So the Emmy nominations are out, and for the most part, there are no huge surprises. Game of Thrones got all the nominations, in fact, HBO cleaned up nom wise. However, even with the big names throwing punches there was still plenty of love for the streaming networks, a trend that’s definitely headed on the upswing.
Good things did happen for a handful of series that deserved it. For example, Tatiana Maslany of BBC and BBC America’s Orphan Black was finally nominated for her commendable performance as 75% of the show’s cast. Maslany has been applauded by critics for her performance and range, and even earned a Golden Globe nomination, but had yet to be recognized by the Emmy’s until this year. The series definitely warranted more attention than it received, but in the complicated world of an infinite media hub it’s not a surprise that it was lost in the fold.
I was impressed with this year’s noms covering a wide array of content. Transparent received a significant amount of acclaim this year, and truthfully the Amazon Prime original deserved every bit of it. Additionally, the AMC original series Better Call Saul received seven Emmy nominations. Considering its tie-in to Breaking Bad and the fact that the show (though still slightly undefined in nature) is fantastic, I’m honestly surprised it didn’t get more. Can we just put Saul in every category?
Did anyone else notice the lack of horror series nominated? American Horror Story got its usual acclaim with three best supporting actress noms with Jessica Lange earning a nomination for best actress in a limited series, though this season of AHS wasn’t great so one has to wonder if the nomination(s) came on the heels of her leaving the Ryan Murphy powerhouse. On that same vein, it was nice to see the noms for network shows Big Bang Theory and Modern Family slow down. I don’t mean it in a malicious way, each has had merits in their own right, but both have also lost the stamina and luster of their initial humor and glory. Does anyone actually watch Big Bang Theory? Like, aside from your aunt or boss?
Amy Schumer continues her winning streak with two noms for her sketch series Inside Amy Schumer. Since she identifies herself as the “every woman” it’s hard not to root for her, but I was disappointed to see the Broad City snub. They were the ones who brought real issues to the table: things like pegging, being completely lost without the use of a cell phone, and the pure joy in dancing around naked when your roommate is out of town. You know, the hard hitting stuff. I know I’ve already done a lot of HBO complaining, but since we’re talking about comedy why did Silicon Valley only receive one nomination? Even if we’re only going off of last season the series has definitely earned its comedy wings in tenfold.
I have to wonder if it was weird for Uzo Aduba and Cat Deeley to hang out on stage during the announcements of the categories and candidates once they too were nominated. Someone had to have told them ahead of time right? Like, “Hey ladies, we want you on stage for the videos that will be shared all over the internet. You’re both nominated, yes I know very excited shut up. Save the surprised dances for the cameras.” Obviously that’s not word for word quote, but I assume that was the gist.
There were a few nominations that seemed like a joke. The first being Grace of Monaco, a movie that was panned during Sundance and sent to the recesses of network hell as punishment. I suppose Nicole Kidman was confused as to why her biopic wasn’t getting acclaim, so she was rewarded the nom to stop complaining. The second was Hello Ladies: The Movie. After being removed from the HBO line-up, there was talk of the show completing the initial storyline with a movie, but apparently I missed that notion coming to fruition. Am I the only one?
I think the best category in the award series is the “best guest actor” section. I mean, realistically this means if you had a guest spot on any television show you could be nominated. How out of left field can that get? Well, either the spot is filled by an actor who weren’t on screen the whole series or season and thinks they have a better chance of winning the award in that category (one of those logistical errors that they are able to get around.) Or the nom is given to an actual guest actor who doesn’t really have to have a significant role in whatever they’re appearing in. This year we had an array of randos: Bill Hader and Louis C.K. both hailing from SNL host nights, Jon Hamm and Tina Fey appearing in Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Michael J. Fox in the Good Wife, and even Allison Janey in Masters of Sex. Big names, sitting in the obscurity of a guest role. It’s like walking into a party and being given a shot, a desirable date, and a thousand dollars, no strings attached.
Through it all, the Emmys will always be an overhyped awards show that doesn’t necessarily relate to the actual world of entertainment aside from acting as an unnecessary title. Even as our preferences and rhythms change, there will always be politics keeping some of the best entertainment out of the lime light. That’s just the way things work. Some things to remember as we await the winners (coming to a TV near you this September!) are: HBO is King, Netflix is Queen (or Co-King, if that’s what they feel is right), Amazon is getting there, comedians will eventually take over everything, and the Emmys still mean nothing.
The Emmys air Sunday, September 20 on Fox.