Should 'Mad Men' Really Chase After More Emmy Noms?
by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 2nd 2010 11:02AM
Yesterday, Brad told you about how the 'Mad Men' powers that be are figuring out how to improve their chances at the Emmys. It was strange to think that a show as successful as 'Mad Men' was angling for a way to get more awards, but there is a reasoning behind the strategy. You see, even though 'Mad Men' has consistently been honored for the show and the writing and direction, the actors -- Jon Hamm, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, etc. -- have been shut out. That's irksome. Not one Emmy for acting. Plenty of nominations, but no wins.
With that in mind, this year January Jones will be offered up in the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series category and Elisabeth Moss will be slotted in Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The idea is that spreading them out will increase the chances that they'll both get nominated, and -- perhaps -- both win. Similarly, Jon Hamm will be the lone Outstanding Actor offering and John Slattery, Robert Morse, Bryan Batt and Vincent Kartheiser (among others!) can vie for Supporting Actor recognition.
Here's the problem: the fact that the 'Mad Men' folks are so anxious for nominations might have a boomerang effect, resulting in a backlash. Are they really doing Elisabeth Moss a favor by sticking her in the supporting category? She has episodes in which she is the lead actress, as much as January Jones is. The same holds true for Christina Hendricks.
The 'Mad Men' cast is a brilliant ensemble, so it's more difficult to fit them into the standard Emmy categories. Seriously, it's no surprise that at the SAG awards, the entire cast has been honored in back to back years, 2009 and 2010. The Screen Actors Guild recognizes the ensemble, as well as the individuals.
Regarding January Jones in particular, her situation is tough. She has done amazing work as Betty, but compare her status on 'Mad Men' to Glenn Close on 'Damages,' Sally Field on 'Brother & Sisters,' Mariska Hargitay on 'Law & Order: SVU.' Those actresses are all Emmy winners, stars who have the clout and experience that warrants a respect January Jones has yet to achieve. And unlike Kyra Sedgwick in 'The Closer' or Julianna Margulies in 'The Good Wife,' there is no way that 'Mad Men' could be considered 'The January Jones Show' the way you could with the other two ladies, is there?
The competition is just as tough in supporting actress land. Elisabeth Moss will be nominated, and Christina Hendriks should be as well, but there are many great supporting actresses currently employed, like Chloe Sevigny on 'Big Love' -- and her sister-wives -- '24's' Cherry Jones, Christine Baranski on 'The Good Wife,' the 'Grey's Anatomy' ladies, et. al. And if Anna Gunn doesn't get nominated for 'Breaking Bad,' it'll be a sin.
The way it looks, 'Mad Men' is likely to win a plethora of nominations. There's little doubt about that. Winning, however, is really something that cannot be planned. It's all up to the voters and every group that judges has their own criteria. The worst thing that Matt Weiner and company could do is try to change what they're doing in an attempt to get January Jones or Elisabeth Moss an Emmy. Please, no 'very special episodes' for Emmy consideration. That would be the kiss of death for a show like 'Mad Men.'
By the way, the nominations for the 62nd Primetime Emmys won't be announced until Thursday, July 8. The ceremony will take place Sunday, August 29 on NBC.