The good book says joy cometh in the morning, but today’s unveiling of the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards nominations distinctly lacked such jubilation for some.
Revealed semi-virtually by the father-daughter duo of Ron Cephas Jones and Jasmine Cephas Jones, who historically both won Emmys last year, it certainly was an extremely joyous morning Tuesday for the Princess Diana-rich latest season of Netflix’s The Crown, HBO’s I May Destroy You, HBO Max’s Hacks and its star Jean Smart.
In addition, Amazon’s Underground Railroad, AppleTV+’s Ted Lasso, Disney+’s WandaVision and The Mandalorian, as well as FX’s Pose, which bowed out in June, saw some prayers answered.
Still, with heavyweights like Succession and Killing Eve and constant contenders such as Grace & Frankie and Better Call Saul out of commission this time due to pandemic production delays, plus last year’s big comedy winner Schitt’s Creek concluded, the prayers of many went unheeded by Television Academy voters.
With that pain, a few lucky souls had a truly hallelujah moment – as you can see in our list of snubs and surprises below. Add to that situation the plethora of programming from ever-growing streamers and punching-up cablers figuratively flooding the zone, and this year’s Emmys is shaping up to be a pastiche of newcomers and veterans, unlike recent years.
Noticeably unlike last year, the Cedric the Entertainer-hosted 2021 Emmys on September 19 on CBS will have a live audience, though limited to nominees and their immediate guests — aka agent or Mom – at downtown L.A.’s Microsoft Theater. Like 2020, this year’s ceremony will be executive produced by the team of Reginald Hudlin and Ian Stewart, who were widely praised for pulling off one of the few actually watchable virtual award shows of the past 16 months.
So with that, please, tell us if you think there is any show or anyone that we overlooked in the 2021 Emmys snubs and surprises.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan Marvel series soared to challenge viewers and America with what truly makes a hero super. Even with the usual genre bias, that wasn’t something the TV Academy was really ready for — though it did give a Guest Actor nom to Don Cheadle and several technical noms.
Ted Danson – Turns out that just because everyone knows your name, you don’t get their vote – as the Mr. Mayor star discovered today
Desus & Mero – Late-night’s finest powered through the pandemic and hit new highs, figuratively and literally some nights. Unfortunately, the brand wasn’t strong enough.
Small Axe – You would have to be numb from the neck up and the waist down not to be moved by five-part anthology series from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen. Small Axe was one of the best things on the small screen in 2020. However, the strong campaign from Amazon for spotlight on racism in the contemporary UK just didn’t cut it with Emmy voters today.
Ethan Hawke – Nominated in almost every other awards show over the decades, The Good Lord Bird star still is not blessed with a Primetime Emmy nom.
The Masked Singer – Fox’s hit musical competition show was revealed to be empty-handed.
The Undoing – Hugh Grant received a nom, but the HBO thriller co-starring Nicole Kidman didn’t do much else this morning.
Queen Sugar – The fifth season of the Ava DuVernay-created OWN drama was a searing indictment of America grappling with the ravages of the coronavirus, the politics of white supremacy and police violence. The absence of the Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, and Kofi Siriboe-led show is an almost equally searing indictment of the TV Academy.
Joseph Fiennes – The villain usually is the best part of most shows, there are a lot of good and prescient elements to past winner The Handmaid’s Tale, which garnered a Best Drama and a Best Actress nom for Elisabeth Moss today among others. Still, the actor who saw the demise of the evil Gilead leader Commander Fred Waterford in the Season 4 finale of the dystopian Hulu series based on Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed 1985 novel was left hanging.
One Day at a Time – This should have been the day for the barrier-breaking sitcom re-imaging from Gloria Calderón Kellett and Mike Royce, with Norman Lear executive producing. A past winner, the Justina Machado– and Rita Moreno-led Pop TV multi-camera show, which was shuttered late last year after four seasons, had its time with fickle Academy voters
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee – The Kim’s Convenience actor was denied. End of story. Sadly.
Wunmi Mosaku – The recently and foolishly cancelled Lovecraft Country received big noms in the Best Drama, Best Actress, Best Actor, Supporting and Guest Actor categories, among others. Still to negate the transformative performance of the Loki cast member in the HBO horror-drama is truly frightening.
e categories of Outstanding Drama Series, Drama Actor (Jonathan Majors), Drama Actress (Jurnee Smollett), Drama Supporting Actor (Michael K. Williams), Drama Supporting Actress (Aunjanue Ellis), and Drama Guest Actor (Courtney B. Vance)
Mythic Quest – No one was playing that game today.
Taste the Nation – Padma Lakshmi’s subversive exploration of America through its cuisine wasn’t on the menu.
Power Book II: Ghost – The NAACP Image Award-winning spinoff from Courtney Kemp had the rare distinction of being as good, if not better, than the original Power. Yet, even with Mary J. Blige onboard, the Starz series was haunted by a lack of nominations Tuesday.
Brendan Gleeson – The Comey Rule actor’s Donald Trump was defining and deadly, everything you want and need from an Emmy nominee. There was an overall snub of the Showtime miniseries, but this is one case of stop the steal in particular that a lot of us actually could get behind.
Cobra Kai – The Netflix streamer spinoff from the Karate Kid film franchise kicked down the Emmy door.
The Boys – Amazon’s saucy anti-superhero series tore through the Best Drama category like a boat through a beached whale, if you know what I mean.
Emily in Paris – Salute.