Of dodos and Emmys

By Joyce Millman

By Salon Staff
July 19, 2000 11:35PM (UTC)
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I never thought I -- or any other man -- could say this, but if Joyce Millman comes to visit, she can be in charge of the remote. She is dead on with her Emmy picks, from Margaret Colin's powerful, sympathetic work on the misunderstood and prematurely killed "Now and Again" to the funniest character on TV, Brad Garrett's sad sack Robert on "Everbody Loves Raymond."

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I hope she doesn't mind, though, if I leave the room when the inexplicably overpraised "Sex and the City" comes on. I didn't think HBO could do it, but they've finally produced a show so bad that no amount of gratuitous nudity can keep me watching.

-- Tom Collins

While I agree with almost all of Joyce Millman's Emmy wishes, I have to say that if I had to pick only one guy from "Freaks and Geeks" to be Emmy-nominated, it would not be James Franco as Daniel Desario, but rather Martin Starr as Bill Haverchuck. Besides having one of the great character names of all time, Starr took what could have been a stereotypical nerd role and made Bill a socially awkward but ultimately warm, open-hearted person. When Bill forgave Alan for sneaking a peanut into his sandwich, sending Bill to the hospital with his deathly peanut allergy, I teared up. When Bill dressed up as Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman, for Halloween, I laughed until I had tears running down my cheeks. In an episode not aired on NBC, "Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers," Starr's work was nothing less than spectacular: heartfelt, angry, sad, guilty -- he nailed perfectly the experience of acquiring a (future) stepparent.

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And if Millman can nominate Khandi Alexander in the actress in a drama category for the six-hour "The Corner," I think I should be able to nominate Lee Tergesen in the actor in a drama category for the eight-hour season of "Oz." Tergesen's portrayal of Tobias Beecher, a former lawyer convicted of killing a girl while driving drunk, is a masterful sketch of a formerly secure, balanced professional forced to the brink of madness. For making eminently believable the mercurial changes in Beecher written by Tom Fontana, Tergesen gets my (albeit meaningless) Emmy vote.

-- Lisa Beaudry


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