Yes, I'm writing this before the Emmy nominations have been released, but it's because I just read an article on EW.com 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?