Television critics are not part of the television academy, which means we don't get to vote in the Emmys race. Depending on where you're sitting, this is either a very good or a very bad thing.
What we do get to do is second-guess, congratulate and complain. Which, honestly, is much more fun than having to look at a list of undeniably worthy nominees and choosing just one.
So I'm going to get my high-fiving and whining out of the way early so maybe I can just enjoy the show. (Neil Patrick Harris — I'm loving it already.)
Five things that would make me cheer:
Amy Poehler wins for lead actress in a comedy, finally, for her groundbreaking performance on "Parks and Recreation." And for just being Amy Poehler, national treasure. She is a beacon of wit and hope amid the increasingly tiresome clouds of snark. A win by Laura Dern in the same category would also make me happy and not just because I hate that "Enlightened" was canceled. As Amy Jellicoe, she created a character every bit as complex and unsettling as Walter White and proved that emotional nakedness is far more courageous an act than physical nudity.
Stephen Colbert finally beats Jon Stewart, because he does almost every week and it's time the academy acknowledges it.
Vince Gilligan wins for writing because, good Lord, how has he gone this long without winning?
"Louie" wins the comedy series Emmy because, well, it's an outstanding comedy. If not, then "The Big Bang Theory," to prove that a traditional, multicamera, live-audience sitcom can be both very, very popular and very, very good.
Any show other than "The Amazing Race" wins the reality show competition. "The Voice" unseated "American Idol"; that has to count for something.
Five things that will make me cancel my subscription to Emmy magazine (which I don't have because I am not a member of the television academy):
A sweep of any kind. I know we're all caught up in "Breaking Bad" fever (such fortuitous timing for those final episodes), but amid the amazing array of fabulous shows currently airing, there is no one that deserves to take home an armful of gold as happened last year (and I say this with love, "Homeland").
The extra special In Memoriam falls flat. Undeniably, the television industry has lost several icons in the last year, and many beautiful things were said and written at the time of their deaths. The decision to add personal tributes to Jonathan Winters, Jean Stapleton, James Gandolfini, Gary David Goldberg and Cory Monteith to the telecast has already sparked controversy — some argue that Monteith does not belong on that list, others wonder why this year's deaths are being elevated. More important, a repeated shift in tone could stall the proceedings (certainly, Gandolfini's and Monteith's deaths were tragic in their untimeliness). And what was wrong with the photo gallery accompanied by lovely music anyway?
Jon Hamm manages to star in one of the most consistently beautiful, innovative and influential shows in television history and never wins an Emmy. It happened to Hugh Laurie, to the academy's disgrace; it should not happen to Hamm. This year or next, people; cough it up.
Matt Damon and Michael Douglas split the "Behind the Candelabra" vote and Benedict Cumberbatch wins for "Parade's End." (He should be winning for "Sherlock.")
"American Horror Story" wins anything. Seventeen nominations is enough.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times