After the jump, my faves in some acting and series categories, as well as some of those overlooked. As for the show, anyone planning to watch Sunday? And if you are, how much to see Neil Patrick Harris host, and how much because you care about who wins?
Lead actor in a comedy. Nominees: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"; Steve Carell, "The Office"; Jemaine Clement, "Flight of the Conchords"; Jim Parsons, "Big Bang Theory"; Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"; Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men."
Whew, tough one to start with, especially for someone who has watched these guys week in and week out UNLIKE EMMY VOTERS. FIE ON YOU! IF YOU THINK YOU SHOULD VOTE, WATCH THE ENTIRE SEASONS! YOU'VE GOT TIME! YOU ONLY SPEND ABOUT HALF A YEAR MAKING YOUR OWN SHOWS! PAY ATTENTION!
All right, I have vented. As for the nominees, Baldwin is brilliant, of course, but so is Carell, and Parsons has made a suitably big splash. Forced to vote, I'd go with Carell, because he did the most well-rounded acting job -- emotionally effective as well as funny. But I wouldn't lament Baldwin or Parsons winning.
Lead actress in a comedy: Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"; Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"; Tina Fey, "30 Rock"; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine"; Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"; Sarah Silverman, "The Sara Silverman Show."
My fave: I like Fey's work but neither she nor anyone else in this category stands up to Collette.
Lead actor, drama: Hugh Laurie, "House"; Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"; Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"; Michael C. Hall, "Dexter": Simon Baker, "The Mentalist"; Jon Hamm, "Mad Men."
Overlooked (appallingly): Michael Chiklis, "The Shield"; Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights."
Since I only get to choose among the nominees, I lean between Laurie, who had a good year especially in the waning episodes of the season, and Hamm. And tilt toward Hamm. But Chiklis should have been in this crowd (more than Baker), since he had an amazing final season, and I would have nominated Chandler ahead of Hall, Baker, Byrne or Cranston.
Lead actress, drama: Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"; Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters"; Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men": Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"; Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace"; Glenn Close, "Damages."
Overlooked: Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights." Way overlooked. And Jill Scott, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."
There's an argument to be made that Moss belongs in a supporting category, but the Emmys have her as a lead, and wherever they put her, she would get my vote.
Supporting actor, comedy: Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"; Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock"; Kevin Dillon, "Entourage"; Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"; Rainn Wilson, "The Office"; Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock."
Overlooked: Jason Segel, "How I Met Your Mother"; Creed Bratton, "The Office."
OK, Morgan is fall-down funny. So is McBrayer. So is Harris, who is also hosting the Emmys. And I have no beef with Wilson. But while it's not a chic choice, I'd be tempted to vote for Cryer both for his consistently good performance and because "Men" has not gotten the kudos it has deserved over its run. (If the TV academy voters had been watching, this show would have won something just for the Charlie Waffles episodes a couple of years ago.) Still, no objection to Morgan, McBrayer, Wilson or Harris.
Supporting actress, comedy: I'm getting tired of typing names, so just go here for the lists. My fave: Kristin Chenoweth for "Pushing Daisies," although I wouldn't kick if Amy Poehler won.
Supporting actor, drama: Let's start with NOT SHATNER! And note the neglect of Walton Goggins, great on "The Shield," a lot of "Friday Night Lights" people. (Zach Gilford! Taylor Kitsch! Jesse Plemons! Come on!) and "Lost" players like Terry O'Quinn and Josh Holloway. From the nominees, I'd go with Michael Emerson from "Lost" or John Slattery from "Mad Men," but as good as Slattery was, Emerson just kicked ass.
Supporting actress, drama: Again, did no one look at what the women were doing on "FNL"? Stuck with these candidates, I'll admit to being a big fan of Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh, both from "Grey's Anatomy," and each had Emmy-worthy moments.
Comedy series: "Entourage," "30 Rock," "Weeds," "The Office," "How I Met Your Mother," "Flight of the Conchords," "Family Guy."
I don't miss an episode of "HIMYM," and it's an inventive show. But neither do I ever miss "30 Rock" or "The Office," and the latter gets my vote for best comedy. I keep coming back not only to the funny moments but to the ones that were more than funny, especially those when Michael started his own paper company -- and that weirdly noble moment when he made the deal to come back to Dunder Mifflin. And the reunion with Holly. And that's a helluva season.
Drama: "Big Love," "Mad Men," "Dexter," "Breaking Bad," "Lost," "House," "Damages."
Overlooked: "The Shield," "Friday Night Lights."
What to do? "Mad Men" is great, but "Lost" had a dazzling season. Coin flip. But I'd much rather be agonizing over a choice among those two shows and the two I mentioned that were not nominated.
That's what I have for now. I may add some other categories later.