Thursday, July 14, 2005

Oval office space

The primetime Emmy nominations were announced Thursday.

First, let's focus on the positive. The comedy series Scrubs got its first nomination, as did its star, Grammy winner Zach Braff. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Naveen Andrews of Lost and Sandra Oh of Grey's Anatomy (minorities!) among the short-listed. And it was nice to see Hugh Laurie of House and Marcia Cross of Desperate Housewives get their anticipated nominations.

But my charity pretty much ends there. I'll accept Desperate Housewives as a comedy, but only because I figured it would get Eva Longoria nominated as a comic lead. (Of course she didn't have a big dramatic moment like Cross or Felicity Huffman. That's the point.) That oversight pales in comparison to the continued industry-wide ignorance, now 5 years strong, of Gilmore Girls and the peerless Lauren Graham. I have to accept that it's like the Oscars and Martin Scorsese: either we don't like you, or we don't care. To put things in perspective, I think actress Blythe Danner got more nominations (3) than the entire WB network (2).

I'm going to try to refrain from an extended complaint against the Television Academy of Arts and Brick Walls. Instead, I'd like to talk about The West Wing, nominated once again as Best Drama Series but thankfully kept out of most of the acting races.

There are many good arguments as to when this series jumped the shark. The very special 9/11 episode. Rob Lowe left. Aaron Sorkin left. The Republican House Speaker takes over. They started doing entire episodes about Allison Janney's character.

But I know exactly when I lost interest in the show. In a late stroke of genius, the show runners cast Gary Cole as the befuddled replacement Vice President. Here was a golden opportunity to do something that had never been done on TV before: end the show as a drama and begin again as a comedy.

Oval Office Space. Think about it. You have Bill Lumbergh as the nation's president. Throw in Ron Livingston and Ajay Naidu as a couple of low-level speechwriters, and also that Michael Bolton guy. Maybe John C. McGinley could drop by as a campaign advisor, and Stephen Root could be, like, the red-stapler-hoarding Karl Rove! It'd be a ratings bonanza if Jennifer Aniston decided to make her triumphant return to television.

"Yeah, I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday to work on that speech."

Ah, what could have been.


Courtney said...

No drama has become a comedy? You forget Melrose Place.

As for your pitch: "If I don't get my judicial nominee confirmed, I'm going to burn the White House down."

Courtney said...

Oh, and upon further review, the thing most intriguing about your post is that WILLIAM SHATNER has been nominated? Wha?

Neel Mehta said...

C: Melrose Place doesn't count because it wasn't successful in its pre-Amanda format.

Yeah, I was wondering how I could sneak in a Milton quote without getting the folks at Homeland Security interested. Thanks for taking that bullet.

Not only was Shatner nominated, he WON in this category last year. For a man of limited skills, he is brilliant on Boston Legal. As is fellow winner James Spader.

The Attractive Nuisance said...

I thought of you when I saw Lauren Graham hadn't been nominated. I was flabbergasted. I read the nominations a second time to be sure. All of the "these people should be nominated" articles featured her very prominently. I was mildly surprised to see no snaps being thrown the way of Veronica Mars, but that show has been on the air for one year as opposed to five for the Gilmore Girls.

I blame Everybody Loves Raymond. What a misnomer. I hate Raymond. The only person I like on that whole show is Brad Garrett.

Neel Mehta said...

I thought of you when I saw Lauren Graham hadn't been nominated.

Huh. I thought of Lauren Graham. I'm sure Marcia Cross did too.

Kristen Bell is wishful thinking for the Veronica Mars fans. It's a rookie series, and even Buffy took a while to get some tech awards love. As for acting noms, don't bother.

I don't blame Raymond, especially as it's ended, but the 15 noms thrown the way of Will & Grace was kinda silly. The only thing keeping me sane was that the useless Debra Messing wasn't nominated.

Courtney said...

Will & Grace should just change its title to Jack and Karen and be done with it.

Neel Mehta said...

Will & Grace should just be done with it.

bdure said...

They need an "ensemble cast" category. Let the DH quartet (I don't count Sheridan) duke it out with ER and company.

What can you say about an awards show that consistenly overlooked NewsRadio?

Neel Mehta said...

What can you say about an awards show that consistenly overlooked NewsRadio?

Well, Phil Hartman did get a posthumous nomination.

But yeah, especially that second season, with recurring guest star Lauren Graham.

Courtney said...

And on that note, here's some Newsradio Haiku