“That show was worthy of being coated in gold!” The most surprising moments from the Emmy Awards.
One week ago, I discussed the unexpected and overlooked choices at the Golden Globes Awards. It proved to be a tougher task than I expected because all of my preferred nominees ended up winning. The drama series Succession dominated in its categories, while The Bear took home multiple awards in comedy. The show Beef also had a strong showing, winning in various categories, which was great for television but not ideal for my assigned topic. Now, I am covering the snubs and surprises of Monday’s Emmy Awards. And once again, history has repeated itself.
Succession was awarded with best drama series, best lead actor (Kieran Culkin), best lead actress (Sarah Snook), and best supporting actor (Matthew Macfadyen). The Bear took home the prizes for best comedy, best lead actor (Jeremy Allen White), best supporting actor (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), best supporting actress (Ayo Edebiri), best directing (Christopher Storer), and best writing (also Christopher Storer). Beef was recognized as the best limited series, with awards for best lead actress (Ali Wong), best lead actor (Steven Yeun), best writing (Lee Sung Jin), and best directing (also Lee Sung Jin). Despite frequently praising these three shows over the past year, I am now faced with the task of criticizing them. I wish myself luck.
In reality, it shouldn’t be too challenging for a few reasons. Let’s begin with the most obvious: what exactly is happening with these categories? To give credit to the Emmys, it has become increasingly difficult to categorize television shows. In the past, it was simple to determine if something was a comedy because it was filmed in front of a live audience with three cameras and laughter could be heard. However, things have become more unclear over the years and last night’s awards show exemplified the need for a revamp.
The top prize for best drama went to Succession, while The Bear took home the award for best comedy. In my opinion, Succession is much more humorous than The Bear. The Bear follows a man navigating the aftermath of his brother’s suicide, while Succession is a sitcom that even created a storyline around someone bringing a large bag to a party. Additionally, it feels unfair for Beef to win in the limited series category when its creator is already discussing plans for a second season. It’s not anyone’s fault, but it all seems nonsensical.
Thankfully (for me, at least), in addition to the deserving winners, the Emmys also featured one major omission and one unexpected outcome. The surprise was that Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story received any recognition at all. Dahmer was a poorly executed show that represented the lowest point of the true-crime genre, exploiting a real-life tragedy for cheap and tasteless entertainment without regard for the victims. It was truly atrocious. While Niecy Nash-Betts (winner of best supporting actress in a limited or anthology series) was undoubtedly the standout of the show, she faced tough competition in a crowded category. It was disappointing to see Claire Danes – who delivered a powerful hour-long scream in Fleishman Is in Trouble – overlooked for an undeserving show.
However, there is one major disappointment. A disappointment that will leave a lasting impact. Despite its brilliance, Better Call Saul did not receive any Emmy awards. This is simply absurd. The last season of Better Call Saul will go down in history as one of the greatest achievements in television. It was intelligent, humorous, creatively bold, and incredibly emotional. It was exceptional from beginning to end, yet it did not receive any recognition.
The reason for this is primarily related to the strikes. The Emmys were originally scheduled for last year, but were delayed due to the Sag-Aftra strikes. As a result, the eligibility period for the awards took place a long time ago. Better Call Saul, which last aired in 2022, may have been overlooked or overshadowed by newer shows in the minds of voters. However, despite its excellence, Better Call Saul did not receive any awards, which is extremely unfair.
Bob Odenkirk did not receive any awards, even though he displayed impressive skill in portraying all three of Jimmy McGill’s identities throughout his life. Rhea Seehorn also did not win, despite delivering a nuanced and multi-dimensional performance (she will be the lead in Vince Gilligan’s next series, so there is hope for her Emmy win in the future). The show itself was deserving of more recognition and should have been honored with gold. It is a great injustice that Better Call Saul did not win an Emmy and is detrimental to the television industry. However, it does provide good material for this article, so at least there is something positive that came out of it.