Of all the major award shows, the Emmy snubs tend to leave the biggest mark. The reason for that is twofold. First, television breeds rabidly devoted fan bases, as evidenced by the online riots that broke out when Brooklyn Nine-Nine was briefly canceled earlier this year. TV shows require you to invest your time and your emotions, so when someone thinks your favorite show is trash, it can feel like a personal affront. (If you look hard enough, you can probably find support groups dedicated to fans of Jane the Virgin and The Americans who are still emotionally traumatized from years of being overlooked by the Emmy’s voting body.)
That’s why we’re relieved to report that after parsing through the nominations for the 70th Emmy Awards, we’ve come to the conclusion that they’re actually pretty good! For an Academy that’s prone to favoring incumbency, there are actually quite a few newcomers this year, especially when it comes to the comedy categories. With Veep on hiatus and Modern Family fatigue finally setting in, unconventional upstarts like Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and HBO’s Barry managed to sneak in. And while NBC’s wildly ambitious The Good Place was left out for Best Comedy Series—though stars Ted Danson and Maya Rudolph both earned nods—the category is in good hands with both GLOW and Atlanta getting recognized for their mighty sophomore seasons. Also, shouts to Issa Rae, who—after three years of writing and starring in HBO’s Insecure—finally got the acting nomination she deserves.
We should also note that while many were hoping that AMC’s hugely addictive, word-of-mouth hit Killing Eve would sneak in, its star, Sandra Oh, became the first Asian nominee for Best Actress in a Drama, while the show’s creator, the indomitable Phoebe Waller-Bridge, earned a writing nod for the whip-smart premiere.
Though comedy’s changing of the guard feels genuinely exciting, the same can’t be said for the drama categories.
Netflix’s coup comes on the heels of the news that AT&T, HBO’s new owners, want the network to abandon its carefully curated programming strategy in favor of casting a net as wide as Netflix, whose output gets more and more prolific with each passing year. And now we know why. After just five years of playing catch-up, Netflix has finally, well, caught up and has no intention of relinquishing its crown anytime soon. The silver lining for HBO is that, despite falling short of Netflix’s 112 nominations, it earned almost as many despite staggeringly less volume. And when the awards are announced in September, Game of Thrones and Westworld have a much better shot at taking home some hardware than any of Netflix’s current offerings. But with Game of Thrones coming to an end without a clear successor in sight, and Netflix set to spend over $20 billion on content by 2022, this week’s shift in power is just the beginning.