The Emmys don't exist to reward quality television so much as to transform passive viewers into passionate critics.
For instance: If the Emmy glass is half full for you, you are blissfully basking in the glory of proto geek Jim Parsons' nomination. If the Emmy glass is half empty for you with smudges around the rim, you are so embittered at the snub to "Battlestar Gallactica" that you just might start another online petition.
Maybe you are smug that "30 Rock" could run away with the whole ceremony because, after all, you discovered it first. Or maybe you are just now realizing how important "America's Next Top Model" is to you now that it's missing from the list.
And with that in mind, I've categorized my reactions to the nominations into The Good, The Unexpected and The Snubs. Of course the last category was the easiest to write. And once I get some more signatures, I think we'll hear about some important changes to the Emmy process next year.
*Jim Parsons, who announced the Emmy nominations with Chandra Wilson, was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. His character, Sheldon, is a joy. (Although, from what we saw during the ceremony, it may not be too far off from the real Parsons. "This is some sort of trickfest," he gasped.) His show, "The Big Bang Theory," didn't get a nod, but Christine Baranski earned a well-deserved nomination for her guest turn as Johnny Galecki's brilliantly graceless mom.
*The Outstanding Supporting Comedy Actor nominations are an embarrassment of riches. How do I choose between "Entourage's" Kevin Dillon and "30 Rock's" Jack McBrayer? I can't. I won't.
*Justin Timberlake, who is blessed with many talents and often credited with bringing sexy back, collected three nominations - two for Outstanding Original Music, and one for his stint guest-hosting "Saturday Night Live."
*My favorite show, "Lost," grabbed five Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and an actor nod for the unsurpassed Michael Emerson.
*I'm also happy to see recognition for "Weeds, "Grey Gardens," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Big Love."
*"Family Guy" is only the second show to be nominated for Best Comedy since 1961, when "The Flintstones" made prehistory. "The Simpsons'" Matt Groening is probably deeply hurt, but I love a good underdog story. "Family Guy" was canceled in 2000, and again in 2002, but the popularity of its reruns and DVDs impressed Fox enough to bring it back in 2005. After all, what's not funny about matricide? Here's baby Stewie on mom Lois: "Damn you, vile woman! You've impeded my work since the day I escaped from your wretched womb."
*Quirk ruled as Sarah Silverman was nominated for "The Sarah Silverman" show and "Flight of the Conchords" got two major nominations. Who says the Emmys don't have street cred?
A roll call of the dead, in no particular order:
Zach Braff for "Scrubs"
Leighton Meester for "Gossip Girl"
Mary McDonnell and "Battlestar Gallactica"
America Ferrerra for "Ugly Betty"
"Eastbound and Down"
Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler for "Friday Night Lights"
Jeremy Piven for "Entourage"
Denis Leary and "Rescue Me"
Cat Deeley for "So You Think You Can Dance"
"30 Rock" has 22 nominations
"Mad Men" has 16
"Grey Gardens" has 17
"Into the Storm" has 14