I’m glad I took some time after the initial rush of the Emmy nominations announcement to ruminate over what has happened, and what it means for the state of television. There were so many exciting things happening on TV this past year, and it was amazing to see so many things recognized, and also to continue to see so many more Creative Arts Emmys categories I didn’t necessarily think about before (i.e. main title, and theme song even!). And, of course, all the acting awards are pretty exciting as well.
The big thing I’m walking away from is the Best Actor for Drama category is going to be a TOUGH competition. Now, last year, even as a viewer of The Newsroom, was a shocker to me. It even spawned a viral reaction, especially with the wake of Breaking Bad approaching its end. It just got tougher with the addition of BOTH Matthew McCounnaghey and Woody Harrelson nominated in the same category for True Detective. I knew after watching the show that they would definitely receive recognition, but the biggest thing here is that True Detective, which is following a similar self-contained serial format as American Horror Story, submitted as Drama Series versus Mini Series. Picking a category for consideration is probably the most vital thing when applying for nominations, because not only do you want to be considered, you want a real chance at winning, right? Rocking the boat in this category causes me to wonder if True Detective would have succeeded under the Mini Series category as well? Personally, I think it would have, even when pinned against another in the HBO family this year, The Normal Heart.
Another very interesting nominee is The Square, the documentary on Netflix that was also this year nominated for an Oscar. For a documentary on Netflix to also be considered for an Emmy as well as an Oscar definitely reflects how Netflix is changing the game – aside from a number of nominees for Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, we’re also considering Netflix in basically the miniseries / movie programming categories as well. Unusual? A bit. There are a number of mini series / movies on HBO and the like considered for multiple accolades. This is definitely a first for Netflix, and probably not the last considering how much they’re continuing to break ground with programming.
Outside of the unusual placement of certain programs in certain categories, again I say the acting categories are all exciting, as you totally can tell we’re looking at the true cream of the crop. Super happy that certain people have broken through – Kate McKinnon nominated as Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series is a total testament to how much she is defining what SNL is these days. SNL has had a tough time adjusting post-Kristen Wiig and post-Bill Hader, and she is definitely a shining star on the show that’s redefining its comedic stamp. Kate Mulgrew’s nomination is also awesome for Orange is the New Black – in Season One, her whole storyline has been the most interesting and one of the more prominent. This gives me hope for Season Two nominees next year for Poussey and Taystee, who have totally emerged into prominence for the series. I haven’t checked out The Normal Heart yet, but it’s clear that it dominates with talent, and it’ll be interesting to see Jim Parsons up for two different awards this year – comedy AND mini series. The actress categories are also going to prove tough this year – I can’t even wrap my head around predictions yet. I’m happy to see Lizzy Caplan breakthrough for Masters of Sex, even if Michael Sheen got snubbed.
As for the additional nominees that will participate in the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony, I totally dig that the interactive side and web series are considered. I’ve recently been turned on to Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and I’m happy it’s considered for a nomination. Even Between Two Ferns has an Emmy nod this year! For all the flak, it’s interesting that the Live performance of The Sound of Music is considered for an Emmy, especially against the Sochi Winter Olympics and the usual awards shows. Also fun to see the Bruno Mars Super Bowl Hafltime Show considered (I mean, it was the best part of the actual Super Bowl since the game sorta sucked) Outstanding Narrator is a fun new category I haven’t noticed before (so maybe it’s not really new) and it’s cool to see who’s up against one another here: Jeremy Irons, Daniel Craig, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jane Lynch? Whoever thought to see all of them sitting in one category competing against one another! Choreography continues to make a big step in award consideration in TV, although it’s primarily dominated by So You Think You Can Dance this year. For a show that got canned, Almost Human‘s nomination for FX is a great nod to a show that had such potential, and for a show that was eerily turned on to the advances of technology and our identity protection.
It definitely just goes to show that 2013-2014 was a pretty remarkable year in television. It’s a shame that certain things will not get considered since they came out too late – i.e. Last Week Tonight to possibly compete with The Daily Show and Colbert, and even all the amazing acting turns in Orange is The New Black. But we at least have hope for those for next year. Till then, it’s countdown to August 25th!