by Julian Spivey
There are frankly so many quality shows on television now and so few spots for nominees in each category, even with the Emmys adding slots over the last few years, that it’s kind of hard to throw the word “snub” around. There are going to be many deserving shows and actors/actress who aren’t going to be able to be nominated on a yearly basis just based on this.
Still, here are 10 actors/actresses, shows or episodes that I wish would have been nominated for Emmys when the nominations came out this week.
10. “Memphis” – This Is Us
NBC’s hit “This is Us” received so many nominations for its first season, 11 in total, including the majority of the show’s cast that it’s hard to complain that the show was snubbed in anyway. But, “Memphis,” the episode where Randall (nominee Sterling K. Brown) and William (nominee Ron Cephas Jones) travel to William’s hometown one final time before the end of William’s life, was the best episode of television I saw all year and I feel like it deserved a nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for executive producer Dan Fogelman, who wrote the episode.
9. Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham frequently appears on lists of worst Emmy Award snubs of all-time, as she was never nominated for her fast-talking performance as Lorelai Gilmore in WB’s “Gilmore Girls.” Hell, I thought she should’ve been nominated for her incredibly dramatic performance in NBC’s “Parenthood.” Many thought the Emmys might right that wrong this year by giving the veteran actress a nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series for the four-episode Netflix revival “Gilmore Girls: A Year in a Life.” However, with a supremely packed field including Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon for HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon for FX’s “FEUD,” Carrie Coon for FX’s “Fargo” and Felicity Huffman for ABC’s “American Crime” there just wasn’t enough space.
8. Andre Braugher
Andre Braugher, who has previously won an Emmy for his dramatic performance on “Homicide: Life in the Streets,” had been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his pitch-perfect performance as Capt. Ray Holt in Fox’s hilarious “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for three consecutive years. I’d hoped Braugher would finally break through and win, but has been beaten out by Ty Burrell for “Modern Family,” Tony Hale for “Veep” and Louie Anderson for “Baskets.” His streak of nominations was snapped this year. Did the Emmys really need to nominate Burrell again?
7. Benito Martinez
ABC’s “American Crime” was one of the most brilliantly realistic dramatic series on television for its three-year run and the fact that it aired on network television made it even more surprising. The show has been nominated for 16 Emmys over its three seasons and has won two Emmys for Regina King, who’s going for the trifecta this year. Benito Martinez’s performance as Luis Salazar, a Mexican father searching for his missing son who came to America searching for a better life, was the most intriguing and impressive performance of the third season of the series, which is impressive given most of his dialogue was in Spanish (with not all of it being subtitled). The emotion on his face was all he needed to convey the character’s feelings.
6. Kaitlin Olson
I doubt you’ll see Kaitlin Olson appearing on any other “Emmy Snubs” lists, but I really would’ve loved to see her get recognition for her wildly entertaining and raucous performance on Fox’s freshman comedy “The Mick.” Olson goes all out in her performance as an incredibly inappropriate aunt tasked with taking care of her niece and two nephews when the parents flee the country due to fraud charges. The only comedic performance on television that likely rivals Olson’s in term of sheer tenacity is Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on HBO’s “Veep,” which has won her five consecutive Emmys.
5. Lamorne Morris
Fox’s “New Girl” is obviously outside of its Emmy recognition window with the show not receiving a single nomination since its first season when it was nominated for five awards, including Zooey Deschanel (Lead Actress in a Comedy) and Max Greenfield (Supporting Actor in a Comedy). However, I think Lamorne Morris’ performance as Winston Bishop in the show’s sixth season was among the show’s best work and one of the funniest performances of any comedy on television this decade.
4. Orange Is the New Black
With the way the eligibility works for the Emmy Awards this snub is for the popular Netflix show’s fourth season, which aired last summer, and not the fifth season, which debuted on Netflix last month. It’s the first season in which the show hasn’t been nominated for an Emmy, but the switch from Comedy Series to Dramatic Series has likely hurt its chances from now on (even though that was a good switch – and one “Transparent” on Amazon really needs to make, as well). I believe ‘OITNB’ should’ve been nominated as an Outstanding Drama Series this year because season four was the show’s best season in my opinion with it taking on a more realistic portrayal of what was going on in the real world with policing (or in the show’s example guards) running amuck and profiles of racial issues.
3. Freddie Highmore
It’s almost psychotic that Freddie Highmore was never nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of a young Norman Bates on A&E’s “Bates Motel.” When you’re following in the footsteps of the incredibly creepy Anthony Perkins performance of Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic “Psycho” you absolutely must knock it out of the park and Highmore did consistently for five seasons with his best work ultimately coming in the show’s final season this past spring. It’s an incredibly packed category to fit in, but many think Liev Schreiber for “Ray Donovan” or Kevin Spacey for “House of Cards” could’ve taken a step back this year.
2. Joe Morton
Joe Morton has won an Emmy before for his tenaciously scary performance as Rowan Pope on ABC’s “Scandal” as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2014. But, ever since Morton’s role was expanded to the regular cast he hasn’t been able to slip back into the nominations (there definitely seems to be a bias against network show performances), despite the quality remaining at a high caliber. I’d argue that Morton’s finest performance on the show came this year and the Emmy voting body should’ve found space for him in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama category, perhaps taking a spot from frequent nominees Mandy Patinkin (Homeland) or Michael Kelly (House of Cards).
1. Late Night with Seth Meyers
A lot of articles feel like the biggest snub in late night television is that of NBC’s “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” which had been nominated the three previous years, but I believe the show that airs directly after Fallon’s, “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” is the bigger snub. In fact, I believe it’s the single most egregious snub of this year’s nominations. Meyers has brought a sophisticated brand of political humor to network late night television of the variety that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had done for years on Comedy Central and John Oliver has been doing on HBO and he should be feted for it. This isn’t really meant to be criticism of Colbert, but his ‘Late Show’ on CBS did receive a nomination for Outstanding Variety Series Talk Show this year when I believe Meyers hosts a similar, yet better show.