Hurray For Hollywood (Critics Association), Part 2
Nominations for Drama, Broadcast and Cable
Before we get started, a personal note. I am more in synchrony with the HCA then I will likely be with the Emmys. With only a few exceptions, I’d say eighty to ninety percent of the people I hoped would be nominated by the Emmys were nominated by the HCA. I grant this is an inevitability of there being far more categories in the former then there are in the latter, but it doesn’t change the fact that most of the people I thought should be nominated were nominated, and that actually goes to at least half of “For Your Consideration’. If there’s a way for me to become a member, show me when and where and I’ll sign up.
Now let’s move on the Dramas and revel in the fact that the HCA favored a good family rather than a horrible one. To be specific, they gave This is Us twelve nominations and Succession eleven. It is likely (but given last year’s results, not a certainty) that both series will triumph in their respective categories. And while I am somewhat revolted to see Euphoria doing so well, this is negated by seeing the exceptional Yellowjackets and Better Call Saul getting the same number of nods. I’m disappointed that The Gilded Age only received two nods, but perhaps this is a sign of things to come. Anyway, let’s go to the specifics.
BEST BROADCAST DRAMA.
I will admit disappointment that while they have room for eight nominated series, the HCA chose to nominate Grey’s Anatomy and Law and Order: SVU over Big Sky. I fail to see why 9–1–1: Lonestar received a nomination over the flagship series, but if I’m being honest, both are equally good.
I give credit to the HCA for acknowledging not only that the CW exists, but that their Berlanti produced series are actually worthy of Best Drama nominations: Superman and Lois and Kung Fu are actually worth the time. New Amsterdam no doubt would be an Emmy contender if it had been five or six earlier. I don’t think it’ll repeat its surprise win as Best Drama this year, though; there’s just too much in favor of This is Us. Maybe now I can watch The Cleaning Lady and acknowledge it’s actually a good drama.
BEST CABLE SERIES, DRAMA
Better Call Saul, Gilded Age and Yellowjackets I advocated for, and are among the best series of the year, and no one’s going to argue with Succession. I’ve made my arguments against Euphoria; I’ll live with them. The other three series…
I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Winning Time: The Rise of the Laker Dynasty. I might not think it deserves a second season, but I’ll let that pass. Snowpiercer… I honestly would have been far more satisfied if Claws or Animal Kingdom, two more realistic TNT dramas, had gotten the nomination. Chucky is pretty critically acclaimed, and it’s hard to argue that the HCA isn’t willing to give more credit to the Syfy channel than other networks. Besides, since the second season of Cruel Summer still hasn’t happened yet, I really don’t have a great second choice. (Although Yellowstone’s absence is odd….)
BEST ACTOR IN A BROADCAST OR CABLE SERIES, DRAMA
Ok, four of these men I thought deserved to be nominated and will almost certainly be anyway. (For the curious, it’s Sterling Brown, Kevin Costner, Bob Odenkirk and Jeremy Strong.) I knew it was inevitable Brian Cox would be nominated, and I had hoped Milo Ventimiglia would be.
Daveed Diggs is a great actor so I’ll give him leeway here, and let’s give credit for the HCA acknowledging that EPIX exists and that they were willing to nominate an actor from a series from it. Would I have chosen Forest Whitaker for Godfather of Harlem over Harold Perrineau for From? Probably. But Perrineau’s been a favorite of mine for as long as Whitaker and he has gotten less credit for his work, so I’ll let that go.
BEST ACTRESS IN A BROADCAST OR CABLE SERIES, DRAMA
Again there are three actresses that were my out and favorites for this category. (Again for the record Mandy Moore, Melanie Lynskey, Sandra Oh.) I knew, given her history and the fact she did get nominated last year against my judgment that Zendaya would be here for Euphoria. I had hoped that Juliette Lewis would be acknowledged by the Emmys so I’m glad she’s here. (I would actually prefer her winning over Lynskey.) I’m not shocked to see Jodie Comer here as well as Oh, and I’m not entirely surprised to see Kelly Reilly here for Yellowstone.
Freema Agyeman is the wild card here. Again, I would have thought that either Carrie Coon or Louise Jacobson from The Gilded Age would be a superior chose. Hell, it would have been more logical to see Mariska Hargitay or even Ellen Pompeo here instead. But I guess these critics really do like New Amsterdam.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A BROADCAST OR CABLE SERIES, DRAMA
Honestly this category is nearly perfect. I more than wanted Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks to be here for Better Call Saul. Those of you who read my columns the last few weeks are fully aware of just how much I thought Michael Mando had earned the right to be here alongside them. Glad to see the HCA agrees with me.
I have no problem with Jon Huertas and Justin Hartley being nominated for This is Us. I always knew that Griffin Dunne was a long shot. I will admit to being surprised that Chris Sullivan isn’t here instead of one of them. Neither of the nominees for Succession shocks me; in truth, I think both Kieran Culkin and Matthew MacFayden are among the most worthy of the nominees this year.
Eric Dane for Euphoria. I’m sorry; I just can’t go along with this. Love the actor, loathe the character on his show, and that’s saying something for a series filled with loathsome characters. Honestly would have preferred one of the actors from any of the nominated Broadcast dramas, even Grey’s Anatomy. The overlooking of John Carroll Lynch from last year instead of Dane. Appalling. Well, there were always going to be some I just hated.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A BROADCAST OR CABLE SERIES, DRAMA
Cheer the fact that Rhea Seehorn and Christina Ricci are here. I’m actually glad to see J. Smith Cameron included; I did advocate for her. I can live with Sarah Snook. Very glad to see Chrissy Metz here, and just as glad to see that the HCA, like me, thought that Susan Kelechi Watson was worthy of consideration.
Did Sydney Sweeney just get here because she doubled dipped? And did they really have to honor Sandra Mae Frank over any of the extraordinary supporting actresses in The Gilded Age? Seriously, is the HCA just going to be another awards show that snubs Christine Baranski? Well, there will be more time.
As to writing: This is Us got more Emmy nominations for writing than Succession did and for more heartfelt episodes. They were also willing to nominate Yellowjackets and The Gilded Age. Still, I’m someone dismayed that Better Call Saul couldn’t crack this category (or for that matter, Best Director) and Euphoria did for what was by far its showiest episodes. And seriously, the HCA really thought Dexter: New Blood had a story worthy of Best Writing.
I’m less surprised to see Succession dominating the directing category; it is one of those shows that everybody says is well directed. Still give credit for nominating Yellowjackets. I’m also glad to see many of the cast of This Is Us getting nominated for becoming hyphenates: Ventimiglia and Huertas for directing; Metz for writing. And Taylor Sheridan more than deserves to double-dip as well (though it really does make you question why Yellowstone got all of these major nominations and wasn’t nominated for Best Drama, while Winning Time was only nominated for Best Drama. Well, there are always some bugs to work out the first year.)
A lot of ground still to cover. I’ll get to Comedy (and maybe Limited Series) for Broadcast and Cable tomorrow. If anything, they did a better job in those categories than they did for Drama.