5 Takeaways From The 2021 Emmy Nominations
The Emmy nominations for this year’s Emmy Awards cover a time in history when the coronavirus epidemic shook the television industry. It makes sense that Tuesday’s Emmy nominations might contain some unconventional choices.
Here are the 2021 Emmy Award Nominations
Nominated for best comedy series, Netflix’s continuation of The Karate Kid, Cobra Kai. Lovecraft Country, which was cancelled by HBO after it decided not make a second season. It received 18 nominations including best drama series. The Netflix comedy Emily in Paris, a middling comedy, was widely mocked for earning a Golden Globe nomination. It was also nominated Emmy for best comedy series.
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The nominations for this year were mostly without any head-scratching choices. They did an admirable job reflecting both newcomers as well as old masters in a time when industry lockdowns were threatening to kill the industry. It is a positive sign that it will not take a pandemic of violence to eradicate innovation and quality work from today’s TV industry.
These are five other things I learned from the nominations of the 73rd Emmy Awards.
Streaming services are now more popular than ever
HBO is the most nominated media platform with 130 nominations. It only managed to get there by adding the nominations for its streaming corporate sibling HBO Max to its total. However, Netflix, the streaming giant, had the second most nominations with 129. Disney+ came in third with 71.
An examination of the most-nominated shows revealed that Netflix‘s The Crown (and Disney+’s The Mandalorian) tied for 24 nominations. Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale (21) and Disney+’s WandaVision (23) followed closely. Interestingly, only three of the top 10 most-nominated shows – NBC’s Saturday Night Live and Lovecraft Country on HBO – were created by streaming services.
There is a lot of diversity, but the focus is still on Black people.
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Mj Rodriguez, Pose’s star, was nominated for best actress in drama. This nomination reflected her outstanding performance on the show that received the first transgender lead acting nomination. For a TV critic like myself, who has been a champion for ethnic diversity in TV since the 1970s, to see nominations for Black-centered shows like Lovecraft Country, Amazon Prime Video’s The Underground Railroad, and ABC’s Blackish next to key nods from accomplished Black performers like Bridgerton’s Rege Jean Page and Uzo Adubao from In Treatment is a dream come true. The Emmys honored Michaela Coel’s groundbreaking series, I May Destroy You. This was a great honor, as the Golden Globes didn’t.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of ‘Hamilton’ says that ‘The Past isn’t done with us’
It is now that the Emmys and the entire TV industry have to reach out beyond Black performers and Black-centered shows. Yes, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo received key nominations. Many of these nominations wouldn’t have been possible if Disney+ hadn’t made Hamilton available to the public. This is my first step towards bringing more diversity to the big Hollywood awards nominations.
Geeks rejoice! Geeks rejoice!
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Game of Thrones received a lot of nominations back then. This year, however, several shows from the horror/superhero genre, which is often overlooked by major Hollywood Awards, received love in major categories. These included WandaVision, The Mandalorian and Lovecraft Country, as well as Amazon Prime Video’s dark comic satire The Boys. (This was the most surprising surprise for me). This year saw Marvel, a powerhouse studio, receive its first Emmy nominations. It is likely that this is only the beginning of geekdom.
Saturday Night Live is still a powerful powerhouse
Every few years, a critic writes an epitaph to this often-frustrating but still-brilliant sketch comedy classic. The Emmy nominations for SNL are a proof that those rumors about death are premature. It wasn’t just that SNL received 21 nominations, beating Ted Lasso by one. The network also had a strong presence in the supporting and guest-acting comedy categories. Kenan Thompson was nominated as best comedy lead actor for Kenan. He also starred on SNL, where he was also nominated as best supporting actor for a comedy.
Kenan Thompson still knows how to play it funny in his 15th season on ‘SNL.
Its dominance this year was in part due to lower competition in the comedy market. (The pandemic appears to have eliminated more dramas than comedy shows. SNL still managed to produce some great shows even though the entire cast and writers were working remotely. They followed those episodes by inviting back a live audience long before vaccines were available. It’s a great series that was almost ready to receive its own AARP card.
Although there were fewer notable snubs than others, intense competition led to some unavoidable snubs
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No matter which show was nominated for best limited series, there would be major shows that were not included. This is because competition has risen tremendously due to the big-name stars signing up for projects designed to last only one season. This includes Kate Winslet’s Mare of Easttown.
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“Small Axe”: A Portrait of Racism and a Community’s Will to Survive
However, it was disappointing that Steve McQueen’s tribute to Black immigrants in Britain, Small Axe was not included in the category. This was along with HBO Max’s It’s a Sin, Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird and HBO’s The Undoing. The Undoing actress Nicole Kidman’s inability to receive an acting nomination was also a notable act of sabotage. The Emmys turned their backs on Netflix’s third season of Master of None and missed the chance to recognize Naomi Ackie’s portrayal of a broken marriage. This made me wonder if the #MeToo controversy that Aziz Ansari was once a series star had any impact.
Dime Davis says that the ‘Black Lady Sketch Show” is TV we’ve never seen before
While I enjoyed Conan’s final season, and seeing A Black Lady Sketch Show win best variety talk show and best variety sketch series nominations, Emmy let down by not supporting NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers or The Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock. (Late Night received a directing nomination, while Amber Ruffin was nominated to write. These categories need to be expanded so that more outstanding work can be recognized.
The Emmy Award winners will be announced on Sept. 19, at a ceremony hosted by Cedric, the Entertainer.