After seeing the list of this year's nominees for Emmy contention, I couldn't help but notice a pattern. Rather than focus on a variety of shows, there are several with multiple nods. Should they all have made the cut?
It stands to reason a show approaching the series finale will turn out solid work. Whether or not this increases the number of viewers is for the Neilsen ratings to decide. However, there is nothing to lose by pulling out all the stops.
For example, The Sopranos has always been a high-quality performance piece despite the frequent violence and obscene language. Say what you like, the focus is on a family who never claimed to be perfect. This just might be a reason why people tune in week after week. Drawing in top name stars such as Steve Buscemi and Juliana Margulies doesn't hurt, either.
This show ran the gamut when it came to nominations. Not only did it garner a Show category, but acting nods as well. I suspect writing and directing nods also fell to this series. Whether or not it sweeps with wins remains to be seen.
On the other hand, Ugly Betty and Gray's Anatomy probably picked up their nominations in no small part due to each show's popularity. The latter has characters who have lives both on and off work, compelling storylines, and strong acting to get people's attention. Hmmm, does this seem familiar? It's ABC's version of ER or House.
Sometimes, a show is into a category all its own. Boston Legal comes to mind. Despite the four nods, these are familiar to regular Emmy viewers. James Spader and William Shatner for acting, where they portray the two main characters. Yes, I know, Spader is the clear lead. However, without a sidekick, the show would lose its shine. Christian Clemenson has also been nominated for his work as the autistic lawyer, Jerry. After reviewing the show for two seasons straight, I can't say the performance has changed much. It is over the top, though.
The show itself is nominated for Best Drama, which it has yet to win. Of course, there is always a first time for everything. Perhaps the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences should consider a category for Best Farce. Boston Legal would win hands down. If nothing else, Mark Valley deserves an Emmy for having to put up with James Spader through three seasons (four, if one counts The Practice ).
Nothing nominated in the comedy categories was a brand new standout. I'm not sure if Entourage has been on as long as Ugly Betty, but I'm pretty sure this is not the first time they have been considered for this award. Am I surprised to see Neil Patrick Harris get the nod for How I Met Your Mother? Actually, no. While I don't watch, I have seen enough promos to understand he is probably the person who makes the ensemble work.
Despite the familiarity of most nominations, I still plan to watch. There is always the chance of an upset in some form or fashion.