Question: Can you please explain to me why Two and a Half Men garnered as many Emmy nods as it did? I tried watching an episode and couldn't even make it through the full 30 minutes! I mean no offense to Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Holland Taylor or Conchata Ferrell, but are we supposed to believe that all four turned in Emmy-worthy performances? I can see why the show has viewers (it's an easy, no-thinking-required program), but all the Emmy attention has me totally perplexed. The show is like macaroni and cheese: comforting and dependable, but you don't give it a gold ribbon. I guess I'm lashing out because Gilmore Girls was consistently ignored, while shows I see as dreck receive accolades. So, Matt, if you could please enlighten me about this issue, I'd really appreciate it — it's just not healthy to be this angry about a TV show.
Answer: This one doesn't bother me so much. I think there should be room on the list for at least one traditionally produced comedy (as in: filmed multi-camera in front of a studio audience), and Two and a Half Men is the most popular example right now of that dying form. Personally, I wish The New Adventures of Old Christine had been singled out. It's fresher, a lot less crude, and had at least as many terrific performances (Wanda Sykes, Clark Gregg, Hamish Linklater) as Men — plus it could use the boost. But comedy is so subjective, and what's not funny to you is hysterical to many others. For many, including at times myself, there is a solid comic chemistry among the two male leads, the boy and especially those scene-stealing women (the demon mother and the crotchety Berta, a personal fave). Might there be more deserving work elsewhere? No doubt. But I often worry there's a snobbism afoot concerning sitcoms that are produced the old-fashioned way, compared to those filmed in the style of NBC's Thursday comedies, which are undeniably terrific. The comfort level the CBS comedies provide is substantial and sometimes may even be worth several nominations.