Who needs the Emmys?
The Emmy nominations came out, and as with nominations for a lot of award shows, the list reads like something your snobby pretentious cousin put together. The obvious pieces with a lot of hype always make the cut, and not much else. It is never much of a surprise, and, if you’re like me, your favorites often end up left out.
Which is not to say the shows, actors, and writers on the nominations list aren’t deserving – there is a reason why everyone keeps telling you to watch Breaking Bad, why Sunday evenings have to be planned around Game of Thrones, but, as a viewer and lover of television, it is always a bummer to see my favorite shows missing, two in particular:
The Walking Dead (pictured) has been snubbed time and again, and it is this year again. It has some of the most exhilarating action sequences on television and its actors and writers portrayal of gradual but substantial change is incredible. The clever boyish Glenn (Steven Yeun) from season one has become a brave and protective man, fighting for leadership and respect. His eyes, once filled with hope, now appear desperate. Or you can look at Carl (Chandler Riggs), who began as baggage, the token kid with nothing to do but get lost in the woods, yet has become a cold hard realist, showing us what it is like to grow up in a world where “safety” is no longer a part of the vernacular. But yeah, I can still be happy about its nomination for prosthetic makeup…
On the comedy side, New Girl failed to receive any recognition for its daring second season. The show took a huge risk by facing main character’s Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess’s (Zooey Deschanel) sexual tension head on. The dynamic put in place by sexual tension is something shows often drag out and tent pole around for years, only leading to disappointment when those two characters are brought together (Is anyone still watching Bones?) But New Girl put its foot down, declaring that it would not be defined by only two of its characters and, in doing so, created a realistic, fun, and effecting storyline between the two. Nick and Jess’s first kiss takes you aback in its raw power. And all of this happened while Winston’s (Lamorne Morris) bipolar jumps between the practical one and a wild card made him one of the more exciting supporting comedy characters to watch. But, I mean… I guess Modern Family is still good.
Here’s the thing though, this is all my preference. The TV landscape is too vast to take it all in. While Ike Barinholtz’s Morgan on The Mindy Project made me laugh harder than anything else all year, others snarfed their juice to Workaholics (nominated for stunt coordination), the returning Arrested Development, Louie, and even 2 Broke Girls. We can’t always get what we want in nominations, but that is only because there are so many places to find our niche. With the media defining nominations for Arrested Development’s Jason Bateman and locally filmed House of Cards in nine categories, Netflix and other internet distributors are now legitimately in the game, adding more screen time to get lost in.
Awards shows force us to choose winners and losers, to rank and compare shows that are nothing alike but the vague umbrella genres of “comedy” or “drama.” There is so much to television these days that the Emmys are almost moot. Award shows on the whole are down in viewership, because who wants to watch your pretentious cousin choose their favorite shows, when you can snuggle up in bed, laptop on your belly, and watch your own?