When the 2014 Emmy Award nominations were announced a couple weeks ago, I had intended to write up a post about it for the blog. Although that never happened, let’s use this week’s Roundtable to talk about some of our favorite TV shows from this past year that were inexplicably overlooked by Emmy.
The complete list of nominations can be found on the official Emmys web site or (in a quicker-to-skim format) at the Los Angeles Times.
In order to be eligible for this year’s Emmys, a program must have been broadcast between June 1st, 2013 to May 31st, 2014.
I’m not breaking any new ground here, but it’s simply insane that Tatiana Maslany didn’t get a Best Actress nod for ‘Orphan Black‘. Anyone who might disagree simply hasn’t watched the show. Yes, I realize that Maslany isn’t the first actress to play multiple characters on a TV series, but she manages to play each of her six-plus clones so differently that a casual viewer wouldn’t even realize they’re all being played by the same actress. To make her performance even more impressive, she often plays one character trying to impersonate one of the others. Quite simply, Maslany was the best female actress working on television this past year, and none of this year’s nominees hold a candle to what she has accomplished on ‘Orphan Black’.
Year after year, I’m disappointed that FX’s ‘Justified‘ keeps getting snubbed. What started off as a case-of-the-week U.S. Marshals series has turned into a long-running miniseries of sorts. Aside from the standalone episodes of Season One, each following season has furthered the tale of these backwoods gangsters and the lawman trying to bring them to justice. ‘Justified’ deserves to be nominated in many categories, especially Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter for their performances (the three of them have only gotten stronger as the seasons have progressed) as well as the writing staff for pulling of some very complex and unpredictable story arcs.
Each season has several main stories running alongside one another. You’ll never predict how they’ll cross and intertwine, let alone come to a collective end. FX has done well by allowing each episode to take as much time as needed. Just like ‘Fargo’, an episode could run the standard 60 minutes or an odd 85 minutes. The network lets the show-runners do whatever they need to tell Elmore Leonard’s story the way it ought to be told. With only one more season to go – Emmy nominations or not – I recommend catching up with the series on Amazon Prime before it bows.
Since its debut, ‘The Good Wife‘ has consistently been the best dramatic series on network television. I actually think it’s the best show across the networks, cable or streaming, as it can handle every tone perfectly (whereas shows like ‘Mad Men’ and ‘House of Cards’ often stumble when they try to shift gears).
Unfortunately, I think the Emmy voters are only half paying attention, and only picked the shows that everyone is talking about, or were talking about a few years ago. (The worst season of ‘Downton Abbey’ gets a nod?!) ‘The Good Wife’, for being so damn good, has never gotten a lot of press, but that actually changed a bit this season, and a lot more people are watching this show than folks might have realized. Alas, that still didn’t mean it got the nomination for Outstanding Drama Series that it absolutely deserved.
For my money, Showtime’s ‘Masters of Sex‘ was the best new drama series from the past year. The show has a compelling story, terrific performances and excellent period production values. (The only thing I don’t like about it is that damned jokey opening titles sequence, which ironically did get a nomination.) Although Emmy gave deserved nods to Lizzie Caplan, Beau Bridges and Allison Janney in the acting categories, the show was ignored or forgotten for the big prize of Best Drama Series. Admittedly, this year has some stiff competition there, but I feel that ‘Masters of Sex’ deserves to be in the running.
Also, where’s the Best Comedy Series nomination for ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘? How many times in a row can ‘Modern Family’ possibly win?
Which of your favorite TV shows from the past year did Emmy snub? Tell us about them in the Comments.
The Emmy Awards ceremony will air August 25th on NBC.
I can’t get into Orphan Black.
“she manages to play each of her six-plus clones so differently that a casual viewer wouldn’t even realize they’re all being played by the same actress.” Um…that’s not the impression I got when watching several episodes from the first season.
To me, it felt like they said to her, “What are the different caricatures you can play? What hair styles would each have? Can you pull off international accents? Um, close enough!” It’s just too contrived when you have such comical, over the top differences.
Paul J Anderson
I am a huge ‘Justified’ fan, so I am in agreement with Luke here. However, my favorite show on TV right now is ‘Hannibal’ and it gets zero love from the Emmy folk. The show is exceptional in every way…acting, scripting, directing, production. It’s a freaking symphony every Friday night! Mads Mikkelsen’s is so delcious as Hannibal Lector. Honestly, Anthony Hopkin’s performance pales in comparison. Hugh Dancy is every bit his equal as Will Graham. Watching the tow play each other this season was a feast for my eyes. I can’t praise this show enough and I congratulate NBC for having the ballsack to actually air it and continue to renew it even though it averages about 2.5 million viewers a week. Although, if it was actually on F/X, Showtime or another cable channel, it would probably get more love. Just my opinion.
And to just expand on the whole ‘snubbed’ thing. The problem with so many shows getting the snub is that there are so many out there now. Original cable programming has changed the game. Perhaps they need to create separate categories for Cable and OTA to allow more shows the chance to get nominated or win. The pool to choose from is soo much larger than it was even 10 years ago. And, now you have the whole Netflix thing. It is quite the conundrum…
I agree with Luke too. Justified is a brilliant show and scenes where Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins are together are a joy to watch.
Josh those are the two I’m most mad about. Masters of Sex is amazing and a lot better than Mad Men and House of Cards. How can Brooklyn Nine Nine not get nominated after winning a golden globe. No show has as many funny characters or consistent moments for all of it’s cast. It truly utilizes all of the main players in a way most comedies fail to do.