What the Other Guys Think

Mark Seliger/FX

Veteran TV critics weigh in on the crucial shows and performances in danger of being overlooked by Emmy.


Friday Night Lights

"I might ask Emmy to finally give a best drama nomination for Friday Night Lights after an 80-yard touchdown drive of a finale -- but why ruin a perfect record?" – James Poniewozik, Time

Fringe (Fox)

"The Emmys tend to have a blind spot when it comes to the fantasy/sci-fi genre, especially when they struggle in the ratings like the regularly mind-blowing Fringe. The show is coming off its best season, flipping regularly between warring parallel universes but never losing sight of the emotional stakes of its key characters." – Matt Roush, TV Guide


"No drama in years did a better job of combining art and entertainment -- exploring social and class issues rarely touched on in American televi0sion, particularly as they pertain to the rural poor. All while telling an intense yet often surprisingly witty story that kept you guessing up to the end." – Robert Bianco, USA Today

The Walking Dead

"In a mere six episodes, Dead created a bleak and terrifying portrait of a world turned upside down by a zombie pandemic. Unrelenting and uncompromising in its graphic terrors, I wonder if it's too much for the often timid Emmy voter. I hope not." -- Roush


Community (NBC)

"If this cult comedy is passed over in favor of a played-out 30 Rock, it will just be another sign of Emmy inertia." -- Roush

Louie (FX)

"The best new show of the past season will not get nominated as best comedy, but it should for being an incredible distillation of one creator's vision -- surreal, full of heart and, in Louis C.K.'s words, 'Balls funny.' " -- Poniewozik

The Middle (ABC)

"Somewhat lost in the shadow of Modern Family's brilliance, this very relatable and funny family comedy hits much closer to home for many viewers, who identify with the reality that it's impossible to keep a tidy house or one's kids in line or to be able to have or do it all." -- Roush

Parks and Recreation (NBC)

"Parks and Recreation is not only the best comedy eligible but a serious contender for best series eligible. It does everything The Office used to do so effortlessly, only with stronger levels of warmth that never feel shoehorned in the way they do on some other sitcoms." – Alan Sepinwall, Hitflix.com

Raising Hope (Fox)

"It wasn't a great year for freshman network series, but the one exception was the raucous Raising Hope, which nicely balanced crass and sweet." -- Roush


Michael Imperioli, Detective Louis Fitch in Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC)

"I'd like to see Imperioli recognized, not only because he earned it but because it will give some recognition to a [canceled] show that was not given the respect and support it needed." -- Bianco

John Noble, Walter Bishop in Fringe

"The character of Walter Bishop is played to the poignant hilt of endearing madness and self-tormented regret by Noble. His performance has only grown
richer and deeper as we spent more time with his sinister doppelganger, who's as cold and cunning as our Walter is vulnerable and childlike. It's a classic supporting performance: You always want more of him, and there's a sense of constant surprise." -- Roush


Nick Offerman, Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation

"It would be awfully nice if the funniest performance on television got recognized." -- Sepinwall

Ed O'Neill, Jay Pritchett in Modern Family

"While Modern Family will deserve every nomination it gets and more, this year, let's see to it that one of those nominations goes to Ed O'Neill, who brilliantly serves as the show's emotional center." -- Bianco


Walton Goggins, Boyd Crowder in Justified

"More likely to be ignored is Goggins' sly supporting work as reformed (but not really) bad seed Boyd Crowder, whose tangled history with the show's hero always keeps us off balance about Boyd's intentions and loyalties." -- Roush


Michelle Forbes, Mitch Larsen in The Killing

"For an Emmy-worthy performance from a series that has not quite reached that level yet, Forbes offered a wrenching, embittered portrayal of grief." -- Poniewozik


Martha Plimpton, Virginia Chance in Raising Hope

"I'd love to see Plimpton unseat one of those mopey Showtime heroines with her truly comic work as the spitfire mom who bullies her brood but would also
kill for them." -- Roush


Margo Martindale, Mags Bennett in Justified

"Martindale earned the season's most unanimous raves for her towering performance as the murderous matriarch who cloaks her ruthlessness in a dowdy down-home demeanor -- just watch out for that apple pie moonshine. If she is somehow overlooked, that will be seen as the year's most grievous oversight." -- Roush

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