NEW YORK — It's that time in Tinseltown. Everyone is busy handicapping TV's Emmys, wondering who's going to go home with the coveted statuette that looks a little bit like an angel who has harnessed the power of the atom.
Pontificating about awards ceremonies is, perhaps, the most dangerous thing that a critic can do. The reasons are manifold, though I'm only going to entertain two of them.
The first is that despite the critic's brilliance, despite his incisive wit and rapier-like analytic ability, despite his having sent large cash payments in non-sequential twenties to the individual voting members of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, there remains the teeny tiny possibility that he may get it wrong.
Objectivity is generally something that critics don't have to worry about. I can assert, for example, that "Baywatch" is the finest television drama produced in the history of the medium, and though you may argue with me until the cows come home, settle in, cook dinner, and turn on the evening news, there's no way that you can conclusively show that you are correct and I am a moron.
So critics have stopped trying to guess who will win, and instead have focused on who they believe should win. Well, there's no danger there. If the Emmy goes to someone else, then it's the idiocy of the academy, who have failed to agree with the brilliant critic.
This leads, however, to the second danger: the critic's awards column only praises the shows he likes and ignores the ones he hates.
So, I've decided to take a novel approach to the entire Emmy question, and focus on a number of very different actors, actresses, and shows. That's right. While so many are thinking about whose name will be inside those envelopes, nary a thought is being spared for the people who, year after year, are never called up for their wrongful place in the sun. What about them?
Carrot Top. Although, admittedly, his appearances in the world of prime time television are rare (he did do a guest spot on "Scrubs" last season), he incites a visceral emotional response whenever he appears. Granted, that response is a heady combination of nausea and contempt, but how many actors can you think of that come close to affecting you this much?
Tom Brokaw. This hilarious sitcom actor never gets the props he deserves. Night after night, he goes into the "newsroom" and, seemingly without effort, tosses off a series of one-liners about the Middle East, the White House, and various stories of local color. Admittedly, this last year some of his material hasn't been as funny, but we're all rooting for him to recover from the slump maybe next year it'll be his turn for some Emmy gold!
Abraham Lincoln. This 16th president of the United States is best known for his guidance of the Union to victory during the Civil War, as well as his Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. If that isn't worth an Emmy, what is?
Will & Grace. Actually, they are nominated. All the time. Just seeing if you were still reading.
Me. I mean, let's be honest here. All this emphasis on people who don't get the Emmy isn't this just a way of acting out? Isn't there someone at home who I'm really talking about?
I'm going to have to do some heavy thinking about this. In the meantime, enjoy the Emmys (NBC, Sept. 22, 8-11 p.m. ET). And if you see a tall skinny man in a stovepipe hat going to collect his Emmy, well, you know where you heard it first.