These Snubs In This Year's Emmy Nominations Actually Really Sting

by Parry Ernsberger
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There's something oddly personal about awards season, whether you work in the entertainment industry or not. These 2018 Emmy nomination snubs, for example, really sting on an intimate level. It's like, you've invested hours of your life getting to know and love certain characters, you've spent even more hours discussing plot twists or funny moments with friends, so when their greatness doesn't get formally recognized, it kind of feels like an insult to your taste. Seriously, though — why, Television Academy?

The 2018 Emmy nominations were announced on Thursday, July 12, and several super-worthy shows were noticeably MIA — especially in the Outstanding Comedy Series category. The Academy clearly spaced on a *lot* of shows, including Will & Grace, One Day At A Time, The Good Place, Modern Family, and Brooklyn 99, just to name a few. How could they? The nerve.

For Lead Actor in a Drama Series, where was The Good Doctor's Freddie Highmore? The first season of his show was a bonafide ratings hit. Mandy Moore (This Is Us) was confusingly overlooked in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, and while Lily Tomlin earned a nod in Comedy for her role on Grace & Frankie, her brilliant co-star, Jane Fonda, did not.

To be fair, there are only so many categories and so many nominations the Academy can give out, but ... still. These shows and actors totally deserved the spotlight. *Sigh*


Alison Brie — 'Glow' (Lead Actress In A Comedy Series)

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The first season of Glow only just debuted on Netflix in June 2017, but Brie's starring role as Ruth Wilder, an out-of-work actor-turned-amateur female wrestler, almost immediately garnered praise from fans and critics alike.

Glow's second season rolled out at the end of June this year, and IndieWire reported that it had the "highest concentration of viewers in the 18-49 demographic of any original streaming content it has analyzed to date."


Kristen Bell — 'The Good Place' (Lead Actress In A Comedy Series)

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Kristen Bell is a delight. In general. She's been especially delightful in The Good Place, though, as Eleanor Shellstrop — a bad girl trying to make good in the afterlife.

The Good Place didn't get nearly as many nominations as it should have, overall — although, Bell's co-star Ted Danson (who plays Michael) did get nominated in the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category, so there's that, at least.


Jane Fonda — 'Grace & Frankie' (Lead Actress In A Comedy Series)

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In 2017, both Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda were nominated in the Lead Actress In A Comedy Series category for their roles on Netflix's Grace and Frankie. (They ultimately lost out to Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep, which was not eligible for 2018.)

This year, however, only Tomlin was nominated, which is ... confusing. Not that Tomlin didn't deserve to be nominated, of course, but it's just that the whole show is about her and Fonda. They both had great, prominent storylines, and they both carried the show equally. The Academy's definitely got some explaining to do with this one.


Gina Rodriguez — 'Jane the Virgin' (Lead Actress In A Comedy Series)

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This one is particularly worthy of some eyebrow-raising, and probably not for the reasons you'd think. As the titular Jane on Jane the Virgin, Gina Rodriguez is one of the main — if not the main — reasons why the show has continued to be so damn likable throughout each and every one of its four seasons.

However, on June 19, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Rodriguez had decided to use her Emmy campaign money from CBS TV Studios to fund a college scholarship for an undocumented high school graduate.

So, basically, instead of making sure that she secured herself a spot on the nominations list by holding Jane the Virgin-centered events for consideration, she used the money to do good. After that honorable move, Rodriguez definitely deserves way more than just an Emmy.


Rachel Bloom — 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' (Lead Actress In A Comedy Series)

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Man, Rachel Bloom just stays getting ignored when it comes to her work on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. At least she's super chill about it, though. She posted this hilarious tweet about the snub:


Mandy Moore — 'This Is Us' (Lead Actress In A Drama Series)

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Rebecca Pearson deserved better. Moore has played the matriarch of the Pearson family for the last two seasons in the hit cry-fest drama, This Is Us, and got snubbed in the same category last year, too. In fact, Moore is basically the only major member of the This Is Us cast that hasn't been nominated for their work on the show yet.

In the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category, both Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown (the latter of which won in 2017) have gotten nods two years in a row. Same goes for Ron Cephas Jones in the Supporting Actor (2017) and Guest Actor bracket (2018). Chrissy Metz didn't make the cut this year, but she did get nominated for Supporting Actress last year. Perhaps the Academy will see the error in their ways after the next season, though. *Grabs tissues in advance*


Jodie Comer — 'Killing Eve' (Lead Actress In A Drama Series)

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As the sociopathic Russian assassin Villanelle in BBC America's Killing Eve, Comer and co-star Sandra Oh — who plays the titular character Eve, and just became the first Asian woman to get nominated in the Lead Actress, Drama category, by the way — are the show. It's their constant cat-and-mouse interactions that fuel the creepy, winding plot, and Comer is devilishly enthralling to watch.

In fact, several outlets (Gold Derby, New York Post, Paste) assumed that both Comer and Oh would get Lead Actress nods, which would have made Killing Eve the first show in 16 years to get two nominations in that category, according to Gold Derby.


Viola Davis — 'How To Get Away With Murder' (Lead Actress In A Drama Series)

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As on Annalise Keating on How to Get Away with Murder, Viola Davis has been nominated for her role on the show for three consecutive years, and even scored a win in the Lead Actress category back in 2015.

While she didn't get a Lead Actress nod again this year, Davis wasn't totally overlooked, at least. The actor was recognized in the Guest Actress in a Drama Series category for her role in the HTWAWM/Scandal crossover event.


Emilia Clarke & Kit Harrington — 'Game of Thrones' (Lead Actress & Actor In A Drama Series, Respectively)

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Game of Thrones submitted Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) in this category for the first time in the show's history, according to Entertainment Weekly. They were both major players with tons of screen-time in Season 7 of the ensemble-driven drama — several of their co-stars scored nominations in the Supporting Actor/Actress categories — but apparently, the Academy didn't get the whole "bend the knee" memo. The Mother of Dragons and the King of the North won't take kindly to being overlooked, Academy.


Eric McCormack & Sean Hayes — 'Will & Grace' (Lead Actor & Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series, Respectively)

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Both Eric McCormack (Will Truman) and Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland) were widely expected to get nominated for their roles on Will & Grace this year. Seriously, though — they were on like, everybody's predictions lists.

Their co-star Debra Messing (Grace Adler) didn't get nominated either, but at least Megan Mullally (Karen Walker) could still bring one home for the beloved sitcom in the Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category. (Molly Shannon was nominated for her role on the show in the Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category as well, though, by the way.)


Freddie Highmore — 'The Good Doctor' (Lead Actor In A Drama Series)

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Here's another big head-scratcher. Freddie Highmore has gotten rave reviews as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, on ABC's The Good Doctor. There's only been one season of the show so far, but with ratings up there on par with Roseanne, according to Vulture, it's surprising that this break-out newcomer didn't score a nod.


Marc Maron — 'Glow' (Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series)

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Glow is a great show that promotes female empowerment, but Marc Maron was a consistent scene-stealer in both seasons one and two. As the down-on-his-luck B-movie director-turned-women's wrestling producer, Maron's Sam Sylvia isn't always the most sympathetic character, but his personal development is refreshingly earnest and realistically conflicted.

The veteran comedian received his first nominations from SAG and the Critics’ Choice Awards for his role as Sylvia, according to Deadline, so it's a shame that the Emmys didn't follow suit. On the bright side, though, his co-star Betty Gilpin (who plays Debbie "Liberty Belle" Eagan) nabbed Glow a nom in the Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.


Al Pacino — 'Paterno' (Lead Actor In A Limited Series/TV Movie)

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Come on. It's Al Pacino playing Joe Paterno. And he was bizarrely believable, even while shuffling around in pajamas.


'Modern Family' (Comedy Series)

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Has Modern Family had it's day on the Emmy Awards stage? For sure. Maybe too many days, depending on who you ask. It's great that the Academy made space for so many other newer, well-deserved series (like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Atlanta), but this glaring omission kind of feels like a punch in the gut.


'The Good Place' (Comedy Series)

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The Good Place is good — really forkin' good. The entire cast brings their own lightness and ease to their respective characters, as well as to the tone of the whole show. At its core, The Good Place is about death and how your decisions in the waking life determine your fate in the afterlife. Sounds dark, right? But, it's not. It's funny, it's quirky, and it had one of the most-talked about first season finales in recent comedy memory.


'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' (Comedy Series)

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After first getting canceled and then surprisingly revived based primarily on widespread social media outcry, Brooklyn Nine-Nine should have been a shoo-in for an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination at this year's Emmys.

Andre Braugher (who plays Captain Ray Holt) was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for three consecutive years (2014 - 2016), but the show, on the whole, has never gotten the awards show love it deserves.


'One Day At A Time' (Comedy Series)

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This show has constantly been popping up in headlines that say something like, "One Day At A Time Is One Of The Best Thing On TV." So, considering all of the critical praise its gotten over the course of its two seasons, what's the Academy's excuse for being so out of the loop?

Not only that, but its a show about multiple generations of a working-class Cuban family, and has managed to be funny, warm, heartfelt, and widely seen as positively representative of an overwhelmingly under-represented culture.


'Will & Grace' (Comedy Series)

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The Will & Grace reboot got left out of a lot of categories this year, but it's particularly surprising that the former Emmy favorite didn't score a Best Comedy Series nomination. It's former Emmy favorite-turned-reboot show peer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, was recognized in the category, but Will & Grace — in addition to its stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, and Sean Hayes — should have been in there, too.


'Killing Eve' (Drama Series)

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If you've yet to fall prey to the binge-worthy BBC America series, Killing Eve, prepare to be obsessed. It's so good, which is why it's so disappointing that it got left out this time around. Oh stars as a super smart former MI5 agent who gets embroiled with a cunning assassin (Jodie Comer) who basically travels around the world to murder important people.

Almost immediately after the first episode of the show debuted, The Atlantic reported that Killing Eve was already one of the most critically acclaimed shows of the year. Oh was definitely deserving of her Best Actress nod — Comer totally should have gotten one, too — but the Academy seriously slept on adding this one to the Best Drama running.


'Outlander' (Best Drama)

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My mother will not shut up about Outlander. "It's like soft-core porn in 1700s Scotland," she's said unprovoked on multiple occasions. She's not wrong — there are more than a few steamy scenes involving kilts and ripped bodices — but it's also so much more than that.

It's an epic love story, a profound historical journey, and the two main stars of the show, Caitriona Balfe (Claire) and Sam Heughan (Jamie), were definitely deserving of recognition in their respective categories as well. 

Outlander's got an 8.5 rating on IMDb, 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and has won more than a few People's Choice and Critic's Choice Awards. Even Prince Harry is (maybe) a fan.


The Emmys are going to keep snubbing fan and critics' favorites for the foreseeable future. It's inevitable, and there's just no way everyone deserving can be included. This year was a particular bummer, though, so in closing, please do better, Academy. Do better.