Dear TV Academy,
For four consecutive years, you have honored the critically-acclaimed and publicly loved Mad Men. You have given it (FOUR times) the most prestigious award of all: The Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. But it seems to me – and to the rest of the world, if I’m being honest – that you have failed to recognize the talents that bring this outstanding drama series to life. I’m talking about these actors who have transformed Mad Men from just a smart period-drama to the world’s favorite TV show.
I’m not saying we don’t appreciate the fact that you’ve nominated many of them a lot of times. Hell, Jon Hamm has been nominated for his role as Don Draper FOUR times, Elisabeth Moss, 3 times, Christina Hendricks, 3 times, John Slattery, 3 times, and even January Jones, 1 time. But how many times have they won? None. They have always clapped with a broad smile as someone OTHER than them won the Emmy. They have sat in their front-row seats waiting for their name to be uttered on the Emmy stage, but no one ever has.
Each of these actors you have nominated (and even snubbed like Vincent Kartheiser) have proven to become few of the most talented and giving performers on TV. Each of them has taken our breath away in EVERY single episode they were in. They have never been short of outstanding. If it weren’t for Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm’s incredible acting skills, “The Suitcase,” – as amazingly written as it was – wouldn’t have become the greatest hour of TV ever made, an hour you gave the Emmy for. If it weren’t for the charm and charisma of John Slattery, no one would grasp the clever sarcasm of the show. He enriches the show by giving it that vibe. If it weren’t for Christina Hendricks, feminism wouldn’t be such a popular topic discussed after watching the show. And if it weren’t for January Jones’ talents as an ice-queen, Betty wouldn’t have become one of the most hated characters of all time. They have committed themselves to their roles, and have made us committed to the images they have presented over the years. We have identified the characters, year after year, because of their abilities as actors.
You want famous actors to win at the Emmys? Give me an alpha-male on TV more popular than Jon Hamm. You want actors who’ve been in movies? January Jones. Christina Hendricks. Jon freakin’ Hamm. You want actors who have range? Go watch “The Suitcase” again and see how Jon was able to make Don cry so effectively and yet be so incredibly macho in the episode – an episode you so foolishly snubbed Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss for. Or if you want, go watch Hamm’s camoes on 30 Rock and SNL. Now that’s range. But all of these are in the past. We cannot scold you for it – nothing can change.
What we can do is ask you not to overlook those talents this year. All we can do is ask you to watch episodes in this season like “Mystery Date,” where Don’s exhaustion and illness leads him to dream about killing an ex-lover. Listen to him. Observe his heartbreaking facial expressions. And then decide. Watch his incredible performance in “Christmas Waltz” and “The Other Woman” and then tell me this man doesn’t deserve an Emmy. Go watch “Far Away Places,” when Roger goes through an experience that will forever change the way he lives – or at least for a few episodes – and see how he transforms frame after frame into different forms of Roger Sterling because of the LSD he takes. Watch as John Slattery makes you laugh and yet breaks your heart with his awe-striking performance. He doesn’t tell you he’s sad. He doesn’t tell you he’s depressed. But you can see it in his eyes. You can see the hollowness in them tearing him apart. And after you finish watching those episodes, watch “Christmas Waltz” and “The Other Woman” again to recognize another two fascinating actors: Christina Hendricks & Elisabeth Moss who became the talk of EVERYONE after those two episodes.
I urge you to go on youtube right now and watch the bar scene between Don & Joan in “Christmas Waltz.” Isn’t this one of the most compelling and euphoric scenes you’ve ever watched on TV? Sure, it’s brilliantly written. But it’s that look in Christina Hendricks’ eyes and that smile on Jon Hamm’s face that make it so beautiful. It’s their EPIC performances that make this scene one of the most memorable on TV – ever.
It’s implausible that you consider Mad Men the greatest drama of all for four years but don’t think the same of the actors. It’s implausible that you fail to give this ensemble the credit they deserve. Don’t be too taken by names and Oscar winning British actors (i.e Maggie Smith) and forget to award those directly in front of you. They have been overlooked for too long. They have been neglected for too long. They have been waiting for their moment to shine year after year and you have failed to give them that light they deserve. But this year is your chance, do not make the same mistake again. Give them the Emmys they deserve. Get them on the stage. It’s long overdue.
You might also like:
Tags: Mad Men
Categories: Etc Uncategorized