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The CatDoggys (Part 2)

Posted September 17th, 2011 at 1:38 PM by Mr Cat Dog

To all 69 of you who read my first entry and were left in longing anticipation for the second instalment, your worries are now over. Presenting:

The CatDoggy Awards: Drama

Same rules as the previous post, although I do break one of them for one category... I'm only human.

Outstanding Lead Actor
  • Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire
  • Gabriel Byrne – In Treatment
  • Kyle Chandler – Friday Night Lights
  • Jon Hamm – Mad Men
  • Donal Logue – Terriers
  • Timothy Olyphant – Justified
Despite the fact that most TV is geared towards white males aged 18-49, this was a surprisingly hard category to fill. Separating the wheat from the chaff proved to be a hard endeavour and, like the comedic side of this category, I'd like to probably cap myself at three or four... but I'm a completist, so six it is. Buscemi does his thing as Nucky Thompson, and he's perfectly fine in his role, but he doesn't really elevate it to the level that Boardwalk Empire often requires of him. And Donal Logue is nice and shaggy, and occasionally dug down to his dark side in Terriers, but it wasn't really enough for the gravity of the role. Since the show has been cancelled, I guess we'll never know how low he could go. The others, on the other hand, are all kinds of brilliant. Byrne manages to make being passive feel like an acting marathon (and given the production schedule of In Treatment, he probably had the hardest job out of all the nominees). Chandler has been doing the same routine for five years now, yet manages to inject so much heart and vitality into Coach Taylor; this is definitely not a case of treading water. And Olyphant nearly stole this category with his wonderful monologues and cool swagger. But there was always going to be one winner: hopefully he'll repeat this feat on Sunday, but Jon Hamm has been even more of a revelation than usual as Don Draper. Spiralling into a pit of depression and (worse) alcoholism has only brought out Hamm's thespian skills to the max.

Outstanding Lead Actress
  • Connie Britton – Friday Night Lights
  • Nina Dobrev – The Vampire Diaries
  • Michelle Fairley – Game of Thrones
  • Melissa Leo – Treme
  • Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
  • Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
This is the category where I had to do some cheating. Until I watched Game of Thrones, I couldn't even think about nominating six women, as the state of the television industry leaves leading ladies a lot to be desired. Even after watching it, I had to bump up Michelle Fairley from her submitted Supporting status to Lead because 1) She is clearly a lead in that show, 2) She's an awesome lead in that show and 3) I just couldn't see myself to nominate Lena Heady, whose performance is fine but nothing to write home about. The other five nominees are very well deserved, though. I could copy and paste Kyle Chandler's comments in for Connie Britton, as they compliment each other wonderfully on Friday Night Lights. Nina Dobrev would possibly have sneaked in just for playing Elena, but with her dual role of Katerina in the fray, she cemented her place here with her extraordinary range as an actress. Melissa Leo - who would have won this category hands down if it existed last year - had much less to do this year, but still knocked it out of the park when she needed to be on screen. And Elisabeth Moss will possibly be getting an Emmy tomorrow, and was fighting tooth and nail with Margulies for a CatDoggy. Maybe next year, Peggy. But the aforementioned Margulies has come in leaps and bounds from her icy, rigid performance at the start of The Good Wife's first season. She makes us feel hurt when Alicia gets hurt, yet still manages to retain a complex web of emotions and play everything with an icy coolness (temperature-wise, not popularity-wise).

Outstanding Supporting Actor
  • Alan Cumming – The Good Wife
  • Matt Czuchry – The Good Wife
  • Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
  • Walton Goggins – Justified
  • Irrfan Kahn – In Treatment
  • Wendell Pierce – Treme
Honourable mentions (in descending order): Dane DeHaan – In Treatment | Steve Zahn – Treme | Josh Charles – The Good Wife | Michael Raymond-James – Terriers

Supporting characters are just a wealth of riches, and that goes for drama as well as comedy. The Good Wife men nominated help to lighten the tone considerably, and each provide a level of bitchiness unexpected to a first-time viewer. While Cumming is possibly going to win the Emmy, Czuchry is performing one of my favourite characters in television in Carey, and deserves a lot more attention than a simple CatDoggy nomination. Peter Dinklage has the flashiest role in Game of Thrones, but manages to pull off Tyrion's wit with genuine aplomb, even if his accent is a lot to be desired. Irrfan Kahn was the most insular patient on this season's In Treatment but managed to convey the most about his deeply tortured character than anyone in the show's history: a fine achievement. And Wendell Pierce is just a cool dude, and finally had some plot to chew into in this season of Treme. But this has to go to Walton Goggins. Boyd Crowther was originally going to be killed off in the first episode of Justified, but he did such a powerhouse performance that the writers decided to keep him around, and he's blossomed into the best part of that show by a country mile.

Outstanding Supporting Actress
  • Khandi Alexander – Treme
  • Kim Dickens – Treme
  • Margo Martindale – Justified
  • Archie Panjabi – The Good Wife
  • Amy Ryan – In Treatment
  • Kiernan Shipka – Mad Men
Honourable mentions (in descending order): Candice Accola – The Vampire Diaries | Christine Baranksi – The Good Wife | Kelly Macdonald – Boardwalk Empire | Christina Hendricks – Mad Men

Caroline is probably my favourite character in The Vampire Diaries, so it's a shame not to include her, but the strength of this category was surprisingly high. The Treme ladies (of which Alexander would have won this category in a cake-walk last year) are the heart and soul of that show. Occasionally drafted into David Simon's moralising, they come out with immense dignity (especially given Alexander's rape-arc this season). Emmy-incumbent Panjabi only improved this year, making Kalinda even more complicated and interesting. And Ryan proved a wonderful replacement to Dianne Weist as the therapist to the narcissistic and self-absorbed Paul Weston. Margo Martindale and Kiernan Shipka were fighting it out for this CatDoggy, and if there was a category I wish I could split, it would be this one. Martindale acts up a storm as probably one of the best villains of television history; her Mags Bennett is a mess of contradictions and pure evil, played deliciously and for the long-haul, as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan. But Shipka is just revelatory. And she's just 11-years-old! Sally Draper is going to grow up to be a screwed up child, and Shipka either has immense empathy or immense acting skills or immense sets of both, as she plays Sally with an amazing instinct. Sally's still a child, yet she knows so much more about the crappy, crappy life she's going to have in the future, and is already rebelling and fighting for love in such a beautiful, heart-rending manner. Shipka's going to be a star; mark my words.

Outstanding Series
  • Game of Thrones
  • Justified
  • The Good Wife
  • In Treatment
  • Mad Men
  • Treme
Any of these shows would be wonderful winners, but Mad Men had its best season ever. And that's saying something. Hopefully the Emmy voters won't just reward the fine, but occasionally boring, Boardwalk Empire because it's shiny and new, and go for one of the best shows on television. But... you never know with Emmy voters.


And that's it! I don't watch enough variety/reality/mini-series to comment on them, so that's all the CatDoggys for one year. Well, until the Oscars come out that is! Thanks for reading.
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  1. Old Comment
    Shining Raichu's Avatar
    Wow, you really don't do anything half-way, do you? O.o

    I loved reading this. I don't agree with the Mad Men choices, because as good as it is, I think as long as it's on the air no other show is going to get the recognition it deserves. Mad Men is such an Emmy-hog lol
    Posted September 17th, 2011 at 5:25 PM by Shining Raichu Shining Raichu is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Mr Cat Dog's Avatar
    I'd agree with you apart from the acting awards: until this year (when hopefully Jon Hamm will win), it's never won an acting award. Series awards/writing/directing, yes, I'll admit. If the CatDoggys were around in previous years, there would have been more wealth sharing in those categories.
    Posted September 18th, 2011 at 1:24 AM by Mr Cat Dog Mr Cat Dog is offline

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