I'm looking forward to Saturday's pre-Emmy bashes, after my daughter and I do some grunt work for California as participants in Heal the Bay's annual Coastal Cleanup Day event. We had so much fun at our favorite beaches this summer, it's the least we can do. (I swear, there's a special place in purgatory for people who decide to bury broken beer bottles in the sand. We came thisclose to stepping on one a few weeks ago.)
I don't do Emmy predictions -- just like I don't play the slots in Las Vegas. But I am rooting for certain contenders to prevail at the Nokia Theater on Sunday night.
Perhaps the closest one to my heart this year is "The Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons for lead comedy actor. I'm still sore that "Big Bang" didn't get a comedy series nod. Recognizing Parsons is an absolute must, or I'll be pretty grouchy in the press room afterward. Parsons is everything that the Emmys should celebrate -- a star home grown by TV, not the other way around.
In the drama series heat, I wouldn't be totally shocked if "Breaking Bad" pulled off an upset win. I'm torn between rooting for "Mad Men" and "Lost." I would love it if "Lost" was recognized for the enormity and the incredible quality of the work that cast and crew put in week in and week out. Of course, a "Mad Men" win would also be well, well-deserved.
For comedy series, I would give it to "Weeds." In a perfect world I would give it to "Big Bang," because I think that show embodies all the great elements of a classic, evergreen make-me-laugh sitcom, something the small screen doesn't have enough of these days. But among the nominees, I would give the nod to "Weeds," in recognition of the quirky half-hour that set Showtime off on its hot streak.
For lead drama actor, it's Hamm time. "Mad Men's" main man Jon Hamm deserves all the accolades he gets. The cast is so fantastic that his central Don Draper character is sometimes overshadowed by the moments afforded to other characters, like Elisabeth Moss' Peggy or Christina Hendricks' Joan or Vincent Kartheiser's Pete. But there's always at least one or two moments every episode where Hamm kills, usually with just a look or an eyebrow arch or a flinty stare.
For lead drama actress, it's Moss, hands down, with all due respect to her formidable competitors.
For lead comedy actress, as good as Toni Collette was in "United States of Tara," the scales are tipped for me by the lovely Mary-Louise Parker. She can sell whatever they throw at her on "Weeds."
For supporting comedy actor: Let it Rainn. It was a great year for Dwight Schrute, and Rainn Wilson, on "The Office."
For supporting comedy actress: I don't have a big favorite here so I'll throw it to Elizabeth Perkins of "Weeds."
For supporting drama actor: Four words -- John Slattery, "Mad Men." Long live Roger Sterling. I also think Kartheiser should've been a contender.
For supporting drama actress: I really don't have a favorite here. I can't understand why January Jones of "Mad Men" didn't make the cut. I would've been great to see someone like Adrianne Palicki of "Friday Night Lights" or Regina King of "Southland" get a nom.
For telepic: You can't deny "Grey Gardens."
For variety, music or comedy series: Hear the Word: "The Colbert Report." I'm always amazed at how Stephen Colbert pulls it off with nary a wink, night after night.
Writing for a drama series: Readers of this blog know how much I appreciate Matt Weiner's talents but this year I'm rooting for Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for the "Lost" season five finale. I'm still trying to figure it out.
Writing for a comedy series: Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady et al for "Big Bang Theory." No, they weren't nominated. But they should have been.
Directing for a drama series: Jack Bender, for numerous episodes of "Lost." No, he wasn't nommed, but I defy you to show me a show that gave its directors, particularly Bender, more of an opportunity to shine.
Directing for a comedy series: No dog in this fight. I can't believe Mark Cendrowski of "Big Bang" didn't merit a mention.