Monday, July 18, 2016

Emmy Nominations: The Good, The Bad, and The Whatever

It's been five years since I've done a "The Good, The Bad, and The Whatever" reaction post to Emmy nominations, but I'm feeling the overwhelming need to share, so let's do this. First, just a note on my wishlists ballots: Even with naming 10-11 names for each category, I only still managed 34 out of 87 nominations which is pretty dismal, but weirdly actually higher than I expected. Onwards...


-Perhaps my absolute favorite nominations were those for The Americans which finally broke through in its fourth year with Best Drama Series and Best Actor/Actress nominations. I'm especially happy for both Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell who have done amazing work and finally getting their deserved recognition.

-People vs. OJ Simpson getting 22 nominations including no-brainer nods to Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown, and Courtney B. Vance. It's a show that should've been a hot mess, but it was just so damn well done.

-Should've been more, but I'm ecstatic for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's four nominations, including one for their Main Title Theme Music as well as...

-"Settle for Me" getting nominated for Original Music and Lyrics. The category also had Galavant's one and only nomination with their "A New Season" number.

-Mr. Robot breaking through including nominations for Best Drama Series and Best Actor. A weird show that could've easily gone unnoticed by the TV Academy.

-Nominations for Rami Malek, Aziz Ansari, Tracee Ellils Ross, Viola Davis, Andre Braugher, Taraji P. Henson, Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Anthony Anderson, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Regina King, Niecy Nash! Diversity!

-Maura Tierney for The Affair! Which is also the show's first and only Emmy nomination ever. It's an inspired choice as my tweet attests:

-Other nominees that were right on: Constance Zimmer, Tatiana Maslany (now a 2-time Emmy nominee!), Ellen Burstyn, Molly Parker, Maisie Willians, and all the Fargo love (Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Bokeem Woodbine, and Jean Smart.

-RuPaul finally getting nominated for Best Reality TV Host for RuPaul's Drag Race. I don't watch the show myself, but I know plenty of people who do and I'm very for him and them!

-Very happy the TV Academy saw and apparently liked The Night Manager and gave all of its main stars nominations (Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie), but I'm especially happy for Olivia Colman's nod.

-Best Writing in a Drama Series is one HELL of a category. There is honestly no wrong choice in my opinion.

-American Ninja Warrior gets its first Emmy nomination! My favorite summer reality fare finally broke through for Best Reality-Competition Program.

-"Parents" episode of Master of None getting Directing/Writing nod. If you haven't seen this episode, it's a must-watch especially if you're a 1st generation with immigrant parents. It hit close to home.

-Live musicals are a it! Grease: Live and The Wiz Live! did well with nominations. It helps that they were both GOOD as well so yes more please!

-Best Directing for "Battle of the Bastards" for Game of Thrones should really be the one to beat. Just masterful.


-It's not super surprising that the Emmys yet again forgot the CW exists, but with other award bodies (and critics) the past couple of years banging the gong for Jane the Virgin and this year's super fresh Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I really thought they'd finally recognize them in major categories. At least Crazy managed to get a handful of technical nominations (see above), but acting noms for Rachel Bloom and Donna Lynne Champlin should've been no-brainers.

-Other TV shows the TV Academy should really watch more for next year's consideration because wow seriously: The Leftovers, Sense8, You're the Worst, Broad City, Underground, Fresh Off the Boat, UnReal, Superstore, Jessica Jones, Peaky Blinders, and so much more.

-Speaking of Sense8, aka my favorite show of last season, I knew it wasn't likely to get anything so I guess I should just be happy with its 1 nomination for Main Title Theme. But holy shit, it have so much more!

-I know the transition from Comedy to Drama hasn't been particularly graceful and its 3rd season was far from its best, but Orange is the New Black managing to only get 1 nomination for this still great television show is sad.

-With that said, Girls really had quite a comeback season this past year and the once lauded series similarly got no love this year.

-Aya Cash, Constance Wu, and the ladies of Broad City certainly should be nominated. Couldn't one of them have bumped Amy Schumer this year?

-Modern fucking Family... again? I can literally name 7 other shows that deserve its spot (and a lot more actually). At least it looks like the show's vice grip on the Emmys is loosening slightly.

-Benedict fucking Cumberbatch... again? And technically I would also add Idris Elba here as much as I love that man to pieces. For both though, it's a bit too much of a same thing and I just *hate* repeat nominees in Limited Series/Movie categories. And as much as I love the show, Cuba Gooding Jr. was the weak link in his cast. All I'm saying is... OSCAR ISAAC was right there, TV Academy!

-Even with some performances I like nominated, the Guest Acting categories are a mishmash of WHAT? I feel there really should be an overhaul somehow. Some choice names that they should've seriously considered: Lisa Kudrow, Cynthia Nixon, Corey Stoll, Octavia Spencer, Christopher Abbot, Natasha Lyonne, BD Wong, and Tom Hardy. Most of these are even household names!


-In the battle between Lady Gaga, Adele, and Beyonce, the latter two came out on top. Lemonade and Adele's live concert get four nominations each while Gaga surprisingly didn't get one for her turn in American Horror Story.

-Documentary films that were eligible for Oscars (He Named Me Malala, The Hunting Ground, What Happened Miss Simone, Cartel Land, etc.) also being eligible for Emmys is a bit shady if you ask me.

-Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are co-nominated for hosting Saturday Night Live. Their joint nomination is history-making I think, but all I can think about is... 

-Game of Thrones leading with 23 nominations. I don't know why this isn't up there in The Good, because I quite love the show and this past season is a step-up from its Emmy-winning season last year. Perhaps I just want to keep the show honest. And similarly...

-Veep leading comedies with 17 nominations, up from their previous best of just 9 nominations last year. Look, I also love the show to death, but did the quality of the show increase THAT much (in a year with a new showrunner even)? Let's give some more love to other shows, shall we?

-Hannibal getting its first nomination of its entire run this year for Visual Effects in a Supporting Role. I guess that's something!

-People are pooh-pooing the Downton Abbey nominations, especially its Best Drama Series nod, but I thought its final season was one of its best so I'm good.

-Was it because of the slap heard around the world? The Good Wife bows out with just 4 nods in its final season.

-Let's end of a gay note... congrats to the nominations for Gay of Thrones (not a typo!) and Gaycation with Ellen Page. I don't watch either one, but the world always needs a little more gay.

And that's it! I'll do a more detailed commentary later for the main categories with my predictions as well. To see a complete list of this year's Emmy nominations, click here.

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