Hey, remember 2021? It may only be 2022 right now, but I’ve done the math — and I can confirm that 2021 was a decade ago. Or at least it feels that way, particularly as we still live in a COVID-induced fog in which no one really knows what day it is anymore.
The barrage of TV launches over the past several months has further blurred the sense of time. Although series like “Ted Lasso,” “Succession” and “Dopesick” remain front-runners in their respective comedy, drama and limited-series categories, they all aired last fall. Are they vulnerable when it comes time for Phase 2 final voting?
Maybe, or perhaps not, as they’ve been consistently at the top of most pundits’ prediction pages. But I’m getting ahead of myself: First off, as Phase 1 Emmy nomination voting ends today, it’s about handicapping who might even make it to that next stage. And with the Television Academy once again touting the largest number of Primetime Emmy submissions in its history, that means there will also be more so-called snubs than ever.
So, TV Academy members, as you’re marking your nomination ballots, let’s take a look at series and performances that you shouldn’t forget. I don’t need to rave about sure things like “Hacks” Season 2, but I fear shows including “Pen15,” “The Other Two,” “As We See It,” “Winning Time” and “Pam & Tommy” may be passed over. (It’s that anticipated deluge of snubs that keeps me pushing for an extension to 10 nominees in major categories!)
And then there are the broadcast heroes that I hope will get some attention this year: “Abbott Elementary” and “Ghosts.” On Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, my colleagues Emily Longeretta, Jazz Tangcay and Clayton Davis also shared their hopes for nominations. Here are our pleas:
• “Dr. Death” (Peacock): “A show that not enough people have seen and a person that the Emmys has never recognized: Joshua Jack- son and ‘Dr. Death,’” Longeretta says, calling Jackson’s work a great performance. “I know a lot of people aren’t watching Peacock, but if you have the time, check it out.”
• “Girls5eva” (Peacock): “I love ‘Girls5eva,’ and I think that it just needs a lot of love,” Tangcay says.
• Christina Ricci in “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) and Sadie Sink in “Stranger Things” (Netflix). Sink “had the episode of the series,” Davis says. “She deserves a spot. I want her to have it.”
• Ben Schwartz and “The After- party” (Apple TV+): “He was great. And his episode of ‘The Afterparty’ is still gold,” Davis says. I would add that Schwartz’s standout song in that musical episode, “Two Shots,” deserves an Emmy nomination. And honestly, it’s not just Schwartz: Stars like Sam Richard- son, Zoë Chao and Tiffany Haddish should also be in the conversation.
• “Somebody Somewhere” (HBO) with star Bridget Everett was really special, and I love seeing original series ideas from stars like Everett get made.
That brings us back to the past few months of these “Awards Circuit” columns, in which I’ve been able to tout some of my favorite shows of the season, starting with HBO Max’s “Station Eleven.” It’s a show that moved me at the right time, and one I still think about a lot. And of course, my campaign continues to get “Better Call Saul” star Rhea Seehorn an Emmy — or at the very least, a nomination. It continues to be criminal that she hasn’t even been nominated.
But for now, I’ll sit here and let you do the heavy lifting of nomination voting, anxious to see what comes next.