2010 Emmys: Little Glee, but awards generally got it right

Archie Punjabi. Girl, where did you come from?

Punjabi snagged the outstanding supporting actress in a drama statue at the 62nd annual Emmy Awards in an upset for her supporting role on CBS’ The Good Wife. But once again the basic cable network dominated the drama categories with three for three for AMC. The only other serious contenders in outstanding drama were the aptly named Lost and The Good Wife, which wasn’t good enough. Mad Men deservedly won Outstanding Drama for the third year in the role, and the amazing Bryan Cranston took home Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama For Breaking Bad.

And finally we saw some Emmy love for Breaking Bad supporting actor Aaron Paul, who really cranked out the best performance of the season as meth dealer Jesse, The morally challenged Jesse showed his compassion when he tried to stop dealers from using kids and putting them into the line of fire. Meanwhile Cranston’s character sunk deeper into the dark side.

As the lone broadcast winner in the major drama categories, Punjabi belted out a stunning performance this year as the enigmatic investigator Kalinda, but she had some stiff competition in the category including veteran actress Sharon Gless.

Gless’ solid rep among Emmy voters might have given her an edge, but her series Burn Notice just didn’t have the gravitas to pull it off. Mad Men candidates Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss probably canceled each other out with equally deserving performances. But Punjabi was able to ease out both Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) and Rose Byrne (Damages) to take the win.

And there’s no joy in Gleekville. The mighty Glee virtually struck out despite a whopping 19 nominations. If not for Jane Lynch’s win in the supporting actress in a comedy win and creator Ryan Murphy’s nod for directing, the show was shut out of all the major awards. Glee was expected to be a big winner, since it snagged so many nominations. But it isn’t easy for an hourlong series to best half hours in the comedy competition. Modern Family not only rocked, but it also was a better fit for the category.

As Nurse Jackie, Edie Falco’s win marked the second time an actress won in the category for a performance that has as more pathos than laughs. Last year Toni Collette took home the gold for her role as the multi-personality housewife Tara in United States of Tara.

Falco’s win was the first time in the history of the Emmys that an actress has taken both a lead actress award (The Sopranos) and lead actress in a comedy.

The only other upset of the night was Top Chef unseating The Amazing Race, which has dominated since the category was introduced in 2003. That seven-year lucky streak came to an end tonight when Top Chef shut it down.

That came as a shock to many in the audience, who thought that the reality competition category might go to American Idol as a farewell gift to Simon Cowell. Instead, the Bravo series beat out the big dogs Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and Project Runway for the win.

In the Variety category, hopes were running high that NBC would get the ultimate slap down when the network hosting the Emmys would have to listen to an acceptance speech from ejected host Conan O’Brien. Instead, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart kept up its winning streak by going for eight wins in a row.

You would think that by now, they could at least come up with an entertaining acceptance speech.

Hands down, this was the worst of the night and makes you wonder why they didn’t have one of their very talented writers come up with something more acceptable. I blame Stewart for not even showing up. At least he might have provided some comic relief.

There was a minor ripple caused when front runner Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), who had taken the Golden Globe, SAG and TV Critics Association awards for her starring role, was shunned in favor of Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer). Margulies probably had the space all set on her growing mantle of awards when it slipped through her fingers.

While Margulies and those who handicap these TV awards might have been shocked at Emmy no-show for Margulies, those who watched the The Good Wife and Kyra Sedgwick’s masterful season of The Closer knew who earned the Emmy this year: Sedgwick.

She’s been working this character for a couple of years, unlike Margulies’ freshman effort. There’s still plenty of time for Margulies to use that space on the shelf for a 2011 Emmy.

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