Skip to main content

2015 Emmy Nominations: The Five Biggest Shocks

Every year, the Emmy nominations come, and the reactions they inspire range from eye-popping surprise to hair-pulling anger. This year’s nomination announcement was no different at all, and there are many things that caused our eyebrows to nearly jump off of our faces. (Go Lily Tomlin!) We’ve got the whole rundown of all the nominations here, but we’re going to pull five of the most egregious absentees and surprising presences out of the massive list.

And let’s start things off with the entry on this list that is possibly the least surprising, but one that hurts the soul all the same.

sons of anarchy

No Sons of Anarchy, Again!

Perhaps because of the significance it places on violence and gangs, or perhaps because creator Kurt Sutter threatened the families of everyone in every entertainment academy, but Sons of Anarchy has always been dealt an unfair hand when it comes to statue-based recognition. Technically, it did get nominated for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “Come Join the Murder” in the series finale “Papa’s Goods,” but it deserves way more than that for its final season, from a spot in the Outstanding Drama category to something for Jimmy Smits’ work as Nero. Or Katey Sagal as Gemma. Or fucking anything else. Is there a category for Outstanding Bloody White Tennis Shoes?

last man on earth

Will Forte Gets a Nod

Hey, it’s a lot easier to get an Emmy nomination if you’re the last man on Earth, am I right? Okay, so he wasn’t actually the Last Man on Earth, but Will Forte’s Phil Miller is certainly the most interesting man left, as his beard-growing skills are almost as top-notch as his “lying to absolutely everyone about everything” skills. As a man forced to deal with one unlikely (and doomed) circumstance after another, Phil was definitely this past year’s “guy you love to hate,” and Forte absolutely deserves his first Emmy nod since his bizarro work on 30 Rock.


No Love for Daredevil

In the overall scheme of things, it’s not that mindblowing that superhero television was once again overwhelmingly ignored by the major categories in the Emmys. But this was the year that Steven S. DeKnight’s Netflix drama Daredevil came out, taking the sub-genre to new heights through gritty cinematography and meaningful storytelling. I guess I get how nobody wants to put it next to Game of Thrones and Mad Men for Outstanding Drama Series, but how about throwing Vincent D’Onofrio a bone for his nuanced work as Wilson Fisk, or to Phil Abraham for putting together the episode with that fantastic hallway fight scene? Not even anything in Outstanding Stunt Coordination? I guess Main Title Design will have to work.

unbreakable Kimmy schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for Outstanding Comedy Series

This nomination puts a smile on my face that, even though it can’t get anywhere near the giant slice of happiness that is Ellie Kemper’s smile, is still pretty big. In a time when more and more nominations and awards are going to cable and streaming series, NBC could have had a winner with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but they decided to back away from it, allowing Netflix to swoop in and spin gold from this surreal, darkly hilarious story about a cult victim’s adaptation to the modern world. Much love to Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess for their supporting performance nods. Co-creator Tina Fey, who was nominated for her guest spot in the show, should never leave the world of television behind.

Brooklyn nine-nine

Where’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine?

From the acceptance of one brilliant comedy to the almost complete shunning of another. Sure, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a little sillier than, say, Transparent, but it’s just as funny and well-conceived as Modern Family, with an all-star cast that delivers the goods every week. (How does Terry Crews not have his own Emmy category?) Andre Braugher is the only cast member to get a nom for the second year in a row, but this is the second year in a row that the Emmys weren’t very kind to Brooklyn Nine-Nine; last year, the show took home top honors at the Golden Globes for its first season, and then won the Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. Hot damn! The comedy race is admittedly tight, but this should have still squeezed through.

This year’s Emmys ceremony will air on Sunday, September 20, at 8 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.