RARA-AVIS: Re: The Edgars (courtesy Sarah Weinman and Bill Crider)

From: foxbrick (foxbrick@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 May 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, JIM DOHERTY <jimdohertyjr@...> wrote:
    > First, the committee can only consider those works that are actually submitted. Suppose hypothetically that Edgars were awarded in 1931 (for 1930), and, in the Best Novel category, that Dashiell Hammett did NOT submit THE MALTESE FALCON, D.L. Sayers did NOT submit STRONG POISON, and Ellery Queen did NOT submit THE FRENCH POWDER MYSTERY. In that case, a situation would have been created in which it would be much more likely that S.S. Van Dine might win for THE SCARAB MURDER CASE, despite the fact that any of the other books were clearly superior.
    > Second, committee members are not necessarily encouraged to beat the bushes for nominees. In fact, they might be actually discouraged from doing so, because it might be construed as favoritism. So, if a committee member knows of a worthy potential entry in the category to which s/he is assigned that has not been entered, s/he might not be in a position to encourage the author, publisher, or producer to submit that piece.
    > Third, though the L&O franchise and N.Y.P.D. BLUE have tended to dominate over the last decade or so in this category, they haven't always won. Dark horses have finished in first place on a number of occasions. Episodes of THE SOPRANOS, BURN NOTICE, the British version of LIFE ON MARS, THE PRACTICE, and SEA OF SOULS have all won, despite the "inside track" that many suppose Dick Wolf and Steven Bochco enjoy.

    --Thanks, this does explicate a bit further the problem...clearly, Hollywood and the other production centers, with notable exceptions of the folks at Dick Wolf and Steven Bochco's shops and perhaps the scattered few others which have submitted scripts which have made the ballot, don't take the MWA seriously enough to submit. I'm not sure if that is more the fault of the producers et al., or of the MWA, but am cheerfully willing to suspect the former. Which, in at least one sense, hurts the MWA more, anyway.
    > Fourth, all that said, I'd skip over a dozen episodes of LIFE, which leaves me totally cold, to catch one episode of L&O, L&O-SVU, or L&O-CI. I don't have HBO, so I haven't seen DEXTER, but I'll bow to your judgment.

    --Sure, matter of taste. I note DEXTER (which, fwiw, is a Showtime property) did make a ballot recently. I think LIFE was the best dramatic series on over the last two seasons, but the reversion to the pervasive H'wood daddy-seeking trope in the final episode left something to be desired (even if it did do something amusing with that).

    Todd Mason (Who notes that the only made for tv crime drama, long form, which sticks in the memory for me over the last year, was the amiable JESSE STONE film in Tom Selleck's irregular series...perhaps there were Lifetime or Hallmark or "premium"-cable items that I overlooked that I shouldn't've...the kind of thing MWA might be hoped to ferret out)

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