Part 1, The Dramas
As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, I love awards shows. And one of my favorite remains the Critics Choice awards, the platform for the Broadcast Critics picks. Their picks for film awards continue to get more and more intriguing with each passing year, particularly considering that they have room for Best Action Movies, along with Comedy and Drama. But what is more pertinent to this blog has been, ever since 2011, their fascinating picks for television awards. Before the Emmys began opening their doors to more deserving series, they made deep inroads, picking superb series like The Americans, Mr. Robot, Master of None, and Orange is the New Black . And every year, they continue to recognize series that, more often then not, get lost in the shuffle in the years of peak TV.
And as the audience for awards gets bigger, so the platforms for the Critics Choice. When they began giving awards for TV, they aired on satellite network, Reelz. Now, when they air January 11, they will appear on the CW. Granted, this is due mainly to the awards for movies, but that doesn’t change the fact that they have moved up in the world.
So, here is my evaluation of the 2017 Critics Choice Nominations. As always, I’ll start with the dramas.
The Handmaid’s Tale and This is Us have earned their spots, given how well they did at the Emmys last year, and I’m incline to agree about Stranger Things. I haven’t seen The Crown yet (I’m a little amazed its eligible considering it started streaming this week) but still, its a good show. Game of Thrones, well, its always been a good candidate, despite my personal feeling towards it.
American Gods appears to be the wild card, even though its early reviews bordered on the extraordinary. I would’ve expected The Leftovers or The Americans, two of this groups stalwarts to prevail here. But a pick like this is far from out of character for Critics Choice, particular considering how well regarded it was.
Best Actor, Drama
Interesting selection. Sterling K. Brown more than deserves to be here. Ditto Bob Odenkirk. I’m glad that they nominated Freddie Highmore for the right series (it wouldn’t shock me if the Golden Globes nominated him, but for Good Doctor, rather than Bates Motel. And I’m overjoyed that Paul Giamatti, whose work on Billions has been superb, finally got some award recognition.
Ian McShane isn’t a bad choice, at least by association, and I’m glad to see him back in awards competition. But will someone explain to me the fascination with Liev Schreiber? Matthew Rhys or James Franco would’ve been far better choices.
Best Actress, Drama
Another interesting group. Claire Foy deserves to be here, as does by extension, Elisabeth Moss. Tatiana Maslany’s final season of Orphan Black was magnificent, and given that she triumphed here twice before getting her Emmy, I think she’s the favorite here. I’m delighted to see Christine Baranski back for The Good Fight, and Robin Wright, despite the controversy associated with House of Cards, should be here.
I’m still not certain what to do about Catriona Balfe, but I am more in favor of her being nominated than Viola Davis or Taraj P. Henson. I really thought Carrie Coon would be here for The Leftovers, but she didn’t get ignored, as you’ll see below.
Best Supporting Actor, Drama
This is where things truly get fascinating. Michael McKean more than earned his spot with his work on Better Call Saul. Ditto David Harbour for Stranger Things. I’m over the moon that Delroy Lindo was recognized for The Good Fight. And I’m glad to see Asia Kate Dillon grab a nomination for their superb work on Billions. (Although, given what we know about them, will they accept the award if they win?)
Bobby Cannavale is a bizarre choice for Mr. Robot, he did superb work, no question, but couldn’t they have honored Christian Slater instead? And I’m not as upset that Peter Dinklage is here, by now he’s earned his place at the table. Still, couldn’t they’ve found room for Ron Cephas Jones?
Best Supporting Actress, Drama
Another eclectic group. Would be odd if Ann Dowd wasn’t here after her win at the Emmys. Christy Metz more than earned her spot. And I’m thrilled Cush Jumbo was nominated for The Good Fight.
It gets a little harder to read after this. Emilia Clarke, I can understand. But I would be shocked if even critics saw Amazon’s Sneaky Pete. Still, Margo Martindale has a fan base with this organization. And I’m always glad to see Gillian Anderson nominated for, well, just about anything. Still, nothing for Millie Bobby Brown?