When the Emmy award nominations are announced July 16, it is likely House, M.D. will receive at least a couple of award nominations. It is reasonable to expect Hugh Laurie will be nominated once again in the best actor (drama) category. Five years into the series, Laurie still never fails to amaze with a complex, nuanced performance week in and week out. His Dr. Gregory House is every bit the bitter cynic, but Laurie grants us access to House’s heart and soul through body language and facial expression. His eyes alone should receive some sort of acting award, because they are a major ingredient in his actor’s toolkit. It is a crime he hasn’t yet won the Emmy, although he has taken just about every other major television acting award out there (and multiple times).
The series itself will probably collect a nomination in the drama category. Season five is perhaps the series’ strongest in cohesiveness, featuring several episodes that are among the finest. Several of the series’ supporting players turned in outstanding performances as well, although I’m not certain those achievements will be honored with nominations (being totally honest). It would be nice for Robert Sean Leonard to be nominated for “The Social Contract” or “Birthmarks” and to see Lisa Edelstein to be nominated for “Joy,” or “Joy to the World.”
Anne Dudek and Colleen Camp (“A Simple Explanation”) both submitted episodes for their guest actress turns on House. Dudek, especially, is worthy of a nomination for the eerie Amber, who tormented and terrorized poor House as he suffered his mental meltdown.
Meat Loaf Aday (“A Simple Explanation”), Mos Def (“Locked In”), Jay Karnes (“Social Contract”), Breckin Meyer (“Adverse Events”), and Jimmi Simpson (“Unfaithful”) all submitted in the guest actor category. I thought Simpson was excellent as the disillusioned priest; Mos Def was great, but simply didn’t do enough to warrant a nomination in a competitive field. Zeljko Ivanek submitted for his Heroes guest appearance and not for the House episode “Last Resort.”
Several House directors submitted episodes, including Deran Sarafian (“Joy”), Katie Jacobs (“Last Resort”), Greg Yaitanes (“Simple Explanation”), and David Straiton (“Under My Skin”). “Last Resort” was visually interesting, as was “A Simple Explanation.” But I really liked David Straiton’s work in “Under My Skin.” Any or all three could get nominations. Yaitanes is last year’s winner for “House’s Head.”
Several House writers also submitted episodes for consideration: Doris Egan and David Foster (“Birthmarks”); Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, and David Foster (“Locked In”); Leonard Dick (“Simple Explanation”) and David Hoselton (“Unfaithful”). All the submitted episodes are Emmy-worthy with intricate, multi-layered plots.
Assuming House receives a nomination for Best Drama (fingers AND toes crossed), David Shore and the rest of the “powers that be” are required to submit six episodes for consideration by the judging panel. (Judging takes place in August). Until nominated, neither the best/supporting actors/actresses submit specific episodes for consideration. (Although many shows send out “for your consideration” DVDs to the voting membership, and House seems to have sent out copies of “Locked In,” which is certainly a very good choice.)
But the question will be which six episodes to submit. If I were a “decider,” I’d pick “Joy,” “Unfaithful,” “Social Contract,” “Locked In,” “Last Resort,” and “Simple Explanation.”
“But, wait!” you cry out in anger. “What about ‘House Divided?’ Where’s ‘Under My Skin?’ ‘Both Sides Now’?” Mind you, I think the final several episodes were some of the most brilliant television of the year, and some of the best House episodes in six years. The problem with submitting them is they are of an arc. To get dropped into the middle of House’s meltdown, say, in “House Divided” or “Under My Skin” — or even the season finale, would confuse panel judges who do not watch the show. I avoided including them for that reason. I do think, however that any one of them would make an outstanding submission for Hugh Laurie’s individual achievement nomination.
So, those are my choices; I’ll explain my reasoning in the next column. But, more importantly, what are yours? Participate in this week’s poll to vote for which six episodes the House team should submit to the Emmy panel. Then explain your choices below in the comments section. It’s my way of trying to have a little fun during these long House-free summer months.
Next week, after the nominations are announced, and we (hopefully) hear Hugh Laurie’s name (and maybe a supporting player or two — but not as likely) read, we can speculate about his best shot to go home with the gold this year.
The nominees will be announced early in the morning of July 16. The Emmy Awards show airs on CBS September 20, the night before the House two-hour season premiere.