Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert chatted with readers about the Emmy nominations last Thursday on Boston.com. Here are excerpts.
Q. Matthew, sorry but your drama choices are the equivalent of those art-house Academy Award films. Your taste is just too refined. Throw the masses a nomination once in a while, Academy. That’s who actually watches TV dramas.
A. Look at you, Mr. Populist! I still think shows need to be judged on quality, and not audience size. I’m not suggesting that the Emmys always do nominate based on quality. But that should be the ideal. And on that level, it’s hard for the networks to compete with cable channels, which produce fewer episodes and have more creative license. They don’t need to compromise for advertisers.
Q. “Spartacus” should be in. I don’t get “Girls” – take away the sex shock factor and it’s just a bunch of shrieking. Is it just because Lena Dunham is so “brave”?
A. Wait, pro “Spartacus,” anti “Girls”? Hmm. “Spartacus” is so cheesy! I think Dunham is “brave” for being so real, not just physically but emotionally and intellectually. She’s not another one of the overly clever and gorgeous 20-somethings who are all over TV. She’s a very long way from “Friends” and other urban ensemble comedies.
Q. Why did “American Horror Story” get so many nominations? It wasn’t very good.
A. FX made the decision to nominate it as a miniseries, since the cast and story will change every year. And the miniseries categories are so much less crowded and easier to get into. If “American Horror Story” were nominated in the series categories, it might only have gotten a couple of nods, as opposed to the 17 nominations it did get. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a series – an anthology series – and belongs in the running with other series.
Q. I think there’s just too much love for “Modern Family.” This past season was a pale imitation of previous seasons, yet everyone but the caterer got a nod.
A. I have to agree. The Emmys are too automatic when it comes to that show. “Modern Family” is clogging up the supporting nominations. There’s no excuse for excluding Nick Offerman of “Parks and Recreation” and Adam Pally of “Happy Endings.”
Q. Is “Mad Men” going to break the record with a fifth win or not?
A. I think voters may actually go for something new this time — could be “Downton Abbey,” since they clearly love the show, giving it 16 nominations. I liked “Mad Men” this year, but it felt a little like an “in between” season in some ways.
Q. “30 Rock” does not deserve that best comedy nomination for this past season. It’s a slap in the face to the comedies on the same channel that did have a good year (“Community,” “Parks & Recreation”).
A. I may have to agree with you, even though I am a huge supporter of “30 Rock.” I am often awed by what the “30 Rock” writers come up with every week. They’ve got media satire DOWN. But the show didn’t have a consistent season, whereas “Parks and Recreation,” with the campaign plot, was totally on.
Q. Why don’t shows on USA get any love?
A. Interesting. The USA dramas may be too lite for the Emmys, although USA did score with “Monk.” I bet next year will see nominations for Sigourney Weaver and “Political Animals,” which is on USA now. She’s one of those “we’re so honored you’re willing to do TV” actresses, like Glenn Close. They get auto-noms.