September 26, 2005 12:00 PM

The Emmys

Like Bree Van De Kamp unable to stop obsessing over a string of melted cheese as it’s drawn downward by gravity from table to carpet, I reach Sept. 18, Emmy night, unable to move beyond the fact that this great show is nominated 15 times. In the comedy category. But Housewives is a drama. Isn’t it? It has comic elements, sure, but the foundations are tragic. The show’s suspense comes from worming our way into some dark layers of behavior. By the end of the first season we’d learned why Zach Young (Cody Kasch) is the saddest-looking kid since Haley Joel Osment. His real mother, a drug addict, was murdered by a woman pretending to be his mother, who later shot herself. Truman Capote could have made hay.

FOX’s Arrested Development should win for best comedy. Because it is.

Other favorites:

BEST DRAMA Lost, ABC. The island as a metaphorical catch-all evolved nicely. I liked the white bear.

ACTOR, DRAMA Hugh Laurie, House, FOX. An actor known for playing amiable British twits is now a bitter American medical genius.

ACTRESS, DRAMA Patricia Arquette, Medium, NBC. Her eerie serenity isn’t far off from a George Romero film, but she’s original.

ACTOR, COMEDY Jason Bateman, Arrested Development. Craziness with nimbleness.

ACTRESS, COMEDY If Housewives is funny, why wasn’t Eva Longoria nominated? She’s the brightest, campiest thing on the series. Still, Teri Hatcher anchors the show, and beautifully. Okay, she can win.

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