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Emmys 2018 Snubs & Surprises from Game of Thrones’ 22 Nominations to Twin Peaks Snub
The Golden Age of Television is hard, man—especially during awards season. On Thursday morning, the Emmy nominations were announced with Game of Thrones leading the pack at 22. But like always, there are some big surprises, big snubs, and a couple groundbreaking achievements in the mix. While Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale continue to be powerhouses in the Emmys circuit, underdog programs like The Good Place, Insecure, and I Love You, America are getting their due.
Television Is Still Doing Diversity Better Than Film
In one of the most deserving nods on the list, Sandra Oh’s nomination for Killing Eve is the first time an Asian-American actress has been nominated for a drama lead. Zazie Beets’s nomination for Atlanta in the supporting comedy actress category alongside Leslie Jones for SNL is the first time two African American women have been nominated in that category. Darren Criss, who is the odds on favorite to win for his turn in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, would be the first time a Filipino-American would win in the Lead Actor, Limited Series or Movie category.
The Emmys Aren’t Interested In Your Reboots
Yikes. After Roseanne, Will & Grace, and Twin Peaks drove massive fanfare this year, the trio nearly went bankrupt in the acting categories. Kyle MacLachlan was snubbed in the lead actor category, and Twin Peaks somehow managed to get knocked out of the limited series category entirely. Roseanne’s lone acting nomination belongs to Laurie Metcalf, while Will & Grace only locked in Megan Mullally and Molly Shannon. Roseanne’s appearance on this list of nominations comes after a highly successful reboot that was derailed by Roseanne Barr’s disgrace and subsequent firing from the show.
Old Habits Die Hard
Speaking of Laurie Metcalf, it seems like if there’s one thing the Emmys can be counted on is falling back on old favorites instead of being adventurous with its nominees. Alec Baldwin somehow snagged a comedy nomination for his role as Alec Baldwin poorly playing Donald Trump. This is not a typo. Laurie Metcalf’s good-but-not-great Roseanne return landed her a nomination. Tatiana Maslany received another nomination for Orphan Black over a surprisingly strong season from This Is Us’ Mandy Moore (mind you, the Emmys love to nominate This Is Us, no matter how long you are on screen, so to not round it out feels strange).
This Year’s Surprises Are Well Deserved
That said, there were a few welcome surprises on this year’s list of Emmy contenders. John Legend’s nomination for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert puts him squarely in the running for an EGOT this year. His nomination also marks the first time one of NBC’s live musical performers have been nominated. The wonderful Issa Rae got her first nomination for Insecure. Originally thought to be a long shot, the nomination is all the more exciting since perennial winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is not in the running for the first time since 2011. After 15 seasons on Saturday Night Live Kenan Thompson finally landed his first Emmy nod.
While SNL has relied on Thompson for years now, it looked like he’d never be recognized as the program’s current longest-running cast member. Ted Danson’s second season nomination for The Good Place also came as a bit of a surprise. Though often thought of as a critical hit, NBC’s quirky afterlife-comedy wasn’t expected to challenge the cable and streaming stronghold that has dominated the Emmys in previous years. Rounding out the best of this year’s surprises is Yvonne Strahovski’s nomination for The Handmaid’s Tale. Though she was handily this season’s secret weapon, the Emmys tend to choose their favorite performers and stick with them. With costars and previous winners Alexis Bledel and Ann Dowd in the same category, awarding a third (yet deserved) nomination to the Hulu actress was a bit of a twist.
Lastly, the Posthumous Nomination of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Is a Welcomed Surprise
Just a month after Anthony Bourdain’s death, the non-fiction series is nominated for six Emmys, raising its total nominations to 31. The program has previously won five Emmys.
Check out the nominees from all the major categories here.