Whew, so much to talk about this year! It was probably the most adventurous group of Emmy nominees I've ever seen, so there's some real evidence that the TV academy is taking the time to seek out the shows that are scattered all over the ever broadening television landscape these days and nominate some quality stuff. But as always, they have a tendency to cling to old faves that are way past their prime as well. I'm just gonna go by category here, so let's dig in, shall we?
Woo-hoo! They love Silicon Valley more every year, hence the noms for star Thomas Middleditch (yay!) and all those directing and writing nods. But I'm sorry, where the hell is the TJ Miller nomination?? Come on you guys- you love the show, but not Erlich? That makes no sense to me. On the actress side, here's to Ellie Kemper getting her first nod for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! But why did they have to kick out Jane Krakowski in supporting? She was awesome this season, better than she was last year. Hmph.
I quit Veep this year, and apparently it had a fantastic season, but...eh. I don't feel the motivation to catch up. I will say that I'm very happy to see Matt Walsh get nominated after all this time- he was always one of my preferred characters in a cast of people I mostly hated (their characters, not the actors).
Aaah!! A writing nomination for Catastrophe (my FAVORITE comedy on all of television, yes, even more than Kimmy Schmidt). I had no hope that this show (which is actually an import from the UK) would get any attention paid to it, so that's thrilling. Because the show is hilarious. Seriously, people, watch it.
I really need to catch up on Master of None. So much love for Aziz Ansari, who pulled off a mini-Louis CK in obtaining all those nods for himself in different categories. I promise to watch it before the ceremony airs. But honestly, this looks to me like it's Veep's to lose again. After a stellar season (look at the sheer number of directing nods for the show), I think it's in for a repeat, but I have some real hope that Silicon Valley can certainly win this category eventually, maybe even next season.
Welp, for me you know this is all about The Americans. After all these years, we have Emmy nominees Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, plus writing and the show itself. I'm practically giddy! And no, I don't think it's winning anything this year, but now that's it's finally in (and I'm aware that this is probably due to Mad Men being over and the slot opening up), I think it can certainly win before the end of its run. And that's awesome enough, since shows that haven't been nominated by their fourth seasons never are. This one finally broke the mold.
Tatiana Maslany! I will never not be psyched that she's getting nominated for Emmys for such a trippy, sci-fi genre show on BBC America. If they still went by episode submission/committee process, I'd have zero doubt she'd win, but without that I fear she's still essentially an unknown and it won't happen. I'll never lose hope though, especially with next season being Orphan Black's last.
The Mr. Robot love is cool and kind of a surprise I guess, especially in series, but it had been popping up all year at places like critics awards, guild awards and the Golden Globes, so we could kinda see it coming. Rami Malek deserves that win in lead more than any of the other actors, in my opinion.
Game of Thrones got FIVE actors in all of a sudden, adding Kit Harington and Maisie Williams to the Dinklage, Headey and Clarke trifecta. That's pretty cool and the show had a great sixth season, coming off its less than deserving fifth season, where it had finally won. I believe it's going to repeat for that reason, and probably take both Dinklage and Headey with it this time.
Look at that drama supporting actress category- Constance Zimmer got in for UnREAL!!! And Maura Tierney for The Affair! See, those kinds of nominations tell you somebody really is watching stuff, because the shows weren't in overall. Although UnREAL also got a writing nom, so congratulations Lifetime! You've arrived! That is so cool, I can hardly believe it actually happened. These aren't the Emmys that I know.
Then again, we've also got Homeland, Downton Abbey (thank GOD this show won't be there next year), House of Cards...blech. And honestly, when you look at some of this stuff you see that the new blood came in by virtue of old shows finally ending their runs, so voters are still kind of lazy about rubber-stamping things that really shouldn't be there anymore. And they have so many good choices like Outlander for example, which got criminally overlooked except in costumes and production design. Sigh. What are you gonna do, right?
And it's worth noting here, Orange is the New Black got completely skunked for its third season. I really have to wonder if this would have happened had they left the show in comedy like they should have. There's such a thing as dark comedy and it did amazingly well there in the first season, less so in drama last year, and now nothing in drama this time. I always thought its outrageous tone meant it would have a hard time competing with other dramas. I think I was right. Wonder what it means for next year, given that this current season was perhaps its best ever.
TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES
I predicted every single actor who got in for the OJ show. Sorry, I just had to toot my own horn for a sec there. But it's true, you can check my twitter feed. I won't say they were all equally deserving (I know some people hated Travolta's Robert Shapiro- I actually didn't, I thought he was entertaining and campy, and the show had a bit of a campy feel to it anyway, so it worked), but I don't mind the noms. It was a great cast. I think Vance and Paulson have their Emmys locked up, but I REALLY want Sterling K. Brown to win as well in supporting.
The Night Manager is severely overrated. 12 nominations is far too many for what was a slick, beautifully shot but kinda routine spy story. Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie I won't object to, but the series and lead actor noms should have been replaced by David Simon's Show Me a Hero and Oscar Isaac, which got unfairly ignored.
The Fargo love is terrific, and I'd honestly root for any of those actors (especially Bokeem Woodbine), but the People vs OJ cast is going to dominate and I really can't complain about that. It'll be a big night for Ryan Murphy and this is a much better show than the various American Horror Story entries over the years. Although I still don't quite agree with Fargo being labeled a limited series just because the cast is different every year. It all takes place in the same universe and town, just at different times- how is that not a drama series?
I'm not an expert in the reality shows, so I'll just make my best predictions for those when the time comes. As for variety, well...the snubbing of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is what hurts the most of all the nominations today. She is fantastic, her show was fire right out of the gate and is getting loads of attention, yet the Emmys continue their longstanding tradition of never nominating a woman in that talk show category. But never fear, she got in for writing, which means she will be there next year in series. Right? She better be.
Speaking of snubs, there was zero love for Stephen Colbert's Late Show or The Daily Show, now hosted by Trevor Noah, so that's the first time without those two fixtures in many, many years. And it's not really a snub, to be honest. Colbert has severely disappointed with the Late Show and it's got to be a real slap in the face for them to actually nominate James Corden's Late Late Show over his. I mean, that's really gotta sting, right? Should Corden be the one at 11:35pm, leaving Colbert free to actually do what he does well at 12:30? Maybe so. Won't happen, but this will fuel the talk even further that it should.
As for Trevor Noah running The Daily Show into the ground (okay that's probably too harsh), he just hasn't made an impression or crossed into cultural relevance, obviously. Samantha Bee has totally outmaneuvered him in that area. But it looks like they'd rather nominate Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Another ouch. Actually, a show that's been overlooked here is Late Night with Seth Meyers, which has really become must-see viewing lately for political junkies. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they should replace Bill Maher's Real Time rubber stamping with Meyers next year. The constant, two decade teasing of Maher with the nomination and NEVER the win is getting cruel. Cut the chord already guys, you know you're never gonna give it to him.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver will win variety easily, and I think Key and Peele (since this was their last season) will take the second ever sketch series award from Amy Schumer. Her most recent season was hardly buzzed at all, and K&P are done, so they really ought to be rewarded. I'd hate to see a rubber stamping of a past winner in such a new category.
It'd be funny to see Lemonade win that Variety Special award. Could it beat the Adele live show? Beyonce vs Adele for an Emmy. Huh. Didn't see that one coming.
Final note: there is no need for an "EmmysSoWhite" hashtag. This is what diversity looks like, people, and television is clearly where the opportunities for everyone lie these days. It's quite a change from years past and it's only headed in the right direction. That's real progress if I ever saw it.