The world is opening back up, people are starting to get together again, and the 2021 Emmys are full steam ahead—complete with this year’s host for the in-person shindig, Cedric the Entertainer. All that’s left is to celebrate this year’s crème de la crème.
However, as with all awards shows, the best of the best is always subjective. So when father-daughter duo Ron Cephas Jones and Jasmine Cephas Jones presented this year’s nominations on July 13, there were some definite surprises and snubs.
Sure, these nominees weren’t as eyebrow-raising or controversial as the Golden Globes (thank goodness someone finally recognized the brilliance of I May Destroy You), but there were a few reasons to squeal in delight or wonder WTF following the morning’s presentation. Let’s dive in, shall we?
It’s true that just because a show is popular doesn’t mean it’s the best. But it’s also a little weird that Bridgerton and lead Regé-Jean Page were nominated, but the show’s female lead, Phoebe Dynevor got zero love. This was a show about sex through the female gaze, after all.
Meanwhile, Lady Whistledown was also snubbed when Nicola Coughlan—whom some thought was a lock for best supporting actress—also didn’t receive a nomination.
Pose is going out in style. Not only did the series earn a Best Drama nomination, but Billy Porter was once again nominated for Best Actor. All great, but it was MJ Rodriguez finally getting the love for Best Actress that really lifted the mood on Tuesday morning.
Not only has Rodriguez been one of the best things about the series since its conception, but with her nomination, she now becomes the first transgender performer to ever earn a nomination in the lead acting category. Applause, please.
It’s a tall order to take over as the lead character in a comedy, but there are many fans out there who believe Lena Waithe did a very fine job of it as Denise in Master of None. The series returning was a pleasant surprise for fans earlier this year, and the fact that Waithe wasn’t recognized for all of that heavy lifting was one of the bigger snubs.
When the integrity of the Golden Globes was rightfully called into question earlier this year, one of the arguments critics had was that Emily in Paris received nominations despite some of its problematic storytelling. So the fact that the show earned a nomination for Best Comedy at this year’s Emmys had more than a few viewers saying Oh la la.
Are Emmy voters just over Nicole Kidman or something? The favoured The Undoing actor was surprisingly shut out from the Best Actress in a Limited Series on Wednesday morning, despite the fact that her male co-star, Hugh Grant, was nominated. The series itself was also left off the final list in favour of more popular series like Mare of Easttown, WandaVision and The Queen’s Gambit.
Shrill may have quietly gone off the air after three seasons earlier this year, but the powerful female series still has a very passionate cult following. So the fact that Aidy Bryant was nominated for her equally powerful performance in the final season had more than a few fans pumping their fists on Wednesday morning.
Now if only the team behind the Crave series (based on Lindy West’s book) could get going on the movie, already. (Seriously, watch it here.)
One show that certainly got viewers talking this past season was the limited-series The Underground Railroad. So it was no real surprise that the show was nominated. What was surprising was that star Thuso Mbedu did not earn any accolades. Many viewers considered her the driving force behind the show, and it’s a shame the votes didn’t reflect that.
It’s always hard for a genre series to break into the mainstream awards categories, and with shows like WandaVision and even The Mandalorian top of critics’ minds heading into the vote, there didn’t seem to be much room for other quirky entries. So when The Boys nabbed a nomination for Best Drama, there were more than a few shocked fans.
Shocked, but validated. After all, the series has been on the air for three seasons now, and a spinoff is on the way.
Tina Fey’s comedy about an aging girls group trying to get back together and reclaim its former glory took the internet by storm when it debuted earlier this year. In fact, critics were considering it so well done that the show, along with stars Sara Bareilles and Renée Elise Goldsberry, topped many prediction lists heading into Tuesday morning’s nominations.
So the fact that it received zero nominations was downright shocking to many. The good news is that Goldsberry earned a nod for her work in Hamilton. Although, the fact that Emmy voters gave so much love to a taped play (it received half a dozen nods including lead actors for Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr.) is also controversial to many viewers out there.
Check out the full list of 2021 Emmy nominations here.
[video_embed id='2240701']BEFORE YOU GO: Cedric the Entertainer to host in-person 2021 Emmys[/video_embed]