The nominees for the 60th Annual Primetime Emmys have been announced, and for the second straight year, I have to say that I’m pretty happy with most of the categories. While, as usual, there were some major snubs that the internet is fuming about, it’s hard to get upset about too many of the people that were actually nominates. After taking some time to ruminate, I thought it might be fun to go through the major categories and look at who was nominates, the major snubs, and to take a look back at a list of dream nominees that I had prepared in private a few weeks ago.
But first, some general musings; I know a lot of people get angry about one show or another missing out on nominations, or another getting way too many, and while I do agree that the Emmys could use some category revamping, generally speaking, I’m happy with these nominations. There are a fair amount of new shows represented in the major categories, and I honestly feel like it’s a list that might set us up for some upsets.
On the drama side, last year’s dominant winner (The Handmaid’s Tale) became even more dominant with an egregious amount of acting nominations, besting the previous year’s returning champion, Game of Thrones, which is well represented, but missing some key players itself. Both shows have seen backlash, so does that open things up for a show like The Americans, a critical darling in its last season? For comedy, everyone (rightly) expects Atlanta to dominate, and that would be okay, but Barry snuck in there with its fair share of nominations and I’m overall really happy with most of the comedy categories.
While I really want the Emmys to do a better job of recognizing genre TV like science fiction, there is good diversity in every sense of the word in most of these categories and I hope it’s going to make for a good show. Beyond that, there are other cool things that could potentially happen at the ceremony, like John Legend completing his EGOT in four years for Jesus Christ Superstar, or Jeff Daniels winning in two Limited Series categories. There are always surprises at this show, and I’m looking forward to it.
Until then, here’s my major category anlysis. You can find the full list of nominees on the Emmys site
The Nominees: Atlanta, Barry, Black-ish, Curb Your Enthusiasm, GLOW, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Silicon Valley, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The Snubs: Modern Family, Insecure, Will & Grace.
Dream Nominees: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, The Good Place, and did I mention The Good Place?
Analysis: I’m not going to pretend that I’m not happy with how this category turned out. I watch everything nominated except for Black-ish, and most of these shows made my list of the best TV of the first half of 2018. However it was a pretty stacked year for comedy, so it was kind of surprising to see some of these omissions. Modern Family was completely shut out after an eight year streak in this category, and Insecure and Will & Grace but had acting noms but failed to break through for Best Comedy. The Good Place saw a Ted Danson nominee but couldn’t break through in this category, despite being one of the consensus best shows on TV, and B99 couldn’t capitalize on the goodwill coming out of its surprise NBC pickup this past may. But, hey, I’m not angry. Atlanta will likely take home everything it’s up for, and if it doesn’t, that means that Barry is going to be the upset, and that’s fine in my book.
The Nominees: The Crown, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, The Americans, This Is Us, Westworld
The Snubs: Ozark, Killing Eve
Dream Nominees: 9-1-1, Counterpart, Mindhunter,
Analysis: No surprises in this category. Literally no surprises. Five of the seven nominees are repeats from last year, and the other two others (The Americans and GOT) were expected to jump back in as they were nominated in 2016 and the shows they’re replacing (Better Call Saul and House of Cards) weren’t on this past year and had been deemed untouchable due to scandal, respectively. It’s kind of boring, sure, but I think that it’s probably going to be an interesting race. Three of these shows, including the two likely frontrunners (GOT and Handmaid’s) saw a lot of backlash for their most recent seasons. , which may open the floodgates for a surprise Stranger Things or The Americans win, one being universally beloved and the other sticking the landing impressively with its final season.
As for the snubs, the only shows close to a surprise were Killing Eve and Ozark, which were honoured elsewhere but failed to break through in the main category. My dream ballot had three new shows on it. 9-1-1 was a big broadcast hit but likely too broad for what the Emmys has become. Counterpart, a great sci-fi thriller that had the opposite problem. And Mindhunter, arguably Netflix’s best original series, has bizarrely been forgotten by many, although Cameron Britton’s incredible guest performance as serial killer Ed Kember was rightfully recognized.
The Nominees: The Alienist, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Genius: Picasso, Godless, Patrick Melrose
The Snubs: Twin Peaks
Dream Nominees: The Looming Tower, American Vandal, Collateral
Analysis: Limited series at the Emmys will always have some weird choices, but it seems especially weird that they’d ignore a show like Twin Peaks, which managed to score 9 mostly below-the-line nominations but failed to break out here or in any acting categories. People are really mad about it. I haven’t seem most of these, so I’ll probably be rooting for Godless and ruminating about how Carey Mulligan’s amazing performance in Collateral or the perfect dick jokes in American Vandal were ignored.
LEAD COMEDY ACTRESS
The Nominees: Pamela Adlon, Rachel Brosnahan, Allison Janney, Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lily Tomlin
The Snubs: Kristen Bell, Debra Messing, Ellie Kemper, Alison Brie
Dream Ballot: Constance Wu, Wendy McLellan-Covey
Analysis: All of these tremendous women certainly deserve to be nominated, however we could make an entirely new category out of the snubs and dream nominees. Alison Brie’s omission from GLOW is especially glaring. Kristen Bell’s was expected, but it still stings. And I gotta throw some love towards my favourite ABC sitcom moms, hopefully some day there’ll be room for them. That being said, this is all moot, because of Rachel Brosnahan doesn’t win for The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, then the Emmys have bigger problems.
LEAD COMEDY ACTOR
The Nominees: Anthony Anderson, Ted Danson, Larry David, Donald Glover, Bill Hader, Bill Macy
The Snubs: Jeffrey Tambor, Eric McCormack, Will Forte, Thomas Middleditch, Zach Galifianakis, John Goodman, Jason Bateman
Dream Ballot: Andy Samberg, Randall Park
Analysis: Just like with the women, this year’s crop of comedy actors is so stacked that we could make a full category out of the people that were snubbed, but similarly, I can’t say that any snub is egregious or that any one person shouldn’t have been nominated. Tambor’s included in the snubs just because he’s a previous winner, but we all knew he’d be left off due to his scandals. John Goodman should have broken through for Roseanne if Laurie Metcalf did, and we won’t pine over Jason Bateman being left off for Arrested Development after coming in as a double nominee for Ozark. And just like lead actress, it’s all mood, because there’s no world in which Donald Glover doesn’t repeat his win for Atlanta.
LEAD DRAMA ACTRESS
The Nominees: Claire Foy, Tatiana Maslany, Sandra Oh, Elisabeth Moss, Keri Russell, Evan Rachel Wood
The Snubs: Mandy Moore, Emilia Clarke, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Dream Ballot: Gillian Anderson, Connie Britton, Laura Linney, Claire Danes
Analysis: I think you get the point by now. There are plenty of talented actors who deserved to be nominated in these competitive categories. I don’t think there was anything too egregious in this one, other than maybe Mandy Moore being left out after her performance in This Is Us season 2 was arguably more lauded than in the first. It would habe been nice to see Claire Danes get back in after a resurgent season of Homeland, or something a little crazier like Anderson for The X-Files or Queen Britton for 9-1-1, but at the end of the day, this is a good category that I could honestly see going to almost any of these ladies. Moss is the defending champion, Maslaney a previous winner, Keri Russell is a goddess in the final season of one of the best shows of the decade, and Sandra Oh is coming in hot off a surprise hit in Killing Eve. At the end of the day the Emmys will probably be boring and give it to Moss again, but I’m crossing my fingers for Russell.
LEAD ACTOR DRAMA
The Nominees: Jason Bateman, Sterling K. Brown, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Matthew Rhys, Milo Ventimiglia
The Snubs: Freddie Highmore, Kitt Harrington, Rami Malek, Liev Schreiver
Dream Ballot: Jonathan Groff, J.K. Simmons, Dan Stevens, Peter Krause
Analysis: The only real surprise here is that Freddie Highmore didn’t get in for the overall-snubbed but highly watched The Good Doctor. This is another category that could have stood to see some genre diversity (hence my dream ballot picks), but like the women, it could go either way and see a (deserved but boring) repeat from SKB, or a surprise from any one of the high-profile, terrific actors he’s nominated with. In my dreams, Matthew Rhys wins right after his wife does for The Americans, but you know this already.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS COMEDY
The Nominees: Zazie Beetz, Aidy Bryant, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Betty Gilpin, Megan Mullaly, Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein
The Snubs: Rita Moreno, Jessica Walter
Dream Ballot: D’Arcy Carden
Analysis: A wild category saw a whopping eight nominees this year (up from six last year) to accomodate for virtually everyone on the SNL cast. At this point the Emmys’ love for the NBC variety show is getting out of hand. It’s nice to see Aidy there, but Leslie Jones is barely on the show. It would have been much better to see that spot go to one of the three other actresses I mentioned, particularly Jessica Walter, as this may have been her lost shot for Arrested Development. It seems likely that they’ll wind up rewarded McKinnon again, as she keeps reinventing what she can do on SNL, but I wouldn’t count out Beetz.
SUPPORTING ACTOR COMEDY
The Nominees: Louie Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Kenan Thompson, Titus Burgess, Bryan Tyree Henry, Tony Shalhoub, Henry Winkler
The Snubs: Sean Hayes, Marc Maron, Ty Burell, Ed O’Neil
Dream Ballot: Lakeith Stanfield, Tony Hale, Will Arnett, J.B. Smoove, Zach Woods
Analysis: Alec Baldwin doesn’t deserve to be nominated for a role he sporadically plays on SNL and that he doesn’t even like. I get why he won last year, and I get why that basically guarantees him a spot this year, but if he wins again, then that’s some bullshit. The Emmys made up for it by giving in to the Kenan Thompson campaign, so it’ll be nice to see him there. But both these SNL spots should have probably gone to some combination of two snubs/dream nominees. Particularly Marc Maron. How the hell did they miss him? As for potential winners, dread the Balwin repeat, but I would hope the academy would recognize Henry’s brilliance on Atlanta, as they do his co-star Donald Glover’s. If not that Henry, then giving Henry Winkler his first Emmy (I can’t believe he’s never one either) for Barry would be more than acceptable.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS DRAMA
The Nominees: Alexis Bledel, Yvonne Strahovski, Ann Dowd, Millie Bobby Brown, Lena Heady, Vanessa Kirby, Thandie Newton
The Snubs: Chrissy Metz, Uzo Aduba, Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale
Dream Ballot: Aubrey Plaza, Holly Taylor, Julia Garner, Anna Torv
Analysis: If a Handmaid’s actress doesn’t take this statue with 50% odds (and after Ann Dowd did last year) then these women are as unlucky as their characters, am I right fellas? Seriously though, expect this category to set the tone for the name. If one of those three doesn’t take it, we might be in for a night of surprises. As for the snubs, you know me and how I want more diversity, so seeing three actresses from the same show in this category, as deserving as they may be, is somewhat unnerving. Especially when multiple actresses from The Americans could have wound up in there.
SUPPORTING ACTROR DRAMA
The Nominees: David Harbour, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joseph Fiennes, Mandy Patinkin, Matt Smith
The Snubs: Noah Emmerich, Justin Hartley
Dream Ballot: Brendan Fraser, James Marsden, Jason Isaacs, any of the Stranger Kids
Analysis: Lots of repeat nominees here, so it’ll be interesting to see if Joseph Fiennes could ride some Handmaid’s momentum to an upset win. In all likelihood we’re in for a Harbour or Dinklage repeat. Which is boring to me, especially considering they left out arguably the most egregious snub outside of Kyle McLaughlin in Noah Emmerich, who really did a phenomenal job of making the final season of The Americans as much his own as it was The Jennings’.
That’s it for now! The 70th Annual Primetime Emmys will be presented September 17th, 2018 on NBC, hosted by SNL Weekend Update due Michael Che and Colin Jost.