Michael Sheen is really, really good in Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.” And if push comes to shove, you could make a case for omitting Kevin Spacey or Jeff Daniels — the latter in the way MVPs usually don’t come from losing teams — to make room for him.
The Emmy nominations – more than almost any other entertainment award – quickly go from discussing “Who’s in?” to “Who was terribly slighted because they weren’t recognized?” Yet the focus on “snubs” seldom takes the next logical step – that is, contemplating who should be booted in order to make room for an overlooked contender.
So if you really love “The Americans,” say, or “The Walking Dead,” the question arises what doesn’t belong? “Downton Abbey?” An aging “Mad Men?” “Breaking Bad,” since the 2013 Emmys – coming so close to its final episodes – already felt like a kind of valediction?
Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer. But even for those who see the choice as a clear call, the candidate who would be bumped usually isn’t completely undeserving.
The Television Academy, which orchestrates the awards, hasn’t done much to demystify the process, thus allowing conspiracy theories and misinformation to mix into the debate. Moreover, most of the griping about which shows were snubbed occurs via the Web, where emotions have a way of running high. (People who talk a lot using capital letters and expletives in comments sections tend to be more restrained, mercifully, when going about their business at the local mall.)
It’s also worth noting the half-dozen nominees per top categories really isn’t a lot considering the glut of quality series currently available, with new outlets seeming to join the fray on an almost-daily basis. And while it might be small compensation to say a favorite show or star ranked seventh, in any sports playoff that would put them in the quarter-finals.
Invariably, one of the most frequent arguments leveled when something’s left out is that Emmy voters have nominated the same old faces, even if “Modern Family’s” latest season might not have measured up to the others. Yet that’s also one of the unique aspects of television – the ability, and demand, to replicate something week after week, year after year – an achievement that shouldn’t be blithely dismissed when, for example, “The Big Bang Theory” or “The Good Wife” (which was, yes, “snubbed”) sustain or even elevate their games in later seasons.
So to quote Shakespeare, “Wise men never sit and wail their loss, but cheerily seek how to redress their harms.”
Of course, he’d have probably felt somewhat differently after losing to “Breaking Bad.”