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On behalf of Battlestar Galactica, you suck, Emmy!

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 17th 2009 10:02AM
Battlestar Galactica's Mary McDonnell and Edward James OlmosEvery year I foolishly get excited that maybe this year the Emmys will reach out and nominate something different. But then it's the same old nominees from the previous year. Even if a show has an off year, Emmy just goes ahead and nominates it again.

Of last year's six nominees for Drama Series, only one didn't make the cut this year. Lead Actor kept five of their six nominees as well, and Lead Actress kept all five nominees from last year. That's fifteen of 17 repeat contenders from last year in three categories. If Emmy hadn't added a slot each to Series and Actress it might have been a virtual rerun.

With all those repeats, there's no room to honor the final season of Battlestar Galactica. Maybe Emmy voters look at the shows they picked last year and say "That's still on, right? Let's go with that." And they're done picking their nominees in less than ten minutes.

The continual snubbing of Battlestar Galactica is pretty easy to pin down. It's a science fiction show. Remember what a mind-numbing shock it was when The Lord of the Rings movies got nominated for Academy Awards and then won so many for Return of the King? That's because despite what we as fans say, fantasy and science fiction are still seen as generally incapable of being great.

Still, if the Academy Awards can retroactively reward three great movies by piling on the accolades for the final installment, surely Emmy can do the same for the final season of arguably the best science fiction show of all time? Apparently not.

Never mind that Mary McDonnell was absolutely gut-wrenching in this last season as she futilely fought cancer and tried to find a home for the human race. Or that for four seasons we watched Edward James Olmos go through emotional hell to evolve from a gruff commander into humanity's father figure. Michael Hogan's destructive alcoholic. James Callis' egomaniacal coward. The many versions of Number Six that Tricia Helfer gave us.

Maybe it's name recognition. "Let's go with William Hurt for Best Supporting Actor. Who the hell is Michael Hogan anyway? If James Callis or Jamie Bamber were any good I'd have heard of them."

"Sounds good to me, who wants to go throw hundred dollar bills at strippers?"

Never mind that the caliber of Battlestar Galactica was so high that non-science fiction fans found themselves falling in love with it. Many had to get over their prejudices against science fiction and see it for the human drama that it was first. Emmy apparently can't do that. Because it's science fiction. Which means it's crap.

Okay, Emmy, you added some slots to the top categories to look more trendy and cool. Well, you look like the same old Emmy to me. We still have to wait for your favorite five or six shows to go off the air before you'll reach out and see what else is on. And if it's got spaceship or magic, forget it. No wonder your ratings keep slipping. Same old, same old is boring.

The Emmys isn't about the best of what's on television, which is a damned shame. It's about a few shows that we liked at one point that are still around.

Emmys 2009 Snubs and Surprises

    SNUB! Jay Leno

    OK, so, he'll be back this fall in primetime, but still ... you'd think his final bow after 17 years of hosting 'The Tonight Show' would have garnered him a farewell nomination for the gig, but rival David Letterman was the lone late-night host on the Big Three to score a nod. Is this a sign of things to come?


    SURPRISE! Simon Baker

    Simon Baker, who charmed millions of viewers on 'The Mentalist' this season, apparently charmed Emmy voters as well, earning a well-deserved Best Drama Actor nomination for the show's inaugural season. 'The Mentalist' may have missed out on Best Drama Series, but if season 2 can keep the momentum going (considering the show's moving to Thursdays, it should), we expect Baker to become a familiar face on Emmy noms morning.


    SNUB! Katherine Heigl

    She wants to leave the show, she wants to stay. She wants an Emmy, she doesn't. Looks like the 'Grey's Anatomy' star screwed herself out of a Best Supporting Actress nod by being so indecisive, despite being front and center with a decent storyline this season. But contrary to rumors, she'll be returning to the show -- so, better luck next time!


    SURPRISE! Sarah Silverman

    She's known for her knock-you-off-your-chair humor, but it's still a surprise that the acerbic comedian would land next to the likes of Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the category for the Best Actress in a Comedy. Let's just hope the 'Sarah Silverman Show' star is on her best behavior come Emmy night (or maybe we should hope she isn't -- that would be more fun).

    Comedy Central

    SNUB! 'Two and a Half Men'

    After being nominated the past three years and continuing to be a critical and ratings juggernaut for CBS, how can the Emmys not reward the show again? The oversight sticks out like a sore thumb, especially considering that the flailing 'Entourage' is still hanging on. Oh well, at least Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer didn't get shut out of the acting categories.


    SURPRISE! Jack McBrayer

    It's about time! As the lovably geeky Kenneth the page on '30 Rock,' McBrayer brings a charming innocence to the series. A relative unknown, he's been able to hold his own against big dogs Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski (all nominated). We just hope the much deserved pat on the back doesn't cause him to hang up his page jacket anytime soon.


    SNUB! America Ferrera

    'Ugly Betty' may have stumbled last season, but it has gracefully picked itself up and dusted itself off. Apparently, though, it was too little too late for the actress to land a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series nomination. But like Betty herself, we're sure Ferrera will take it all in stride and put her best face forward.


    SURPRISE! 'Family Guy'

    'Family Guy' managed to pull off something not even 'The Simpsons' could do: land a nomination for Best Comedy Series. If that isn't shocking enough, it's only the second nomination ever for an animated series in this category. The first was for 'The Flintstones' in 1961.


    SNUB! Jeremy Piven

    The gleam is off Emmys' Golden Boy, who's been nominated for every season of 'Entourage' so far, winning the past three years. The empty-handedness could be because the series as a whole has been wearing thin ... but Kevin Dillon still nabbed a nod. So that kinda just leaves Piven's off-screen, overblown mercury poisoning claim to blame.


    SURPRISE! Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi

    Don't get us wrong, 'Top Chef' is a terrific show, and Padma -- not to put too fine a point on it -- is smoking hot. But she seems like a lightweight amid the other reality-show host nominees ... plus, is Colicchio, who was nominated alongside her as co-host, really a host at all? Last time we checked, there was only one person telling contestants to "pack your knives and go."

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Biggest crime was the complete ignoring Bear McCreary, BSG's composer, got. The season four soundtrack is number 4 on amazon right now, it sold out twice BEFORE its official release date, and he has sold out numerous concerts for the show's soundtrack. Has any soundtrack for ANYTHING done that? Yet no nomination when he should of won, hands down. Nothing came close.

July 31 2009 at 3:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Alan

I liked BSG, but the best science fiction show of all time? It had some great moments, but overall it didn't come close to the consistent quality of at least a couple of the Trek shows, Babylon 5, or The Twilight Zone.

Of course, the Emmys weren't exactly kind to those shows, either. While I wouldn't argue for BSG to be nominated for Best Drama, I absolutely think McDonnell and Olmos were wonderful and deserved to be nominated. I can do without Baltar and Six, though.

July 18 2009 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brett Alan's comment

Wow... if you think that the writing of the Treks or Babylon 5 is superior to BSG, then I'm watching a different show from you. BSG's storylines were superior to any Sci-Fi that I've ever seen, *in my opinion.*

But fyi - Ron Moore (BSG Bigwig) also wrote and/or co-produced some of the the following:

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Generations
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager

I think that BSG was his most successful achievement, and I'm pretty sure he'd agree.

July 19 2009 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We dig the heck out of BSG. Emmy quality? This isn't Dexter quality. It's absorbing TV. and maybe a nom was in order. Then again a whole gaggle of crap shows were nominated (Madmen for instance) so i guess a nom wouldn't be bad.

July 17 2009 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What can you expect from a group that nominates one show for four out of the five slots in each of the big two Outstanding Writing categories (30 Rock for Comedy and Mad Men for Drama)?

Now that's a "Let's get this over with and get outta here" move if I've ever seen one.

And yeah, the "If it's SF/F it sucks" stigma is still around.

July 17 2009 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BSG makes me so sad. It was such a great show for so long only to become mediocre due to the final hour of the show. I'm not suprised it got ignored by the Emmys although even with a great ending I doubt it would be recognized. Any awards show for television that snubs The Wire loses all credibility anyway.

July 17 2009 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Emmy responds: "Yeah? Guess you shouldn't have shark-jumped your entire series with that lackluster final season and ridiculous, asinine final episode then!"

July 17 2009 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While the acting, the effects and the music on the show were excellent, the writing was not.

Perhaps this will motivate future casts of this caliber to intervene more actively when a Moore delivers the disaster of a script that was the finale. If they refuse to perform such drivel, they'll get their Emmys.

Also, Rescue Me last year was a tad weak compared to previous seasons - and compared to their current season.

The Shield never really got the love it deserved.

July 17 2009 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You're taking the Emmy's seriously? You're kidding, right?

- This is the award show that gave a Best Actress in a So-Called Drama award to Katherine Heigl, who's probably one of the worst and most undeserving actresses out there.

- This is also the same award show that NEVER gave a damn nomination of any type for The Wire, which was one of the greatest shows in television history.

- This is also the same award show that has a category for Best Reality TV Show. Need I say more?

There would be absolutely ZERO chance that BSG would get honored by anyone at the Emmy's, short of a "Best Special Effects" category. Emmy voters like to reward themselves and ignore more deserving actors and television shows.

You should probably consider the Emmy's to be as credible as the MTV Movie Awards Show or the ESPN ESPY's.

July 17 2009 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mb's comment
Jason Hughes

Which is exactly the problem. I'd love to see a complete overhaul of the system. Rescue Me, The Shield, BSG, The Wire ... the list of deserving shows that got ignored because their favorite five shows were still on the air is criminal.

July 17 2009 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe the show just wasn't good this year. That's my opinion at least. I don't know why some people are afraid to say the show was hit-or-miss the last couple seasons, and usually miss.

July 17 2009 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to John's comment

As much as I hate to disagree with you, you are absolutely correct.

The season before the final one was probably the best, imho (where the Final Four are revealed).

July 17 2009 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Hughes

Considering Emmy honors the same shows year after year after year no matter how good or bad a particular year might be, I thought maybe they could take this chance to honor the entirety of BSG in its last season. Finally show that they at least knew the show was out there. Kind of like the Academy Awards honored the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy by honoring the last movie.

July 17 2009 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm not going to defend the Emmy nominations, which play it safe and ignore quality television all the time. But Battlestar's last season really *wasn't* very good. The show got a share of nominations (and wins) when it was much better and more deserving. Matter of opinion, of course, but I don't think the Emmy voters can really be faulted for sharing it. I can think of plenty of shows that got snubbed -- like The Shield -- that bother me more.

July 17 2009 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Fred's comment
Jason Hughes

Originally this piece was about The Shield and BSG, but someone else was covering The Shield so I shifted focus.

July 17 2009 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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