The 2018 Emmy nominations were handed out this morning and by and large there weren’t a lot of surprises. TVLine has a great post on the snubs of the year but I am more interested in who and what was nominated.
In this era of “peak TV” where there is more prestige content available than anyone has the ability to digest, what the academy chooses to recognize is always fascinating. It doesn’t hew solely to critical opinion or even to viewer opinion. They seemed to recognize streaming content right away, but simultaneously stick fiercely to their old warhorse nominees long past when the consumers of those shows have stopped caring (I’m looking at you Modern Family for the past few years).
The Drama categories are largely unchanged and expected with The Handmaid’s Tale and This is Us taking the most spots. Westworld made quite a strong showing with acting nominations in all but the supporting actor and guest actor races. For such an intensely dense show I love that these actors are getting recognized for what they’re doing. Thandie Newton especially is brilliant and deserves all this and more.
I am a little surprised by Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) getting a best actress nod as (and I don’t watch that show as an avowed I-hate-to-be-scared viewer) I haven’t really seen (in clips) a ton of “acting” from her so much as intense staring into the middle distance.
Comedy though is very interesting. Series nods for GLOW, Barry, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with acting nods for stars of all three. Also, Ted Danson (The Good Place), Allison Janney (Mom), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), and Issa Rae (Insecure) all scored lead acting nominations. Perennial nominees William H. Macy (Shameless) and Larry David (Curb your enthusiasm) are back too lest you think the Emmys went really crazy.
But the supporting actress category is driving me nuts! Nearly the entire female cast of SNL (Leslie Jones, Aidy Bryant, and Kate McKinnon) Atlanta‘s Zazie Beetz, Mrs. Maisel‘s Alex Borstein, and GLOW‘s Betty Gilpin all against 90s throwback nominees Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) and cancelled-in-disgrace Roseanne‘s Laurie Metcalf. And, don’t get me wrong, I love Metcalf and I think she is a powerhouse, but she had NOTHING to do in that 10-episode revival and considering the circumstances of that show ending I am very surprised to see her on this list (the series also got an outstanding editing nomination.) Not to get into snub territory but I was particularly surprised not to see a nod for D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place) who is fantastic on that show (and Barry by the way) and plays a totally unique character brilliantly (DISCLOSURE: I should mention I went to high school with D’Arcy and was in a terrible play with her when I was 12. But I don’t think we’ve spoken in 20 some odd years. I was thrilled when when I saw her in the trailers for The Good Place and am so happy for all her success. Also she is completely fantastic).
Tiffany Haddish earned her first Emmy nomination for hosting SNL, and the limited series categories are filled with Black Mirror (the terrifyingly delightful “U.S.S. Callister” episode earned nominations for the episode itself and Jesse Plemons in it) and nominations for everything Ryan Murphy has been involved in, including nearly the entire cast of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story save Cody Fern.
In the reality area, the big story is the continued applause for Rupaul’s Drag Race (12 in total including series and host), but the inclusion of Jane Lynch (Hollywood Game Night) in the hosting category is shocking as NBC treats that show like some sort of dirty secret.
Obviously there are a ton of nominees I didn’t get to (Lily Tomlin! Sandra Oh! Diana Rigg! John Legend! Adina Porter! Letitia Wright!) as well as all the technical and behind the scenes categories and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. The Emmys are my favorite show as TV is my favorite thing. I love the they’re trying to get some new and interesting people in there and hopefully it’s the beginning of a positive trend. The Emmy awards ceremony will air on NBC on Monday September 17