This might be the first Emmy nomination morning in a number of years that didn't leave us pounding our heads into the wall. That's not to say that there weren't a great deal of snubs (there were) or that undeserving people didn't get recognized (they did), but the number of happy surprises eased much of the frustration that we would otherwise feel. For us, the biggest pleasant surprise was that Friday Night Lights's tremendous husband and wife duo (played by Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton) were finally nominated for their years of brilliant, ignored work. The other big highlight was getting to watch nomination presenter Sofia Vergara stumble over pretty much everyone's name -- so much so that co-presenter Joel McHale generously pronounced "Hargitay" for her. And as if that wasn't enough to charm us, McHale also coped with his Emmy snub far better than we did, by simply shrugging and saying, "It's OK, I phoned it in." Is there an Emmy for best sport? Anyway, on with the rest of our initial reactions to this year's nominees.
Outstanding Drama Series
The Good Wife
Well, to be honest, we knew it was a long shot for our favorite fanged show, The Vampire Diaries to get nominated when we put it on our wish list, but True Blood is also an addictive guilty pleasure with pretty awesome moments, so we'll deal. Especially since the Emmy voters saw fit to include our other top picks, The Good Wife, Breaking Bad and Mad Men. And although we thought that the majority of this final season of Lost was a terrible disappointment, we understand that the nominating committee might be sentimental and want to reward the series as a whole. The most upsetting thing is that Sons of Anarchy isn't on this list... or any other. It's up there with Breaking Bad and Mad Men in terms of compelling dramas, so it's complete shut-out is inexcusable (it's not like it airs on The CW or anything). Dexter is a fine choice, though some Damages fans might be upset that the likely final season of that show was ignored, and we're really thrilled that they didn't give noms to the just-average seasons of House and 24.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Matthew Fox (Lost)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
We're happy that the deserving Cranston, Hall, Hamm and Chandler were recognized for their work. As we mentioned, in Chandler's case, it's about damned time. And though we're not huge fans of Matthew Fox's weepy Jack Shephard, he did dominate this final season of Lost in many ways. But how exactly did Hugh Laurie get on here? Did the voters only watch the episodes where he went to the insane asylum and skip the rest of the season? And where is the love for Parenthood's Peter Krause? He seems like Emmy bait, and we're shocked that the show in general got overlooked, along with Kiefer Sutherland's last year as Jack Bauer on 24.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Glenn Close (Damages)
Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
Julianna Marguilies (The Good Wife)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)
January Jones (Mad Men)
Where the hell is Katey Sagal? Do we have to go door-to-door to the Emmy voters with her Sons of Anarchy reel? Because we will. We're excited for Close, Jones and Margulies, who all made our wish list, but really shocked that Melissa Leo didn't get tapped for her critically lauded role on Treme. And we're not convinced that the folks who voted for Breaking Bad actually watch the show, because if they did, how could they overlook Anna Gunn as the show's wonderfully badass wife? Instead we're stuck with Sedgwick and Hargitay ... again.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Martin Short (Damages)
Terry O'Quinn (Lost)
Michael Emerson (Lost)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Andre Braugher (Men of A Certain Age)
On the plus side, Aaron Paul, Martin Short and Terry O'Quinn got what they deserved And John Slattery is perfectly fine on Mad Men, especially in blackface. We wouldn't have given Emerson a nod this year, since he was far better in previous seasons, especially since that means no room for Michael Cudlitz for Southland, no Ron Perlman for Sons of Anarchy and no Ian Somerhalder for The Vampire Diaries. And Andre Braugher? On this show, not so much. Chris Noth for The Good Wife would have made a lot more sense.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Sharon Gless (Burn Notice)
Rose Byrne (Damages)
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
With the double Mad Men and Good Wife noms, it was hard to make room for some of the other tremendous talents that are out there. We weren't actually expecting an Archie Panjabi nomination even though she's the best thing about that show. But we're shocked that Annie Wersching was overlooked for her damaged psycho on 24. We're also bummed that there was no love for Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter, Big Love's Ginnifer Goodwin and Parenthood's Mae Whitman. And no one from Grey's Anatomy got tapped? Not even Sandra Oh? Did they not watch her keep her cool in that gunmen episode? And how did Sharon Gless get nominated? Big Cagney & Lacey fans on the committee?
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
We're okay with the inclusion of the usually overpraised Curb Your Enthusiasm, because the Seinfeld-reunion plotline was actually entertaining, but can people just stop nominating The Office and 30 Rock if they don't actually watch them? Really. The Office has been on a downhill slide for seasons and this year we were more consistently entertained by the other two NBC Thursday comedies, Parks & Recreation and Community. And where is Chuck? That show was the best it's ever been this past season.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Steve Carell (The Office)
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Yay, Sheldon! Now that we've got that out of the way, can someone explain to us what Tony Shalhoub is doing on here? Are there really people who still love Monk to that extent that they felt like they needed to give him a last nom for that role? Those people need help. As do the folks who saw fit to nominate Steve Carell even after "Scott's Tots" aired. We're mostly disappointed that Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Joel McHale (Community) didn't get those two spots instead. McHale might have joked that he phoned it in, but he really established himself as a nuanced comedic lead.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lea Michele (Glee) Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Toni Collette (The United States of Tara)
If the Emmy voters wanted to reward a familiar comedic face, they'd have been better off giving some love to Courteney Cox for Cougar Town instead of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Cougar Town is surprisingly funny and it's the best role we've ever seen Cox play. And we're over Toni Collette on The United States of Tara, but apparently the voters still love her and all of her multiple personalities. We would have preferred to see the icy Portia De Rossi get some love for her short-lived show Better Off Ted.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Chris Colfer (Glee)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
No love for Ron Swanson? Or Abed? Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation) and Danny Pudi (Community) are two of the funniest things about TV comedies. Snubbed! We're thrilled that the Emmys had an outpouring of love for Modern Family, but they overlooked Ed O'Neill, who is a TV legend and really great on that show. In addition to ignoring Pudi, they also ignored the entire male supporting cast of Community, including Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong and Donald Glover. All would have been worthy of some acknowledgement. We wouldn't have been too upset if they took off NPH (who was less than brilliant this season) or Jon Cryer (who has had more than his fair share of chances) to make room. But we are happy for the adorable Chris Colfer though. His Kurt is the one of the best performances on Glee.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)
We did want Sofia Vergara nominated, per our wish list, but after watching her butcher all the names of the nominees, we might have changed our mind. We're thrilled that Lynch and Bowen got nominated, but where are Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Alison Brie (Community) and Busy Phillips (Cougar Town? It's yet another example of the Emmys just voting by habit for the likes of Wiig, Krakowski and Taylor. Show some originality... or get a sense of humor. In the meantime, Jane Lynch, FTW!
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race)
Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)
Tom Bergeron (Dancing With the Stars)
Heidi Klum (Project Runway)
Jeff Probst (Survivor)
Ryan Seacrest does not deserve an Emmy. He doesn't even deserve this nod. He may be a hard worker, but his show runs over ... a lot. That's on his shoulders, as he's supposed to keep the ship sailing straight. And while we'd have shown some love to RuPaul's Drag Race's RuPaul, Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi and So You Think You Can Dance's Cat Deeley, at least Bergeron does manage to make his show somewhat entertaining, can handle the likes of Kate Gosselin... and gets it to end on time.
Outstanding Reality Show
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Clearly the Emmy community watches reality for very different reasons than we do, because while they award the likes of Antiques Roadshow, our nominees would have included some of the Real Housewives, Jersey Shore and Hoarders. Too each their own... we guess.
Outstanding Reality Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
Let's see, should we nominate the dullest season of The Amazing Race in years, or the best season of Survivor in years? Let's go with TAR because it takes place in interesting locales. Dumb. Also, as for Idol, see our rant about Seacrest. A boring season with lots of overruns does not make an Emmy-worthy show. Also, we'd have loved The Biggest Loser and So You Think You Can Dance to finally make their way onto this list.
In other notable nods, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien got a nomination, while that Jay Leno trainwreck was rightfully snubbed. Mike O'Malley got a guest actor in a comedy nod for his strong work as Kurt's dad on Glee. The guest actor in a drama category is fierce, with Ted Danson (Damages) and John Lithgow (Dexter) -- who arguably should have been in the supporting field -- Alan Cumming and Dylan Baker (The Good Wife), Robert Morse (Mad Men and Gregory Itzin 24. And Jane Lynch doubled her odds to take home a trophy by getting a nom for her work on Two and a Half Men, which is about the only nomination for that show that we can get behind.
Watch TWoP's editors discuss the biggest Emmy surprises and snubs in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable news channel:
Your reactions? Leave 'em below.
Who is the most nominated person in Emmy history? You'll never guess.
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