They’re out, this morning. Read the Emmy nominations, or a digest of same. Another digest, by one of my favorite writers, is here. She knows what she likes but she is very fair-minded, which is more than I can say for me.
I take sides. I know what I like and I don’t mince words. I believe that great acting of the dramatic type comes from real pain – that people who led securely-attached, relatively uneventful lives in their youth make lousy actors. The least the Emmy voters can do is toss Jon Hamm (Don Draper) an Emmy Award, for having opened still another artery on camera (see Mad Men Season 3, Episode 11: The Gypsy And The Hobo).
Good actors don’t do what they do by adding layers of character atop their own: they remove them. They reveal. Jon Hamm is great at doing this.
Others on the show are nominated for awards, including January Jones (Betty Draper) for Lead Actress, and the luminescent Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway) in the Supporting Actress category, perhaps the toughest of the night.
Of course, Emmy voters don’t really care about who deserves what the most. They vote with a lot of things: their wallets, bongs, the little hourglass timer from a board game, and god knows what else. It’s all the same, year after year, so let’s have this guy from this show be the top hat from Monopoly, that guy be the shoe … and honey, let’s let the kid spin this time. What do you say?
The Emmy telecast is on August 29. It’s a tough show to watch. This year, I’ll probably do the usual: follow the comments on our blog and Twitter for updates on how those I have come to see as “my people” are doing. The Mad Men team is well-integrated – showrunner/creator, writers, crew, actors. Their product indicates that they care deeply about crafting quality scripted content for intelligent viewers who expect it.
I in turn care deeply about what happens to them on Emmy night – traditionally, one of the most depressing nights of the Hollywood year.
Emmy night now strikes me as reality TV’s answer to awards shows. Watch what happens? No, thank you.