With about 36 Emmy Award categories up for grabs each year, it's clear that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences tries to be comprehensive in recognizing TV talent. But its net has some holes in it: Each year, individuals and shows deserving of prizes in lesser-recognized categories go completely overlooked. To rectify that, we give you the Envys, eight new categories from The Envelope (with a little help from some industry friends) and their respective winners who deserve a little attention — and a shiny gold statuette — for their exceptional efforts. And the Envy goes to:
Outstanding use of knocking
Tie: Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"); Kevin Spacey ("House of Cards")
A necessary shared win: Cranston's use of the phrase "I am the one who knocks" to make clear to his wife his place in the hierarchy of drug villains conveyed pure verbal menace, but Spacey's use of short knuckle raps to punctuate his meaning got the message through loud and clear without his having to drawl a single word.
Kerry Washington, "Scandal"
Hiding the pregnant belly is a time-honored soap tradition; this past season, Washington's torso got tucked behind walls, shelves and enormous pocketbooks. Bonus: In real life, the actress even managed to keep the birth a secret from the media for nearly a month.
Best surprise dispatch of a human being
"House of Cards"
Neither hot-on-the-trail-of-conspiracy journalist Zoe Barnes nor the audience saw that Metro train, or politico Francis Underwood's shoving her onto the tracks, coming.
Scene-stealing special mention
Timothy Simons, as Jonah on "Veep"
The show's punching bag (or, more officially, its ex-White House liaison to the vice president's office) took everything the characters (or, more officially, the writers) had to throw at him and bounced it right back at them, and the audience.
Best celebration dance in a comedy series
Eden Sher, "The Middle"
The Sue Heck shriek-and-dance has unjustly gone ignored at this year's school proms but is worthy of "Gangnam Style" viral love. Here's just one example of a move that makes you happy just watching it happen: lat.ms/1jSfByz.
It's true that "The Blacklist's" Megan Boone has had to suffer beneath one of TV's least-believable pieces of headgear for a whole season, but Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell break out outstandingly unattractive wigs week after week as part of their various spy disguises and literally vanish beneath them. Then, thankfully, they take them off.
Proudest use of undergarments in a comedy
Jeff Garlin, "The Goldbergs"
Does anyone enjoy parading around in his underpants more than Murray Goldberg? The man gets home and, before you can say, "How was your day?" has stripped down to his almost-altogether and is a happier human for it. Long may he, and his tighty-whities, reign.
Most complete use of fruit in a series
There will probably never be another series that makes regular use of fruit the way "Psych" did in all 121 of its episodes — a pineapple made an appearance in every one, and the practice spawned its own Web page: psychpineapple.com. Bravely done, sirs, bravely done.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times