Ellen’s coming out vs. Buffy’s tragic demise

Remember those long, insufferable clip montages from the Oscars? Apparently, the Emmys do. This year, the awards show is putting the content in our hands (so if it sucks, I guess we’re to blame). You can cast your vote for “Television’s Most Memorable Moments” in the categories of drama and comedy, and the winning clips will air during the live broadcast on September 21. The ABC site lists all 40 nominees and has videos of each one to refresh your memory.

You’ll find plenty of Emmy darlings, like The Sopranos and M*A*S*H, but there are also some surprises. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which never took home a major Emmy, gets the nod (and my vote) for Sarah Michelle Gellar’s “death” scene in season five’s “The Gift.” I’m hoping the producers will re-cut the clip for the broadcast because the one up now stops awkwardly short of the episode’s trademark line: “Dawn, the hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.” (*Single tear* — it gets me every time!)

The big one for us is in the comedy category. Our girl, Ellen DeGeneres, is up for her groundbreaking coming-out episode from 1997. The highlighted clip covers the funny and moving airport scene, in which Ellen tells guest star Laura Dern she’s gay over the loudspeaker.

If that’s not enough to send you to the online poll immediately, check out these other nominees with strong female leads.

There’s a special place in my heart for Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown, the smart, independent news anchor who became a single mom and wouldn’t back down from the criticism — even when it came from then Vice President Dan Quayle (you know, the guy who used to be the biggest dope in the White House).

A special chemistry shout-out goes to the clip of a young, pre-L Word Cybill Shepherd finally getting it on with her will-they-or-won’t-they partner, Bruce Willis, in Moonlighting.

As far as sexual tension goes, though, I tend to lean more toward the long overdue lip-lock between Scully and Mulder on The X-Files. (If the show were still on today, do you think they’d have some really lame nickname like “Sculder” or “Mully”?)

OK, enough already with the hot women kissing dudes. There are lots of other classic and contemporary women-driven shows, ranging from I Love Lucy to Sex and the City, for your voting pleasure. The second round begins on September 9. So, log on now to check out the complete list and to see if your favorites made the cut or got dissed. And don’t forget to let us know your picks for TV’s most memorable moments.