Friday, July 11, 2014

2014 Emmy Nominations: the good, the bad and the WTF

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 5:13 PM

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So, the Emmy nominations were announced yesterday. While there's always an immediate visceral reaction to the nominations, it normally takes me about 24 hours to comb through them and figure out what the academy got right, what they got wrong and just plain what the fuck were they thinking. Here's where we're at with this year's nominees:

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The good:

  • Netflix walks away with 31 nominations, more than twice what they scored last year. Orange Is the New Black alone scored 13 nominations, including five in the acting categories.
  • Laverne Cox became the first openly transgender acting nominee. According to the L.A. Times, "Cox herself makes the distinction 'openly trans,' as she says she knows of another transgender woman who won an Emmy years ago, but was not out."
  • HBO's freshman series Silicon Valley got a super-surprise nom in the Oustanding Original Comedy series category. Granted, it could just be posthumous love for the show's (hysterical) co-star Christopher Evan Welch, who passed away mid-season, but it's refreshing to see the nontraditional Mike Judge-helmed comedy slide onto the list.

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The bad:

  • Seriously, how many people does Tatiana Maslany on Orphan Black have to play before they'll give her a nod? Both this season and last, she easily gave one of the most nuanced performances on the small screen. Maybe she did TOO well, and the committee thought it was a bunch of different actresses instead of one awesome one.
  • Um, we're happy that Laverne "Sophia/Marcus Burset" Cox, Uzo "Crazy Eyes" Aduba and Natasha "Nicky Nichols" Lyonne got recognition for their fabulous turns on Orange Is the New Black, but did y'all see Taryn Manning as Pennsatucky? Did you? In the hands of another actress, the accidental religious zealot could have easily become a caricature. Manning gave her depth and, dare we say it, heart.
  • Not enough AMC love. Yes, Mad Men and Breaking Bad are amazing shows, but, c'mon Academy, The Walking Dead is much more than just good makeup. Forget Andrew Lincoln's Rick and his wobbly cry face, Melissa McBride's Carol is where it's at. We can't even look at flowers anymore without getting a little bit choked up.

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The WTF:

  • For the first time in 19 years, The Simpsons was absent from the "Outstanding Animated Program" category. Wow. While it's nice to see Emmy voters recognize newer animated shows like Archer and Bob's Burgers, it came as a shock to us (and to the show's producers, we imagine) that the show was shut out of the category this year.
  • Fargo is not a television series? The waters between miniseries and traditional television series are getting murkier every awards cycle. Why is Fargo considered a mini-series, while True Detective scores a nomination for being an traditional drama series? Fargo put out 10 episodes of television, while TD only aired eight. Surely that would make True Detective the more mini of the two series, right?
  • What in the ever-loving hell is up with the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program nominees? We'll give 'em Cat Deely for So You Think You Can Dance and even Heidi and Tim for Project Runway (even though the series took a serious nosedive when it moved to Lifetime), but where's Padma Lakshmi for Top Chef or Phil "the eyebrow" Keohgan for The Amazing Race? And most importantly, the still fabulously snarky Survivor host Jeff Probst?

You can see if the academy keeps up with the good, the bad and the WTF theme when the Primetime Emmys, hosted by Late Night host Seth Meyers, are awarded at 8 p.m. August 25 on NBC.

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