Picks and Pans Review: Critics Corner
I'M DECLARING A TRUCE WITH THE Emmy Awards, which will be broadcast this weekend on Fox (Sun., Aug. 30, 8 P.M. ET) with Tim Allen, Kirstie Alley and Dennis Miller as hosts. Because the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences finally saw fit to nominate Roseanne Arnold for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series after four years of ignoring her, I won't follow my usual practice of picking apart their choices. (Although I'm still trying to figure out how China Beach, which was canceled before the designated date for consideration, was granted six nominations.) Instead I'm going to list my choices for most deserving candidates in the major acting categories:
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Will Smith of NBC's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—a wonderfully natural and impish comic talent.
Outstanding lead Actor in a Drama Series: Michael Chiklis of ABC's The Commish. He carries this lame show with the most engaging prime-time cop performance since Dennis Weaver in McCload.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Brian Dennehy in the syndicated To Catch a Killer. Dennehy was bone-chilling as mass murderer John Wayne Gacy.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Amy Aquino of CBS's Brooklyn Bridge. She has wit drier than the Sahara, and all she has to do is arch an eyebrow at one of her TV sons and I crack up.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Regina Taylor of NBC's I'll Fly Away—a remarkable evocation of strength and dignity.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special: (Tie) Gena Rowlands in CBS's Face of a Stranger (in which she was brilliantly convincing as a recent widow) and Meredith Baxter in CBS's A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story (in which she was the soul of obsessive jealousy).
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special: Jean Stapleton in CBS's Fire in the Dark. A pungent portrayal of an indomitably spunky senior citizen.
Of the eight actors I've cited, half are actually nominated in these categories. That's a remarkable concurrence. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the ATAS voters actually broke down this year and watched some TV.