The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards are taking place this weekend (Sunday, September 17 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV), and will honour the best in television from the past year. Well, some of the best.
With only six nomination spots per acting category, it’s literally impossible to nominate every actor who gave an outstanding performance this past year. That’s where we come in.
Although we do agree with many of the actors nominated this year, there are definitely a few names that we think should have been included on the list. As TV continues to improve in quality and variety, we have a feeling that the Emmys are going to have to start either making additional categories or nominating a lot more people.
Check out who we think should have also been nominated for an acting award this year:
MANDY MOORE, THIS IS US
This Is Us was undeniably the breakout show of the fall 2016 season. While the ensemble cast did earn several individual nominations, Mandy Moore was not nominated for her role as matriarch Rebecca. Not only did Moore act and sing in the premiere season, she was also the only character to play the same role in flashbacks and present day. Moore made caked on makeup that aged her 40 years look convincing. If it takes a double nomination for Moore and her makeup artist to get her on the Emmy scoreboard, we’re game.
ISSA RAE, INSECURE
Based on the popular web series Awkward Black Girl, HBO’s premiere season of the brilliant Insecure was shut out of the Emmy nominations this year. Writer and actor Issa Rae’s portrayal of a woman in her 20s trying to figure out relationships and career was so strong and so funny that it made a common show theme feel fresh and exciting. Backed by an incredible supporting cast, Rae’s comedic timing and emotional intuition made for a debut season that was not only intensely dramatic but also hilariously relatable.
ANDREW RANNELLS, GIRLS
Unfortunately, Andrew Rannells’ Elijah didn’t get much screen time in the final season of HBO’s Girls, but when the Broadway star was on screen, he commanded every eyeball. From reuniting with a former lover to finally receiving his big break in a basketball musical, Rannell’s Elijah showed depth and character development in the final season that viewers had yet to see in previous years. Plus, Elijah continued to have the best one-liners on Girls, with dialogue that was delivered ferociously and pitch perfectly by Ranells.
LENA DUNHAM, GIRLS
Watching Lena Dunham’s Girls alter ego character Hannah Horvath has never been easy. The character’s lack of self-awareness, and oblivion to social norms could be cringe inducing at many times throughout the series six seasons. But in the sixth and final season of Girls, Dunham’s Hannah finally grew up, making the decision of taking a teaching job (one that she was hugely unqualified for) and becoming a single mother. Dunham’s acting in the final season shifted Hannah from an overdone caricature to well-developed character.
JUSTIN THEROUX, THE LEFTOVERS
From the beginning, fans of HBO’s Leftovers knew the series was only going to last few seasons. Still, actor Justin Theroux’s incredible performance in the series’ final season kept fans weepy long after the credits rolled.
JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN, THE WALKING DEAD
It’s difficult to think of a character that was more hated in popular culture this year than Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan. That’s saying a lot considering this past 2016-2017 brought us Ramsay Bolton and a new POTUS. The bat-wielding baddie took out one of The Walking Dead’s most beloved characters and didn’t bat an eyelash. Even Morgan himself had difficulty portraying a character who is so inherently evil.
OPRAH WINFREY, THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS
Oprah Winfrey making audiences cry is nothing new, but in HBO’s film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Winfrey used her incredible range as a dramatic actress to bring viewers to tears, instead of doing it simply by giving them a new car. We’re fans of both options, but we think Winfrey should have earned an Emmy nod for the former.
TARAJI P. HENSON, EMPIRE
As hip-hop matriarch Cookie, Taraji P. Henson has found a role that enables the actor to show off her incredible range of emotions. It doesn’t hurt that Cookie’s wardrobe is also consistently on point. As a woman who’s been wronged in more ways than we can count, Henson’s Cookie continues to be a force of nature that pulls all eyes towards her in every scene.
PAUL GIAMATTI, BILLIONS
Paul Giamatti continues to be one of the most impressive and underrated actors of the past ten years. To say Giamatti can and has done it all would be an understatement. With his role as US Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr., Giamatti portrays a ruthless character who convincingly flips between his day job putting white collar criminals behind bars and his nightly ventures into the world of BDSM with his wife.
ED HARRIS, WESTWORLD
Ed Harris’s role as the violent and sadistic Man in Black could have easily been a one note character, but thanks to Harris’s incredible layered performance, the audience finds itself sympathizing with the man who’s lost everything and in turn takes out his anger and depression in acts of violence.
ROB CORDDRY, BALLERS
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the guy who wrote and starred in Children’s Hospital is arguably the best part of Ballers, but he is. From his nuanced asides to his self-deprecating speeches delivered to anyone who will listen, which is usually no one, Corddry’s Financial Advisor Joe is worth sitting through the weekly face-palm actions of professional athletes.
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, BALLERS
We’re not sure if there’s some Emmy clause that says that if your dad is Denzel Washington you won’t get a nomination out of fear of favoritism. It’s really the only answer we can come up with to the question of why John David Washington hasn’t earned a nomination in his role as NFL player Ricky Jerret. A former professional football player himself, Washington manages to portray the egotistical and overconfident Jerret in a way that still forces the viewer to love the pompous athlete. And if you think that Washington’s past as an NFL player makes his job any easier, just tune into an episode of Ballers and watch a current NFL player portray themselves. Stick to the field, gentlemen.
CLAIRE DANES, HOMELAND
Claire Danes has already taken home two Emmy awards for her role as CIA officer Carrie Mathison and rightly so. Still, Danes’ role as the terrorist-hunting single mom dealing with bipolar disorder continues to stun viewers on a weekly basis. With two more seasons left until the series’ end, Danes’ Mathison will continue to keep us on the edge of our seats and is likely earn another nomination.
SHAILENE WOODLEY, BIG LITTLE LIES
We loved seeing so many acting nominations for HBO’s breakout hit Big Little Lies, including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Alexander Skarsgard. Still, we were surprised that Shailene Woodley’s turn as single mom Jane didn’t also receive a nomination. Woodley’s portrayal of a mom attempting to understand what has happened when her son is accused of attacking another child, while also harboring her own secret, is visceral, with her performance the perfect blend of strength and vulnerability.
ADAM SCOTT, BIG LITTLE LIES
As Reese Witherspoon’s loving husband Ed, Adam Scott portrayed a character that revealed layers of his personality with each new episode. While at first Scott’s character appeared to be the oblivious ‘aw schucks’ counterpart to Reese’s aggressive and opinionated Madeline, Ed became much more relatable and in tune with his surroundings through Scott’s understated but poignant performance.
BONUS: JIMMY FALLON AND SETH MEYERS
Okay, so technically the late-night host aren’t actors, but we’re still shocked that neither received a nomination this year. Fallon has taken a hit in the ratings, possibly thanks to his hair tousling interview with Donald Trump and his inexplicable need to keep his 11:30 p.m. show G-rated, but the former SNL cast member still knows how to make a viral hit.
As for Meyers, the late show host continues to bring his A-game with some of the most underrated political commentary to hit the screen in 2016 and 2017. Viewers and critics continue to sleep on Seth, but with his peers able to count on one hand the number of softball jokes they’ve directed at the current president of the United States, Meyers brazenly and smartly takes Trump to task on a nightly basis.
Watch the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards hosted by Stephen Colbert on Sunday, September 17 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.
Who’s going to take home an Emmy this weekend?