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Emmy nomination thoughts

July 10, 2014

I don’t watch a lot of TV. That’s not out of some kind of cultural snobbery—by all indications, there’s more excellence in television than there has been in its history—but just out of lack of time.

And so, with the Emmy Award nominations announced, I have to take other people’s word on, say, the relative excellence of Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards” vs. Bryan Cranston in “Breaking Bad.”

Scanning the nominations, though, there are a few thoughts I’d like to add to the Emmy chatter.

—Glad to see Mark Ruffalo nominated for “The Normal Heart.” But here's hoping that praise for Jim Parsons’ outstanding performance in the same HBO film doesn’t get diminished by the fine work of three of his fellow “Normal Heart” actors in the same Supporting Actor category.

—I understand what’s going on, but it’s still funny to see a nomination going to Matt LeBlanc for playing Matt LeBlanc.

—Fourteen executive, co-executive, and supervising producers are listed for “Top Chef”—which is nominated for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. Nice work if you can get it.

—The definition of Variety Show has changed drastically over the years. “Real Time with Bill Maher”? “The Colbert Report”? The only one that’s even close to old-school variety is Saturday Night Live.

—“Games of Thrones” breaks the glass ceiling for fantasy shows. Usually science fiction and fantasy are ignored come nomination time.

—Happy to see Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”) nominated for anything, anytime, anywhere.

—Ditto Bob Newhart (Guest Actor in a Comedy for “The Big Bang Theory”).

—SNL’s Kate McKinnon nominated for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Good call.

—The best moments of the actually awards broadcast comes with the announcement of the nominees for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series as The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, etc try to out silly each other. This year, “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Key & Peele,” “Portlandia,” and Jimmy Fallon’s crew are also in the mix.

—Seems odd that Billy Crystal gets a nomination for writing “700 Sundays”—which was actually written back in 2004.

 —Really? There’s an Outstanding Commercial Award? That’s for the Cleo Awards.

—Outstanding Picture Editing sounds like something you do in Photoshop.

—Do there really need to be three different Outstanding Hairstyling categories?

—Yes, there’s a category for Outstanding Stunt Coordinator for a Comedy Series or a Variety Program.

—SNL’s “Home for the Holidays (Twin Bed)” picks up a nomination for Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics. I could get behind that to win…if it wasn’t up against the greatest awards show number ever staged… “Bigger,” from the 2013 Tony Awards. Well worth watching again here.

You have plenty of time to catch up: The awards aren't actually awarded until Aug. 25. Seth Meyers will be hosting.

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