‘Jane the Virgin’ to ‘Orphan Black’: Emmy nomination snubs & surprises

17 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

The most Emmys ever, and other answers.

A: No. The fantasy epic, ‘Game of Thrones,’ has taken the Emmy Award nominations by a storm this year, bagging a total of 24 nominations across several categories. For any devoted awards watcher, the website is ground zero for news, and on the site’s prediction boards, where pundits weigh in on the actors and shows they think will be nominated, old faces have dominated. At a time in which the streaming revolution is changing the way we watch television—on Netflix and Amazon, on our laptops and phones—the Emmys have been slow to change, and these predictions reflect the “more of the same” mentality that too often ruins the ceremony. Among performers, two graduates of The Mary Tyler Moore Show are dominant — Cloris Leachman leads women with eight, and Edward Asner leads men with seven.

After years of fan outcry, Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany finally got nominated, and current “It Girl” Amy Schumer landed a nomination for Inside Amy Schumer, the Comedy Central show that’s become a breakout viral hit. And in the wake of Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY Awards speech, Amazon’s Transparent landed bids for Best Comedy, Best Actor in a Comedy (Jeffrey Tambor), and Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy (Gaby Hoffman). Yet that name was already associated with war hero and future president Dwight Eisenhower. “Immy”, a term for the image orthicon camera, was chosen instead and then changed to “Emmy” because it seemed better for a statue of a woman holding an atom. There’s an absurd amount to love from this year’s nomination pool—between nominations for The Comeback’s Lisa Kudrow and the amazing number of black actors who got mentions (14 in total)—but there’s one giant elephant in the room:Modern Family.

This makes it one of the most recognized comedies in history, and the show has won the Best Comedy trophy a record-tying—and exhausting—five years in a row. At the time of this writing, Gold Derby experts are predicting that Modern Family will take yet another victory lap—because that’s the way the Emmys work.

When the show hit airwaves six years ago, the family sitcom from Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd (no, not the guy from The Pagemaster) was the freshest broadcast show in ages. Featuring three couples of a variety of generations, ethnic backgrounds, and sexual orientations, it offered a groundbreaking (for primetime TV, anyway) look at family dynamics in a changing America.

The show’s success likely has helped open the door for other comedies that showcase families that don’t look like the Seavers or the Cleavers—like Fresh Off the Boat, Black-ish, and Transparent—but ironically, that very progress has leftModern Family behind. As Daniel D’Addario pointed out in an editorial for Salon, the show looks increasingly out-of-touch in today’s America, as the show appears to take place in “a class-blind fantasy world”: These couples are, respectively, a construction company owner and a stay-at-home parent, a real estate agent and a stay-at-home parent, and a lawyer and a stay-at-home parent. Sofia Vergara, who plays Gloria, has a Spanish accent thicker than the Earth’s crust and a, uh, mountain range to match. … Playing a fiery Latina, her arcs regularly revolve around predictable “fiery Latina” jokes: her pronunciation, the violence of her native Colombia, her looks.

But rather than using people of color to spice up a white world, creator Jenji Kohan used OITNB’s white lead, Piper Chapman, as a way to tell the stories of those we don’t often see on TV. But of course, Modern Family beat Orange Is the New Black last year (which has since been moved to the Drama category for the 2015 race), even though critical interest and overall viewership for the ABC show has been declining for years. The show is just savvy enough to look like a smart choice, but not tooedgy—meaning it won’t scare more conservative members of the Emmy voting body.

Considering the vast array of other, more acclaimed options—like Comedy Central’s Broad City or the CW’s Jane the Virgin—it feels like the voters aren’t even paying attention. Times, TV critic Melissa Maerz said exactly what the Internet has been wondering for years: “Are voters even watching Modern Family anymore, or is Modern Family just automatically rubber-stamped onto the ballot?” Modern Family deserves its place in TV and Emmy history, but if the awards want to honor the revolutionary wave of diversity that the show helped generate, we need to stop letting one show hog the spotlight every single year.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "‘Jane the Virgin’ to ‘Orphan Black’: Emmy nomination snubs & surprises".

* Required fields
All the reviews are moderated.
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site