Amid exciting newcomers and a lot of diversity among the 2018 Emmy Award nominees — including a historic nod for “Killing Eve’s” Sandra Oh — there were the inevitable snubs.
Showtime’s critically acclaimed but underwatched “Twin Peaks” reboot was shut out of several categories. The women of “This Is Us” did not get any recognition this year. And in more welcome snubs, the academy overlooked “Modern Family” for the first time in the ABC sitcom’s history.
Let’s unpack the academy’s most significant and head-scratching omissions.
The BBC drama, about a MI5 agent who becomes obsessed with tracking a ruthless but charming female assassin, brought us to the figurative water cooler week after week following its April premiere. Many fans were hoping that allure would translate to a best drama series nod, but alas.
It was a long shot: As Jen Chaney noted over at Vulture, no BBC America show has ever been nominated in the best drama category. The roster tends to be fairly predictable (though there are exceptions like last year’s “This Is Us” nod, which brought broadcast TV back to the best drama mix), so a nomination for “Killing Eve” would have been the category’s lone surprise. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who developed the show based on a series of novellas by Luke Jennings, did land a nomination for best drama series writing.
If you enjoyed “Killing Eve,” you are probably celebrating Oh’s nomination, while also wondering how the academy failed to recognize her sparring partner. The Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever wrote that Comer was “unforgettably creepy and oddly hilarious as Villanelle.”
“Twin Peaks: The Return”
The Showtime sequel to David Lynch and Mark Frost’s cult-favorite series failed to get a nomination for best limited series or nods for Kyle MacLachlan or standout supporting stars such as Laura Dern. The show did score nods for writing, directing and sound design, in addition to six nominations in the craft categories, including best cinematography.
Stuever argued that, despite its low ratings, “Twin Peaks” was superior to the always-nominated “Game of Thrones,” but speculated viewers might have avoided it because of the reputation of the original version. It turned out to be their loss. Stuever wrote:
A curious thing happened on the way to television greatness this summer: The highly anticipated return of a critically revered show that some viewers might avoid because of its reputation as a melodramatic, even lugubriously indulgent mess of complicated story lines instead turned out to be a stunning rumination on heroic good and innate evil, told through a refreshingly coherent, expertly paced plot that managed to keep its loyal fans and curious newcomers guessing the entire way.
Perhaps the academy made the same mistake.
We were thrilled to see Brian Tyree Henry get a best supporting actor nomination for Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles’s unexpectedly vulnerable turn in the second season of FX’s acclaimed drama. We wish the category also included his co-star Lakeith Stanfield, whose delightful weirdness makes his character, Darius, a defining part of the show. Take, for example, his mesmerizing performance in “Teddy Perkins,” one of the season’s most brilliant and bizarre installments. Put simply, he was robbed.
In the most recent season of “This Is Us,” Justin Hartley, who plays the Pearsons’ attractive, all-American son, Kevin, was given noticeably meatier material. Following a DUI, Kevin ends up confronting his demons (and his childhood) in rehab. That leads to a fraught family therapy session in which he opens up about feeling perpetually ignored by his mother, Rebecca (Mandy Moore). We thought Hartley’s vulnerable and passionate portrayal of Kevin’s challenges might lead to a best supporting actor nomination, but poor Kevin Pearson was overlooked again.
“This Is Us” is still obviously a Television Academy favorite — with repeat best actor nods for Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia, in addition to an expected nomination for best drama series.
Chrissy Metz and Mandy Moore
While we are talking about that uncomfortable therapy session, it is important to note Mandy Moore did not get a nomination either — she landed on our snubs list last year, too. Chrissy Metz, who plays Kevin’s twin, Kate, failed to get a repeat nomination after breaking into the best supporting actress category in 2017.
Both Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys rightly received nominations for the final season of FX’s “The Americans.” But Noah Emmerich — whose role as betrayed Jennings family friend/FBI Agent Stan Beeman was central to the show’s six seasons and, in particular, the captivating final episode — failed to clinch what would have been worthy (and arguably overdue) recognition in the supporting actor category.
The ABC sitcom, which premiered in 2009, has been an annual staple on the best comedy list and a five-time winner in the category. The academy, refreshingly, chose to recognize a few newcomers: HBO’s “Barry,” Netflix’s “GLOW” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” in addition to familiar nominees like “Atlanta,” “Blackish” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which returned to HBO last year after a six-year hiatus.