Thoughts On the 2014 Emmy Nominations

11 Jul

emmy02 Last year, I wrote a whole series of Emmy nom dream ballots/predictions, but I’m just going to condense everything into one post this year. The following consists of rants, stuff I like/don’t hate, pouting, and more about an awards show that I care too much about. Enjoy. First things first, the



This is Tatiana Maslany. She plays 100 different characters, in case you needed a refresher, Emmys.


Hannibal getting snubbed for the major awards is enough, but are the Emmy voters seriously telling us that it isn’t even good enough for a technical nod? The sound editing, cinematography, and directing are top notch, so go stick ears down your throats, voters, then watch as a killer in glorious HD slices you up into pieces.


I don’t watch Bob’s Burgers (I probably should), but I’m happy it was nominated because people I respect seem to love it. Archer got nominated as well, which is nice. No Rick and Morty, though.


The story of AHS: Coven this year is that aside from it sucking (I laugh at the fact that it garnered a writing nomination), it wasted great actresses in terrible roles. Frances Conroy was entertaining, I’ll give them that, but the only reason she, Bassett, and Bates are here is because they’re respected actresses. On the other hand, yay, Allison Tolman! She came out of nowhere and delivered an excellent performance in Fargo, so she should take this one.

As for supporting actor, Colin Hanks is very deserving of the nod; I assume he still remembers the shit he did on Dexter, and I assume he’s still trying hard to forget. Here’s the first step. As for the four The Normal Heart noms, I’ve heard good things; I didn’t end up watching the film, though, due to lack of time. Prediction: Matt Bomer wins.


I’d like to see Louie take both awards here, and CK’s most likely to win these minor awards rather than the major ones. In the writing category, submission episodes “Special Relationship”, “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency”, and “I Wasn’t Ready” (later episodes are better showcases for the writing) are all great, but “So Did the Fat Lady” should take this one. As for directing, if I had to put my money on it, the voters are most likely going to give it to Jodie Foster for “Lesbian Request Denied”. Well-deserved, but “Elevator Part 6” should win; CK’s directing style is one of the best on TV. Of course, “In the Woods” is still my favorite of the season, both in terms of writing and directing.

What I don’t get: the fact that EpisodesModern Family, and Glee made it into these categories over shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, It’s Always Sunny In PhiladelphiaCommunityShameless (not really a comedy), New GirlNathan For You (quite possibly the funniest show on TV), Review, LookingGirls (yes, it’s good. Check out “Beach House”), and Broad City. The Comedy Central trifecta in particular is churning out unique forms of comedy that deserve to be recognized.

SHAMELESS promotion: Shameless is amazing, and John Wells should definitely be nominated for “Iron City”, one of the best television episodes of the year.


For Breaking Bad, as much as I like Gilligan’s directing, the directing nom should’ve gone to Rian Johnson for “Ozymandias” or Michelle MacLaren, who I believe to be the best director on television, for “To’hajiilee”. Fukunaga’s tracking shot from “Who Goes There” deserves an award all on its own, and it will most likely take the crown over Neil Marshall’s “The Watchers On the Wall” and Tim Van Patten’s “Farewell Daddy Blues”. Downton Abbey and House of Cards? Let’s pretend they don’t exist, and replace those with David Slade for “Mizumono” and David Slade for “Mizumono” again.


For writing, I’m happy with Pizzolatto for “The Secret Fate of All Life” and Moira Walley-Beckett for “Ozymandias” (this is her category to lose, but who knows? Voters can be stupid). Gilligan for “Felina” is iffy considering there are better episodes in 5B, Benioff/Weiss for “The Children” is huh?, and Willimon for “House of Cards” is NO. How about Fuller/Lightfoot for “Mizumono” (I WILL KEEP MENTIONING THIS SHOW), Tracey Scott Wilson/Oliver North for “Martial Eagle”, Amy Lippman for “Phallic Victories”, Semi Chellas for “The Strategy”, Robert and Michelle King for “Hitting the Fan”, Chris Provenzano for “Shot All to Hell”, Amanda Segal/Jonathan Nolan for “The Devil’s Share”, and I could go on and on and on.


I’m happy for Natasha Lyonne, Uzo Aduba, and Laverne Cox. Give it to any one of them and I’ll be happy, but Uzo Aduba is the best. Where’s Sarah Baker for Louie, though? As for guest actor, give it to CK, I guess? As you can tell, Louis CK is someone I love very much.

Drama side! First off, let’s all take a moment to laugh at Kate Mara’s nomination. Please push me off a train platform. Now, let’s take a moment to give Gillian Anderson the nomination. Anyway, Margo Martindale and Allison Janney for The Americans and Masters of Sex, respectively, are both great. Janney got the meatier role, however, and played it beautifully alongside fellow guest in a drama series nominee Beau Bridges. Give it to Bridges or Robert Morse, and I’ll perform my own song and dance set to “The Best Things In Life Are Free”. If Pedro Pascal was nominated, I’d…well, that doesn’t work out as well.



Here Modern Family goes again, taking away spots from people who deserve them; at least the voters have pulled their heads out of their asses long enough to get rid of the Modern Family acting stranglehold we’ve seen recently. Anyway, Andre Braugher has to win. Snubs: Jeremy Allen White and Noel Fisher (who’s improved every season) for Shameless, as well as Keith David for Enlisted. Also, no Looking love, Emmys? Ugh.

For the supporting actress side, Chlumsky has been and will always be my favorite. It’s going to go to Janney or Mulgrew, though, which is my way of saying “Please don’t go to Bialik or Bowen”.


Aaron Paul, Peter Dinklage, Josh Charles, Anna Gunn, etc.: good. I’m less enthused about people like Jon Voight, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith, and Joanne Froggatt, all of whom should make way for people like Walton Goggins, Annet Mahendru, Charles Dance, Peter Sarsgaard, Dean Norris (gahh! This should’ve been his year!), Jeffrey Wright, and Michael K. Williams. If Rectify was eligible, Abigail Spencer and Adelaide Clemens would both belong here, as they each gave truly moving performances in season one.


(Salmon ladder for best supporting actor?)


Give it to Colbert. Give it to The Normal Heart. Finally, give it to Treme–also known as “David Simon is not ignored at the Emmys for once”–which was one of the pleasant surprises when I looked at the nomination list. If I had to choose, I’d give it to Treme over Fargo, the latter of which I thought was enjoyable, but forgettable. Treme, on the other hand, ended a four-season run with a beautiful final season.


Billy Bob Thornton is all I really care about here. I do wish some Treme actors could’ve made the cut, though.


This isn’t 1995. Why is Matt LeBlanc getting nominated annually for a role in which he phones it in and collects the paycheck? Why the hell is Ricky Gervais getting nominated? Why do awards shows love Jim Parsons so much? Even the Critics’ Choice Awards–the best TV awards out there today–gave one to Parsons. Well, at least we have Louis CK and William H. Macy (who’s good in Shameless), and I’ll pretend we have Jake Johnson.


You know who else is good great fantastic in Shameless? Emmy Rossum, who gave her best and darkest performance in season four. The show’s move to the comedy category helped Macy, but not her, and that’s just plain stupid. As for the actual nominations, I still will never understand Melissa McCarthy. Edie Falco’s done great work before, but Nurse Jackie is yet another Showtime show Emmy voters are inexplicably in love with (the other two being House of Lies–someone please put that amazing cast out of its misery–and Episodes). As for Louis-Dreyfus, Poehler, and Schilling? Fine by me. I want some Glazer and Jacobson for Broad City, though.


When Jeff Daniels won last year, the idiocy present in our world increased. So, the next logical step would be to nominate him again this year. Kevin Spacey’s a big movie star, so he’s nominated, too. How wonderful. Take these two, throw them out a window, and bring in Matthew Rhys or Mads Mikkelsen or Martin Sheen or Hugh Dancy; if Rectify was eligible, Aden Young would belong here as well. As for the actual nominees, it’s going to be Cranston vs. McConaughey, and Jon Hamm will once again be left in the dust (*Sobs*).


TATIANA MASLANY. TATIANA MASLANY. TATIANA MASLANY. Are you blind, voters? Maslany is making most actors look like amateurs doing improv, and she isn’t even given a nod here. I’m happy about Margulies and Caplan (man, she was good), ambivalent about Washington and Wright and Danes, and shaking my head about Dockery. What matters is that Elisabeth Moss, Keri Russell, and Tatiana Maslany are not here, and all is not right in the world.


See the writing/directing blurb for all the snubs. I have a feeling OITNB will win big and end Modern Family‘s reign, but the simple truth is that Modern Family, and for that matter, The Big Bang Theory, do not belong here. I’m rooting for Louie or OITNB.



 My dream nominees would be The AmericansBreaking BadHannibalMad MenMasters of Sex/The Good Wife/Person of Interest, and True Detective. Honestly, though, there shouldn’t even have to be slashes between Masters and The Good Wife and Person of Interest because True Detective should be in the miniseries category. I’m kind of pissed at HBO because while I understand getting into the bigger categories, it also takes away from shows that deserve to be here and actors who deserve to be in that acting category. Take The Americans, one of the best shows out there–with some of the best acting out there–that has the unfortunate (at least, when it comes to the Emmys) position of being on FX; fellow network show Justified (also, It’s Always Sunny’s lack of nominations confounds me) has been snubbed every year save for season 2, which was more included because Breaking Bad was ineligible rather than because it was a truly brilliant season. Speaking of ineligibility, Sundance’s Rectify was last year’s most under-appreciated marvel, and I’d nominate it for best actor, supporting actress and actor, cinematography, opening titles, directing, and writing.

Of course, I’m not an Emmy voter. Emmy voters in particular seem intent on sticking with the same shows for half a decade because, presumably, they’re all lazy and the Critics’ Choice Awards did the actual work for them. But wait, they swapped out Homeland for True Detective this year! Wow, what a change!


Come August 25th, everyone who was snubbed will be off making art while the Emmys remain stuck in the past. Downton Abbey, House of CardsModern FamilyRay DonovanThe Big Bang Theory…enjoy your time in the spotlight. As for Tatiana Maslany, we all already know you’re great.



*I’d also like to give shout outs to Arrow and Orphan Black, because those are good shows.

*Child actors, or child characters, seem to not be taken seriously by the Emmys. Kiernan Shipka and Maisie Williams are both fabulous.

*In other news, Dan Gilbert has burned his letter upon hearing about Lebron’s return.

*Over the next few weeks, look for my own ballot to drop. It will consist of me picking all the nominations for all the categories, deciding what is eligible and ineligible, and deciding where each show is submitted (I’m looking at you, True Detective).

*Check out Todd Vanderwerff’s article about the Emmy nom process and its insanity:

*In other other news, we’ve hit 250,000 views in less than a year, something I never could’ve imagined would happen a year ago. So, thank you, everyone.

Photo credits:, BBC America, Orphan Black, Mad Men, AMC,, NBC, Hannibal, Modern Family, ABC, True Detective, HBO, Breaking Bad, Shameless, Showtime, Arrow, The CW


7 Responses to “Thoughts On the 2014 Emmy Nominations”

  1. Pop Eye July 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    You nailed it, PB! Great article.

  2. labyrinthwrm July 12, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    I 100% agree with Tatiana Maslany being stupidly overlooked. I said it before and I’ll say it again – she is freaking amazing and should get any and every award available.

  3. amnesiadream75 July 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Wow, I agree with 90% of everything here. I take it you’re not a big HoC fan, which I like well enough in a popcorn-y way. Robin Wright put in some good work at least, so I’d be fine with her taking home the Lead Actress award since Elisabeth Moss and Tatiana Maslany apparently don’t exist. Although I haven’t seen The Good Wife or Masters of Sex or Scandal or the last two seasons of Homeland, so that might have something to do with it.

    Biggest snub for me was Dean Norris. And no, I’m not just riding BB’s dick here. Norris took a pure comic relief character and put him through as much gradual character transformation as Walter White himself. Well, the writers did. But over the course of six years, Norris showed us more and more layers of his acting ability, more range and depth than anyone could have guessed he had back in ’08. I just wish the Academy would recognize the whole span of his work on that show, which is much more than the sum of its parts if you look at it en toto.

    • polarbears16 July 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      I think the thing about House of Cards is that it seems to be unwilling to embrace its pulpy, popcorn-y side. It wants to label itself “prestige drama” when we all know it isn’t one, and the show would really do well by recognizing that. I haven’t seen season 2 yet, though, so who knows, maybe it improved. Robin Wright was good, I agree, although in season one, Corey Stoll blew everyone else away.

      Completely agree on Norris.

  4. Josh July 13, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Although I understand why Person of Interest wasn’t nominated for Best Drama Series and Best Writing Series (although it should’ve been.. “Deus Ex Machina” anybody?) since its still a CBS kinda-procedural, I was astounded that it wasn’t at least nominated for the directing category. Do you remember how well Chris Fisher directed “The Devil’s Share”? Some of the best action scenes I’ve seen on TV…. I hope this masterful show gets more recognition for its much anticipated season 4.

    • polarbears16 July 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

      Yup. The Emmy voters seem to recognize The Good Wife, though, so hopefully POI is next.

  5. louisoc July 26, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Just reading this now. I don’t has as comprehensive a portfolio as you, but the modest portion of shows that I’ve watched that you mentioned seem pretty on point. I’m disappointed Norris didn’t get a nom, if only for that gut-punch scene in “Blood Money” and literally every episode thereafter.
    I’m always glad when I remember that there’s someone out there who shares my views on HOC, fuck that show. Thoroughly agree on the Comedy Central trio too; I loved Nathan For You before this second season started, but I love it even more now, if that’s possible. Glad you got around to Review and Broad City, both of which are very good and innovative (well, Review, at least).

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