My Overwhelmingly Positive Reactions To This Year’s Critics Choice TV Nominations
Part 1: Drama Nominations
Yes, it’s the end of the year which means it’s time for the end of year awards, and by extension, my personal favorite awards show when it comes to television. Yes, the HCA TV awards have stolen my heart with their first two years of awards, but I will never consider the Critic’s Choice Awards anything less than my first love. How can anyone not love and awards show willing to recognize Fringe, Orphan Black, and Fleabag, and is always willing to give recognition to Walton Goggins, John Noble and Carrie Coon, something no other awards show has done yet?
Of course, the nominations in television were far from perfect; in the sense that some old standards were basically ignored and some unusual shows were recognized. But that’s the reason I love Critic’s Choice in the first place. They have the glorious habit of recognizing the shows and actors that every other awards show (until the HCA) have a habit of ignoring. In recent years, the Emmys have begun to mirror more and more of their choices. I choose to consider this the fact that the Emmys are getting smarter more than the Critics are getting more traditional. I have a feeling looking at this year’s nominations, particularly in comedy and drama, there will be more fun at this awards show and I hope the Emmys decide to engage with their choice more often.
So here are my reactions to the major nominees. I’ll start with Drama
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Call it a hunch, but given that it’s the most nominated drama, I have a feeling the Critics Choice will be the first awards show that will call Saul for Best Drama. They’ve always had a soft spot for it before and considering that they did the same thing for its parent show Breaking Bad, I think it’s inevitable.
I’m not surprised to see Severance here or The Crown, though I will convince I’m slightly surprised that it got no other acting nominations. Then again, Netflix didn’t do well as a whole. Given its mass success, House of the Dragon was nearly a sure thing, and though I’m not happy, I’m not surprised to see Euphoria here. Yellowstone has been a favorite for a while.
I’m very happy to see the final season of The Good Fight get its due. I’m slightly surprised to see Andor nominated. The biggest shock among the nominated series is AppleTV’s Bad Sisters. I honestly thought it more likely Ozark or This is Us would be here instead. And the fourth season of Stranger Things was ignored. Oh, well. They went up to nine nods this year. Good sign.
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bob Odenkirk, is this the next step to his rise to an Emmy? I can hope. Overjoyed to see Sterling Brown here for one last pass at the prize. Happy to see Adam Scott here for Severance and over the moon to see Jeff Bridges here for The Old Man. Now he has two reasons to be at the show in January.
I’m slightly surprised by Antony Starr’s presence for The Boys as it received no other nominations. Diego Luna’s nomination for Andor is equally surprising. It would have been far more likely that Jason Bateman or Dominic West would have been here. But these are Critics Choices.
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
All right. It was inevitable that Zendaya was going to be here. I just hope she doesn’t win again, but that’s my bias.
On to the next group. Thrilled to see Mandy Moore here and hope she gets the Best Actress prize the Emmys foolishly denied here. Overjoyed to see Christine Baranski back for one last shot at a win for her iconic character of Diane Lockhart. For all my problems with Ozark, they do not extend to Laura Linney. And I’m generally in favor of Kelly Reilly’s nomination for Yellowstone.
Sharon Horgan is an odd choice. I have nothing against her or her performance, but it seems very strange that Horgan was picked over Imelda Staunton or Elizabeth Debicki for The Crown, especially considering that this has been a category the series has dominated over the years. Is this a case of Crown fatigue more than anything? Maybe.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Thrilled to see Giancarlo Esposito in the fight. Little unhappy that Jonathan Banks isn’t here, but Banks has already taken home one Supporting Actor prize. Overjoyed to see John Lithgow nominated for his work on The Old Man. Happy to see that Michael Emerson continues to be so good at being evil and always happy to see Andre Braugher nominated for anything, especially The Good Fight. (Clearly, the critics love the Kings.) I’ll even extend some good will towards Matt Smith because I’ve always admired him as an actor.
I haven’t seen Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, so I can’t speak to the wisdom of Ismael Cruz Cordova’s nomination. I won’t deny I’d rather have seen Justin Hartley here one last time or Jonathan Pryce. But overall this is a good group.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
All right. I’m willing to bet even Carol Burnett didn’t expect to be nominated for her stint in the final season of Better Call Saul. Hell, I always thought her showing up was a desire to cross ‘appearing on a Peak Drama’ off her bucket list. But it was a hell of a performance and you can’t pretend it wasn’t important to the series. I just hope she doesn’t take away votes from Rhea Seehorn, who more than anything else deserves this one. Then again, given how the Critics Choice has handled multiple nominees for series like Handmaid’s Tale, The Crown and Succession, I find it unlikely.
Anyway, the other nominees. Not even I would dare say Julia Garner doesn’t deserve one more nomination for her work on the final season of Ozark. I’m thrilled to see Audra McDonald back here one last time for her work on The Good Fight. I guess the critics are considering The White Lotus a Drama and not a limited series, which is why Jennifer Coolidge is in this category. (Then again, last year The White Lotus couldn’t break into the Best Limited Series category either, so maybe the Critics just don’t think highly enough of it.)
I don’t know enough about House of the Dragon to speak about Milly Alcock’s role in it. But I am grateful that she got it ahead of any of the performers in Euphoria or The Handmaid’s Tale. (Though I won’t lie I would have lied to see one of the glorious ladies from This is Us in here one last time.)
Overall, I’m generally satisfied with the majority of the drama nominees. I’m a little unhappy that Euphoria got nominated for Best Drama and This is Us wasn’t. And I’m not thrilled that The Gilded Age was completely shut out. But then again, so were Stranger Things which was dominant in last year’s Emmys and Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale which have been for a while. I can only hope that this is a good sign when it comes to the Emmys next year. But that is a long way away.
Tomorrow, I will cover the comedies which, if anything, are better choices than the dramas this year.