The 2010 Emmy Awards are almost upon us! While each awards season offers something a little different than the last, there are some things that just never change: every year, in every nomination category - be it Best Actor, Outstanding Variety Series, or what have you - there is always one serious long shot. If not two! You know, those nominees that, for one reason or another, are simply not going to win. Were they nominated out of pity? Are they completely deserving but won't win because the world is a cold, cruel place?
Well, today we honor the long shots: the underdogs, the dark horses, the little guys. And the nominees we just feel bad for. Here, in all their glory, are some of the people and shows that are just not going to win:
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
Nominees: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Real Time with Bill Maher
Long Shot: Jon Stewart deserves this, but I think he's the dark horse behind Conan. The Daily Show has already won 7 years in a row, and come Sunday night, the Emmy voters are going to reward the recently deceased Tonight Show. That irks me because Stewart has been absolutely on fire this year and I'm sick to death of Conan's ongoing pity fest. Yes, we all agree that you got screwed by NBC and Jay Leno. No, we don't feel that bad for you when your severance package is $45 million. Get over it.
Best Series, Drama
Nominees: Breaking Bad, Dexter, Lost, Mad Men, The Good Wife, True Blood
Long Shot: True Blood. This HBO show is delicious, sexy, pulpy goodness, but it's been going downhill, writing-wise, since Season One. I would bet my future puppy's life on the fact that this show is going to lose, especially when it's going up against AMC's Mad Men, which is likely to win its 3rd year in a row. I'd even say Lost has better chances than True Blood of winning Best Drama, and that show is looking at worse odds than a fresh beef empanada loose on the set of The Biggest Loser.
Best Actor, Drama
Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Hugh Laurie (House), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Matthew Fox (Lost), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
Long Shot: Matthew Fox. Sorry, Lost fans, but how is Matthew Fox vaguely in the same category as Cranston, Hall, Laurie, Hamm, and Chandler? Every time I see this guy on Lost it's like watching a bored cardboard cutout trying to approximate the likeness of a leading man. Why isn't Sawyer on here? That's where the action's at. Anyway, Michael C. Hall is probably going to win this year. He's a great actor and he just had cancer! That's shoo-in status, right there.
Best Series, Comedy
Nominees: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, Glee, The Office, Modern Family
Long Shot: Nurse Jackie is the longest long shot here, but honestly, any series that isn't Modern Family is something of a long shot in my opinion. Yes, lots of people are expecting Glee to win this category (and it still might), but for my money I say Modern Family has got it in the bag. It's new, well rated and consistently funny, while managing to be both relatively fresh format-wise and appealing to older sitcom conventions. Plus, the Emmy people are more conservative than they get credit for, and - to top it all off - the musical Glee is, like Nurse Jackie, more of a drama than a comedy. The Office continued its downward slide this season and won't win either, but if I had to pick a distant 6th place, I'd say it's Jackie.
Best Actor, Comedy
Nominees: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Steve Carell (The Office), Larry David (Curb your Enthusiasm), Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Long Shot: Matthew Morrison, 100% long shot. Morrison is an embarrassingly distant 6th compared to the other five comedic actors who were nominated. Jim Parsons is likely to win this year, although last year's winner Alec Baldwin could take home the gold again, as could previous winner Tony Shalhoub, who just finished Monk's final season. Larry David is hilarious as always but I suspect many people are (rightly) confused as to whether he is actually acting or just filming himself being a schmuck. But Morrison... Morrison, Morrison, Morrison. Your comedic stylings are almost as poor as your rapping. No.
Best Actress, Comedy
Nominees: Lea Michele (Glee), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Toni Collette (United States of Tara)
Long Shot: Lea Michele. I'm sorry if it's starting to look like I'm just shitting on the cast of Glee, but a number of Glee actors and actresses have been nominated in 'comedy' categories and, with the exception of Jane Lynch, none of them are particularly funny. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler - now those are genuinely funny women, and I expect one or the other to win. Lea Michele, while a terrific singer and a promising actress, either isn't very funny herself and neither is her character. Sorry Lea, but not by a long shot.
Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series
Nominees: Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Jon Cryer (Two And A Half Men), Chris Colfer (Glee)
Long Shot: Chris Colfer. Once again, we have a terrific actor from Glee who isn't very funny. I guess my frustration here is that Glee is considered a comedy at all when it's more a lighthearted musical-drama. Anyway, even though Colfer does a great job with the material he's given, he's not outstanding enough to be the youngest ever recipient of this Emmy. If anything, I think Ty Burrell or Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family is going to win this one, while the Emmy voters are going to pass Neil Patrick Harris on this one and instead reward him in the 'Guest' category for his pitch-perfect "Bryan Ryan" cameo on Glee.
Best Supporting Actress, Comedy Series
Nominees: Jane Lynch (Glee), Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), Holland Taylor (Two And A Half Men), Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Long Shot: Sofia Vergara is looking pretty weak in this category (as is Kristen Wiig), but honestly anyone who isn't Jane Lynch is going to lose this year. Lynch absolutely nailed her performance on Glee as cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, a character that allowed her the perfect outlet for her signature brand of deadpan comedy and hilariously candid delivery. As much as I'd enjoy looking at Sofia Vergara on stage (or anywhere, really), the Emmy voters have got Lynch locked down for the win this year.
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Betty White (Saturday Night Live), Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live), Kristin Chenoweth (Glee), Elaine Stritch (30 Rock), Jane Lynch (Two And A Half Men), Katherine Joosten (Desperate Housewives), Christine Baranski (The Big Band Theory)
Long Shot: Do you look like the woman to the left? Is your name Betty White? If you answered 'No,' then you are not going to win this Emmy. This was the unofficial year of Betty White, with the former Golden Girl getting tons of love from critics and fans young and old, and even got plenty of love from the ever fickle Internet hive mind. While I absolutely loved Elaine Stritch's turn as Jack Donaghy's acerbic mother on 30 Rock this season, I don't think there is much doubt that the Emmy voters are going to jump on the Betty White bandwagon and reward her for what was truthfully one of the best Saturday Night Live guest spots in recent memory.
October 19, 2001 5:57am EST
The film opens with prison warden Colonel Winter (Robert Redford) greeting the highly respected General Irwin (James Gandolfini) at the start of his 10-year sentence for disobeying a presidential order. When they meet Irwin makes a snide remark about Winter--a non combatant--proudly showcasing military trinkets and memorabilia in his office. The comment instantly touches off a power war between the two which ends with Irwin threatening to take over the prison and flying the American flag upside down--a symbol that the castle has fallen. Winter rises to the challenge and the two begin their strategic plotting. Irwin wins the respect of his fellow inmates in an overly drawn scene where he is forced to carry large stones from one pile to another in the prison courtyard and forms an army of inmates using clichéd chess tactics to demonstrate his assault plans. Winter meanwhile watches from his cozy office overlooking the courtyard as if he was watching a reality series on a big-screen TV.
The highly regarded General Irwin is a simple solemn type which unfortunately is what is fundamentally wrong with the film. While Redford does the brooding thing quite well the script never calls for him to do anything more than that. James Gandolfini takes on the role of prison warden Colonel Winter with fitting simplicity. He accentuates Winter's dumb-thug persona by over-enunciating his words and speaking in an unnaturally slow manner. Redford and Gandolfini both churn out great performances but it would have been more rewarding had the script called for their characters to be more well-rounded. Steve Burton plays Winter's right hand man Captain Peretz convincingly considering what few lines he has. His body language facial expressions and dialogue manage to convey his character's thoughts even when his lines don't.
Directed by Rod Lurie (The Contender) The Last Castle is a well-paced story without a dull moment. It concludes with a dramatic and exciting climax but the problem is it's just too simple. While it's easy to get caught up in the story it's hard to buy how easily the inmates are able to take control of such a heavily guarded maximum-security prison. Using cafeteria trays as shields is one thing but hurling stones using a giant catapult that somehow went unnoticed by prison security is hard to swallow. So is the fact that these inmates a group of hardened criminals cooperate so easily with hardly any friction. While it could have been a very emotional story it fails because the characters are one-dimensional and never really explored including the two main characters played by Redford and Gandolfini. One is a great strategist and the other draconian but viewers are left to guess why and how they got that way.