After the Emmys are handed out Sunday, we viewers are going to complain about the winners.
Why wouldn’t we? Many of us were already squawking about favorite stars and programs that weren’t even nominated.
And what about whole categories Emmy has never even thought to recognize? Shouldn’t an Emmy be presented for Outstanding Achievement in Teeth-Grindingly Unfunny Comedy? Or for Most Irresponsible Display of Violence?
This year, the Emmys have a new category for Outstanding Host of a Reality Show. But how about Most Annoying Has-Been to Land a Reality Series In a Last-Ditch Bid for Career Resuscitation? (Who deserves an Emmy more than Bret Michaels?)
But I’m done beefing about those awards. It’s time to beef ’em up with what I’m calling My Emmys: my categories, my nominees, my winners that will put right Their Emmys.
— For starters, no more doling out Emmys to actors who already have claimed their fair share. Look at Sally Field, nominated this year for “Brothers & Sisters” — for which she won last year as her third career Emmy. Or “Boston Legal’s” James Spader, who this year notched his fourth nomination (with three past wins), all for the same role as lawyer Alan Shore. This is clearly too much, and should be dealt with in the only logical way: with a new award, My Enough Already Emmy. This year’s candidates include Tony Shalhoub, who has logged six nominations and could take home his fourth Best Actor Emmy Sunday night, all for “Monk.” Wouldn’t it be better to tell him Enough Already with his prize?
— Of course, Emmy often turns a blind eye to worthy achievement. Ending a five-season run last February, “The Wire” can take pride that — despite near universal praise as one of TV’s all-time best drama series — it logged an almost perfect record of Emmy disregard. In 2005 it got a writing nomination, as did again this season. But these minor lapses in Emmy’s serial neglect shouldn’t spoil its chances for My Emmy given in response to Boneheaded Snubbing.
After a season disrupted and undermined by the 100-day writers strike, I propose these timely new categories:
— Outstanding Writing By Uncredited Writers on a Show that Purports to Have No Writers Involved: Any number of reality series are in the running.
— Outstanding Writing for a Show that Insisted It was Honoring the Strike: In a crowded field, special commendation would go to Jay Leno, who insisted he wrote his monologues by himself during the strike with permission from the Writers Guild (which disputed that claim) and whose monologues night after night seemed awfully expansive for just one guy to have written, anyway.
— Now hold your applause for Outstanding Achievement in Real Life that No Writer Could Ever Come Up With. Likely nominees would include Michael Phelps’ storybook triumph at the Beijing Olympics, and everything that’s happened in the presidential race. Writers just can’t make up stuff like that. And if they could, they wouldn’t. They’d know no one would believe it.
— Speaking of politics: While “WWE Smackdown!” has never been an Emmy contender, my special Smackdown Emmy has been earned by NBC News and its fractious former co-anchors for MSNBC’s convention coverage. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews played host to partisan dust-ups, back-and-forth bickering, and outstanding achievement in embarrassing the news division before they were abruptly reassigned as commentators for the rest of the campaign. And all without benefit of steroids or spandex!
— A highly coveted award would be My Emmy for Outstanding Achievement By a Network in Burying its Programs Underneath On-Screen Clutter. Who most deserves this trophy? Cable news networks for crowding the screen with useless trivia, extraneous video and text crawls? Or entertainment networks that obscure their shows with promotional graphics, animation and mini-appearances by stars of future programs?
— And who will get My Emmy for Waking Up the Lower 48 to Alaska? Nominees include the History series “Tougher in Alaska,” where native son Geo Beach mines gold, strings power lines and processes waste in bone-numbing cold. Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” goes fishing in the Bering Sea off the Alaska coast. And, of course, Gov. Sarah Palin has gone fishing for votes all over the country on her new show, “Bagging the Vice Presidency.”
— But that’s not all. My Emmycast would conclude with nominees for TV’s Most Adorable Star: Christina Applegate; Summer Glau, the teenage “Terminator” cyborg; Tyra Banks; Fox Business Network babe Liz Claman; Lisa Simpson; Jenna Fischer from “The Office.” Quite a list!
And My Winner is ... “Late Late Show’s” Craig Ferguson. It’s not even close.