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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Emmy Snub

In the days since the Emmy nominations were announced, there have been umpteen pieces lamenting how neither "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" nor "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" were included in the best variety/talkshow category. The truth is, they didn't deserve nominations.

"The Daily Show" was a perennial favorite (and often winner) under Jon Stewart, but it's a different show under Noah -- and not for the better. Too many people, myself included, have given up watching/recording it altogether, and I can't remember the last time anything from that show went viral and made me want to look for it on YouTube.

As for Colbert, he was always a contender when he was doing "the character" on his old Comedy Central show. But without that facade, he seems lost, and his "Late Show" offers nothing that demands tuning in or checking later for good clips. I've been more amused by Seth Myers' "Late Night" than Colbert's nightly struggle to find his voice.

The real injustice in the Emmys variety/talk category was the exclusion of "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee," which is by far the most important and funniest topical news show since "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver." At first, I thought it might have been left out because it didn't air during the eligibility period for the Emmys. So I checked, and that time frame ended on May 31, 2016 -- long after Bee's show debuted at the beginning of February. Further checking revealed that Bee and her staff were nominated in a writing category, proof that the show did submit an entry in the competition.

In a year when Bee broke through not just with her content but with her gender, it's outrageous that the shows that were nominated in that category are all hosted by men (Fallon, Kimmel, Corden, Maher, Oliver). Even Jerry Seinfeld's praise-worthy "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee," a web-only streaming show, got a nod -- but not Sam Bee's hysterical basic cable show.

Perhaps we need a new hashtag: #EmmysSoMale.

Other Emmys notes:

  • Speaking of oversights, how has Tatiana Maslany not won an Emmy yet for her starring role on "Orphan Black"? She's not just the lead actress on the BBC America series -- which my wife and I binge-watched via Amazon Prime this summer, and can't wait for the just-completed fourth season to start streaming -- she plays at least 9 different characters, all with different traits, voices, and looks. There are even scenes in which she's doing more than one of them at the same time, and others in which she's playing one of the characters who is imitating another one! It's the most remarkable acting demonstration I've seen on TV in a very long time.
  • I'm pulling for "Mythbusters" to get some love after its final season with a win in the "Structured Reality" category (how's that for a label).
  • I'd also like to see some appreciation shown by academy members for "Fargo" season 2 and "Better Call Saul," both of which were must-see TV in our house and received several nominations.
  • Both Courtney B. Vance (as Johnnie Cochran) and Cuba Gooding Jr. (as OJ Simpson) are nominated for Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie for FX's "The People vs. OJ Simpson," but I hope they split the vote, leaving a path to victory for Bryan Cranston, so good as President Lyndon Baines Johnson in "All The Way" on HBO.
  • It's nice to see my "Mississippi Grind" co-star Ben Mendelsohn earning another Best Supporting Actor In A Drama Series nomination for his work on the Netflix series"Bloodline."