Yesterday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for the 61st annual Emmy Awards. As usual, the Sopranos earned the most nominations, with nods for -- what's that? The Sopranos has been off the air for a couple years? Old habits die hard, I guess. In fact, there were some pleasant surprises on this year's list.
First, there was the list of nominees for outstanding comedy series. Along with stalwarts like 30 Rock and The Office, I was glad to see CBS's How I Met Your Mother pick up its first nomination. I fell out of watching sitcoms regularly long ago, but this show's combination of clever storytelling and inspired jokes really hits the spot. Plus it's nice to see a show about friends who actually seem to, you know, like each other.
Neil Patrick Harris (the award show's host) also picked up an acting nod for his portrayal of Barney, the pick-up artist, which is well deserved. But I think the real MVP of How I Met Your Mother is Jason Segel, who you may remember from many Judd Apatow projects, or his starring role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Segel doesn't get the credit he deserves because his character is such a straight arrow -- not as flashy as NPH's Barney -- but his imprint is all over the show, and his brand of comedy much more subtle.
In a groundbreaking move, Fox's Family Guy was nominated not for best animated show, but for best comedy series. Look, I like Family Guy. It's hit-or-miss, but the hits can be murderously funny. But do you know what this means? This means we now live in a world where Family Guy has been nominated for outstanding comedy series, but the Simpsons never has. That is insane. The Simpsons, meanwhile, was nominated for best animated series once more, an honor it stopped deserving about 15 years ago.
I could go on, especially about how the painfully dull Entourage shouldn't even qualify as a comedy, or how Flight of the Conchords deserves a category all its own, but overall the Academy acquitted itself well this year. Good on them.
What did you think about this year's Emmy nominations? Did the Academy nominate any dogs, or omit any gems?
(By the way, I don't even really watch TV. I swear.)