The series: This challenging, decidedly offbeat look at an uptight high school teacher (Laura Linney) who keeps the news of her late-stage cancer diagnosis a secret from her family for most of Season 1 pulled strong initial ratings but has garnered only middling reviews. It may provoke and annoy more than it charms, but this acquired taste did build to a powerful season finale, and Linney, who is also nominated, did exemplary work throughout. The critical take: "It has a terrific cast, and I watched it hoping it would get better, but it didn't really. The comedies didn't do that well this year, and I think they just wanted to put a new one up there."
Ken Regan / Showtime
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