Every year the Emmy committee selects what they think is the best content on television for its respective year. Sometimes they get it right, but most the time people are left angry wondering why they didn’t consider other alternative. I deeply love television and all its wonders, so here is my list on what I think the Emmys are missing out on.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
If you love television then you ate up the first season of The Newsroom. Unfortunately, the second season didn’t hit the mark and neither did Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy. Although I do deeply enjoy The Newsroom (and its offbeat second season), I couldn’t help but think how long Supernatural has been churning out seasons. Sure, maybe the writing isn’t always Emmy styled, but the performances are. This is especially true for Jensen Ackles and his role as Dean Winchester. From the start of the series to now, he has transformed so much and in its latest season he continued to push the envelope on what Dean Winchester is and what he can handle. Supernatural is the show that could and it has the cult audience to go with it, maybe the Emmys should consider why and look into when nominating candidates next year.
Just like The Newsroom, House of Cards didn’t deliver when it came to the second season. It didn’t have the drive the first season had, and the only person who made it enjoyable was Robin Wright. I love Kevin Spacey as much as the next guy, but Frank Underwood wasn’t my antihero of choice this year. So who was a good antihero that people should start getting behind? Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. Despite being on a Friday, this show has gained attention for the performances from an star studded cast. It may be limited in what is can show compared to HBO or Netflix, but it has pushed the limits on content for channels like NBC, ABC or CBS. The season finale is one of my main cases for Mads Mikkelsen, if he is overlooked again next year it will be a great disappointment.
MINI RANT: True Detective is an anthology show like American Horror Story or Fargo, so what is it doing clogging up nominations for well deserved actors like Timothy Olyphant, Andrew Lincoln and Charlie Hunnam? It belongs in the miniseries category and I am very disappointed that mainstream stars like Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are taking up spaces when they will not (possibly) return for next season. Even if they do, it will be a completely different story line. Olyphant, Lincoln and Hunnam are always expanding the range and depth of their characters and there is no love for them shown in this awards show. That’s the real snub and disappointment.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
This is another case of the season kind of dragged and the lead actress wasn’t at the top of her game. So instead of spilling into that mess, lets talk about the people who really deserved a nomination. Tatiana Maslany has been donning different masks for Orphan Black and each character is so different that you cannot even believe her range. She even had a guest spot on Parks and Recreation and I wanted more even then. How they can overlook her and go to sleep at night boggles my mind. I hope that Tatiana Maslany will get the chance at a lead role in a film and maybe finally people will see her greatness. Also, why is the series not on Netflix? This needs to be handled ASAP (Where is Olivia Pope when you need her?). But even before Tatiana took a shot at multiple characters, there was Nina Dobrev strutting her stuff on The Vampire Diaries. If you are giving me the stink eye and talking about how much better Orphan Black is than Vampire Diaries and how Tatiana can act circles around Nina Dobrev, then you are what is wrong with television viewers (and critics). Yes, BBC is held to a higher standard than the CW, but that doesn’t mean the content is not as good and trust me, Nina Dobrev is just as good.
This breaks my heart to even write because I LOVE Kerry Washington. She is a force to be reckon with, but Olivia Pope wasn’t, at least not in season 3 (or more so the second half). I felt like her character took a backseat to allow other characters to be more colorful this season (Joe Morton, Kate Burton and Bellamy Young (we’ll get there)) and that is absolutely okay, but I think it means that Kerry Washington didn’t earn a nomination for this year. Someone who did deserve a nomination was Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson on the critic loving Mad Men. While I have always been on the fence about the show, Moss’s performance should not go overlooked. Her character brought home the case as to why strong women characters are important in television. The 60s was the rise of strong women, and it has been a joy to see that played out on through Elisabeth Moss.
I do not enjoy Downton Abbey, I do not enjoy Michelle Dockery (I only really enjoy Maggie Smith, but that is another story). If you feel like I am shooing away the critical love of Downton Abbey for other “lower” quality television shows, then maybe this isn’t the article for you. If you enjoy Vera Farmiga and enjoy her dominating presence of Bates Motel, then maybe you found the right list. Bates Motel is a mind-manipulating show that can make your skin crawl, and then queen of this uncomfortable up series belongs to Vera Farmiga. We get to see a different take on Norma Bates, one full of paranoia but who is still just as crazy. She is the driving force of the show, helping Norman Bates grow into the Psycho we know and love. The Emmys gave her love for the first season, so I don’t know why they turned their back on her now. I feel like her portrayal is more fit (and deserving) of a nomination than Michelle Dockery, but that’s just me.
MINI RANT: Troian Bellisario of Pretty Little Liars recently wrote an open letter to the Emmys asking them to consider the power of Pretty Little Liars and other teen dramas. Bellisario and her cast (especially Lucy Hale) having been reinventing the way teen dramas are viewed. They deal with various topics that most people (not just teens) deal with: identity crisis, prescription drugs, dependency of alcohol, loss of friends, deception of loves and bullying. The girls on this show, and the cast on many teen dramas, have been out performing many actors in prime time slots on big networks, but they don’t receive half the praise. For 100 episodes (which is all the episodes it has ran currently) it has been the number one telecast for women between the age of 12 to 34. If you can have a reality programming category, I feel like you can have a teen show category, at least there is more human decency there.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
If you are like me, you think Ricky Gervais lost his “charm” a long time ago. I don’t really enjoy his show Derek and I was honestly surprised he was nominated for his performance in it. Especially with performances like Thomas Middleditch in Silicon Valley as a neurotic programmer struggling to find his way or Andy Samberg in Brooklyn Nine-Nine as a childish police officer who is surprisingly good at solving cases. Middleditch is on one of the best comedies I have seen in awhile and watching his character struggle with developing Pied Piper has been charming and realistic. Samberg, on the other hand, is bringing the same enthusiasm that he had in Hot Rod. While his show plays on traditional buddy cop comedies, it is still enjoyable and can give you a really good laugh. Something new and something old, these performances have something different and new to offer to your television viewings.
The Big Bang Theory has gone for awhile and it is the CBS cash cow, but it just feels like it is chugging by. The performances haven’t been anything different, I haven’t felt a lot of growth in their characters for a long time. Jim Parsons has been a big part of why the show is so successful because everyone enjoys his antisocial, geeky demeanor, but what about characters that keep the show and its story moving to new levels? These performances I have seen on shows like Parks and Rec and The Mindy Project. Adam Scott plays the lovable Ben Wyatt on Parks and Rec and this season alone he has made a game (Cones of Dunshire), got a job as an accountant, quit his job as an account, became city manager and had triplets with his lovable wife all in one season. But the highlight of the season? When Leslie got his a replica of the Iron Throne, if you haven’t seen the video you are truly missing out on great television. In the first season, Chris Messina’s Dr. Danny Castellano was the guy who thought he owned the world, so in the second season it was nice to see his vulnerable side. As he struggles with his feelings for Mindy, the audience grows more in love. The best introduction of Danny would be his Christmas present to Mindy. Both of these actors deserve recognition for their performances and hopefully Adam Scott will get that next year with Parks and Rec’s last season.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Orange is the New Black is the series that everybody loves, but what everybody loves about it is its supporting characters (which rightfully earned nominations in the supporting actress and guest star categories). What drags about the show is its main character, Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman. I am sure a lot of people will disagree with me on this, but I do not think she deserved a nominated for her performance. Instead I would have liked to see Mindy Kaling nominated for her performance as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a hilarious, self absorbed gynecologist looking for true love. Mindy is not only the lead actress in the show, she is also one of the main writers. She exhibits the classic romantic comedy standards into the show, carrying over tones of When Harry Met Sally and other Meg Ryan driven love stories. Plus, it is fun to watch her love encounters with her various suitors (played by guest stars in the likes of Seth Rogen, Anders Holm and so many more).
Mike & Molly used to be really good and that was in its first season, but three seasons later and it is struggling to find where it wants to go and what it wants to be. This season they tried to reinvent the way Molly was and there was a lot of people disappointed in what they were trying to sell. For some reason she still ended up getting an Emmy nod for her work. I feel like this is because everyone loved her performance in Bridesmaids, but we are way past that now. Someone who should be considered is Emmy Rossum in Shameless. This should be a no brainer, she is constantly receiving praise for her work but she hasn’t ever be nominated. I have heard people argue that it is because it needs to be moved to the drama category, but that shouldn’t hold her back from a nomination. Emmy Rossum’s Fiona is the heart of the show, so it hurts even more that William H. Macy was nominated but Emmy Rossum wasn’t even considered. Plus, I have heard a lot of people joke that her name is Emmy, that should count for something right?
Outstanding Comedy Series
Instead of The Big Bang Theory, lets try Parks and Recreation
I already made my argument when I talked about Jim Parsons vs Adam Scott, so there isn’t much else to add. Parks and Recreation was developed by Greg Daniels, who is the same guy who produced the US version of The Office. Parks and Rec carries that same charm through a mockumentary style that pokes fun at how city government is handled. Even with the lost of characters this season, it hasn’t lost its drive. Each character holds a story line of their own as we follow them through out their every day lives: the laughs, the cries, I am there for them all.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Mindy Project is finding its footing with a near perfect season which finds its joys in imperfections. It was not nominated this season, but I can see The Mindy Project getting nominated in the future. If not, the voters are missing out on one of the best comedies on network television.
Outstanding Drama Series
Instead of True Detective, lets try The Walking Dead
I already had a side rant about True Detective being an anthology series, so it is like automatic disqualification for this category. In its place, I would suggest a television show that has a huge following AND produces amazing content: meet The Walking Dead. With a strong story line and an even stronger casts, the show gets better each and every season. If you are saying, but Frank Darabount was the only good show runner and he only did the first season? False, he did the first half of the second season and everyone complained about how it dragged on, and maybe Glen Mazzara didn’t have a great pacing method, but with Scott M. Gimple the show is at the top if its game. I have felt like the series has been true to the nature of the graphic novels it originates from, even if the story line differs here and there. If you haven’t started it yet, I recommend a full dose of binge watching now.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Television is in its golden age currently. A lot of the networks and entertainment providers are producing some of the best content, even better than most movies being released this summer. So why spend 10 dollars on a movie ticket when you can spend 10 dollars on a Netflix subscription to catch up on these shows such as Sons of Anarchy and Arrow. Sons of Anarchy has been on for awhile now and it dares to be the boldest scripted series you have ever watched. It follows a motorcycle gang with a leader who struggles to stand for the values set by club when he finds a transcript written by his father. It is much more than that, but that provides a good basis for the show. Arrow on the other hand follows DC Comic hero/vigilante Green Arrow aka Oliver Queen, who is the Batman of Starling City, as he struggles to re-adapt to society after returning from an island he was trapped on for five years. With his return, Oliver starts taking out guys on his father list while trying to reconnect with his lost love and rebuild his relationship with his family and best friend.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
I love Modern Family and I love Jesse Tyler Ferguson, but I think Nick Offerman out performed him this year. Nick Offerman has been overlooked many years by the voters, which is disappointing because Ron Swanson is probably the funniest television character ever to live. A mountain man a heart, Ron does not trust the government and does everything he can to be off the grid. This season Ron had to learn to become more of a family man, and the struggle is real and glorious. It is a shame to watch him Offerman’s talents not be recognized by voters, but maybe Ron Swanson would prefer it that way.
I don’t know how I feel about Girls and lets leave it at that. T.J. Miller, on the other hand, plays a wannabe Steve Jobs who keeps getting him and his team stuck in awkward situations. While I love the performance from every character in the show, Miller brings home the heart of show as the leader of a band of misfits. Sometimes it is the supporting characters that make a show.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Same story for The Big Bang Theory, different actress, so lets move forward to why Aubrey Plaza deserve the recognition. Aubrey Plaza plays the weird, cynical girl who you just can’t help but love. Her character, April Ludgate, is the most loving of the group, but she cover it up with uncomfortable comments to keep her hipster image in place. As Leslie Knope’s understudy, she ultimately steps up in Ann’s place with the departure of Rashida Jones midseason. As she transitions into a bigger role, her character’s attitude remains in place as she destroys one thing at a time.
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Guest stars on variety shows are cool, but to say that Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Lives was better than Emma Stone on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is a long shot (and if you think that, your argument is completely invalid). With that I null any guest star on SNL because they don’t match the guest stars on television series like Ben Schwartz as Jean-Ralphio. He is my favorite guest star on any show because Jean-Ralphio is the guy you love to hate. He is a terrible friend and an even worse person, and yes that is possible. Sometimes he even sings what he is telling you; it doesn’t sound great mind you, but every minute of it is pure joy.
Glenn Howerton is that guy that you love from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but do you love him even more as a lawyer in The Mindy Project? Okay, maybe it is equal but he is great both ways. One of his best moments? When his grandma dies and he relies on Mindy who is trying to break up with him for Danny. The perfect part is his utter devastation which Danny doesn’t believe is true at first.
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
At this point you are starting to think I only enjoy two comedies, The Mindy Project and Parks and Rec, which is absolutely isn’t true, they just have the best guest stars. Anna Gunn, of Breaking Bad, guest stars as a Gynecologist for famous people, trying to court Mindy because she is a person of color. While at first Mindy is drawn into her luxurious practice, she soon realizes maybe it is more for all the name dropping. While we are used to only seeing Gunn’s serious side, it was nice to she her crack a joke while giving women the perfect exam and printing out a 3D render of their uterus.
Instead of Melissa McCarthy for Saturday Night Live, lets try Kristen Bell or Tatiana Maslany for Parks and Recreation
Kristen Bell is the opposite of Leslie Knope as she plays a mortal nemesis from Eagleton. Maybe I just love her because she is Kristen Bell, or maybe it is the way she says she has Michael Buble on retainer. Ultimately, she takes Leslie Knope’s place as city counselor which makes her colder than ice cold. Tatiana Maslany on the other hand balances Aziz Ansari‘s Tom and makes him a less selfish guy. Although we don’t get to see as much as her as we do Kristen Bell, it is enough to melt your heart and hope they bring her back next season for a few more episodes.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Yes, Jon Voight is pretty cool but can’t we just admit we all liked him better in National Treasure? Ray Donovan is an offbeat show and maybe Voight is nominated because his performance is better than Liev Schreiber, but none the less Dean Norris’s Hank literally died for this Emmy. Although it will ultimately go to Aaron Paul (don’t tell Hank that), Dean Norris gave a lifetime performance. His panic attack and spiral into conspiracy as he tries to uncover who Walter White truly is what made the last season so good. Not even a nod in his direction makes me feel like the voters weren’t even watching at all.
Weren’t we all just asking where Brody was in all the Brody-less episodes? Sure, it doesn’t mean Mandy’s performance should be rendered pointless, but it definitely doesn’t mean that he deserved a nomination over Charles Dance. Charles Dance is the meticulous and overly cruel, Tywin Lannister. It is as easy for him to send his youngest child to death as it is to send a letter or go to sleep. The sad part is his character literally died for this nomination as well. I guess if it is the end of your run on a show, the chances of getting an Emmy nod end too. I’m sure Tyrion paid a few of his debts to make sure he wasn’t sitting with his dad during the Award’s Show.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
I know I don’t share the same love for Downton Abbey as the critics do, but they obviously are not meeting me even half way when it comes to The Walking Dead. Melissa McBride’s Carol turned from sweet lady next door to cold blood killer and she sold it. Ultimately, Carol felt like she was doing the best thing for the group but it got her banished because Rick couldn’t trust her around his kids, which maybe he had a point we all saw how she handled Lizzy (I mean, can we say she deserved it?). Every character has had groundbreaking performances in this show (Lincoln’s Rick ripped a guy’s throat out with his teeth), but I thought McBride would finally bring the show some recognition with her scene that paid tribute to Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
I know I talked about strong women earlier with Elisabeth Moss’s Peggy Olson, but Bellamy Young tackled it with her portrayal of Mellie this past season. She handled her role more professionally than in past seasons as we started peeling away the layers and showing off more to Mellie than I thought we would ever see. A lot of people were upset with the situation handled between Mellie and President Grant’s father, but I think it helped provide a gateway between why Olivia and Fitz could still not be together while also giving her more reason to put up a cold front to Olivia and Fitz for what they had done.
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Lets sidecar this Paul Giamatti argument and get straight to the facts, Pedro Pascal was flawless and his nomination was nowhere. If you are telling me his performance did not leave you flabbergasted then you are lying. He was only in the series for 7 episodes, but I could not comprehend what happened in his last moments until the next episode that Sunday. He left more of an impression on me than most characters that enter and leave this show. Did you know Diana Rigg got a nomination? Yea, Olenna Tyrell was nominated but not the beloved Prince Oberyn who’s head will forever be sketched in your brain. I feel like my head exploded just writing this.
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
We already hatched out how nothing in The Newsroom was as good as the first season, so guest appearances fall into that as well. Lisa Kudrow was overlooked for her limited spot as a democratic female running for president against Fitz. She took down every situation thrown at her with the help of Olivia Pope and associates. I was sad to see her go because I thought she would go further, but I’ll take what I can get. Plus, Kudrow is making a comeback in The Comeback.
Outstanding Host For a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Any argument against this is not valid, Chris Hardwick is one of the funniest hosts on television. Some of you know him from G4TV, some of you are more familiar with him from AMC with Talking Dead or Talking Bad, but he is finally getting recognition through Comedy Central’s @Midnight. The rest of this argument will be filled with clips to let you know that any argument against it is not valid.