For some, watching a Hollywood awards show is akin to watching the NCAA basketball tournament. There are odds involved and favorites for whom you’re pulling for a variety of reasons. The winners wind up basking in the media spotlight, at least for a day or two.
Ever since becoming a parent, I’ve paid much more attention to the Emmy and Golden Globe awards, particularly the Globes’ TV nominations, because my pop culture world has become much more focused on television, which is completely accessible and doesn’t cost me $10+ per hour in babysitting fees to watch. (Netflix revolutionized my movie watching – no late fees! -- but that’s another story.) So when the Emmys  roll around, I make a little parlor game out of taking the list of nominees and figuring out who I want to win and who think will win. Nearly every time, though, my heart trumps my brain and I correctly predict only about 50 percent of the winners, just like when I fill out my NCAA brackets and have my sentimental favorites making it much farther than they could realistically think of going.
Now that the nominations for the September 21 Emmy ceremony  have been announced, I’ve decided to weigh in on some of the best nominations, at least as far as roles involving parental storylines (the type I follow here at Mommy Track’d), as well as those folks who have been snubbed.
Among my favorites:
In nearly every place for which I write, I have trumpeted the amazing freshman season of AMC’s Mad Men,  the show set in 1960 and is superbly written and acted. Leading man Jon Hamm – as Don Draper, the emotionally wounded, womanizing, haunted New York City advertising executive and married father of two living in the ‘burbs – was exquisite, as was January Jones’ portrayal of his quiet wife Betty, who is slowly awakening from her suburban housewife slumber. The series and Hamm both deserve their nominations. (Sadly, there was no nod for Jones.)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her kooky divorced working mom character Christine Campbell got props again this year as the star of CBS’ The New Adventures of Old Christine  is up for best actress in a comedy. This satirical show which lampoons hyper-parenting just keeps getting better as it gets more comfortable in its own skin.
While I have mixed feelings about the ABC show Brothers & Sisters  – I think it’s sometimes dreadfully ham-fisted – I do think that the two actresses nominated for their work in this series earned their kudos. Sally Field, as family matriarch Nora Walker -- dealing with her soldier son who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being injured in Iraq -- emoted well, as did Rachel Griffiths (much better in Six Feet Under) as her adult daughter Sarah Whedon who oversaw the near-bankruptcy of the family business while wading through the minefield of a messy divorce and custody battle.
Other well deserved nominations included a Mommy Track’d favorite, working mom Dr. Miranda Bailey of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy  played with awesome ferocity by Chandra Wilson; Laura Linney as the colonial era powerhouse Abigail Adams in the HBO miniseries John Adams  (the early scenes where she’s pregnant, tending the fields, taking care of kids AND providing key counsel to her husband while he’s off being revolutionary made me grateful to be living in the 21st century) and, my favorite evil TV dad, Michael Emerson whose Benjamin Linus character watched as his adopted daughter was killed as he was trying to protect the mysterious island, home to the Lost castaways .
Among the snubbed:
Three words. Say them with me: Friday. Night. Lights . Connie Britton kicked some serious Texas behind as Tami Taylor in the sophomore season of the NBC football drama. I likewise adore her big-hearted husband played by Kyle Chandler. What’s up with the Emmy silence? Again?
Where the heck, my dear Emmy voters, are the nominations for HBO’s Big Love ? Certainly Jeanne Tripplehorn’s portrayal of the troubled “first wife” in a three-wife polygamist marriage deserved, at the very least, a nomination. Tripplehorn’s Barbara Henrickson threatened to leave the marriage early on in the show’s second season as she enrolled in college classes en route to returning to work now that her youngest is well into grade school and her older two are teenagers. Tripplehorn gave a nuanced, beautiful performance of the agony of a situation we only read about in headlines datelined from polygamist sects in
While HBO’s intense therapy program In Treatment  got a nomination for the two therapists – one for Gabriel Byrne as Paul Weston, a therapist and father of a difficult teenaged daughter in a dying marriage, and the other for HIS therapist, Dianne Wiest as Gina Toll – where was the nomination for the heartbreaking, anorexic, potentially sexually abused teen Sophie, played by Mia Wasikowska? Speaking of therapy, HBO’s other emotionally raw drama about therapy, Tell Me You Love Me , got no love. None for the melancholy, suburban, long-married couple in a sexually dormant marriage. None for the sharp-edged sophisticated married couple trying to overcome infertility.
So Mommy Track’d readers, I’m throwing this out to you: Who will you be rooting for to win awards on September 21? Who was snubbed? Who’s a shoe-in to take home the trophy? Let’s talk TV.