We Should Give ‘The Young Pope’ An Emmy

Editor-at-Large
09.13.17 12 Comments

HBO

It is insane that The Young Pope is not nominated in a major Emmy category. Insane. It makes me angry, and it makes me angry that it makes me angry, because the award shows are silly and political and not worth getting angry about, and yet, here I am, seething like an idiot. Just livid. How did we not nominate The Young Pope for any major Emmy awards? Not even one. Jesus Christ.

The case for it is so simple. The Young Pope was big and bold and very, very ambitious, in a way that most shows aren’t. It was beautiful to look at, almost always, thanks to the attention to color and framing by creator Paolo Sorrentino that could take your breath away at times. (The series did pick up a much-deserved nomination for Outstanding Cinematography in a Limited Series, which it lost to The Night Of in the earlier ceremony last week.) It was nothing if not a singular television experience, at a time when we’re allegedly celebrating that. And once you sifted through some of the self-aware silliness of it all, there was a pretty touching story in there about loneliness and ambition and family. It had all of the things that arthouse film critics fall off their bicycles with excitement about. Hell, turn the whole thing maybe 30 degrees to the left and look at it again and you can basically call it Oscar-Bait: The TV Show.

I want to stress here that I am very serious about this. I understand if and why you might think I am not, because I spent the better part of a year having fun with the show. I had my reasons for this, like, for example, the fact that was literally called The Young Pope and there was a kangaroo bouncing around the Vatican gardens and at one point Jude Law got dressed up in his Pope clothes during a montage set to LMFAO. It was a whole thing. And you could, if you were so inclined, make an argument that my coverage of the show — and the coverage by people like me — is part of the reason it didn’t get nominated, because focusing on the weirder and goofier aspects of it might have led some voters to believe it was not a serious program.

On the other hand, don’t you dare come at me with this in a year when House of Cards was nominated for Outstanding Drama. You can’t reward one show for this…

Netflix

… while penalizing another for this.

HBO

At least The Young Pope was honest about being a little silly sometimes. I mean, we all saw Voiello’s mole.

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