Does Kiernan Shipka deserve an Emmy nomination in the same category – Best Supporting Actor in a Drama – as Maggie Smith? Who is Kiernan Shipka, you say? Well she’s the young actor playing the pivotal role of Sally Draper on Mad Men.
In the same category, what about Kate Mara, who played the ruthless young reporter on the non-traditional TV event, Netflix’s House of Cards ? She was the best actor in it, right? And keeping with the theme of young women actors, should Lena Dunham’s Girls (it airs tonight, 9 p.m. on Cosmo TV, by the way, with double episodes from season one) be nominated for the Emmy for Best Comedy? If so, would many of its loyal viewers be shocked to discover it is officially categorized as “comedy”?
Another question – is it possible that the much hyped but disappointing, banal revival of Arrested Development on Netflix could push out Girls in that category? Does anyone care it was on Netflix?
The Emmy Award nominations will be announced Thursday morning in L.A. So, at the time I’m writing this on Wednesday, the list of nominees is unknown. But, here’s the thing – we have seen so much good TV in the past year that the Emmy Awards, traditionally conservative, cannot possibly cover everything and be fair to everyone.
And the Emmy awards are maddening in any case. Anomalies have always abounded. The safe vote has dominated. Modern Family and before that, 30 Rock , owned Best Comedy Series, even as both slipped in quality.
Last year, the Emmy Awards worshiped Homeland , with the Showtime series winning in three prestige categories: Best Drama, Best Actor in a Drama (Damian Lewis), and Best Actress in a Drama, going to Claire Danes. All deserved, but this year the number of deserving nomination in those prestige categories has expanded vastly.
Here are some significant achievements you might see acknowledged by the Emmy nominations. Or might not. Because either there’s too much good TV to honour or the voters remain loyal to the ordinary and the obvious.
Emmy for Best Drama
The giddy speculation here involves House of Cards . Will Hollywood acknowledge Netflix’s impact by including the political drama along with likely nominees Breaking Bad , Mad Men , Homeland , Boardwalk Empire , Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey ? Me, I wouldn’t include House of Cards because for all the short-lived hyperbole, it was a mediocre soap opera and not equal to the best of cable drama. A more deserving nominee is FX’s The Americans .
Best Actor in a Drama
Damian Lewis is nominated again, for sure. Along with Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad , Jon Hamm for Mad Men and Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire . A deserving guy is Mathew Rhys for The Americans . Off the radar of the voters, but certainly deserving, is Aden Young for Recifty , made for the Sundance Channel. Young’s depiction of Daniel Holden, a man traumatized by years in prison was not only profoundly good, but profoundly moving.
Best Actress in a Drama
Claire Danes again for Homeland ? Probably, because the Academy members made a point of seeing the show. Likely included will be Vera Farmiga for Bates Motel , a good choice, and Michelle Dockery for Downton Abbey , because everybody loves Lady Mary. Also, Connie Britton for Nashville . An actress who should be included is Kerry Washington for Scandal . And, if there is a any justice, there will be a nomination for Canadian Tatiana Maslany, who played eight roles on Orphan Black . Now that’s acting, even in L.A.
Modern Family and Big Bang Theory again? Nominated, yes, but surely not likely winners. On the surface the category looks very competitive. The following shows could get nominated: Girls , Louie , Episodes , Enlightened , Arrested Development , New Girl , The Office and Veep . But many are overrated, even the premium cable shows Veep and Enlightened . Frankly, I think New Girl is eminently deserving, and should win.
Best Actress in a Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Veep and Lena Dunham for Girls look like certain picks. Mind you, Edie Falco for her work on Nurse Jackie , a show rebooted and better than ever, should be included.
Best Actor in a Comedy
The boys on Big Bang will get nominated. Louie CK is an outside bet. There is some movement behind Mathew Perry for Go On , which is ludicrous. Me, I’d say it would be a disgrace if Max Greenfield isn’t nominated for playing Schmidt on New Girl – an actor who holds that show’s comedy together, week after week.
Is Netflix in or out? An acknowledgment of the skill involved in playing Sally Draper? Let’s see what mistakes are made.
Luther (BBC Canada, Thursday, 9 p.m.) is back. Idris Elba is back as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, handling serious crime in a very serious manner. Some find Luther unspeakably mannered, while others adore its big emotions. The Guardian recently referred to it as a show with many “running about in expensive overcoats” scenes.