Question: I have really been impressed by this season of The 4400 and I fear that it is being ignored. I'm tired of shows not getting the attention and recognition they deserve just because of the network they're on. Honestly, who cares about the network? While I doubted the fate of the show last year and wasn't even sure whether I would return as a viewer, this season has more than proved me wrong, with spectacular writing, acting and plot development. Even when I thought I couldn't be more impressed, the season finale managed to do just that: Watching Sean kill his brother and then reunite with his uncle, Tom, and cousin Kyle at the funeral was such a nice touch. The show reminds me of 1984 and other great novels where people learn to deal with a world of chaos. However, it's upsetting that this show, really a work of art, couldn't possibly be recognized at the Emmys next year. And why is it that someone like Hugh Laurie, who is riveting in his role, gets passed over for repeat winner James Spader? And Sally Field, on a mediocre television show, can beat such a deserving actress as Kyra Sedgwick? And a show like The Sopranos can win in its worst season? And shows like The 4400, with a hardworking cast and crew and creative and cutting-edge concept, doesn't even get recognized. I don't get it. The Emmys don't mean anything anymore, if they ever did.
Answer: The relevance of the Emmys is certainly easy and fun to question, but I'm not sure I'd use a genre show like The 4400 as my basis for making this argument. At least Battlestar Galactica made the cut in the directing and writing categories, but even that is exceedingly rare for the very best of fantasy/sci-fi. I've only made it through about half of The 4400's season so far (it was a busy TV summer), and while I do think it was an improvement over the previous season, I would hesitate to overpraise it and put it in TV's top tier. Fact is: Results of awards shows, from Oscars to Emmys to Golden Globes, are always going to give us something to argue about. I would have been more satisfied if Hugh Laurie and Kyra Sedgwick had won in their respective categories, but you can make a case for Sally Field's performance, even within the conventional confines of a family soap opera. Ditto The Sopranos for historical purposes if nothing else (and considering the spotty nominations this year, with most of the truly best dramas off the list, there really wasn't another viable contender).