There are a lot of great programs, creators, and performances nominated for Emmys this year, but that doesn’t mean a lot worthwhile possibilities didn’t get overlooked. Below, you’ll find our picks for some of the most unfortunate exclusions.
The Leftovers (generally) and Carrie Coon (specifically)
The Leftovers getting completely shut out of the major categories at the 2017 is a joke. It has to be. “Haha,” I imagine people saying, “this will be hilarious. Let’s even nominate House of Cards, just to twist the knife!” It’s the only explanation that makes sense to me. Because I don’t see how you could have watched that final season, in all its devastating/hopeful/sexboat glory and not think it deserves at least a token mention on the night of the ceremony. Something. Anything. I know a lot of people watched Westworld and that HBO heaved its weight behind that show instead (Westworld got 22 nominations this year, which is a little absurd for a show that was maybe a B or B+ in retrospect), but come on. Come on.
And it’s even crazier when you realize Carrie Coon wasn’t nominated. Man alive, did you see Carrie Coon’s performance this season? Did you see Nora Durst run the gamut of emotions? Did you see her Wu-Tang tattoo? How does that not get included on the list? There’s a part of me that almost wishes she hadn’t gotten nominated for Fargo, because then I could talk myself into an insane theory where her whole career has just been my own hallucination. But no, it’s real. The voters know Carrie Coon exists and they still chose to leave her out of the Outstanding Actress category. It’s almost enough to make you give it all up and move to Australia to raise pigeons. — Brian Grubb
Listen, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt certainly still has its moments, but the wrong Netflix series got a comedy slot this nomination go-around. (Master of None, you can stay) I know that the snobbery against animated series will probably never die, but Bojack Horseman somehow manages to be hilarious and emotionally devastating in equal measure.
As Bojack navigates his empty life in Hollywood, the show manages to build a landscape of scathing one-liners, amazing animal puns, and basically every comic actor worth a damn as the other players — all accompanying Bojack’s slow descent into self-realization and the depression. (Here, at least, the two go hand-in-hand.) Lots of shows will make you laugh. Bojack will make you laugh, knife you in the gut, and leave you weeping to sort through your confusing mix of emotions in the aftermath. Bojack Horseman is a difficult sell to Emmy voters, but the creativity, pathos, and genuine laughs it brings are remarkable. Does Modern Family really need (deserve) that spot on the ballot anymore? — Alyssa Fikse
Lena Dunham: Girls
I know, ok? I know. Dunham and Girls has been divisive pretty much since episode one, but when it was good, Girls was so good. Although it’s awards notice waned as the seasons progressed, Dunham’s nuanced performance as the selfish yet self-aware Hannah Horvath certainly deserved more
In the show’s final season, Dunham’s performance was excellent, but “What Will We Do This Time About Adam?” was perhaps her strongest performance to date. As Hannah looks ahead to life as a single mother, Adam makes one last ill-thought out attempt to make their fraught relationship work. After a day of pie in the sky life planning, the quiet dread that spent the entire episode creeping in at the edges of the frame came to a head during their last supper. As they sit across from each other in the diner booth, Dunham starts to cry and it is immediately apparent that they will never be the perfect little family that they had talked about all day. This was something that she had to do alone, and her split second realization is truly masterful.
Dunham and Adam Driver played off of each other extraordinarily well for the entire series, but their send-off episode was devastating and beautiful. It would have been nice for Dunham, who, for all her controversy, poured herself fully into Girls, to get a little credit in the end. — Alyssa Fikse