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Highlights From The 2020 Emmy Nominations!

07-28-2020 by Katie Marzullo

  ( © Noam Galai/Getty Images for Fendi)  

 

After being on lockdown for the better part of 5 months now, Hollywood has largely come to a halt as well, with many TV shows shut down mid-production, others scrambling to find ways to edit all their footage remotely, and more planning new seasons with no idea on when production will be allowed to resume. So when the 2020 Emmy Awards were announced bright and early this morning, it was a welcome reminder of some sense of normality in the television biz.

 

Having said that, the list of nominees itself feels far from normal, with so many old perennial contenders like “Veep” and “Game of Thrones” no longer on the air nor on the ballots, paving the way for other fresh names and faces in this year’s Emmy race.

 

A few things stood out to me when looking at this morning’s nominees, and I’ve highlighted them below!

 

The Actual Funniest Shows On TV Are Nominated For Best Comedy Series

It’s probably no secret at this point that I am a huge “What We Do In The Shadows” fan, so I was thrilled upon seeing its name among the nominees this year, right alongside another one of my faves “Schitt’s Creek” and 2018 winner “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. Oddly, though, “WWDITS” did not receive any other nominations in any other major categories (though they did get 8 total), while all four leads from “Schitt’s Creek” (Eugene Levy,Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, and Annie Murphy) all have acting nominations.

 

Also joining the fray this year is Issa Rae’s “Insecure”; Rae herself has been nominated before but this is the first time the show has made it to Best Series. Netflix’s “Dead To Me” also makes its first appearance in this category. Last year’s winner, “Fleabag”, didn’t release a new season this year and is therefore inelligible.

 

Star Wars Universe Blasts Its Way Into The Emmys

The last time a Star Wars movie received any significant Oscar nominations was back in 1977, and, let’s face it, it’s unlikely any SW will ever get that kind of recognition again. So television has become the next-best option, and Lucasfilm’s Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” has proven that the hype was legit! In total, the series received 15 Emmy nominations, one of them for Best Drama Series. “Mando” goes up against this year’s Golden Globe winner “Succession”. Additionally, Lucasfilm's Disney XD animated series "Star Wars Resistance" got itself a well-deserved nod for Outstanding Children's Program.

 

Meanwhile,Adam Driver, star of the big screen Sequel Trilogy that bowed back in December, has received a nomination for his hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” earlier this year, which included a skit where he portrayed his SW character Kylo Ren/Ben Solo for the last time and putting as much gusto into that parody role as he did for the actual movies. This is Driver’s first Emmy nomination for something other than his role on HBO’s “Girls” (he was nominated 3 times for that).

 

Taika-n Over Hollywood

Tying in the last 2 points together, I feel the need to mention thatTaika Waititi, who is the co-creator and executive producer of Best Comedy Series nominee "What We Do In The Shadows", was also nominated for his voice work as the droid IG-11 on "The Mandalorian", proving there is just about nothing he CAN'T do.

 

Streaming Dramas Came To Play

Speaking of Best Drama Series, among this year’s crop of nominees, 5 of them (out of 8 total) are from streaming services – and 3 of them from Netflix alone. The other 3 shows are from cable networks (AMC, BBC, HBO). When it comes to Limited Series, streamers are even more dominant, with 4 of the 5 nominees coming from streaming services.

 

A Full Best Actress Roster

Once again,Sandra Oh finds herself up against her “Killing Eve” nemesis/quasi-girlfriend (and last year’s winner) Jodie Comer for Best Actress in a Drama Series, but both of them are in contention with this year’s Golden Globe winner, Queen Olivia Colman. Jennifer Aniston joins the list this year for her critically-acclaimed role in “The Morning Show”, and Zendaya got a nomination too (for “Euphoria”)! Laura Linney(“Ozark”) rounds out this extremely competitive category.

 

No less contentious is the Lead Actress in a Limited Series category. For starters, all but one of the nominees are women of color (it’s actually kind of funny/ironic that the one white nominee is Cate Blanchett for her role as a well-known IRL racist in “Mrs. America”). Kerry Washington, who slayed in Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere, goes up against Oscar winners Octavia Spencer (“Self Made”) and Regina King (“Watchmen”), as well as young Israeli-born newcomer Shira Haas(“Unorthodox”).

 

“Succession” Is The Show To Beat

As mentioned earlier, “Succession” seems to be HBO’s new flagship awards show heavy-hitter now that “GoT” is over. The series is coming into the Emmys off a Golden Globe win earlier this year, and it shows no signs of cooling off. With 10 total nominations, it’s the clear frontrunner (even though “Mando” has more noms). A whopping SIX of its castmembers up for awards – 3 in the Supporting Actor category alone. Whew!

 

Actor Categories The Most Diverse?

Of the 8 actors nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, 5 are African-American (Andre Braugher, Kenan Thompson, Mahershala Ali,Sterling K. Brown, William Jackson Harper), one is Lebanese (Tony Shaloub), and 2 are Jewish (Dan Levy, Alan Arkin). A similar trend can be found in the Supporting Actor in a Limited Series category, where 4 of the 6 nominees are Black actors (Jovan Adepo, Louis Gossett Jr., Tituss Burgess, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). You love to see it!!!

 

Who Says There Are No Good Roles For Women Over 40?

Over in the Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category, there is only one nominee under the age of 40 – that’s 39-year-old Uzo Aduba. The other nominees areToni Collette (48), Tracey Ullman(61), Margo Martindale (69), Jean Smart (69), and Holland Taylor (77). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, television is where all great actresses-of-a-certain-age go to be reborn.

 

You can check out the full list of nominees here. The 72nd annual Emmy Awards will take place, in some form or another, on Sunday, September 20. Stay tuned!