Every year, Hollywood’s TV elite have a circle jerk and many of us sit down to watch the reach-around because we’re perverts or sad, bored, lonely people. The glitterati congratulate themselves on what a great job they all did and how they’ve revolutionized American culture for generations to come even though no one (apart from me, I suppose) watched The Comeback. And every year, civilians and TV connoisseurs alike are baffled by how increasingly inaccessible the winners are. If nobody’s watching Breaking Bad, does that mean it’s any good? (Well, it is, but that’s not the point.) And also, if no one continues watching it after it wins the gold, then really, what use are the Emmys? Well none, which is why if this year’s a bust, it may be marginalized to cable next year. With this year’s crop of nominees (and slightly bloated short-lists), we could pick a few bones. For example, Entourage again? Two and a Half Men up for any kind of acting award? Why, Universe! Why must you reward crap? But enough despair. A run-down of what the TV gods got right follows.
1. 22 nods for 30 Rock. Say what you will about the meta-comedy. I know I did! But it made an impressive comeback at the tail-end of season three.
2. One of which is a Best Supporting Actor nod for Kenneth the Page.
3. Absolutely everything about the Best Supporting Actress In a Comedy Series category: Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies; Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock; Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds; Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live; Kristin Wiig, Saturday Night Live; Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty.
4. Sarah Silverman up for a Best Actress in a Comedy Series prize for The Sarah Silverman Program.
5. Padma Lakshmi up for Best Host in a Reality Competition Program for Top Chef. Well, with Tom Colicchio.
6. Toni Collete’s Best Actress In a Comedy nod for United States of Tara (even though it’s a drama!). She’s probably going to lose it to Mary-Louise Parker for Weeds, though.
7. True Blood netting a few nods, including Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series. Even if it was atrociously overlooked for any of the big prizes.
8. Best Actor in a Drama nod for Michael C. Hall. He’s the reason why Dexter, which is otherwise flagging these days, is still a bit excellent.
9. Family Guy running for Best Comedy, thereby allowing for an absurd upset like Robot Chicken competing for Best Animated Program.
10. And finally, Shohreh Aghdashloo for Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series. She was pretty much the only reason to watch the otherwise monochromatic biopic of Sadam Hussein’s life.