Emmy nominations: Marcus Dixon’s good, bad and ugly

Many people say “Breaking Bad” is one of the Best Drama series of all time, but throughout the show’s first four seasons, this AMC hit never managed to snag a Best Writing nomination to help give credence to people’s theories. Until now. “Breaking Bad” not only managed its first writing nod, but it managed to score two bids in this category: one for George Mastras (“Dead Freight”) and one for Thomas Schnauz (“Say My Name”).

Hooray to Netflix for reaping 14 Emmy nominations this morning, including four biggies: Best Drama Series for “House of Cards,” its lead stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and Jason Bateman as Comedy Lead Actor for “Arrested Development.” 2013 will go down in Emmy history as the year non-mainstream media finally broke through.

Mandy Patinkin is the heart of “Homeland,” but somehow he ended up on the snubbing room floor last year. Thankfully the Emmys corrected their error this year by recognizing Patinkin, as well as first-timer Morena Baccarin. And with last year’s winners Claire Danes and Damian Lewis also back in action, “Homeland” received nominations in all four of the major acting categories. (If you count Rupert Friend in the Guest Actor race, the show’s performance tally jumps to five.)

My personal favorite movie/miniseries “American Horror Story: Asylum” ended up matching last year’s impressive haul of 17 nominations, earing the title as this year’s most-recognized program. They picked up acting bids for the very deserving Jessica Lange as well as supporting players Sarah Paulson, Zachary Quinto and James Cromwell.

The Bible” miniseries was getting a bit too big for its loincloth in past months — record DVD sales! a feature film adaptation! a spin-off series! — so it was good to see the Emmys knock it down a few pegs and humble it with only three nominations.

Farewell hugs to “The Office” and “30 Rock,” particularly in the Best Comedy Writing race for their series finales. While both shows have fallen well out of their primes, it’s still nice to see a final nomination where it really counts: with the auteurs who made us laugh throughout the years.

Two of last year’s Emmy winners — Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family“) as Comedy Supporting Actor and Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men“) as Comedy Lead Actor — failed to get nominations today. And yes, that’s a good thing. I’ve been saying for years that the Emmys should award new blood each year, and with the elimination of these two top contenders, that could very well happen this go around.

Nominating Robert Morse as Drama Guest Actor yet again for his never-evolving performance on “Mad Men” smells of laziness from Emmy voters. There were far more deserving men in this category who made a huge impact, namely Jimmy Smits (“Sons of Anarchy“) and Jim Beaver (“Justified“), but seriously, nominating anyone else over Morse would have been an improvement.

The nominees for Variety Series and Reality-Competition Program are duplicates of last year. Yawn. But at least Anthony Bordain (“The Taste”) and Tim Gunn (“Project Runway“) managed to snag their first nominations in the Reality Host category.

Whether you loved or hated the new season of “Arrested Development,” everyone was in agreement that Will Arnett and Jessica Walter should have received nominations in the supporting categories. Everyone, that is, except for Emmy voters.

Congrats to Vera Farmiga for getting into the tough Drama Lead Actress race for “Bates Motel,” but shame on the Emmys for letting that be the cult show’s sole nomination across the board.

Ties in the top races. Two major categories this year — Drama Actress and Comedy Supporting Actress — ended up with seven nominations instead of the normal six. If they’re gonna let extra contenders squeak by in some categories, they should increase all of the major categories to seven to make things even.

Snubbing red-hot “New Girl” in all of the major categories really was a mistake and proves the Emmy voters sometimes just don’t have the time to watch everything on TV. Last year’s nominees Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield didn’t return to the nomination block, and potential contender Jake Johnson failed to make a dent in the Comedy Lead Actor race. All were deserving.

A shame the Emmys were so influenced by the spiteful critics when it came to snubbing “The Newsroom.” This is a truly genius show for HBO, and it deserved more than just nominations for Jeff Daniels as Best Drama Actor, Jane Fonda as Drama Guest Actress, and Main Title Design.

Fan-favorite “Survivor” nabbed an impressive six nominations in the tech categories (more than “The Amazing Race” and “Project Runway” at five each), but still couldn’t return to the top races of Best Reality-Competition or Best Reality Host (Jeff Probst). Why do the Emmys continue to treat this fantastic show like second-class fare?


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