Emmy Drama: Too Many Good Shows to Talk About ‘Snubs’ (Opinion)

Boardwalk Empire Season 3 2013

No, your favorite show wasn't 'snubbed,' but if thinking so makes you feel better...

The 65th annual Emmy Nominations have been announced.

Let the finger-pointing, second-guessing and conspiracy theories begin!

Pity poor Emmy voters. Presented with an embarrassment of riches in the best drama series balloting, they’re sure to be bashed for the “snubs” left off their list, as opposed to the deserving stalwarts that made the cut.

House of Cards,” the Netflix series starring Kevin Spacey, elbowed its way into the nominations, leaving an absolutely spectacular season of “Boardwalk Empire” (pictured) on the outside looking in.

Fair? No. But assuming that the heat surrounding the first digital nominee virtually assured its admission to the club, it’s hard to find another show on the roster that deserves the boot.

Others have already begun to lament some of the oversights, including FX’s new drama “The Americans,” the latest season of “Justified” (which I would place ahead of it in the queue) or “The Good Wife,” the program that reminds us not all CBS dramas have to begin with a chalk outline.

For that matter, what about “The Walking Dead,” TV’s most-watched drama? And while I haven’t had much nice to say about it, “The Newsroom” certainly has its fans and Emmy-worthy aspects, drawing recognition for star Jeff Daniels.

Still, this is one of those situations where we suffer from finite resources. With a limited number of spots, not everyone gets to make the team. And there’s no way of knowing exactly (although I have a pretty good idea) what finished seventh, eighth and ninth in the balloting.

Just to remind folks who like to toss around the “S” word (as in “snub”), it’s not like all the Emmy voters get together and decide who to exclude, like high school. People actually fill out individual ballots. So it’s more like choosing the prom king and queen, only with way more money.

If the Emmys have had one blind spot historically, it’s in recognizing genre shows, which might help explain “Walking Dead’s” absence despite another breakout year ratings-wise; and which makes “Game of Thrones'” — and its showing with 16 nominations — all the more impressive.

It’s also worth noting that this year’s most-nominated program, “American Horror Story: Asylum,” pulled what amounts to a creative-accounting trick. By submitting itself as a miniseries, it bypassed the intense drama competition, and we’ll never know how the FX gorefest might have fared had it gone toe to toe with a superior crop of hourlong shows.

Speaking of intangibles, though, here’s another that should be kept in mind: Although “Breaking Bad” has earned well-deserved Emmys for stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, it has never won best drama. And the voting period for the Emmys will overlap with the build-up toward the program’s finale, with the last leg of its run to begin on Aug. 11. (I watched the premiere yesterday, and I don’t think it qualifies as a spoiler to say “Holy crap.”)

Now, this last batch of episodes won’t be the ones that are being evaluated in the context of this year’s voting. But one suspects the frenzy surrounding how the show is going to end will inevitably improve its prospects of going out on top, even if it won’t really “go out,” in terms of Emmy eligibility, until next year’s awards.

Unless it gets, you know, overlooked.

Nah, that just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 8

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Bill says:

    Brian I believe you are a very good critic. I agree with your opnion.

  2. John Doe says:

    Good perspective on the whole matter when everyone else is probably complaining about snubs, nice way at looking at it with a glass half-full perspective, although I do feel Corey Stoll, Nick Offerman, Southland, The Americans and a few others got the shaft

  3. Evelyn says:

    Jonny Lee Miller oozes talent. Why was he ignored?

  4. Bob says:



    What are you people watching that is better????

  5. Vikki says:

    I love Hannibal, Sons and Anarchy, Breaking Bad and Shameless and out of those shows only Breaking Bad got noms. Do I think Hannibal and SOA are better than Mad Men and House of Cards – YES. Does my opinion count, unfortunately NO :(

  6. Lynn says:

    The Emmy’s, The Oscar’s, none of those award shows matter. It’s all about politics and money. The people’s choice awards are where it counts Those are the people that pay, the fans that vote. We certainly wouldn’t be voting for The Emmy show from last year and snubbing shows like The Walking Dead and Copper. What a joke.

  7. William G. Jochimsen says:

    Without a doubt “The Newsroom” continues, with each episode, to be consistently one of the top shows on television! Similarly, to ignore the quality of “NCIS” year after year makes no sense. Despite its high ratings in viewership the quality of the writing, acting and producing certainly qualify it to be considered Emmy quality!

  8. Natress Kelley says:

    You talk about the genres that are some times overlooked but you fail to recognize how African American dominated shows are completely overlooked. In addition to that minorities on any shows are mostly under-represented! I just can not understand the reason. They shone Tyler Perry completely! Given the numerous above average shows, not on major networks of course, Tyler Perry has produced.

    I am very pleased by some of the programs and actors that were nominated. I just feel minorities, as it has been for years, are under-represented.

More TV News from Variety