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The Emmys: Grading the winners

"The Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies attends the show's second season premiere. Marguiles is nominated for lead actress in a drama series. The show is also nominated for an Emmy. Photo Credit: Getty Images

 Now that it's all over -- the 63rd Annual Emmy Awards -- let's go to the list, if we may, to see just how well the voters did this year.

Lead actor, miniseries, Barry Pepper, "The Kennedys." I never saw Pepper as Bobby in this portrayal, and figured someone like Edgar Ramirez or Idris Elba for "Luther" were better bets. Grade: C.

Lead actress, miniseries,  Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce." Diane Lane gave a remarkable performance in "Cinema Veritie," and Winslet's -- to my mind -- somewhat less so. I think this is a minor misfire, but minor only. Grade: B -.

Lead miniseries,  "Downton Abbey."  No question, this was going to win, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Grade: A.

Outstanding reality, show,  "Amazing Race." Back in the winner's circle again, eh? This odd category has never quite figured out what "outstanding" means; it's pretty much a category that has no winner. If you like "So You Think You Can Dance," then, by heaven's, that's your winner. Grade: Irrelevant.

Outstanding music and variety, "The Daily Show." There was some confusion last night as to whether this was the eighth straight win or the ninth. It is the ninth. Don't you think that at a certain point, Jon Stewart would say, well, enough is enough. Let's pull out and give my pal, Stephen Colbert a chance? Don't you? Grade: C. (Interpreted as "enough is enough, and this is now officially too much.)

Best supporting actress, Julie Bowen. This is a very competitive category, and anyone -- save Betty White, who is wonderful, but really! "Hot in Cleveland?!" Oh puhlease -- could've easily won. Bowen was the right one, though. Grade: A.

Best supporting actor,: Ty Burrell. Let the debates begin, oh ye legions of  I-can't-get-enough-of-Mod-Family. Ty or Eric or Ed or Jesse? Ty was the perfect choice. But I suppose arguments could be made for the others. This was the right one. Grade: A.

Best supporting actress, drama,  Margo Martindale. This is a slightly less strong category this year, but Martindale was pretty much perfect as the mountain woman matriarch who preferred poison as her means of dispatching enemies. Grade: A.

Best supporting actor, drama, Peter Dinklage. A very very tough category. Anyone could have won, and anyone did, but a little surprised Josh Charles did not. Grade: B.

Best actress, comedy, Melissa McCarthy. The surprise of the night, and a joy to all those who think these things are predictable tired lily-gilding affairs. McCarthy was good,  and hooray for the underdog, but Martha Plimpton and Amy Poehler were better. This was a fun misfire. Grade: C.

Best actor, comedy,  Jim Parsons. Well, what can you say? Of course Steve Carell deserved an award for at least one of the seasons he helped make "The Office" one of the great comedies in TV history. Of course some degree of respect should've been paid. Of course, the last season wasn't his  best. But still,  poor Jim Parsons. He won in the wrong year, and it was the second in a row. Even he wasn't happy. Grade: D.

 Best actress, drama, Julianna Margulies. Count me among those who never quite got the pleasures of Margulies' performance as the steely, frosty wronged wife.   But plenty do. Guess I would've rather Connie Britton had won. Grade: B -.

Best actor, drama, Kyle Chandler. In a way, this one was for Steve Carell -- Emmy's sentimental vote that you get every year. I didn't expect it here, but it couldn't have come at a better time for Chandler. Jon Hamm? There's three seasons to go; he'll get his yet.  Grade: A.

 Best comedy, "Modern Family." Of course. Deserved. Grade: A.

 Best drama, "Mad Men." Mathew Weiner looked crestfallen last night, and I suspect I know why -- what happens if he doesn't win for the 5th, 6th, or 7th seasons? Will that be a reflection -- as it inevitably will be -- on their quality? No drama has ever won more than four, so the pressure is on, and it's also on voters to stop punching the "Mad Men" chad like automatons. There are many very good dramas on TV, and not just this one. Time to spread the wealth. Grade: B -.

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