Idiot Box: 2019 Emmy Award Nominations

Finally got around to seeing the 2019 Emmy nominations, and, at first glance, a lot seems to be missing, until you remember that in order to be eligible, a show needed to have aired at least its first episode between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019, hence past winners/nominees near-absenteeism (e.g. Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, etc). Don’t worry – Meryl Streep will be here next year to add another award to her mantle!

While I’m dismayed, again, at the continuous snubbing of One Day At A Time, I did appreciate that the Emmys finally recognized how amazing The Good Place is – awarding it an overdue Outstanding Comedy nomination in its third year. But why no love for Kristen Bell, who anchors the hilarious insanity? And while I’m glad the brilliant “Janet(s)” episode was nominated for Outstanding Writing, how the hell was D’Arcy Carden, who gave an ingenious, pitch-perfect performance as Janet, given the cold shoulder? Seriously? Forget the nomination – the Emmy should have been mailed to her after that episode aired! (Carden had to play five of the show’s six main characters, because…oh, fuck it – I won’t even TRY to explain that here. But just believe me when I say it was a work of art. Her non-nom is a crime.)

Though, really – is there anything able to stop the power of Veep? I expect Julia Louis-Dreyfus to grab her hundredth Emmy come awards night (and deservedly so), but I was happy to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Christina Applegate (Dead To Me) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Dolls) included this year alongside last year’s wonderful winner Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). Catherine O’Hara is a national treasure but I never really got Schitt’s Creek (though I tried), and I’m happy she’s being recognized for her work. (Though, horrified that Pamela Adlon, and Better Things, are both missing.)

I love the love thrown at Fleabag (yay, Olivia Colman!) and Russian Dolls, too, for Outstanding Comedy, as much as I’m exhausted at the umpteenth nominations for This Is Us in the Drama categories. Also, if you’re going to nominate the great Bodyguard as Outstanding Drama Series, then you easily could have knocked out Sterling K Brown’s or Milo Ventimiglia’s nods for Outstanding Actor (not to mention Kit Harington in Game of Thrones, though God forbid!!!), and rewarded Richard Madden’s stupendous turn as David Budd, in the series, with a much-deserved nomination. (Bodyguard’s only other nomination was Outstanding Writing.)

I didn’t hate the final season of Game of Thrones as much as the rest of the world did (as problematic as it was, my main caveat was that it was too rushed). But the show’s record number of nominations seems out of touch with the consensus that this much-maligned season was most undeserving of such accolades.

In GoT‘s supporting categories, not sure Gwendoline Christine’s nod was necessary, nor Sophie Turner’s. And while I understand the Maisie Williams nomination, the usually stellar Lena Headey was underused, and thus, under-performed. She really had nothing much to do this season. (Peter Dinklage though, as usual, was exceptional this year – though I always maintain that his is/was always more a lead role than Harington’s, rather than his thrice-won Supporting.)

And, sure, the acting in Pose might be laughable at times, but Billy Porter’s Outstanding Actor nod is a joy; he’s the heart and soul of the series, and elevates the rest of the novice, amateurish cast. And, despite that cast, the show’s storytelling is beautiful, so kudos for its Outstanding Drama nomination. And I’m also thrilled that Jodie Comer was recognized as Outstanding Actress for Killing Eve – her snub last year was ridiculous, as Sandra Oh’s Eve was nothing without Comer’s Villanelle; a yin without the yang. And did they really need to nominate Viola Davis again for the long-in-the-tooth, and completely risible, How To Get Away With Murder, over, say Julia Roberts’ complex role in the smart, beautifully acted Homecoming, which was surprisingly snubbed? Nope.

The category I’m most excited about, though, is Limited Series. There’s nary a weak nod in the whole acting bunch, with Outstanding Limited Series itself filled with five genuinely exemplary nominations, and a masterpiece or two, too.

In a category (Outstanding Lead Actor) filled with great performance like Jared Harris (Chernobyl) and Hugh Grant (A Very English Scandal), the single most profound performance I witnessed this year was Jharrel Jerome, who played Korey Wise, in the breathtaking When They See Us. I sincerely hope he wins in September – it’s a name you should remember and a performance that will haunt you.

I don’t think there’s any actress who will – or should – beat Michelle Williams (Outstanding Lead Actress) for her transcendent portrayal of Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon, but Patricia Arquette (Escape At Dannemora), Amy Adams (Sharp Objects) and Joey King (astonishing in The Act) could give her a run for her money (not really; this is probably the only sure thing, though if anyone can snatch it from Williams, it’s the much-loved Arquette). But I’m saddened that two excellent performances were nominated in the lead category – Niecy Nash and Aunjanue Ellis (both great in, and nominated for, When They See Us) – both were really supporting roles, and nominating them as leads only lessens their chances come Emmy night (Nash, particularly).

And with When They See Us and Chernobyl (both masterworks, in my opinion) and Fosse/Verdon and Sharp Objects and Escape at Dannemora all up for the same Outstanding Limited Series award? Well, that alone is worth the price of admission. And even another three-plus hour Awards ceremony.

All photos/info below courtesy The Hollywood Reporter.

Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
Bodyguard (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
Ozark (Netflix)
Pose (FX)
Succession (HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)

Comedy Series

Barry (HBO)
Fleabag (Amazon)
The Good Place (NBC)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Russian Doll (Netflix)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Veep (HBO)

Limited Series

Chernobyl (HBO)
Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)
Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Sharp Objects (HBO)
When They See Us (Netflix)

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
Kit Harington (Game of Thrones)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Billy Porter (Pose)
Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Jodie Comer (Killing Eve)
Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder)
Laura Linney (Ozark)
Mandy Moore (This Is Us)
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Robin Wright (House of Cards)

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)
Don Cheadle (Black Monday)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)
Bill Hader (Barry)
Eugene Levy (Schitt’s Creek)

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate (Dead to Me)
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll)
Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag)

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Mahershala Ali (True Detective)
Benicio Del Toro (Escape at Dannemora)
Hugh Grant (A Very English Scandal)
Jared Harris (Chernobyl)
Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us)
Sam Rockwell (Fosse/Verdon)

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Amy Adams (Sharp Objects)
Patricia Arquette (Escape at Dannemora)
Joey King (The Act)
Niecy Nash (When They See Us)
Michelle Williams (Fosse/Verdon)
Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us)

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones)
Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul)
Michael Kelly (House of Cards)
Chris Sullivan (This Is Us)

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones)
Julia Garner (Ozark)
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve)
Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones)
Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones)

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Alan Arkin (The Kominsky Method)
Anthony Carrigan (Barry)
Tony Hale (Veep)
Stephen Root (Barry)
Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Henry Winkler (Barry)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
Olivia Colman (Fleabag)
Sian Clifford (Fleabag)
Betty Gilpin (GLOW)
Sarah Goldberg (Barry)
Marin Hinkle (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Asante Blackk (When They See Us)
Paul Dano (Escape At Dannemora)
John Leguizamo (When They See Us)
Stellan Skarsgård (Chernobyl)
Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal)
Michael K. Williams (When They See Us)

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Patricia Arquette (The Act)
Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us)
Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects)
Vera Farmiga (When They See Us)
Margaret Qualley (Fosse/Verdon)
Emily Watson (Chernobyl)

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