With more quality television shows than ever before, it’s almost impossible for prestigious award shows, like the Emmys, to rightfully recognize the best of the best.
However, the 68th Annual Emmy Award nominations, announced last week by Anthony Anderson (black-ish) and Lauren Graham (Parenthood) last week, nearly did. It was a celebration of studio and racial diversity with HBO, streaming services like Netflix and Starz, as well as traditional cable and broadcast stations racking up nominations. FX’s The People V. O.J. Simpson scored 22 awards while Game of Thrones edged them out with 23.
There was no chance of #EmmysSoWhite with nearly a quarter of the nominees being non-white talent, and it genuinely is a fairer representation of television’s cornucopia of talent.
Here’s seven reasons why this year’s Emmy nominations are the best in years…
Gold is the New black-ish. After unseating the aging Modern Family as The Best Comedy on ABC, black-ish finally receives the recognition it deserves with first-time nominations for the gorgeously coifed and insanely talented Trace Ellis Ross for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series and series creator Kenya Barris for Outstanding Comedy Series, and the second nod always energetic Anthony Anderson for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. Ellis Ross' nomination makes her the first actress of color in that category since America Ferrera's nomination for Ugly Betty in 2008, Vulture.com reports.
If black-ish doesn’t snag at least one award, you know the revenge-loving Diane Johnson (Marsai Martin, almost worthy of a nod herself) will do what she does best.
Lemonade is now sweeter than ever. It’s safe to say the Emmys have an official beverage. Beyonce’s evocative and experimental visual album, Lemonade, received four nominations. Not only will Queen B face off against fellow chart-topping singer, Adele, in the Outstanding Variety Special, Kahlil Joseph and Beyonce herself received a nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special. If you ever doubted Beyonce’s legendary status, you can’t any longer. Now, let’s hope they Emmy producers can organize the musical equivalent to an Arnold Palmer at the ceremony aka Beyonce vs. Adele diva-off.
Mr. Robot Hacks the Emmys. USA Network’s provocative new drama about a troubled hacker was a triumphant win for the network as well as series creator Sam Esmail and Rami Malek—both Egyptian-American—as it was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, respectively. Malek’s nomination for the critically acclaimed series marks the first time in 15 years an actor of color was nominated in that category, Time Magazine reports.
Master of…Television. Not only is it awesome that a touching and candid comedy like Netflix’s Master Of None was nominated, it also makes Emmy history. Aziz Ansari’s Best Actor in a Comedy series nomination makes him the actor of South Asian descent to be nominated. Ever. He also stands to take home a bundle of awards since he works as the show’s creator, director and writer since Master of None is also nominated Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.
Emmy OTP. It’s safe to say that with great ratings and nearly two dozen nominations that the people loved The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. I’m thrilled that Courtney B. Vance, Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown were among the acting nominations. Paulson and Brown, especially, used their considerable talents and read-between-the-lines artistic license to lend some much-needed romantic tension to the true crimes drama. Their characters didn’t win in real life, but hopefully Paulson and Sterling (and Vance, of course) will live happily ever after with Emmy gold.
It's a marathon, not a sprint. Odds are you know who Constance Zimmer is, even if you don't know her by name. She’s been a staple character actress in television for more than 20 years. Her impressive resume includes powerhouse TV shows like The X-Files, Grey’s Anatomy, House of Cards, Boston Legal. So Zimmer’s for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Lifetime’s UnReal is not only a coup for the network in the midst of a deliciously dark reinvention, but an meaningful achievement for a hardworking dynamic actress playing a pathologically ambitious producer on a show that makes a bold statement about the pitfalls of show business.
Mahershalalhashbaz Ali. Years ago, I fell in love with a breakout star of a cult sci-fi show on USA Network called The 4400 with a beautiful name: Mahershalalhashbaz Ali. Now going by just Mahershala, he has gone onto star in on the big screen in Hunger Games franchise and The Place Beyond The Pines. He is nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his nuanced and complex work in season 5 of House Of Cards. Win or lose, with a major role in the much anticipated Luke Cage, Ali’s career is taking off. It's a good thing he has a name you won’t soon forget.
Make your predictions before the awards ceremony on Sept. 18. Here is the full list of the nominations.
Photo Credits: PostGazette.com; TheWrap.com, Ebroji App, ParentHerald.com, LaTimes.com, ETOnline.com, TheGate.ca
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.