December 15, 2010

The Hollywood Foriegn Putz Association

Since I was sick yesterday and could muster only the one quick post, I didn't get a chance to really chime in with my thoughts on the Golden Globe nominations - such as they were. 

Today I just want to talk about the Television categories and really pick them apart.  Ready?  Let's bitch!

Best TV Series — Drama
Boardwalk Empire - I haven't seen this show because I don't have HBO but I've seen clips and I feel like, for the most part, the acting is merely fine.  It's good.  It's completely serviceable and enjoyable even but, when held up against everything else there is, it falls comfortably in the middle - maybe the upper middle - in terms of quality.  If your acting isn't outstanding, then how can your show be the best?  That said, I won't flat out deny them this nomination because I can't judge a show by its clips.

Dexter - I don't have Showtime either and I've never seen a single minute of this show so I'll take the word of critics and friends and give them this one.

The Good Wife - The one nomination in this category I stand behind completely.  It has what I believe any contender for the title of "best" must - excellence in writing, directing, acting, and production. 

Mad Men - Look, I've just accepted that everyone else feels differently about this show than I do but I'd kind of like someone to explain to me the ways in which this show is not bone-crushingly boring.  Yes, it is beautiful to look at.  I suppose that most of the actors are doing an above average job (I swear to God, the praise for January Jones makes me feel homicidal though - the woman is SO WOODEN!), but on the whole, I really don't understand why this show gets so much love. 

The Walking Dead - You have GOT to be kidding me!  For starters, the season was SIX EPISODES LONG!  How can you call it a best show when you've only seen six episodes of it?  The writing is all the fuck over the place, the pacing is glacial which is pretty ridiculous for a show about a zombie apocalypse, and the acting ranges from "serviceable" to "Sarah Wayne Callies does her best work as a severed head." 

What would I have nominated?  Friday Night Lights which is the perfect blend of great story, brilliantly simple characterization, pacing, acting, writing and directing that come together to create a perfect show.  Terriers for doing more with less than any other show this season and delivering 13 episodes that got every single thing right.  The Vampire Diaries (don't look at me like that) because whether you believe it or not, this is another show that is firing on all cylinders - writing, acting, directing, pacing, and story.  The Good Wife due to the aforementioned excellence.  And I can concede the fifth spot to something I don't watch that everyone insists is brilliant - your Dexters, Sons of Anarchys, Breaking Bads - so long as it isn't Mad Men

Best TV Series — Musical or Comedy
30 Rock - I don't watch it because my Thursday TV calendar is so jam-packed as it is that I'd need a 4th DVR to incorporate this into my schedule and, even for me, that's excessive.  But Tina Fey is smart and funny and I have no trouble believing that hilarious sun shines right out of Alec Baldwin's ass so I'll allow it.

The Big Bang Theory - I do watch it, and I love it, and I think it's very funny.  It's nice to see a multi-camera sitcom get a nomination and not have it involve Charlie Sheen.  I don't think it should win, but the nomination is fine.

The Big C - Again, don't have the pay-cable channel that airs this so I can't speak to whether or not it's deserved though I've heard some questionable things about the evenness of quality and I really do find it hard to accept that it's a genuinely funny show about cancer but whatev.

Glee - No.  Look, I have loved Glee and liked Glee and sort of wanted to kill Glee in it's sleep so I'm kind of all over the place with this show but I've been in the same place for a while which is to say that since the Golden Globe nominations were announced last year, the quality of the writing on Glee has been in a bit of a free-fall so no matter what period of time these nominations are based on it is absolutely NOT the best show in any category. 

Modern Family - Yes, I absolutely and whole-heartedly concur with this nomination.  Modern Family is sweet and funny with an outstanding cast from top to bottom. 

Nurse Jackie - I have seen exactly one and a half episodes of this show.  I didn't laugh once, hell, I didn't even know it was supposed to be a comedy.  I admit I have a completely irrational aversion to Edie Falco (something about her eyes and the tone of her voice makes me feel like she's always crabbing at me...I find her off-putting for absolutely no good reason) but that aside, I still don't think this show is remotely funny and that means I think it's a supremely shitty pick for best comedy.

What would I have nominated?  I'm not sure how they categorize themselves, but I'd call Chuck a comedy and I'd nominate it here.  Funny, original, sweet and silly in the very best way.  Cougar Town is the funniest show with the worst name.  Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, and either 30 Rock or Community

Best Actor — Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Hugh Laurie, House M.D.

I won't pick apart the list since it's mostly people from shows I don't watch, though I will say that while I love a Hugh Laurie acceptance speech as much as the next gal, I don't think we need to keep nominating him every year for a show that stopped being good a while ago and whether he's good as House or not, there are other people whose turn it is to be recognized. 

Who would I have nominated?  Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights.  He is what we mean when we say that a person embodies their character.  Every word, every look, every exasperated breath is pure Coach Taylor to the extent that I think people don't truly appreciate that it isn't just a guy out there being himself.  There is acting being done out there every week and it's amazing.  Ian Somerhalder for The Vampire Diaries.  In the hands - or eyes - of a lesser actor, there would be nothing redeemable about Damon and, in fact, he would probably seem like nothing so much as a mustache-twirling cartoon villain.  Ian gives him nuance and depth and the eye thing.  Michael Raymond James for Terriers.  The journey that Britt took in those 13 episodes were something to behold and in the last 3 or 4 episodes in particular, he was absolutely breathtaking for every second he was on screen. 

Best Actress — Drama
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs

Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy

Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

There aren't a whole lot of ways to say "are you fucking kidding me?" but the internet has gone through all of them since yesterday morning because Piper Perabo?  First of all, she's TERRIBLE!  Second, her show is, like, the guiltiest of all pleasures and she is by far the least good thing about it.  Her character, her clothes, her hair, her acting, her very existence is the worst thing about a show that is pure, stupid fluff.  And in much the same way that I object to Hugh Laurie's nomination, I also object to Kyra Sedgwick's because I like The Closer a lot and I think Kyra Sedgwick is awesome but the work she does as Brenda is not better than the work that EVERYONE else is doing.  It just isn't. 

Who would I have nominated?  Connie Britton for Friday Night Lights.  If you want to see a New Yorker play a convincing southerner, a Texan no less, then Connie as Tami Taylor is for you.  There is no one on earth that can fit so much subtext into "thank y'all so much" and she brings gravity to every moment, every interaction, every word.  Nina Dobrev for The Vampire Diaries.  Scoff if you must but I've said it before and I'll say it again, the way that she plays a dual, almost triple, role on that show is nothing short of amazing.  And Julianna Marguilies, Elizabeth Moss and Katie Sagal all seem like great choices to me. 

Best Actor — Musical or Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Steve Carell, The Office

Thomas Jane, Hung

Matthew Morrison, Glee

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Thoery

Another example of the HFPA's extreme insanity - IF we were to agree that Matthew Morrison was actually a lead in Glee (he gets less screen time than Kurt or Finn), it's the best actor in a COMEDY category which means, presumably, that the actor should be funny.  You know who isn't funny on Glee?  Mr. Schuster!  If you want to tell me that he's getting this for the musical half of the category I'd almost give it to you except that the category is best ACTOR, not best SINGER (and sometime ill-advised rapper) so once again I'm going to have to say an emphatic NO!  I also think that Steve Carell is a stretch in the same way Hugh and Kyra are so ppplllllbbbttttt.  Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons are genuinely funny men and I guess I'll take their word for it where Thomas Jane is concerned though, I have to admit, they have little credibility and I'm not usually inclined to think Jane is funny so I'm really just looking right past that nomination like it's not there at all. 

Who would I have nominated?  Zachary Levi for Chuck.  I think it's a lot harder to act goofy than people usually give credit for and it's very rare to find someone who can convincingly pull off goofy and charming at the same time.  Chris Colfer for Glee who I think was incorrectly placed in the supporting group based on the size of his role.  Dule Hill for Psych which is not a great show, but is a pretty good show and Hill never fails to make me laugh, often with only his spot-on delivery of "I know that's right."  And of course, Alec and Jim.

Best Actress — Musical or Comedy
Toni Collette, United States of Tara

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Laura Linney, The Big C

Lea Michele, Glee

I almost don't have the energy.  If this were the best singer in a musical or comedy, I'd just go ahead and give the damn award to Lea Michele but I don't think her acting is particularly fantastic and that's coming from one of the 6 people in America who actually likes the Rachel character.  Everyone else is kind of a big, fat whatever for me. 

Who would I have nominated?  Courtney Cox for Cougar Town

Best Supporting Actor in TV Series, Mini-Series, or Made-for-TV Movie
Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-0

Chris Colfer, Glee

Chris Noth, The Good Wife

David Strathairn, Temple Grandin

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

This category is impossible because it combines all the supporting actors into one group and that's ludicrous but whatever.  I think Scott Caan is an interesting choice, though probably not one I would have made in a field this big but like I said yesterday, he's absolutely the best thing about his show and I do enjoy him a lot.  I already said I would have put Colfer in the lead group so he's out.  Chris Noth is fine, but he isn't the best supporting actor on his show, let alone in all of TV.  Same with Eric Stonestreet - he's good but I think there is better on his very show.  I do think David Strathairn is the bomb but I've not seen Temple Grandin so I can't make any call on him here. 

Who would I have nominated?  Alan Cumming for The Good Wife.  He's the best he's ever been as Eli Gold.  Ty Burrell for Modern Family.  His Phil is the heart, soul and funny bone of a show that is packed to the rafters with heart, soul and funny.  Zach Gilford for Friday Night Lights.  I'm not sure how the nominating rules account for the weird FNL DirecTV season but if last year can qualify, he should be in for the arc where Matt Saracen loses his father.  It was, in a word, beautiful.  Walton Goggins for Justified.  I spent the entire season wondering whether Boyd Crowder really had been born again in prison.  Goggins never once made it easy to know for sure where Boyd stood and that was what made the character and his relationship to Raylan so compelling.  John Noble for Fringe.  No one could make Walter's food fetishes and immunity to ick as entertainingly charming as John Noble does. 

Best Supporting Actress in TV Series, Mini-Series, or Made-for-TV Movie
Hope Davis, The Special Relationship

Jane Lynch, Glee

Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire

Julia Stiles, Dexter

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

I can get behind Jane Lynch's nomination and Sofia Vergara's.  I have absolutely no opinion of the other three. 

Who would I have nominated?  Archie Penjabi for The Good Wife.  Kalinda is one of the most fantastic women on TV and I can't believe she didn't even get a nod from the HFPA.  Busy Philipps for Cougar Town.  I think you kind of have to see her in action on the show to appreciate just how insanely funny she is.  Candice Accola for The Vampire Diaries.  Caroline has always added a touch of humanity and normalcy to a show about the supernatural and even this year, after becoming a vampire, she's still somehow the best example of girl power and friendship and love and adolescence and so many other human qualities.  Her scenes usually hit me the hardest because she makes them so genuine. 

On a final note, they nominated Jennifer Love Hewitt in the Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Made-For-TV Movie.  She played a suburban prostitute.  Jennifer Love Hewitt.  The jokes make themselves, you guys. 

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