The 2011 Emmy nominations: the yays, the ehs and one ugh

Eh ...

Kathy Bates in Harry's Law? Uh, really? I love her, but she stars in a waste of TV space. The Oscar winner should have stepped aside for Julia Stiles, who turned in a wrenching performance in Dexter. Good thing her boyfriend isn't a real-life serial killer.

Edie Falco gets yet another award nomination for Nurse Jackie. *Insert crickets sound here.*

The most overly nominated show: The Good Wife. Not that it's not good, but its omnipresence smacks of the ass-kissing of its high-caliber stars.

In that vein, I like what AOL writer Maureen Ryan said about the "insane HBO worship" of Boardwalk Empire: "What, no 'B.E.' nomination for best craft services? I am outraged! Kidding."

Jon Cryer gets a "putting up with Charlie Sheen" fist-pound by way of a supporting nod. *Slow clap.*

Ugh ...

The surprisingly good zombie drama The Walking Dead was one of the most expertly produced and heart-stopping shows to hit TV in a long time. Critics fell over themselves with praise. It wasn't nominated in any of the main categories. The show's star, Andrew Lincoln, a British actor trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, displayed an understated sensitivity and steely Clint Eastwood resolve. His scenes of grief and shock in the first episode were unforgettable. Snubbing Lincoln and the high-quality drama was dead wrong.

For a longer nomination list, click here.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on Thursday announced the nominees for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Here are some reactions.


Yes! Yes! Yes! My favorite sitcom (tied with Modern Family) has finally nabbed an Emmy nomination. Parks and Recreation joins the ranks of the same 'ol, same 'ol patrol of The Office, 30Rock, et al. Parks and Recreation combines the uncomfortable edginess of The Office and Arrested Development with relatable characters that are as endearing as they are effed-up — most notably the heart-of-gold, inspirational wackadoo Leslie Knope, played brilliantly by Amy Poehler (nominated also for best comedic female lead), Parks and Rec should be poised for a win. The episode featuring Ansari's Haverfoods is reason enough.

You'd be hard put to find a TV dad more lovable than Ty Burrell's Phil Dunphy. (Remember when he said, "Luke, I am your father"?) Just tickled pink he got his nomination. Don't quite understand why he's in the supporting category, but hey, we'll take it. In other news, I just added a "like" to the "We Want Ty Burrell to host SNL" Facebook page.

Melissa McCarthy continues a stellar year, with her first nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series (Mike & Molly). It's great to see the full-figured firebrand get her much-deserved moment in the spotlight. As a performer, she combines approachable realness, warmth and a sassy wit. She was a scene-stealer in Bridesmaids, and we hope she gets her rightful turn at a comedic motion picture lead. These days she's co-starring in the forthcoming, as-yet-unnamed Judd Apatow project for 2012 with Paul Rudd, Megan Fox and Bridesmaids cohort/Irish actor Chris O'Dowd (Roy in The IT Crowd). Let's hope we see more of her in that one.

Bryan Cranston, of Breaking Bad, was not nominated for best actor in a drama. No disrespect, but it's time to give Jon Hamm a turn. It's his third nomination, for fook's sake. Speaking of which, the buzz is that Mad Men star Hamm is a lock for the best actor in a drama category. Hamm's Don Draper is a fabulously flawed and complex advertising exec who has consistently delivered nuanced, powerhouse emotion and sexy savoir faire.

Ed O'Neill is finally nominated for his fantastic portrayal of the grumpy but lovable patriarch in Modern Family.

This one gets a hell yes: Randee Heller got a nomination for her work as Miss Blankenship, Mad Men's hilariously blunt and tragically eccentric secretary.

While Saturday Night Live is often hit or miss, two guest hosts made the whole mess worth watching: Justin Timberlake and Zach Galifianakis. And congrats to Kristen Wiig for her second nomination. Another repeat that I can get behind is Eric Stonestreet in Modern Family.

Kudos also to Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Steve Buscemi of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Andre Braugher in Men of a Certain Age and Timothy Olyphant of FX's Justified. Also, I am late to the Glee and Friday Night Lights party but think the nominations are well-deserved. Glee will probably win in the best comedy category.

Big ups to Steve Carell, who never won for The Office. Let's hope he gets this one. His departure was a tearjerker and merits the nomination all by itself.

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