2018 Emmy Nomination Tweaks

Every year we do this same song and dance, getting all up in arms about how our favorite shows and actors weren’t nominated for the Emmys. And you’re probably right. The Emmys are an imperfect award show (like any award show), created in a different era, and most importantly — they aren’t meant to measure greatness.

That’s not to say the Academy doesn’t want to recognize greatness, that’s certainly part of the equation, it’s to say that it’s not their main objective. The biggest priority is to excite people about the same TV shows, which is becoming harder and harder as TV becomes more decentralized and bigger all the time. We aren’t all crowding around our TVs to watch The Sopranos or Cheers anymore, and once Game of Thrones finishes its final season, we might never return to that era.

That’s why you see so many nominations for shows that had lackluster seasons (Westworld, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones) that are still hugely popular. These are the few shows that most of us have seen and can agree are pretty good, even if there are probably better options out there.

With all of that in mind, and knowing that I haven’t seen every show nominated (like most voters), I reserve my right to be frustrated with some nomination decisions . To keep it positive though, I’ll make sure to include who I’m most happy for in each category.

**Remember: Eligibility is June 1 2017 – May 31 2018**

Best Drama Series (room for 1)

The Americans
The Crown
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us
Westworld

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Who I wish got in:

Mr. Robot. For whatever reason, there is one less drama nominated than comedy this year (and is a weird problem we’ll see as we work down the nomination list). This is flat-out dumb.

Both Mr. Robot and Mindhunter feel like snubs to me, and one should be easily included in this category without having to remove anyone. Each is worthy of being nominated and had better seasons than Stranger Things or Westworld, two shows that were nominated. However, as I mentioned above, those are two shows that cannot and will not be knocked out of the nomination for Best Drama Series, so only one of Mr. Robot or Mindhunter should get in. To me it has to be Mr. Robot. It was one of the most relevant and ambitious shows of 2017, and even earned the #1 spot on my best episodes of the year list.

Very Happy For:

The Americans. The Emmys have never been kind to The Americans, so I’m more than happy to see it earn a much deserved nomination here (and for best actor and actress Rhys and Russell).

Best Comedy Series

Atlanta
Barry
Black-ish
Curb Your Enthusiasm
GLOW
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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Who I wish got in:

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This show is always taking huge swings in both the story it is telling and the way it tells that story. One episode in this season almost turned into a horror-thriller style story out of nowhere before transitioning into a song from Josh Groban that kicks main character Rebecca Bunch while she’s down. The show has tackles difficult issues like mental illness with an eye that is, at both times, empathetic and critical, showing us that mental illness shouldn’t be used to define or excuse people.

Very Happy For:

GLOW. This makes me hopeful that season 2 will get all of the accolades that it deserves next year.

Best Limited Series

The Alienist
The Assassination of Gianni Versace
Genius: Picasso
Godless
Patrick Melrose

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Who I wish got in:

Twin Peaks: The Return. I didn’t finish Twin Peaks. I didn’t watch this revival series. But this show made the top 5 on every year-end list from critics I respect. On top of that, it is one of those shows that was popular and harkened back to the era of sharing TV experiences. How is this not nominated?

Very Happy For:

Uh, I’ve heard good things about Patrick Melrose?

Lead Drama Actor

Jason Bateman “Ozark”
Sterling K Brown “This Is Us”
Ed Harris “Westworld”
Matthew Rhys “The Americans”
Milo Ventimila “This Is Us”
Jeffrey Wright “Westworld”

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Who I wish got in:

Rami Malek (Mr. Robot). Perhaps no show puts us so intimately in a character’s head than Mr. Robot and the show would fail if not for Malek’s voice guiding us through the thoughts of his incredibly complicated character. Malek is able to both break through the fourth wall to the audience and be totally immersed in a scene at the same time, and it’s a crazy mechanism that the show absolutely requires to be as successful as it is. At the very least, I think his performance was better than Bateman or Harris’s.

Very Happy For:

Jeffrey Wright. I really didn’t enjoy Westworld this season, but the degree of difficulty on Wright’s character was insanely high. He had to play several versions of himself across timelines with different memories and pull off the classic Westworld stop-everything-you’re-doing-midsentence move more than anyone else.

Lead Drama Actress

Clair Foy – The Crown
Tatiana Maslaney – Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh – Killing Eve
Keri Russell – The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld

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Who I wish got in:

Jodie Comer (Killing Eve). See this video. I would probably knock off Wood in favor of her, because despite Westworld trying to make me care about Dolores I didn’t, and despite Killing Eve trying to make me hate Villanelle I didn’t.

Very Happy For:

Sandra Oh! She’s the first Asian woman to be nominated in this category, that’s a huge deal! Her performance on Killing Eve as the audience surrogate that gets as drawn into the world of Villanelle as us is as fascinating as her subject.

Lead Comedy Actress

Pamela Adlon “Better Things”
Allison Janney “Mom”
Issa Rae “Insecure”
Tracey Ellis Ross “Black-ish”
Lily Tomlin “Grace and Frankie
Rachel Brosnahan “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

NUP_179172_0577.0 (1).jpegWho I wish got in:

Kristen Bell (The Good Place). This was the hardest category to pick one actress for. Alison Brie and Rachel Bloom deserve notice for their work on GLOW and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend respectively, playing difficult characters on shows that blend comedy and drama from scene to scene. But I’m going to go with Kristen Bell here. Not just because her performance is better than TV icon and legend Ted Danson’s (who is nominated), but because her fake happy disposition never ceases to fool me. Somehow, she makes me feel optimistic about humanity, despite being such a scumbag, and sometimes you need that more than the squirmy feeling you get from watching Bloom and Brie embarrass themselves in masterful ways.

Very Happy For:

Rachel Brosnahan. This is a stacked category, and if Marvelous Mrs. Maisel deserved one nomination, it was this one.

Supporting Drama Actor (room for 1)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldou, “Game of Thrones”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Matt Smith, “The Crown”
Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

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Who I wish got in:

Noah Emmerich (The Americans). While the show was nominated for Best Drama, Best Actress, and Best Actor, I’m still not satisfied! Emmerich’s performance in the finale alone should place him on this list, especially because there’s room for one more nomination. His ability to show conflicted emotions do battle on his face was so important to a fantastic series that never got its due from award shows. What the hell Emmys?

Very Happy For:

Joseph Fiennes. Frequently overshadowed by the insane firepower on the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s great to see him also get recognition for his performance that always carries with it the right amount of implied menace sitting below the surface.

Supporting Comedy Actor (room for 1)

Brian Tyree Henry, “Atlanta”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
Alec Baldwin, “SNL”
Kenan Thompson, “SNL”
Tony Shalhoub, “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

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Who I wish got in:

Marc Maron (GLOW). Another category with room for one nomination makes the snub of Marc Maron’s portrayal of the washed-up Sam Sylvia especially painful. Maron’s performance the crusty filmmaker opposite to Alison Brie’s peppy actress was as powerful a dynamic as there was on the show, and one that drove a very good first season.

Very Happy For:

Brian Tyree Henry. Somehow, Henry wasn’t even nominated for Atlanta’s first season despite possibly being the best actor then. He has always acted every bit as good as or better than Donald Glover and it’s great to see him get the recognition he deserves.

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