Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why the Emmys SUCK
Yes, I'm writing this before the Emmy nominations have been released, but it's because I just read an article on that explained the new nomination process, and it makes me angry. As Mark Harris explains in the piece, voters had to vote on their top 10 shows -- so these are not shows they've necessarily been forced to watch, but the usual pap that sits at the top of the Nielsen ratings -- and The Wire is officially out of the running, because it didn't make the cut? Why is the best season of the best show on television -- bar none -- not nominated for best dramatic series? Because no one watched it. This season was superb. I watch a LOT of television, and have for years, and I have never seen ANYTHING like this season of The Wire. Nothing. Lost, Buffy, Six Feet Under, Angel -- no other show had a season that dropped my jaw, made me think, made me want to cry, made me want to change the world, more than this season of The Wire.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, The Wire is a show you MUST watch from the beginning, see the slow build, watch these characters live, breathe, suffer, and die, and you can't just jump in. But the Emmys only allow one episode to be submitted. One must be chosen to submit for best drama, one must be chosen for any best actor/actress category, one must be chosen for best writing? Could I choose one episode over all the others from this season? Hell no. It's about the arc, but the stupid Emmy voters want one episode. Preferably a 10-second clip if you've got one.

In addition to The Wire being shut out, Battlestar Galactica and The Shield -- two more of my all-time favourite shows -- are also not in the running. As Harris writes:

The Wire was doomed because voters had already decided that it wasn't even one of the year's 10 best dramas. The shows that did make that list include 24, for a season so implausible that even Chloe couldn't keep a straight face, and Boston Legal. That's right: Presented with a staggeringly powerful piece of work that wove politics, drugs, race, violence, and poverty into a crushing examination of the way inner-city public schools betray kids, the Emmy membership decided it just wasn't quite as incisive as William Shatner yelling, ''Denny Crane!''

There's still hope: nowhere in his article did he mention Lost, so it might be in the running. But considering what it's NOT up against, does it matter? Wouldn't it be best for all of us if the Emmys just maintained its current stature as the Battle of the Mediocre TV and left the good shows for us to watch, awardless but with great writing?


Roland said...

Thanks for the referral, when and where is it on here in Toronto? I'd have to get the DVD if it is out, I've heard great things about the show. Better than Lost, eh? We'll see about that...


Nikki Stafford said...

Hmm... maybe I should qualify that, since saying a show is "better" than anything else is always an opinion thing. I would say it's definitely the smartest show on television, possibly ever. I've never seen anything else so sharply written.

You can currently get the first 3 seasons on DVD, and season 4 finished airing on TMN in December, I think it was. So it'll probably be out on DVD soon, too. :)

Do let me know if you watch it and what you thought! I wish I could get everyone to check out this show.

ninja raiden said...

I think the show is hard to find for three reasons. First, the show is already four seasons deep into the storyline and most serial watchers are aware of the acclaimed depth of storyline and character. I think this makes catching up an intimidating prospect(Especially for Lost fans who are already analyzing THAT show from almost every conceivable angle).
Second, I think there might be sometype of serial overload going on in the mainstream, especially with the general need of casul watchers wanting a show to "get to the point".
Third, HBO isn't helping people like me who are dying to get involved in The Wire by charging fifty to seventy bucks a dvd set that consists of thirteen episodes(Lost hast 22-24 episodes and comes in at 40 to 50 dollars with a bonus disk)
I want to support the show (the buzz of The Wire is one similar to those of Lost and The Sopranos- my two favorite tv shows ever). HBO needs to throw us a bone.

ninja raiden said...

Sorry about the close paragraphs.

Nikki Stafford said...

Ninja: I hear you on the price of the sets. I don't understand why all HBO series are SO expensive. Watch for it used, because I've seen it as low as $40 used before. As for catching up, the seasons are only 13 eps long, so it's the equivalent of about 2 seasons of a regular show to get caught up, and that's not very daunting at this point. In fact, it's MUCH easier to watch it back-to-back, and not week-to-week when it's actually airing. My husband and I -- despite REALLY wanting to watch it -- let the entire series build up on our PVR and then watched the whole thing in about 3 nights. It's AWESOME that way. Leaving one week in between eps (we started watching season 3 that way and couldn't do it) just makes it too complicated.

Good luck!

Nikki Stafford said...

And when I said we let the entire series build up, I meant entire SEASON each year. So we'd either tape or PVR each season, then watch each one in 3 nights.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I've only seen the first season of The Wire, but it is very impressive indeed. That one scene where the dialogue is totally composed of the 'f' word with different inflections will stick with me forever. I would love to see more of that show.

OTOH, I love Boston Legal. It's funny, often touching, and pushes all my political buttons.

That's a problem with the Emmy's - these shows shouldn't be compared. For one thing, Boston Legal is more comedy than drama.

Unfortunately, it's the popular shows that win. And popular rarely translates to 'good'.

Anonymous said...

I just read that LOST is not nominated for Best Drama. I am pissed off! Totally!

Roland said...

Agree with anonymous, I really thought Lost would beat out Heroes in the nominations.

Nikki Stafford said...

Again, I think the Emmy voters just look to the hype, and not the show itself. Heroes was known as the show that was consistently great all season long, with the exception of the finale, and the hype was well deserved. It's the new kid on the block, and everyone loves it. It's the reason Lost was nominated -- and won -- in its first year. But by next year, people will have moved on to the new show and Heroes will be dumped by the roadside the same way Lost was, and by the time Heroes is in season 3, those same people saying Lost sucked in season 3 because it wasn't as good as Heroes will be saying Heroes sucks in season 3 because it isn't as good as [insert new show here]. Most viewers don't have attention spans longer than one season, and I'm thinking Emmy voters have attention spans about 1/8 of that. ;)