'Generation Kill' and 'Little Dorrit' face off

Limited to two nominations because of the number of miniseries submitted for contention, Emmy voters made a pact with quality over quantity this year. You could make a case for omissions, but you can’t argue with the choices.

HBO’s seven-episode “Generation Kill,” which premiered in July 2008, followed the Marines of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion during the early stages of the 2003 Iraq invasion. Producer-writers Ed Burns and David Simon (“The Wire”) stayed true to the memoir of embedded Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright, delivering a bracing mix of full-throttle action, intense drama and a willingness to depict war as a theater of the absurd.

“Little Dorrit,” which aired on PBS, proved to be a timely adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, given the presence of a conman banker who brings ruin to his investors’ lives. Of course, Mr. Meagleswas but one character in Andrew Davies’ lively, five-part interpretation that blended social satire, romantic melodrama and brilliant acting, particularly from Tom Courtenay as the heroine’s father.

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