Go ahead. We dare you. Just try to figure out the Emmy voters.
Sunday (Aug. 27) night's 58th Annual Primetime Emmy ceremony is bound to have critics undecided as to whether they should be overjoyed or frustrated by the TV Academy's choices. On one hand, you had the Emmy voters rubber-stamping familiar faces like Megan Mullally and Tony Shalhoub at the expense of edgier nominees. But it was hard to be annoyed by those choices when Emmy recognized fresh faces like "Entourage" and "The Office" and finally gave "24" the top-of-the-ballot recognition it deserved.
Some observations from the Emmys:
NBC's Shows: Conan O'Brien began the show with a slew of jokes about the network's fourth place status, but Entertainment President Kevin Reilly and company have to feel pleased with an evening that included wins for comedy series ("The Office"), lead actress in a drama (Mariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"), supporting actress in a comedy series (Mullally, "Will & Grace") and supporting actor in a drama (Alan Alda of "The West Wing"). "My Name Is Earl," snubbed in several major categories, won for comedy writing and directing.
Bob Newhart: O'Brien ran all over the stage. He sang. He danced. He insulted Mel Gibson. Bob Newhart only had to sit in an air-tight booth and give that Bob Newhart stare to get nearly as many laughs. Actually, Conan wasn't bad at all, but maybe Newhart should have just hosted.
"The Amazing Race:" Even the most die-hard of fans wouldn't argue with the contention that last season's two installments of CBS' 'round-the-world reality entry were subpar at best. And yet, the show still won yet another Emmy. It's invincible.
"Hill Street Blues:" Alda's win allowed "The West Wing" to tie "Hill Street Blues" for the most decorated drama series in Emmy history with 26. NBC's departing presidential drama was shut-out for the rest of the night, though, leaving the two shows forever joined.
Ellen Burstyn: The Oscar-winning actress didn't win the Emmy for her 14-second, badly accented, cameo in "Mrs. Harris," which saves her from having to spend the rest of her career answering questions about winning for a 14-second badly accented cameo.
HBO's Original Movies: Boy. That's a lot of wins for "The Girl in the Cafe" and "Elizabeth I."
NBC's Sense of Good Taste: It's just bad luck that O'Brien began the show with a joke about a plane accident and worse luck that it was a taped bit that couldn't be changed in the wake of the deadly plane crash in Kentucky on Sunday morning. However, the whole thing could have been prevented if Conan and crew hadn't decided to begin the show with a "Lost" joke that felt pretty dated already.
HBO's Scripted Series: Wins for supporting actor in a comedy series (Jeremy Piven, "Entourage") and writing for a drama series (Terrence Winter, "The Sopranos") aren't bad, but somehow we've come to expect more.
ABC in General: Last year's Emmys were like a celebration of all things ABC. This year? Well, Louis Horvitz won a trophy for directing the Oscars. That's got to count for something, right? No. Not much, actually. Particularly not if you're...
"Grey's Anatomy" in Specific: Many pundits were expecting Sunday night to be a coronation for the year's most talked=about soapy drama, with writing and acting nominations galore. Instead? Zilch.
The "Seinfeld" Curse: Julia Louis-Dreyfus may get to take the trophy home, but all of the other "Seinfeld" cast members may finally hear the end of the "Seinfeld" Curse. Or, alternatively, they may just have to hear the beginning of the modified Men of "Seinfeld" Curse.