The Emmys: 20 thoughts on who was nominated, who should win and who was snubbed

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Rami Malek in 'Mr. Robot' (Peter Kramer/USA Network)
  1. The nominations for the 68th Emmy Awards are out and, to the surprise of exactly nobody, “Game of Thrones” picked up 23 nods.
  2. The completely amazing “The People v. O.J. Simpson” picked up 22 noms,  “Fargo” has 18 and “Veep” has 17 nominations.
  3. It’s outstanding to see “The Americans” and “Mr. Robot,” the two smartest live action series on TV, given best drama nods. Even with the 23 nominations, I am not completely convinced “Game of Thrones” should be there for season five, which I found a little rambling (thought I thought this season was just stunningly entertaining). “Better Call Saul,” another best drama hopeful, is often brilliant. I would love to see either “The Americans” “or “Mr. Robot” win.
  4. Unlike the drama nods, nearly half of the best comedy nods – “Master of None” (Hulu), “Transparent” (Amazon) and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt” (Netflix) – are streaming shows.
  5. Also in best comedy, the often excellent and usually family-friendly”Black-ish” (which my kids love) and “Modern Family” (which should be put out of its misery rather than be nominated again) are on ABC; “Silicon Valley” and “Veep,” both terrific, are on HBO.
    Rami Malek in 'Mr. Robot' (Peter Kramer/USA Network)

    Rami Malek in ‘Mr. Robot’ (Peter Kramer/USA Network)

     

  6. So much for comedy programming on CBS, Fox or NBC. Ouch.
  7. For my money, the lead actor in a drama Emmy should go to Rami Malek (“Mr Robot”) in a walk. His performance is like nothing else on television — complex, weird and 21st century.
  8. Matthew Rhys and his perma-frown are essential parts of what make “The Americans” great. Nominees Kyle Chandler, Bob Odenkirk, Liev Schreiber and Kevin Spacey are all excellent, but Malek and Rhys feel like something new.
  9. As far as actor in a comedy goes, Jeffrey Tambor is obviously brilliant in “Transparent, but he’s already feted (and the drama often works better than the comedy on that show).  As much as I like Anthony Anderson and Aziz Ansari, I am pulling for Thomas Middleditch’s note-perfect programmer on “Silicon Valley.” (I am mystified as to why T.J. Miller didn’t get a best supporting actor in a comedy nod for “Silicon Valley.” His bluster is brilliant.)
  10. The lead actress in a drama category is a game of inches: Keri Russell’s mission-first vibe on “The Americans” becomes more complicated by the second. (Also, will she ever stop doing laundry?) But Tatiana Maslany on “Orphan Black” is a tour de force, every episode, where, as various clones of her character, she is often playing three or four or five parts an episode. It’s nuts.
    In this image released by FX, Matthew Rhys, left, and Keri Russell appear in a scene from "The Americans." On Thursday, July 14, 2016, Rhys was nominated for outstanding actor in a drama series for his role in the series. The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. (Craig Blankenhorn/FX via AP)

    Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell both got acting nods for “The Americans.” (Craig Blankenhorn/FX via AP)

     

  11. Lead actress in a comedy should probably go to Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep,” but here’s the thing:
  12. Laurie Metcalfe should be a mortal lock not for HBO’s “Getting On,” the comedy for which she was nominated here, but for for her astounding turn in Louis CK’s genuinely groundbreaking “Horace and Pete,” which is very much not a comedy.
  13. The Playhouse-90-on-the-web format of “Horace and Pete” felt exciting and daring, one of the few times this past year that something appeared in front of your eyeballs that made anything seem possible.
  14. Metcalfe, who was terrific for years on “Roseanne,” also picked up a nomination for a guest spot on “The Big Bang Theory.” Three noms in three different acting categories is an Emmy first. She certainly deserves it.
  15. Interesting to see the total absence of David Simon’s HBO mini “Show Me A Hero” from the limited series category, whose nominees included the Austin-filmed “American Crime”; “Fargo,” from Austin’s Noah Hawley; “The Night Manager”; “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”; and the History Channel’s remake of “Roots.”
  16. As much as I loved “Fargo,” whose second season was cracklingly alive, my vote has to go to “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” which managed to be dramatic, funny, timely, campy, dark and incredibly weird, often all at the same time.
  17. Speaking of, Courtney B. Vance should win lead actor in a movie or limited series for embodying but not copying Johnnie Cochran in “The People.” He is up against Cuba Gooding Jr. in this category as well.

    In this image released by FX, Sarah Paulson portrays Marcia Clark, left, and Sterling K. Brown portrays Christopher Darden in a scene from "The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." On Thursday, July 14, 2016, Brown was nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie for his role. The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. (Ray Mickshaw/FX via AP)

    Sarah Paulson portrays Marcia Clark, left, and Sterling K. Brown portrays Christopher Darden in a scene from “The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”(Ray Mickshaw/FX via AP)

  18. I feel exactly the same way about Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark in “The People.” In fact, it would be kind of great to see “The People” sweep the acting for limited series or movie.
  19. Most unjust snub? “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” one of the year’s breakout shows, wasn’t nominated for variety/talk, while “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and
  20. One sentimental favorite: I would love love love to see Jonathan Banks finally grab a supporting actor win for his incredible performance as Mike Ehrmantraut on “Better Call Saul,” a prize he should have won for the same character on “Breaking Bad.” 

The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and broadcast live Sept. 18 on ABC. Check out a list of all the nominees from the most prominent categories.



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