EMMY’S HITS AND MISSES
The judges of the prestigious TV awards have once more lived up to their reputation for making controversial nominations
It starts moments after Emmy nominations are announced: a whole lot of head-scratching over forgotten shows and actors. It’s no different this year, with snub-citing and second-guessing at fever pitch following last week’s announcements.
How could Emmy judges turn a blind eye toward the eye-popping Starz series American Gods?
How could TBS’ hilarious Angie Tribeca go unrecognised for a second year? And what about Oprah Winfrey, whose starring performance in the HBO film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks got an Emmy cold shoulder, as did her OWN network’s drama Queen Sugar?
Granted, there were some pleasant surprises.
Bill Camp’s pitch-perfect performance as a worldweary detective in HBO’s The Night Of was recognised among this limited series’ 13 nods. So was Jackie Hoffman as the hilarious Mamacita in FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan.
Netflix’s haunting anthology Black Mirror deservedly wangled a nomination with an episode submitted as a TV movie.
And fans of lacerating topical humour were cheered by the slate of nominees for best variety talk alongside CBS’ just-for-fun The Late Late Show with James Corden: TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and, most notably, CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which in its second season has soared on a political acid trip. (Odd guy out: NBC’s The Tonight Show starring maybe-too-nice Jimmy Fallon.)
It was some consolation to see Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys both nominated for a second year for their performances on FX’s coldwar drama The Americans, which has generally received a “nyet” from Emmy judges. And it was also great to see Rhys snag a second nomination for Comedy Series Guest Actor for his portrayal on an episode of HBO’s Girls. On the other hand, Girls and its creator Lena Dunham were overlooked in its final season.
So was HBO’s eerie The Leftovers, which left the air after three seasons ignored by Emmy. And what’s the deal with HBO’s comedy-drama Divorce that seemed so out-ofsight, out-of-mind after its first season aired last fall that even Snubs lists snubbed it.
Of course, the big winners, with 22 nominations apiece, were HBO’s worthy Westworld and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. It was hard to view SNL’s haul without eyebrows raised.
SNL seized three of six nominations for best supporting actress (Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon).
It grabbed three out of six of the comedy series “guest actor” nominations (Dave Chappelle, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Hanks). It landed two of six “guest actress” nods (for guest hosts Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy). And it handed a “supporting actor” nomination to Alec Baldwin, a frequent drop-in impersonating President Donald Trump, while shutting out all of its male cast members.
Since Emmy judges love it this much, maybe SNL should be awarded its own category. Emmy winners announced September 17
Impressive drama Westworld, starring veteran thespian Sir Anthony Hopkins, scored a whopping 22 Emmy nominations.