First of all, I’d just like to say that it’s cruel of both “True Blood” and “Mad Men” to air new episodes on the same night as the Emmy Awards, especially when neither show is sending out advance screeners anymore. Yes, I’m a big whiner, and I don’t care. It’s 11 PM, the Emmys have just wrapped up, and now I’ve got to go blog both shows. I’m sorry, but there’s no way around it: this sucks.
Okay, enough of my bitching. Let’s talk about the Emmys.
As far as I’m concerned, Jimmy Fallon did a fine job as host. The “Glee”-inspired opening segment was awesome: Jon Hamm ruled that bit with his sweet-ass dance moves, but Joel McHale leaping in front the camera was pretty awesome, too, and once they switched over to the live performance, I laughed out loud at just how happy Randy Jackson seemed to be to get to play in front of the audience. Sometimes you forget that the guy’s got some serious studio-musician street cred.
The minstrel-in-the-aisles bit was hit or miss, but Stephen Colbert was hilarious, and I was pleasantly surprised at Kim Kardashian’s performance. Jimmy’s quick quip at Conan’s expense was pretty funny, too. I wasn’t as big a fan of the farewells to “24,” “Law & Order,” and “Lost,” mostly because all I could think was, “This kind of takes away from the seriousness of the farewells to the folks in the industry who really have died.” The segment with the “Modern Family” cast meeting with the network was hysterical, though.
Bright and early this morning…by which we mean 8:40 AM EST / 5:40 AM PST…the nominees for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards were announced by Joel McHale (“Community,” “The Soup”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”). It ended up being a worthwhile gig for one of them, at least, with Vergara pulling in a Supporting Actress nod for “Modern Family.” Maybe that’s why McHale seemed so stone-faced. (Seriously, did someone tell McHale that he wasn’t getting paid if he didn’t keep his smart-assery in line ’til after the nominees were read? The only time he cracked anything approaching a joke was when he preempted Vergara’s mangling of Mariska Hargitay’s last name.) Anyway, here’s a list of who got the glory…and, in the case of Best Actress in a Drama, who got the shaft.
Outstanding Comedy Series:
* Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
* Glee (Fox)
* Modern Family (ABC)
* Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
* The Office (NBC)
* 30 Rock (NBC)
My Pick: “Modern Family.” There’s no question that “Glee” is award-worthy, but not necessarily as a comedy, which is also where “Nurse Jackie” falters in this category. I feel like “The Office” and “30 Rock” coasted in on their past merits this year, but “Curb” got a huge boost from the “Seinfeld” storyline, so it’s the only real competition here. Still, the buzz on “Modern Family” is all over the place. I can’t imagine it won’t bring home the glory.
The unexpected return of Kaitlyn Flynn to Grace’s circle of friends was…well, not that unexpected, really, since her appearance in the “previously on” segment clearly indicated that we’d be seeing that storyline rearing its head again this week. Still, I knew the tension between Jackie and Kaitlyn’s mom would be revisited at some point, given the way it was clearly underlined that Kevin had had some sort of history with Ginny Flynn was surprised to see that “I was wrong, you were right” look appear on Jackie’s face when Kevin reminded her that Grace needs to hang out with her friends, but given that Grace’s list of friends is only one name long, I guess she had no choice but to concede the point. It sure came back to bite her in the ass, though…and, of course, the nose as well. Is any doubt that Kaitlyn will report back to her mother what she witnessed? Jackie’s judgment is obviously less than sound when dealing with Ginny, but it struck me as an astonishingly poor plan to dump the casserole into the trash right in front of the girls, especially knowing full well that Ginny doesn’t do well with things like lying and, uh, fitting in with her peers.
Oh, man: how sad is it that Coop’s buying Ramen noodles for dinner? The camera didn’t go out of its way to focus on his choice of food, but I’d know a package of those anywhere. (Hand on heart, I’m eating a bowl of them as I write this very blog…which, come to think of it, is pretty tragic in and of itself.) Between his one-man meals, his overemphasis on how many folks on Twitter are following his every move, and his repeated reminders to Eddie that he’s there for him if he needs to talk, it’s clear that Cooper’s life is pretty pitiful these days…almost, it seems, as pitiful as Eddie’s. (The way he grills Coop about who’s spreading the word about his supposed suicide attempt, you can tell that he wants to find any possible excuse to hate Jackie.) I hope making the list of the 25 Best Doctors in Manhattan pays off for Coop…and not just because he spent money on a publicist to earn his position. At this rate, the guy’s going to fall into a serious depression way sooner than later.
What is it about medical shows that they feel obliged to make their male viewers squirm for all they’re worth…or am I the only one who reacted that way at the below-the-waist issues of the dog-bite victim? Mind you, it took a little bit of the sting away when his wife’s first reaction to her husband’s injuries was to muse, “I’ll probably be banned from the kennel club for life…” Thank God we didn’t get a shot of the guy whose cell phone blew up in his face…
Every episode of “Nurse Jackie” brings a new reminder of how far a drug addict can sink, but, c’mon, Jackie, hiding your pills in the Easter eggs? Really?Wow.
You can’t say the set designers haven’t come up with a realistic looking garage for the Peyton family, and as soon as I saw the shot of the electrical outlets, I knew it was going to play into the storyline in some capacity, but I didn’t expect that it would involve the ever-paranoid Grace going around and unplugging all of the appliances in the house every night so as to avoid possible house fires. Good lord, the child has been saving her allowance to buy the safest possible smoke detector for the house…? That’s a whole new level of paranoia, so I figured it wouldn’t be long before the child entered therapy on a full-time basis, and, of course, I was right: Jackie was looking into it before the end of the episode. And speaking of that particular discussion, Akalitis’s comment about how the psychiatrist “was extremely helpful with my boy” is, unless I missed something last season, the first actual clarification as to why she was so enamored of the baby last season. She used to have a son, it seems, and the fact that there’s been no mention of him up to this point leads me to suspect that the boy in question is no longer among the living, though given Akalitis’s age, I suppose it’s equally possible that he’s now grown up and out in the world somewhere.
So Eleanor “partied like a 20-year-old last night,” scored some Ecstasy, and admits that she’s still high. I’m watching this, and I’m thinking with all due sarcasm, “Oh, no, that’s not going to come back into play. Never!” Well, at the very least, it didn’t come back into play this episode, which truly surprised me. I guess it’s just part of the overall “I miss Mummy” arc, along with Eleanor’s recurring demand that Jackie inform her daughters that they now have a godmother with a crisp British accent, but the end result was that, on second viewing, I could just sit back and enjoy Eleanor’s hysterical run / dance down the hallway (and the resulting scream from Zoe) and her unabashed flirtation with and up-and-down admiration of Sam without fear that it was all going to be tainted by Eleanor screwing up on the job while still under the influence. To be momentarily melancholy, though, I must mention one bit about Eleanor’s mourning of her mother that really hit home for me: her uncertainty about how to remove her from the list of contacts on her cell phone. Having witnessed someone have a breakdown when they accidentally stumbled upon their deceased parent’s number on their phone, I can say with 100% seriousness that this is a very valid point of concern.
Yep, that’s right: another Showtime series is getting the blog treatment on Premium Hollywood. It’s amazing how much more inspired you can be to write a series blog when the network provides you with all of the season’s episodes up front. I mean, I don’t know how the other TV critics who are married with children feel about it, but for my part, trying to write a blog immediately after an episode airs really screws up my time with my family (particularly if it happens to be a series that my wife doesn’t like and that I’m not comfortable watching around my 4-year-old daughter), so I’m a heck of a lot more predisposed to take the reigns of a blog where I can watch the episodes in advance.
In the case of “Nurse Jackie,” it also helps immensely that I really love the show. Although I’m guilty of missing the first season when it originally aired, I can assure you that no arm-twisting was required to dole four stars for the Season 1 DVD set, and by the time I’d finished watching the whole thing from top to bottom, I was chomping at the bit to dive into Season 2, so it’s a pleasure to finally be able to do so.