Snubs, sur­prises from Emmy noms

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Bethonie But­ler

Some­one dial up the pint-sized DJ from “Big Lit­tle Lies” and have her play “You Can’t Al­ways Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones. Ev­ery year, the Emmy nom­i­na­tions in­vari­ably leave some tele­vi­sion fans dis­ap­pointed. But there are also many things to cel­e­brate.

1. “The Leftovers” didn’t get nom­i­nated for best drama.

Let’s get the worst part over with first. If you’re a fan of “The Leftovers,” which ended its three-sea­son run last month, you’re prob­a­bly feel­ing pretty miffed. We don’t have much in the way of ex­pla­na­tion, but here are some ed­u­cated guesses from Wash­ing­ton Post TV critic Hank Stuever, who was asked about the snub in his weekly chat with read­ers:

“It could be about HBO’S ef­fort in woo­ing vot­ers or it could be that the most pow­er­ful parts of the fi­nal sea­son aired in late May/early June and just didn’t have time to sink in. Or it could be that even though the show im­proved and had its fans, it was al­ready too far gone. It’s a very spe­cific kind of show for a very spe­cific kind of au­di­ence in a very crowded medium full of ter­rific shows.”

The Acad­emy didn’t ex­tend any lead-ac­tress-ina-drama love to Car­rie Coon ei­ther, though she did land a nom­i­na­tion for FX’S “Fargo.” In bet­ter news, Ann Dowd did get a guest ac­tress nod for her “Leftovers” role (she’s also justly nom­i­nated for Hulu’s “The Hand­maid’s Tale”).

2. Nei­ther did “Girls” for best comedy.

“The Leftovers” over­sight ar­guably stings more be­cause “Girls” has at least been nom­i­nated be­fore and locked up sev­eral well-de­served guest nods this year. But if you were pay­ing at­ten­tion to the fi­nal two sea­sons of Lena Dun­ham’s HBO dar­ling, you could gripe about the Acad­emy not rec­og­niz­ing some im­por­tant nar­ra­tive im­prove­ments nor An­drew Ran­nells’s out­stand­ing work this sea­son as Han­nah’s BFF Eli­jah.

3. “House of Cards” did get nom­i­nated. Again.

The sub­ject mat­ter of “House of Cards” may feel re­ally rel­e­vant right now, but in terms of qual­ity tele­vi­sion it re­ally isn’t — cer­tainly not enough to jus­tify the Net­flix drama’s fifth nom­i­na­tion in the show’s most closely watched cat­e­gory.

4. Oprah didn’t get nom­i­nated.

This is prob­a­bly the big­gest in terms of ac­tor snubs be­cause it’s Oprah we’re talk­ing about. The me­dia mogul was a fa­vorite in the lim­ited se­ries/ movie cat­e­gory for her role in HBO’S “The Im­mor­tal Life of Hen­ri­etta Lacks,” but it was an ad­mit­tedly crowded field, thanks to “Big Lit­tle Lies” and “Feud: Bette and Joan.” “Hen­ri­etta Lacks” is rep­re­sented in the TV movie cat­e­gory, where — in a bit of a twist — it’s up against a stand­out episode of Net­flix’s “Black Mir­ror.”

5. Stephen Col­bert proved his crit­ics wrong.

Af­ter be­ing com­pletely left out of the va­ri­ety talk se­ries cat­e­gory last year, Col­bert made a no­tice­able come­back af­ter surf­ing the choppy po­lit­i­cal tide dur­ing and af­ter a con­tentious elec­tion year. It’s not sur­pris­ing to see Col­bert (or his fel­low “Daily Show” alum Sa­man­tha Bee) on the list in 2017, but it is pretty shock­ing to see that Seth Mey­ers didn’t get a nod for his own sharp po­lit­i­cal analysis. Also miss­ing: Jimmy Fal­lon.

6. Pamela Ad­lon got a best ac­tress nod.

The nom­i­na­tions list for best lead ac­tress in a comedy was pretty standard is­sue — with the ex­cep­tion of Ad­lon, who earned a fair share of crit­i­cal praise for her FX dram­edy “Bet­ter Things” (co-cre­ated with Louis C.K.). It’s re­fresh­ing to see her on a list that in­cludes Tracee El­lis Ross, Lily Tom­lin, Jane Fonda and peren­nial win­ner Ju­lia Louis-drey­fus.

Another sur­prise nom­i­na­tion was Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis, who got a best ac­tor nod for his roles as as­pir­ing clown Chip Bas­kets and his twin brother Dale on FX’S dark comedy “Bas­kets.”

7. “This Is Us” brought net­work dra­mas back to the ta­ble.

A net­work drama hadn’t been nom­i­nated for best drama since 2011, when “The Good Wife” got its se­cond con­sec­u­tive nod. And since the CBS le­gal fa­vorite failed to get nom­i­nated for its fi­nal sea­son, we were won­der­ing if the cat­e­gory would be­come a strictly ca­ble-stream­ing net­work hang­out. Thanks to NBC’S tear­jerker fam­ily drama, we know there’s still hope for the big four.

Amid all of the love for “This Is Us,” which earned lead ac­tor nods for Ster­ling K. Brown and Milo Ven­timiglia as well as sev­eral guest ac­tor nom­i­na­tions, we were sur­prised to see that Mandy Moore was not nom­i­nated for best lead ac­tress.

8. “Ru­paul’s Drag Race” got its first nom­i­na­tion.

As Re­al­ity Blurred’s Andy Dehnart noted on Twit­ter, re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion is a pretty mo­not­o­nous cat­e­gory. That’s why we were pleas­antly sur­prised to see Ru­paul’s long-run­ning fan fa­vorite on the list. It might not be able to beat “The Voice,” “Top Chef” or “The Amaz­ing Race,” but it’s worth not­ing that Ru­paul took top hon­ors last year in the re­al­ity-show host cat­e­gory.

9. Car­rie Fisher got post­hu­mous nom­i­na­tions.

The iconic “Star Wars” ac­tress, who died in De­cem­ber, re­ceived a guest ac­tress nod for “Catas­tro­phe.” “Bright Lights,” the doc­u­men­tary about Fisher and her mother, Deb­bie Reynolds (who died a day af­ter her daugh­ter), is among the doc­u­men­tary con­tenders.

“Ru­paul’s Drag Race” got its first nom­i­na­tion. Colin Young-wolff, In­vi­sion Justin Th­er­oux in The Leftovers.” Paul Schi­raldi, The Den­ver Post

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