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October 9, 2015

TV Squad Ten: Emmy categories we desperately need

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 20th 2009 11:01AM
Emmy nominations 2009
The list of Emmy nominations have become the Hummer limo of the awards show world. They get longer and even more uncool, even though they are attempting to show just how cool they are with each passing year.

The whole system is in serious need of revamping. For the most part, the category structure hasn't changed in the last 50 years when then Academy President Rod Serling chose to eliminate favoritism by widening the playing field and the judging, a move so disastrous that no one has dared to even touch the system since then.

So if you're not going to revamp the process, at least add some categories that we wouldn't mind giving up four hours of sleep, exercise and our lives to wait for the winner.

10. Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Reality Series – If reality shows can get their own category, so should the people playing in them. It's no secret that reality shows are set up and faked to the brink of becoming its own comedy or drama. So why not reward a good performance with its own award? Crying on cue and faking hostility are, in their own sick and twisted way, a form of acting. If we reward actors for digging down deep into their soul to find the emotional core of a cold-blooded killer or an uncaring meth dealer, why not reward people who find the tenacity to make puppies cry with their raging douchebaggery?

9. Best News Screamer (aka the Howard Beale Lifetime Achievement Award) – Screaming takes hard work. Just ask Bruce Campbell. Your vocal chords get raw and scratchy. Your tongue feels like it's been bench-pressing a Buick. No amount of Listerine and salt water can cure the aching your throat feels when you've been ranting for a half-hour straight on how new corn subsidies have pushed America into a totalitarian Marxist regime. So if the ESPYs can reward athletes for their hard work on the field, the Emmys should reward the biggest and boldest screamers for laying it all out on the ice. This category alone would make the acceptance speeches entertaining.

8. Best Fake Show – Writing and producing a television show is hard. So just imagine the labor and confusion that can set in when a show has to produce a show within its own show. It must be like trying to build a car...inside another car! Such hard work deserves attention and the Academy would probably jump at this one because it would give them another excuse to provide 30 Rock with another nomination in the Emmy's ongoing and hilariously failing effort to look totally rad, man.

7. Best Attempt at a Southern Accent – This one is a bit personal so indulge me, if y'all will. I'm a born and bred native of New Orleans, La. but if you met me in person, you would never know it because I don't have a trace of a Southern accent. My nasal and shy voice makes you think you should hear the sound of an asthma inhaler every five syllables or so. Yet whenever a TV show attempts to take their show down south especially in my old neck of the woods, every "native" sounds like their voice coach is Larry the Cable Guy. So an award that rewards actors who attempt to sound educated and coherent would not only makes for interesting watching, but would keep me from going through so many TVs every year.

6. Best Awards Show – They are on TV and they actually do win awards, so just make it one single category and get it out of the way. Awards shows that award award shows with awards must make the aliens who used to pick up our analog signals think we're unprepared as a race. Just make it its own category and save us from the threat of galactic extinction.

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5. Outstanding Achievement in Attempting to Offend Everyone (aka the Smothers Brothers Career Achievement Award) – Some of the best shows don't just entertain you. They challenge you. They engage you. They push you out of your comfort zones and get you to question yourself in ways you never have before. They also make the collective stomachs of the Parents Television Council twist and turn into painful monkey fists. Any show that makes the whiny PTC pray for death as a way out of such endless pain deserves more than a tiny gold statue.

4. Best Pilot that Didn't Get Picked Up – The Internet has completely changed the way we watch television. Now if a show has trouble getting picked up by a network, they can generate all the buzz they need by slapping it on YouTube and giving the audience a chance to decide for themselves instead of an overpaid gasbag who thought Caveman was worthy of a whole season. These unaired heroes deserve the same consideration as Caveman did, which is more than they actually got...which would actually be, well, none.

3. Best Worst Show – Admit it. Not every show you watch is worthy of your time because you find it highly enlightening and provides a electron microscope-sized look into the heart of the human psyche. You're watching it because it's just bad, slowing down to get a longer look at a traffic accident bad, surfing the web for autopsy photos bad, Cop Rock bad. Special achievements deserve special recognition and making a train wreck happen takes hard work. First you gotta lift the spikes that feel as though they were pounded in by God. Then you have to lift the ties that weigh as much as a Kirstie Alley thigh...

2. Best Ego – Give a guy or a gal their own TV show and it's bound to go to his or her head faster than a latex umbrella in an acid rain outbreak. Some egos go all Jiffy Pop faster than others and blossom into a colorful Jackson Pollack exploration of profanity, selfishness and stubbornness that finds its way to the airwaves in new and exciting ways. This category knows no single network or genre of show and anyone would be welcome to grab at it, although Nancy Grace would probably be the odds-on favorite from year to year.

1. Outstanding Achievement in Craft Services – These are the tireless people who wake up earlier than the actors and make-up people do and spend their days slicing bagels and boiling coffee for people who probably only acknowledge their work with a nod, a glance or a quiz about whether or not a brand of butter contains omega three fatty acids. Some do much more than just make a run to the Dunkin' Donuts or the Starbucks for hot lattes and they deserve just as much respect as the overpaid actor who is throwing that hot latte in their crotch for not making it "foam free."

Did we cover everything or is there an Emmy category that we missed? Post it in the comments section below.

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Ditto for bad New York accents. There are so few non-New York actors who can pull it off. When they sound so bad I wonder how the director could let them film this way. It's rampant on L&O especially with the bit players who are infuriatingly bad, and like the "Gone with the Wind" analogy for bad southern accents, are attempting some bad Vinnie Barbarino imitation. I am always relieved when actors in NY settings decline to fake it, like Chris Noth on L&O or Patricia Heaton on Raymond. Brad Garrett's fake accent was atrocious even though he had Ray, Doris, and Peter to emulate.

I think Canadian Mike Meyers and Brit Marianne Jean-Baptiste come as close as you can to non-NYers mimicking the accent.

July 21 2009 at 2:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jennifer's comment

lol I noticed many of the "fake" nyc accents sound remarkably like they originated in hoboken or seacaucus!
As far as the fake southern accents, maybe they get their actors from lower delaware, most of the people in the region sound like they've been transplanted from the heart of the carolinas.

July 21 2009 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also use the Gone With The Wind comparison. For example, when Zeljko Ivanek was on Damages I couldn't understand how he was getting huge acclaim for his role. His accent was so bad I couldn't listen to him. I expected him to say "Fiddle-dee-dee" at any moment.

July 21 2009 at 2:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best Pilot that Didn't Get Picked Up...

I nominate "Virtuality"

Should also have "Best Canceled Show"

July 20 2009 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Also forgot best "TV website that is willing to throw in politics at any point it can"

Tee-hee-hee, I know who would win the Emmy. :(

July 20 2009 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

i believe that miniseries and made for tv movies should have separate categories for the actors and actresses in them It's not fair to compare the performances in John Adams to those in the HBO movie Recount if there were separate categories than kevin spacey would have had a better chance at an emmy which i feel he deserved

July 20 2009 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Even though I know this is all written in jest, I do think that the Emmy's should include a "Best Child Actor" category. There may be a small pool of contenders, but I think there are a few who deserve the recognition.
(David Malcom Kelley from LOST comes to mind; only if it was 2004-05ish).

July 20 2009 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

9. Best News Screamer (aka the Howard Beale Lifetime Achievement Award): Jim Cramer gets a lifetime achievement recognition for this much needed award.

Also, the guy who portrays Larry the Cable Guy is born and raised in that southern state of Kansas. Yet another example of a Yankee carpet bagger trying to make his way off the backs of fine, up standing southerners.

July 20 2009 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Al Gore invented the internet so someone clearly mentally challenged could post drivel like this?

Beyond annoyingly moronic ... you inadvertently elevate Larry the Cable Guy by comparison.

July 20 2009 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lmike14's comment

Come on, this is pretty creative stuff! I enjoyed it -- but I would hesitate to call it good writing, given the subject-verb disagreement in the lede.

The award for Best (Worst?) Ego would have to go to Ryan Seacrest.

As for the Southern Accent Award, I think there are worse offenders on the big screen, though the L&O franchises always put up a few contenders.

July 20 2009 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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