The Emmys: Off to a Slow Start, Goes Downhill From There

Update: Worst and most boring Emmys I've ever seen. I'm switching to watch the new episode of Breaking Bad.

What a lame opening to the Emmys. I don't like Glee and I sure don't want to watch Jane Lynch for 2 hours. Did Julianne Margolies swallow too many Xanax? She's so subdued. And the top of her dress looks like a plastic cup.


First, the biggest question about the Emmys: Why are there no nominations for AMC's Breaking Bad? Simple answer, according to AMC: It was not eligible for this year's competition because it wasn't telecast during the Jun. 1, 2010-May 31, 2011 awards year. The first three seasons, AMC aired Breaking Bad in the Spring, which made it eligible for Emmy nominations the same year in which it aired. Next year, Breaking Bad will be eligible again because the fourth season premiered July 17. Also missing for the same reason, not airing new episodes during the eligibility season: Damages.[More...]

Other surprising omissions: Weeds. Shameless got snubbed with only one nomination for guest actress Joan Cusack. Nothing for William Macy or Emily Rossum or the other kids. Jimmy Kimmel Live.

As to the non-surprising omissions, mostly shows popular with fans but apparently not industry insiders, there's Big Brother, Jersey Shore and the Bachelor franchised shows.

The Emmys voting process is different than other awards shows.

Winners are decided by judges who view sample episodes submitted by nominees as examples of their best work. In the acting races, for example, there are only about 50 to 75 judges per category,

Presenters this year:

Will Arnett, Scott Caan, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Jon Cryer, Kaley Cuoco, Claire Danes, Zooey Deschanel, Ashton Kutcher, Rob Lowe, Jason O'Mara, Julianna Margulies, Melissa McCarthy, Lea Michele, Amy Poehler, Ian Somerhalder, Sofia Vergara and Kerry Washington. Gwynneth Paltrow, Jimmy Fallon, Loretta Devine, Paul McCrane, Hugh Laurie, Drew Barrymore, Maria Bello, David Boreanaz, Katie Holmes, Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly, Jimmy Kimmel, William H. Macy, Anna Paquin, David Spade, Rachael Taylor and Anna Torv.

Here are the nomination categories I care about. (Sorry to leave out comedy but I've only seen Nurse Jackie (which I thought was a let-down this season) and Episodes (just passable.) Here's a ballot with all categories you can print out.

I can't make predictions because there are too many shows (Mad Men and Glee among them) I don't watch.

Outstanding Drama Series
  • "Boardwalk Empire"
  • "Dexter"
  • "Friday night lights"
  • "Game of Thrones"
  • "The Good Wife"
  • "Mad Men"
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
  • Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in "Boardwalk Empire"
  • Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in "Dexter"
  • Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor in "Friday Night Lights"</li>
  • Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House in "House"
  • Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in "Justified"
  • Jon Hamm as Don Draper in "Mad Men"
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
  • Connie Britton as Tami Taylor in "Friday Night Lights"
  • Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in "The Good Wife"
  • Kathy Bates as Harriet "Harry" Korn in "Harry's Law"
  • Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden in "The Killing"
  • Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
  • Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in "Mad Men"

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

  • Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in "Game Of Thrones"
  • Josh Charles as Will Gardner in "The Good Wife"
  • lan Cumming as Eli Gold in "The Good Wife"
  • Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder in "Justified"
  • John Slattery as Roger Sterling in "Mad Men"
  • Andre Braugher as Owen in "Men Of A Certain Age"
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
  • Kelly Macdonald as Margaret Schroeder in "Boardwalk Empire"
  • Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma in "The Good Wife"
  • Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in "The Good Wife"
  • Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett in "Justified"
  • Michelle Forbes as Mitch Larsen in "The Killing"
  • Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris in "Mad Men"
Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
  • "Boardwalk Empire," Martin Scorsese
  • "Boardwalk Empire," Jeremy Podeswa
  • "The Borgias," Neil Jordan
  • "Game Of Thrones," Tim Van Patten
  • "The Killing," Patty Jenkins
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series

  • Big Love, Bruce Dern as Frank Harlow
  • Brothers & Sisters, Beau Bridges as Nick Brody
  • Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning
  • Harry's Law, Paul McCrane as Josh Peyton
  • Justified, Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett
  • Mad Men, Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
  • The Closer,Mary McDonnell as Capt. Sharon Raydor
  • Dexter, Julia Stiles as Lumen Pierce
  • Grey's Anatomy, Loretta Devine as Adele Webber
  • Mad Men, Randee Heller as Miss Blankenship
  • Mad Men, Cara Buono as Faye Miller
  • Shameless, Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson
  • True Blood, Alfre Woodard as Ruby Jean Reynolds
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
  • The Amazing Race, Phil Keoghan, Host
  • American Idol , Ryan Seacrest, Host
  • Dancing With The Stars, Tom Bergeron, Host
  • So You Think You Can Dance, Cat Deeley, Host
  • Survivor, Jeff Probst, Host
Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
  • The Colbert Report
  • Conan
  • The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
  • Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
  • Real Time With Bill Maher
  • Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

  • The Amazing Race
  • American Idol
  • Dancing With The Stars
  • Project Runway
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Top Chef
Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
  • Friday Night Lights, Always,Jason Katims, Written By
  • Game Of Thrones, Baelor, David Benioff, Written By; D.B. Weiss, Written By
  • The Killing, Pilot, Veena Sud, Written By
  • Mad Men, The Suitcase, Matthew Weiner, Written By
  • Mad Men, Blowing Smoke, Andre Jacquemetton, Written By; Maria Jacquemetton, Written By
Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Series

  • The Colbert Report
  • Conan
  • The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
  • Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
  • Saturday Night Live

Live updates (if any) below:

6:40 pm (MT): Charlie Sheen - how Awkward was that?

6:45 pm: Not only don't I recognize most of these actresses, I've never heard of some of their shows. Why are they getting a standing ovation? Why is Laura Linney dressed so differently than the others, she looks like's going out for lunch. Who is Melissa McCarthy? I am seriously missing the joke here.

6:56 pm: Finally a good moment: Jesse from Breaking Bad came on for 2 seconds. The guy from Mad Men thought he was dropping off crystal meth.

Is it time for Jane Lynch to do her bit with the Jersey Shore cast yet?

7:00 pm: I liked the reality show skit, especially the shows that didn't get nominated: Bachelor, Bachelorette, Biggest Loser, Survivor, Leno, Letterman, the Voice. Except for the Name Your City Housewives shows, I watch them all.

7:30 pm: Yea! First good win: Margo Martindale for best supporting actress for Justified. Great show, and she was great this season.

Last update: Alec Baldwin cancelled his appearance at the Emmys and asked his skit be deleted because Fox cut a joke about Rupert Murdoch and the phone hacking scandal.

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  • Display: Sort:
    IMO Laura Linney is a (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:25:59 PM EST
    very fine actor. On stage. Haven't seen her in a TV series except "Tales of the City."

    I adore her in everything else except (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:39:37 PM EST
    her Tv show. I'm sure it is more the fault of the writing- no one could make that character ring true. Really a crime against a great actress. Someone needs to give her some tough love and make her stop.

    Okay, the Emmys are at the best (none / 0) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:33:35 PM EST
    comedy writing, and this year's show is pathetic. I like Jane Lynch, but not so much tonight. I also like Will Arnett, but he is really sucking with this presentation.

    Aren't the Emmys usually better than this? Am I not remembering correctly?

    Drinking game: (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:36:46 PM EST
    drink on 'amazing'.

    It may be the only way to make it through the horrible jokes.

    I don't watch enough of the shows to make predictions, except to say that Kate Winslet will win for Mildred Pierce. If there were an award for best performance ever in any medium, she would win that too for that role.

    I don't watch Modern Family...

    I've never seen (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:38:42 PM EST
    Modern Family or any of the canned laugh-track shows. I've probably only seen 30 Rock or The Office once.

    Never seen the NBC version of The Office either (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:45:05 PM EST
    But the BBC version with Rcky Gervais is beyond funny. I started watching 30 Rock last year and like that, but that is it.  I don't like the laugh track stuff either, and after watching the HBO/Showtime shows that are just so much better, it is hard to watch traditional sitcoms.

    Modern Family (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by CST on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:27:33 AM EST
    is pretty hilarious.

    Although I probably would have gone with Gloria over Claire in the actress category (Sofia Vergara is Gloria).  Phil (the male character who won) is my favorite on the show.

    There's a reason it took home practically every award in its category.


    Probst is what? Producing (none / 0) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:41:04 PM EST
    the Emmys? Huh, I thought Mark Burnett was tonight's producer. Of course, Burnett produces Survivor, which makes him Probst's boss. Are they doing this together?

    I read that there was a skit w/Alec Baldwin that got cut from the broadcast because Alec made a joke about the Murdoch's cell phone hacking problem. And since tonight's show is on Fox, well, Baldwin had to go.

    Baldwin walked out when they cut it (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:54:47 PM EST
    And good for him.

    I got them mixed up (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:00:58 PM EST
    Yes it's Mark Burnett

    It was nice that Charlie stayed on messge. (none / 0) (#6)
    by EL seattle on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:44:16 PM EST
    The sniper didn't have to take the shot.

    I think that would have been rather awkward.

    Please please please (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:46:41 PM EST
    Not Laura Linney.

    Love the beauty pageant spoof (none / 0) (#9)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:48:08 PM EST
    that the best actress in a comedy nominees just did. And even though I do not watch any of their TV shows, I like all of the nominees.

    Was happy to see a surprise there (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:50:26 PM EST
    I dont watch that show, but she was so great in 'The Bridesmaids' I can believe she is good in it.

    Haven't seen Bridesmaids. I'm on the (none / 0) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:52:09 PM EST
    waiting list at the library, but I remember Melissa McCarthy from Gilmore Girls.  She played Sookie, and she was great.

    I saw it twice. Laughed and cried both times. (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:54:52 PM EST
    The funniest parts are not in the ads, so don't let the ads fool you into thinking it is just a gross-out movie. Melissa McCarthy has one scene that might be the hardest I have ever laughed in a movie theater.

    Dude movie (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:01:41 PM EST
    About thirty minutes of it was hilarious, but let's be honest, it's really dick-joke humor in a dress.  Still, that thirty minutes of stuff was gold when it worked.  All the actual character sh*t, however, please, didn't even rise to good sitcom level.  If it shows one thing, though, which I find kind of ironic, it's that men and women really laugh at the same disgusting sh*t.  For all the crass humor men get ripped for liking, it seems when it comes down to it...women ain't much different.

    I didn't see it that way at all (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:19:03 PM EST
    Not for me anyway. The scene I thought was the best was when Melissa McCarthy's character was giving Kristin Wiig the pep talk. You could take out all the potty humor and I'd think it was just as good.

    Jane Lynch reading former (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:58:49 PM EST
    Rep. Weiner's tweets w/Bill Maher was extremely entertaining. Haven't seen Glee, which my 30 something niece really likes.

    I like Glee. Didn't think it was quite (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:11:24 PM EST
    as good last season though, and Lynch was not in it as much. I think she is doing fine hosting, though might be a little hyper. That seems to be what they want though - sensory overload.

    WTF is this music thing? (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:14:10 PM EST

    Saturday Night Live Digital Shorts (none / 0) (#16)
    by EL seattle on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:20:02 PM EST
    The songs done live. As a medley.  Totally unexpected.  

    But pretty confusing for most folks, probably.


    Glad know it had some organizing principle (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:36:35 PM EST
    even if it went right past me. I am officially too out of the loop for the Emmys.

    First good win of the night (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:37:53 PM EST
    was Margo Martindale for Justified.  

    How they picked Friday Night Lights over the competition for best writing is beyond me.

    This show has 30 more minutes to reel me in or I'm switching to watch the new episode of Breaking Bad.

    Jane Lynch is even in the commercials? I just saw her in a Healthy Choice foods ad.  I'll bet she's not back next year.

    Yes, that was good. (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:43:08 PM EST
    She was fantastic. What a great part for a character actress.

    FNL best actor too? (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:00:46 PM EST
    I don't quite believe that. Sorry to see a chance wasted for Tom Olyphant or Michael C. Hall without Bryan Cranston in the running.

    They are so far behind (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:44:36 PM EST
    already that Martin Scorcese how to rush through his speech. Blame production, it's not the award winners, it's the presenters and host.

    They got Walter Coggins' name wrong I believe (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:47:38 PM EST
    In the nomination placards. come on people.

    I have not seen Game of Thrones, but I like this actor and he is giving a good speech. and he said 'amazing' so I get to drink.

    He is a good actor (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:01:46 PM EST
    I really liked him in The Station Agent.

    Me too. That was really good, (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:11:20 PM EST
    Also he was funny in that Brit movie death at a Funeral I think it was called.

    Gosh almighty (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:03:26 PM EST
    Who says that -- twice no less in 30 seconds? The guy who won for Friday Night Lights. Really sorry he won over Timothy Olyphant and the others.

    This is the Worst Emmys I've ever seen (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:08:13 PM EST

    OK, that Entourage joke was funny (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:08:39 PM EST

    I don't know who this winner is, (none / 0) (#31)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:11:17 PM EST
    but this man gets big points for proper use of the word grandiloquent. Not many people could pull that of.

    Two for Downton Abbey (none / 0) (#33)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:13:22 PM EST
    Glad to see that. Maggie Smith really was as good as her best work in that.

    And the big one too. That was a surprise. (none / 0) (#43)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:06:51 PM EST
    Not because it wasn't deserving, I just thought Mildred Pierce was a lock.

    Yes. No complaints! (none / 0) (#45)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 06:42:57 AM EST
    I meant to comment (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:13:32 PM EST
    on Katie Holmes dress. She looked like she was wearing a Speedo. Really unflattering.

    wrong link (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:15:14 PM EST
    Here's Katie Holmes in her Speedo

    How bout Drew Barrymore? That's my worst dress (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:24:01 PM EST

    I don't think Katie was the worst (none / 0) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:51:13 PM EST
    by any means. But she's normally so perfectly styled, I just thought this was a huge miss. It might be more her build than the dress. Her shoulders were too bony or something, just unflattering.

    Going through the red carpet galleries, there were some really awful dresses. I didn't see Drew yet.


    I didn't notice Katies dress that much when (none / 0) (#42)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:03:38 PM EST
    she came out, but yes in that picture I see what you mean.

    I like Gwyneth Paltrow's dress a lot. A little different, but very nice. Was a little disappointed in Kate Winslet's look. Dress, hair...not her best.


    Does the announcer really have to make fun (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:35:09 PM EST
    of the winners as they walk up? Why not just have Ricky Gervais host?

    Guy Pearce! Yay! (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:36:46 PM EST
    And Todd Haynes did get robbed, as good as Downton Abbey's director was.

    Well, that was a bad awards show (none / 0) (#46)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 06:48:00 AM EST
    I'd rather they err on the side of taking themselves too seriously than remove any vestige of sincerity from the production.  I don't think it was Jane Lynch's fault though.

    The winners were fine too.

    I feel like I watched a 55-0 football game.

    Oh, C'mon (none / 0) (#48)
    by Blue Jean on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 10:16:16 AM EST
    Jimmy Fallon's "Born To Run" opening with "Glee", Betty White, Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, etc. was one of the best Emmy openings ever.

    This year's opening?  Not so much.  Though I did like Michael Bolton's bit.