There were a lot of wonderful, surprising, and justly deserved moments during the 2014 Emmy Award nominations on July 10. Lena Headey finally getting recognized for her excellent work on “Game of Thrones”? Priceless. Nods for Andre Braugher, “Silicon Valley,” and half the cast of “Veep”? Huzzah! And don’t even get us started on newcomer Allison Tolman’s recognition for “Fargo” — that woman deserves every bit of high praise she gets.
However, as per the usual, it quickly became apparent that Emmy voters don’t seem to watch nearly as much television as we do — or, at the very least, they’re a couple of seasons behind. There were multiple glaring omissions and head-scratching nominations, but these three are the absolute most sinful of the sinful snubs, and the reason why your entire Twitter feed is buying pitchforks right now:
It used to be that winning the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress was enough to secure an Emmy nom. Call us biased, but the hundreds of critics who judge this sort of thing for a living often know a thing or two about what they’re talking about. But Tatiana Maslany, who played seven distinct characters on “Orphan Black” this season — five of them being fully actualized, nuanced human beings — was snubbed in the Best Actress category. Again.
We’re not saying that playing multiple clones — which, yes, can sometimes (Tony) seem like a pure showcase for Maslany’s talent — is deserving of a nomination alone. Or that “Orphan Black” season two was the best season of drama on television this season, because it wasn’t. But Maslany’s work playing Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Rachel, and Helena, and sometimes playing one of them pretending to be another, deserves not only a nomination, but a trophy.
Extending upon her fantastic work in season one, season two found Maslany revealing yet even more fascinating sides to these characters — and somehow transforming a sci-fi show into a character piece on several extraordinary, unique women, and the growing sisterly bonds between them. For proof, if you’re stretched for time and can’t binge all of “Orphan Black” this instant, check out the remarkable “clone party” dance scene that featured four versions of Maslany shaking her groove thing. You won’t regret it.
“The Good Wife”
The fact that Emmy voters thought that “House of Cards” and “Downton Abbey” had better seasons than “The Good Wife” this year is absurd. That show — which just wrapped up its fifth season — not only manages to stay fresh and refuse to succumb to non-cable television norms year after year, but it somehow made a bunch of lawyers surreptitiously starting their own firm the most exhilarating plot line on television this fall.
All of season five, which again managed to being out nuanced details in characters we’ve known for half a decade (Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and the goddess-like Christine Baranski did manage to secure nominations, thank God), was an intelligent, brilliantly crafted thrill ride. Two of the most tweeted about episodes of television this year were “Hitting The Fan” and “Dramatics, Your Honor,” which ain’t too shabby for a show from that network your grandma watches.
When it comes to networks your grandma does not watch, FX’s “The Americans” was triple-snubbed, despite delivering one of the greatest sophomore seasons we’ve ever seen. Best Drama should have been a given, but it’s somehow even more upsetting that Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys — television’s first anti-hero couple — didn’t get nominated.
These guys never makes things easy for viewers, in the best possible way — in the span of one episode, you’ll somehow find yourself rooting for murderous Russian KGB spies and the American FBI agents who chase them, often at the same time. Your heart breaks for Rhys and Russell as they try desperately to figure out how to be parents to clueless American children, while also committing treacherous acts that threaten the health and safety of said children.
It’s rare for such a violent, high-stakes series to have such understandable real-life costs, but “The Americans” pulls it off — and at least temporarily stops multiple hearts — week after week. For this not to be recognized is, well, a sin.