The Sixth Annual Andy TV Awards

The most prestigious fake television award on this blog

The most prestigious fake television award on this blog

With the Emmys fast approaching, I figured I’d better start posting my traditional Andy TV Awards, not that I have a hope in hell in getting it all done before the show. For the uninitiated, the Andy TV Awards are where I not only pick who should win awards in television achievement, but also where I show who should have been nominated in the first place. No sense in simply picking from the Academy’s flawed list of nominees, when they often can’t even be bothered to nominate the very best performances, much less the six best.

So what makes me more qualified to do this than the Emmys themselves? For starters, I actually WATCH television, so that puts me ahead of a lot of voters. For the 2010-11 season, I watched complete (or near-complete) seasons of 30 different comedies and dramas. So these choices will be fairly extensive. Of course, I still don’t watch everything, so here’s a list of some critically acclaimed shows that I don’t watch, and thus were left off my ballot: Treme, Dexter (gave up on it this season), Shameless, Glee, The Killing (gave up just in time), and anything from the UK. Shows that aren’t necessarily acclaimed (but did get some Emmy nominations) that I don’t watch include Two and a Half Men, House, Harry’s Law, The Big C, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Read on for the ground rules and my nominees and winners for Guest Performances on TV. Stay tuned for Comedy Acting, Drama Acting, Comedy Series, and Drama Series.

Here’s the ground rules: to qualify for nomination, a show must have aired most of its season in the 12 months between May 31st, 2010 and May 31st, 2011. Unlike the Emmys, I base my decisions on the entire season of a show, not single episodes. I used the Emmy ballot to decide which category a performer or a show belongs to, so if they submitted themselves for a supporting category even if they’re a co-lead, that’s where I considered them (same goes for the drama/comedy split).

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
The nominees are…

John Corbett in Parenthood
Michael Cristofer in Rubicon
Jeremy Davies in Justified
Michael J. Fox in The Good Wife
James Frain in True Blood
Jack Huston in Boardwalk Empire

I realize I’d have a better chance in getting these posts done if I were to leave out the guest acting categories that no one really cares about (and aren’t even televised for the real show). But every year, there’s at least one performance, generally in this category, that I want to single out. Last year it was John Lithgow’s non-guest star turn in Dexter, a couple years before that it was Glynn Turman’s one episode masterpiece on In Treatment (both would go on to win the Emmy as well). This year has another crop of performances worthy of blog space, but the one that’s primarily motivating me to write (i.e., my winner) wasn’t nominated by the Academy. Jeremy Davies and Michael J Fox were, and I would have been thrilled if either had won (sadly, they lost to Paul McCrane from Harry’s Law). I threw James Frain in my nomination group for his incredibly wacked-out turn in True Blood as an example of how to do the high camp overacting that is the show’s stock and trade correctly. But the two standout performances here were Michael Cristofer as the compelling Truxton Spangler on the late, lamented Rubicon, and Jack Huston as Boardwalk Empire‘s tin man. Huston was instantly fascinating for his look alone, but it’s the pathos and sympathy he brought to the role that put him over the top. I was on board with Boardwalk Empire from the beginning, but even I mark the appearance of Richard Harrow in episode 7 as when the series hit its stride.

The award goes to…
Jack Huston in Boardwalk Empire

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
The nominees are…

Cara Buono in Mad Men
Kaitlyn Dever in Justified
Karina Logue in Terriers
Gretchen Mol in Boardwalk Empire
Adrianne Palicki in Friday Night Lights
Jessica Paré in Mad Men

Good candidates here too, but not as interesting as Huston, Cristofer, or Davies. I nominated both of Don Draper’s ladies, although Paré is easily the sixth nominee here (Buono is the only one here to also score an Emmy nomination, losing to Loretta Devine on Grey’s Anatomy). One of the many things robbed from us by Terriers short life span was not getting more of Karina Logue’s performance. I’m guessing she would’ve become a series regular (sniffle). Boardwalk Empire is probably the first time I’ve ever enjoyed Gretchen Mol in anything, and it wasn’t just the nudity. For all the Academy did right by the actors of Justified, I still think they missed out on one: Kaitlyn Dever, who probably ranked just below Kiernan Shipka in the “TV performance by a child” category I just made up in my head. I was very close to giving her this award, but ultimately, had to go with Adrianne Palicki’s end of series cameo on Friday Night Lights. I’m probably doing it mostly for sentimental reasons, but since I have so few chances left to honour what was easily one of my beloved shows of all-time, I figured I’d grab this one.

The award goes to…
Adrianne Palicki in Friday Night Lights

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
The nominees are…

Matt Damon in 30 Rock
Eddie Izzard in United States of Tara
Patton Oswalt in United States of Tara
Ben Schwartz in Parks and Recreation
John Slattery in 30 Rock
Justin Timberlake in Saturday Night Live

This tends to be the 30 Rock guest star repository, both here and especially with the actual Emmys. Honestly, any actor with an E away from their EGOT should just offer themselves up to Tina Fey (the best would be for Denzel Washington to seek council from Tracy Jordan on how to complete his). Matt Damon continued to prove he’s got a nice gift for subtle comedy, not that he’ll ever get much of a chance outside of the Ocean’s films to show it. Justin Timberlake continues to the best thing Saturday Night Live has going for it every season, even if some of his recurring bits are starting to get stale (he just won his second Emmy for his work as a guest host tonight). But the award goes to John Slattery’s even more surprising turn at comedy. It’s not unusual for the guest stars on 30 Rock to really go for it (see his Mad Men co-star Jon Hamm’s performances), but Slattery may have topped them all with his hammy, Kennedy-esque New England accent wrapped in a man-sized diaper.

The award goes to…
John Slattery in 30 Rock

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
The nominees are…

Pamela Adlon in Louie
Elizabeth Banks in 30 Rock
Tina Fey in Saturday Night Live
Chloë Grace Moretz in 30 Rock
Megan Mullally in Parks and Recreation
Parker Posey in Parks and Recreation

As with JT, the annual SNL visit by Tina Fey is always a highlight; no doubt due to her assistance as a writer as well as a performer. 30 Rock gets strong representation here as well, with Elizabeth Banks earning an actual Emmy nomination (which she lost to Gwyneth Paltrow) and Chloë Grace Moretz perhaps being even more deserving of one (but probably not famous enough to get it). Parks and Recreation might end up usurping 30 Rock as the go-to show for excellent guest actress work, even if it’s just the work of the various Tammys. Just as a I look forward to the Timberlake and Fey episodes of Saturday Night Live, I shall also look forward to Megan Mullally’s return in the now-annual “Ron and Tammy” episodes. Unless, of course, she ends up being overshadowed next season by Patricia Clarkson.

The award goes to…
Megan Mullally in Parks and Recreation

5 thoughts on “The Sixth Annual Andy TV Awards

  1. Since I don’t watch many of these shows I can’t say one way or the other. But, I can say that I thought about Jack Huston’s character on Boardwalk Empire more than any other character when he wasn’t on screen.

  2. Pingback: The Sixth Annual Andy TV Awards – Comedy Acting « Critically Speaking

  3. Pingback: The Sixth Annual Andy TV Awards – Drama Acting « Critically Speaking

  4. Pingback: The Sixth Annual Andy TV Awards – Comedy Series « Critically Speaking

  5. Pingback: The Sixth Annual Andy TV Awards – Drama Series « Critically Speaking

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