In less than two hours time 65th Emmy ceremony will begin. Unfortunately, just as with the Oscars, the actual winners are rarely the best ones among the nominees and the ones who actually deserve the award. I don't suspect it will change tonight, but they have a shot at awarding the best performance in TV since Ian McShane's turn as Al Swearengen in Deadwood - I'm talking of course about Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston. They did award him 3 times already and as much as I'm not a fan of giving the same person the same award year after year, Cranston is simply that good.
But even when Emmys do get things right - giving out the most nominations this year to American Horror Story: Asylum and Game of Thrones - they get so many things wrong. Here are some omissions from the nominees that continue to baffle me. They also break my heart as each of these people wasn't nominated for an Emmy even once in their career:
5. Lily Rabe, American Horror Story: Asylum
Pretty much everyone is nominated when it comes to that show, yet Lily Rabe was left behind. She was just as good as the others, if not better (except for Paulson for whom I'm rooting tonight even though she is nominated in supporting, when she was clearly lead). Rabe had a double role - of a young, innocent nun, too scared to ask the questions and later on of the Devil - when her character was possessed. She handled both beautifully and her "You don't own me" scene in which she is wearing red lingerie and dances provocatively in front of a cross is probably Asylum's most memorable scene.
4. Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal
I'm starting to think Bryan Fuller is cursed. He does all those brilliant TV series and very rarely there is any Emmy love for them (Kristen Chenoweth did win for Pushing Daisies...after the show was canceled *sick*). Hannibal should have got plenty of nominations (it got none) - it's the only prequel/sequel show right now that is actually working and it's a good show. I don't understand how Vera Farmiga got in (and she deserves her nomination, as her performance makes her show watchable) for the feces known as Bates Motel and Mikkelsen did not for Hannibal. He is doing an incredible job - he took the part of which Anthony Hopkins's interpretation is among the most beloved performances in the history of cinema and he managed not only to pull it off - he added so much new to it. Mikkelsen's way of playing Hannibal as if he was Lucifer himself who walks among us is so much fun to watch. He makes the guy who kills and eats people not only fascinating but also irresistibly charming.
3. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
Thrones is all around terrifically cast show but few of the characters were truly perfectly portrayed on screen - as if they came alive from the pages of the book. Jaime Lannister is one of them. He is my favorite character in the books in terms of how he is written - he is the most fascinating and complex person in the realm. In the first two seasons of the show we only saw one side of Jaime - smug bastard whose arrogance stems from the fact he is rich, he belongs to powerful family and he is a master swordsman. But what we witnessed in season 3 was one of the most magnificent redemption arcs in TV history where after the loss of his sword hand and through his relationship with strong and noble lady Brienne we got to see the true hero in Jaime. Waldau should have been nominated - and win - for the bath scene alone where he confesses to Brienne the true reason for which he killed the King years ago, forever covering himself in oath breaker shame. I rarely cry because of how powerful actor's performance is. Waldau's acting made me weep for several minutes during this scene.
2. Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation
Initially I was just going to complain about the fact Offerman is not nominated for just last season. But quick trip to his imdb page made me realize this man has not been nominated for playing Ron Swanson at all! No Emmy love, no Golden Globes love. This is an outrage. I think Ron Swanson is the most brilliantly written, hilarious and yes - iconic - character in TV comedies right now. And it's because of Offerman who is the funniest actor in the show's talented and delightful ensemble - he makes Ron so much fun to watch and he is just one of those characters that people fall in love with.
1. Michelle Fairley, Game of Thrones
I don't understand many things in this world but the fact Fairley was not nominated for her incredible work in show's most famous episode The Rains of Castamere is an unsolvable mystery for me. Emilia Clarke is nominated from the show instead and - God bless and guide our Khaleesi - but how the hell did this happen? Are Emmy voters so limited that they just go with the flashiest parts for nominations? Dragon lady and the imp? Unforgivable. Fairley's performance made that episode. The directing was good, the writing was great, the music was chilling. The work from Richard Madden and young Maisie Williams added emotions to the scenes and the chilling performances of Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton) and David Bradley (Walder Frey) added so much tension but it was Fairley who was the beating heart of that episode. From her hope and the desire for vengeance in the episode's opening scene, through her smiles of reassurance for her brother during his wedding, to the rising tension culminating in the show's single most heartbreaking scene, the range Fairley depicted here is something unlike anything I've seen in any show this year. Her heart stopping, soul piercing howl as she sees her last free child fall on the floor dead remains the most powerful moment I've witnessed on television.
The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards are tonight, airing on CBS at 8pm ET/5pm PT