Let’s be honest. This year the Emmys went a little overboard with Homeland love (Morena Baccarin for Best Supporting Actress? Please.) and continued to rain nominations on stale honourees of yesteryear, like the cast of one-note-wonder Modern Family. (Oh wait. Gloria mispronounced a word due to her accent. Again? I think I finally get the joke. LOL!). And while I admit Downton Abbey’s entertaining, it’s also got the writing quality of a British olden-days Melrose Place, and I can’t quite believe it got as many nominations as it did.
So who do I think was more deserving than some of these picks? I’m glad you asked. The following gals, guys and shows are so talented, they don’t need no Emmy to prove it (though they certainly deserve it).
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Who would’ve guessed the woman I previously solely associated with a mediocre Freddie Prinze Jr. romcom would go on to make me cry like a damn baby week after week on NBC’s brilliant and painfully underrated Parenthood? As her character — the dedicated, hard-working, sometimes frazzled mom of two Kristina — battled cancer in season five, Monica Potter took a subject matter that often turns overwrought and predictable and performed the shit out of it with subtle, conflicted, breathtaking emotion.
My favourite scene in the whole season is when daughter Haddie makes a surprise visit home when she learns of her mom’s illness. Kristina sees her approach and in a single breath appears overjoyed to see her daughter and heartbroken at the realization of her true reason for visiting. Monica Potter deserves every damn trophy for that and so many other emotionally-charged scenes that held us captive throughout the season.
(Peter Krause. He deserves one of these trophies for Parenthood too).
Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter
I stopped caring about Dexter the character seasons ago, around the time he couldn’t stop blubbering about his dark passenger to Lumen, and after he had moved on remorse-free from the death of his wife.
Luckily, while Dexter’s largely remained a stagnant, self-centered, whiny bitch of a serial killer, his sister Deb proved herself the real reason people keep watching. Determined, tough-as-nails, but often conflicted emotionally as Dexter’s actions royally fuck with her life, in season seven she was faced with her biggest revelation to date: that her brother is indeed a serial killer.
And you know what that means: more turmoil, more emotions, and more F-bombs from Deb’s brilliant portrayer Jennifer Carpenter, who’s got the chops to captivate opposite Michael C. Hall. As the series is set to end next Sunday, it’s a crime that Carpenter’s work has never received any love from those who bestow awards. Like the character she plays, she’s the one I’m always pulling for.
Parks and Recreation
While Amy Poehler’s been singled out once again (and deservedly so!) for her portrayal of Leslie Knope, Emmy voters have never shown any love to her friends in Pawnee or Parks & Recreation as the outstanding comedy series it is. Which is a shame because not only does Parks and Rec consistently bring the laffs, it also consistently leaves you with a good-natured smile on your face thanks to its incredible ensemble.
With Leslie fighting for good and rallying her ragtag crew of public servants around her, one of the great things about Parks and Rec is that it doesn’t grow stale. Its characters are constantly evolving, whether it’s Chris going to therapy, Andy trying (failing) to be a cop, or Leslie realizing the changes she’s brought to her town aren’t all that appreciated. While you’d think Emmy voters would eventually feel some of the good will the show emanates, it turns out Leslie’s next campaign should be to get the Academy on board with Ben, Tom, April, Andy, Donna, Ann, Chris and the rest of the gang.
Alternatively, as long as you bring Ron Swanson all the eggs and bacon you have, I think he’ll let the lack of Emmy love slide.
Keri Russell/Matthew Rhys/The Americans
We’ve previously fallen in love with both Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys on TV as the title character of Felicity and Kevin on Brothers and Sisters, respectively. Now on The Americans they’re playing less loveable but still completely captivating — and arguably more complex — characters Elizabeth and Phillip. As KGB spies in the 1980s, they’re faced with varied levels of conflict between their loyalty to Russia and their cover as a married couple and parents of two pre-teens.
Sadly it seems the Emmys believe there’s only room for one teen star turned badass espionage chick on the ballot. How else can we justify Russell’s lack of nomination? It’s a little jarring but completely awesome to see her take on the more cold-natured character of the duo, and just thrilling to watch her kick ass! Both she and Rhys deserve some Emmy love, as does the show, which takes you on numerous well-plotted twists that never tempt you to roll your eyes.
Not to mention, whoever’s in charge of the innumerable wigs in each episode deserves all the hair Emmys in the world.