I’m a TV junkie. I come by it honestly: My mother rearranged her college classes around All My Children. But even I couldn’t wake up at 5:30 this morning to watch the nominee announcement for the Emmys, which honors the best and brightest on the small screen.
The Emmys are being held this year at 8 p.m. (which means 8 p.m. in Los Angeles and New York, as opposed to the 5 p.m. telecast for the Oscars). So to air at 8 p.m., the men and women of Tinsel Town need to be at Temple Beth Nokia by 4 p.m. for the red carpet; and 5 p.m. for the ceremony. Sunset on Sunday, September 20 is at 6:53 p.m. So thank you to the Academy for holding an award show for a heavily Jewish industry on the same day as one of the biggest holy days of the entire Jewish calender. Was Kol Nidre taken?
But back to the nominees.
The Emmys don’t have the prestige of the Oscars, the class of the Tonys, the fun of the Golden Globes or the sexiness of the Grammys. But they do have something special: the ability to honor televisions newbies and veterans.
Not since the mid-80s, when The Golden Girls was on the docket for Best Comedy have I been this excited about the nominees. I’m not going to rehash the list, but offer up special awards for some special shows and people:
Best Comedy or The “I Shouldn’t Be Laughing at This” award
Whether you find it offensive or hilarious (or both), the animated Fox show Family Guy pokes fun at Judaism on a weekly basis like no other (example: main character Peter Griffin sings “I Need a Jew” to the tune of “When You Wish Upon a Star). Its nomination for best comedy makes history for being the first animated show in this category since “The Flintstones.”
Changing channels: The five friends on “How I Met Your Mother” make you forget those six people who hung out at Central Perk. While finding out who the mother is has taken a few seasons, the journey is fun to take with this incredible ensemble.
Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Fiction or the “Just Five More Minutes Award”
I just wanted to call out this category for the concept. The online world of one of my favorite dramas, “Lost,” is nominated for its Dharma Initiative site, an online world dedicated to the mysterious group behind everything that is happening on the island. The show also touts a nominee for Outstanding Drama Series or the “Did You Just See That” award and an Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series or “Is He Good or Evil Award” nod for the mesmerizing Michael Emerson as “Other” Ben Linus.
Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Original Dramatic Score) or the “I’m Crying Again” award
You think Hallmark, you think tissues. Jeff Beal’s music for Loving Leah (Hallmark Hall Of Fame Presentation) defiantly contributed to my hankie use as I watched this story about at Orthodox Jewish woman and the relationship she develops with her late husband’s brother.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series or the “Make Me Laugh” award
If you haven’t watched this hilarious homage to geekdom, you are missing something special. First-time nominee Jim Parson’s Sheldon Cooper is a standout who excels in the world of science, and offers wry observations of the world around him.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series or the “Awe-some” award
He created a bracket to figure out which former girlfriend was stalking him and has developed more Loony Laws than any small town (Lemon Law, anyone), which makes Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson simply legen—wait for it—dary.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries or a Movie or the “Legends” Award
For fans of the “Indiana Jones,” series “The Mummy” and “Night at the Museum,” “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice,” the third movie in the adventure-filled series, is the perfect TV alternative. Comedy genius Bob Newhart plays head librarian Judson, who seems to know just about everything.
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series or the “Legends II” Award
The folks at “C.S.I.: New York” cast veteran actor Edward Asner as Abraham Klein, a one-time Hitler Youth member who adopted a Jewish identity to escape arrest after the Holocaust. If that doesn’t intrigue you, how about the episode’s title: “Yahrtzeit.”
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series or the “Legends III” Award
Everyone’s favorite former St. Olafian, Betty White, has stolen scenes in countless TV shows and movies, and her turn on “My Name Is Earl.” as Crazy Witch Lady, a woman Earl tormented when he was a teen, is no exception.
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series or the “Legends III” Award
The queen of comedy, Carol Burnett, takes a scary turn in this episode of “Law & Order: SVU,” where she plays former dancer Bridget “Birdie” Sulloway, who becomes slightly Norma Desmond-like (or Nora Desmond if you are fan of her hiccup-inducing variety program, “The Carol Burnett Show”).
After two days of trying to get in the Book of Life, maybe we are all entitled to kick back, relax and welcome 5770 with “L’Shanah Tova Tikatelevision.”
The Emmy Awards, with host Neil Patrick Harris, airs Sept. 20 at 8 p.m on CBS. For the full list of nominees, click here.
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