Emmys 2011: Biggest Disappointments, Most Pleasant Surprises

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We know how you feel, Annie.

And this is where we rant. And rant and rant and rant. The 2011 Emmy nominations were announced this morning, and Mad Men (19 nominations), Boardwalk Empire (18 nominations), and Modern Family (17 nominations) are probably feeling pretty good about themselves right now.

As for Fringe and Community, well, there's always next year (and thank goodness we can say that about both shows). Let's take a look at some of this year's most egregious snubbage and shocking surprises.


Fringe's cast members wonder where their nominations are.

2011's Biggest Disappointments

No nomination for John Noble of Fringe.
If there was one "bubble" nomination that would have made my day today, it's Noble as Fringe's Walter Bishop/Walternate in the Best Supporting Actor category. His ability to play two completely different characters (both quite different from himself, mind you) was awe-inspiring this season. Noble was the show's best chance to land a nomination, but came up just short. That said, who among the Supporting Actor nominees didn't deserve the recognition? It looks like the worthy Noble was the odd man out. Ditto for Anna Torv, who carried a lot of weight on her shoulders this season. Interesting that in Fringe's best season by far, it got zero nominations, whereas it got one nomination in each of its first two seasons (for sound editing and visual effects). [Minor correction: Fringe did receive a nomination this year... for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media, not the show.]

Community gets a goose egg.
With ho-hum ratings and a rambunctious attitude, this NBC underdog was a long shot to get nominated—but we still held out hope. Though I would have liked to have seen both Gillian Jacobs and Donald Glover in the nominations somewhere, I think Danny Pudi (Abed) was the show's best chance at getting a nomination—but that dream died when every single regular on Modern Family who's over the age of 20 heard his name called (Modern Family actors took up 67 percent of the Supporting Actor nominations). The biggest crime against the Greendale campus may be the lack of Best Writing nominations; surely the writing staff of TV's most innovative and clever comedy could have grabbed one of the five spots?

The nominated actors are awfully white.
Same story, different year. Only three of the actors nominated in the major acting categories are not Caucasian: Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife), and Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age). That's means almost 94 percent of the nominations went to white people.

Harry's Law?
She's a fine actress, but did Kathy Bates really deserve a nomination? Over Katey Sagal of Sons of Anarchy? Ditto for Johnny Galecki of The Big Bang Theory.


At least one of these two will win an Emmy.

2011's Most Pleasant Surprises

The Emmys are now Justified.
Getting a nod in the Best Drama Series category would have been incredible (and deserved), but I'll settle for acting nominations for Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Margo Martindale, and Jeremy Davies, the best acting core in all of TV. All four of these incredible actors were, at some point, the best thing to watch on TV last season. Martindale was particularly good as Mags Bennett, and should hoist the trophy come September.

Game of Thrones breaks the fantasy barrier.
There was some talk about Game of Thrones being too knee-deep in nerddom to catch Emmy voters' eyes, but it broke out in a big way with 13 total nominations, including one for Best Drama Series. Peter Dinklage also heard his name called in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance as Tyrion Lannister, and if he somehow makes it to the podium in September, it will be a very special moment. The show was also recognized for writing, directing, makeup, costuming, stunts, effects, sound, and—not surprisingly—best title sequence. The realm is proud.

A stand-up nomination for a stand-up stand-up.
Holy s*** Louis C.K. got nominated for Louie. Awesome.

Nominations for TV's best parents.
Friday Night Lights' Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler were nominated for the second year in a row. These two nominations are the kind that make me beam with pride; I feel like I've grown up with them. So happy for both of them, and for the show getting into the Best Drama Series category.

Stringer Bell hears his name called... twice.
Idris Elba, who should have been nominated for the role of Stringer Bell on The Wire, is one of TV's most commanding presences. Elba was nominated twice, once for a guest role on The Big C and once for his work on Luther in the miniseries category.


Awesome, but was it Emmy-worthy?"

2011's Biggest non-issues

No love for The Walking Dead.
Sure, AMC's zombie series was a fun time. But should anyone really be complaining that it didn't get nominated for Best Drama? We only got six episodes in the first season—I don't think that's enough to earn a nod. A series that short better be absolutely fantastic to get nominated, and The Walking Dead was merely good (though not seeing Frank Darabont's name in the Best Director category for the show's pilot was definitely an oversight). The Walking Dead did get three technical Emmy nominations, so it wasn't completely blanked. Let's move on and reconsider things after the longer Season 2.

Glee's actors were out of tune.
No lead acting nominations for the cast of Glee? Good. They don't deserve it. It was an abomination that they were nominated last year. Singing =/= acting.


That's everything that immediately springs to mind after seeing this year's nominations. I know we all like to bitch and moan about Emmy nominations each year, but all things considered, I'd say things actually went fairly well.


Which shows and actors do you think were most egregiously snubbed this year? Which nominations surprised you the most?



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