Another year, another slew of disappointments. That’s usually how it goes, right? While this year is not as egregious as some of the errors of years past, but as Myles McNutt points out, there’s always some disappointment to go along. Among the positive aspects, FX finally picked up some nods for a show other than Damages, with 2 nods for Louie and 3 nods for Justified. (Sadly, there’s nothing for Sons of Anarchy.) As for what got snubbed…well’s that a much bigger pile. (Seriously, you’re going to get sick of me talking about how much Community and Terriers got snubbed this year.)
For each category, I will offer my suggestions for who I think should have been nominated instead (as well as who they should replace), as well as who I think should and will win from the list of nominees. As need, I will also throw in a little analysis of the nominee list as a whole.
Please note that since I have not seen enough of them, I am forgoing the various Movie+Miniseries categories, and because I’m not a fan, I’m similarly skipping all talk of reality/competition/non-fiction categories. You can find a full list here.
Or why cancelling Men of a Certain Age is harmful to television as a whole
Yesterday during my daily stroll through my the usual websites, I came across two open letters – one from Alan Sepinwall, the other from Mo Ryan – both extolling the virtues of Men of a Certain Age and reasoning/pleading with TNT to give the show a third season, and another chance to gain a substantial audience. As a fan of the show, my heart leapt while reading these two well-formed, intellectual, and heart-felt pleas for a fantastic show that for various reasons has never had a chance to connect with people. Though I finished these letters filled with a sense of elation, soon cold logic began to set in. I have seen this tactic used with shows in the past – most notably Terriers last fall – and never to my recollection have open letters saved a show. (Subway sandwiches and bags of peanuts are another story.)
This is not to say that the critics stumping for the shows are doing anything wrong, or that they are wasting their time trying to rope in new viewers through something other than advertising. As a fellow TV lover, I understand the compulsion to do whatever it takes to save a flailing show, and I respect these critics for taking these steps for a show that deserves it. This, then, is not a piece meant to decry those critics for their work. Rather, it is the failure of these open letters to make an impact, and the nature of the shows that tend to have such letters written, that reveal important trends in the viewing habits of the Average Viewer, the understanding of which is key to Men’s renewal.