Silly me: thoughts on the Emmy nominations

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Kyle Chandler, the most egregiously screwed-over TV actor of the 2006-07 season

In retrospect, it seems ridiculously naive of me, but up until the second before the Emmy nominations were revealed at 8:30am today, I was positive that Friday Night Lights would be up for more than two awards (or that if the series got just two nominations, they'd go to the superlative Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton). Of course, as travesties go, the TV academy's lack of FNL love is minuscule compared with their scandalous failure to give the fourth season of The Wirethe only TV series thus far to get TONY's coveted six-star rating—to land so much as a single nomination. At least 30 Rock and The Sopranos performed respectably (with 10 and 15 nods respectively), but otherwise the Academy generally continued its depressing practice of renominating usual suspects while ignoring literally dozens of more deserving actors and programs.
But enough with the negativity (for a little while). Here's a quick analysis of the nominees (you can find a complete list here).

The Good
Science fiction and fantasy series have long done well in the technical categories while getting screwed in the creative ones, but this year Battlestar Galactica received well-deserved writing and directing nominations. The Sopranos' superb final season was the most nominated series, with 15 nods (including a writing nomination for "Made in America," the grand finale), and South Park's instant classic "Make Love, Not Warcraft" episode got an Outstanding Animated Program nomination. Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and guest star Elaine Stritch are in the running for acting prizes for 30 Rock, Michael Emerson landed a Supporting Actor nomination for Lost, and Peter Berg received a directing nod for the Friday Night Lights pilot.

The Bad
Last year's Outstanding Drama Series winner, 24, received a nomination for what was largely seen as a subpar season (but boy, did it start well). Yet again, precious Drama Series acting slots were wasted on James Spader and William Shatner of Boston Legal (if Desperate Housewives is considered a comedy for Emmy purposes, so should BL). Denis Leary was nominated as an actor for Rescue Me, when he was more deserving as a writer (even if Season 3 was a little shaky). Tony Shalhoub received yet another nomination for Monk; ditto Patricia Arquette for Medium and (we know we're gonna get flamed for this) Mariska Hargitay for Law & Order: SVU. All three are excellent actors who deserved their past wins, but none of them really did anything this year that they hadn't done before.

The Fracking Inexplicable
I could write thousands of words about the injustice of The Wire and Friday Night Lights getting screwed; for the sake of my blood pressure, I won't get started. The Shield also came home with bubkes, when Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, director Frank Darabont, writer Shawn Ryan and guest stars Forest Whitaker (granted, he landed a nomination for ER) and Franka Potente were all richly deserving. And Deadwood's brilliant final season was nominated only in technical categories.

We could come up with enough worthy nonnominees to fill every slot in every major category, and indeed we shall: Stay tuned for the nominees for TONY's Shadow Emmys (feel free to suggest a better name, dear reader), which I'll unveil once the September 16 ceremony is semi-imminent.

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