Right around this time of year is when my entertainment-loving self goes into hyper mode because nominations for the Emmy Awards, dedicated to television shows and movies, start pouring in.
It's definitely been a lackluster summer — I think everyone can agree on that — and I admit that I momentarily forgot about this annual joy in my life. But I snapped out of it Tuesday morning when excellent stars received nominations for their outstanding work.
The eligibility period for this year's award show was between June 1, 2019, and May 31. Looking at all of the shows nominated (many of which I have recommended to you), it's been a great year in television.
HBO’s "Watchmen" was the overall leader with 26 nominations, followed by Amazon Studios' "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" with 20. One show you might remember from an earlier column, "Schitt's Creek," walked away with 15 nominations, including one for the four stars. If that's not great news to wake up to on a Tuesday then I don't know what is.
What stood out the most with this year's nominations is there was a little bit of everything represented. Let's take the best comedy and drama series, for example. You have “Dead to Me” (an unlikely friendship between a widow and a free spirit), “The Good Place” (tackling the question of where we end up when we die), “Insecure” (a show about awkward moments in love, life and work), “The Kominsky Method” (two men navigating aging), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (a woman in the 1950s who wants to launch a comedy career), “What We Do in the Shadows” (a look into vampire life), “The Crown” (the life of Queen Elizabeth II), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (a dystopian world where women are treated like property and forced to have children), “Succession" (what happens to families when power and money are on the line) and “The Mandalorian” (a bounty hunter who protects the cutest 50-year-old toddler).
The limited series category also spotlights various issues, such as race with "Little Fires Everywhere" and "Watchmen," the Equal Rights Amendment battle in "Mrs. America," sexual assault with "Unbelievable" and arranged marriages in "Unorthodox."
Looking at individual actors nominated, there are so many stars in the mix that it's making the competition even more heated! The best drama actress category is a standout in my opinion: Jennifer Aniston for “The Morning Show”; Olivia Colman for “The Crown”; Jodie Comer for “Killing Eve” (last year's winner); Laura Linney for “Ozark”; Sandra Oh for “Killing Eve”; and Zendaya for “Euphoria.” This group of women is the definition of star power.
Zendaya earning a nomination was one of the surprises, but totally deserved. In the HBO show she plays Rue, a 17-year-old drug addict fresh from rehab with no plans to stay clean. Seeing her experience the highs and lows of addiction is so emotional, and it blows your mind that some people are so insanely talented. I definitely recommend watching this roller coaster of a messy show (in a good way!).
Of course you can't have nominations without some snubs. The women on "Pose" deserved recognition for their beautiful and heart-wrenching performances. Billy Porter did receive a nomination (he's last year's winner in the best drama actor category), but a whole lot more love needs to be given to the rest of the cast.
Reese Witherspoon, who is busy on a million and one different projects, also didn't receive a nomination for "Big Little Lies," "The Morning Show" or "Little Fires Everywhere." It's quite surprising since she delivers great performances in all three. Viola Davis also missed out on a final nomination for "How to Get Away with Murder," which would have been the perfect ending for the show.
Even though I've seen a ton of these shows already, making these nominations even more exciting, there's plenty that I haven't gotten a chance to sink my teeth into. I've heard several good things about "Ramy," which received nominations for lead actor Ramy Youssef, supporting actor Mahershala Ali and directing. If you're someone who loves "firsts," it's the first Muslim American sitcom to score Emmy nominations. "Watchmen" is also one I need to check out. Regina King landed a nomination for her work on the show, and she has never disappointed me.
The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards are scheduled to air Sept. 20. We still don't know in what format that'll take place, but until then, happy binge-watching!