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Saturday, July 23, 2011

The 63rd Annual Emmys… Okay.

Now that the nominations for the 63rd Annual Emmy Awards have been announced, and all of the hype and hoopla has simmered a bit… we felt compelled to wait a bit… and as such critics and fans can wage their campaigns and place their bets for the winners. The list of the top contenders in the top categories follow below. And as you peruse it, you’ll discover a plethora of outstanding entertainment. But among the predictable nods, there are a few [as usual] UNBELIEVABLY startling omissions. Sure, HBO’s new critical and fan fave “Boardwalk Empire” earned 18 nominations, including Best Drama Series and Best Actor for Steve Buscemi. Be we were all a little shocked to see the cable juggernaut’s other new drama “Game of Thrones” fighting strong with 13 nods, including a coveted Best Drama mention. Category mainstays like multiple winner “Mad Men”, and “The Good Wife” are also strongly represented. We’re guessing this year will be a battle between “Empire” and “Mad Men,” with the prohibition gangsters beating the ’60′s adsters to the finish line.

Why Showtime’s “The Borgias” was shut out completely in the top acting catagories is a major mystery as Jeremy Irons captured the nefarious Spanish Pope with dignity hidden beneath the propaganda of the church. Also noteworthy was actor Francois Arnaud as Cesare Borgia, who gave a stunning performance as the eldest son of the Pope, whose believable passion and vulnerability were both tragic and mesmerizing to watch. But fear not Francois fans, “The Borgias”, from what our sources have told us, is set to be picked up and run for nothing less than four seasons!

But there’s time for all the who will, who should win fun later. Right now we’re far too busy being irritated about who wasn’t even nominated. The greatest snub is the flat-out “Treme” shut-out. The Emmy judges must have been doing their best FEMA performance when they came up with nary a nom for HBO’s post-Katrina drama. I know the show was too languid and preachy for most viewers during its first season, but it has since simmered into piquant gumbo, as rich and colorfully dramatic as the city itself. It deserved top honors in the Best Drama category as well as Acting noms for Khandi Alexander’s beautifully turbulent performance, Wendell Pierce’s frustrating and subtly funny work, Steve Zahn’s quirky turn, and Melissa Leo’s powerful, occasionally heartbreaking portrayal.

“True Blood” fans will, no doubt, feel completely abandoned as well… as the hip vampire cult fave, which landed a few heavy nominations last year; picked up just four measly nominations, but none in the top spots. Alan Ball is beyond the “politics” of it all and this is why we respect him so much. The entire cast, crew [and every last one of the writers, directors, etc. etc.] should at least be allowed to BITE the Emmy judges! “True Blood” has infused its way into pop culture with such fervor that Emmys or no Emmys, the audience continues to grow and swell in massive numbers… and all of us here at UPBEAT are completely, utterly obsessed by “True Blood”. With Fangbangers, Truebies and an entire subculture of supernatural material to build upon, Alan Ball will indeed be around for several more unpredictable seasons to come.

While Andre Braugher has another well-deserved shot an Emmy Gold for his work on “Men of A Certain Age” his equally deserving co-stars Ray Romano and Scott Bakula, as well as the hearty little dramedy itself was left in the cold. Kyra Sedgwick, who grabbed the Emmy last year for her work in “The Closer,” which, by the way, has apparently been canceled after this season, wasn’t even nominated. Neither was Katey Sagal, who snagged a Golden Globe for her work on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.” These are just ridiculous snubs that are often put into play by, yet again, the political ramifications of the “suits” who cater to the media moguls that decide what needs to sell and to whom. It’s all about the power.

Wondering what snagged up the most Emmy nominations? “Mildred Pierce,” HBO’s ambitiously indulgent mini-series racked up a whopping 21 nominations including a nod for Best Movie or Mini-series. If voters go for endurance, it’s a shoe-in, otherwise “Downton Abbey” or “Cinema Verite” might still have a shot. But Kate Winslet, who clearly endured in every single dramatic scene, will easily take home the Best Actress prize. “Mad Men” was the most nominated series, with 19, followed closely by “Boardwalk Empire” with 18, “Modern Family” with 17 and… “Saturday Night Live,” with 16. Really people? And we sincerely thought “SNL” had a mediocre season at best.

Check out the list of the top categories below. We are EXTREMELY biased so we doubt very much that our picks [in bold] will be walking off with well-deserved statues [most of which should be life-sized], but we NEVER claimed to believe in the painfully well-known “politics” of Emmy Awards, nor do we subscribe to those critics who base their selections on being “safe”, “politically correct” and completely “filled with… something that rhymes with pit.” We really don’t need to say it now do we?

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Dexter
Friday Night Lights

Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men

Outstanding Comedy Series
Big Bang Theory
Glee

Modern Family
The Office
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock

Outstanding Actress in a Drama
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order: SVU
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama

Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified
Michelle Forbes, The Killing

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Actor in a Drama

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights

Michael C. Hall, Dexter
John Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Walton Goggins, Justified
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andrew Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C

Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy

Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot In Cleveland

Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Louis C.K., Louie
Steve Carrell, The Office
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy

Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Outstanding Variety, Comedy Or Musical 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 Show

The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

Outstanding TV Miniseries or Movie

Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Kennedys
Mildred Pierce

The Pillars of the Earth
Too Big To Fail

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy

Idris Elba, The Big C
Nathan Lane, Modern Family

Zach Galifianakis, Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Matt Damon, 30 Rock
Will Arnett, 30 Rock

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy

Kristin Chenoweth, Glee
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee
Cloris Leachman, Raising Hope

Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Mini-series or Movie

Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

Outstanding Leading Actor in an Mini-Series or Movie

Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
William Hurt, Too Big To Fail

Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Mini-series or Movie

Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce

Bryan F. O’Byrne, Mildred Pierce
Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
James Woods, Too Big to Fail

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Mini-series or Movie

Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce
Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce
Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs

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