In honor of the Emmys, I wanted to take a chance to talk about awards. As a lover of TV characters, I want to see my favorites beat the loser characters on other shows. It’s the same feeling I get when I want Adam Jones to win MVP of MLB. I want my Orioles to shine bright.
It’s pretty easy to pick an MVP in sports. You look at the stats, team record, situations, and your gut and make a pick. It’s much tougher for TV. How do you judge Bryan Cranston’s last 8 episodes as Walter White against Rust Cohle against Don Draper? It’s not easy. Hopefully, you look at the individual seasons and compare how they made you feel. The one that made you feel the most wins.
There are a lot of amazing characters on TV that actors never won awards for. Steve Carrell as Michael Scott. Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Josh Charles as what’s his face on The Good Wife. It’s a shame. I’ve seen a lot of people argue that Josh Charles should win this year because it’s his last chance. Not because he was a better actor.
This is an issue that plagues the Oscars as well. Samuel L. Jackson still moans to this day about how he should have won the Oscar for Pulp Fiction over Martin Landau, but lost because they wanted to honor Martin Landau’s legacy. The issue is there is no honor in Hollywood for the breadth of someone’s work.
Michael Scott may not be an Emmy-winning character, but he is one of the funniest, most memorable characters in TV history. He deserves a spot in an Actors Hall of Fame (that walk of fame nonsense doesn’t count). Let’s make a Michael Scott bust and put it up in Silver Lake, the new Cooperstown of the West. It doesn’t have to be Silver Lake.
How do we pick the inductees? The first thing to look at is the stats. Awards wins, award nominations, and anything else that is quantifiable. Then, you can try to look at the most representative ratings available for the show (Live+30 years?). It doesn’t mean the performance is great, but the number of people that watch matters. It just doesn’t matter when they watch. Situations are also important. That might mean watching the top highlights of the character. Finally, it’s the gut call. Who makes you want to tune in every week?
Recognition will help clean up the voting process because more performances are recognized and they deserve to be. Jon Hamm has 7 Emmy nominations. He has 0 wins. Is Don Draper not one of the most special characters in history? Are we really going to let Jeff Daniels have an Emmy for The Newsroom and give nothing to the Hamm? Let’s fight the injustice. Actors Hall of Fame. Get at it.