2019 Emmy Nomination Tweaks

Well everybody, we’re here again. Your favorite show is snubbed and the most egregiously bad TV is nominated. As usual, you’re probably right. Take this as your yearly reminder that The Emmys are an imperfect award show (like any award show) that aren’t meant to measure greatness.

Greatness is part of the equation but this is an advertisement for television. The pomp and circumstance are to get you pumped up and to remember to hold on to those Netflix and HBO subscriptions even when Disney+ launches later this year. 

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 2018 – May 31 2019**

Drama Series

Better Call Saul
Bodyguard
Game of Thrones
Killing Eve
Ozark
Pose
Succession
This Is Us

Who I wish got in:

The Haunting of Hill House. Drama is not having a good year. Of my top 10 shows of the year so far, only one isn’t considered a “comedy” and that’s Chernobyl (a limited series). As much as people want to hem haw over Game of Thrones and Bodyguard getting in for disappointing and problematic seasons respectively, I’m not sure what you replace them with. The Haunting of Hill House is probably not a strong Emmy nominee in another year, but considering the competition, it could have gotten a nod.

Very Happy For:

Pose. Killing Eve, Succession, and Better Call Saul are all super deserving as well, but Pose has been critically acclaimed from the drop and tells stories that we haven’t seen on TV before. 

Comedy Series

Barry
Fleabag
The Good Place
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Russian Doll
Schitt’s Creek
Veep

Who I wish got in:

Catastrophe. I loved Catastrophe even more than Russian Doll on my best of the year so far list, and it’s sad to see it end without ever getting the awards buzz that it rightly deserved. That being said, it’s hard to see an argument to bump any of these shows out of a spot.

Very Happy For: 

Fleabag. While its first season wasn’t quite in the best-show-in-the-world rarefied air, it was still brilliant and it got snubbed. So as much as I’ve fawned over the show this season, I wasn’t expecting an Emmy nomination, and certainly not in such a stacked field. I mean, wow, there are no losers here, these are the best shows on TV.

Limited Series

Chernobyl
Escape at Dannemore
Fosse/Verdon
Sharp Objects
When They See Us

Who I wish got in:

The Little Drummer Girl. While I haven’t seen all of the shows on this list, I definitely liked The Little Drummer Girl more than both Sharp Objects and Chernobyl. It’s a brilliant story about acting and the shades of grey that exist in a grey world and it introduced me to Florence Pugh, who just starred in something else that blew my mind: Midsommar.

Very Happy For: 

Sharp Objects. Getting nominated was probably a foregone conclusion for Sharp Objects but it was met with mixed reviews, often knocked for its pacing that felt as oppressively slow and still as a Missouri summer. I loved Sharp Objects though, and continue to love the projects Jean-Marc Vallée picks to match with his trademark memory editing.

Lead Drama Actor

Jason Bateman – Ozark
Sterling K Brown – This Is Us
Kit Harrington – Game of Thrones
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Milo Ventimila – This Is Us

Who I wish got in:

Nobody. As mentioned in our mid-year awards podcast, the men have really failed us when it comes to acting this year. Does Kit Harrington deserve an Emmy for saying “You are my queen” a record number of times? I don’t think so personally, but the mere 5 nominees in this category (compared to 7 in the Lead Drama Actress category) point to an utter lack of viable options. Come on drama, get it together.

Very Happy For: 

Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones). All that said, I’m glad we’re going to actually recognize Kit Harrington for what will undoubtedly be the most iconic role of his career. Well, other than tennis prodigy Charles Poole.

Lead Drama Actress

Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
Jodie Comer – Killing Eve
Viola Davis – How To Get Away With Murder
Laura Linney – Ozark
Mandy Moore – This Is Us
Sandra Oh – Killing Eve
Robin Wright – House of Cards

Who I wish got in:

Nobody. They nailed it from what I can see

Very Happy For: 

Jodie Comer/Emilia Clarke (Killing Eve/Game of Thrones). Jodie was snubbed last year and I was pissed, but they’ve finally rectified things and thank god she’s not a supporting actress. Emilia Clarke deserves so much praise for this season of Game of Thrones for two huge reasons: first, she nearly sold the completely abbreviated Daenerys arc emotionally, and second her main scene partner was a CGI dragon.

Lead Comedy Actor

Anthony Anderson – Black-ish
Don Cheadle – Black Monday
Bill Hader – Barry
Michael Douglas – The Kominsky Method
Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek

Who I wish got in:

Rob Delaney (Catastrophe). Rob made me smile every time he appeared on screen in Catastrophe and his chemistry with Sharon Horgan is what makes the show work. 

Very Happy For: 

Eugene Levy (Schitt’s Creek). I only recently discovered Schitt’s Creek and I haven’t seen the most recent season that this nomination is for (curse you Netflix zoning laws!) but the the entire cast is amazing, making you laugh and say “aww” all at the same time.

Lead Comedy Actress

Rachel Brosnahan – Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Christina Applegate – Dead To Me
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Natasha Lyonne – Russian Doll
Catherine O’Hara – Shitt’s Creek
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag

Who I wish got in:

Maya Erskine/Anna Konkle (PEN15). They play thirteen year-olds next to real thirteen year-olds and it works. If that’s not great acting, I don’t know what is.

Very Happy For: 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge/Catherine O’Hara (Fleabag/Schitt’s Creek). Schitt’s Creek again, but this time with easily their funniest character. Moira Rose has the best one-liners on TV. Waller-Bridge’s performance in Fleabag will never get quite as much attention as her writing — and that’s fine, her writing is spectacular — but the role wouldn’t work with any other actress. Waller-Bridge delivers two performances at the same time, the one as Fleabag on the show and the other one to us as our narrator and fourth-wall-breaking tour guide.

Supporting Drama Actor

Nikolaj Coster-Waldou – Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
Alfie Allen – Game of Thrones
Giancarlo Esposito – Better Call Saul
Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul
Chris Sullivan – This is Us

Who I wish got in:

Matthew MacFadyen (Succession). Succession is an ensemble cast but the standout supporting actor is easily MacFadyen who plays Tom, the social climber who plays both the bully to his employees and the brown-nose to his employers equally. Tom even has a deeper emotional palette than some of the other more major characters, like Roman Roy for example. His relationship with Greg is also the best part of the show.

Very Happy For: 

Chris Sullivan, I guess? There are no surprises here. Banks, Dinklage, Coster-Waldou, and Esposito have been nominated for these particular roles several times each. Alfie Allen as a “supporting actor” is a little bit of a reach for the 10 lines of dialogue he had this season and I hate Theon but there are worse options. I don’t watch This Is Us, but first time nomination for Chris Sullivan is cool, I guess.

Supporting Drama Actress

Gwendoline Christie – Game of Thrones
Lena Heady – Game of Thrones
Sophie Turner – Game of Thrones
Maisie Williams – Game of Thrones
Julia Garner – Ozark
Fiona Shaw – Killing Eve

Who I wish got in:

Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul). Again. Every reason previously outlined is still valid and probably only more relevant.

Very Happy For: 

Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones). How can you not be? Christie wasn’t pushed by HBO so she submitted herself and The Emmys didn’t mess it up! She is the most important character in the best episode of this season of Game of Thrones — a scene in which she epitomizes her unconventional character arc.

Supporting Comedy Actor

Alan Arkin – The Kominsky Method
Anthony Carrigan – Barry
Tony Hale – Veep
Stephen Root – Barry
Henry Winkler – Barry
Tony Shalhoub – Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Who I wish got in:

Andrew Scott (Fleabag). Maybe he should have been in the Lead Comedy Actor category, but The Hot Priest is what took Fleabag from a great show in season 1 to an all-time classic in season 2.

Very Happy For: 

Anthony Carrigan (Barry). NoHo Hank got more leash to work this season and Carrigan got to flex his acting muscles a bit more. From his truly terrifying threat to Barry in the parking lot to wearing a terrible disguise in Lulu Lemon to picking out the tables to package heroin on, Hank is the perfect kind of supporting character, adding vibrant colors to scenes that contrast with whatever it is we’re looking at.

Supporting Comedy Actress

Betty Gilpin – Glow
Alex Borstein – Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Olivia Colman – Fleabag
Sian Clifford – Fleabag
Sarah Goldberg – Barry
Marin Hinkle – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Anna Chlumsky – Veep

Who I wish got in:

No one. They kind of nailed this category.

Very Happy For: 

Sarah Goldberg (Barry). Barry is often looked at as the crime that orbits Barry, but it’s Sally that gives us the most commentary into Barry’s personality and true character. The contrast between his delusion about being a good person despite the monster that lies beneath the surface and her delusion about being a weak person despite removing herself from an abusive relationship is what fuels the central character study and elevates the second season of Barry to new heights.

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