A look at some of the Emmy nominations' snubs and surprises
Posted July 13
Updated July 14
NEW YORK — It starts moments after Emmy nominations are announced: a whole lot of head-scratching and teeth-gnashing over forgotten shows and actors.
It's no different this year, with snub-citing and second-guessing at fever pitch following Thursday's announcements.
How could Emmy judges turn a blind eye toward the eye-popping Starz series "American Gods"?
How could TBS' "Angie Tribeca," which packs as many belly laughs into each episode as any show on the air, go sadly unrecognized for a second year?
And what about Oprah Winfrey, whose starring performance in the HBO film "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" got an Emmy cold shoulder, as did her OWN network's drama "Queen Sugar," for which she is an executive producer?
Granted, there were some pleasant surprises.
Bill Camp's pitch-perfect performance as a world-weary detective in HBO's "The Night Of" was recognized among this limited series' 13 nods. So was Jackie Hoffman as the hilarious Mamacita in FX's "Feud: Bette and Joan."
Netflix's haunting anthology "Black Mirror" deservedly wangled a nomination with an episode submitted as a television movie.
And fans of laceratingly funny topical humor were cheered by the slate of nominees for best variety talk alongside CBS' just-for-fun "The Late Late Show with James Corden: TBS' "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" and, most notably, CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," which in its second season has soared on a political acid trip. (Odd guy out: NBC's "The Tonight Show" starring maybe-too-nice Jimmy Fallon.)
It was some consolation to see Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys both nominated for a second year for their startlingly ambitious performances on FX's cold-war drama "The Americans," which has generally encountered a "nyet" policy from Emmy judges. And it was all the more delightful to see Rhys snag a second nomination for Comedy Series Guest Actor for his cunning portrayal on an episode of HBO's "Girls."
On the other hand, "Girls" and its creator Lena Dunham were overlooked in its final season. So was HBO's eerie "The Leftovers," which left the air after three seasons totally ignored by Emmy.
And what's the deal with HBO's "Divorce," a penetrating comedy-drama starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church that seemed so out-of-sight, out-of-mind after its first season aired last fall that even Snubs lists snubbed it.
Of course, the day's big winners, with 22 nominations apiece, were HBO's worthy "Westworld" and — what?! — NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
It was hard to view "SNL's" haul without eyebrows raised. In a year of spectacular performances on a bounty of comedies, many new or previously overlooked, "SNL" seized three of six nominations for best supporting actress (Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon). It grabbed three out of six of the comedy series "guest actor" nominations (for Dave Chappelle, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Hanks, all guest hosts). It landed two of six "guest actress" nods (for guest hosts Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy). And it handed a "supporting actor" nomination to Alec Baldwin, a frequent drop-in impersonating President Donald Trump, while shutting out all of its male cast members.
Since Emmy judges love it this much, maybe "SNL" should be awarded its own category.
EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at email@example.com