As they seem to be every summer, the Emmy nominations were announced last week while I was on vacation. After searching high and low for a viable cell phone signal (why do beach towns have such terrible service?), I took a look at the contenders for the biggest awards in TV. While many of my hopes from last week’s post were dashed, there were definitely some things to be happy about, some things to be not-so-happy about and at least one thing that was exciting until you think about it for a while and then is kind of ridiculous. Read on to find out what I think should go in those respective categories.
I, of course, was ecstatically happy to see Sandra Oh nominated in Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her incredible performance in “Killing Eve.” (I was not so happy to see that she was the only actor nominated for that show, but we’ll get to that later.) Tatiana Maslany as well for the final season of “Orphan Black” was a delight, but she already has one so I’m rooting hard for Sandra Oh. She and Judith Light in supporting actress for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” were the only two people from my hopes list that actually got nominated, but they definitely both deserve to win. Other great first time (at least, for their respective shows) acting nominees include Ted Danson (for lead actor in “The Good Place“), Issa Rae (for lead actress in “Insecure“), Brian Tyree Henry (for supporting actor in “Atlanta“), Kenan Thompson (for supporting actor on “SNL,” after 15 SEASONS OF BEING ON THE SHOW), Zazie Beetz (for supporting actress in “Atlanta”) and Aidy Bryant (for supporting actress on “SNL”). The Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series categories are especially great, with Sterling K. Brown (for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine“) and Donald Glover (for hosting “SNL”) getting recognized, as well as my forever fave Maya Rudolph (for “The Good Place”) and Tiffany Haddish (for hosting “SNL”). I was also pleased to see the likes of Donald Glover (for lead actor in “Atlanta”) and Pamela Adlon (for lead actress in “Better Things“) staying in the mix. As for the show nominees themselves, I was mostly happy to see that for the first time in its entire run, “Modern Family” was not nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. Progress is possible!
So Sandra Oh gets a nomination for “Killing Eve” and the show itself (more specifically its creator, Phoebe Waller-Bridge) gets nominated for writing, but no love for the actual show in the Outstanding Drama Series category? And no love for the incredible Jodie Comer in Supporting? Truly ridiculous. I don’t have much else to say with regards to the drama categories, mostly because I don’t watch many of those shows, but I do continue to find it laughable how much people seem to think that “This Is Us” is actually a good show. Is it entertaining? Yes, in the ways that it continually tortures its characters but also shows that their lives aren’t nearly as bad as they love to whine that they are. But is it good? There are lines on that show on a weekly basis that make me physically cringe with how corny and trite they are. I wouldn’t consider that good, but that’s just me. As for comedy, my predictions for what would actually get nominated (“Barry,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel“) versus what I actually wanted to be nominated (“The Good Place,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend“) were unfortunately correct. To be fair, I haven’t seen “Barry” or “Maisel” or “GLOW,” (mostly because I have become so infuriated by the proliferation of streaming services and deep cable channels with original content that I’ve given up entirely on trying to keep up) but there’s still good stuff being made on broadcast! And when you don’t award them they don’t get to grow their fan bases and then the executives cancel them! Its a vicious cycle perpetuated by the pompous push to only celebrate prestige cable and streaming. I could go on and on, but I won’t. At least, not now. While I was quite pleased to see Brian Tyree Henry and Zazie Beetz score nominations for “Atlanta,” why no love for Lakeith Stanfield‘s Darius? The “Teddy Perkins” episode of “Atlanta” was nominated for Hiro Murai‘s directing, and Donald Glover’s portrayal of the titular character will certainly factor in to his likely second acting Emmy win, but as Darius in that episode, Stanfield gave us a nuanced mix of fear and empathy that was just as heartbreaking and mesmerizing as anything Glover did. And don’t even get me starting on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” Andre Braugher being brushed over again for Alec Baldwin. That is a complete and total crime. Also a crime? The snub of Cody Fern for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” Maybe his presence on the show was too small for him to fit into the rules of the categories, but they should have tried to make it work! My final complaint comes in the Variety Talk category. If I had things my way, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden” would be switched out for “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “Desus & Mero,” but I guess we can’t have nice things.
The Great, but also Infuriating
Sandra Oh’s nomination for “Killing Eve” made her the first Asian actress to be nominated in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category in Emmy history. At first glance, that fact is cool in a “yay, history!” kind of way, until you think about the fact that it is 2018. How on earth has there not been another Asian actress in that category? HIRE ASIAN ACTRESSES!!! It’s not that hard. And if your argument is that your show needs a white lady to be the lead, then REWRITE YOUR SHOW. It can’t possibly be that good to begin with.
What do you think? Were you happy with the 2018 Emmy nominations? Are you also continually fascinated by Blake Lively’s choices in roles, like in the recently released trailer for “A Simple Favor“? Share your thoughts in the comments. And, of course…