That horrible screaming sound you may be hearing now is your local Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, because the Emmy nominations have been announced and Buffy only scored a couple of nominations in technical areas. As I noted a few days ago, I don’t watch Buffy, so I can’t join in the anger, but there are some other bones that need picking on this year’s Emmy’s. (Or is that “Emmies”?)
I mainly feel the need to complain about the acting nominees. The West Wing is my favorite show, but does it really deserve seven acting nominations? Dule Hill is a fine young actor, but this season was probably his least effective year on the show, mainly because he really didn’t have as much to do as he has in the show’s previous two seasons. He seemed to drop into the role vacated by Kathryn Joostyn when her character, the President’s beloved secretary Mrs. Landingham, was killed off at the end of Season Two. Now, though, Lily Tomlin is apparently going to be cast as Mrs. Landingham’s replacement, so perhaps Dule Hill’s Charlie Young will have more to do next year. Also, I have never much liked Mary Louise Parker — she seems, to me, to drawl her way through nearly every role she does with the same laconic tone. Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler) and Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg) were excellent as always, and it was nice to see Emmy recognition for Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman) and John Spencer (Leo McGarry). I guess what it comes down to is, even with the acting on The West Wing being as good as it is, is it really that much better than all the other acting on TV these days? On NYPD Blue, Dennis Franz and Charlotte Ross somehow managed to make believable what should have been one of the most unlikely TV romances in years. William Petersen is the core of CSI. On ER, Noah Wyle (John Carter) has executed his character’s growing maturity nearly perfectly (though his season was marred by another unbelievable romance and the greater attention paid to the departure of Anthony Edwards). And surely someone in the entire cast of Ed warrants a nomination. Ditto the cast of Scrubs — either John McGinley (whose Dr. Cox is the best new character on any show last year), or even Neil Flynn, whose psychotic janitor is just dead-on perfect. There is a ton of wonderful acting on television, and it seems a bit unfair to bunch up the nominations all for a single show (The West Wing), or to keep nominating the same people over and over again (Patricia Heaton, for example — though I violate this statement with my above mention of multiple Emmy winner Dennis Franz….).
Ah, well….the whole purpose of these award shows, as William Goldman has noted, is to give us something to talk about. There really is no “best”; just a lot of very, very fine work. Congratulations to all the nominees, and to those who deserved it.