My (Mostly) Positive Reactions To This Year’s Emmy Nominations
Conclusion: Outstanding Movie, Limited Series or Special
All right. I admit I, like the rest of us, have gotten used to the acting categories in Best TV Movie, Limited Series or Special being dominated by the Limited Series category over the past five years. And I also realize the huge reception the filmed version of Hamilton got last year. That being said, I find it excessive to the extreme as to just how overboard the Emmys decided to recognize Hamilton’s cast, especially when you consider not only how many other great performances and series there were this year, but how many of those same actors could have just easily been recognized in other series, comedy drama or even other limited series. That’s not saying the Limited Series nominations were entirely that much better, but there were a lot of great nominees that were ignobly forgotten.
That being said, let’s go forward.
OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
I advocated for I May Destroy You, The Queen’s Gambit and Wandavision. I understand the logic of picking Mare of Easttown over The Undoing, even though I’m not entirely happy about it. And its hard to argue with The Underground Railroad. I just really don’t understand why the Emmys couldn’t have found room for Fargo or The Good Lord Bird
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE, LIMITED SERIES OR SPECIAL
And this is where I truly get outraged. Hugh Grant and Paul Bettany are the only candidates that, in my mind, truly deserve to be here. There are those who will advocate very strongly for Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom, Jr. for Hamilton; I just can’t bring myself to be one of them. And I’m truly appalled that Ewan McGregor was recognized for Halston, yet another series in the Ryan Murphy oeuvre. Nothing for Chris Rock? Nothing for Bryan Cranston? Hell, Ethan Hawke was the odds on favorite to win and he, like everyone else in the series was ignored. This truly speaks of travesty not to mention reason number 3102 that they should open the category to six nominees.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE, LIMITED SERIES OR SPECIAL
Well, I can’t in good conscience argue against of the nominees here, seeing as I made arguments for all of them. Michaela Coel, Cynthia Erivo, Elisabeth Olsen, Anya Taylor-Joy and Kate Winslet more than earned their places here. Would I have preferred to see Nicole Kidman over Erivo? Sure. But it could be worse. Zendaya could be here again.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE, LIMITED SERIES OR SPECIAL
And here comes the outrage again. Did we really need three actors from Hamilton here? Jonathan Groff galls me in particular because I’m not even sure the fans of the show remember his part. I’ll admit to be a little less irked that Anthony Ramos is present, because frankly he was slighted for In Treatment. And while I’d rather see him here for The Good Lord Bird, I can live with Daveed Diggs presence.
It’s not that the other three supporting nominees make much sense either. I have mixed feelings about John Boyega not being here for Small Axe and I can’t say I’m sorry Brendan Gleeson was ignored for The Comey Method. (I guess even the Emmys figures one actor playing Trump was enough.) But where the hell is Donald Sutherland? I was expected that no one from Fargo would be here, but how the hell did one of the best actors giving one of his best performances get ignored to? It’s daffling.
I kind of expected to see Evan Peters here for his work Mare of Easttown. And considering that he had an even more complicated role than Coel, it makes sense to see Paapa Essiedu here for I May Destroy You. I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around why Thomas Brodie was nominated instead of Bill Camp for The Queen’s Gambit. The best explanation I can come up with is that his character for more active and dialogue driven than Camp’s more subtle performance. Still it’s kind of baffling.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE, LIMITED SERIES OR SPECIAL
I have absolutely no problem with Kathryn Hahn for WandaVision and even less of one for Julianne Nicholson or Jean Smart for Mare of Easttown. I will admit to a certain amount of surprise seeing Moses Ingram nominated instead of Marielle Heller for The Queen’s Gambit — it’s not that Ingram’s performance wasn’t well done or indeed critical to the show, but Heller had dominated much of the early nominations from other groups.
Frankly, I would have been happier to see Heller nominated instead of yet again two nominees from Hamilton. I have nothing against Renee Elise Goldberry — I loved her work in The Good Wife and Evil and she probably should’ve earned a nomination for Girls5eva — but she and Soo are taking nominations away from more qualified actresses like Jessie Buckley or Hope Davis. I know I won’t win this argument.
But I’ll be honest; the reason I’m a little less irked at so many of the nominations is because of the Hollywood Critics Associations TV nominations that came out last Thursday. As I mentioned in a series of ecstatic columns, they did a superb job in listing some of the best drama, comedies and limited series this year. I said that if the Emmys did their job a quarter as well as they did, I would be content. It was closer to a fifth, but that’s a lot better than they’ve done in recent years.
In a month, I’ll be doing by best to try and predict how the brand new HCA and the Emmys will give out their major awards this year. I look forward to doing so, and as always, to be proven wrong. Stay tuned.My (Mostly) Positive Reactions To This Year’s Emmy Nominations
Conclusion: Best Movie, Limited Series or Special