Clockwise from top left: Netflix; FX; Showtime; Showtime

Which Emmy Nominations Are The Worst?

In a year of actually pretty decent Emmy nods, your editors debate which of the crappy ones is the crappiest. ...Oh hey Kev.

Our Players

Hello, I'm East Coast Editor Sarah D. Bunting.
Hello, I'm West Coast Editor Tara Ariano.

The Talk

Well, we've had a day to sit with the news and pray on it, and I think it's time to address the biggest question with regard to this year's Emmy nominations: which is legit the worst? (With the caveat that we're not dealing with shows we've either watched never or in a real long while, so you're safe to sit this one out, Modern Family.) This is actually a tough question to answer since, unlike so many other years, these nominees are p dece. In fact, I think there are more nominees that pleasantly surprised me -- Ellie Kemper for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! -- than grossed me out. But here's one I feel should at least be in the mix: William H. Macy for Shameless. I don't know if this is a token nod for Showtime, which generally doesn't get a lot of love for its comedies (and certainly won't for Roadies next year), but he's (a) nothing but a walking cliché of a horrible burnout in that role, and (b) really not a Lead Actor by any reasonable standard. Take a seat, Bill, you're not Rob Lowe.

I've never watched Shameless, so I can't comment on Macy's fitness in the category, but I have to think Showtime's in the conversation for the most egregious Drama nom. It's not like Homeland is terrible ("she says, despite clocking it nonstop when it's on"), but it's not in the same league as its fellow nominees, and for Claire Danes to have notched another nomination is insane to me. Again, it's not that she's bad, but she's not showing us anything new, either. And she's taking Carrie Coon's spot there I said it.

As I wrote earlier this week, I definitely feel like Homeland has come to the end of what we can learn about Danes's Carrie Mathison -- and, as so often happens when an actor plays a character with a mental illness, this performance ends up being nominated for awards because it looks like it's the most acting, rather than the best. (I don't disagree about your girl Carrie Coon either, shady is it of the Academy not to recognize Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife's final season? Not that I think it should have, but I'm kind of surprised it didn't if for no other reason than that it was the end. Maybe voters are as mad as I am that Alicia never boned Finn!)

Yeah, I didn't think the world of Margulies's performance in the last season but I think she's probably getting punished for aimless writing. Or being a bitch IRL, the one. What do you think of this Robin Wright nomination for House Of Cards? ...You may have stopped watching, which is totally fair; less fair is the show getting any kind of awards love. I still enjoy it in a trashy-potboiler way, and Wright's still fun to watch, but she's done stronger work in the role...and Kevin Spacey, oy. I could have built a drinking game around the number of times he remembered mid-line that the character's supposed to be from South Carolina, and started using an accent. From...Louisiana somewhere.

I did watch all of House Of Cards Season 4, and boy, hats off to Netflix for tricking anyone into thinking that nonsense is awards bait. On top of all the preposterous politicking, it is SO TRASHY. Robin Wright is my heroine forever for selling it when she asked her opposing would-be First Lady whether she ever regretted having children, but that's not quite enough to hang an award nomination on, in my opinion.

Now, here's one that's not going to make me any friends: Cuba Gooding Jr. for playing O.J. Simpson on American Crime Story. For one thing, I would have submitted him as Supporting. For another...he was kind of not that great in the role, and if Emmy voters had watched O.J.: Made In America before they filled out their ballots, I think they would have agreed.

Wife, we are already friends, so I stand with you on that one. I thought better of Gooding's performance than, well, really any other critic, but it wasn't a lead performance, and it was almost never the best performance in any given scene unless he was by himself.

And speaking of People v. O.J.: Travolta got nominated too!

And I'm praying he wins. That statuette has a face, so he can stick those Shapiro eyebrows on it.


Explore the Television forum or add a comment below.