9 Gripes and 1 Good Surprise

No Kelsey, "Killing" or "Walking Dead?" To put it mildly, THR's television critic has some issues with the Emmy nominations announced July 19.

Now that the fallout has mostly calmed after the Emmy nominations, there are still plenty of issues to talk about. From decisions that immediately seemed odd to the ramifications to follow from those who did or did not get picked, these are my top 10:

GRIPE NO. 1: Jessica Pare

The snub of Pare for her Mad Men performance as Megan Draper is particularly telling. None of the other actresses had as much screen time as Pare, but Elisabeth Moss got the lead nomination and Christina Hendricks got supporting. Pare submitted in the lead actress category and rightly so -- her story dominated the season, but voters gave the nod to Moss, whose role this year was not really part of the main thread. An argument could be made that voters simply got it wrong (and Moss had a better chance of winning in earlier years anyway). But it certainly reads like a rejection of Pare, either based on her acting skills or maybe a dislike of her character. While the omission of Kelsey Grammer (see agitation below) is arguably the biggest acting snub, this one was certainly more odd.

GRIPE NO. 2: Kelsey Grammer

The only explanation for Grammer not being nominated is that Emmy voters just never watched Boss. His was such an incredible and riveting performance, he should have been a lock. End f story.

GRIPE NO. 3: The Killing

Ever since the end of season one, press for this series has been overwhelmingly negative. The casualties of that may very well have been the sensational performances by leads Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman. And in the supporting slots, this show had four strong candidates, most notably Brent Sexton and Michelle Forbes. At the time of this writing, the series hasn't been renewed. With ratings down, Emmy recognition would have helped. Now its fate could be sealed.

GRIPE NO. 4: Game of Thrones

While Emmy voters rightly have included Thrones in the best drama category for both of its seasons (most genre series are not so lucky), the show hasn't received the kind of trickle-down generosity of nominations one would expect. Supporting actor Peter Dinklage gave one of TV's best performances last season, so he was a lock -- but this epic has plenty of actors who went unnoticed. And there were no writing nominations either. Listen, in an ultra-competitive drama category, if Thrones won, it would not be considered an upset. So how about a little love in other categories?

GRIPE NO. 5: Justified

An almost identical argument could be made about Justified. Since it wasn't the series' best season, ignoring it for drama is understandable. But no acting or writing awards? What does it take to get Walton Goggins some hardware in this town? All those years on The Shield and now his note-perfect work here? This is becoming embarrassing. Timothy Olyphant, Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson, too? Come on, voters, turn on the TV.

GRIPE NO. 6: The Walking Dead

Emmy folks must not like zombies. No major category recognition at all for Walking Dead seems a little tone-deaf to the zeitgeist.

GRIPE NO. 7: Nick Offerman

In a perfect world, Emmy voters would gather in a big circle and be forced to tell us why Parks and Recreation's Offerman wasn't nominated. But if they had to explain each of their snubs, they'd have no time to not watch the shows they should be nominating. Ahem.

GRIPE NO. 8: Louie

Arguing about the whole Louie fiasco probably won't go anywhere, right? Fine, Louis C.K. was nominated for acting and directing, but that's not enough for such a genius show.

GRIPE NO. 9: Downton Abbey

Not to rudely intrude on what is clearly a joyous "it can do no wrong" situation, but this fan's note of harsh truth: Downton Abbey might be extremely enjoyable, but season two was not very good. It just wasn't.


One of the most unexpected nominations -- in a good way -- was for guest actor Margolis as wheelchair-bound, bell-ringing Uncle Tio of Breaking Bad. Powerful but nuanced acting on a series littered with top-tier acting and, wow, people noticed.