2014 Emmy Reactions

The 2014 Emmy season is upon us.  Nominations were broadcasted this morning at 8:30 AM EST/5:30 AM PST.  While most people probably slept through the nominations, I was up with baited breath just hoping this would be the year that some of televisions most talented performances weren’t overlooked.  Unfortunately, every award show comes with a handful of snubs, the academy omitting some of the most outstanding work on television today.  Accordingly, exceptional work by some stellar people was recognized this year.

The Snubs

orphanblackTatiana Maslany (Orphan Black): Hands down one of the most marvelous actresses on television is none other than Tatiana Maslany and her work on the BBC American show Orphan Black.  Tatiana has taken on the role of on not one, not three, not five, but eight different clones throughout the series.  Only in its second season, Maslany has continuously showcased just how unique one person can make eight different characters.

shamelessShamelessEmmy Rossum, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Allen White: Bumping Shameless into the comedy category proved well for the Showtime series as William H. Macy was finally recognized for his work as alcoholic, deadbeat dad Frank Gallagher.  Although Macy’s nomination was a nice surprise, Frank’s shenanigans on the show have taken a backseat to the younger cast of Shameless.  Emmy Rossum (Fiona) hands down carries the series, while Jeremy Allen White (Lip) and Noel Fisher (Mickey) pulled out some amazing performances this year.  It can be argued that Shameless isn’t fit for the comedy category — this past season went to some pretty dark places — but a nomination for Macy may lead to further recognition down the road for this very talented ensemble show.

Dean Norris (Breaking Bad): Perhaps one of the most infuriating snubs of the season as Norris’ eligibility for an Emmy ended this year with the last season of Breaking Bad.  The standout character development of DEA agent Hank Schrader was above and beyond this past year.

Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation): No explanations needed.  Offerman’s Ron Swanson has been overlooked for the past six years.  A real travesty for the comedy category as his portrayal is perhaps some of the most excellent comedic work on television to date.

mcbrideMelissa McBride (The Walking Dead): A standalone performance on a continuously overlooked show.  Melissa McBride’s portrayal of Carol on this season of The Walking Dead outshone her fellow cast members.  Carol’s ultimate sacrifice of [spoiler] killing Lizzie, the psychotic child she had sworn to protect, was phenomenal.  It’s no surprise TWD and its acting was once again passed over as series star Andrew Lincoln and once cast member Jon Bernthal have been just as deserving of a nomination in the past.

hannwillHannibalMads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Raul Esparza: NBC’s Hannibal falls into an interesting category.  It’s horror and horror is not something the academy often moves towards.  But with the continuous recognition of American Horror Story, Hannibal is finally in a place to deserve a fair chance at recognition.  Although the show can be gory and over the top, the acting continues to be absolutely stellar.  Titular character Mads Mikkelsen shatters any doubters as Hannibal Lecter, while Hugh Dancy’s struggling Will is harrowing.  Guest actor Raul Esparza (Dr. Chilton) maintains a manipulative yet funny presence on the show.  The direction cinematography are not like any other on TV today.

Arrow stunt work: A random and underrated addition.  But Arrow’s leading man, Stephen Amell, does all of his own parkour-esque stunts.  This comic book inspired show is a hotbed for incredible stunt work.

The Well-Deserved:

The Normal Heart (various nominations): No surprises here.  The HBO movie was absolutely out of this world.  From the story to the acting, The Normal Heart may be this years best few hours of television.  Stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomber, Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, and Alfred Molina all garnered nominations for their performances.  The movie is sure to win best TV movie and will probably dominate in the acting categories as well.

ahscovenAmerican Horror Story: Coven (various nominations): QUEENS.  Is there any other word to describe the handful of women all nominated for their acting in the third installment of American Horror Story? Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates all held their own this year on the miniseries.

William H. Macy (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Shameless): As stated above, Shameless‘ move into the comedy category proved worthy.  Macy has continuously given life to patriarch Frank Gallagher.

Amy Poehler (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Parks and Recreation): If Parks and Recreation has to continuously face being ignored by the voters then at least leading lady Amy Poehler’s nomination can give some light to the underrated comedy.

oitnbOrange is the New Black (various nominations): The Netflix comedy’s inaugural season was not surprisingly given high praise and high recognition.  As well as the show as a
whole, actresses Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red), Natasha Lyonne (Nicky), Laverne Cox (Sophia), and Uzo Aduba (Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’), were all bestowed accolades for their work on the show.  And that’s just for season one.

freddyhocReg E. Cathy (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – House of Cards): A House of Cards fan favorite.  Freddy and his BBQ joint were highlighted in a devastating way during HOC’s second season.  Cathy’s performance was a gut-wrenching look into the inner city of DC, one that left audiences heartbroken and angry.

Breaking Bad (various nominations): No explanation needed.  The AMC drama’s swan song season was some of the best television ever made.  All the performances (including nominees Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn) were top-notch and the series once again proved that television can be a real piece of art.

The Originals (Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series): Because of reasons.

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What Can Be Done:

Implementing a separate sci-fi/horror/genre category: Shows like Orphan Black, The Walking Dead, and Hannibal continuously fall onto the short list.  Over the years, television has jumped leaps and bounds, making way for groundbreaking shows that don’t exactly fit into a drama or comedy category.  Shows that implement a horror, sci-fi, or otherworldly story house some of the best talent on television today.  The Emmy voters have slowly taken note, continuously commending the work on Game of Thrones and American Horror Story, but there are so many more deserving pieces of work out there.  An additional category to single out these series and performances would make way for some new faces.  Television is ever evolving and the Emmy’s should follow suit.

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Erin Reacts to the Emmy Nominations

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If you can’t decipher what I just wrote then it must only mean one thing: Emmy nominations have been released!

On July 18th at 5:40 AM (8:40 AM here) outstanding (or what the committee deems outstanding) shows and actors were given recognition for their dedicated and hard work in television.  Some nominations were awesome (what up, Jonathan Banks!) but once again the Emmy’s failed to recognize some of the most outstanding newcomers (Clone Club, unite!) and veterans.  So, let’s get to it:

2013 Emmy Snubs:

orphanblack*Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black): This was by far the biggest snub (in my opinion and many critics’ as well).  Tatiana’s breakout performance as not one but SEVEN DIFFERENT characters on BBC America’s Orphan Black should have been enough to garner an Emmy nom.  Unfortunately, the committee has always been known to snub sci-fi themed shows.  It’s a shame because sci-fi and supernatural shows have come into their own, able to hold their own ground in today’s TV world.  Tatiana is a force to be reckoned with as Sarah, Cosima, Alison and various other clones.  Hopefully her day will come as Orphan Black only just recently ended its freshman run.

*Corey Stoll and Kata Mara (House of Cards): Although I’m jumping up and down for joy right now over House of Cards‘ multiple nominations, I can’t help be bet a little sad over the supporting actor/actress nominations.  Corey Stoll’s epic performance as congressman Peter Russo came to a heartbreaking, blood boiling end during House of Cards‘ last few episodes.  This was Corey’s only chance to be nominated for his achievements on the show and I can’t help but want to throw a shoe at my television because his name missed the nominations.  On the other hand, Kata Mara will get another chance next year but her portrayal of Zoe Barnes on the shows first season run should have been enough to lock down that nomination.

jcarp*Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter): Come on, Emmy voters! What were you thinking? This year Dexter didn’t make the cut, no nomination for Outstanding Drama and no recognition for leading man Michael C. Hall…and I’m okay with that.  The show has been in a decline since season four and I can somewhat understand the snub.  But, supporting actress Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Dexter’s sister Deb, really shined last year as her character discovered and came to terms with finding out that her brother was a serial killer.  Maybe next year? *crosses fingers* As the show has reached its last season, Jennifer has one more chance to score a nom.

*Arrested Development: The fourth season of the reboot had its ups and downs.  In terms of overall Outstanding Comedy Series, I could let that go.  Jason Bateman received a Outstanding Lead Actor nom. and I’m happy about that.  I am a little heartbroken though over the snubs of Will Arnett (Gob), Jessica Walter (Lucille), and Jeffrey Tambor (George Sr./Oscar).  Each actor is talented enough to earn their own separate nomination.  I would have also included Tony Hale (Buster) to my list but he was nominated for the role he plays on Veep (a show I haven’t had the pleasure to watch yet but am happy nonetheless as Tony is a phenomenal comedy actor).

parksandrec*Parks and Recreation: Once again, my spirits are crushed as Parks and Rec missed out on an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination.  Amy Poehler was rightfully nominated for Best Actress but supporting actors like Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson), Adam Scott (Ben Wyatt), and Chris Pratt (Andy Dwyer) deserve to be on that list just as much.

*The Walking Dead: Two years ago I would have laughed at the idea of TWD being nominated for anything, but these past two seasons have really said otherwise.  The show as a whole has become a lot stronger in terms of acting, drama, and pace.  Andrew Lincoln holds his own as Rick Grimes.  His portrayal of a survivor who lost his wife, countless new loved ones he has met on his journey, and his slow descent into insanity made for excellent television.  Again, the committee seems to forget about the sci-fi/supernatural shows so it’s no surprise a show like TWD was forgotten.

shameless*Shameless and Emmy Rossum: WHAT. THE. HELL.  It continues to boggle my mind every year where Showtime’s Shameless is once again forgotten about.  It’s on one of their favorite networks and plenty of other shows and actors from Showtime made the cut this year.  But not Shameless.  The show is beyond excellent.  Emmy Rossum’s portrayal of Fiona Gallagher is fantastic.  Her ability to bring Fiona’s inherent sadness and struggle to the screen should have garnered her a nomination in the lead actress category.  Along with Emmy, any of the supporting cast could have easily have scored a nom, especially William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher, Fiona’s alcohol riddled and neglectful father.

newgirl*New Girl: I recently fell in love with Fox’s New Girl.  The show is funny and light hearted, making it an all around great show to watch and one that the voters should love as well.  Actors Jake Johnson (Nick Miller) and Max Greenfield (Schmidt) bring their own form of humor to the show as two very different roommates.  Johnson’s lazy but charming Nick gives the show heart and Greenfield’s over the top and ridiculous Schmidt is what sets the show apart from its competitors.  Either one of these outstanding men are strong enough to compete with the others.

Other snubs: Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal on Hannibal), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark on Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones), Danny DeVito (Frank Reynolds on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Jason Gann (Wilfred on Wilfred)

It can’t all be bad news though, right!? Thankfully there were several nominations that made me weep with joy:

hoc1*House of Cards/Kevin Spacey/Robin Wright: House of Cards‘ first season run on Netflix was some of the best hours of television I have experienced yet.  Spacey’s portrayal of ruthless Frank Underwood sets a high bar for others in his category.  Wright’s portrayal of Frank’s equally as manipulative wife Claire is bone chilling. The show has a great chance of taking home some awards as last seasons sweep of Homeland proved that a freshman show can hold its own in the fierce competition.

bb*Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad): YAY YAY YAY.  Banks’ Mike Ehrmantraut left the show in a heartbreaking showdown between him and lead man Walter (Bryan Cranston).  Banks really pulled out all the stops in his last few episodes, showcasing a bad guy who you just couldn’t help but want to hug (best grandpa ever!)  I’m super excited Banks’ name made the list this year, right next to his co-star Aaron Paul.  It’s going to be a tough race but Banks has the chops to take home the award.

*Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story): I’ve been saying these two deserved nominations since the shows second season came to a close.  Paulson and Quinto shine in the up and down, crazy show that is American Horror Story. Quinto (Dr. Oliver Thredson/Bloody Face) has the innate ability to play evil and psychotic characters, evident in AHS as he portrayed a mass murdering psychiatrist who skins women alive because of his mommy issues.  Paulson (Lana Winters) gives a great performance of a reporter who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time as she struggles with breaking free from Briarcliff Insane Asylum after being wrongfully committed.  The miniseries category hasn’t always been my favorite but this year I will be keeping my eye out for these two.

Episode 105*Mandy Patinkin (Homeland): I’m still racking my brain on how it’s taken until the second season of Showtime’s Homeland to recognize Patinkin (Saul Berenson).  Saul may be the best character on the show and Patinkin is strong enough that he may just pull out a win this year.  He deserves it.

*Jane Krakowski (30 Rock):  Finally! Janes portrayal of over the top and ridiculous actress Jenna Maroney has been a show stopper since the shows first season.  Unfortunately, it took up until the shows final season for the voters to see that.

Also happy for: Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates on Bates Motel), everything Breaking Bad, everything Homeland, Joan Cusack (Sheila Jackson on Shameless), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live).

For a complete list of Emmy nominations click here.