The Tangential Thinker

ABC’s Modern Family

It’s the height of summer. The last thing on anyone’s mind is Awards season. Ah, but that’s because you’re thinking of the lofty independent film about a war-torn country, or the lofty epic about an obscure revolutionary or assassinated royal. On the small screen, however, it is award season, and last week the 2010 Emmy nominations were announced welcoming some new favorites and honoring some classics.

Drama Series

The interesting thing here is that only two of the six nominees are network programs. Some would argue the reason is that cable shows have more leeway with edgy topics, sex and violence. That might explain Dexter and True Blood, but what is AMC doing right?

Breaking Bad (AMC)

Dexter (Showtime)

The Good Wife (CBS)

Lost (ABC)

True Blood (HBO)

Mad Men (AMC)

Comedy Series

For most of us the situation comedy died around 2004. We lost Frasier, Sex and the City and Friends, soon to be followed by Will & Grace. Slowly, however, amid the glut of ‘fat guy skinny wife’ sitcoms, a group of soon-to-be classics emerged.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

Glee (Fox)

Modern Family (ABC)

The Office (ABC)

Nurse Jackie (Showtime)

30 Rock (NBC)

Best Actor in a Drama

My choice is, of course, local favorite and Burroughs alum Jon Hamm. But this is Hugh Laurie’s sixth nomination for the same role. He is overdue for an award.

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)

Michael C. Hall (Dexter)

Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)

Hugh Laurie (House)

Matthew Fox (Lost)

Jon Hamm (Mad Men)

Best Actress in a Drama

I don’t watch any of these shows, and frankly didn’t think a couple of them were even still on the air. Mariska Hargitay, daughter of big screen bombshell Jayne Mansfield, already won an Emmy in 2006 for her portrayal of Detective Olivia Benson. This is her seventh consecutive nomination. This is Kyra Sedgwick’s fifth nomination, but I’d give her the award for being the only woman in Hollywood to stay married to the same guy for 22 years. Also, I’d consider January Jones just for having a really cool name.

Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)

Glenn Close (Damages)

Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)

Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)

Mariska Hargitay (Law and Order SVU)

January Jones (Mad Men)

Best Actor in a Comedy

Alec Baldwin is looking for a hat trick for playing lovable corporate raider Jack Donaghy, but 30 Rock has been eclipsed by two rookie comedies, Modern Family and Glee. This is Larry David’s fourth nomination, but unfortunately voters seem to confuse the man with his wildly annoying character of the same name. Since the three hilarious men from Modern Family already got a nod in the supporting actor category, it’s Matthew Morrison’s to lose.

Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)

Matthew Morrison (Glee)

Tony Shahloub (Monk)

Steve Carell (The Office)

Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Best Actress in a Comedy

Glee really impressed Academy voters, garnering 19 total nominations. That, and the fact that Lea Michelle has a substantial list of Broadway and theater credits on her resume, should make her a lock. She may play a high school kid but she’s actually 24.

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 (United States of Tara)

The Snubs

Word around Tinsel Town is that several actors and producers are feeling snubbed. High on the list is perennial nominee Kiefer Sutherland and his terrorist drama 24. Somebody’s getting water-boarded later. Charlie Sheen and his popular sitcom Two and a Half Men is also feeling burned. Apparently, holding a knife to your wife’s throat affects the way people feel about you. The comedies Parks and Recreation and Cougar Town were both hoping for a nomination, as was the drama Friday Night Lights. Newcomers Castle and The Mentalist got no love. Meanwhile, in the flood of nominations for Modern Family, veteran Ed O’Neill is the only adult member of the cast not to receive one. The Emmy awards are live Aug. 29 on NBC.

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