Well, as I posted yesterday, this seems to be an unusually bad year for those who selected the Emmy nominations.
Even with expanding to six nominees in each category, the voters bypassed a lot of worthy people and shows in favor of some frankly weird or undeserving choices.
Some people might say it was bold for the Academy to go with a comedy among its best sitcoms. I wouldn't have had a problem if they had wanted to honor "The Simpsons" for its long history (even though it is well past its prime) or "South Park," which is more biting, or even "Robot Chicken," which can be downright brilliant.
And why put performers like Kristin Wiig or Amy Poehler of "Saturday Night Live" in the best supporting actress category when they should be competing in the variety category. After all, comparing someone who appears in a two-minute sketch is not really valid against someone who appears in a scripted comedy.
For every pleasant surprise (way to go, Aaron Paul!) there were five times as many disappointments.
Here's how my ballot would have shaped up. When it came down to it, I left in some people who I feel might be deserving even though I don't necessarily watch their show. To be sure, there are some picks the Emmys got right, but that doesn't mean those people or shows will win in September.
(*-denotes actual nominee)
*Breaking Bad (AMC)
*Mad Men (AMC)
The Shield (FX)
Battlestar Galactica (SyFy)
Rescue Me (FX)
Comments: Anyone who reads the blog even semi-regularly will know how much I enjoy the three shows that were virtually omitted from most of the categories. Voters nominated "Big Love," no doubt to have HBO represented, even though the well-crafted "In Treatment" or the popular "True Blood" would be better choices.
BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
*Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
*Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
*Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Michael Chiklis, The Shield
Edward James Olmos, Battlestar Galactica
Denis Leary, Rescue Me
Comments: I don't have a whole lot of issues with Hugh Laurie or Michael C. Hall getting noms, it's just that I feel my list is better. Only Simon Baker was a joke of a nomination, though I suppose the Academy didn't want to show that they ignored a new show completely.
BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
*Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
*Glenn Close, Damages
CCH Pounder, The Shield
Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica
Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
January Jones, Mad Men
Comments: You could debate whether Pounder belongs in Lead or Supporting, but I think that my list is more inspired than the same one the Academy churns out every year. For me, Jones gave more emotional depth in her "Mad Men" performance than Moss. McDonnell not getting a nomination is an absolute travesty.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
*Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
*William Hurt, Damages
*Michael Emerson, Lost
*John Slattery, Mad Men
James Callis, Battlestar Galactica
David Rees Snell, The Shield
Comments: Frankly, I could list about 20 actors here -- Josh Holloway of "Lost," Michael Hogan of "BSG," Ron Perlman of "Sons of Anarchy," Walton Goggins of "The Shield," John Noble, "Fringe," Jimmy Smits of "Dexter," Victor Garber of "Eli Stone" and many others. I left most of the Academy's picks here intact because A) all of those actors are deserving, and B) there are so many good choices here that someone good was going to get snubbed. But wasting two slots on "Boston Legal" is completely inexcusable.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
*Cherry Jones, 24
*Rose Byrne, Damages
*Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica
Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
Callie Thorne, Rescue Me
Comments: To a lesser extent, the Academy was in the same boat as Supporting Actor, without the egregious "Boston Legal" error. And, I'm omitting Connie Britton of "Friday Night Lights," Andrea Roth of "Rescue Me" and Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men," among others. But to me, Mitchell not getting nominated was one of the biggest omissions of the year.
*30 Rock, NBC
*How I Met Your Mother, CBS
*The Office, NBC
United States of Tara, Showtime
Robot Chicken, Cartoon Network
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, FX
Comments: You want animation, Emmys? "Robot Chicken" is a much better choice than "Family Guy" despite the fact that the humor is similar. And "Tara" is way more deserving than "Weeds," another Academy favorite. To be honest, no series has made me laugh this year more than "Rescue Me," which is clearly a drama and yet the funniest show on TV.
LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY
*Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
*Steve Carell, The Office
Jason Lee, My Name Is Earl
Zach Braff, Scrubs
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies
Kyle Bornheimer, Worst Week
Comments: What qualifies as comedy these days is always a bit subjective. Still, I prefer my picks.
LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY
*Tina Fey, 30 Rock
*Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
*Julia Louis-Dreyfus, New Adventures of Old Christine
*Toni Colette, United States of Tara
Jenna Fischer, The Office
Sarah Chalke, Scrubs
Comments: Personally, this should be a showdown between Fey and Collette, which is why I didn't make many changes.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
*Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
*Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
*Rainn Wilson, The Office
Chi McBride, Pushing Daisies
John C. McGinley, Scrubs
Ray Wise, Reaper
Comments: Again, a tough category to argue and probably the one the Academy voters did best in. It's a shame McGinley never won an Emmy during any of Scrubs' run, but hopefully, this is NPH's year.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
*Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
*Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
*Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
Portia di Rossi, Better Off Ted
Cobie Smulders, How I Met Your Mother
Rashida Jones, Parks & Recreation
Comments: I thought di Rossi was a glaring omission, though the show delivered low ratings. Smulders really stepped into her own this season opposite NPH when co-star Allyson Hannigan was MIA because of her pregnancy.
Of course, there are always going to be omissions. I took the Academy to task for not showing "True Blood" any love, for example, yet I didn't list it in my picks either. Quite frankly, especially on the drama side, I could have come up with a tertiary ballot that would have included many actors just as deserving as the ones I and the Academy listed.
But the Academy has grown predictable even when it tries to be deliberately unpredictable. Not honoring shows like "BSG" or "The Shield" during their final seasons is tragic, because there won't be another opportunity.
However, I can guarantee you that next year, the Academy will do a better job -- "Boston Legal" is no longer eligible.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Two unworthy of Emmy comedies burn off new episodes tonight with "Surviving Suburbia" and "The Goode Family" on ABC, beginning at 8 p.m.
SyFy continues new episodes of "Eureka" at 9 p.m., followed by the US showing of "Primeval" for those without BBC America at 10 p.m.
On Saturday, NBC burns off Kings at 8 p.m., while ABC does the same with "Dirty Sexy Money" at 10 p.m. On cable, "Primeval" is new at 9 p.m. for those who DO have BBC America.
On Sunday, NBC has a new "Merlin" at 8 p.m., followed by the conclusion of the TV miniseries "Meteor."
"Masterpiece: Mystery" (PBS, 9 p.m.) continues its run of Miss Marple mysteries.
On cable, Lifetime airs the second episode of its new series "Drop Dead Diva" at 9 p.m., while ABC Family debuts "Labor Pains," starring Lindsay Lohan, at 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, "In Plain Sight" (USA, 10 p.m.) is all new.
On pay cable, HBO is all new with "True Blood" at 9 p.m., followed by new installments of "Hung" and "Entourage."