This year, Mad Men received four nominations: Robert Morse, who plays Bert Cooper, was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (that award was already given out—Joe Morton won for his role as Olivia Pope’s father on Scandal ); Christina Hendricks is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series; Jon Hamm is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series; and the show as a whole is nominated for Outstanding Drama Series (which remember, it won four years in a row from 2008 to 2011). Henricks has been nominated for an Emmy in this category every year since 2010, and Hamm has been nominated every year Mad Men has been eligible — seven noms in total, and not a single win yet.
Morse, John Slatterly, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Cara Buono (who played psychologist Faye Miller), Randee Heller (who played Don’s secretary Miss Blankenship), Jared Harris, Ben Feldman (who plays Ginsberg), Julia Ormond (who played Marie Calvet), Harry Hamlin (who played Jim Cutler), and Linda Cardellini (who played Sylvia Rosen), have ALL been nominated for Emmys for their roles on Mad Men, some multiple times, and not a single one has taken home the trophy. In fact, the show hasn’t won a single Emmy, period, since 2011. What is up with Emmy voters? Is Mad Men just not as good as it used to be, or are the continuous snubs just a sign that voters always prefer newer, shinier material?
I’d say it’s a bit of both. In a TV landscape that now includes Game of Thrones dragons and Breaking Bad drug deals gone wrong, Mad Men’s slow burn is not always flashy enough to catch voters’ attention. But now that the last season is upon us, perhaps that nostalgia will give the show the boost it needs to finally, finally get Hamm or Hendricks the acting Emmy they each deserve.