B: Oh man oh man oh man. The Emmy Award nominations came out today, and boy do we have a lot to celebrate/be worried about. Outstanding nominees in both the Comedy and Drama categories, plus some love for John Oliver, Will Forte, and Amy Schumer. Do we have good reason to be overjoyous this morning or what?
N: YES! I’m kvelling over Big Bang Theory’s conspicuous absence and thrilled to see new faces popping up in the Comedy categories, but there’s still some usual suspects that should definitely have faded into the Emmy ether by now. (Looking at you, Modern Family and fucking House of FUCKING CARDS which has just spent three years LOOKING like a prestige drama while doing NOTHING AT ALL.) Um… anyway.
B: So let’s take a look at these two categories side by side. Comedy and Drama! Laughs and Tears! What Orange is the New Black was Last Year and what Orange is the New Black is This Year!
B: I will say that the Drama Series category is looking pretty standard as to recent years. You’ve still got House of Cards, Homeland, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, and replacing Breaking Bad with the prequel series of Better Call Saul. The only real new twist is the re-classification of OITNB as a Drama. Does that mean it could finally do some damage this year?
N: If I have anything to say about it…… no. Honestly, this is a really unimaginative list, and there are a lot of really good options this list passed over – How To Get Away with Murder, Scandal, Orphan Black, Empire, Golden Globe winner The Affair, and more I can’t think of – to stick to old standards. That being said, while Game of Thrones has been killing it (literally) and OITNB’s showing no signs of a sophomore slump, we HAVE to give this one to Mad Men, which achieved a nearly impossible feat in its final season – sticking the landing.
B: Mad Men will pull a Breaking Bad and gain its Emmy glory for their Final Season, no question. In the performance categories, it’s nice to see love for Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis, even though…yeah, their shows weren’t nominated. And same for Kyle Chandler in the Netflix Show No One Talks About, Bloodline.
N: I watched the How To Get Away With a Scandal In An Empire camp trifecta all year, and I can say Empire is definitely the strongest of the three, with Scandal (also ignored) squeaking in at a close second – HTGAWM is carried by Viola Davis and a great supporting cast but is ridiculously uneven. I am bummed to see Kerry Washington miss out for Scandal was well after a banner season, but like, I guess there was only room for two black actresses so we can give Claire Danes a nomination AGAIN, right? I am totally thrilled to see Tatiana Maslany, queen of characters, on this list though. Also, I feel like Kyle Chandler could breathe onscreen for an hour and get an Emmy nomination. I’m also saying this right fucking now. If Jon Hamm loses – and if he loses, God fucking forbid, to Spacey or DANIELS AGAIN – I will leave Earth. Gauntlet thrown, Television Academy. GAUNTLET. THROWN.
B: I’ll take it. You know my allegiances mainly lie in the Comedy categories, so I’ll leave it at “I’m very thrilled for Bob Odenkirk.”
N: Also, just quickly: beyond thrilled to see warring Lannister siblings Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage rightfully nominated for flat out spectacular performances on this season of Thrones!
B: And moving on.
B: HOO BOY what a stacked Comedy Series category. You got Louie, Parks and Recreation, Silicon Valley, Transparent, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Veep…..and Modern Family. Nina, I’m of course worried that the dunderheaded sole network sitcom of the group is going to trump these prime comedic masterpieces. Is this a valid concern?
N: I want to say no, but that stupid fart of a show has beaten MANY of these shows in the past. That being said, Modern Farts aside, this is a really stacked lineup – Louie, which many believe sets the standard for what comedy can do; Silicon Valley, coming off a so-so but still funny sophomore season; Transparent (which I think is distinctly UNfunny but is a half hour so there you go), changing the landscape of television; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is just basically a huge smile wrapped in a hug wrapped in a guy trying to strangle you; Parks and Recreation, which had its own, Mad Men-style victory lap this year; and Veep, which found the world’s best solution to the whole Selina-is-President conundrum. (Have you ever wondered what happens when a presidential election ties? I guess we’ll find out in Season 4.)
B: If I were to pick a favorite to win, it would be Transparent, just because from a quality standpoint, it is the most expertly crafted, emotionally fulfilling, and altogether joyful show of the bunch (And I have to disagree, I find a lot of it to be hysterical). But I would of course love if any of the other nominees (aside from You-Know-Who) would win.
N: Don’t get me wrong – I loved Transparent – I just cried more than I laughed. I would love to see Kimmy Schmidt take this home, but my heart REALLY lies with the excellent, emotional, triumphant final lap for Parks and Recreation, which has never been recognized by the Academy. And speaking of Parks & Rec, I feel/hope there might be some shakeups in performances this year….
B: First of, Amy Schumer getting a Best Actress nomination is just wonderful, in what is already a banner year for her. Plus, with the new official “Sketch Comedy” Category, Inside Amy Schumer is nominated too! She’s a lucky duck. But she definitely has some stiff competition, including Edie Falco (Is Nurse Jackie still a thing?) Lily Tomlin, Amy Poehler, Lisa Kudrow, and perennial Emmy Winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She’s in good company for sure. Also, shout-out to Paul Giamatti, nominated for his Guest Appearance in the Twelve Angry Men episode of Inside Amy Schumer. Probably my favorite nom of the day.
N: I’m sure Julia Louis-Dreyfus will take this home again – somehow, she gets better every single season – but again, my heart is with Leslie Knope. Amy Poehler put in seven seasons worth of joy, pathos, love, excitement, and unstoppable ambition, and she really, REALLY deserves this. I’m thrilled for Amy Schumer, but she can wait – her boom is just beginning! I’m also THRILLED to see some of the Supporting and Guest nods: Gaby Hoffmann (Girls), Tina Fey & Jon Hamm (Kimmy Schmidt), and Bradley Whitford (Transparent) would all be worthy winners. (Also, serious range for Jon Hamm, showing up on both sides of the mask here.) As for Supporting, let’s give LOTS of love to Kimmy Schmidt here, please – Titus Burgess should win just for “Peeno Noir,” and Jane Krakowski winning the Emmy she never won (but should have) for 30 Rock will make it okay that she never was handed a statuette for the “Rural Juror” song in the series finale. THAT BEING SAID, no love for Ellie Kemper or veteran actress Carol Kane? No love for Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, or Chris Pratt, all of whom showed growth and depth in characters that could have so easily been one note? Nothing for T.J. Miller, who usually carries Silicon Valley on his very large shoulders? No guest nod for Hugh Laurie, the current actual veep of Veep? Shame.
B: Lots of silly snubs for sure, but I hope Tituss gets that Emmy. He’s such an integral part of what makes Kimmy Schmidt work. But I’m also thrilled to see Keegan-Michael Key and Andre Braugher recognized for their always magnificent work, and am excited to see everyone here lose to Tony Hale. HOWEVER, I’m also the MOST thrilled for the Last Man on Earth team. Not only did Will Forte score a Best Actor nomination (Take that, Jim Parsons!), but they also got noms for Writing and Directing for the Pilot episode (easily one of the best episodes of television in any genre this year). That’s super wonderful, and Forte deserves it for going balls-to-the-walls in a series that, if nothing else, was a risk-taker.
N: There’s just really one takeaway here, and it’s this: SUCK IT, JIM PARSONS.
B: Well, that’s enough nonsense out of us. We’ll be back over the next few months with our already Classic “Make Your Case” series, throwing our personal picks for Emmy winners into the ring, along with our general predictions columns, etc etc.
N: Get ready for us, Internet! Tune in for our hopeful, probably wrong picks, and until then, go play “Peeno Noir” on YouTube until you can’t take it anymore. Peace!