Emmy nominations snubs and surprises 2020
All these Emmy snubs! Has the world gone mad?
Well, yes, it has, obviously, but that's no excuse for the Television Academy voters to neglect their sacred duty to nominate Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk for career-best performances in Better Call Saul.
This year was, to be fair, a super competitive and crowded. Several dramas that were not eligible in 2019 were back in contention, such as The Crown, Westworld, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Stranger Things — plus the return of Big Little Lies, which last aired in 2017. And as noted by Variety, some categories received a rather large number of submissions this time (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series had 135 submissions vs. 88 in 2019). There were also new Emmy rules which restricted some of the categories to fewer slots. All of which means there were more passengers and fewer lifeboats so not everybody's ego is getting saved this year.
Here are some of the biggest snubs from the full list of 2020 Emmy nominees:
—As mentioned, Seehorn and Odenkirk were both left off for Saul season 5, which is going to put EW critics into a depressive spiral. The Saul team even submitted Seehorn into the presumably less competitive supporting category, even though she's clearly the show's lead actress, and she still didn't get her first overdue nom. Costar Jonathan Banks wasn't nominated for Saul either and Gold Derby had him favored to not just get nominated but to outright win the category.
—Reese Witherspoon was eligible for starring in three different shows — HBO's Big Little Lies, Apple TV+'s The Morning Show, and Hulu's limited series Little Fires Everywhere. Yet she was snubbed for all. A snub trifecta, if you will.
—On the surprise side, Disney+'s The Mandalorian was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. Nobody saw that coming! And it's very much a snub to fellow newbie streamer Apple TV+, which lobbied hard for its star-studded freshman drama series The Morning Show to get in there, yet it was beaten by Disney with their Star Wars show about a man in a helmet. (Though there was plenty of love for Morning Show's cast, with stars Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell getting nominated along with supporting players Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass). FX's Pose was considered another major drama category snub.
—On the comedy surprises side, FX's Staten Island vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows landing a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series was a shock — especially when prognosticators fully expected Hulu's Ramy to be on the list (though star Ramy Youssef was nominated at least).
—HBO's Westworld was snubbed for Outstanding Drama Series. Now, its critics will point out that the recent third season was not as well-received as the previous two. But still: When a show is nominated for the top drama category for its first two seasons and not its third, that's a snub — even if it's considered a deserved snub. Yet Netflix's Stranger Things still snuck in there somehow.
—More snubs from the Breaking Bad universe: Aaron Paul and Jesse Plemons were both expected to get nominated for reprising their roles in the Netflix sequel film El Camino. But while El Camino was nominated for Outstanding Television Movie, the actors were not.
—Everybody suspected Watchmen would receive some well-deserved attention, and, if anything, the timely superhero drama scooped up more honors than anyone expected: Outstanding Limited Series, plus acting nods for Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jovan Adepo, Louis Gossett Jr. and Jean Smart. There was one snub in the mix, however: Tim Blake Nelson in his role as the haunted Lookin Glass. It's hard to imagine that HBO doesn't make a second season happen, one way or the other.
—An assortment of snubs: Janet McTeer, who was riveting in Netflix's Ozark as a cartel lawyer, along with Tom Pelphrey, who played a bipolar family member; Pamela Adlon, who was heavily favored for a nomination for FX's Better Things after being nominated in 2017 and 2018; Jane Lynch, who was likewise favored for a nomination for her breakout role on Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; Elisabeth Moss was left off for Hulu's The Handmaid’s Tale despite winning in 2017; Nicole Kidman wasn't on the list for HBO's Big Little Lies despite winning for the previous season in 2017; John Malkovich was left off for his likable performance on Netflix's Space Force, and so was Tobias Menzies for his acclaimed performance as Prince Philip in Netflix's The Crown.
The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air — somehow — on ABC on Sept. 20, 2020.
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