While award show prognostication it still a very inexact science, there is one thing that we can all bank on when it comes to the awards season nomination game – not everyone will be happy when the nods come down, and the word most often used in nomination coverage will always be “snub.” It’s easy to find fault with any award show, and someone’s favorites will always be left off. This morning’s Emmy nominations were undoubtedly rife with some major snubs – including Monica Potter for Parenthood, Mad Men creator Matt Weiner for writing, Parks and Recreation for comedy series, and breakout star Tatiana Maslany for her incredible turn(s) on Orphan Black – and we’re fairly certain we’ve even snubbed some big snub-ees by not mentioning them here, for which we can only apologize. It certainly seems like it’s a losing game.
Or is it? Sure, there will always be big-time disappointments whenever any big round of award show nominations are announced, but even in the midst of a stunning series of snubs, there’s still plenty of heartening news in this latest round of nods. We’ve got some hope for this year’s Emmys, and here’s ten big reasons why.
1. The rise of original online programming hasn’t been ignored
Netflix’s recent bid for television relevance earned them a staggering fourteen nominations total, thanks to shows like House of Cards, Arrested Development, and Hemlock Grove. We’ve long known that you don’t need an actual television set to enjoy “television” these days, and the Emmys are getting hip to that trend in a big way.
2. Game of Thrones has firmly overthrown any sort of niche programming designation
The HBO favorite earned a staggering sixteen nominations this year (putting the network’s grand total at 104 nods for the year), placing it in second place for most show nominations behind only American Horror Story: Asylum with seventeen nominations. Game of Thrones isn’t just for George R.R. Martin fans and hardcore fantasy wonks, it’s for everyone (at least, everyone of a certain age). In other news, guess it’s time we started watching American Horror Story.
3. Scott Bakula, Emmy nominee
Yes, it’s a crime against nature that Rob Lowe didn’t get a nod for Behind the Candelabra, but you know who did? Scott Bakula. Scott Bakula!
4. Jon Hamm, nine-time Emmy nominee and Bryan Cranston, eight-time Emmy nominee
They are two of the best we have in the biz, and they’ve both been nominated for comedic and dramatic turns. Let’s keep that going, okay? (Yes, we realize both Breaking Bad and Mad Men are entering their final seasons, but we can dream.)
5. Kerry Washington’s first nomination
A fan favorite to the highest degree, the Scandal leading lady earned her first nod, the kind of game-changer that should raise both her status and that of her soapy and wildly entertaining show.
6. Laura Dern gets nominated for Enlightened
While the fate of the beloved Enlightened hangs in the balance, an Emmy nom for its star could go a long way to save the struggling program. And, lest anyone forget, this is also a role that Dern won a Golden Globe for. An Emmy would probably look quite nice beside it.
7. Saturday Night Live is still damn relevant
As the LA Times notes, one of the biggest stories coming out of this morning’s nominations is the influence of SNL, with no less than three lead actress in a comedy nominations going to former alums of the show – Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss – along with a best variety series nod to former SNL star Jimmy Fallon and four guest nominations to hosts Justin Timberlake, Louis C.K., Melissa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig. Oh, and Bill Hader pulled out a best supporting nod for all of his many, many amazing characters.
8. 30 Rock went out with a bang
In its final season, NBC’s comedy series earned the most comedy series nominations with thirteen total – including big guns like best comedy series, best actress (Fey), and best actor (Alec Baldwin). Not a bad way to go out.
9. Tony Hale didn’t get an Arrested Development nod, but he did get one for Veep
In fact, the HBO series pulled in a bunch of great acting nominations – for Hale, star Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, and supporting actress Anna Chlumsky. Just watch a comedic blockbuster evolve with this one.
10. Louis C.K. pulled in nine individual nominations
For writing and directing, producing and starring, for his sitcom, for his guest appearance as SNL host, and for his HBO special. That’s multi-faceted talent, people.
You can check out the full list this year’s Emmy nominations right HERE (ready yourself, it’s one heck of a long list).
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Emmy ceremony will air September 22nd on CBS.