Question: A few months back, while discussing the Emmys, you wrote about The Office's Dwight (Rainn Wilson) having been nominated over Jim (John Krasinski). While Dwight is required to be more over-the-top, you said, Jim was more deserving of a nod. Having just finished Season 2 on DVD (I admit I haven't yet seen Season 3), I have to disagree. If you remove Dwight's bizarre antics from the show, Jim wouldn't have a chance to bring out his quirky expressions and dry sense of humor. I think it's a similar case with Ari and Johnny Drama on Entourage. Although Ari would still be funny trading barbs with Eric and Lloyd, I think Ari's cunning really ramps it up when he's insulting Drama. What's your take on this?
Answer: Every straight man (and I mean that in the classic comedy sense, not the Ari-vs.-Lloyd sense) needs a foil, and vice versa, I suppose. Emmy nominations and awards often go for broadly comic characters and performances (see Jack and Karen on Will & Grace), and to that degree, Dwight qualifies. But in the context of this particular series, I find Rainn Wilson's interpretation of Dwight to be overly grating and generally predictable (although I enjoy the Dwight-Angela interplay more and more these days) and have a greater appreciation for the empathetic and subtle work done by John Krasinski and the deservedly nominated Jenna Fischer. But that's just me. I know Dwight is popular in the way Kramer was popular on Seinfeld, but I feel like I've seen this kind of boob too often and seen its ilk rewarded at the Emmys too often. In that supporting actor category, it doesn't matter to me who from The Office got nominated, to be honest. My vote goes to Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother. I hope he wins, but I'm expecting (as usual) to be disappointed. As for Entourage: I applaud Kevin Dillon being nominated alongside Jeremy Piven. The Ari-Drama moments are genius, but it's also funny when he belittles Eric and bedevils Lloyd. I'm OK if either Piven or Dillon wins as well. Just not Dwight.