My Reactions To This Year’s Emmy Nominees: Part 3, Limited Series

The Only Limited Thing Is the Amount of Nominees


Before I begin my reactions, I feel I must comment on the two biggest injustices of the Emmy nominations. The fact that I now have to advocate for HBO while doing so is an irony that doesn’t escape me.

First of all, they really should extend the Best Limited Series to six nominees. Keeping at five, particularly in an era where so many great limited series come every year, seems a tired holdover. Many solid series were ignored, including A Very English Scandal and Good Omens, but the biggest victim was True Detective. Considering that the third season was arguably the most complete and best that the series has yet produced, the fact that it was ignored from most of the major categories I find very sad. I also find that the overcompensation for When They Say Us probably victimized True Detective the most, particularly in the Supporting Acting categories. Don’t get me wrong, there have been a lot of great limited series this year, and True Detective may be behind the curve, but it deserved more recognition nonetheless.

Second, I’m beginning to think we may need to create a separate category for TV Movie acting awards. Yes, it would probably add another half-hour to an already long show, but all of the acting nominees were from Limited Series. And the biggest victim of this was Deadwood, which was shutout of these categories, as well as writing and directing. It will surely win Best TV Movie regardless, but it’s a great loss, particularly for David Milch, whose health is clearly failing, and should have at least been nominated. Emmy! Cocksuckers! To paraphrase Mr. Wu. Anyways.


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Considering that I advocated for four of the nominated series, there’s really no objection to be had, except for the need to expand to six nominees minimum. I intend to see When They See Us soon, so I’ll wait. But thank you for recognizing Chernobyl, Escape at Dannemora, Fosse/Verdon and Sharp Objects. Problems with the number of nominees aside, this category is a horse race with no clear favorite. I don’t envy the voters their job..


I advocated for five of the six nominees in this category. Jharrel Jerome must really feel like he’s in over his head against this group. Three Oscar winners (Ali, Benicio Del Toro, Rockwell), one genuine Hollywood star (Hugh Grant) and a superb television actor (Jared Harris). And just like Limited Series, there is no clear frontrunner. I just wish they could’ve found room for Ian McShane somewhere.


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Patricia Arquette, Michelle Williams and Amy Adams are going to be dueling to the death in this particular category, and Joey King is going to be giving them a hell of a fight. Again, I’m not as certain about the two nominees from When They See Us (though I’m always glad to see Niecy Nash nominated for anything), but I really think they should’ve found room for Connie Britton somewhere.


Here I start having real problems. Ben Whishaw deserves to be here, as do Paul Dano and Stellan Skarsgard, who I actually thought was more of a long shot. Now, I’m aware that When They See Us was an ensemble piece, and I’m always glad to see Michael K. Williams nominated for anything. (They have years of reparations to make up for his work on The Wire and Boardwalk Empire). But couldn’t they have found room for Stephen Dorff in True Detective, or was his work not nearly as showy as Ali’s? And nothing for anybody in Deadwood, Gerald McRaney in particular? This does seem to be overcompensation


And it gets worse here. Patricia Clarkson more than deserves to be here, and she’s still probably the favorite. Emily Watson was superb for her work in Chernobyl. Patricia Arquette had a hell of a season, and I don’t really object to her double-dipping. And I’m glad to see that Margaret Qualley, who I thought was a real longshot for Fosse/Verdon was put on the list.

Again, my objections are to When They See Us. I think Vera Farmiga is one of the most undervalued actresses in the history of… well, anything, and I’m glad to see her nominated. But two of the most likely nominees got shut out: Robin Weigert for her memorable work as Calamity Jane in Deadwood, and especially Carmen Ejojo for her work on True Detective. She particularly seemed like a sure thing for most of the balloting, especially considering she was the first truly well-drawn female characters on that series. Did fatigue for that show cause her to be ignored? That I find sad.

That’s wraps up my opinions. I’ll be back in the weeks to come to express opinions on the races in general. And I sure have some.

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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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