Forget the Emmys; here are the Gluttys!
It’s almost Emmys week, everybody! On Sunday, Sept. 16, television’s best will be honored in a gala affair presided over by the 21st century’s poster child for democracy in action—Ryan Seacrest. Hold on a second, there’s something wrong with that last sentence, and, for once, it has nothing to do with Seacrest. The part that trips me up is the whole ”best” thing. We love to talk about Oscar snubs, but the fact is that lauded films and performances are usually recognized by that Academy. Not so in TV, where the most inventive and provocative programming is routinely dissed and dismissed. Don’t believe me? Consider this: Arguably the four best-reviewed shows of the year — The Wire, Friday Night Lights, Battlestar Galactica, and The Shield — accumulated a meager six nominations… total. To put it in perspective, that means in Emmy voters’ minds, their combined excellence is equal to that of Boston Legal, which scored an inexplicable six noms all by itself.
To correct this injustice, I’m presenting the first ever Gluttys, given to the most egregious Emmy snubs of the year — and because the most ridiculous omissions occurred in the dramatic categories, we’ll stick with those.
Best Series, Drama
The nominees: Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, The Shield, The Wire.
And the Glutty goes to… The Wire! It wasn’t just the best drama of the year, it was perhaps the best drama of any year. An engrossing look at cops, crime, politics, and education, and how the four intersect in ways you never imagined possible. A sublime achievement apparently deemed less worthy than a good William Shatner zinger.
Best Actor, Drama
The nominees: Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Eddie Izzard (The Riches), Ian McShane (Deadwood).
And the Glutty goes to?Kyle Chandler! Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! Except, apparently, when it comes to the Emmys. Chandler’s snub is mind-boggling, especially when you consider that Kiefer Sutherland was nominated over him for what could only be described as a shockingly sucky season of 24.
Best Actress, Drama
The nominees: Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), Annabeth Gish (Brotherhood), Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica).
And the Glutty goes to…Annabeth Gish! As a cheating addict/politician’s wife, Gish was last summer’s biggest surprise. Well, second biggest, if you include Tuesday Night Book Club making it onto a network schedule.
Best Supporting Actor, Drama
The nominees: Jack Coleman (Heroes), Walton Goggins (The Shield), Gerald McRaney (Deadwood).
And the Glutty goes to?Walton Goggins! In a performance that was naked and raw (both literally and figuratively), Goggins mesmerized as a cop haunted by his murderous past. Don’t feel too bad for him, though. Dude already has a freakin’ Oscar. (Don’t believe me? Look it up!)
Best Supporting Actress, Drama
The nominees: Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), CCH Pounder (The Shield), Sonja Sohn (The Wire).
And the Glutty goes to?Elizabeth Mitchell! Katherine Heigl over her? I mean, she’s decent and all, but…really? As fertility doctor Juliet, Mitchell was savvy, intelligent, complex, multi-dimensional — all the things that Emmy succeeds so well in overlooking. Her finest moment occurred when…wait, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to harp on this, but seriously — Katherine Heigl?!?
Congratulations, winners! Your award — a six-pack of Milwaukee’s Best, hand delivered by Brian Dunkleman — should be arriving soon. You can use it to drown your sorrows on the 16th while watching your peers shmooze with Seacrest and be told how incredibly awesome they are. Rest assured: You’re…uh, awesomer.
NEXT PAGE: Obsession of the Week and The Five
OBSESSION OF THE WEEK
There’s a little extra pep in my step these days. Why, you ask? Pep is overrated, you say? Au contraire, mon frére. You see, Thursday marks the beginning of the NFL season, meaning my TV viewing schedule is about to progress from massive to flat-out ridiculous. Especially now that I’ve got my fancy-schmancy HDTV set, I’ll be watching even more football than ever before. (Raiders vs. Falcons? Bring it on!) The opening game is a doozy: Colts vs. Saints. Those teams could conceivably put up 100 points combined. Of course, as much as I love football season, it always brings me more heartache, as my beloved Redskins crumble year after year. (I guess that’s what you get for having a racially insensitive team name.) But until they start losing week in and week out, I will keep that pep in my step, and step right on over to the florist to buy my wife some flowers as a preemptive strike of sorts to make up for all the TV-directed cheering and cursing that is likely to enter our household over the next few months.
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NEXT PAGE: Reader Mail
Readers were split on whether late August/early September is the entertainment wasteland that I made it out to be in last week’s column. You all also offered up some other suggestions for the list of Least Intimidating TV Superheroes, as well as an explanation for Gabrielle Anwar’s disappearing accent on Burn Notice. On to the mailbag!
What do you mean, lack of quality TV right now? The Closer, Saving Grace, Damages, The Kill Point, Rescue Me, and, as a Michael Mann fan, the reruns of Robbery Homicide Division on HDNet have kept me entertained so much, I don’t miss anything from the fall season. —Todd Takei
Good point, Todd, that cable offers a lot of great original scripted programming in the summer. But with summer now over, most of these shows are wrapping up, yet we still have a few more weeks until the new fall season begins. And, unfortunately, I’m an impatient bastard.
Dalton, I love your column and have never sent an e-mail before, but how DARE you dis Ringo Starr!!! He deserves to be more than just a punchline. Ringo had a solid solo career in his own right. ”Photograph” is a great song that can stand up to any other solo Beatle’s effort. The man was part of the greatest band of all time, for Pete’s sake!! Even if he was the weakest link there, he was with 3 certifiable geniuses. If you put a brilliant scientist next to Albert Einstein, he’s going to look like a putz, but he’s still smarter than 99% of the population. So please, in the future, kindly give Ringo the respect that he deserves. —Allison Rourke
Now would probably not be the best time, then, to bring up his starring role in Caveman. Or Son of Dracula. So I won’t.
Hiya Dalton! I feel I would be remiss to not remind you of the calvacade of ”lame” superheroes that made up last summer’s reality show ”Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” I’m pretty sure I’m one of about a dozen folks who actually watched it, but most of the ”superheroes” were just too painful to watch. I mean, Monkey Lady — really??? I suppose the winner, Feedback, was okay, although his ”power” of disrupting electronics isn’t exactly new. But I guess it won him enough notoriety to be at Comic-Con this year…. —Sandy Lee
All I remember about that show is that there was some superhero named Fat Momma, whose weapon of choice was doughnuts. Great, now I’m hungry. Damn you, Fat Momma!!!
Some fine choices for membership in the superheroes of suck from TV’s mixed superhero bag, but you certainly could have expanded the list. Here are my nominees for the Legion of Lameness. Elvin from Misfits of Science (which boasted a pre-Friends and pre-Arquette Courteney Cox), who could shrink to 8 inches, which means he could be defeated by an average housecat. Then there is the new Flash Gordon (which has the same lame/cheesy effects but none of the cheesy fun of the classic ’80s music), who is a marathon runner, which would be a really useful power if an alien chased him for 26 miles. And while The Tick was a fun show (go Puddy), I am not sure how intimidating I found Arthur, the accountant turned Moth, although he could probably destroy the closet full of sweaters I am given each Christmas but never wear. —Kevin Kane
I loved The Tick, but you’re right, Arthur was pretty damn useless. As for the new Flash Gordon, holy Lord, does that show suck. The Sci Fi Channel could have made it a campy delight like the 1980 movie, or they could have completely reimagined it like they did for the new Battlestar Galactica. Instead, they just made a bad, low-budget, middle-of-the-road action drama that is impossible for anyone to care about. Where is Max Von Sydow when you need him?
Hey, just wanted to comment on the character Fiona in Burn Notice and her accent. In the second or third episode, she made a comment that she was working on her American accent in order to blend into her environment better, hence no more sexy Irish accent. —Denise Duellman
She says ”blend into the environment better,” I say ”cut my losses since I can’t pull off this tricky Irish accent.” Whatever — in the grand scheme it’s pretty irrelevant (if amusing). I’m sold on the show. Like I said, nothing revolutionary, but fun stuff with a great cast. As Bruce Campbell himself would say, ”Groovy!”
Have some other Emmy snubs that are driving you batty? Think I’ve overlooked some booty-obsessed anthems? Don’t get the football thing? Send your questions, comments, and quibbles to firstname.lastname@example.org, or just fill out the handy-dandy form below. See ya next week!