2019 Emmy Snubs and Surprises

The nominations for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards were announced this morning, and you know what that means: it’s time to pick apart the selections and make our case for why some of our favorites didn’t make the cut. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ voting body has about 24,000 members, and their collective decisions gave us plenty of nominations to praise and scratch our heads about.

Let’s run through a list of some of the 2019 Emmys snubs and surprises below.

homecoming trailer

Snub: Homecoming

Homecoming, Amazon’s twisty, hypnotic paranoid thriller from creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg and producer/director Sam Esmail, is one of the best pieces of streaming entertainment in the last five years. Drawing on classic paranoia-laced flicks like Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View, Homecoming crafts a twisty, exciting story of two distinct narratives: one in the past, one in the future, both revolving around the mysterious Homecoming Transitional Support Center. The story unfolds at its own unique pace, sucking the viewer in as they try to piece together what’s going on here. Esmail’s direction plays with aspect ratios and POV shots to create a truly stunning visual aesthetic, so for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the series was overlooked. (Chris Evangelista)

Rhea Seehorn Better Call Saul

Snub: Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul

I have this theory that the Emmys have a conspiracy against Rhea Seehorn. The actress has consistently turned in stunning, scene-stealing work through the entirety of Better Call Saul, but voters continually ignore her. Even when she scores a nom, she doesn’t win. And I can’t figure out why – her performance as conflicted, hard-working lawyer Kim Wexler has resulted in one of TV’s most fascinating characters. (Chris Evangelista)

D'Arcy Carden Janet The Good Place

Snub: D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place

The Good Place may have gotten some love from the Emmys this year with a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series and Ted Danson in the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series line-up, not to mention a nomination for Maya Rudolph’s fantastic guest role. But the show should have landed another nomination for one of its supporting stars. D’Arcy Carden plays the all-knowing system called Janet on The Good Place, and in the most recent season of the NBC series, she even got an entire episode named after her character where she had to play a Janet version of the rest of the cast when the whole gang was forced to hide in Janet’s mind void. That episode alone was enough of a reason to give her an Emmy nomination, but she’s fantastic on the show all the time, so this was quite the unfortunate snub. (Ethan Anderton)

Homecoming Trailer

Snub: Julia Roberts, Homecoming

Did the Television Academy bother to watch Homecoming? Is that the problem here? Not only did they ignore the show, they ignored the exemplary work of lead Julia Roberts. Roberts is essentially playing two characters in the series – a social worker in the past, and a waitress in the future. They’re technically both the same person, but the future waitress can’t recall a single thing about her previous job, creating a split in Roberts’s performance more than worthy of a nomination. (Chris Evangelista)

glow alison brie

Snub: GLOW

Netflix’s GLOW really came into its own with its second season. The first season was good, but season 2 found the show hitting its stride, giving its ensemble cast more to do, and deftly balancing humor and melancholy in equal measure. But hey, I guess Emmy voters don’t care about any of that? (Chris Evangelista)

true detective season 3 main character

Snub: True Detective Season 3

True Detective was a return to form in season 3 after a devastatingly awful second season, so even though Mahershala Ali was nominated for his terrific, decades-spanning lead performance, I thought the show as a whole was good enough to earn a nod in the limited series category. Voters didn’t agree, but I’m still thinking about the way the show’s haunting imagery, the way it forged its fiery relationships, and how it regained its old confidence again in order to tell a much more straightforward story this time around. It’s a shame it wasn’t recognized. (Ben Pearson)

Andrew Scott Fleabag

Snub: Andrew Scott (aka Fleabag’s Hot Priest)

One of the main reasons that Fleabag season 2 became a minor pop culture phenomenon — apart from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s always sharp, always brilliant writing — was the Hot Priest. Andrew Scott’s electric and endearing performance as the man of the cloth who becomes the object of Fleabag’s (Waller-Bridge) affections in season 2 made the actor an internet sensation and the subject of many a horny tweet. But it wasn’t just his attractiveness that made Hot Priest so sensational, it was Scott’s vulnerability and soulful complexity that he brings to the role — not to mention the sizzling chemistry between Scott and Waller-Bridge that practically vibrated off the screen. While every actor in Fleabag is delivering their A-game, Scott’s Hot Priest was the one that caused the audience to experience genuine heartbreak alongside Fleabag in the show’s bittersweet finale. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Succession cast

Snub: Entire Cast of Succession

Succession is a series with a massive cast of characters, each of them clearly defined via killer performances. This is a bench as deep and as powerful as Game of Thrones, but with corporate espionage instead of dragons. Hopefully, future seasons, arriving in a less busy year, will recognize each of these hilarious, acidic, scathing performances. (Jacob Hall)

maniac early buzz

Snub: Maniac

Cary Joji Fukunaga’s outstanding Netflix series Maniac could have been nominated in about a dozen different categories, but instead, it was totally overlooked. You’re telling me that Emma Stone and Jonah Hill’s dynamic, complex performances – in which they played a wide variety of characters, sometimes in totally different genres of stories – didn’t deserve nominations? Pssh! What about the work of the writers, or the incredible directing, or the stunning cinematography, or the jaw-dropping production design necessary to pull viewers into multiple worlds within the same show? Nothing? Wow. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. (Ben Pearson)

GOT s8 - Lena Headey

Surprise: Lena Headey

Lena Headey was tremendous on Game of Thrones, delivering powerhouse performances year after year and bringing some humanity to one of the most memorable, scheming villains in television history. But as much as I love what she did as Cersei Lannister, I am slightly surprised that she was given a nomination for the final season of Game of Thrones, simply because she didn’t actually do much. The standard joke is that she just stood in a window and drank wine all season; Headey definitely did more than that (RIP, Missandei), but in a shortened season that didn’t have much time for Cersei, this feels like a nomination that’s rewarding her work as a whole instead of specifically in this season. (Ben Pearson)

Alfie Allen GOT s8

Surprise: Alfie Allen

Same thing goes for Alfie Allen and his work for Theon Greyjoy. This character went through extreme torture in the earlier seasons and Allen found a way to take Theon on a hell of a journey from sniveling rich kid to noble protector, but he was barely in the final season. This is another one of those “we see you, here’s a nod acknowledging the work you did over the course of the entire show” types of nominations. (Ben Pearson)

Big Bang Theory Ending

Surprise: The Big Bang Theory Blanked in Its Final Season

The Big Bang Theory has had a consistent presence at the Emmys in a big way on the comedy side of things. But for the show’s final season, they didn’t end up with a nomination in the Outstanding Comedy Series category or any of the acting nominations. We wouldn’t call that a snub since the CBS sitcom ran its course a long time ago, but considering this was the show’s farewell, many thought the series might get one last round of praise, and the fact that it didn’t is quite surprising. (Ethan Anderton)

Schitt's Creek

Surprise: Schitt’s Creek Recognized for the First Time

Schitt’s Creek has been airing for five seasons on the cable network Pop in the United States, but it’s an even bigger hit in Canada. During that entire time, the show was ignored by The Academy, but this year, it made enough of a wave to land three major nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as lead actor and lead actress nominations for stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara. The series follows rich video-store magnate Johnny Rose and his family when they suddenly find themselves broke and forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup in Schitt’s Creek. It’s about time this series got the recognition it deserved, but it was certainly a welcome surprise to see it show up in such a big way in the three big comedy categories. If you haven’t watched the series yet, it’s available on Amazon Prime. (Ethan Anderton)

Sarah Goldberg Barry

Surprise: Barry’s Supporting Cast

Barry is quintessentially Bill Hader’s show, and season 1 was a testament to the actor’s dark, unnerving, and unfailingly hilarious performance. But season 2 expanded from beyond being a vehicle for Hader’s performance and allowed the colorful and incredibly talented supporting cast to shine. The Emmys awarded that expansion this year with supporting actor nominations for Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan, Stephen Root, and Henry Winkler — the sheer amount of which comes as more of a pleasant surprise than the individual nominations themselves. Carrigan is far and away the breakout performer of Barry, but Goldberg, Root, and Winkler all shined with the meatier work they got in season 2. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Big Mouth Season 3

Surprise: Big Mouth

Big Mouth is one of Netflix’s best animated shows for adults. The series from Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg perfectly covers the struggles of puberty and adolescence with all the gross, raunchy truth that comes with all those horny feelings. Thankfully, this year, The Academy recognized the greatness of Big Mouth and nominated it for Outstanding Animated Program. It might simply because Rick and Morty didn’t have any new episodes to be nominated for, but this series absolutely earned this spot, and it’s a welcome surprise to say the least. (Ethan Anderton)

Dead to Me Trailer

Surprise: Christina Applegate, Dead To Me

Here’s a pleasant surprise, although I support this choice. The voters mostly overlooked the incredible Netflix series Dead to Me, but they were smart enough to give Christina Applegate a nomination for her exemplary work. Applegate is an actress who has been stuck in roles that have undervalued her talent off and on over the years, and Dead to Me has given her a chance to shine, where she’s delivering a performance that’s both hysterically funny and heartbreakingly sad. It’s a high-wire act: Applegate’s character has to go from grieving to joke-cracking at the drop of a hat, but she pulls it off. I’m glad the voters noticed. (Chris Evangelista)

That’s all for our 2019 Emmy snubs and surprises. Are there any we missed? Were you disappointed that certain shows, actors or actresses didn’t get recognized for their work? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

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