Now that most of the excitement over the 2014 Emmy Award nominations has subsided and the dust has settled, we're left to deal with our feelings. There are joyous feelings: Orange Is the New Black is the year's most-nominated comedy! Julianna Margulies is back in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series race! Laverne Cox is the first-ever transgender nominee! Amazing. But there are also sad feelings: They snubbed Orphan Black AGAIN? No love for Brooklyn Nine-Nine in Outstanding Comedy Series? C'mon. Oh, and where the hell are Breaking Bad's Dean Norris and Betsy Brandt??
That's right — in all of the hubbub, I almost missed the fact that both Hank and Marie Schrader are missing from the Outstanding Supporting Actor/Actress categories! What gives, Emmys? These two snubs really hurt.
Granted, Norris and Brandt hadn't been nominated for their roles in Breaking Bad in the past, but they both did consistently strong work throughout the series. Additionally, the second half of the show's final season gave them each some seriously meaty material to work with. Many people (myself included) thought it was possible that the Television Academy's immense love for Breaking Bad (in combination with the fact that this is the show's last eligible year) could sweep both Norris and Brandt into the race along with their previously nominated co-stars. Sadly, it didn't work out that way.
If Norris had been nominated, he could've submitted "Blood Money," the episode where Hank finally confronts Walter White (Bryan Cranston) about his illegal activities, and really given two-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul a run for his money. If Brandt had been nominated, she could've submitted "Ozymandias," the episode where Marie finds out about Hank's death, and really given last year's Emmy winner Anna Gunn a run for her money! But alas.
So, why were both Norris and Brandt overlooked? Obviously, I can't say for sure, but sometimes, I think Emmy viewers and fans alike just take consistently strong (but not necessarily showstopping) performances for granted. Take someone like Mad Men's Vincent Kartheiser, for example — frequently cited by critics for his work, but never nominated for an Emmy. Mad Men's Emmy campaign poster for Kartheiser this year even read, "Nothing beats a consistent performer." Unsurprisingly at this point, Kartheiser's name was not on the nomination list this morning.
Similarly, Norris and Brandt were always good on Breaking Bad, but were they as good as Cranston, Gunn, and Paul? No, probably not — but their characters had a lot less screen time, and I don't think either of them was ever the focus of an entire episode. That put both actors at a severe disadvantage in regard to awards recognition. Sigh. I'm super bummed.
So, if you're so inclined, pour out a Schraderbrau for Norris and Brandt — two incredibly talented Breaking Bad performers who should've been contenders in this year's Emmy race. Thankfully, the future looks bright for both actors.
Images: AMC; scottbaklava/Tumblr