Voting for TV Awards: An Exercise in Managing Disappointment

silicon-valley.P

For the record, I have belonged to the Television Critics Association for almost two decades. Each year, the 250 or so members vote on their favorite TV shows, with the honors handed out during our summer conclave — for the last few years, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, also home to the Golden Globes — in a ceremony not broadcast on TV.

Which makes it the only one of the roughly 4,588 existing awards shows not broadcast on TV.

This is good, because I spend a fair amount of the evening doing a poor job of hiding my disappointment that almost nothing, or sometimes nothing, I like, nominated or voted for wins — and 2015 will be no exception.

Here are the nominees for the Television Critics Association Awards, with my commentary.

(By the way, we’re reading these all the way through for the first time together.)

 

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO – (2014 Winner in Category)

Gina Rodriguez, “Jane The Virgin,” The CW

Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer,” Comedy Central

Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent,” Amazon

Constance Wu, “Fresh Off the Boat,” ABC

 Some funny folks. None of them, however, can hold a candle to my top nominees, Thomas Middleditch and T.J. Miller of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” who were
touching, bombastic, smart, intensely dumb and entirely hilarious. I am heartily disappointed (and you should watch “Silicon,” along with “The Flash” and “Daredevil”).

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder,” ABC

Jon Hamm, “Mad Men,” AMC

Taraji P. Henson, “Empire,” Fox

Matthew Rhys, “The Americans,” FX

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul,” AMC

Where’s anyone from “Justified”? Where’s Timothy Olyphant? Where’s Nick Searcy? Where’s Walton Goggins, Mary Steenburgen, Sam Elliott? Now, the show’s over, and it’s too late. And hey, where’s the excellent Grant Gustin from “The Flash,” Jamie Bell from “TURN,” or Robin Lord Taylor, the Penguin from “Gotham”? That kid totally stole the show.

Robin-Lord-Taylor-Penguin-Gotham

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS AND INFORMATION

“CBS Sunday Morning,” CBS

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central

“Frontline,” PBS

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” HBO

“60 Minutes,” CBS

 Yeah, Jon Stewart. Never our finest hour, but it’s the last year it’ll happen. And these folks apparently don’t watch “The Kelly File” or “The Five.” As always, I’ll vote for “Frontline.”

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMMING

“The Amazing Race,” CBS

“The Chair,” Starz

“Dancing with the Stars,” ABC

“RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Logo – (2014 Winner in Category)

“Shark Tank,” ABC

Where’s “Deadliest Catch,” “Gold Rush,” “Bering Sea Gold” or anything set in Alaska? Where’s “Chrisley Knows Best,” “Tanked,” “The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns,” “Hard Knocks,” or NFL Network’s “Undrafted” and “A Football Life”? But, “Shark Tank” remains awesome, and “The Amazing Race” is still on.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” PBS

“The Fosters,” ABC Family – (2014 Winner in Category)

“The Legend of Korra,” Nickelodeon

“Sesame Street,” PBS

“Switched at Birth,” ABC Family

 I have no opinion. Well, yes, I do. Never mind; I don’t have kids. (Hint: last year’s winner, yeah, not recommended)

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM

“Better Call Saul,” AMC

“Empire,” Fox

“The Flash,” The CW

“Jane the Virgin,” The CW

“Transparent,” Amazon

 THANK GOD. “The Flash” is here. At least one drama or comedy I nominated is on the list. But, where’s “Gotham”?

The-Flash-Grant-Gustin

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINISERIES AND SPECIALS

“Bessie,” HBO

“The Honorable Woman,” SundanceTV

“The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” HBO

“Olive Kitteridge,” HBO

“Wolf Hall,” PBS

 OK, “The Jinx” was really good, but if “Wolf Hall” is history, I’m Joan of Arc.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

“The Big Bang Theory,” CBS

“Inside Amy Schumer,” Comedy Central

“Jane the Virgin,” The CW

“Transparent,” Amazon

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Netflix

 Where’s “Silicon Valley?” It got even better in season two (in case you haven’t guessed, I don’t like a lot of comedies). And “Community” should always be on this (except for the Dan-Harmon-free season, which is better dropped into a black hole and forgotten forever).

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

“The Americans,” FX

“Empire,” Fox

“Game of Thrones,” HBO

“Justified,” FX

“Mad Men,” AMC

 THANK GOD. “Justified” is here. I can now show my face in front of fellow fan Dana Perino. But where’s “TURN: Washington’s Spies?”

Justified-Finale

HERITAGE AWARD

“Friends,” NBC

“Late Show/Late Night with David Letterman,” CBS/NBC

“The Shield,” FX

“Star Trek,” NBC

“Twin Peaks,” ABC

 Oooh, “The Shield,” “Star Trek” and “Twin Peaks” … that’s a tough one.

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

“The Americans,” FX

“Empire,” Fox

“Game of Thrones,” HBO

“Mad Men,” AMC

“Transparent,” Amazon

Yep, didn’t watch any of those this year. OK, I tried two episodes of “The Americans” and was bored stiff. Couldn’t make it past the “Empire” pilot, after which I needed a shower (and to rewatch “The Lion in Winter,” the far superior original version). Where, oh, where, is “The Flash,” “Gotham” and “Silicon Valley?” “Justified” could also be in here, for having ended in an awesome manner … and for being inspired by one of America’s great writers, the late Elmore Leonard.

Justified-Thanks-Elmore

Man, “Daredevil” better be on this list next year, or there’ll be Hell’s Kitchen to pay!

So what do you guys think I should be voting for? (I don’t take orders, but I do take suggestions.)

Images: Courtesy HBO, The CW, Fox and me (from the “Justified” finale screening)

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