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.
Tatiana 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.
Shameless – Emmy 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.
Melissa 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.
Hannibal – Mads 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 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.
American 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.
Orange 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.
Reg 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.
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.