Thursday, July 16, 2015

2015 Emmy Nomination Thoughts: Diversity, Genre-love, Snubs and More

Thank you to the TV Academy for holding off on nominations until 8:30 this morning, rather than doing the normal stupid thing and announcing at 5:30 a.m. PT.

That means that I'm still chewing over this year's nominations, but predictably they got a lot right and a lot wrong and that's just how these things go.

I've got 20 observations on trends, surprises and snubs. Or at least I've got 20 observations so far. I'll probably keep adding to this story as I remember or notice things.

Check 'em out below...

*** We need to stop and NEVER again perpetuate the lie that "Emmy voters don't like genre shows." "Game of Thrones" had 24 nominations and it's about ice zombies and dragons. "American Horror Story" had 19 nominations and it's about whatever it's about. "Orphan Black," "The Flash," "Daredevil," "Gotham" and "The Walking Dead" all received nominations. For bleep's sake, "Constantine" is now Emmy nominated (for Production Design). Emmy voters love genre shows. [The argument I keep seeing on Twitter appears to boil down to "Emmy voters love prestige genre shows, but not other genre shows" or "Emmy voters love nominating the genre shows they love nominating, but not the genre shows they don't love nominating." Emmy voters also love nominating "Mad Men" but not "Rectify" and random-ass people, but not Nick Offerman. "Genre" shows are no different. Some get nominations. Lots get nominations. Some don't. And the ones that don't, mostly don't deserve them.]

*** Everybody's happy for Tatiana Maslany this morning and darn well we should be. I wish she'd gotten the nominations she deserved before the show began to bore me to tears. I'll eventually finish this season, but I'm sure I would have had a bit more excitement last year or the year before.

*** The day's big story is "diversity" and who's gonna argue? Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, a surprise nomination for Anthony Anderson, plus nods for Uzo Aduba, Daniel Oyelowo, Queen Latifah, Reg E. Cathey, Cicely Tyson, Khandi Alexander, Niecy Nash, Richard Cabral, Michael Kenneth Williams, Regina King, Mo'Nique, Angela Bassett, Tituss Burgess, Andre Braugher, a bunch of "Key & Peele" nominations, etc. And then on the creative side, there are nominations for John Ridley and Dee Rees.

*** On the other hand -- and really there's almost no point in quibbling, given how outstanding much of the diverse representation is: Kerry Washington fell out of the field, Terrence Howard didn't make the cut, "Fresh Off The Boat" was shut out and, other than Aduba (And a random Pablo Schreiber nomination), the "Orange Is The New Black" supporting cast was shut out.

*** "Orange," in fact, received only four nominations thanks to the utterly BS Emmy decision to reject its appeal to submit as a comedy. Lorraine Toussaint was surely deserving of a nomination, as were Kate Mulgrew, Samira Wiley, Danielle Brooks and Barbara Rosenblat at the VERY least.

*** Back to diversity (and also snubbed favorites), it's very sad to see Gina Rodriguez shut out. It's not shocking, because Golden Globes wins mean nothing, but it's disappointing. She really deserved it. Oddly, with two nominations, it was still a better-than-usual Emmy morning for The CW, including a glorious nod for Anthony Mendez of "Jane the Virgin" as Outstanding Narrator and a fine Visual Effects nod for "The Flash."

*** No Jim Parsons? Well that's just strange.

*** "The Americans" received a writing nomination, which was well-earned, and also a nomination for guest actress Margo Martindale, which is completely and totally ridiculous. She was shoe-horned into a late-season episode and did absolutely nothing to warrant an Emmy nomination. I love Margo Martindale and will consistently sing her praises to the heavens, but that's a stupid nomination. Margo Martindale was nominated, but Lois Smith wasn't. Think about that, "Americans" fans.

*** The "Better Call Saul" Drama Series nomination was a pleasant surprise. I figured Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks were locks, but that anything else would be gravy. Interesting to see Gordon Smith nominated for writing the "Five-0" episode, rather than Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould earning nods. Also, no directing or cinematography nominations? Boo.

*** Remembering that "Hannibal" wasn't eligible for anything this year, it's pretty gratuitous that if there were seven drama cinematography nominees that "Game of Thrones" earned four of them. Nothing for "Mad Men"? Nothing for "The Americans"? Nothing for "Peter Andrews" for "The Knick"? And don't get me started on stuff like "Rectify" or "The Leftovers." ["Mad Men" DP Christopher Manley was nominated for "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe." But Kelli Garner should have been nominated as well.]

*** I'm disappointed Cliff Martinez didn't get a score nomination, but Steven Soderbergh's nod for directing the "Knick" pilot is a good one.

*** "The Jinx" received six nominations, including a nod in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series category, which was the best it could hope for. Andrew Jarecki is nominated for directing in the category along with four other HBO directors, including Emmy Nominated Director Dave Grohl, going against Brett Morgen for directing a movie about Grohl's former bandmate. "The Jinx" also nominated for cinematography and editing.

*** A great and well-deserved Lead Actor in a Comedy nod for Will Forte for "Last Man on Earth" and also a savvy nod for Forte's script for the pilot and, perhaps best of all, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller received nods for directing the pilot.

*** Once again, "Arrow" is shut out in the Stunt Coordination category, which is silly, but perhaps not as silly as "Daredevil" getting left out there. It's even odder, because "Daredevil" actually received a slew of technical nominations, including Main Title Design, Sound Editing and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.

*** Huzzah for Amy Poehler and "Parks and Recreation" receiving send-off nominations for the last season. The last season of "Boardwalk Empire" earned 10 nominations, mostly tech stuff. And the last season of "Justified"? Zippo. Boo.

*** Oh and "Mad Men" earned 11 nominations for its final season, which is either a lot or a little, depending on your perspective. Yay for Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks and the two Matthew Weiner writing nominations. But no directing nods, no nominations for Vincent Kartheiser and a number of other folks getting their last shots. Also watch: Jon Hamm is going to win his first acting Emmy for "Kimmy Schmidt," leaving "Mad Men" acting Emmy-free. [Speaking of "Kimmy Schmidt," the lack of nomination for Ellie Kemper is sure a surprise.]

*** Speaking of Jon Hamm as a double-acting nominee, also kudos to Allison Janney and Gaby Hoffmann, who received exactly the double recognition both deserved.

*** First Emmy nomination for since 1979 for Bill Murray, who won an Emmy back in 1977 as part of the writing team on "SNL."

*** You take miniseries productions out of the TV Movie field and what you're left with is nominations for... "Grace of Monaco." Voters did not, however, feel the need to recognize Nicole Kidman for her much-mocked Cannes-opening disaster.

*** Die already, "House of Cards" and "Downton Abbey."

*** Sorry, Eva Green. But "Penny Dreadful" was nominated for makeup and for music. I'd have added cinematography and production design, probably.

*** Good for Ben Mendelsohn, who I had figured as the "Bloodline" breakout after watching one episode. I'd compare his nomination here to Margo Martindale's nod/win for "Justified," in that it's a relief when Emmy voters can see past "shiny and new" and recognize a great performance from a veteran character actor.

*** Comedy Central is clearly building momentum here. Amy Schumer had a slew of breakout nominations as both Lead Actress in a comedy and also for her show. "Key & Peele" had some breakout nominations, including Keegan Michael-Key's individual nod. But no love for "Broad City." That's too bad.

*** It's also interesting that Netflix was able to get at least a few nominations for nearly everything, but "BoJack Horseman" couldn't break into any of the animated fields. Maybe next year? Dunno.

*** Remember last year when "The Good Wife" was everybody's plucky network underdog? The drama that demonstrated that you can do over 22 episodes what the cable shows do in eight or 10 or 13? It didn't get the Drama Series nod last year, but Julianna Margulies won for Lead Actress in a Drama. This year? Four nominations, led by a default nomination for Christine Baranski. Margulies? Shut out. If you like, you can just read this as Emmy voters noticing the huge drop in quality for the most recent season. But I still want to view Margulies' snubbing and the snubbing for the visual effects department as a criticism of the way the show handled AliciaKalindaGate...

Check back, because this sucker may just keep getting updated...


  1. Anonymous10:44 AM

    "Diversity" = Black?

    1. "Diversity"=Non-White. Don't act like I didn't include Richard Cabral in my list of "diversity." But it's also a step-by-step process and so I'm plenty disappointed that Constance Wu wasn't nominated. And I'm plenty disappointed Gina Rodriguez wasn't nominated.


  2. I think you hit both the best and worst nominations:

    Best: Anthony Mendez for "Jane the Virgin." I didn't even know narration was a category, but that's fantastic.

    Worst: "Grace of Monaco." Yikes. Ricky Gervais gets nominated for that "Derek" thing, but they didn't nominate the show itself? Surely that would have been a less-embarrassing choice than "Grace of Monaco."

    Tracee Ellis Ross was way more deserving of a nomination than Anthony Anderson, but her category is more stacked than his, I guess.

    1. Celoriu1:55 PM

      Agree on Tracee Ellis Ross. Hers might be the most underrated performance of the year, and surely the best part of a show that didn't seem to live up to its potential.

  3. Also, I know that very few people watched/cared about "Wolf Hall," but I thought it was fantastic, and I'm glad that Mark Rylance and most of the creative team were recognized.

  4. Surprised by no stunt nominations for Vikings. Best battle scenes on TV or movies.

  5. Darius12:00 PM

    So happy to see Tatiana Maslany get a nod this year. Orphan Black does pick up and becomes really good as the season winds down, Dan. Eva Green is everything on Penny Dreadful, would have loved to see her get a nod. Also thought Vera Farmiga had her best year yet on Bates Motel, few can make you laugh in one scene and cry in the next. No major noms for The Americans, please tell Phillip and Elizabeth to get the suitcase for the Emmy voters. Nothing for Justified either "We dug coal together" Dan, we dug coal together.

  6. Oliver12:00 PM

    Delighted about the Emmys finally getting over Parsons and TBBT. Parsons seems like a nice guy but even he seemed incredulous that he kept winning for his one-note role.

  7. Co-signing on your Jon Hamm Emmy prediction, but I'm just glad he has two shots at an acting award. Also, if "Arrow" and "Daredevil" can't get nominations for their stunt work(!!), where IS the bar for that?

  8. You should have mention Carrie Coon. What a disgusting snub.

    1. Sure. Absolutely she could've/should've been there. No doubt... I'm not surprised by her absence, but I'm disappointed...


  9. I was gonna say, no Special effects nom for The Good Wife? The Dragons are impressive to look at on Game of Thrones, sure, but those two were not in the same room!

  10. Alex Stiles2:03 PM

    Not one, but two episodes of Game of Thrones were nominated for directing. Neither one of them was Hardhome...sigh.

    1. Yup. Strange choices. I feel like they've had strange choices in the past when it came to GoT writing/directing choices as well...