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Emmy Notes

By admin Published: September 21, 2008

Raise a glass, folks...

As I mentioned last night, I was working a metro shift Sunday night. Got out at a reasonable time, but then I had homework, so I let the Emmys wait until this morning -- and have no thoughts about the show as a show. But my reactions to the winners in some of the major categories are after the jump.

Very nice to see "Mad Men" win best drama. Out of all the shows out there, I would have preferred that the win went to "The Wire," which ended a marvelous run with a powerful season. But since the Emmys didn't even nominate "The Wire," "Mad Men" was the best of the lot that was nominated -- and, as regular readers here know, a show that I admired very, very much.

Would have liked to see Jon Hamm get the Emmy for best actor in a drama, though. Not that I dislike Bryan Cranston, and I would have taken Cranston over the perennial James Spader any day. But where Cranston's performance was showy, Hamm's was subtler, and all the more fascinating for what it revealed about Don Draper and what it kept buttoned up.

Now, this may seem as if I am contradicting what I just say about best actor in a drama, but in best actress I would have gone for Holly Hunter over Glenn Close. Part of that is my preferring "Saving Grace" to "Damages." But more is that, while Close was fine, Hunter's performance is not merely flashy but a force of nature -- unfettered, unlimited, and with all sorts of fascinating twists and turns over the course of a season. Of course, Emmy voters don't have to watch an entire season of a show -- which may have worked against Hunter, and undoubtedly hurt Hamm vs. Cranston. (Again, I should say that I like Cranston, and his work generally, but "Breaking Bad" still gave him single-episode opportunities that were grander than Hamm's more nuanced efforts.)

On the comedy side, no argument over Alec Baldwin. Brilliant, deserved the Emmy, would have been a crime if anyone else had won. Tina Fey, fine in every area that she won. Even as an actress, she had some great moments this year. And when you're trying to choose between "30 Rock" and "The Office" for best comedy, you're a winner either way. "The Office" had moments of brilliance this year, especially with the dinner-party episode, but "30 Rock" threw off sparks, too -- the season finale, "Midnight Train to Georgia" ... Oh, I could go off into a long rhapsodic monologue but it's too early for that.

There were other winners, of course, including Jeremy Piven, Jean Smart and "The Amazing Race." Happy that "Race" won, just because I like the show, but it's also a predictable pick -- six years in a row. "John Adams," best miniseries? I couldn't get through it. Happy about the "Matt Damon" song winning -- which it did during the previous Creative Arts Emmys -- if only because it continues a tradition of Emmy winners whose titles can't be said uncensored on the Emmy show. As we speak, someone is writing a song full of bleepable material just in the hope that it will win an Emmy next year.

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