James Spader? Really?

I was resigned to James Gandolfini getting the award over Hugh Laurie, but I can’t resign myself to Spader getting it over both of them. Give the guy credit, though, for a funny and humble acceptance speech. It’s not his fault the Emmy voters keep voting for him.

I refuse to rant. I didn’t think this was Laurie’s year, what with Gandolfini being a lock, so I’m not as outraged as I might otherwise have been. And if House had won over The Sopranos, I might have felt almost like House was the James Spader of Outstanding Dramas. Almost, I said. Come on, it was the final season of a hugely influential, critically acclaimed, audience beloved series.

Other random Emmy thoughts:

Ryan Seacrest is no Hugh Laurie, but I admit, he charmed me with his low-key, self-deprecating performance (confession: I’ve always thought he was likable, just overexposed – on the other hand, I don’t watch American Idol so I’ve had limited exposure to him). I liked the theatre-in-the-round approach at first, until it became apparent that the Academy needs to liquor up those people in the backdrop so they look like they’re not comatose. The Family Guy intro would have been a lot funnier if they’d had the guts to skewer their own network, too.

There are about 10 hours of award ceremonies sandwiched between the categories I care about, but in there somewhere I swear I saw Frankie Valli songs somehow acting as a tribute to The Sopranos. And Tony Bennett shilling for Target.

My Emmy prediction success rate:

The benefit of doing the head, heart, and random number generator thing is that I can claim an astounding success ratio since I had 2-3 picks for each category.

  1. Drama Series: The Sopranos – my head picked that one.
  2. Comedy Series: 30 Rock – love it, but didn’t pick it. Tina Fey gets bonus comedy points for thanking their dozens and dozens of viewers.
  3. Lead Actor in a Drama: James Spader. Are you frickin’ kidding me?
  4. Lead Actress in a Comedy: America Ferrera – my head and heart agreed on this one.
  5. Lead Actress in a Drama: Sally Field – nope.
  6. Lead Actor in a Comedy: Ricky Gervais – Random Number Generator picked him.
  7. Supporting Actress in a Drama: Katherine Heigl – my head picked her.
  8. Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Jaime Pressly – my head was torn, but went with Jenna Fischer instead.
  9. Supporting Actor in a Drama: Terry O’Quinn – my head picked him.
  10. Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Jeremy Piven – Random Number Generator got this one.
  11. Writing for a Comedy: Greg Daniels of The Office – my heart picked it.
  12. Writing for a Drama: David Chase of The Sopranos – my head picked it.

So to tabulate, that’s 8/12 right. Sure it’s cheating to combine all the guesses, but who cares? For you sticklers, though, it’s 5/12 for my head, 2/12 for the heart, and 2/12 for Random Number Generator. Yay head. You are nearly 50-50 in predicting the asinine voting habits of the Emmys.

I bet you expected more rage, given the House shut-out, right? Nope. I’m all cried out from last year.

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9 Responses to James Spader? Really?

  1. Teresa says:

    I’m sorry Hugh didn’t win Diane; I know you are very keen on his performances and honestly so am I. I’m a devoted fan of House, and I’ve watched enough Sopranos to know I want to sit down and watch all of it poperly, (logistics have just never allowed for it) but I can’t be unhappy that Spader won. I find the chemistry between Spader and Shatner absolutely perfect and Spader’s interactions with the rest of the cast are likewise subtle or sharp or ironic or vulnerable as the scripts demand. I think he’s a super actor in his role as Alan Shore and I’m glad his talent was recognised. I’d have been equally pleased had it been Hugh.

  2. Diane Kristine says:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, Teresa. I find James Spader incredibly hammy on that show, the few times I managed to sit through more than a few minutes of it, though I’ve liked him elsewhere. And the Emmys have recognized him for that role twice before, if you count the same role on The Practice. He deserves three wins to Hugh Laurie’s none? No sale 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well Diane, we FINALLY agree on something!!
    (See your #3).
    Are you frickin’ kidding me?????
    HUGH LAURIE robbed AGAIN?????????
    The Emmys S*CK!!

  4. Diane Kristine says:

    FINALLY! I’ve been waiting for this day for … um … who are you again?

  5. souker says:

    hi Diane
    this is the first time i am posting a comment and what i want to say is this: Hugh Laurie is a great actor and perhaps better than James Spader. But unfortunately for him, the whole House MD 3rd season is running around in circles, it’s not as good as the 2 previous seasons and that IS reflected on Hugh Laurie’s performance (that goes for the rest of the actors also), although i think that if it was someone else in his place, i would have lost all interest. Perhaps i am too hard on the actors or the writers. But then again i think e.g. of the episode “Words and deeds” and i know i am not. I hope that the next season will be more interesting and more consistent, and then i am sure that Hugh Laurie will be there next year to accept the EMMY, and for a much more deserving performance.
    Thank you for your insightful reviews.

  6. Diane Kristine says:

    Thanks Souker. I’m not sure the Emmy voters agree, given that they nominated House as Outstanding Drama, or that any issues with the season would be reflected in the voting – Keifer Sutherland was nominated, after all.

    But I’m not really outraged that Hugh Laurie lost to James Spader again – I’m outraged that James Spader won, period. I think Gandolfini deserved it more than Spader, too. My favourite theory which I heard elsewhere is that the sentient vote was split between Gandolfini and Laurie, and the lazy vote won the day.

  7. Teresa says:

    Diane said:
    the Emmys have recognized him for that role twice before, if you count the same role on The Practice. He deserves three wins to Hugh Laurie’s none?

    To be honest, I hadn’t remembered that. Indeed it makes me sort of uncomfortable to think about how ‘fair’ that is. Would you be upset if it had been Hugh winning a second or third time? I’m just not sure how much past wins or lack of wins should count in the selection process…

    I follow both House and Boston Legal dilligently. Perhaps I can appreciate the dynamic between Spader and Shatner in a way those who don’t watch the show all the time don’t get to notice.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Diane, I agree with you about the sentimental vote being split between Hugh and Gandolfini. The Sopranos was a terrific show. I’ve seen it all. I had resigned myself to the fact that it would win Best Drama, despite the fact that the final season just didn’t live up to the rest, and that Hugh would lose out to Gandolfini. I thought I must have been dreaming when Spader was announced. Season 4 is up in a week. And I can’t wait!!

  9. Mary says:

    The quote from Hugh Laurie below is from almost the very end of a 21 December 2003 interview by
    Jasper Gerard in the London “Times,” available online at:

    “As for roles he might play, he says: “Something tortured and profound would be a big challenge. I hope I don’t spend my entire life pulling silly faces and saying ‘By jove’. But perhaps I will.”

    Is Gregory House “tortured”? I’d say yes, most of it self-inflicted, and his friendship with James Wilson is certainly a tortured one. “Profound”? “Three Stories” and “One Day, One Room” were profound storytelling, and it’s a rare episode that, for me, doesn’t have at least one moment that makes me watch closely and think hard about some difficult issue.

    Like Diane Kristine, I expected “The Sopranos” to sweep the Emmys because it was the last opportunity to give that program and its cast awards. I watched the Emmys for the first time in more than 20 years because I thought it possible that the voters would surprise me by finally giving Hugh Laurie an Emmy. They surprised me, all right, but not in the way I expected. I do want to be watching when Hugh Laurie gets an Emmy, because I think it’s overdue.

    I don’t know what the ratings for “House M.D” are in other countries, but I do know that, in North America at least, Hugh Laurie is not going to be remembered for “pulling silly faces and saying ‘By jove.'”

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