By Josh Axelrod, David Oliver and Anamika Roy
Oh, Emmy…every year we expect you to get things right, and every year you get just enough wrong to make us wonder why we still care what you have to say. And yet, here we are, analyzing the crap out of you. Here are our thoughts on this year’s nominations:
Favorite Nomination: “Orange is the New Black” for Outstanding Comedy Series
OK, let’s admit that the Emmys 100 percent need a Dramedy category for shows like this, “Shameless,” “Nurse Jackie,” etc. That being said, what a tremendous show this is. From the layered plotting to the quick dialogue to the deep, ethically challenged characters, “Orange” is exactly the kind of show we want on TV right now. It’s amazing a show this provocative and boundary-exploding made it to Emmy voters’ hearts – let’s hope this is a positive trend.
Least Favorite Nomination: “Downton Abbey” for Outstanding Drama Series
Um, excuse me?! Pish-posh, “Downton Abbey.” It had arguably its most uneven season this fourth time around, introducing new characters left and right and plots that left fans wanting more for its favorites. Considering the deaths of [SPOILER] and [SPOILER] during season three, the show’s quality was bound to dip. While still a regal drama among most, it did not earn its slot this year. Which leads me to the biggest snub…
Biggest Snub: “The Good Wife” for Outstanding Drama Series
Are you kidding me? Did Emmy voters even watch “Hitting the Fan” or “Dramatics, Your Honor?” For a show in its fifth season, “The Good Wife” is pulling out all the stops and has become even more of a must-see hit – it clearly should have taken “Downton Abbey’s” spot this season (though “Masters of Sex” wouldn’t have been a bad choice either – screw you, “True Detective,” you sneaky bastard). Did the underrated network gem fail to earn a spot because of just that – being on a network? The show’s actors earned some well-deserved nods, but to ignore the show as a whole is practically illegal. Let’s hope the show tops itself the next few years and proves voters wrong.
Show Emmy Voters Clearly Don’t Watch: “The Mindy Project”
Not a single nomination. You read that right. For a show with zingers like this. And moments like this. Poor Mindy Kaling herself had to help announce the nominations. She’s a tough cookie, ladies and gentlemen. The show’s effortless season two romantic/zany office comedy delivered 10x the funny than a single episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” Yes, I said it. If this isn’t on the nominee list next year after what should be another stellar season, I may just boycott the Emmys ceremony (probably not really, but in my heart, yes).
Favorite Nomination: “Silicon Valley” for Outstanding Comedy Series
The comedy nominations are a hodgepodge of iffy to awful picks, but the one bright spot is this year’s second best new comedy (we’ll talk about the best one later) getting some deserved recognition. Do yourself a favor and Google the “tip-to-tip efficiency” scene. It’s the perfect representation of how this show makes dumb humor sound intelligent in a way only Mike Judge could make happen.
Least Favorite Nomination: Edie Falco for Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Edie Falco is a fantastic actress. She probably deserves this nomination. But there are two problems here: 1.) Nobody in the history of humanity has ever watched “Nurse Jackie,” and 2.) from what I hear (from the five people on the Internet who claim to have watched it), “Nurse Jackie” is a dramedy. The Emmy’s really should start a separate dramedy category, which would also solve the “we have to pretend ‘Orange is the New Black’ is a comedy “ problem.
Biggest Snub: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for Outstanding Comedy Series
I gave up on “Modern Family” two years ago, so maybe it’s turned around since it devolved into safe, meh comedy. But there is no way in hell it had a funnier season than “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” freshman effort. The Golden Globes realized that and rewarded it accurately. Emmy’s, Terry Crews is not happy. Have you seen him lift a car? He did that on an empty stomach. You’ve been warned.
Show Emmy Voters Clearly Don’t Watch: “Suits”
USA has this dumb stigma attached to it that says all its shows aren’t “serious” enough be nominated for anything. But as the millions of people who watch it know, “Suits” gets into some dark moral territory. Plus, Rick Hoffman’s Louis Litt is nothing short of a revelation. Pay attention Emmy’s you might learn something.
Favorite Nomination: Josh Charles for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, “The Good Wife”
No drama has made me have such a strong reaction to the death of a main character like “The Good Wife.” I would say spoiler alert but it’s been four months. If you haven’t watched I don’t feel bad for you. Even though Charles’ Will Gardner was only in 15 episodes this season, his character went from your average ambitious partner at a Chicago law firm to a man seeking revenge to a martyr for the law.
Anyone who doubts Charles’ acting chops should just watch this scene. You don’t even have to know the show, just watch it.
Least Favorite Nomination: “Modern Family” for Outstanding Comedy
I know it’s an unpopular opinion but “Modern Family” hasn’t been funny since season three, yet somehow, it keeps getting nominated (and winning) awards. Let’s hope that changes this year in favor of fresher comedies like “Silicon Valley,” which just had a fantastic first season.
Also, all of the “Orange is the New Black” nominations give me pause. Hear me out, I think it’s a phenomenal show and deserves the highest of praise, but in the context of Emmy categories, is it more of a drama or a comedy? Following Piper and the rest of the Litchfield gang’s life behind bars is really an emotional roller coaster, full of more tear-jerk moments than laughs. While this nomination is for season one, it sets a precedent for future Emmy nominations the show will (definitely) get. It deserves an Emmy nomination, I’m just not sure this is the category for it.
Biggest Snub: “The Mindy Project” for Outstanding Comedy
This show had a tough first season. As Mindy Kaling’s biggest fan, I worried she wouldn’t recover. Season two proved me wrong in every possible way and I loved it. From start to finish the writing was sharp, the casting changes were on-point and don’t even get me started on the one-liners. By the end of the season, Mindy Kaling had accomplished what the big-wigs in Hollywood have not. She brought back the romantic comedy. How Kaling and company were left off the ballot this year is beyond me. Are you listening Emmy voters?
Show Emmy Voters Clearly Don’t Watch: “Suits”
To further Josh’s point, I think it’s time for Emmy voters to pay attention to USA. I’m not saying it should be a permanent thing, just while “Suits” is on the air – which, if the show continues on its current path, will be for a long time. Sure some of the dialogue is over-the-top and the set is too fancy for its own good, but the character and plot development on this show rivals its network competitors. By transitioning from a legal procedural to full-fledged drama, “Suits” is a TV force to be reckoned with. It’s time awards caught on.