The Five Emmy Nominations We Want To See (And Five We Don’t)

The 67th Primetime Emmy Award nominees will be announced tomorrow, Thursday, at 11:30 a.m. by Orange Is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba and Cat Deely (it was supposed to be John Stamos, until it wasn’t). Rather than going through every Comedy and Drama category with the people and shows we’d like to see nominated (there would be a lot of Review and Game of Thrones), I’ve instead broken the Emmys down into five things I want to happen, and five I don’t.

I’m sure they’ll all come true.


Do snap Jim Parsons’ impressive Emmys run

The Big Bazinga Theory star has won Outstanding Lead Actor In a Comedy Series four of the last five years. The only reason it’s not five in a row is because the Emmys wanted to do something different, and honor an actor (Jon Cryer) from an even worse show (Two and a Half Men). It’s inevitable that he’ll be nominated again, as will Matt LeBlanc, probably, and Louis C.K., definitely, but it doesn’t really matter, because this category belongs to only one actor: Jeffrey Tambor, for his transcendent work on Transparent. Remove his honest performance as Maura, and the Amazon series would be just another show about upper-middle-class white people yelling.

Do pay attention to Amazon, Netflix, and the CW

Transparent will likely be showered with nominations (deservedly so), but don’t forget about Netflix, and I don’t mean Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards. They’ll be fine. No, I’m talking about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which hit a stride that most sitcoms don’t until season two in, like, episode three. I’m not sure if “Peeno Noir” is eligible for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (the beat came from an old 30 Rock episode), but it deserves to, and at the very least, Ellie Kemper and Tituss Burgess should sneak into the acting categories. As should Gina Rodriguez, the heart and soul of Jane the Virgin, the CW’s instant prestige series that blended humor, drama, and romance like no other show. If you haven’t already watched, do so.

Do give Parks and Recreation and Justified SOMETHING

Parks and Recreation has never won an Emmy. Zero, zilch, zip. That would be incredible if it weren’t so infuriating. One of the best sitcoms of the past decade, without any Emmys, and it’s not like Parks is challenging to watch; it’s as digestible as Modern Family, except it’s much smarter, much warmer and much funnier. I don’t think it’ll win Outstanding Comedy Series (see below), but, c’mon, show some love for Nick Offerman, Amy Poehler, and/or Chris Pratt, who, if you’ll remember, is the biggest star in the world right now. Everything I just said about Parks? Ditto for Justified, except with Walton Goggins, Walton Goggins and Walton Goggins.

Do remember that Empire is basically saving network TV

Every episode of Empire had better ratings than the one before it. That’s incredible, and something that’s unlikely to happen again. By the end of its culture-grabbing first season, Danny Strong’s hip-hop drama was bringing in 17 million viewers, something only a few shows can still achieve. Empire was more than just camp; it tapped into an underrepresented demographic on TV, and ran with it. Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie is an obvious nominee, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Empire sprinkled throughout other Drama categories, as well.

Do shower The Americans with trophies

The Americans just might be the best show on TV, but not only is it not going to win anything, it probably won’t even be nominated. The ratings are dismal, and most Emmy voters enjoy “escape” shows, i.e. non-challenging, not ones where an undercover KGB agent has all of her bones broken and is shoved into a suitcase, naked. That is a damn shame.



We’ve discussed it at length: the reasons why Modern Family has won Outstanding Comedy Series five years in a row. There’s a decent chance that streak will come to an end, though. Just assume that Louie, The Big Bang Theory, and Veep will get nominated, because they always do, which leaves two slots open for Silicon Valley (it got one last year and won Best Comedy Series at the TCAs) and Transparent, the likely winner. It’d be nice to see Broad City, or Parks and Recreation, or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt sneak in there, but as long as Modern Family doesn’t win (which, to be fair, was pretty decent this season), that’s good enough for me.

Don’t forget forget about two of the year’s best episodes

What I’m saying is, if “Leslie and Ron” and “Hardhome” (which is JUST eligible — the cutoff for this year is May 31; “Hardhome” aired May 31) don’t receive Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and Drama Series nominations, we all go White Walker on the Emmys’ ass.

Don’t ignore the new

Last year, there wasn’t a single new winner in the major categories. Modern Family, Breaking Bad, Jim Parsons, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bryan Cranston, Julianna Margulies — they had all triumphed before. Some were more deserving than others, but now without Breaking Bad around, it’s time for the Emmys to begin again and find the next Breaking Bad. It could be The Americans, or Transparent, or Silicon Valley, or Better Call Saul, or Constance Wu in Fresh Off the Boat or You’re the Worst or Review (now I’m just naming things I like), as long as it’s new and different.

Don’t shower Mad Men with trophies

Remember what I said about The Americans? That, except the opposite. Mad Men is a wonderful show, arguably one of the 10 greatest ever, but this final year was not its best. This feels like a “Martin Scorsese winning for The Departed” situation, where the Emmys will give Jon Hamm a trophy, not because it was his finest work, but because they haven’t yet (lol, remember when Jeff Daniels won for The Newsroom?). There is one category Mad Men deserves to own, however.

Don’t go another year without Outstanding GIF

That should win this fictional category every year.