This year's round of Emmy nominations have arrived and, while this can be an exciting time for many, it can be a mixed bag for fans of superhero shows. For years, the Television Academy has seemed hesitant to give genre shows love, aside from technical awards (which are also important). However, we’re starting to see a major shift due to the evolution of the superhero genre, which is arguably making the academy give such shows a second look. Now with the nominations for the 2021 Primetime Emmy nominations, WandaVision and The Boys and other series are proving that comic book superheroes are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
Today, it was revealed that Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, Disney+'s first Marvel Cinematic Universe-set series, has scored several major nominations. Leading lady Elizabeth Olsen received a nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. Meanwhile, co-lead Paul Bettany scored a nod for Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. Scene-stealer Kathryn Hahn also grabbed a nod for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series. And if that weren’t exciting enough, the Disney+ series also landed a nomination for Limited or Anthology Series.
WandaVision’s behind-the-scenes talent also managed to get some recognition from the Television Academy. Director Matt Shakman earned himself a nod for Outstanding Directing in a Limited or Anthology Series. The show also picked up three separate nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Limited, Anthology or Movie. Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron scored nods for “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!,” Laura Donney earned a nod for “Previously On” and head writer and producer Jac Schaeffer landed a nomination for her work on “Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience.” Also, the show brought in nominations for makeup and hairstyling, costuming, music and other technical honors.
Amazon’s The Boys may not have picked up as many nominations, but it still has plenty of reason to celebrate. The hilarious, violent, raunchy and politically astute superhero series earned a nomination for Drama Series, putting it alongside shows like The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, Pose and The Mandalorian. In addition, Rebecca Sonnenshine, who penned the Season 2 finale “What I Know,” scored a nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama. Not too shabby for a show featuring a baby that shoots laser beams from its eyes.
On a more low-key note, another Marvel series also managed to snag a nomination. Don Cheadle, who appeared as James Rhodes in the premiere episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, earned an Emmy nomination for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series. The Disney+ series also picked up noms for stunt coordination and stunt performance.
And if you thought these were the only comic book shows to get love from the Emmys, you'd be wrong. Netflix's The Umbrella Academy earned special effects honors for a Season 2 episode. In addition, DC's underrated superhero romp, Doom Patrol, was also nominated in the category of stunt coordination.
All of the aforementioned shows have received positive reviews during their respective seasons/runs. WandaVision, in particular, seemed to be assured a shoo-in for at least one category. However, I’m not sure many would’ve expected this much recognition for them, yet you love to see it.
It’s hard not to consider what this could mean going forward, especially as superhero shows continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with the genre. It’s a lengthy conversation to have but, at the moment, let’s just bask in the glow of these nominations.