Ah, at least. A category I can feel confident about. The Simpsons and Futurama each had a stint as the funniest show on television, and they still have their moments, but those stints are over. Fuck Seth MacFarlane and, therefore, fuck American Dad. The Penguins of Madagascar is a spin-off, albeit of the funniest part of a wildly succesful series of movies, but it’s a spin-off, and I’m old-fashioned enough to feel that that should disqualify it. Bob’s Burgers, however? Bob’s Burgers is as funny as anything I’ve ever seen, and should win Emmy’s in categories that don’t even exist. In fact, I’d like to retroactively give it all those Emmy’s that didn’t have any rightful winners.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Bob’s Burgers
Short-Form Animated Program
Here, by contrast, is a category that’s considerably more disappointing. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it, so the winner is The Regular Show, because it makes me laugh. The end.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Regular Show
I have seen literally none of these things. Victorious has ads that make it look funny.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Victorious
Children’s Nonfiction, Reality, or Reality-Competition Program
Is It Gets Better really a “Children’s” program? I guess it must be if Degrassi is, even though I haven’t seen the current incarnation of Degrassi.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: It Gets Better.
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
I love Kathy Bates. Really, I do. But she was still a guest on Two and a Half Men. I don’t watch Glee either, so we’re down to the SNL people and the 30 Rock people. Why wasn’t Maya Rudolph nominated for a supporting actress comedy Emmy? She really deserved one for Up All Night. Fuck these people. Elizabeth Banks is never as funny as I want her to be, Margaret Cho’s Kim Jong-Il was funny, and deserves props for continuing on after his death, but both of those aren’t really this season kinds of things. Maya Rudolph was an excellent host of Saturday Night Live, but she was also a former cast-member, and that kind of takes something away from the impressiveness. Melissa McCarthy, on the other hand, took a shot of ranch dressing to the face.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Melissa McCarthy
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Nobody should win an Emmy for playing themselves, so MJF is out, even though he was funny. I don’t watch Nurse Jackie. Still. I didn’t even remember that Greg Kinnear had been on Modern Family, so he’s right out, and Jon Hamm appeared in a lame-ass blackface joke, so that’s no good either. Despite my earlier complaints about Elizabeth Banks and Margaret Cho playing old years’ jokes on 30 Rock, Devon Banks is an institution, the gift that keeps on giving, and deserves the trophy.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Will Arnett
Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Hey look! It’s Martha Plimpton! Who knew?! She and Clive Owen should both go to the Emmys and we can look at them onscreen and say “Oh boy! They are both still people that exist and wear pants and stuff!” But she probably shouldn’t win, because that would be too much good news for one year. This is actually the most revelatory category, because the other thing I learned is that Grey’s Anatomy is still on! So. Anyway. I haven’t watched Shameless, but I keep meaning to, and I do like Joan Cusack. Julia Ormond was fine on Mad Men. I didn’t watch Smash. I really don’t watch much television drama.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Joan Cusack.
Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Why are acting awards segregated? Was what Ben Feldman did so impossible to compare with what Julia Ormond did that it requires an entirely separate award? I can’t answer this question, and Ben Feldman was the only one in there that I saw.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Michael J. Fox. Or, failing that, Dylan Baker, who is never anything less than amazing in anything.
This is a real category, guys! I didn’t even make it up! OK. Hank Azaria is a voice-over institution, but it’s really hard to reward The Simpsons in 2012. Brenda Strong is a good narrator, but, unless you’re talking about Arrested Development or Superfriends, the narrator isn’t really a character that you’d notice. Dan Povenmire’s real name is as hard to say as his character’s name, so he should be disqualified from making people say it. I love Rob Riggle, but what the hell is Disney Prep Landing: Naughty & Nice? It looks like pornography based on a field instruction manual. I don’t know what The Looney Tunes Show is, or why Kristen Wiig is voicing a character that I don’t know, but I’ve also never thought her voice was the thing that made her funny. That leaves us with the incomparable Maurice LaMarche who, while his show isn’t in its glory days, is still an undersung and excellent part of a really good voice cast.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Maurice LaMarche
Directing for a Comedy Series
Girls was well-directed, but I’m still not talking about it here. Curb Your Enthusiasm’s director doesn’t even have to make any actual decisions – the visual language of that show is so established, and so present, that there’s not a lot that an individual director can do. I can appreciate that directing Modern Family is probably difficult, if only because you have to get Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson in shots together without outing Jesse Tyler Ferguson as a smurf. So my hat is off, but Louis C.K. does that shit himself.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Louis C.K.
Directing for a Drama Series
Still Breaking Bad, guys.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
Directing for Miniseries
Oh my god you guys. There are so many awards given out for Miniserieses. If I ever want to finish off my EGOT, I’m doing it in a miniseries because there’s only like eight of them made every year and they get nominated for like six thousand awards. Hell, they even need to pad their numbers by counting shit that airs on the BBC. I’ll make my hard-hitting miniseries about the underdrawers industry and call it Jockeying to get our Hanes on You and set it in, like, the late 1800’s and RAKE THAT SHIT IN WITH A RAKE.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Sam Miller, Luther
Directing for Variety Series
Or a variety series. Man, there aren’t many of those, but people watch them like hotcakes. Anyway. What does the director even do on a Variety series? I’m giving this one to Portlandia because it’s more than just a static camera setup3.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Jonathan Krisel, with a bird on it!
Directing, Nonfiction Program
Man, this category is like the opposite of all the other categories. This covers absolutely anything that was on television and not telling a fictional story. And, tellingly, I’ve heard of only some of it. This is the first I’ve been made aware that Woody Allen has an American Masters episode, I had forgotten that George Harrison: Living in the Material World was just last year, I still haven’t watched The Amazing Race, I still was nonplussed by Project Runway, and I didn’t watch Paradise Lost 3 because I’m a bad person.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: eh. Just pick somebody at random. I’m sure they’re all lovely people.
Original Main Title Theme Music
Ok, so, as promised I skipped a ton of awards for shit like “hairstyling.” If I inadvertently missed your favorite category, feel free to yell about it. Anyway, I want to have an opinion about this, but I have a problem, and it’s this: I don’t know any of these fucking songs. Homeland is the only one of these shows I even knew existed. Seriously. How does everyone not just have an emmy by now?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Homeland, I guess.
Now, see, none of these even aired on television. The fuck are we doing here, Emmy committee? This is silly and you know it.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Not having any more Emmy categories
Hey! A thing about Bobby Fischer! That’s neat.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The George Harrison one.
I HAVE HEARD OF THESE THINGS. Anyway. It’s not Frozen Planet because that was dumb, it’s not The Weight of the Nation because handwringing is stupid and no one’s mind has ever been changed by a television program, especially not one that features lots of handwringing. I didn’t know Inside the Actors Studio was still on (is it still on Bravo? Does it have more Kardashians on it now?)4, so I haven’t watched it in a long time. No Reservations has been great the whole time it’s been on, and it’s ended, so it could probably win, although I think it wins all the time, but I feel bad for not knowing that American Masters had done a thing about Woody Allen, so this is a guilt award.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: American Masters (but actually No Reservations)
Yes, this is a technical award, and I said I was skipping those, but guess what? I’m still skipping it. I’m just point out that it exists. It’s not “best stunt sequence” or “best stunt performance,” it’s “best stunt coordination.” So basically you can get an emmy based on how regularly, generally speaking, the stunts on your show work, which is probably the most admirable way to do it, but is unquestionably the most boring.
So wait. We have nonfiction program, nonfiction special, and one other category up there, and we still need this category? THE GEORGE HARRISON THING ISN’T EVEN NOMINATED IN THIS ONE. Goddammit. Alright, fine.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” video, which features the best package bounce battle ever filmed and probably hasn’t won nearly enough awards.
Writing, Comedy Series
The writing awards are way down here after the makeup awards. Now, I’ve watched Sports Night, I know about the importance of technical people to making good television, and far be it from me to say that they don’t deserve an award. The real problem here is my memory: I don’t remember the hairstyles on Downton Abbey well enough to know which one actually did the best job. Still and all, the best makeup artist and sound mixer and lighting editor and horse fellator in the world isn’t going to be able to do much in dramatic television without a GOD-DAMNED SCRIPT. So maybe this category shouldn’t be buried so far down, is what I’m saying.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Chris McKenna, Community
If anyone can tell me which of the episodes were actually nominated here, I’ll be happy to change my answer, but I suspect that Andre Jacquemetton was nominated for “Commissions and Fees,” or perhaps “The Other Woman,” and those were both pretty good episodes.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Andre Jacquemetton, Mad Men
Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Special
Seriously, though, this is the same list of these that it’s been the whole fucking time. I think there should be a rule at the emmys where if a category has literally identical nominees to another category, they should be condensed. I HAVE SPOKEN.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Still Luther
Writing, Variety, Music or Comedy Series
On the one hand, Portlandia is very funny. And I have to give a lot of respect to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, especially the latter, for continuing to be funny this deep into their runs. Bill Maher deserves no kudos ever. But really, Saturday Night Live has the job of putting together ninety minutes (well, probably more like seventy) twenty-six weeks a year (most of them consecutive), and they have to feature both things that happened in the news and people that are not necessarily even actors, let alone funny people. And yeah, it fails probably more than it succeeds, but the fact that it ever succeeds at all means it should get an Emmy. And it probably has a bunch because that shit is four thousand years old.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Portlandia, but a hearty pat on the back for Saturday Night Live.
Writing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special
Every time I see a “special” category, I argue with myself about whether or not they should be included, mainly because I really haven’t seen them, and they’re generally produced for reasons other than television, so I don’t know how much I agree with them being here. That said, I’m not in charge of such things, for reasons that I don’t fully comprehend.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Nobody. Well, Live at the Beacon Theatre was pretty great. But it doesn’t get an Emmy. There’s principle here.
Writing, Nonfiction Programming
God. This is the last category, and the hardest one to think about. GAAAAAAAH.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Prohibition: A Nation of Hypocrites, because it has far and away the best title.
And that’s it, folks! Stay tuned next time there’s a big list of nominations for me to babble about! I’ll be here all week! Try the fish! Tip your waitresses!
3 I don’t know how television works.
4 I guess I sort of thought it had just been replaced by Watch What Happens Live or whatever, because that’s basically where they’re at right now. Is that even the same network? Do I know anything about what I’m talking about? Sources point to “no”