My Reactions to the Delights, Disappointments and (Many) Surprises of This Year’s Emmy Nominations

Part 1: The Comedies

I should really know better by now. Year after year, I keep hoping the Emmys will finally see logic and nominate the series I like. And with Game of Thrones finally gone from dominating every major category in Drama, I actually thought: it’ll happen this year. Your list will look close to theirs. Oh, naïve critic.

It’s not just that so many of my series were not nominated. It’s that’s so many obvious choice with the acting nominees were ignore for inexplicable reasons. There was very little correspondence between the acting nominees and the nominees for Best Drama. Two series had no acting nominations (or for that matter, directing or writing) while so many other series dominated the acting categories but had no nominations for Best Drama. And perhaps the biggest obstacle for Better Call Saul, where Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks (who’ve been nominated four straight years were somehow ignored in favor of nominees from The Morning Show, which despite expectations was not nominated for Best Drama. The institutional memory that dominates the Emmys seemed to go back a couple of years in the acting categories, but not in Best Drama. How does The Handmaid’s Tale get nominated for two years ago, but somehow Pose and This Is Us from last year don’t?

I’m actually so frustrated with how the Drama category came out this year, that I’m going to break an old happy and discuss the Comedy nominations instead. In a rarity for me, I’m actually far more satisfied with the Comedy nominations than I am for the Dramas, and even rarer, there was more synchronicity than usual. So, let’s see what made us laugh.


Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was dominant yet again, leading the pack with 18 nominations. Schitt’s Creek went big in it’s final year, getting (mostly) a deserved 15. The Good Place had a good exit with seven nominations; the same number for Insecure. Hurrah! The Kominsky Method deserved the nominations it got, and I’ve recently gotten onboard with Dead to Me so I’m glad it was nominated.

As for Curb Your Enthusiasm, I’m not surprised it got the Best Comedy nod, but given the lack of other nominations, they probably should’ve nominated Ramy instead. And I am shocked that FX’s nominee for Best Comedy was the vampire satire What We Do In the Shadows rather than the sublime Better Things. I may be in the minority on this (the series did get three writing nominations, which seems to mean people loved it) but completely shutting out Pamela Adlon? Not nice.


Ted Danson, Eugene Levy, Anthony Anderson, Ramy Youseff and Michael Douglas were all on my list, and all more than deserved to get nominated. I’m still a little surprise at the love the Emmys seem to show Don Cheadle. Black Monday isn’t a good show, despite Cheadle’s best efforts. I’m not surprised Jim Carrey was ignored, but considering the love for Larry David, I’m a little surprised he wasn’t included. Oh well.


Rachel Brosnahan, Issa Rae, and Catherine O’Hara more than deserve to be here. I’ve come to be more and more impressed by the work of Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini on Dead To Me, so I’m glad that both actresses were nominated. I’m always glad to see Tracee Ellis Ross hear as her work on black-ish is sublime.

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Yes, everybody loves her.

I guess I’m just disappointed they couldn’t find room for Pamela Adlon. Kirsten Bell is probably used to being ignored by the Emmys by now. Still, a good group.


They finally nominated William Jackson Harper! I guess the Emmys finally stopped dithering about the consequences and made a choice for a great actor. I’m also glad to see Mahershala Ali and Alan Arkin here as well, and its inevitable that Tony Shalhoub would be back.

I’m always glad to see Sterling Brown nominated, even though I’m not sure his work on Maisel was big enough for Supporting. It’s great to see Andre Braugher back in the mix. Keenan Thompson deserves to be here too. And I don’t really have a problem with Dan Levy being here (it’s a family affair after all). Maybe eight actually was enough.


They found room for D’Arcy Carden too! I guess Janet did know what the Emmy would think. And they recognized Yvonne Orji!

I’m always glad to see Marin Hinkle and Alex Borstein included in the Emmy mix. Kate McKinnon has won my respect over the last few years on SNL and I’m glad to see Cecily Strong around, even though she isn’t my favorite SNL cast member. Betty Gilpin more than deserved to be here too. I don’t really object to Emily Hampshire being here, but couldn’t they have found room for Regina Hall? Still, good group.

As for Guest Actor, as you’d expect SNL dominated. I have no problem with Eddie Murphy, but Brad Pitt for playing Anthony Fauci? Little overdoing it. I was glad to see Fred Willard given a posthumous nod for his work on Modern Family and another nod for Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce. I was glad to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge nominated for SNL, but I’m a little afraid Maya Rudolph’s fine work as Kamala Harris will cancel out the work she did as The Judge on The Good Place. (Then again, maybe the Judge had it done. Good to see Wanda Sykes in the mix, but couldn’t they have found room for Larry David somewhere?

Tomorrow, I will gird my loins and deal with the Drama involved in Drama.

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After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.

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