Emmys 2008: The Ineptitude of Emmy Voters and Other Musings
Emmys 2008: The Ineptitude of Emmy Voters and Other Musings
Who are these Emmy voters?  Why are we entrusting them to make reasonable decisions regarding America's most beloved TV shows?  Often, it's as if they don't watch TV at all.  Two and a Half Men is a series that doesn't deserve the audience it receives (it's the highest rated comedy on TV), let alone awards recognition. Yet, there it is again, perched atop the comedy world, a nominee for Best Comedy Series, while more worthy candidates like How I Met Your Mother, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Pushing Daisies, South Park, Flight of the Conchords and My Name is Earl sit on the sidelines.  It's frustrating; ask any fan of television comedy whether Two and a Half Men is one of the five funniest shows this country has to offer and you'll be met with a resounding “Hell No!” 

The precedent is there, however bizarre it may be, for Emmy voters to reward sub-par comedies.  3rd Rock From the Sun was nominated for Best Comedy Series twice, and that show was horrible.  Frasier, with its fancy dialogue and pretentious characters, won Best Comedy five times in a row, beating out Seinfeld each of those years.  Seinfeld, the greatest comedy of our generation, won a grand total of one Best Comedy Emmy.  In recent years, the winners have been much more reasonable.  Arrested Development, The Office and 30 Rock are three of our last four winners, and deservedly so.  But, that doesn't excuse the fact that, for each of the last three years, Two and a Half Men has been included as a finalist in the same category.  Comedy, yes, is totally subjective.  Arguing over relative merits of a series aimed to make one laugh is a futile gesture.  But, really, does Charlie Sheen deserve a nomination for acting like a half-assed version of himself? 

Entourage is up for Best Comedy Series again, and has two nominees in the Best Supporting Acting category (Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven).  It's hard to argue with those two actors, who are admittedly pretty great at what they do, but Entourage had a sub-par year at best.  It's very surprising that Pushing Daisies, with its two acting nominations (Lee Pace and Kristen Chenoweth) and universal critical acclaim, didn't also receive the Series nod, when it was clearly a better show than Entourage and Two and a Half Men this past season.

Whereas the Best Comedy nominations are more or less a farce, the Best Drama nominations at least give us some hope.  At first glance, the Drama category is filled with critically-acclaimed cable series.  Mad Men is the first AMC show nominated in the category.  Same with Damages for F/X and Dexter for Showtime.  Yet, though this trend can give us hope for just nominations in the future, there is one incredibly glaring snub.  The Wire, over its five breathtaking seasons, has only received two Emmy nominations, though none were in any major categories.  This is, frankly, a slap in the face of greatness.  The Wire is one of the five best shows in the history of television.  Its lack of recognition is either abject ineptitude or total laziness on the part of the voters.  They can take the time to bask in the laugh-tracked mediocrity of Charlie Sheen, yet can't take the time to immerse themselves in the most incredibly told series television has ever seen.  It's an abomination. 

It's nice to see Lost back in the Best Drama fold.  It deserves to be there, and it shows that the voters can jump back on a show's bandwagon even if they soured on it for a couple years.  It doesn't make up for The Wire's snub, or the laziness of the Comedy nominqtions, but it's something. 

Let's give out some awards.

Best Nomination

“I'm Effing Matt Damon” Jimmy Kimmel Live - Best Original Song

Worst Nomination

Anything for Two and a Half Men

Craziest Development

30 Rock receiving 7 out of  the 11 Guest Comedy Acting nominations available

Biggest Snub

The Wire for Best Drama

The Nomination with Biggest Potential Long-Term Implications

Amy Poehler, Best Supporting Actress – Saturday Night Live

Silliest Category That I Didn't Know Existed Until Today 

Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or Special

Person I Never Thought Would Be Nominated For an Emmy, But Probably Deserves It

Howie Mandel, Deal or No Deal – Best Reality Show Host

Biggest Rooting Interest

Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother – Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of the Emmys)