Looking ahead to the Emmy season overshadowed by the Black Lives Matters protests and the Covid-19 pandemic, the question was whether we would see new trends in nominations or business as usual. Tuesday’s announcement was not full of surprises, but you could read some signs of the times in the nominees, starting with …
Surprise: ‘The Mandalorian’
Everyone loved the Disney + series “Star Wars” and its beatific Baby Yoda, but no one predicted it would be nominated for an Emmy for Best Drama Series. Perhaps the coronavirus has really made us susceptible to comfort food television, a possibility backed by another at least slightly surprising nominee in the category, Netflix’s “Stranger Things”. The most socially committed shows that didn’t make it to the field included “Pose,” “The Good Fight,” and “The Morning Show.”
If you were looking for signs of an increase in diversity, you could find them in the acting categories, although reading anything in a particular nomination is not advisable. But still: Zendaya’s nomination for “Euphoria”, William Jackson Harper for “The Good Place”, Andre Braugher for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, Octavia Spencer for “Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madame CJ Walker” Jeremy Pope for “Hollywood” and Samira Wiley for “The Handmaid’s Tale” (beating her co-star Ann Dowd) add up to many less names than expected in the race.
Snub: Reese Witherspoon
Ubiquitous as a producer and performer in a high-tone television drama, Witherspoon did not receive an actress nomination for “Little Fires Everywhere”, “The Morning Show” or “Big Little Lies”, and the last two shows were excluded. of drama career. However, she’ll have plenty of reasons to pay attention on Emmy night, with a limited series nomination for “Little Fires” and a number of nominations for other artists in her series.
Snub: Jane Lynch
Lynch was considered a lock for a nodding comedy actress for her role now as comic poseur Sophie Lennon in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Taking her place was probably Cecily Strong, earning a second nomination in the category (along with Kate McKinnon) for “Saturday Night Live”.
Surprise: ‘What we do in the shadows’
The droll FX vampire comedy is a critical favorite, but it wasn’t thought to hold much of a chance at the Emmys. You will most likely pay the price for the unexpected appearance of “Shadows” on the field of the comedy series: “Ramy” by Hulu.
Snub: ‘The Late Late Show With James Corden’
Nominated in the variety talk category in each of the past four years, Corden was replaced among the usual suspects (John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah) by “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”.
Surprise: Steve Carell and Mark Duplass
Jennifer Aniston’s and Billy Crudup’s nominations for “The Morning Show” were not a surprise, but it was somewhat surprising to see Carell and Duplass join them, particularly when the series itself fell out of the drama category.
Snub: ‘At home with Amy Sedaris’
The Television Academy had announced that the variety sketch series category would be reduced to four nominees, but only three names were read on Tuesday, neglecting Sedaris’ magnificent parody of a small home improvement show.
Snub (more or less): ‘Better Call Saul’
Yes, the AMC series was nominated for Best Drama and Giancarlo Esposito was in the field for the supporting actor. But it was notable that Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn and Jonathan Banks, all solid favorites in their categories, were excluded.
A small selection of shows and people I thought were better than most or all of the nominees in their categories: “The Good Fight”, CBS All Access; “Our Boys”, HBO; “Bosch” and Titus Welliver, Amazon; Zoe Kazan in “The Plot Against America”, HBO; “Quiz” and Matthew Macfadyen, AMC; Nicholas Pinnock and Indira Varma in “For Life”, ABC; “My Brilliant Friend: A New Name”, HBO; “The Conners”, ABC; Tamsin Greig and Harriet Walter in “Belgravia”, Epix; Sophina Brown in “Twenties”, BET. And any TV award that doesn’t feature John Goodman’s perpetually wonderful performance in “The Conners” doesn’t really need to be done.