2016 Emmy Nominations


The 2016 Emmy Award nominations were announced today, which somehow managed to take me by surprise. I’d seen plenty of chatter on Twitter over the last few weeks with TV critics filling out their dream Emmy ballots and speculating who would be nominated, but that didn’t translate to me actually taking the time to find out when the nominations were actually happening. Thankfully a notification from CNN popped into my email just as my lunch hour was about to commence, so it gave me the perfect opportunity to pour over who got noms and who didn’t make the final list. Now that Jon Hamm has his Emmy, I’m a little less invested in who actually takes home a statue. That doesn’t mean that I’m completely disinterested – I still care about good TV being rewarded – but it means I’m probably a whole lot more rational about the whole thing.

Here’s a list of the major nominees; I’ve indicated in bold who I’d like to see win, though take that with a grain of salt as the Emmy voters and I don’t often see eye to eye. I also haven’t seen everything, so picks are based on my own limited experience.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA (2015 winner: Game of Thrones)
The Americans
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mr Robot

I love a lot of these shows, but I can’t bring myself to look beyond Game of Thrones.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Jon Hamm)
Kyle Chandler, Bloodlines
Rami Malek, Mr Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

It is a tragedy that more people aren’t watching The Americans. Brilliant performances.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Viola Davis)
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Taraji P Henson, Empire
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Keri Russell, The Americans
Robin Wright, House of Cards

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Uzo Aduba)
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL

While Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams are great, Lena Headey has managed to make Cersei a far more interesting and sympathetic character than she probably should be.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Peter Dinklage)
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Margo Martindale, The Americans)
Laurie Metcalf, Horace and Pete
Molly Parker, House of Cards
Ellen Burstyn, House of Cards
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife

Horace and Pete was a great series, but the episode with Laurie Metcalf is legitimately next level.

GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA (2015 winner: Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards)
Max von Sydow, Game of Thrones
Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
Mahershala Ali, House of Cards
Paul Sparks, House of Cards
Hank Azaria, Ray Donovan
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife

Reg E. Cathy’s status as an alumni of The Wire gets him my vote.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY (2015 winner: Veep)
Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I just binge watched the last two seasons of Veep and its among the funniest two seasons of television that I’ve ever seen.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus)
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Laurie Metcalfe, Getting On
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

This is basically Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ category to lose every year.

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Jeffrey Tambor)
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Masters of None
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
William H Macy, Shameless
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

I actually don’t watch many of these shows, but I love Aziz Ansari on Master of None.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Allison Janney)
Niecy Nash, Getting On
Kate McKinnon, SNL
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
Allison Janney, Mom
Judith Light, Transparent
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Again, I don’t watch many of these shows, but Anna Chlumsky is underrated on Veep.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Tony Hale)
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale, Veep

I was very tempted to go with Tony Hale, which is probably the safe choice, but Andre Braugher is so consistently great that I had to pick him (see The Wire corollary)

GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Joan Cusack, Shameless)
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Amy Schumer, Saturday Night Live
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
Laurie Metcalf, The Big Bang Theory
Melora Hardin, Transparent

When in doubt, go with Tina and Amy.

GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY (2015 winner: Bradley Whitford, Transparent)
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Tracy Morgan, Saturday Night Live
Larry David, Saturday Night Live
Bradley Whitford, Transparent
Martin Mull, Veep
Peter MacNicol, Veep

A Very Murray Christmas
All the Way
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

LIMITED SERIES (2015 winner: Olive Kitterridge)
American Crime
The Night Manager
The People v. OJ Simpson

This was a two show race for me between The People v. OJ Simpson and Fargo, but I give Fargo a slight edge.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE (2015 winner: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge)
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Billie Holiday: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People V OJ Simpson
Lili Taylor, American Crime
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

You can’t take your eyes of Sarah Paulson – she becomes Marcia Clark.

LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE (2015 winner: Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge)
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Idris Elba, Luther
Cuba Gooding Jr, The People V OJ Simpson
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People V OJ Simpson

Ditto for Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE (2015 winner: Regina King, American Crime)
Melissa Leo, All The Way
Regina King, American Crime
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
Jean Smart, Fargo
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager

As the head of her crime family, Jean Smart can be tough as nails, but still is sympathetic and soft when needed.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE (2015 winner: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge)
Jesse Plemons, Fargo
Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson
David Schwimmer, The People v. O.J. Simpson
John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson

To me, this was really the most captivating performance of the series; Sterling K. Brown made me understand who Chris Darden was and the toll this case took on him.

REALITY SHOW HOST (2015 winner: Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night)
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
Steve Harvey, Little Big Shots
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Project Runway
RuPaul Charles, RuPaul’s Drag Race

RuPaul should win more things.

REALITY SHOW COMPETITION (2015 winner: The Voice)
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef
The Voice

I cannot be bothered to even form an opinion on this.

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Late Show with James Corden
Real Time With Bill Maher
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon

Don’t tell Fallon, but Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has become must watch. The Tonight Show is entertaining, but Last Week is both funny and informative. John Oliver and company are doing important work.