nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards
were announced last week, conveniently while I was on vacation. As everyone knows, the usual suspects get nominated and usually win, but I wanted to highlight some of my personal favorites from this year’s list of nominees — and talk about a glaring omission.
No nominations for New Girl
I hate to start on a sour note, but, what the hell? New Girl’
s first season received three nominations: Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Zooey Deschanel), Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Max Greenfield) and Directing (Jake Kasdan). What does a superior season two receive? Zip. I can live without Deschanel or Greenfield being nominated again, but the lack of recognition for Jake Johnson is disappointing. Johnson came into the forefront this season as Nick Miller. From finally kissing Jess and the quasi relationship thereafter to meeting his father for the first time in years (played by the late Dennis Farina), Johnson was at his absolute best. There’s nothing funnier on television than one of Johnson’s angry rants. The show itself should have been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, along with Parks and Recreation
, but those two will never have a shot as long as stalwarts The Big Bang Theory
and Modern Family
exist, despite coasting for years.
Jonathan Banks nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
As an unabashed fan of Breaking Bad
– it’s the best show on television and second best of all time behind The Wire
– I’d like to see the show win any award it’s
nominated for. That’s especially true in the case of Jonathan Banks for his portrayal of do it all henchman Mike Ehrmantraut. This is the second Emmy nomination for the 66-year-old acting veteran. He was nominated in the same category in 1988 for playing Frank McPike in CBS’s Wiseguy
. It was a stroke of luck that even landed Banks in the role. The part was written on the fly when Bob Odenkirk was unable to film a scene in which his character, Saul Goodman, helps Jesse Pinkman cleanup the death of his girlfriend. The scene was re
-written with Mike taking Saul’s place and the rest is history. Mike took on a greater role in the first part of season five, being forced to work even closer with Walter White, whom he despises. A lot of credit goes to the writing stuff for creating this character out of nothing, but Banks is phenomenal, saying more with one facial expression than one could with any combination of words.
Breaking Bad finally recognized for writing
I say “finally” like the show has had other opportunities. They haven’t. Despite being nominated for Outstanding Drama Series three out of its four seasons, and Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul’s armfuls of Emmys, Breaking Bad
had never received a writing nomination. That changes this year as it got two nominations for “Dead Freight” and “Say My Name”, written by longtime show producer and writer George Mastras and Thomas Schnauz respectively. This category has been dominated by Mad Men
over the past several years, but Matt Weiner and company were shut out this time around, which may be more of a backlash against him than a commentary about the show. Breaking Bad
isn’t the most glamorous show on television, but it’s been one of most well written for years (see, “Half Measures” and “Problem Dog”). It’d be nice to see properly recognized.
Adam Driver, for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
I love Girls
. I’ve said as much in the past.
The most compelling aspect of Girls just happens to b
e a man. This past season thrust Driver into the forefront. No longer was he the slightly creepy/weird boyfriend of Hannah. He was still slightly creepy and weird, don’t get me wrong, but now he had layers. He’s self-destructive, self-loathing and an alcoholic. This is a comedy category, but Girls
, much like Louie
, blurs the line between comedy and drama. Driver carried the dramatic load this season, with a splash of comedy thrown in, and knocked it out of the park.
Elisabeth Moss, for Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Top of the Lake
It’s unlikely Moss will ever win an Emmy for her work on Mad Men
. Hell, it’s becoming more unlikely that anyone from that show will win an acting award. She’s been nominated the past four years, but like Jon Hamm, has come up empty each time. Mad Men
has one more season for Moss to win an award for her role as Peggy Olson, but Claire Danes looks like the front runner to win the Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama award for the foreseeable future.
That’s why Moss winning for Top of the Lake
needs to happen. The Sundance Channel’s gripping drama miniseries about the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl is everything The Killing
wishes it could be. Moss makes us care about the missing girl in a way we never did on The Killing
. In this age of anti-hero leading men, Moss is a breath of fresh air as the talented yet troubled detective Robin Griffin. Armed with a perfect New Zealand accent and badass attitude to boot, she becomes obsessed with the girl’s disappearance and pregnancy in a small town where little attention is being paid. She’s smart, sexy, and vulnerable. There wasn’t a better performance by a woman on television this year.