SNUB: Richard Madden (Bodyguard)
Netflix’s Bodyguard is just one season in and it is already one of the best and most compelling dramas on television. The series picked up two nominations for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Confusingly, the show’s star, Richard Madden was not even nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Madden appears in literally every scene of the series and gives a wonderfully nuanced performance that truly elevates the show. The fact that Madden won the Golden Globe for this role makes this all the more puzzling. He could have easily taken Kit Harington’s spot in the lineup.
SURPRISE: Schitt’s Creek and Fleabag Impress
It feels like there are a million deserving series every season, so the Academy does not have an easy job. This year, the voting body traded Emmy regulars like black-ish and GLOW for hilarious newcomers like Schitt’s Creek and Fleabag. The former was able score Lead Actor and Actress nominations, while the later was able to score Writing, Directing, and Acting nominations. Kudos to the Academy for embracing new blood!
SNUB: The Category Is… More Acting Nominations for POSE.
I was delighted to see FX’s POSE score six nominations including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Billy Porter. The show’s incredible and important story of Black and Latinx trans lives and ball culture hits all the right notes. The show succeeds because of the strong acting ensemble. MJ Rodriguez (Lead Actress), Indya Moore (Supporting Actress), and Angel Bismarck Curiel (Supporting Actor) all deserved nominations this season.
Surprise: How to Get Away With Murder Is Alive and Kicking
It was recently revealed that the upcoming sixth season of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder will be the show’s last. The Shondaland series scored nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Viola Davis), Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Glynn Turman) and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Cicely Tyson). It’s great to see the show still resonates with voters as it hasn’t really dipped in quality like many shows do so late in their runs. Viola has previously won this award for this role and Cicely Tyson has been nominated in this category thrice before for this role.
SNUB: Will Poulter (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch)
Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (review here) was able to snag two nominations including Outstanding Television Movie. Will Poulter gave an absolutely outstanding performance that truly anchored the interactive series. I assume that the overall tepid reception of Bandersnatch and the subsequent inability to maintain hype are to blame, but Poulter deserved recognition.
SURPRISE: Game of Thrones Gets a Bountiful Farewell
Game of Thrones broke the record for most nominations for a show in a single year with an insane 32 nominations. What’s more? TEN actors on the show scored nominations. Up until today, the highest amount of Thrones actors to be simultaneously nominated is six. Furthermore, so far, only one actor has won for this series: Peter Dinklage (three times for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series). The show has been highly lauded in the technical categories, so ten performance nominations is absolutely stunning. First time Thrones acting nominees include Alfie Allen, Gwendoline Christie, Sophie Turner, and Carice van Houten. Clearly, the Academy loved the highly divisive final season.
SNUB: Maniac and Sex Education Get Nothing
Netflix’s Maniac wasn’t its strongest original series. In fact, it was quite confusing most of the time. Nevertheless, the dark comedy, led by Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, deserved nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Limited Series. A nomination for Contemporary Costumes would have been welcome as well. Sex Education, on the other hand, is one of Netflix’s best original series. The hilarious freshman show is a riot and deserved nominations for Comedy Writing, Comedy Supporting Actress (Gillian Anderson and Emma Mackey), and Comedy Supporting Actor (Connor Swindells and Ncuti Gatwa).
SURPRISE: When They See Us and Fosse/Verdon Overperform
Left: Jharrel Jerome in When They See Us via Netflix. Right: Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell in Fosse/Verdon via FX.
I wrote a glowing review of Netflix’s powerful When They See Us here. I’m happy to see that the Ava DuVernay-directed series scored an eye-popping 16 nominations. Eight of the actors scored nominations including Lead Actor and Actress noms for Jharrel Jerome and Niecy Nash, respectively. With nominations in Directing, Writing, Casting, and Cinematography, When They See Us is well-positioned to win Best Limited Series. Another gorgeous limited series, FX’s Fosse/Verdon, seemed to be lacking significant buzz, but luckily the Academy saw its excellence and gifted the series 17 nominations. Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell scored Lead Acting noms along with a slew of well-deserved Makeup & Hairstyling, Casting, and Directing awards.
Catch the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 22.