Emmy nominations 2012: snubs and surprises
The nominations for the 64th Emmy Awards were announced Thursday (July 19) and saw favorites like “Mad Men,” “30 Rock,” “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family” walk away with a lion’s share of nods, while new shows like “Girls,” “Veep” and “New Girl” managed to claw their way into a few major categories.
While the nominations were mostly expected, there were still plenty of surprises and snubs — a few of which are particularly mind-boggling.
“Girls” scores Outstanding Comedy Series nomination: It’s not that “Girls” doesn’t deserve its Outstanding Comedy Series nomination; it’s that we’re very surprised it actually got it. Despite plenty of raves, calling the show divisive is an understatement — “Girls” proved to be the most debated show in a very long time when it debuted this spring. There’s been endless Internet chatter about its merits, whether its actors deserved to be where they were or whether they were the product of nepotism, if the show’s portrayals of men were fair and if star Lena Dunham, who landed individual acting and writing nods as well, was really playing much more than a slightly fictionalized version of herself. Beyond that, the show is also made for a younger audience than typical Emmy fare. It’s a strange fit in a category that also includes “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family.”
“30 Rock” continues to rule the comedy categories: Despite an uneven-at-best season, “30 Rock” once again landed multiple top nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series, lead acting nods for Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin and guest-acting nominations for, ahem, Elizabeth Banks, Jon Hamm, Will Arnett and Margaret Cho. While even middling “30 Rock” is far better than most shows on television, the show’s many nominations come at the expense of both “Parks and Recreation” and “Louie,” which were outright snubbed (see below) in many of those same categories.
“Glee” is basically shut out: No one would argue that “Glee” was on its game this past season, but after years of Emmy love, including a 2010 supporting actress win for Jane Lynch, a directing prize for creator Ryan Murphy and guest actor awards for Neil Patrick Harris and Gwyneth Paltrow, seeing Fox’s teen musical behemoth snag only three nods, none of which were in major categories (the most high-profile being Dot-Marie Jones’ Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy nod), is certainly surprising. In the past, Lynch and co-star Chris Colfer have been reliable go-to contenders for the show, while this season had at least one inarguably winning guest spot from “Magic Mike” actor Matt Bomer.
“New Girl” actor Max Greenfield sneaks into packed supporting actor category: With not one but four actors from “Modern Family” (Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet) all submitted in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy category, there wasn’t much room for anyone else. But Greenfield, one of the breakout stars of the ratings hit “New Girl,” managed to charm his way into the crowded category, pushing aside favored contenders like Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”).
No Outstanding Comedy Series nods for “Parks and Recreation” or “Louie”: Both Amy Poehler and Louis C.K. earned deserved (and expected) nominations for their respective shows, “Parks and Recreation” and “Louie,” but neither show itself scored a nod. Even stranger, two episodes of “Parks” (“The Debate” and “Win Lose, or Draw”) and one episode of “Louie” (“Pregnant”) landed among the five nominees for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Of the shows that actually ended up nominated for best comedy, only the “Girls” pilot scored a nomination in the writing category. How a show earns recognition for being among the best written and acted on television but doesn’t find itself in the hunt for Outstanding Comedy Series is beyond us.
“Parks and Rec” supporting players and guest actors robbed: Did the TV Academy even watch “Parks and Recreation” this year? The show had a wonderful season that some argue may have been its best yet, but its only major nomination was for Poehler’s performance. Poehler is beyond outstanding on “Parks,” but she’s not the only one. This season in particular, Nick Offerman stood out as his Ron Swanson (MTV News’ favorite TV character of last year) was called upon to rein in Poehler’s Leslie Knope as she ran for city council and sometimes got a little overextended in the process. Plus, Rashida Jones and Adam Scott have always been grounding influences that keep the show from venturing too far into the absurd. (Playing normal on a show that revels in its own weirdness is an achievement worth honoring.) Neither were cited for their work. Nor were this season’s invaluable guest stars: Patricia Clarkson as Offerman’s cold and manipulative first wife Tammy One, Paul Rudd as Poehler’s witless city council opponent Bobby Newport and Kathryn Hahn as campaign manager Jennifer Barkley. We love Kathy Bates, but seeing her nominated for her turn on “Two and a Half Men” over either Clarkson or Hahn in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy category is a crime.
Where’s Madeline Stowe’s nomination for “Revenge”?: “Revenge” is a deeply campy prime-time soap that also happens to be addictive and surprisingly well-acted. While its ratings have been middling, the reception from critics and those tuning in has been so positive that ABC is giving the show the old “Desperate Housewives” timeslot this fall. Much of that attention has focused on resurgent actress Madeline Stowe (“The Last of the Mohicans,” “Twelve Monkeys”). Stowe is so affecting as a glamorous villainess who will do anything to protect her children that she scored a Golden Globe nod for the role earlier this year. It may not be a subtle performance, but the Emmys have showered love on high-camp shows like “Housewives” in the past.
Hugh Laurie didn’t get a final Best Actor nomination for “House”: We expected the Academy to do what they always do: Honor a frequent past nominee yet again despite his show’s waning quality because it’s their last chance to celebrate him. “House,” Fox’s very popular medical drama, ended its eight-season run in May. In that time, the show brought Laurie six nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, including a nod just last year. Best dramatic actor is a tight category this year, one full of locked-in contenders (Bryan Cranston for “Breaking Bad,” Jon Hamm for “Mad Men”), but we expected Laurie to sneak in with a career achievement nomination (of sorts). Even though that sort of thing happens every year, “Downton Abbey” star Hugh Bonneville and “Dexter’s” Michael C. Hall ended up on the short list instead.
Who do you think was snubbed for an Emmy nomination? Let us know in the comments below!