Forget the Emmys: Here's the last Tampa Bay Times edition of the Deggys
This is a bittersweet moment; my last edition of the Deggys for the Tampa Bay Times.
As you may already know, I’m leaving the newspaper in October to become NPR’s TV critic. And who knows if the home of Nina Totenberg and Carl Kasell would ever let me present my own pronouncements on who really would take TV’s top honor if you could eliminate celebrity worship, fixation on past success and Hollywood’s passion for superficiality from the mix.
The Emmy awards air at 8 p.m. Sunday on CBS (WTSP-Ch. 10), marking an interesting time. With Netflix and Hulu making serious efforts to bring quality, original TV series online, this year’s Emmycast will show if the industry handed out nominations to House of Cards and Arrested Development as consolation prizes or something more.
And yes Internet trolls, I’m probably going to get some predictions wrong. That’s what happens when you’re trying to second-guess an academy smart enough to honor Homeland’s Damian Lewis and Claire Danes but dumb enough to snub Jim Parsons for that guy from Pretty in Pink.
Here’s what my dream Emmys would look like; ladies and genetlemen, the final Deggys!
Best drama series nominees: Breaking Bad, AMC; Downton Abbey, PBS; Homeland, Showtime; Game of Thrones, HBO; House of Cards, Netflix; Mad Men, AMC.
The Deggy goes to: Breaking Bad. Not just for its currently amazing run of final episodes (which started after Emmy voting was done), but for its consistency. Fans can argue about which season of the Wire or The Sopranos blew our minds the most, but there is little doubt creator Vince Gilligan and his crew have created a show which never lags, year to year, season to season, right to its (presumably) bitter end. I’m betting the Emmy academy agrees and Breaking Bad Will Win Emmy gold here this year.
Best drama actor nominees: Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC; Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO; Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC; Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime; Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix.
The Deggy goes to…Jon Hamm. Always the bridesmaid, Hamm has been nominated in this category every year since 2009 without a win. And every year he seemingly comes back with another spellbinding performance to prove Emmy voters must not be watching the same Mad Men episodes as the rest of us. This year, he pulled another layer back from Don Draper as the adman showed his kids exactly where daddy’s demons come from. Too bad the guy who will win this is Cranston, as the capper to a showbiz year owned by Breaking Bad.
Best drama actress nominees: Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC; Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime; Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS; Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, A&E; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC; Kerry Washington, Scandal, ABC; Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix.
The Deggy goes to…Tatiana Maslany. Don’t bother looking. The star of Orphan Black isn’t nominated in a field of seven women, even though she played seven different roles in The BBC’s mind-bending drama about clones living separate lives who discover each other. But in my TV awards show, the Canadian actress gets her props, right next to Danes, who likely will win in real life for her visceral and gut wrenching work as bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison.
Best comedy series nominees: The Big Bang Theory, CBS; Girls, HBO; Louie, FX; Modern Family, ABC; 30 Rock, NBC; Veep, HBO.
The Deggy goes to..The Big Bang Theory. I have tried so hard to resist this show, mostly because I hated the pilot and resisted admitting it grew loads better over its first season. But these guys are now like Everybody Loves Raymond or Friends; the last, best example of an old school sitcom built on engaging, familiar characters and smart scripts. In fact, I’m betting this is the year Big Bang convinces Emmy to stop handing statues to Modern Family; it will win here, too.
Best comedy actor nominees: Jason Bateman, Arrested Development, Netflix; Louis C.K., Louie, FX; Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime; Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory, CBS; Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, NBC.
The Deggy goes to…Louis C.K. I said this last year, but it remains true; Louis C.K. does the most acting in his New York-set indie drama of any TV funnyman, coming off like a ginger-haired, tubby-looking Woody Allen. But Jim Parsons likely will win if Emmy voters stay old fashioned; if they want to send a message about TV’s new frontier, they’ll pick Jason Bateman.
Best comedy actress nominees: Lena Dunham, Girls, HBO; Laura Dern, Enlightened, HBO; Tiny Fey, 30 Rock, NBC; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, NBC; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie, Showtime.
The Deggy goes to…Tina Fey. This isn’t just for the last year of 30 Rock. It’s for giving us an example of pioneering in comedy that’s also given us everyone from Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig to Mindy Kaling and Rebel Wilson. Too bad Julia Louis-Dreyfus actually will win here; mostly because Emmy likes her, it really likes her.