Emmy Nominations First Thoughts

Okay, all the guess work is over. Two days ago Iemmystatuette2 was putting out a list of the top ten (well, technically eleven) performers I felt needed to be recognized by Emmy nominations, but now they’re actually here. And I gotta say, while only half of the people I was rooting for made the cut, I’m still fairly pleased with how things went down.

To be sure, there are still a few nominations that I’m rolling my eyes at: a few long time nominees that are far past their prime and yet stick around forever anyway. And as long as they’re being nominated, I will continue to argue that neither Nurse Jackie nor Shameless is a comedy. Orange is the New Black made the change over to drama and I think it’s time they did as well. But all in all, I’m pretty well contented with how things went down.

But now for the breakdown…


Outstanding Comedy

Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

While it’s true that I’m shocked by the omission of The Big Bang Theory, I can’t say I’m in any way disappointed. It’s a consistently funny show, but I’ve never found it to be nearly clever or deep enough to warrant the amount of Emmy love it got. As for what’s actually nominated in this category, I’m largely satisfied. I would have swapped out Modern Family for Jane the Virgin, but otherwise I’m good with it.

Lead Comedy Actress

Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Lisa Kudrow – The Comeback
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss – Veep
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
Amy Schumer – Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin – Grace and Frankie

As I said above, I will never see Nurse Jackie as a comedy, nor do I ever hear anyone (not fans, not critics) talking about it except for during the Emmys, so in my opinion that spot should have gone to Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin. She was robbed. Otherwise, it’s a fairly decent collective of ladies, though I would probably swap Lisa Kudrow for Fresh Off the Boat‘s Constance Wu.

Lead Comedy Actor

Anthony Anders – Black-ish
Louis C.K. – Louis
Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Will Forte – Last Man on Earth
Matt LeBlanc – Episodes
Willaim H Macy – Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

I’m pretty eh on this category. I looked through Tuesday’s list and realized I hadn’t included anyone for this category in my list, so I guess I’m not all that disappointed for anyone. But I’m not excited for anyone either. Again, like I said above, I’m shocked by Jim Parson’s omission, seeing as he’s won the thing four times. William H Macy is the only member of his cast who benefits from being considered a comedy since his is the only character that consistently gives a humorous performance, but we just finished Season Five and that character has stayed exactly the same since Season One. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve never enjoyed Will Forte in anything he’s done, but okay. Good for him. And, just like Nurse Jackie, is there anybody out there who actually watched Episodes? Look, Jeffrey Tambor is going to win this, so I guess I’m fine with this category being so boring, but I would have much preferred to see Community‘s Joel McHale or Brooklyn Nine Nine‘s Andy Samberg in some of these places.

Supporting Comedy Actress

Niecy Nash – Getting On
Julie Bowen – Modern Family
Allison Janney – Mom
Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live
Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory
Gaby Hoffman – Transparent
Jane Krakowski – Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt
Anna Chlumsky – Veep

Why is this category so big? Seriously, there are eight nominees. I don’t understand how the nominations work, but this seems excessive. I actually felt that Jane Krakowski was the weak link in Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt, so I would have left her off. And I would have switched Melissa Rauch for Mayim Bialik. I’m pleased to see the Emmy’s losing some of it’s obsession with Modern Family. And this may be weird, but I’ve always felt the SNL nominees were out of place in this category. It’s just such a different kind of performance, so I feel like it needs its own category. Again, not a category I’m super invested in. Though after her brilliant presidential take down, Anna Chlumsky for the win.

Supporting Comedy Actor

Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine Nine
Adam Driver – Girls
Keegan-Michael Key – Key and Peele
Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Tituss Burgess – Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt
Tony Hale – Veep

Considering four spots on this week’s top ten list came from this category, I guess it’s the one I’m most invested in. I’m so pleased for Andre Braugher and ecstatic for Tituss Burgess. Though I would have loved to see Cameron Monaghan get some love for Shameless, a psychotic break and subsequent hospitalization do not make for a great comedic performance (I promise, that’s the last time I’ll complain about this). And of course I know Jim Rash was just a pipe dream. Like the above category, I’m glad we’ve significantly paired down on the Modern Family nominations. And, though he’s in the same boat for me a Kate McKinnon, I do find Keegan-Michael Key hilarious, so good for him.


Outstanding Drama

Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
Orange is the New Black

I’m really pleased with Orange is the New Black switching over to this category. Other than that, this category is incredibly flat. There’s absolutely nothing new. Okay, yes, Better Call Saul is technically new, but I wonder how much its nomination came about because of its Breaking Bad connection. But maybe I’m being too cynical. Either way, it just seems like no one actually watched anything this past year and just carried everything over from last year.

Lead Drama Actress

Claire Danes – Homeland
Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P Henson – Empire
Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black
Elizabeth Moss – Mad Men
Robin Wright – House of Cards

Like The Big Bang Theory, I’m pretty surprised with The Good Wife‘s omission, both for Drama Series and for Juliana Margulies. And, being the gossip hound I am, I do wonder if any of it had to do with the ridiculous behind-the-scenes drama where her last scene with Archie Panjabi had to be filmed separately because she couldn’t stand to work in the same room with her. But really, that’s neither her nor there. As for who’s actually nominated, it’s a good mix of new and old. I’m absolutely here for the Davis and Henson love (just because a show is “soapy,” it doesn’t diminish the quality of the story telling or the performances). I’ve only seen bits of Orphan Black, but anything that opens up the academy to the idea that genre shows are quality too is okay with me.

Lead Drama Actor

Kyle Chandler – Bloodline
Jeff Daniels – The Newsroom
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey – House of Cards

This is definitely a step up from the above category. Certainly, there are a few holdovers: Jon Hamm making his last grab at the prize and Kevin Spacey back again. I’m iffy on Jeff Daniels. While I like The Newsroom, it always came across as The West Wing-lite and not quite awards worthy. But Kyle Chandler is fantastic and while I’ve never seen Ray Donovan, I appreciate new blood.

Supporting Drama Actress

Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
Lena Headey – Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks – Mad Men
Uza Aduba – Orange is the New Black
Christine Baranski – The Good Wife

Well, the only one new here is Uza Aduba. Christine Baranski and Christian Hendricks, both great actresses, have been consistently nominated for this category for the past six years, Joanne Froggatt and Lena Headley were nominated last year, and Emilia Clarke the year before. I’m not too opposed to any of them, though. Game of Thrones, again, had a rocky season, but that was definitely more in the writing than in the performances and while Downton Abbey is certainly losing some of its luster, Joanne Froggatt is always consistent. And truth be told, other than the plethora of women from Orange is the New Black, I don’t know who I’d stick in this category instead.

Supporting Drama Actor

Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn – Bloodline
Jim Carter – Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
Alan Cumming – The Good Wife
Michael Kelly – House of Cards

If I had my druthers, I’d be swapping Daredevil‘s Vincent D’Onofrio for Jim Carter, but otherwise, I think I’m actually good with this category!

Well, that’s that. There’s far too many other Emmy categories for me to actually go through all of them, but the big ones are in. I’m more pleased with comedy than with drama, but I’m not too butt-burt over anything. I think this has been a pretty good year.

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