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Emmy noms reax: TV critics aren't too critical! Some are, egad, happy!

July 18, 2008 |  9:38 pm

While the TV critics bemoaned the lack of recognition for the final season of "The Wire," they were generally pleased with the overall Emmy Awards nominations. It will be interesting to see whether the Television Critics Assn. names "The Wire" as program of the year on Saturday night when they unveil their choices for the tops in TV programming. For now, on to our critics roundup.

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune says, "All things considered, this is a respectable list. Most in the big categories are worthy of recognition ('Boston Legal' aside), and viewers are not going to have to endure another year of 'Desperate Housewives' or 'Grey's Anatomy' domination . . . . The networks that have been gradually stealing HBO's thunder for the past few years—especially FX, Showtime, AMC and TNT—were the big Emmy winners, and rightly so; They've been offering a variety of intriguing programs while HBO stumbles in its post-'Sopranos' era."

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Says Matt Roush of TV Guide, "Let’s hail the Emmy voters for recognizing the creative rebirth of 'Lost' this season, which had fallen off the list since winning best drama for its first season. And what a pleasant shock to see the Emmys embrace (only a year late) the twisted brilliance of 'Dexter' in its second year for coming into its own with plotting that never stopped. Of the three cable dramas vying for the Emmy, 'Dexter' was a much bigger surprise for me than the success of 'Mad Men' and 'Damages,' which despite not airing on pay cable have the look and feel of first-class blue-chip entertainment." Matt theorizes that the snubs of "The Wire" and "Friday Night Lights" is due to the fact that, "Emmy voters must somehow think these shows are documentaries, not dramas. And because they take place on those strange, obscure planets of Texas and Baltimore, the Hollywood contingent simply can’t be bothered. God forbid they’d favor either of these shows over the cartoonish pandering of 'Boston Legal.' "

For Robert Bianco of USA Today , "It would have been nice to see 'Pushing Daisies' get a comedy nod, but it's possible the show was hurt by its truncated season, and it did pick up nominations for Lee Pace and Kristen Chenoweth. Far less excusable are the snubs for 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Ken Burns,' 'The War,' '30 Rock's' Jack McBrayer and 'A Raisin in the Sun's' Sean Combs."

David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun thinks, "The Emmy category of best dramatic actor typifies the shift of quality shows to cable that was underscored by yesterday's nominations. ... All of the best miniseries nominees aired on cable except for 'Cranford,' an English drama that was on PBS. All of the nominated made-for-TV movies also aired on cable, except for ABC's 'A Raisin in the Sun.' The best actor and actress nominees in movies and miniseries are even more striking. All five men are from cable productions, as are four of the five female nominees."

And for Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle, "While it's easy to target the missteps made by Emmy voters, they deserve credit for more inclusion this year, particularly in the cable ranks. Though there are the nominations that seem rote — all things 'Boston Legal,' 'Two and a Half Men' — there's a dramatic reduction in the rubber-stamping of previous nominees that had been the worst trait of lazy Emmy voters."


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