Well, here we are in peak TV (or maybe slightly coming down that mountain), but still the Emmy Awards are not completely reflective of that. For every Atlanta and Stranger Things and The Night Of, we’re missing major nominations from Legion and The Leftovers and Insecure. The Emmy voters are loyal to a fault, finding ways to honor shows like House of Cards, Homeland, and, hell, even Veep as they drift beyond their prime. That’s not to say that this year, the 69th installment of the awards (hehe), is a poor reflection of the contemporary television landscape. There is much to celebrate. But with the sheer amount of quality TV out there, there are bound to be some omissions.
Going into this year, a number of past winners are absent. Game of Thrones pushed back its premiere and, as a result, missed out on qualifying. Orphan Black also didn’t run this year, and Downton Abbey is out to the pasture. That certainly opened up a few doors for new competitors, to which many series and performers took advantage.
But before we get into our picks in the major categories, let’s point out a few notable tidbits from the smaller categories:
— Aside from being nominated for their acting, both Donald Glover and Aziz Ansari are up for writing awards, with Glover also having the opportunity to win for directing.
— In only its fourth year as a category, Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance is finally starting to get interesting, with nominations going outside the expected The Simpsons/South Park/Family Guy realm. Among the nominees this year are Kevin Kline as Mr. Fischoeder on Bob’s Burgers and, our favorite, Kristen Schaal as Sarah Lynn on Bojack Horseman.
— Speaking of animated series, Bojack Horseman is a major omission from this category, which includes The Simpsons and Sofia the First alongside more worthy shows like Archer and South Park.
— Westworld and Stranger Things are both up for Best Main Title Design, and both are quite worthy.
— Hans Zimmer, the dudes from S U R V I V E, Max Richter, and T Bone Burnett are just a few of the names up for awards for their work in television music.
— The much talked about Music Supervision world is now up for Emmys, too, with Big Little Lies, Master of None, Better Call Saul, Stranger Things, and Girls all up for awards (Big Little Lies and Master of None have to be the favorites here, right?)
— A lot of big names in the Guest Actor categories, including both Riz Ahmed and Matthew Rhys for Girls (both of whom are also nominated as leads on The Night Of and The Americans respectively); SNL hosts Dave Chappelle, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Tom Hanks; Hugh Laurie for Veep; Ben Mendelsohn for Bloodline; the late Carrie Fisher for Catastrophe, Angela Bassett for Master of None (this one was really great); Alexis Bliedel for The Handmaid’s Tale (also excellent); and frickin’ Barb from Stranger Things might finally receive justice in the form of a statue.
– In the Reality world, it’s nice to see Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg finally get the credit they deserve.
– For TV Movie, not sure how Black Mirror‘s San Junipero qualified for that, but here’s hoping it snakes out an upset against Sherlock and The Wizard of Lies (and, um, Dolly Parton’s Christmas movie).
But what about the big guns? We’ve got predictions in the 16 major categories. Granted, this isn’t a science, but looking back at historical trends –and just our plain and simple preferences — allows us to make some educated guesses. We’ll find out for real who the winners will be on Sunday, September 17th on CBS.