The Americans and Breaking Bad Lead the TCA Awards Nominations

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It was only a few weeks ago that an association of television critics nominated a bunch of television shows for the Critics' Choice Awards. Now some critics are nominating a bunch of television shows for the Television Critics Association Awards. TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

The nominations for the TCA Awards were announced today, and you'll notice a lot of similarities to the nominations for the Critics' Choice Awards, with a few exceptions due to the TCA Awards not separating categories by gender. Thanks to The Americans, FX leads all networks with seven total nods, a first for the network at the TCA Awards (and probably all other awards shows too, I'm guessing). 

Let's take a look at all the nominees in the important categories, complain about them, and then begrudgingly make a case for which show should win!


PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

The Americans, FX
Breaking Bad, AMC
Game of Thrones, HBO
House of Cards, Netflix
The Walking Dead, AMC

Didn't I complain about Justified not making this category at the Critics' Choice Awards? Yep, so I'm going to be consistent and complain about it not making this category here. Given critics' love for Homeland, it's a shock that it's also not nominated, but them's critics for ya. Loving you one day, leaving you the next. I'm stifling my laughter over The Walking Dead appearing on this list. Really? TWD? Who's in this TCA thing anyway? (Full disclosure, they didn't let me in their little club last time i applied so screw 'em.) Let's flip a coin between The Americans and Game of Thrones here. 


OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

The Americans, FX
Breaking Bad, AMC
Game of Thrones, HBO
Homeland, Showtime
Mad Men, AMC

So I guess House of Cards and The Walking Dead are good enough for Program of the Year consideration but not for Outstanding Achievement in Drama consideration? Already there's a problem with these awards! And look, no comedies in the Program of the Year category! So we're just doubling up on drama categories for no reason at all. This makes no sense. That's why the TCAs should let me take over. First order of business: Get me a cool parking spot. Second order of business: Include Louie on the list of nominees for Program of the Year. Anyway, just re-read the blurb above for this category, as it applies here, too.


INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel (A&E)
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (BBC America)
Monica Potter, Parenthood (NBC)
Matthew Rhys, The Americans (FX)

I'm fully on-board with the TCA Awards' mixed-gender categories because I don't just think women are equal to men, I think they're much better. Need proof? Three women to two men! Take that, you overrated sex with dangly parts! Just like with the Critics' Choice Awards, we're seeing love for Tatiana Maslany, and I'm pretty psyched for that. Would I have put chosen Vera Farmiga or Monica Potter over Claire Danes? Probably not, but I understand that both women are doing wonderful work on their respective shows. I thought I needed to be extra vocal about Matthew Rhys to get him nominated for things, but apparently others also think he's great in a wig. And of course there's Bryan Cranston, who had some great moments last year in Breaking Bad's shortened run. But I'm still handing this to Maslany because her wacko performance as multiple Orphan Black characters is still fresh in my mind. 



OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Louie, FX
New Girl, Fox
Parks and Recreation, NBC
Veep, HBO

Only two of these shows make me ELL-OH-ELL, and they're Louie and Veep. But Louie makes me feel things, too, so I'm going with the aging, balding, redheaded dude. Though it must be said that if Enlightened is categorized as a comedy, it definitely belongs here. Are you all sick of me yapping about Enlightened yet? 


INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

Louis C.K., Louie (FX)
Lena Dunham, Girls (HBO)
Jake Johnson, New Girl (Fox)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Basically this list includes the funniest person from all the shows that were nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, but swap out the "uncool" nerds of The Big Bang Theory for the chic pick in Dunham. And yes, I think Jake Johnson is funnier than Max Greenfield, so it's great to see him recognized here. As great as Louis C.K. is, his strength is in his writing more than his acting. Meanwhile, Julia Louis-Dreyfus remains hilarious on Veep, so in my mind she wins by a nose. Though I have to point out that if Laura Dern were on this list, she'd get my vote for crafting one of the best characters on television in Enlightened's Amy Jellicoe. 


NEW PROGRAM

The Americans, FX
Elementary, CBS
House of Cards, Netflix
The Mindy Project, Fox
Orphan Black, BBC America

A few months ago, I would have said The Americans was the easy pick, but Orphan Black was absolutely terrific and so different from anything else on television. So picking a winner for this category is like choosing between two children, so I'll go with The Americans and hope Orphan Black doesn't see. And just to echo what many of you in the comments will be saying, "Hannibal didn't get nominated!? WTF OMG!!"


OUTSTANDING MOVIE, MINISERIES OR SPECIAL

American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
Behind the Candelabra, HBO
Downton Abbey, PBS
Rectify, Sundance Channel
Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel

Wait, Downton Abbey is back to being a miniseries? Breaking Bad has an eight-episode season and it's a drama series, but Downton Abbey has an eight-episode season and it's a miniseries? Hmm. Anyway, Rectify, dude. 


And I'll let you talk among yourselves about the rest of the categories...


OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMMING

The Amazing Race, CBS
The Glee Project, Oxygen
Shark Tank, ABC
Survivor, CBS
The Voice, NBC


OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING

Adventure Time, Cartoon Network
Bunheads, ABC Family
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, PBS
Sesame Street, PBS
Switched at Birth, ABC Family


NEWS AND INFORMATION

60 Minutes, CBS
Anderson Cooper 360, CNN
Central Park Five, PBS
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC


HERITAGE AWARD

All In the Family, CBS
Lost, ABC
Saturday Night Live, NBC
Star Trek, NBC
Twin Peaks, ABC


CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

James L. Brooks
James Burrows
Jay Leno
William Shatner
Barbara Walters


The TCA Awards will be held on August 3. What do you think of this year's nominees?