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It’s that time of year, folks! This Thursday, the Emmy nominees will be read out by former nominee Chandra Wilson and sure to a first time nominee Jim Parsons. It’ll make my five am wake up call somewhat bearable to have this on the TV.

Below is the list of nominees I suspect will happen and frankly, pretty much as it should be.

Best Supporting Actor- Drama

Jeremy Davies (Lost)

Walton Goggins ( The Shield)

Robert Sean Leonard ( House)

John Noble ( Fringe)

Aaron Paul ( Breaking Bad)

William Shatner ( Boston Legal)

I’m not a watcher of Lost, but everyone I know has been raving about Davies’ performance this season. I’m troubled more by the fact Goggins has NEVER BEEN NOMINATED. Tragic. Also quite tragic is Leonard, who also has NEVER BEEN NOMINATED. What the hell, Emmys? Goggins and Leonard both have been the heart of their respective shows, and Goggins’ character went down swinging in The Shields final season. Leonard still doesn’t have a lot to do on House, but there were moments toward the end of the season where you see how important he really is to the show’s mythology. Noble’s delightfully off kilter performance on Fringehas been the most consistent thing about the show. Aaron Paul goes toe to toe with the incomparable Bryan Cranston every week and survives. And lastly, William Shatner is William fucking Shatner. He’s James T. Kirk and you’re not. Suck it.

Dark horse pick- Zachary Quinto (Heroes)

The best thing about this show for the past two seasons is Quinto’s steady, ferocious turn as the psychopathic Sylar. Bad writing doesn’t detract from this singular performance.

Best Supporting Actress- Drama

Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)

Rose Byrne (Damages)

Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy)

Christina Hendricks ( Mad Men)

Alison Pill ( In Treatment)

CCH Pounder (The Shield)

Again, Britton is on a show I don’t watch, but everyone keeps raving about her in particular. Byrne is on a show with a strong female lead and she holds her own beautifully. Heigl may be a brat, but she brought some soul back to GA after the ghost sex ( again, bad writing should not detract from a good performance). Hendricks is so stunning that it’s easy to forget her subtle work in Mad Men. Pill has been the only patient in the second season of In Treatmentthat I felt was compelling enough for me to turn into watch every week. And Pounder’s beleaguered Claudette remains one of the great female characters in the cannon of cop dramas.

Dark horse pick- Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy)

The true heart and soul of GA, she deserves it more than Heigl, but lacks the star power of the movie star, or the shock and awe storyline. But when I do sit and watch this show, she’s the real reason why.

Best Supporting Actor-Comedy

Adam Baldwin (Chuck)

Neil Patrick Harris ( How I Met Your Mother)

Simon Helberg ( The Big Bang Theory)

Tracy Morgan ( 30 Rock)

Jeremy Piven ( Entourage)

Jason Segel ( How I Met Your Mother)

I honestly think Baldwin’s Col. John Casey is Chuck‘s best acting shot- because even though he’s a closed off grunting hard ass, Baldwin never let’s us forget his humanity or his humor. The fact Harris has not won an Emmy is one of the great crimes. Helberg’s horny nerd from hell is surprisingly well drawn for a character that was originally an after thought. Piven still rocks the world on Entourage.Morgan’s dim witted comedian is now my favorite character on a show full of brilliant writing and acting. Segel has been so good for so long on HIMYM.He may get outshone by Harris’ flashier role, but it’s time to give Segel some lovin’,  too.

dark horse pick: Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)

Oh. My. God. Naivete has never been so funny.

Best Supporting Actress- Comedy

Portia de Rossi ( Better Off Ted)

Jenna Fisher ( The Office)

Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)

Jean Smart (Samantha Who?)

Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)

Vanessa L. Williams (Ugly Betty)

de Rossi has a habit of appearing on quirky comedies ( see: Ally McBeal, Arrested Development), but her ice queen boss takes the cake. Fisher still makes me care about the Jim-Pam story by being true to the moment. Krakowski’s over the top deluded diva had some brilliant moments this season ( in blackface, no less.) Smart won last year, and she still shines as Samantha’s over bearing mom. Smulders went from being the weak link on HIMYM to being it’s hidden gem, and I love the Canadianisms she clearly contributes to the writers for those awesome scripts. Betty  may be fading fast, but Williams’ Wilhemina is still the grandest grande dame of them all.

Dark horse pick- Alyson Hannigan ( How I Met Your Mother)

It’s tough to leave Hannigan out, since she had a truly great season despite being pregnant for most of it ( and absent for four weeks). Her Lily, the beer guzzling, potty mouthed kindergarten teacher, is a bright light in my dreary life.

Best Actor-Drama

Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment)

Michael Chiklis (The Shield)

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)

Jon Hamm (Mad Men)

Hugh Laurie (House)

Denis Leary ( Rescue Me)

Byrne’s detailed performance as a shrink in need of help of his own is one of the finest wrought of the year. Chiklis (  former winner for this role) went down and was brilliant in the way he portrayed his character’s twisted logic and decaying worldview. Cranston is nearly unstoppable as the teacher with nothing to lose. Hamm’s suave, subdued performance seems to be almost forgotten with the bright lights of the women this season, but he was darkly brilliant.  Laurie is a perennial nominee and will be till his show ends or he wins one of these goddamnedthings. He’s so singularly brilliant he deserves every accolade.  And even though Rescue Me had an off season, Leary just keeps getting better. 

dark horse pick- Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)

Because it’s a tough category, I don’t know if he’ll squeeze in.  But from what I have heard, Chandler’s performance is one of the best on TV.

Best Actress-Drama

Glenn Close ( Damages)

Mariska Hargitay ( Law and Order: Special Victims Unit)

January Jones ( Mad Men)

Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)

Anna Paquin ( True Blood)

Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)

Close won last year. Her ferocious turn this year is even better. Hargitay is another perennial nominee who delivers solid performances year in, year out. Jones and Moss both shined on a show that saw their character grow from meek women used by the men in their lives to fiercely independent minded pre feminist heroines. Paquin’s accent may be distracting, but her slightly slatterly, tempermental Sookie is a gem. And Sedgwickis just so good I had to include her. 

dark horse pick- Mary McDonnell ( Battlestar Galactica)

Another show I never quite got around to watching, another performance I have heard nothing but praise for, another show leaving the air, last shot for the gold.

Best Actor-Comedy

Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Kyle Bornheimer (Worst Week)

Steve Carrell ( The Office)

Lee Pace ( Pushing Daisies)

Jim Parsons ( The Big Bang Theory)

Charlie Sheen ( Two And A Half Men)

We have a couple of clueless bosses ( Baldwin’s Machiavellian Jack Donaghy, Carrell’s hapless Michael Scott). We have a smooth talking womanizer on a show i personally hate but kind of like him on it despite myself ( Sheen’s jingle writer Charlie Harper). We have a newcomer on a show that was cancelled just as it began to find it’s footing ( Bornheimer), playing a spazz to end all spazzes. We have a charming pie maker who can raise the dead on a single touch, making it really hard to make out with his girlfriend ( Pace’s melancholic Ned). And then we have a genius comic creation, a genius who is both OCD and clueless ( Parson’s hilarious Sheldon Cooper).

dark horse pick- Zachary Levi (Chuck)

My favorite performance by any comedic actor this year was in Chuck season two finale, at turns sad, charming, and thrilling. The show would not work without him. I hope Emmy voters notice.

Best Actress- Comedy

Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?)

Toni Colette ( The United States of Tara)

America Ferrera ( Ugly Betty)

Tina Fey (30 Rock)

Julia Louis Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine)

Mary Louise Parker (Weeds)

Applegate is well liked in the industry and I liked her on her show. Colette has a really tough road to hold and does it admirably well. Ferrera still sparkles through the dreariness that is Ugly Betty. Fey is my hero and I want to be like her when I grow up. Louis Dreyfus is on a much improved show that she was always good on ( now, she’s pretty fantabulous). Parker handles the more dramatic moments of her drug dramedy as effectively as the high comedy moments.

dark horse pick- Kaley Cuoco ( The Big Bang Theory)

It’s easy to dismiss her as another blonde starlet on a TV show, but she is so much more than that. She grounds the four male leads in a snese of reality, she’s the every(wo)man we need to handle the world of these four geniuses. Her role is harder than it looks and she does it better than I ever thought she would. Her growth as an actor this past season is welcomed.

Best Drama

Breaking Bad

House

In Treatment

Lost

Mad Men

The Shield

It honestly will come down to the two AMC dramas, but as much as I love Mad Men, I think Breaking Bad is even more ground breaking, earth shattering, and ultimately, a better show.

Dark horse pick- Friday Night Lights

Critics love this show to the point of  column over saturation. Give it an Emmy nod.

Best Comedy

30 Rock

The Big Bang Theory

How I Met Your Mother

The Office

Two And A Half Men

The United States Of Tara

If anything beats 30 Rock, I’ll be surprised.

Dark Horse pick- Better Off Ted

It’s original! It’s fresh! It’s new! It actually is really good. And it was a mid season replacement. I would not be adverse with Emmy handing some love over to this show.

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Emmy.

That’s my word and I’m sticking to it.

Jane Lynch deserves a freaking Emmy.

Those of us who spend way too much time watching movies by… say… Christopher Guest… are very familiar with funny Jane Lynch, who was delightful in Best In Show and A Mighty Wind ( one of my top twenty movies of all time- I should post that list…) and I love her. I adore her. And her turn as Diana Reid is one for the ages. I commented last week on how she’s not portraying Diana as a stereotypical TV schizophrenic. She doesn’t appear troubled. She just is. And I love that about her on Criminal Minds.

Oh, and what an episode we got this week. Our beloved genius Dr. Reid has a huge chip on his shoulder, and as brilliant as he is, he still allowed emotion to color his investigative skills. Top that with an exquisitely raw performance by Matthew Gray Gubler and you have what is the best episode of the series. Bar none. Kudos as well to writers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie for crafting an amazing script that allows for character growth of the highest calibre mixed with the psychology and crime fighting we love to see.

This episode picks up the day after the previous. The team has stayed in Vegas a night. Prentiss is paying for it with a hangover. Reid informs the team he would like  to stay and ” visit his mother”. Yeah, right, we know Reid avoids Bennington Sanitarium like the plague if he can help it. Morgan knows better, but plays along. So Reid treks to the local precinct and asks to see all the files on Riley Jenkins. He meets the cop who responded to the scene. The family was the original group of suspects, but the detective never liked them for it. Reid has an alternative theory, but doesn’t share it with our neighborhood Friday. He instead takes the files back to his hotel room- where Morgan and Rossi are watching Y&R on the TV ( thank you, Ed, for that cookie! For those in the know, the producers like to leave little fan pieces called cookies- Reid driving is a cookie, the inside to any team members house is a cookie, the name Andy Swan is a cookie, and the fact Shemar Moore is watching Y&R- major cookie. Mrs. Fields cookie worthy). Morgan can’t believe that Reid keeps trying to get away with lying to profilers who see him every day. Rossi insists that they are here to help Reid sort out his subconscious mind scrambles and if they had a suspect. Reid informs them that he has one- his father.

Truth be told, I actually feel very little sympathy for William Reid, but my own father issues may have something to do with that as well. Spencer has every right to be pissed at the man. Who abandons their ten year old son and schizophrenic wife?  Who abandons their ten year old son with their schizophrenic wife? But those scenes in Revelations now make more sense.  But William Reid is surprised to see Spencer ( Spencer seems ready to punch his father when they meet up, but instead lashes out with arcane facts- the best way to fight is to say you can’t possibly resemble someone you haven’t seen in nearly two decades). But he is not shocked by the fact Spencer would see him as a murderer in a dream. ” I stopped being surprised by Spencer’s mind a long time ago,” he admits. Spencer is unimpressed by anything William has to say.

Spencer Reid started out in season one a quiet, meek human computer, good for exposition and facts. His emotions ranged from A to C.  It wasn’t till ” L.D.S.K.” we got a little something from Reid,  and he grew a bit in the last two thirds of the season. ” Sex, Birth, And Death” was a real gut kick of emotion, and the one that proved how conflicted Reid was. Reid has a tendency to identify with the unsubs more often than not, and to be that brilliant with that much internalized anger must make for one troubled angry young man. You know everything, but try to deny feeling anything. He’s a walking example of a John Osborne character is Osborne wrote CBS crime shows instead of kitchen sink dramas. Here, Spencer is a boiling cauldron of fierce emotions. He seems willing to sacrifice anything and everything to nail the person who hurt him the most in this world, even as everyone around him keeps saying that William Reid doesn’t fit the profile. The arrival of a possible real suspect doesn’t faze Spencer. He plows ahead, and in his determination to prove his dream the truth, he sends his mother over the edge, causing a spastic freak out. Jane Lynch ( glowing here) does the most graceful melt down on TV. Even here, in the most stereotypically crazy moment, she somehow underplays it, and seems lucid enough to recognize the truth in the face of her son’s painful accusations directed at a man she still feels a connection to ( is it me, or does she still wear a ring on her left ring finger?).  Spencer, even as the evidence mounts to point the finger at Gary Michaels, is convinced everyone is trying to protect William Reid by producing a more obvious, and therefore convenient suspect. When Michaels turns up in CODIS as a murder victim, and the real truth about the bloody clothes William Reid burned in the backyard BBQ pit comes out, Reid is almost shell shocked by it. He admits to his momentarily reunited parents that he was wrong about everything. William admits that he left because the secrets were too much to bear, no matter how hard he tried to keep it all together. I suspect, due to ” Revelations” scene moments, that Diana Reid went downhill after the incident. And then, sounding like the sad ten year old he seems to still be at moments, Spencer looks at his father and says ” You could have come back.” Even a genius can believe in the myth of his divorced parents somehow getting back together again. Even when he’s now twenty seven.

The B story this week was about JJ. JJ had her baby, folks, a boy named Henry. Poor Jordan lost out on two weeks of training as JJ went into labor early. But JJ had her baby. Thing I love about CM- even the woman going into labor scene was atypical of TV story telling. No one panicked ( except JJ- she was in labor, that should happen). Hotch, Prentiss, and Garcia were family, talking her through it and aiding her without freaking out. When Reid finally gets home, he visits JJ, who asks him to be Henry’s godfather. Reid is hesitant- babies are not his thing, he has believed- but he takes one look at Henry and the emotions run high. One call, and Henry is in CalTech, although Yales pretty good, too. It was Spencer’s safety school.

Overall- amazing. So good. Performances all around were great, but again, the show would have fallen apart if Matthew Gray Gubler and Jane Lynch do not play with the levels of subtlety they do. Understated performances by these two anchor the story, and they both shine. Jane Lynch right now is the front runner in my upcoming annual Pedalicious awards. Just so you know. There’s still… six weeks left to try and stop her, you know. And Gubler- he keeps impressing me as an actor. He’s always been charismatic and charming, but these last two episodes show his astonishing range and his control of that range. Blow me out of the water, Gubes. You deserve a shot at Emmy gold yourself. And I thought you deserved a nod last year for “Elephant’s Memory”.

Grade- A+ ( A++ for realsies, but I really shouldn’t be ridiculous with my grades, you know).

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