I have decided that in a show of support for the striking members of the Writers Guild of America, I shall not be writing any material either for television productions or motion pictures for the duration of the strike, as much as it pains me not to do so. But I ain’t no scab.
Ben: so far, i’m doing a pretty good job of not picturing the actors when i read the books [the Harry Potter books, which Ben has only recently begun reading]
Allen: That’s difficult. It’s commendable you’re holding out. :)
Ben: alan rickman is tough to displace
Ben: though if i try really hard to forget he’s involved, then in my head snape looks an awful lot like doc cochran :-)
Allen: Now THAT would’ve been some casting.
Allen: Damn them and their British bias!
Allen: So does Snape sound like Doc Cochran when you read? “Harry F*!%ing Potter, you co%&!*@&er, who the f&!k do you think you are?”
Ben: great, now i have an image of him mixing up anti-crotchrot potions for all the school whores
Believe or not, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this year’s Emmy nominations, which were announced this morning. Unlike last year, I didn’t get to watch them live, and I hadn’t prepped a blog post full of questions I wanted answers, so this year’s “analysis” is a bit off the cuff. That said, I did have a few tibdits I wanted to mention:
- I’m disappointed but utterly unsurprised to note that Lauren Graham managed to finish her exquisite tour of duty on Gilmore Girls 0-for-7 in Best Actress in a Comedy nominations. I’m going on record right now as predicting that she’ll get a nomination for her first season in whichever show she ends up anchoring in the 2008-09 season, assuming that show’s on one of the major networks. Please, Lauren, stay far, far away from The CW in the future, OK?
- Almost making up for Graham-lessness of this morning’s announcements was the nomination of The Office’s Jenna Fischer as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Since I’d already given up hope of Graham getting any Emmy recognition, Fischer had become my she damn well better be nominated cause for this year. Her work as Pam Beesly alternated between endearing and heartbreaking, and she makes Pam into The Most Normal Person on TV (and I completely mean that as a compliment — she’s probably my favorite character on network TV right now).
- Also happy-making was the nomination of Masi Oka for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for playing Hiro Nakamura on Heroes. I’d have liked to have seen a couple of other nominations for the cast (especially for Jack Coleman), but I’ll take Oka’s nom — Hiro was far and away the most entertaining character on the show and Oka the breakout star, so bully for him.
- The Best Drama nod for Heroes excited me, too — Heroes was the only show I watched every episode of last year. After a slow start, it had reached can’t-miss status by the end of the season, and I’m already salivating for next year. Before two years ago, I’d have said that Heroes had no chance to pick up the award and that the nomination would have to suffice, but then Lost won for its rookie season it and shattered that belief. I’d think it had a better chance to win, though, if this weren’t the last chance for voters to give The Sopranos the Best Drama award.
- Can someone please tell me how Two and a Half Men could get four acting nominations (Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Conchata Ferrell and Holland Taylor)? I know Ferrell and Taylor are both well-respected actresses, but I’m still having a hard time with this many acting nominations for this pedestrian a show. This fact more than any other from this year reinforces the notion that the nomination process rewards only the shows which are most-watched rather than those of highest quality.
- At the other end of the popular-versus-good spectrum, I was shocked to see Friday Night Lights not pick up any major nominations. After all of the critical praise heaped on that show all year long, I’d thought it would have gotten something, probably at least a nomination for Connie Britton. I’m glad NBC wasn’t waiting to see how well the show performed at the Emmys before deciding whether to renew it.
- I was not so shocked to see Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip shut out of the major categories, even if I thought a couple of the actors deserved some consideration, Matthew Perry especially. (Perry did pick up a nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, at least.)
- Last year, said I: “…including one for the always-excellent Alec Baldwin — I’m going to say right now I expect him to get a nod next year for his role on the upcoming comedy series 30 Rock.” And I was right, though last year I was expecting it for Supporting Actor rather than Lead Actor, but Lead Actor it was. Yay me.
- Miscellaneous other acting nominations which filled me with minor or major glee: Ricky Gervais, Extras; Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother; Minnie Driver, The Riches; Jamie Pressly, My Name Is Earl; Terry O’Quinn, Lost; Rainn Wilson, The Office.
Wow, lookit that — turns out I had a lot to say after all!
Those new episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip which are going to start airing on May 28? Enjoy ‘em if you can, because that’s the last you’ll see of NBC’s most hyped new drama of last year.Many of you might remember just how excited I was about Studio 60 in the months leading up to the 2006 television season. Hell, I was so geeked about it I created a new holiday in celebration. Aaron Sorkin has been one of my favorite writers for years, The West Wing remains one of my favorite TV series ever, and Studio 60 had a great cast lined up. NBC, behind even FOX in the network ratings, desperately needed a new hit and were prepared to give S60 a major push. No way this show could fail, right?
I gave Studio 60 a solid chance to wow me, both out of respect for the creators involved and out of sheer blind optimism. But it didn’t take long to see the magic Sorkin and company had brought to The West Wing hadn’t followed them to their new show. A few episodes managed to be really entertaining, but none hit more than a solid stand-up double as compared to the not infrequent home runs of Wing.
(Was it fair for me to so consistently compare these two series? Probably not, but I think it was also natural given the strong creative voice behind both shows. I’m wondering if many of us judged Studio 60 more harshly than we should have simply because it wasn’t The West Wing.)
(No, I’m pretty sure Studio 60 just wasn’t that good.)
I started writing my first “what’s wrong with Studio 60” post after the fourth episode had aired, though I never completed it because I figured it wouldn’t be necessary, that Sorkin would get the show on course. Silly me. Most of the problems I had with the show early on continued to be problems throughout, and even more weaknesses became clear as the show limped along. Here now, for your Five O’ Friday enjoyment, are five of the reasons I think Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip eventually didn’t quite work:
- Studio 60 boasted a strong cast full of likeable actors which it nearly completely wasted. Matthew Perry played Not Chandler Bing really well. Steven Weber, who normally does charming and personable with ease, proved to be equally adept at playing an insufferable asshole. Bradley Whitford (though he seemed miserable most of the time), Amanda Peet, Timothy Busfield, the adorable Lucy Davis — this show had plenty of actors I liked, and frequently didn’t give them anywhere near enough to do. Whitford in particular, who was so fantastic on The West Wing, spent much of the series looking like he was waiting for someone to bring him something interesting to say.
- Countering that last point about the great cast, though was the fact that Sorkin (or his designated casting flunkies) seriously miscast both of the show’s female leads. Never for a minute did I buy that Sarah Paulson’s Harriet Hayes was one of the most beloved comedic actresses in America — she wasn’t charming and she wasn’t all that funny. I also never believed Amanda Peet as a hotshot young television executive. Can I imagine that a smart, capable, talented woman shot up the corporate ladder to run a network by her mid-30s? Oh, sure I can… but the woman I’m imagining and Amanda Peet’s Jordan McDeere don’t have a whole lot in common.You know what I would have believed? Amanda Peet as one of the country’s most beloved comedic actresses. Peet is naturally charming and funny in exactly the way the stiff Paulson isn’t. I think Peet as Harriet would have worked much, much better (and probably made the Matt-Harriet relationship less grating) — and casting an actress somewhat older than the 34-year-old Peet would have made Jordan a more believable character, too. (Yes, there are plenty of actresses in their 40s and 50s who could have done determined, capable, accomplished and damn sexy — including Christine Lahti, who guested on several episodes of Studio 60 and just happens to be married to Thomas Schlamme, Sorkin’s creative partner.)
- I never felt like Sorkin had a firm grasp on his characters. Most of the characters felt more like placeholders than people: the black one we can use to discuss issues of race; the Christian one we can use to discuss issues of religion and explain why Midwestern conservatives are clearly so, so stupid; the druggie one we can use to explain why Sorkin’s cocaine binges really aren’t all that bad. To continue with the unfair comparisons, the character development on Studio 60 paled next to that on The West Wing or on SportsNight, Sorkin’s first series; based on that history alone, I’d expected that the character development and interaction would be one of this show’s strengths, and was quite disappointed to discover that not to be true.
- Sorkin just never seemed to really get what his audience wanted out of this show — honestly, I’m not sure he ever much considered his audience at all. The show felt like his way of explaining and excusing his own demons, which would have been absolutely fine had it been more consistently entertaining. When he made his course correction after the extended winter break, bringing the romance angle more to the front (and destroying most of Matt’s likability as a character in the process ,— yes, he “dumped” Harriet for good because, while single, she thought about sleeping with another guy) and the show became almost painful to watch.
- I’m not sure the setup inherently allowed for that many compelling stories to arise from it — and many of them that did he’d already done on his previous shows. The A-plot of the second episode of Studio 60 was lifted whole from a similarly-themed episode of The West Wing (both centered on the stressful anticipation of a bunch of poll results/ratings which would determine the future course of the government/show). Much of the show’s drama came from a Matt-Harriet “relationship” that was never believable between two stars without much chemistry together (Perry and Whitford had plenty of chemistry, but that coupling might have been pushing the boundaries a bit far for NBC’s taste) or from Sorkin-serving “creatives versus suits” plotlines. Neither ever really connected enough to serve as the dramatic lynchpin for the show.
- Bonus sixth reason: I know it’s been said to death by this point, but holy moley did those in-show skits suck major ass.
All of that said, I still liked the show and I’m quite sad to see it gone. I’m hoping that the experience hasn’t soured Sorkin on television for good, because when he’s at the top of his game, he’s one of the best TV writers around — if not the best. Unfortunately, Studio 60 was far from Sorkin at his best, and while that might still be better than most shows currently on the air, it wasn’t good enough. Expectations both creative and commercial were simply too large and the production buckled underneath the weight. I almost can’t believe I’m about to say this as it goes against so much of what I feel about the creative process, but: I hope Sorkin takes a few years away from TV and comes back with something a little less personal.
When the first TV ads aired for the new science fiction/western hybrid Firefly in the late summer of ‘02, the “from the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer” hype FOX was laying on so thickly had zero effect on me. At that point, the name “Joss Whedon” meant nothing to me — I’d never seen any Buffy (except the wretched movie). I wouldn’t become a disciple of The Way of Whedon for over another year.
No, what struck me was this: “Hey, cool, Nathan Fillion’s on a new show! Maybe I’ll have to check that out.” (Though I didn’t, of course, until after Firefly had been canceled and released on DVD.) See, I’m now in my fourteenth year of Fillion Fandom™. All you people who first discovered him as the roguish-yet-lovable Captain Mal Reynolds? Pshaw. Newbies, latecoming bandwagon jumpers, the lot of you.
Way back in the summer of 1994, I wasn’t taking any college classes and my 25-hour-a-week job at a record store mainly took up my nighttime hours, so during most days I was pretty free. And with my afternoons unencumbered by anything resembling productive activity, what I did was watch soap operas — specifically, All My Children, One Life to Live and Days of Our Lives. 
One of One Life To Live’s main good guys during that summer was Joey Buchanon, played by, you guessed it, Nathan Fillion. Joey was more in the romantic hero soap character mold than action hero or anti-hero, but heroic he was nonetheless. Most of the appeal of the character — to me, anyway — was from Fillion himself, who had an undeniable air of goodness about him. His Joey was very earnest and likable, even if I never could understand why he was so hung up on skanky Kelly, who was so full of bad news she might as well have been wearing a “Chico’s Bail Bonds” jersey.
Fillion might not have been the highlight of my soap-watching stint that summer — my mild man-crush on him was far eclipsed by the gripping lust I felt for Maria and Julia, the Santos sisters, who spent the summer bludgeoning me with their exquisite hotness on All My Children. But he left enough of a positive vibe on me that I noted every time he appeared in my pop culture field of vision over the next few years. I took it as a sign that his career was going somewhere when he played Not The Ryan You’re Looking For in Saving Private Ryan; I thought his career must be taking a step back when he signed on to the occassionally-amusing-but-not-
Have you ever noticed how some actors seem to exhibit certain characteristics so naturally and so frequently that you just assume that person’s like that in real life? (Well, OK… I do, anyway.) That’s how Nathan Fillion’s always seemed to me in regards to that aforementioned fundamental goodness most of his characters exude. Much of what made Mal Reynolds such a compelling figure was the contrast Fillion’s natural (or natural-seeming) good-guy-ness brought to him: for all of Mal’s law-breaking and Fed-shooting and doctor-yelling, there’s never any doubt that he’s a good man who’s fallen on hard times, a hero in a less-than-heroic situation.
Yes, I’m aware that Fillion’s an actor and if he’s any good at his job at all — and I believe he is — then there doesn’t have to be any connection whatsoever between the parts he plays and the man himself. But there’s undeniably something of a strength, morality and dignity underneath most of the characters he plays , and whether that quality has any basis in the man behind the characters or not, it makes him an appealing presence on screen.
I’m still hoping that quality someday makes him a huge star.
(Funnily/sadly enough, between the time I started writing this post Monday night and the time I finished it Wednesday night, Fillion’s newest show, Drive, was canceled by FOX… after three episodes. Nathan, if you are going to be a Big Huge Star at some point soon, I don’t think it’s going to be any thanks to the bastards at FOX.)
 I’ll talk more about my history with soaps some other time, but I firmly believe that watching Days with my mom when I was little probably helped foster in me the love for serialized storytelling I’ve still got today.
 The most notable exception to this tendency was his arc as the evil preacher Caleb in Season 6 of Buffy; there was no underlying streak of good to be found in that character, and because of it I think having Fillion, who’d just been de-Firefly-ed, play the part struck something of a wrong chord.
- I’m willing to grant everyone involved with the production of the kinda stinky Ocean’s 12 an Official Do-Over and pretend like Ocean’s 13 is the direct sequel to Ocean’s 11. The trailer for O13 sure makes it look like it’s going to have all of the same qualities which made the first one so much fun — qualities which Soderbergh, et al. apparently left in their other pants when making O12. This one’s now gone toward the top of my Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2007. (Hmm, what’s that smell? *snf snf* Oh, yeah, I think that’s the smell of another blog post coming up!)
- Hey, fans of Firefly: Yahoo! TV has a four-minute video preview of Drive, the new show from Nathan Fillion and Tim Minear. (The video’s on the right-hand side of the page.) I was planning on watching this anyway just because of the presence of Fillion and Minear, but after watching the preview I’m actually interested in seeing Drive on its own merits. OK, yeah, what little bit we saw of the battered wife was pretty cliche, but the scene with Fillion was intriguing. Time to TiVo up!
- Lee Iacocca has had enough from the current administration. Yes, legendary industrialist Lee Iacocca expresses his outrage at the Republican White House — kinda says something, doesn’t it? Iacocca rightly points out that the guys in office right now might be in charge, but they’re not showing a damn bit of leadership. Big difference there.
- At long, long last, the final issue of The Ultimates 2 has gone to the printer, and Marvel was kind enough to celebrate by offering a preview of Bryan Hitch’s stunning eight-page foldout spread from that issue. I’m not sure that any comic has ever needed an interior eight-page foldout spread in it before, but I’d imagine this one does, and that Hitch artwork is simply jaw-dropping. Personally, I’m just glad this comic’s finally coming out since that gets us that much closer to a hardcover collection, which means I can get that to go with my hardcover of the first Ultimates series.
- The Inbox of Nardo Pace, The Empire’s Worst Engineer.
From the How the Hell Did I Not Know About This Before? Department:
Lauren Graham will be guest-starring on the next two episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip playing… herself. She’ll be the guest host of the fictional Studio 60, and we’ll get to see her interacting with the cast and crew of the show. I think my love for Graham is pretty well documented at this point, and adding her to a Sorkin show, even if it’s just two episodes, is enough to just about make me blow my metaphorical wad. It’s like going to a fancy restaurant and ordering, like, this amazing gourmet dessert — coconut tarts with pear sauce, maybe? And then you bring it all the way to perfection by putting bacon on it. Awwwwwwwwwwwww yeah.
Okay, well… maybe it’s not quite like that.
Still, it should be a pretty awesome thing to behold: after six seasons of Gilmore Girls and the rapid-fire dialogue that’s such a hallmark of that show, Graham should have little trouble wrapping her lips and tongue around Sorkin’s words.
(Note to self: perhaps it’s best not to put the thoughts “Lauren Graham” and “wrapping her lips and tongue around $x” so close together when I’m writing in a public place. Distracty.)
Heroes - “One Giant Leap” (1.03)
This episode crystallized something for me which had been nagging at me the last couple of weeks:
Man, this show really doesn’t like women very much.
So far, Heroes only has two even remotely likable female characters: Claire and the skinny chick who’s puppy-dogging Mohinder around. Every single other female character on the show is presented in a negative light.  And of those two almost-likable women, Indestructible Lass suffers an attempted rape this episode which ends very, very badly (and produced a hell of a cliffhanger for next week) and Skinny Chick, I’m absolutely positive, is allied with The Forces of Evil. (More on her in just a minute.)
My main complaint with this show so far (other than the not-so-hidden misogyny) is the joylessness of it all. Only Hiro displays any excitement whatsoever about his newfound abilities; admittedly, his infectious enthusiasm goes a long way toward making up for the moroseness of the rest of the characters. (I suppose Peter is also excited by his powers, but since they only seem to work in the presence of his shithead brother, his enthusiasm’s been pretty thoroughly dampened.) There’s very little sense of fun to Heroes so far; it’s certainly intriguing and I’m going to keep watching for a while longer, but the relenteless darkness is feeling a bit oppressive. More Hiro and more Matt would go a long way toward lightening things up.
Time for a bit of speculation about the show’s Big Bad thus far, Syler: we still know very little about him, but it seems that it’s possible he has all of the powers exhibited by the rest of our cast. He certainly seems to be invulnerable and seems to be able to fly, plus whatever ability he’s got that allows him to perform grotesque murders with no sign of struggle (perhaps he has Hiro’s ability to stop or maniuplate time?). So what I’m wondering is this: could he also have shape-changing abilities? ‘Cause I have this suspicion that Skinny Chick perhaps actually could be Syler. It would certainly explain why Syler wasn’t home when they went to see him (not that that’s something that really has to be explained, but it fits) and how he knew to clear out of his pad afterwards. Even if she’s not Syler-In-Disguise, she’s almost certainly One of the Bad Guys in some way, trying to get some more knowledge out of Mohinder that they weren’t able to get out of his father. (Also: expect Dr. Saresh the Elder to show up soon — the picture on the back of the book he wrote is of an actor I recognize but whose name I don’t recall, so I think it’s a safe bet he’s not really dead. Maybe he’s also Syler? That would be interesting, and more than a little weird, since it would mean he’d been threatening to make out with his own son. Ew.)
Episode grade: B-
 It occurs to me that this criticism might not be entirely valid, since most every person on the show is something of a jackass.
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - “The West Coast Delay” (1.04)
After a bit of an awkward start (c’mon, Harriet, you’re supposed to be an educated, intelligent woman — you mean to tell me you don’t recognize a freakin’ phone number when you see one?), “The West Coast Delay” ended up being the strongest episode of Studio 60 yet. It’s still not West Wing-class, but I feel like it’s making progress: for the first time, it felt like Sorkin and Co. were finding the show’s voice. I knew that moment was coming, and I’m glad to see it only took them four episodes to start getting there. We’re finally getting a little bit more screen time for some of the supporting cast and a feel for their personalities, and we’re getting some more interpersonal dynamics that don’t involve Sorkin’s meta-preaching. I’m hoping that NBC will end up moving this show to a better time slot, preferably a night where it can air at 9:00EST instead of 10:00EST, in hopes that some of those people who’ve already ditched the show can give it another chance. (Of course, I’m also hoping that NBC will actually pick up the full season, which they still haven’t done.)
Since Sorkin can’t educate his viewership about the political process and issues anymore (well, I suppose he could, but I think doing so would be a little awkward in a show about telelvision), he’s decided instead to educate us about the history of drama, or at the very least to give us homework, things to research on our own. He’s already brought in Gilbert and Sullivan and commedia dell’arte, and this week we had several references to August Strindberg, mopey 19th-century Swedish playwright and star of the buddy comedy Strindberg + Helium. While I’m glad that Sorkin thinks enough of his audience that he can throw these references out there, that he is indeed trying to raise the bar of what a network show expects of its viewers, I’m also wondering if maybe baby steps aren’t in order? A Masters degree in Drama shouldn’t be required to get the jokes.
By the way, was I the only one to let out a little squee of delight when the totally adorable Lucy Davis (Dawn from the original BBC version of The Office) showed up in the writer’s room? Is it too much to hope that maybe she might turn into a recurring character?
Episode grade: B+
Ever since the move, I’ve been feeling more than a bit on the, shall we say, constipated side creatively. What with the new job and all, I haven’t felt good about writing anything during the day while at work (both because I’ve been trying to make a positive impression and because I’ve been really friggin’ busy since the day I started here, and that’s not likely to ease up any time soon). At night, I’ve been doing some freelance work for a friend and when I haven’t been, I just haven’t been able to unclog my backed-up wordflow.
But I don’t like the fact that I haven’t written anything lately. I don’t like the fact that my online empire has grown so stale during the last six weeks or so. As a friend pointed out a little while ago when Terry mentioned the aforementioned creative constipation: “The video of K is cute and all, but…he should think about fiber.”
So this is me thinking about fiber.
It’s not that I haven’t had stuff to day, but rather haven’t been able to organize anything in my head to make a coherent post out of it. Thusly, coherent posts be damned, and let’s move on to a bullet list, shall we? Maybe doing so will be like Metamucil for my brain.
- North Carolina is just beautiful. Most of the days for the month we’ve been here have featured bright blue, mostly cloudless skies, nice breezes, reasonable temperatures, and lots and lots and lots and lots of green. (We do live in Greensboro, after all.) But man, when it rains here? It friggin’ rains. Forget those pansy little “rain showers” we got up in New England, the kind where you can’t even hear the rain on the roof, the kind where you’re actually surprised to discover it’s raining when you step outside. Here, we get real rain, big ol’ honkin’ drops that hit your skin like heavy bullets of water — this ain’t rain that’s gonna sneak up on you. It’s not quite torrential Florida rain, at least not that I’ve experienced yet, but the first time it rained on us here was yet another reminder that we’re back in the South (along with Waffle House and the ability to buy beer and wine in grocery stores).
- Monday night, for those of you haven’t heard, is Sorkinalia (a.k.a. the debut of Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). I doubt it’s much of a secret that I’ve been looking forward to this holiday for more than a year. But unlike the ridiculous amounts of anticipation I built up for Superman Returns, my expecations for Studio 60 are a tad more reasonable. It doesn’t have to be the best TV show I’ve ever seen; it only has to be better than most TV shows. Given that Sorkin’s behind it, I think that’s a reasonably safe expecation for me to harbor. I encourage every single one of you out there to watch it Monday night at 9 EST on NBC; I hope to be posting my thoughts about it on Tuesday.
- I think I want my DVR back (we didn’t get one when we set up our cable in the new house). Too many new shows I want to try out and no way in hell I’ll be able to sit down and watch them all at broadcast time. Having little kids makes being a TV fan difficult, I swear.
- Speaking of little kids, hearty congratulations are in order for my buddy Jeff Newberry, who recently discovered he’s going to be a first-time dad. Good on ya, Jeff! I fully expect to hear about you reading poetry to Heather’s belly as she hits the latter stages of her pregnancy.
- Also speaking of little kids, Terry’s got her report on Kelsey’s initial foray into organized sports up over at Mother Mirth. Terry was all witty and wistful and pensive and stuff so I didn’t have to be.
While I’m sure all of you were on your couches at 8:40 this morning, glued to your TVs, bowl of Bran Flakes balanced precariously on your trembling hand as your heart slammed in your chest with anticipation, knowing you were now just minutes away from hearing this year’s Emmy nominations… oh, wait, that was just me? Geez, sorry.
Well, anyway, here’s the answers I promised you yesterday, with some extra commentary thrown in for good measure:( Read the rest of this entry » )
Like most of us, I shall be sitting in front of my TV at 8:39 a.m. EST tomorrow morning, anxiously waiting for Brad Garrett and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to tell me who’s going to be up for this year’s Emmy awards. And, like most of us, I’ll be laying in my bed awake for hours tonight, twitching wildly under the covers while using all of my spare brain cycles on questions like:
- Who will be this year’s Blythe Danner (Huff) or Patricia Arquette (Medium) — either a little-known actor or an off-the-mainstream-radar performance which will elicit cries of “wha’ fu’?!” with a surprise nomination?
- Which of the 182 regular cast members of Lost will be singled out for praise? Will Lost find itself in the situation The West Wing did in its first few years where so many of its cast were deserving that they almost had to be rotated in and out of the process on a yearly basis?
- Speaking of The West Wing, will it pick up any thanks-for-the-memories nominations? Will the late (and sorely missed) John Spencer get a posthumous nomination, much like John Ritter did three years ago?
- Will any of the deserving shows on the soon-to-be-extiguished WB or UPN get any notice — will Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham be snubbed for the sixth straight year? Will all of the critical praise and devoted viewership earn Veronica Mars‘ Kristen Bell a nod?
- Can Arrested Development emmbarrass Fox further by earning another Best Comedy Series nomination — and, hopefully, even pull off another win?
- Whatever will Emmy voters possibly do without Everybody Loves Raymond around to lavish ridiculous numbers of nominations on? Spread them among quality shows like AD or Scrubs or find some other mediocre and inoffensive sitcom on which to heap their praise? (Oh, jeez — does that mean we’re in for a flood of noms for Joey?)
- Can the bowing-out-five-years-too-late Will and Grace possibly best the five guest-actor nominations it got last year? Will all four of its principals get nods once again, even though they haven’t truly deserved them in years?
- Will Deadwood be eligible this year? No, really — will it? I honestly don’t know.
- Will Little Einsteins get a nomination for Best Children’s Program? Because it totally should.
I know how difficult it will be for you to wait until tomorrow, at which point I’ll be able to break down the nominations for you and answer all of these questions — and a bunch of other questions you didn’t even realize you were asking — in Questioning the Emmy Nominatons, Part Two!