Following up on the lengthy list of Emmy nominations that was announced today, we've picked over the choices the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences made with regards to the main categories, and we found quite a few reasons to applaud the nominees, and just as many reasons to to wave our fists and complain over the talented actors and outstanding TV shows that didn't make the cut this year.
After reviewing the nominated comedy and drama categories, we've broken this list down by the much deserved love certain shows, networks and actors received, and the snubs other shows and actors didn't receive, despite being among the best that TV had to offer over the past year.
Snubbed: Some really talented females...Where's the love for Emmy Rossum in Shameless? And how is the Academy ignoring Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany? She's delivering multiple outstanding performances on the BBC America series and it's gone unacknowledged at the Emmy's thus far. And then there's Taryn Manning. It's hard to complain much about anything related to Orange is the New Black, as the series received multiple nominations, particularly in the acting categories, however Manning would've been near or at the top of our list of supporting actors in a comedy series for her portrayal of Pennsatucky in Orange is the New Black. These women have demonstrated talent and screen presence, and have contributed in a big way to the success of their respective series. They're due for some Emmy attention.
Loved: Orange is the New Black (and Netflix)The Outstanding Comedy nomination list doesn't change all that drastically from one year to the next, but it is always interesting to see which new shows might crack the list. This year, it was Orange is the New Black and Silicon Valley, which filled the spots held by Girls and 30 Rock last year. Orange is the New Black's riding high off a solid first season and an even better second season. The Netflix dramedy's domination in the comedy category this year helped take the streaming video service from 14 nominations last year to a whopping 31 nominations this year, putting it ahead of Showtime (24) and Fox (18) and in league with PBS (34) and ABC (37).
Snubbed: Brooklyn Nine-NineRemember back during this year’s Golden Globes when everyone was shocked by Brooklyn Nine-Nine winning Best Television Comedy and Andy Samberg taking home the award for Best Comedy Actor? I mean, the series’ first season hadn’t even come to a close. Yet here we are, a mere six months later, feeling the same sense of dumbfounded surprise as the freshman Fox comedy has been almost completely left out of all the Emmy categories, save for Andre Braugher getting recognized for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Sure, the Emmy nominees are a much tougher bunch than those the Globes rounded up, and we didn’t really expect Brooklyn Nine-Nine to repeat its victory against shows like Veep or Louie, but the fact that both the show and Samberg got left by the wayside seems like a crime. Somebody get Boyle and Sarge on this!
Loved: Kate McKinnonKate McKinnon joined Saturday Night Live in 2012 and quickly worked her way up the list of the series' funniest players among the current cast. This is her first Emmy nomination and a very deserved one, as she consistently delivers laughs in her sketches, whether she's front and center or a supporting player. Between her recurring characters -- Weekend Update's Olya Povlatsky and the bar-lingering Sheila Sovage -- and her celebrity impressions (Martha Stewart, Jane Lynch, Shakira, etc -- Kate McKinnon is a funny force on this series and it's great to see her getting the Emmy credit she deserves.
Snubbed: Network TV DramasHas the Academy completely written off network television for Outstanding Drama Series? For the past few years, we've seen cable TV dominate in the Drama Series category and this year is no exception. This year, broadcast televisions' drama series were shut out by Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, True Detective, Mad Men and House of Cards. This fact that this is happening year after year -- it looks like 2011 was the last time network TV shows were nominated for Outstanding Drama Series (Friday Night Lights, The Good Wife) -- is an obvious and unnecessary indication that cable TV dramas are winning more love and attention from the academy by network TV, but it would have been nice to see a show like Hannibal or even Scandal make the cut this year.
Loved: Silicon ValleyBetween the buzz and the fact that it was nominated all over the place, Orange is the New Black's nomination in Outstanding Comedy doesn't feel like a huge surprise, but Mike Judge's Silicon Valley is just coming off its freshman season, and it hasn't quite developed its deserving reputation for being the regularly funny and must-binge-watch comedy that it truly is. Hopefully this Emmy nomination will shine a brighter light on the tech-focused comedy. Between its hilarious writing, the accessible way it handles tech-culture and geekiness, and the outstanding cast, Silicon Valley truly is one of this year's best new comedies and is well deserving of awards recognition for it.
Snubbed: ShamelessShameless moved from the Drama category to the Comedy category this year, and while that worked out well in getting William H. Macy his first nomination for the series (and another deserved nomination for Joan Cusack), Shameless wasn't among the Outstanding Comedy Series nominees. As mentioned, Emmy Rossum wasn't nominated either, which is a major shame. We're of the mindset that Shameless belongs in the drama category, but we hoped that the move to Comedy would've gotten it the Emmy attention the Showtime series truly deserves. The Gallaghers are long overdue.
Loved: HBOHBO can boast that they've earned the most Emmy nominations of any network this year, bringing in a whopping 99 nominations in total. That's well ahead of CBS (47), NBC (46) and FX (45). Anyone that tries to say that HBO is overrated -- especially in the wake of these Emmy nominations -- isn't watching True Detective, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Girls, Veep Silicon Valley and some of the other great programming and TV movies, The Normal Heart included. The premium cable channel earns the "premium" title with its content and that's reflected in the Emmy nominations. This year, for HBO, it was Game of Thrones that came out on top with 19 nominations. That's followed by The Normal Heart (16 noms), True Detective (12) and Veep (9).
Snubbed: JustifiedIn the five years that Justified has played its part in making FX a key player in dramas, the Graham Yost-created series only made a big Emmy splash during its second season, with only Margo Martindale taking home the gold for Outstanding Supporting Actress. Do these people not realize that Walton Goggins is one of the most engaging actors on TV right now (and every other year that he’s had starring roles)? And it’s not as if lead actor Timothy Olyphant has been standing around staring at his shoes. Season 5 was rolling on all the same darkly comedic and ruthlessly violent cylinders, though the introduction of Michael Rapaport and the dumb-as-balls Crowe family possibly took some of the lustered focus away from Justified’s core story of Raylan and Boyd. So maybe, just maybe, we understand not calling it a Best Drama, but at least recognize the often unmatched acting talent.
Loved: True DetectiveWe don't love that the anthology series are split up between the Drama and Miniseries categories this year (HBO submitted in Drama, FX submitted in Miniseries) but True Detective deserves all the recognition it got, regardless of the category. Not only was the excellent murder mystery series nominated in the Outstanding Drama category, but both Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaghey scored nominations in the Lead Actor category. And it earned recognition for directing and writing. Once again, HBO has raised the bar with its storytelling and it's great to see the Academy acknowledging that properly, even if the nominations were more or less expected.