If the ballot of this year’s Emmy Awards seems different, there’s good reason. With a few shows like Game of Thrones ineligible for nominations this year, and others failing to gain recognition from voters, a large and exciting crop of first-time nominees are taking a bit of the spotlight. From genre shows to actors raking in nods in multiple categories and a surprising number of nominees from NBC’s This Is Us, here’s your guide to the Emmys’ freshman class of 2017.
Outstanding Drama Series
The Handmaid’s Tale
Timing is everything and few shows prove that better than Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The streaming adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian drama felt eerily relevant when it dropped earlier this year. Watching women being stripped of their rights and forced to serve a patriarchal society struck a nerve with a lot of viewers, but the show isn’t on this list simply because of the zeitgeist. Some stellar performances by its cast and a rich story have earned the drama nomination this year.
Stranger Things was poised to be the internet’s favorite show when it debuted last year. It had all of the right ingredients: cool kids, ’80s nostalgia, fantasy board games, a bit of sci-fi, and a girl who could make bullies literally wet themselves with her mind. That the Emmy’s have recognized the genre series is a bit more surprising but we’re not complaining.
The Crown is everything a classic Emmy nominated show should be: a luxuriously shot, dialogue-heavy period piece about British royalty. It was an expensive undertaking for Netflix but by the awards chatter it’s getting, that gamble seems to have paid off. That’s not surprising since watching Claire Foy navigate the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is juicy stuff. Tasteful, but juicy.