Not Perfect But Still Great Choices
My Reactions To This Year’s Critic’s Choice TV Nominations, Part 1: Drama
As those of you who have been following my column for awhile are aware, my favorite awards for television for the past decade has been the Broadcast Critics Awards for Television. Unlike so many other awards shows, they have always been superb at recognizing the frequently missed television series that the Emmys and the now controversial Golden Globes usually did.
Then in late July when the Hollywood Critics Association did their first ever TV awards, those of you have followed my column recently know that I went into a singular level of ecstasy at their nominating process, the shows they ended up nominated and perhaps most remarkably of all, the winners. I had a level of satisfaction with the HCA that I’ve also never had with so many other award groups. So one of the questions going through my mind this past week, could the Broadcast Critics do as a good a job as the HCA?
The answer, perhaps inevitably, was no. But that’s only because of the high bar the HCA set in July and August. By the standards of any other awards group — including their own — the Broadcast Critics did by far an exceptional job. I’ll admit there was a certain amount of excess given to a couple of shows (and those of you who follow my blog will probably know where I’m going very quickly) but otherwise, they did their usual superlative job. Indeed, it’s hard not to be impressed by the caliber of the nominees in almost every category. And given the immense controversy surrounding the Golden Globes, the fact it will probably not be broadcast even though they still intend to have a ceremony, and the fact that both the CW and TBS will be broadcasting it this year, there is a very good chance that the Critics Choice could deserved fill the gap the Golden Globes has vacated. Given their respective track records over the past decade, it’s hard to argue which has been doing the better job.
So without further ado, my reactions to this year’s nominees. As always, I start with Drama:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
I knew they would go for Succession in a big way, but eight nominations? This is really ridiculous. Then again, considering this an HBO show and these are the Roys maybe I shouldn’t be that shocked. Let’s just move on.
This is Us and Pose deserved their spots here. I’m grateful to see the continued recognition of The Good Fight and overjoyed to see Evil get its due. (I know that doesn’t sound right, but still…) I’ve been meaning to get around to Yellowjackets for weeks; now I have a legitimate reason. Given everything that happened these past weeks, I’m not that surprised to see Squid Game here.
For All Mankind is the odd one out — no corresponding acting nominations. I guess the Critics Choices just can’t find it in their heart to nominate The Morning Show. Would I have liked to see Cruel Summer here? Sure. But I’ll be honest; I thought it was miracle it showed up at the HCA. I’ll let it pass.
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Hard to complain about any of the choices, especially considering that the ethnic lineup is better than it was for the Emmys in September. Billy Porter and Sterling K. Brown more than deserve to be here, and much as I dislike Succession I can’t exactly ignore the talent of Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong. Glad to see Mike Colter back in his remarkable work in Evil. Not as sure about Lee Jung-Jae for Squid Game but really the only person I might have nominated in his place is Kevin Bacon or Aldis Hodge for City on a Hill so I’m fine.
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Even fewer complaints. Excuse me a moment YES! THEY NOMINATED CHIARA AURELIA FOR CRUEL SUMMER! THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Back to business.
No complaints about the rest of the group. Uzo Aduba and MJ Rodriguez more than deserve to be here, considering how hard I pushed for them last year for Emmys. Always glad to see Christine Baranski around for The Good Fight. Thought that Katja Herbers more than deserved recognition for Evil last season; glad she got her due. The only reason I might have a problem with Melanie Lynskey is because I don’t know whether Juliette Lewis deserved it more. Otherwise I’m an admirer of her work, and I’m glad she got nominated. No problems.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Getting a little over the top with our Succession love aren’t we? Well, Kieran Culkin was always going to get nominated and I guess Nicholas Braun and Matthew MacFayden’s double act is popular. As for the other three, Justin Hartley never gets his due from the Emmys, Billy Crudup was likely to get nominated anyway and I’m always glad to see Mandy Patinkin competing for Emmys. Still, with all the love they were showing Evil, they couldn’t throw in one nomination for Michael Emerson? But maybe that’s all part of his plan…! I’d have liked to see one of the patients from In Treatment too.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Mostly happy. Susan Kalechi Watson has deserved recognition just as much as Hartley for This is Us. I’m always glad to see Audra McDonald recognized for her work on The Good Fight. Christine Lahti’s work on Evil was superb before she was promoted to series regular. I don’t know what Andrea Martin current does as her costar, but I can’t wait to find out.
I’m actually relatively fine with Succession’s nominees as well. Sarah Snook’s performance has always been the most interesting of the Roy children, and I always thought J. Smith-Cameron is quietly one of the best things about the series as the Roy family’s eternally put-upon lawyer. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Dominique Jackson from Pose or Christina Ricci for Yellowjackets, but it’s a solid group.
Tomorrow, I’ll move on to comedy, where I’m actually pretty much as happy there as I was with drama, if not happier.