There is a deja vu aspect to the Emmy Awards, the annual television celebration that usually begins with a gimmicky musical number or comedy sketch and ends with "Mad Men" winning a best drama statuette.
The repetitiveness of the affair might have convinced some viewers that all the repeat nominees we see year after year already have at least one win to their credit. But a number do not. I call them the Almost Winners, the often nominated but (so far) never triumphant television stars. Ten have earned nods in major categories again this year. If you're seeking underdogs to root for during Sunday's big event, airing on ABC, these are the people to champion:
1. Jon Hamm
For all the hype about how "Mad Men" wins every year, it's worth noting that not a single one of its actors has captured an Emmy yet. And that includes the man who brings Don Draper to heavy-drinking, smooth-sales-pitching life; this year marks the fifth time he has been nominated.
2. Michael C. Hall
"Dexter's" serial killer, like Hamm, is going for his fifth attempt to win in best actor in a drama. He also lost in the same race back when he was playing a non-murderous undertaker on "Six Feet Under."
3. Elisabeth Moss
The actress who plays "Mad Men's" Peggy Olson has struck out on three occasions but will step up to the Emmy plate for a fourth time.
4. Christina Hendricks
Oh, look, another "Mad Men" star who hasn't won. Hendricks, a.k.a. the shapely and smart-as-a-whip silent partner Joan Holloway, is up for her third nomination as best supporting actress in a drama.
5. Amy Poehler
Poehler's Leslie Knope won an election on last season's "Parks and Recreation." So maybe she'll finally win the Emmy for best actress in a comedy on her third try? (For those keeping score, she also lost twice in the supporting actress category when she was on "Saturday Night Live.")
6. Ryan Seacrest
The ubiquitous media personality has been recognized for five years running in the best reality-show host category, for his work on "American Idol." With perennial winner Jeff Probst not nominated this time, maybe this will be his year. Unless . . .
7. Tom Bergeron
. . . it turns out to be the "Dancing With the Stars" emcee's year. Like Seacrest, he's landed in the reality host category annually since 2008, the year it was created.
8. Connie Britton
She was never nominated for "Spin City" and missed twice for her role as Tami Taylor on "Friday Night Lights." But Britton's a contender again, this time for lead actress in a miniseries for birthing a freaky baby on "American Horror Story."
9. Ed O'Neill
This is only the second time O'Neill has gotten a nod as crusty Jay Pritchett on "Modern Family." But given all his years on "Married With Children," some might think he has more nominations or wins under the belt that used to provide such an ideal resting place for his hand. He doesn't.
10. Larry David
Emmy voters have nominated David five times for his etiquette-less portrayal of himself on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," but his name has never been the one read from the dais. He does, however, have two non-acting Emmys from his "Seinfeld" days. So if he loses again Sunday, you know, yadda yadda yadda.
- Arts & Entertainment
All I want for Christmas is a new Christmas song
Despite the gigabytes of Christmas music released each year — big stars making their first charge into the yule breach this year include Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, and, alarmingly, the cast of Duck Dynasty — they are, overwhelmingly, reiterating yuletide warhorses.
‘MY PEN PAL, SANTA’
BY MELISSA STANTON
What happens when you write to Santa Claus after Christmas? In “My Pen Pal, Santa,” a little girl named Ava is about to find out.
On Christmas morning, Ava is so excited about her presents that she writes a letter to Santa to thank him (and ask why he didn’t eat her Christmas cookies!).
To her surprise, Santa replies, and a yearlong correspondence between Ava and St. Nick is born.
12-3 Good Reads
‘DEEP IN THE SAHARA’
BY KELLY CUNNANE
Kelly Cunnane, the critically acclaimed author of “For You Are a Kenyan Child,” crafts a gentle and accessible picture book with “Deep in the Sahara” that offers a glimpse into the fascinating culture of West Africa and reveals that families are much the same the world over.
Older Oklahomans invited to share poetry
The 39th Annual Oklahoma Conference on Aging is accepting entries for the 2014 Senior Poetry Contest. The contest is a popular event in conjunction with the conference, which is sponsored by DHS Aging Services.
Contestants are encouraged to submit works which reflect the conference’s theme of “Inspired Living.” Winners will be invited to read their poems and be recognized at an awards luncheon on May 20 at the Embassy Suites Norman Hotel and Conference Center.
11-28 Holiday events listing
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Edmond Sun publishes a listing of Christmas-related events as a service to the public. If you would like to have an event open to the general public listed, send the information to Mark Schlachtenhaufen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACM@UCO faculty member releases album
Clay Withrow, adjunct faculty member at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO), recently released the album “Between the Madness” as a member of the progressive metal band Vangough.
“Between the Madness” is Vangough’s third studio effort and follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Kingdom of Ruin” released in 2011. Spread across 12 songs and more than 70 minutes of content, “Between the Madness” has what Withrow describes as a strong, unified sound.
11-27 Good Reads
‘ANNE FRANK’S CHESTNUT TREE’
BY JANE KOHUTH
Jane Kohuth’s “Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree” is the perfect introduction to the inspiring and important legacy of Anne Frank.
Hidden away in their Secret Annex in Amsterdam during World War II, Anne Frank and her family could not breathe fresh air or walk under the blue sky for years.
But through an attic window Anne could see the branches of a tall chestnut tree. This small glimpse of nature gave Anne hope and courage. It inspired her writing, in turn, inspiring the whole world.
FAI kicks off holiday activities Dec. 1
Winter is a busy time of the year for the staff at the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond as they plan December’s activities including the second year for “Art for the Holidays at FAI.”
Twitter reacts to the American Music Awards
In addition to being one of the biggest events on the music industry calendar, the American Music Awards also provides plenty of fodder for instant social media commentary. Here is a sampling of reaction on Twitter to Sunday night's show.
Broadway Star Kelli O’Hara to give master class at OCU
Broadway leading lady and four-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara will give a master class at Oklahoma City University, her alma mater, from noon to 2 p.m. Monday. The class is free to the public and will be in the Petree Recital Hall of the Bass Music Center at Northwest 25th Street and Blackwelder Avenue.
- More Arts & Entertainment Headlines
- All I want for Christmas is a new Christmas song