The Sopranos (Will Win)
I haven’t liked The Sopranos, a one-time winner in this category, for some time now, but the final season—or, rather, the second stretch of last year’s especially flippant batch of episodes—was something of a return to form for the show. My favorite episode of this last season (“Soprano Home Movies”) wasn’t submitted for consideration, but second-best “Kennedy and Heidi” was (in addition to the divisive finale). Grey’s Anatomy could upset, but this one feels like a no-brainer.
30 Rock (Will Win)
Two and a Half Men
This category is so close you may as well write 30 Rock, The Office, and Ugly Batty on scraps of paper and just pull one from a hat. The Office’s victory last year is probably one of those one-time concessions to the critics—like Arrested Development in 2004 and The Wonder Years way back in 1988, the last time ABC won in this category. Ugly Betty could change that, but I would like to think there are enough voters who recognize this one-note abomination as a bite-sized version of Desperate Housewives. 30 Rock may be Nielsen-challenged, but I’m guessing voters will connect more with its scabrous view of television production than Ugly Betty’s shrill take on the politics of magazine publishing.
LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA
James Gandolfini, The Sopranos (Will Win)
Denis Leary, Rescue Me
Hugh Laurie, House
James Spader, Boston Legal
Kiefer Sutherland, 24
Denis Leary and Hugh Laurie have never won here, but they will—when James Gandolfini isn’t nominated alongside them.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Patricia Arquette, Medium
Minnie Driver, The Riches
Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (Will Win)
Edie Falco knows how to throw a watch across a room, but her talents were clearly wasted on The Sopranos the past two years. And with the honeymoon over for Mariska Hargitay and Patricia Arquette, the road is clear for a Kyra Sedgwick victory. Watch out, though, for that flying nun.
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (Will Win)
Steve Carell, The Office
Ricky Gervais, Extras
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
Steve Carell is the man, but a win for Alec Baldwin seems necessary. Just engrave the following on his Emmy: “There is nothing wrong with calling your daughter a rude little piggy!” Does this mean, though, that Britney Spears will get a trophy next year?
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
America Ferrara, Ugly Betty (Will Win)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Mary Louis-Parker, Weeds
I would give this one to Mary Louis-Parker—her tête-à-têtes with Martin Donavan on Weeds last season were the shit—but it would appear that Ugly Betty needs to be acknowledged somewhere for its presumably gallant representation of the Mexican immigrant experience.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Michael Emerson, Lost
Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos (Will Win)
T.R. Knight, Grey’s Anatomy
Masi Oka, Heroes
Terry O’Quinn, Lost
William Shatner, Boston Legal
Tough call. Terry O’Quinn should have won two years ago, but now he has to split the fanboy vote with Lost costar Michael Emerson and Heroes’s Masi Oka. Shatner is loved and T.R. Knight has the whole Isaiah-Washington-called-me-a-faggot thing working to his sympathetic favor, but Michael Imperioli’s dramatic exit from The Sopranos probably gives him the edge.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Lorraine Bracco, The Sopranos
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
Katherine Heigl, Grey’s Anatomy
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy (Will Win)
Aida Turturro, The Sopranos
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Way to sit on a chair this year, Dr. Melfi! Seriously, it’s Sandra Oh all the way—for real this time.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jeremy Piven, Entourage (Will Win)
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Years ago, Slant contributor Eric Henderson revealed in his review of Doogie Howser, M.D.’s first season DVD that Neil Patrick Harris is his “long-lost, separated-at-birth twin brother.” The two haven’t stopped mirroring each other’s lives since: Though we managed to drag Henderson out of the closet way before Perez Hilton got his hands on Harris, it should be noted that in the same year that Harris was nominated for his first Emmy, Henderson was nominated for two! Sure, Henderson’s awards are only local and won’t be handed out until October, but the synchronicity of these brothers’ lives is flabbergasting to us. So, yeah, the whole queer thing probably helps Doogie here, but The Pivert seems to be on a roll. Should win: Rainn Wilson. Duh.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Jenna Fischer, The Office (Will Win)
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
Conchata Ferrell, Two and a Half Men
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Jaime Pressly, My Name Is Earl
I can’t confirm if the producers of The Office submitted the episode of the show where Pam walks on fiery coals during Dunder-Mifflin’s Office Olympics and subsequently confesses to Jim how she fucked up their potential happiness. If they did, Jenna Fischer seems like a lock. Holland Taylor has the industry cred, but she may split the vote with her Two and a Half Men costar Conchata Ferrell. If we give a slight edge to Fischer, it’s because girlfriend broke her back in May.
BEST REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
The Amazing Race (Will Win)
Dancing With the Stars
EW has had its head up American Idol’s ass for years now, so it comes as a surprise that they’re unapologetically picking always-the-bride The Amazing Race. Makes me almost want to abandon ship, but I can’t in good conscience stop rallying for the only reality program on television you can watch without a single measure of guilt.
This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.