It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to predict what Emmy voters are going to salivate over in any given season, but it was especially tough this year with traditional heavyweights like The Crown, Westworld, The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies not being eligible thanks to cut-off eligibility dates, and big zeitgeist series like Game of Thrones (which nabbed a record-breaking 32 nominations) and The Big Bang Theory ending their epic runs.
Add in welcome curveballs like Fleabag, Pose and When They See Us and well, Tuesday morning’s Emmy nominations were interesting. And we have some thoughts about it all.
The biggest snubs
It’s fairly absurd that the No. 1 comedy, The Big Bang Theory (available to stream on CTV.ca), which delivered both critically and in the ratings during its final season, didn’t get any nods for comedy or acting but picked up back-end recognition for things like episodic directing. For shame.
We’re also slightly miffed that Pamela Adlon and her single-mom comedy Better Things was shut out, especially since she forged ahead with a brilliant season sans her former creative partner, Louis C.K., and wrote, directed, and starred in the series.
Last but not least, we need to point out that Better Call Saul’s excellent Rhea Seahorn, who is snubbed every single year, really deserves better. Especially when all of her male counterparts continue to rake in the nods.
Little love for A-listers
It looks like the glitter of having a bold-name movie star come to the small screen is no longer enough to actually receive a nomination. We were taken aback that voters didn’t acknowledge Julia Roberts’ big TV debut with Homecoming—don’t voters love casting ballots for A-listers when they come to a little old medium like television? In that vein, it’s important to note George Clooney was also shut out for his return to TV with Catch-22, Emma Stone didn’t grab Emmy voters for her work in Maniac opposite Jonah Hill and Jim Carrey was shut out for his tour-de-force in Kidding. (Seriously, we’re not kidding. Carrey seemed like a shoe-in for a nomination with his darkly comedic turn as a children’s television show host whose son dies in a tragic accident.)
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Like certain A-listers who were overlooked, there are some other names missing from Tuesday morning’s list that had us less indignant but still confused. It would have been nice to see Christine Baranski and The Good Fight grab some nods, or for Linda Cardellini to be nominated alongside co-star Christina Applegate in Dead to Me since the show is such a partnership.
The fact that Tracee Ellis Ross and black-ish weren’t nominated but co-star Anthony Anderson was is certainly a bit of a head-scratcher, but even more surprising was that The Good Place’s D’Arcy Carden, who co-hosted the nominations announcement and was a critical darling heading into the morning, didn’t get any love, but Season’s 4 best episode “Janet,” where she showed her comedic chops and played all the main characters, received a nomination for best writing.
We’re equally miffed about our girl Aidy Bryant not getting any love for her amazing turn on Shrill, and can’t believe that after all we’ve been through together, Justin Hartley is still not getting his due recognition on This Is Us. Same goes for Chrissy Metz.
Speaking of This Is Us, we gave a huge slow-clap to Chris Sullivan this morning in the wake of his nomination. We feel like Toby has always gotten a bad rap on the show but he’s come such a long way. It was heartwarming to see his name up there alongside Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, and Sterling K. Brown.
Ava DuVernay’s stirring drama When They See Us, about the Exonerated Five, earned 16 nods, with DuVernay herself picking up writing and directing noms, while cast members Jharrel Jerome, Aunjanue Ellis, Niecy Nash, Asante Black, John Leguizamo and Michael K. Williams scoring nominations for their acting work. And to think it all started with a tweet.
It was equally cool to see the second season of Killing Eve be recognized again alongside stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. (Typically award bodies give love to new fringe series like Eve but then forget about them by season two.) And then there’s Killing Eve creator/writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose second season of her other series, Fleabag is a masterclass in comedy and breaking down the fourth wall. The fact that she and the series were recognized is pretty much everything.
— Sandra Oh (@IamSandraOh) July 16, 2019
Also everything? The incredible love for Pose and our crush and style muse Billy Porter. House of Evangelista FTW, y’all.
Interestingly, the only Game of Thrones actor of note to not get an Emmy nomination was Isaac Hempstead Wright, whose Bran character wound up sitting on that iron throne by the end of the series. Even Lena Headey, who had basically no lines all season long, earned a nomination. (The voters must have really liked her quip about elephants, too.) At this point, it’s going to be interesting to see which Thrones members win out over the others in each category, and if Headey can best the beloved Stark sisters, Masie Williams and Sophie Turner.
Meanwhile on the comedy side of things, we smiled when Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ name landed back up there for Veep, and hope she continues her hot streak come September when the awards air.
Other names that top our list of yes-of-course-they-belong include Michelle Williams, who landed the love for her take on Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon, Patricia Arquette and her nomination for Escape at Dannemora, and Bill Hader’s Barry, which earned a Best Comedy nod.
The sure things
Sometimes, when you watch as much TV as we do, and when you pay attention to all of the critical love a show or person has received, you just have a feeling about certain wins. And while we’ve been wrong in the past, we’d be genuinely shocked if Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has won a record eight Emmys throughout her career and six alone for playing Selina Meyer, Game of Thrones and Fleabag didn’t all win in their respective categories.
Only a couple of more months until we find out.
The 71st Emmys air Sunday, Sept. 22 on CTV.