Living in the Peak TV era means that there's something for everybody — and occasionally nobody — on television. It's exciting and exhausting all at the same time. However, it also means that when it comes to Emmy nominations, there's always going to be deserving shows and spectacular talent left off the final ballot.
This year, with Game of Thrones out of the running, the Television Academy honored debut dramas like Westworld (leading the pack with 22 noms overall), The Handmaid's Tale, Stranger Things, The Crown, and This Is Us with multiple nominations, while also awarding old favorites like Veep and Modern Family with the same old noms.
Let's take a closer look at the obvious snubs (The Leftovers) and delightful surprises (#TeamJess) from the 2017 Emmy Award nominations:
But did she ever really deserve justice? Listen, I know that Barb from Stranger Things is a beloved fictional character, but I have no idea why. I've read the think pieces, seen the memes, and watched all 15 minutes of her screen time — and I just don't get what all the hype was about. I know that she's the outsider we're supposed to see our awkward teenage selves in, but are you really trying to tell me that Winona Ryder didn't get nominated and Barb did? Winona talked to Christmas lights! Winona should have been nominated for her SAG Awards performance alone!
Anyway, I'm happy for Shannon Purser, because she does seem like a rad person. Personally, I can't wait for her soon-to-be Emmy-nominated performance in Jason Katims's new musical drama about high school theater kids. Party on, Barb. — Crystal Bell
SNUB: Jude Law and The Young Pope
Yes, he's the pope, only younger. Jude Law's bonkers performance as Pope Pius XIII in The Young Pope was one for the ages, making political manipulation while befriending a kangaroo and smoking in a lounge chair feel like a blessing. Law had arguably never played a part this juicy, and he probably should be nominated for the GIFs alone. — Renan Borelli
SURPRISE: Milo Ventimiglia and Alexis Bledel Score Noms For Shows That Are Not Gilmore Girls
The Television Academy is clearly #TeamJess. Remember when the internet was convinced that Alexis Bledel didn't know how to hold objects properly? Or hug properly? Or even act properly? Well, her brutally affecting performance in Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale changed all that. Don't worry: Alexis Bledel can hold an Emmy just fine. As for her former TV boyfriend/maybe-soulmate, Milo Ventimiglia's nomination for his role as the ill-fated Pearson family patriarch was unexpected but not unwelcome. Anything that brings a potential Gilmore Girls reunion to my screen is more than OK with me. — CB
SNUB: The supporting cast of Atlanta
Atlanta actually racked up quite a few Emmy nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series, with nods for Donald Glover, writing, and directing. But anyone who's a fan of Atlanta knows that the magic truly comes from supporting actors Brian Tyree Henry (Paper Boi), Zazie Beets (Van), and Keith Stanfield (Darius).
Henry, in particular, deserves acclaim, as there were few moments on television this year better than Paper Boi's bemused responses to being recognized, his basketball rivalry with Black Justin Bieber, and his unforgettable character showcase on the fictional talk show Montague. (Henry did, however, score a nom for his memorable guest appearance on This Is Us, so there is some justice in this world.) — RB
SNUB: Gina Rodriguez, Rachel Bloom, And The CW
Wake up, sheeple!!! The CW employs two of the most talented women in the biz and yet the oft-disrespected fifth network didn't get any love in the major categories. Despite their Golden Globe wins, Gina Rodriguez, the beating heart of Jane The Virgin, and Rachel Bloom, one of the most neurotically creative people in Hollywood, were snubbed by the Academy. While Bloom did score a nomination for Outstanding Original Music and Lyric for her incredible work on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I was hoping this would be the year the Academy finally acknowledged The CW as more than its teenage demographic. Rodriguez puts in work for 20 episodes a season. That alone should guarantee a nomination these days. — CB
SNUB: Carrie Coon and The Leftovers
The Leftovers was one of this year's best dramas, deserving much better than its lone nomination for Ann Dowd. But it’s the lack of appreciation for Carrie Coon's spectacular work as Nora Durst that stings the most.
In a season where Coon had to do everything from listen to Wu-Tang Clan while taking a therapeutic bounce on a trampoline, to her final, devastating monologue describing her journey into the alternate universe of the departed, there simply was not a better performance in a drama this year. — RB
SURPRISE: Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party Is So Delicious It's Now Emmy Nominated
Best friends Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg both scored a nom in the outstanding host category, which means we've already found our best-dressed couple. Move over, Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. Future Emmy winners Martha and Snoop are coming through, and the after-party is at Martha's house. — CB
In a year with fantastic seasons from Veep, Atlanta, and Master of None, the competition within the comedy categories is stiff. However, it would be nice if the Academy started to embrace the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's love for the unconventional.
Fleabag creator, writer, and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge may have given the year's very best performance, period. And say what you want about Girls and Vice Principals, but both HBO shows had worthy candidates for inclusion, from standout Girls episodes like "Hostage Situation" and "American Bitch" to stellar performances from Andrew Rannells and Kimberly Hebert Gregory.
Meanwhile, The Good Place and Search Party, new comedies that actually air on network television, produced inventive, groundbreaking seasons that deserve credit for their originality. The Good Place's big, season-ending twist was more shocking than any from this year's drama series (sorry, Westworld), and the nuanced, three-dimensional performances from the sad, struggling hipsters in Search Party were wonderfully refreshing.
And they passed over Ted Danson. #JusticeForTed — RB
SNUB: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers
This is a snub that cuts both ways. The Tonight Show definitely had a down year, thanks, in part, to the hair ruffle seen 'round the world. It doesn't help when comparing The Tonight Show to the revitalized late-night offerings from Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers or the vicious political commentary from Samantha Bee and John Oliver.
But while Colbert, Bee, and Oliver received nominations for Best Variety Series, Late Night With Seth Meyers was a frustrating omission. Meyers has found his groove with political commentary, surprisingly feeling more like the Jon Stewart era of The Daily Show than former staffers Oliver and Bee. His interviews are sharp and well-researched, and segments like "A Closer Look," "Jokes I Can't Say," and "Seth Explains Teen Slang" feel fresh. — RB
SNUB: Rami Malek
Last year, the star of USA’s Mr. Robot won the Emmy for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (and he looked damn good while accepting it, too). This year, he's not even nominated. With seven nominations for drama actor, that means there was a tie, which I guess worked out for Liev Schreiber but sadly left Malek out in the cold. The real losers here are everyone's best dressed lists. It's not a red carpet without Malek's seductive style. — CB
SURPRISE: Black Mirror, Specifically "San Junipero"
SAN JUNIPERO!!!!!!!!!! — RB