, I suppose Hugh Laurie will have a better shot next year...

Lead Actress in a Comedy: Again, can't say I have a problem with these choices. My only comment would be regarding Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She's a great actress, and does a fine job in "The New Adventures of Old Christine". I just can't like the show. I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly why - it's certainly not because of her. I just don't think it's very funny. But, good for her.

Lead Actress in a Drama: Well, finally the Emmys acknowledge "The Riches", Minnie Driver has my vote in this category hands down, although I think all the nominees are very good. I just think her part was by far the most challenging - which I suppose goes back to my previous comment about how the writing affects perceptions of "good acting", but there it is.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy: I'm on board completely with these nominees, with the following caveat: why is Charlie Sheen a "Lead Actor" and Jon Cryer a "Supporting Actor"? This seems like complete crap. Nonetheless, I'm happy with the choices, but I am once again baffled by the exclusion of the brilliant John C. McGinley. It seems the Emmys don't love "Scrubs" this year. Anyway, I would have to give the edge to Rainn Wilson. He has brought out so many facets of Dwight Schrute - it's a particularly layered and complex performance for a comedy.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Brilliant choices, although I would quibble with characterizing Jenna Fischer as "Supporting". Other than that, I love these picks. I'd have to cast my vote for Conchata Ferrell, who always manages to wring every last drop of comedy out of the few lines she gets. She is often the funniest part of a very funny show.

Supporting Actor/Actress in a Drama: I really have nothing interesting to say about these choices. They're all fine.

I don't have much to say about the rest of the categories, except to express my delight that 3 of my mostest favoritest shows, "The Daily Show", "The Colbert Report", and "Real Time with Bill Maher" are all nominated for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series. I wouldn't even know where to begin to choose between them, but I'm glad to see them all get recognition.

I was also happy to see "Robot Chicken" among the nominees for Outstanding Animated Program. You go, Seth! I would have been happier to see "Family Guy" or "Harvey Birdman" in there, too, but I can live with it.

Well, I'm pretty much tapped. I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks about all this, or if you just think I'm full of crap. If you haven't seen the full list of nominees, there's a good concise list on

His stupidity is effervescent...

So, last night I'm minding my own business, kicking back with some dill pickle spears and a little Olbermann - perfect ending to the day, right? Of course, Keith can't make it through the entire hour without kicking a little caca on Bill Orally. He's actually made it into an art.

There was a whole segment devoted to Billo's unnatural fixation with graphic sexual details in his interview with Miss New Jersey. So far, typical Keith - very amusing. In the daily Worst Persons in the World segment, he revisits Billo on another topic - his repeated assertions that the Daily Kos is just like the Nazis. Ridiculous, to be sure, but certainly par for the course.

Then this happened.

Regarding Herr O'Reilly, Keith said: "His stupidity is effervescent. It glows. It fairly undulates and vibrates... I'll stop now. I'm getting Billo excited."

Has anyone out there ever tried to inhale a dill pickle spear? I would consider filing suit against MSNBC if I didn't think the whole thing was so damn hysterical. Shouldn't you warn a person before uttering what just might be the MOST AWESOME PHRASE EVER??

If you missed it the first time, you can see it here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Emmy Confidential - Tony on the red carpet?!

Here I was, all ready to come up with an excruciatingly interesting blog about the Emmy nominations, due this Thursday. Then what do I discover but a news story reporting that News & Documentary Emmy noms were announced this morning. Normally this would not really interest me, so I prepared to ignore the story, until a very familiar name caught my eye....Surely not....There must be some mistake...

Nope, dear readers, it's absolutely true: Anthony Bourdain has been nominated for Outstanding Informational Programming for his No Reservations episode called "Anthony Bourdain in Beirut". I'm giddy as a schoolgirl about the whole thing. I'd say he'd crush the competition, but he's up against Ted Koppel...You know what? Screw it! I'm pretty sure Tony could take Koppel, so he's a shoe-in if the Academy decides to use the Thunderdome system to pick the winner.

Well, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy. If you've read my profile at all, you'll know that Bourdain is one of my favorite authors. What I didn't include on the profile is his distinguished career in television. His current show is No Reservations for the Travel Channel - the new season starts on July 30th. I strongly suggest that anyone who hasn't seen the show give it a try.

Yes, it's a reality show, but it's really so much more than that. The former chef travels to regions as average as the Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas and to other regions more remote and adventurous, such as Malaysia and Uzbekistan. The goal: To learn as much as possible about the culture of the area, especially by sampling its cuisine. It sounds a bit boring on paper, but trust me - a visit with Tony is many things, none of them boring. You definitely don't need to be a foodie to appreciate this show. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

As for today's Emmy nom, I just have to say: Good on you, Chef. I hope you enjoy the accolades - they are well-deserved. And remember the rules:

Two men enter, one man leaves.
(sorry, Koppel)