Sunday September 23, 2012
By MELODY L. GOH
It seems like many of the Emmy nominations lead to one show – Modern Family.
THE 64th Primetime Emmy Awards happens tomorrow morning in Los Angeles, California, and one of the biggest categories that many Malaysian viewers are pretty excited about is the Outstanding Comedy Series, where six sitcoms are in contention.
Of the six shows, only one has never been shown on Malaysian TV: The contemporary and realistic dramedy Girls from HBO. What did make it to local airtime were 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep, Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory. Unfortunately, most of them are no longer screening, but for different reasons. Veep and Modern Family ran their full seasons this year, but the latest editions of 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm were never shown here. The Big Bang Theory is only playing on subscription-based Internet protocol television service, HyppTV.
And between Veep and Modern Family, it seems like the latter is getting a lot more love and support from local viewers.
So, let’s play six degrees of separation, and try to connect each of Modern Family’s nominated stars – impressively, all six adult actors from the show are nominated in the same category of best supporting actor/actress – to a few of the other leading nominees.
Ed O’Neill > Alec Baldwin
Connections: O’Neill starred in Married ... With Children with Christina Applegate, who was a recurring guest star on Friends as the sister of Jennifer Aniston, who acted in Along Came Polly, which also starred Baldwin.
Veteran actor O’Neill, 66, is nominated for his role as patriarch Jay Pritchett on Modern Family (episode: Baby On Board). A familiar face on television, thanks in part to his 10-year role as the grumpy Al Bundy on the sitcom Married ... With Children, O’Neill might just win the Emmy this year because of his hilarious take as a flustered yet caring grandfather to Lily, his son’s adopted daughter.
Meanwhile, 54-year-old Baldwin is nominated in the outstanding lead actor (comedy) category for his role as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock. A sitcom created by Tina Fey, 42, the critically-acclaimed 30 Rock has been honoured with the outstanding comedy series award three times in the Emmys. Fey herself is a nominee in this year’s outstanding lead actress (comedy) category, although she does face tough competition from her former Saturday Night Live alum Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation) and indie film-darling-turned-sitcom star, Zooey Deschanel (New Girl).
Eric Stonestreet > Lena Dunham
Connections: Stonestreet starred in a movie called Bad Teacher alongside Jason Segel, who is the star of the upcoming This Is 40 by Judd Apatow, the producer of Girls, which was created by Lena Dunham. Coincidentally, Dunham is also in This Is 40.
Stonestreet, 41, plays former country bumpkin Cameron Tucker on Modern Family and is nominated for the third time in the outstanding supporting actor category (episode: Treehouse). In 2010, he beat co-stars Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson for the same award. Stonestreet has appeared as a guest star in several popular TV programmes, mostly on crime dramas like Bones, NCIS and The Mentalist. He was also seen for a whole season on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as a lab technician.
Newcomer Dunham, 26, is a writer and director first, then an actress. Her fresh and realistic take on the lives of a group of single young folks living in New York in Girls has gotten her rave reviews from critics and TV fans alike. Comparisons to Sex And The City is inevitable, but after watching trailers and selected scenes of the show on YouTube, it seems like Girls is so much smarter, bolder and relatable.
Dunham is nominated in four comedy categories in the Emmys this year – outstanding series (with Apatow, Jenni Konner, Ilene S. Landress and Bruce Eric Kaplan), outstanding lead actress, outstanding directing and outstanding writing. The show also received an Emmy for outstanding casting (Jennifer Euston), which had been announced earlier.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson > Max Greenfield
Connections: Ferguson appeared twice in Ugly Betty, a show which Greenfield starred in for eight episodes in Season One.
The 37-year-old Ferguson is Mitchell Pritchett on Modern Family, a character who can sometimes be a little uptight. He is Cameron’s life partner, and together they’ve adopted a Vietnamese girl named Lily as their daughter. In the episode that he is nominated for this year (Leap Year), Ferguson tries to bring his “fun side” out in full force by planning a delightful Wizard Of Oz-themed birthday party for Cameron, but of course, everything goes awry.
New Girl’s sensitive “playboy” Schmidt, played by Greenfield, 32, is starting to gain cult popularity in TV land, probably because he’s the only funny character in the show. This is his first ever nomination (outstanding supporting actor) in any acting award.
Ty Burrell > Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Connections: Before Modern Family, Burrell was in another sitcom called Back To You, which starred Kelsey Grammer, who was a voice talent in the animated feature Animal Farm, along with Louis-Dreyfus.
As Modern Family’s bumbling father-of-three Phil Dunphy, Burrell, 45, is simply superb. From Phil’s strong aversion to paint fumes and fear of clowns, to his constant longing for approval from father-in-law Jay, the character just reeks of comic star appeal. Sure, there are times when the humour seems a little forced, but Burrell always manages to reign it all back in during the “confession” sessions the show is known for.
Last year, Burrell won the Emmy for the same category he is nominated this time around for the episode Lifetime Supply, where Phil thought he was going to die from an incurable disease.
Top-billed TV actress Dreyfus, 51, once thought that she may never be known as anyone else BUT Elaine Benes, her character on Seinfeld that propelled her to international fame. However, her attempts at shedding that image led her instead to reinvent the character, and they have paid off quite well, thanks to clever writing, skillful directing and sheer dumb luck. After Seinfeld, Dreyfus went on to star in two sitcoms, playing lead characters that were better incarnations of Elaine. In one of the comedies, The New Adventures Of Old Christine, Dreyfus won her first outstanding lead actress Emmy.
In Veep, Dreyfus plays vice president Selina Meyer, who is not that respected among her political peers, and is rather unpopular among the people. The show is smart, and the camera work is sleek, but story-wise it does run a little slow. However, there are only eight episodes in the first season so before you even realise what you feel about it, the show has already ended.
Dreyfus received a nomination for outstanding lead actress this year.
Julie Bowen > Jim Parsons
Connections: Bowen, 42, starred in the dramedy Ed with Tom Cavanagh, who had a recurring role in Scrubs as the brother of JD, played by Zach Braff, who wrote the indie flick Garden State, in which Parsons had a role.
Having played supporting roles in two major TV shows – Ed and Boston Legal – prior to Modern Family, Bowen is indeed a familiar name to many. Her turn as the harried mother-of-three Claire Dunphy has earned her an Emmy award for outstanding supporting actress (2011); she is nominated again this year for the episode Go Bullfrogs!
In that edition, Claire goes on a naughty night out with her brother and his partner. She shamelessly flirts with a handsome man after mistakenly thinking that he was gay and her advances would never elicit anything. Oh, the things that come out of that woman’s mouth! It’s enough to give the actress an acting award ... but maybe not an Emmy.
Just like “d’oh!”, “how you doin’?” and “what the deuce?”, the catchphrase “bazinga!” became wildly popular thanks to one of the most lovable geeky characters to ever appear on modern TV, Dr Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory. Played to a T by Parsons, 39, who won the outstanding lead actor Emmy for two consecutive years, Sheldon is a role that may seem simple on paper, but highly complex on film. Or in real life, for that matter.
Nevertheless, for all his flawed perfections – being too smart, too disciplined, too regulated and what-have-you – Sheldon is a character that’s easy to love, yet you’d probably not want to hang around someone like him in real life all the time.
Parsons is nominated again this year, while his co-star Mayim Bialik, 37, who plays Sheldon’s girlfriend Dr Amy Farrah Fowler on the show, is nominated in the outstanding supporting actress category. It is Bialik’s first ever acting nomination.
Sofia Vergara > Larry David
Connection: They both starred in this year’s comical farce from the Farrelly brothers, The Three Stooges (David played a nun!).
Vergara, 40, is very sexy, there is no doubt about it. She is in Modern Family as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, the sexy young Colombian wife of sixtysomething Jay, and the mother to pre-teen Manny. In the sitcom, she walks around in sky-high stiletto heels, figure-hugging and cleavage-baring outfits, and always has impeccable hair and perfectly manicured nails.
At the same time, Gloria is also a loud-mouthed, emotionally-charged and sometimes ditzy, which may seem a bit stereotypical (ever heard of a female Colombian character who isn’t loud?) but somehow works wonders for the show. Vergara truly is the best choice to play Gloria, and her Emmy nomination this year speaks volumes of her knack for comedy and her rising popularity among Hollywoood’s top comedy producers.
The legendary David, on the other hand, does not need to do much these days to prove his mettle as a comedy writer, director, producer and actor (although why he agreed to appear in the ridiculous The Three Stooges is beyond mysterious).
As co-creator of the highly-successful Seinfeld and creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm, David pretty much has his career under control.
Sure, it would be nice if he could (finally) win an outstanding lead actor Emmy this year – he has been nominated five times – but with Parsons and Baldwin hot on his heels, David might just go home empty-handed again come tomorrow.
Here’s a list of some of the major nominees in the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards:
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Louis C.K, Louie
Don Cheadle, House Of Lies
Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Louis C.K, Louie (Episode: Duckling)
Lena Dunham, Girls (Episode: She Did)
Jake Kasdan, New Girl (Episode: Pilot)
Steven Levitan, Modern Family (Episode: Baby On Board)
Robert B. Weide, Curb Your Enthusiasm (Episode: Palestinian Chicken)
Jason Winer, Modern Family (Episode: Virgin Territory)
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Louis C.K, Louie (Episode: Pregnant)
Lena Dunham, Girls (Episode: Pilot)
Chris McKenna, Community (Episode: Remedial Chaos Theory)
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation (Episode: The Debate)
Michael Schur, Parks & Recreation (Episode: Win, Lose, Or Draw)
Outstanding Drama Series
Game Of Thrones
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Jared Harris, Mad Men
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Phil Abraham, Mad Men
Michael Cuesta, Homeland
Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
Brian Percival, Downton Abbey
Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner, Mad Men (Episode: Far Away Places)
Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner, Mad Men (Episode: The Other Woman)
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey (Episode: Episode Seven)
Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, Homeland (Episode: Pilot)
Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton, Mad Men (Episode: Commissions And Fees)
Outstanding Miniseries or TV Movie
American Horror Story
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia
Idris Elba, Luther
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Connie Britton, American Horror Story
Ashley Judd, Missing
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Emma Thompson, The Song Of Lunch
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia
Ed Harris, Game Change
Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story
David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Judy Davis, Page Eight
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys
Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Reality-Competition Programme
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
> The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards red carpet show will be aired live on E! (Astro Ch 712) at 7am. For a full list of the nominations, head to ecentral.my.