by Ginger Marin
Network television is fraught with generic, badly written, stupid sitcoms and dramas that seem to be recycled shows from the past few years. I no longer have the same perspective on television shows that I once had when I waited breathlessly for the new Fall season to appear and checked off each of the new shows I wanted to watch or made large circles around my returning favorites. So, I have to admit that I simply do not have the same excitement about the Emmys as I do about the Oscars.
Also, I don’t much like the fact that they’ve tried to garner awards for one-time performances for actors in a special made-for-tv-movie or appearing as a guest on a TV show. I’ve watched lots of shows but in all honesty there are only a few standouts in my book. I’ll give you the scoop on my picks, now – staying with the main categories.
Best Comedy Series: “Frazier”. Why? Best writing ever on a TV show and immaculate characterizations. Close second “Sex and the City” on HBO – but this is far from being a comedy as in sitcom which all the other nominees are. Frazier has taken the win on many an occasion and I would not be disappointed if Sex got it.
Best Drama Series: “The Sopranos” on HBO. Why? This if the most refreshing series in a long time, sporting good scripts, terrific characters and wonderful acting. Close second “The Practice which is consistently good. Wonder why “Oz”, also on HBO, was not inlcluded in the nominations. It clearly should have been, but it would have been a tough call to vote between “Oz” and “The Sopranos”.
Best Variety, Music, Comedy Series: “Tracy Takes On” on HBO. Why? Tracey Ullman is a remarkable comedienne/actress who puts on a show to knock your socks off; some are a little crude for me, but she’s an enormous talent to be reckoned with. There are no close seconds.
Best Animated Program: “The PJs” on Fox-TV. Why? Clearly the most cutting-edge humor with its puffy roly-poly people; it’s right on. Close second: “King of the Hill”.
Best Variety, Music or Comedy Special: George Carlin: You Are All Diseased”. Why? Because George is “the man” — witty, sharp and cool. Jerry Seinfeld was okay and John Leguizama’s Freak” – was a horrible ratty bore. And certainly no awards show should be nominated for an award here.
Best Actor/Drama: James Gandolfini for “The Sopranos”. Why? Because even though the show has an ensemble cast and they’re all terrific, you never forget that this show centers around his character. I’d pick Sam Waterston as the close second because he’s been my fave for many years – always presents a realistic portrayal.
Best Actor/Comedy: Kelsey Grammer for “Frazier”. Why? Expert timing in a top notch show and because everyone else appears as largely annoying, stupid characters who I cannot stomach.
Best Actress/Drama: Gillian Anderson for “The X-Files”. Why? Because the other choices come across more as supporting roles.
Best Actress/Comedy: Sarah Jessica Parker for “Sex and the City” on HBO. Why? She’s another one I’ve been watching for years and she’s a terrific talent in general and does a wonderful job in the show. No close seconds for me – absolutely sick of the rest of them.
Best Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Tracey Ullman in “Tracey Takes On…” Why? Because she’s the only one of the nominees who presents mutifaceted characterizations that are all wonderfully drawn.
Best Supporting Actor/Drama: Michael Badalucco for “The Practice”. Why? Good characterization, intelligent performances.
Best Supporting Actor/Comedy: David Hyde Pierce for “”Frazier”. Why? He was made for the part and has absolutely the best timing in this stunningly funny, intelligent show.
Best Supporting Actress/Drama: Camryn Manheim for “The Practice”. Why? She can be abrasive and annoying, but she’s right there as far as the character goes and there are no close seconds in my book.
Best Supporting Actress/Comedy: Kristen Johynston for “3rd Rock From the Sun”. Why? She’s the only thing keeping this very stupid show going. Close second? Who cares? They’re all the same.