'The Leftovers' Emmy Snub Is Easily The Biggest Disappointment Of The 2016 Award Show's Nominations
For every pleasant surprise (hooray for The Americans getting nominated!) there were several painful snubs in the 2016 Emmy nominations. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane The Virgin, Jessica Jones, Orange Is The New Black, and UnREAL were just a handful of the shows left without nods for the upcoming 68th annual Primetime Emmys. But if there's one single snub that hurts the most, it's undoubtedly the fact that, once again, HBO's The Leftovers was completely ignored.
Seriously, what will it take to get the Television Academy to watch this show? It was not exactly a surprise when The Leftovers was snubbed across the board last year for its critically-mixed first season. But audiences and critics everywhere unanimously agreed that the HBO drama unexpectedly became one of the best shows on television in its much-improved second season: The Leftovers and its actors earned six nominations from the Critics Choice Awards earlier this year, and the show itself was honored with a coveted Peabody Award just a couple of months ago.
It's not as though Emmy history dictates that once a show or actor is ignored, they'll be ignored in perpetuity. Just ask The Americans, celebrating its first major nominations this year for its fourth season; or Tatiana Maslany, who had to suffer through two egregious snubs before getting her first nod in 2015; or Game Of Thrones, which was a perennial always a bridesmaid never a bride in the Drama Series category until finally taking home the top prize in 2015 for its most controversial season yet — over the acclaimed final season of Mad Men, no less.
So the lack of love for The Leftovers is inexplicable. The show easily deserves slots in the top three categories for lead actor Justin Theroux, lead actress Carrie Coon — arguably the best actress on television right now — and for the series itself. Supporting actors Christopher Eccleston and Kevin Carroll should have been in consideration; and the Supporting Actress category could practically have been filled solely with the women of The Leftovers : Amy Brenneman, Ann Dowd, Regina King, and Liv Tyler have all turned in career-defining performances on the HBO drama. (At least Regina King is still an Emmy nominee this year, for her role in the ABC anthology series American Crime.)
Fortunately, The Leftovers can take solace in the fact that it's in good company. There's a long and proud tradition of quality shows that were ignored by the Emmys: Battlestar Galactica was never nominated for the series itself or any of its actors; despite a win for its star, Michael Chiklis, The Shield never broke into the top category; and HBO's own The Wire was only ever nominated for two Writing awards — both of which it lost. Those certainly aren't bad shows to be associated with.
And there's still time for the Emmys to turn things around. The Leftovers is moving to Australia for its third and final season… and if there's a leap in quality comparable to the one between the first and second seasons, then we're in for one hell of a ride. Maybe it will be enough for voters to open their eyes and realize what they've been missing out on. And if not, then at least we can take solace in the fact that Carrie Coon will soon be moving to a show with a proven track record at the Emmys: she's been cast as the female lead in Season 3 of Fargo , the FX anthology series that pulled in an impressive 18 nominations this year.
Of course, the idea of nominations for The Leftovers' cast in the future is small consolation for the show's major snubbing in the present. An injustice of that magnitude is almost enough to make you start wearing white, stop speaking, and take up chain-smoking in protest. Almost.
Images: Van Redin (3), Ryan Green/HBO