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‘Tis the (Entertainment Awards Nomination) Season

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Ahhh. The end of the year brings many things: snow (if you live where it actually gets cold), gifts, television reruns—and entertainment awards nominations. ‘Tis the season for announcing the nominees for a flurry of entertainment awards, including those from the Writers Guild (WGA), Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

Earlier this week, the immensely talented Hugh Laurie was nominated in the best actor category for a Golden Globe by the HFPA, along with the series itself. And, this very morning, he received a SAG award nomination for best actor in a television dramatic series. Last week, the Writers Guild nominated “Broken, Part 1 and Part 2,” written by Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, David Foster, and David Shore in the “best episodic drama” category for its annual awards.

There has been a lot of criticism of House these last couple of years from entertainment writers and certainly within the “hard-core” fandom about the direction of the show, and some of it is justified. But for a series in its sixth season, the show is still fresh, still surprising (and usually in good ways). Laurie continues to put his heart and soul into every performance, the writers continue to come up with beautifully framed, and intricate scripts week after week.

Just this week, TV Guide singled out the season six premiere “Broken,” as one of the best “TV movies” in years in its annual "Cheers and Jeers" list. "Broken" is brilliant double episode anchored by the intense, nuanced performances of Laurie and guest star Andre Braugher. The episode came on the heels of a concluding run of House episodes at the end of season five that I would put up against anything else that television has to offer.

It’s notable that the Writers Guild nomination for House is the only non-cable entry of the six episodes named in its category. House is nominated along with Big Love on HBO, two Mad Men (AMC) episodes, True Blood (HBO) and Breaking Bad (AMC).

The acting awards are slightly more balanced between cable and network offerings, with Simon Baker in CBS’ The Mentalist in the mix along with Laurie and three cable series stars: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC), Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime), Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC) all being nominated for SAG awards. Substitute Cranston with Bill Paxton in Big Love (HBO) for the Golden Globes.

Laurie has won both of these awards before (two Golden Globes and two SAG awards), as well as the Television Critics Association award, among others. But I cannot imagine a better performance (in any year, by any actor) than Hugh Laurie gave in the series of episodes commencing with season five’s “Simple Explanation” and concluding with the two-part “Broken.” And he hasn’t won either in a couple of years). So here’s hoping that House and Hugh are duly awarded for their work in 2009—and that Emmy is paying attention come next September.

And a bit of late-breaking scheduling news: it is being reported by Broadcast and Cable News that House will actually resume in January as originally scheduled on January 11. I have not received confirmation from FOX yet, but will tweet when it’s been confirmed.

One last reminder: there are a few days left to vote in my "best of House" poll.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • Anna from Italy

    I think Hugh’s performances are on another level compared to those of the other nominees, but in case he should not win the GG (correct me if you can, but I think NO actor has ever won three times in the drama cathegory), I hope this time M. Hall might win, as Dexter has got absolutely nothing so far.
    However, I would like to underline that the role of the serial killer is perfect for any sort of nomination (as, I must admit, is the one of the handicapped).
    Baddies are more attractive than heroes nowadays.
    House, on the other hand, is a complex character with such contrasting traits, some of which quite disagreable, that only an exceptionally gifted actor could have made so fascinating.It’s the subtlety of Hugh’s interpretation, his tone of voice, his mesmerizing looks, the movement of a muscle that enchant the viewer.

  • Flo

    agreed, six years is a long time. Some shows managed to do 6 good seasons but not many.

    “The West Wing” did 7 good years so as “The X-Files” (I’m a huge fan but the last two weren’t good). “The Sopranos” did 6 good seasons.

    For the GG, I really hope John Lithgow will win, he was simply extroardinary in “Dexter”. This season was stellar! If Hugh doesn’t win I also root for Micheal C. Hall.
    Simon Baker and no Bryan Cranston? WTF?????
    Too bad Robert Sean leonard and Lisa Edelstein didn’t get a nod for supporting cast.
    Michelle Forbes should have been nominated for her amazing performance in “True Blood”.

  • Thanks Sherlockjr. Broken gave the character of House the opportunity to go on a real journey–to change. Something that Laurie has said television central characters cannot normally do. House has had several stellar episodes over the seasons: Three Stories, Autopsy, Son of Coma Guy, Half-Wit, House’s Head/Wilson’s Heart and the entire final run of last season (as I said, and forgive the repetition). But Broken was just in another category.

  • sherlockjr

    I don’t have much to say, except that I agree completely with your thoughtful analysis of the show, Hugh Laurie and the awards nominations. Keeping my fingers crossed. Both my husband (who doesn’t watch the show often) and I thought “Broken” was one of the best movies of any kind we’d seen in a long time, theatrical or otherwise.

  • I lost interest in House after Season 2. I am a huge Michael C. Hall fan. Loved him as David Fisher on Six Feet Under but the character of Dexter is Hall’s role of a lifetime. The greatest shows on television for me this year are based strictly on the writing and not necessarily the actors: Dexter, Nurse Jackie, Californication, True Blood and Modern Family are my picks.

    Network programming is severely lacking in creativity so I’ve come to depend on cable offerings. FOX has some great shows but my overall attitude toward FOX News spills over into my viewing preferences. It’s sad how much network television has devolved in the last 20 years. Though there is plenty to pick from, it’s quality that counts.

    My predictions* for the Golden Globes this year:

    Best Television Series Drama – Dexter
    Best Actress TV Drama – Anna Paquin, True Blood
    Best Actor TV Drama – Michael C. Hall, Dexter

    Best Television Series Comedy – Modern Family
    Best Actress TV Comedy – Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
    Best Actor TV Comedy – David Duchovny, Californication

    Best made for TV Movie/Mini-Series – Grey Gardens
    Best Actress made for TV Movie/Mini-Series: Sigourney Weaver, Prayers for Bobby
    Best Actor made for TV Movie/Mini-Series: Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance

    Best Supporting Actress TV: Chloe Sevigny – Big Love
    Best Supporting Actor TV: John Lithgow, Dexter

    *of course, these are my personal preferences. I think the Best Movie Comedy or Musical will end up being Nine, but it should go to 500 Days of Summer; the Best Movie Drama will end up being a surprise with Up in the Air, but it should go to Precious.

  • Welcome, Jonathan. We shall agree to disagree!

  • If Michael C. Hall doesn’t get the win for Dexter, about 79.3% of hope is lost.

  • You are so right Orange! these years have flown by. I know by early season six I was getting annoyed with so much of the X-Files and by season seven–I stopped caring entirely.

    And in case anyone missed my tweet: Next House episode is January 11, not January 25.

  • Orange450

    “But for a series in its sixth season, the show is still fresh, still surprising (and usually in good ways).”

    This sentence of yours gave me pause for a moment.

    “For a series in its sixth season…” Hmmm. Even though I don’t watch much TV at any given time, I’ve certainly watched my share of series TV on and off, over the years. Six years is a long time. Plenty of enjoyable series have come and gone over similar periods of time, i.e., more than five years and less than ten.

    So why does it seem impossible to believe that we’ve been enthralled by House and [H]ouse for over five years? What?? When did THAT happen?

    Somehow (in a good way) I feel like we’re still at the beginning of our journey with the crew at PPTH, and have barely scratched the surface of House’s character. The idea of being tired of or bored with the show is inconceivable to me! Sure, I may like some episodes better than others, and the occasional episode can annoy me for some reason or other (it’s not generally all that hard to annoy me, unfortunately :)) But for the most part, I feel like we’ve barely begun this journey together with the House folk, and – like a good road trip – I with it could go on and on, indefinitely.

    So WORD to what you said. It’s absolutely true. And it’s to the tremendous credit of everyone involved in the show, whose combined talents seem to have unearthed the elusive Fountain of TV Youth!

    Thank goodness for the BC comments section. There are some ideas that just can’t be expressed in 140 character increments.