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.
by Julian Spivey
They all stay filed away in my head – my favorite “Doctor Who” episodes – I can think instantly of favorite episodes featuring Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith. But, despite being The Doctor for three full seasons and doing a fine job of it I honestly don’t have many Peter Capaldi episodes that instantly come to mind, except for “The Husbands of River Song,” the Christmas special from 2015.
I think Capaldi may have saved his best performance for last, or likely second to last. The season 10 finale, “The Doctor Falls,” instantly becomes the most memorable performance of his tenure and the best written episode from “Doctor Who” producer Steven Moffat in some time.
We knew this was going to be The Twelfth Doctor’s last hurrah as we saw him beginning to regenerate in last week’s penultimate episode (which was really part one of a two-part finale) “World Enough and Time” at the very opening of that episode, but we didn’t yet know why. We wouldn’t find out until the end of “The Doctor Falls.”
“The Doctor Falls” is rather finite and Moffat does a terrific job of essentially bringing his era of “Doctor Who” toward an end – we aren’t going to have many recurring characters left after this episode – giving future showrunner Chris Chibnall, who’s currently wrapping up his fantastic mystery series “Broadchurch” on BBC America, a completely fresh start.
In “World Enough and Time” we were subjected to two great shocks – the conversion of companion Bill Potts (the excellent Pearl Mackie) into a Mondasian Cyberman, something that hasn’t been seen on “Doctor Who” since 1966, and the stunning return of John Simm as The Master. This was thrilling for fans who got a chance to see two Masters, him and Missy (the terrific Michelle Gomez), together like we had seen multiple Doctors together in “The Day of The Doctor.”
At the beginning of “The Doctor Falls,” The Doctor is teamed up upon by Missy and The Master, who look to use the Cybermen to annihilate the human race. Just one problem – The Doctor shrewdly tricked them by programming the Cybermen to target beings with two hearts, which Time Lords have, putting Missy, The Master and himself in a dire situation, but protecting the humans. The Doctor is struck down by a Cyberman before being rescued by Bill’s Cyberman, which hasn’t completely taken her over.
The group of The Doctor, Bill, Nardole (the great comic relief of Matt Lucas), Missy and The Master outrun the Cybermen to a different sector of the massive spaceship they’ve been on all along, reaching a solar farm with many kids the Cyberman are targeting for conversion. Here The Doctor heals from his wounds, though not completely as he’s showing signs of the regeneration we knew was coming. The first truly tear-jerking moment of this episode comes when Bill, not realizing she’s been converted into a Cyberman, sees herself as a Cyberman for the first time. She sheds a tear, something The Doctor finds hopeful, because Cybermen do not shed tears.
The group is preparing to save the children and fight off the Cybermen, but The Doctor simply isn’t going to get help from his old friends, turned foes The Master and Missy, though he’d hoped all along that he’d be able to turn Missy good again. It’s maybe the most dramatic and best scene of the episode and of the series in quite some time, with Capaldi’s monologue becoming the ultimate moment of his tenure as he tries to persuade the two to help.
Here is that glorious monologue in its entirety:
"Winning? Is that what you think it’s about? I’m not trying to win. I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone … or because I hate someone or because I want to blame someone. It’s not because it’s fun. God knows it’s not because it’s easy. It’s not even because it works because it hardly ever does. I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent. And above all, it’s kind. It’s just that. Just kind. If I run away today, good people will die. If I stand and fight, some of them might live … maybe not many, maybe not for long. Hey, maybe there’s no point in any of this at all, but it’s the best I can do, and I will stand here doing it until it kills me. You’re going to die, too, someday. When will that be? Have you thought about it? What would you die for? Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.”"
Of course, it doesn’t change the minds or hearts of The Master, though for a split-second we believe he’s gotten through to Missy. She thanks him for trying, but turns down his offer. This leads to another tear-jerker moment when The Master and Missy are trying to escape back to safety when she turns on her prior self, slyly stabs him in the back and attempts to return to help The Doctor before The Master shoots her full blast in the back with his sonic screwdriver. It ends the run of two of the series’ finest villains in The Master and Missy.
Back at the battlefront The Doctor has sent the kids to safety with the aid of Nardole, bringing yet another tear-jerking moment when Nardole is forced to say bye to his friends. It’s crazy how attached you can become to characters like Bill and Nardole in just a 12-episode season, but that shows they’ve left a great mark on the series like other short-lived companions have before.
The Doctor and Bill stand side-by-side one last time together to bring kindness to the universe. The Doctor seemingly sacrifices himself to put an end to the Cybermen. He’s completely dead this time, no regeneration in sight. Then Bill comes upon him to mourn his death, before surprisingly finding herself back in her human form. In a finale full of surprises, one of the biggest was the recurrence of Bill’s love interest Heather from the season opening “The Pilot,” who has freed Bill from the Cyberman’s case, not saving her life, but giving her a happy ending as the two will roam the universe together. This is not before bringing The Doctor’s dead body back to his TARDIS for a proper sendoff. Remembering how important tears are Bill sheds one last tear on The Doctor before leaving. This tear begins the regeneration process all over for The Doctor, who like the ones before doesn’t want to go, he refuses to regenerate – trying to will the regeneration away. In the biggest surprise of the finale the TARDIS lands a snowscape, where The Doctor hears a familiar voice from long ago – it’s his original self as played by David Bradley, recapturing his role as the First Doctor who he portrayed as actual First Doctor actor William Hartnell (who died in 1975) in the 2013 BBC docudrama “An Adventure in Space and Time” about the creation of “Doctor Who.” Damn, this show can get weird and tricky at times.
I guess the Twelfth Doctor and the First Doctor are both going to have themselves a final hurrah in the Christmas special at the end of this year before Chibnall starts the series anew sometime next year. As good as Capaldi and “The Doctor Falls” was, though, it may be somewhat disappointing that his role of The Doctor was completely wrapped up in the Series 10 finale.