2022 Emmy Nominations: Could the Television Academy Be Any Lazier?

Everyone complains that there are too many awards shows these days.

Well, the 2022 Emmy Nominations show why spreading the wealth is not only a good thing but a necessity.

If you didn’t know better, you’d think there are less than 25 programs on the air across all categories and mediums.

With over 550 shows to choose from, it’s unreal that the categories are littered with multiple numbers of nominees from the same shows.

Yes, Ted Lasso is highly entertaining; but is it so entertaining that they should sweep the supporting actor in a comedy category?

With Ted Lasso getting three nods in each of the supporting actor categories, well, that’s just lazy.

How did What We Do In the Shadows garner a series nod, but not a single actor — the people who bring the story to life — got a nomination. It’s bizarre.

What’s even stranger is that Pamela Adlon’s Better Things didn’t get attention in its final season. Better Things never strayed from its intimate portrait of three generations of women.

Adlon was nominated for Lead Actress in 2017 and 2018 but got snubbed here. I would have liked to see Adlon recognized for her direction, which was impeccable.

Limited series Emmy nominations didn’t fare any better than comedies. The Staircase, Under the Banner of Heaven, Dopesick, Pam & Tommy, Inventing Anna, Impeachment: American Crime Story, and The Dropout all have something in common — they’re all based on a true story.

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series found three nods for The White Lotus and three for Dopesick.

It gets worse for the Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie. FIVE nominations for The White Lotus and two for Dopesick. No other production even merited one nod. Really?

It’s hard to fathom that only two productions across the limited series category get the supporting acting in limited series nominations. Even if we don’t stray from the based-on-a-true-story programming, there should still be other nominees to be found.

Under the Banner of Heaven’s Wyatt Russell was worth a look, as was Daisy Edgar-Jones. And it’s a crime that Matthew Goode wasn’t nominated. His work on The Offer was mesmerizing. How could the Academy have missed that show when it was also based on real events? That’s their thing, after all.

What about The Girl from Plainville? Unlike other true-crime stories, Plainville offered an unbiased approach to storytelling, allowing the characters to speak on behalf of those involved.

It worked, and Elle Fanning and Chloƫ Sevigny performed their hearts out.

But let’s stray from the beaten path and ask why Tyler Sheridan’s 1883 didn’t garner a single nod. Sure, his work sometimes leans toward soapiness, but 1883 was excellently cast and told a full story from start to finish.

Isabel May, on whose shoulders the entire story rested, should have earned a nomination for either lead or supporting actress, and Sheridan could have easily earned a writing nom for the premiere and other episodes. At a time when creators are pulling only from real events, Sheridan

But I’d venture to guess that none of the Academy members even watched it.

Midnight Mass won accolades across the board, but there wasn’t a single consideration for the Netflix series. Hamish Linklater gave a tour de force performance as Father Paul, and his omission is tragic.

I’d say that the drama categories fared better than the comedy and limited nominations, but still, the same shows were nominated ad nauseum: Succession, Severance, Squid Game, Yellowjackets, Ozark, and Euphoria.

Believe me; I fully support all of the above shows. They’re excellent. But so are other shows, and the love should be spread throughout the categories so that it doesn’t seem the Academy refuses to venture outside of its box. That’s sure how it looks.

Seven out of 12 nominees for guest acting in a drama went to Succession. Why? We get it; it’s your favorite show. It’s in my top five, too. But there is so much more worthy of appreciation and consideration.

This Is Us was a cultural phenomenon. Garnering six nominations in 2021, it didn’t get a single nom for 2022. Mandy Moore was only nominated one time through the series’ run, but This Is Us Season 6 was all hers as her character battled progressive dementia.

As broadcast television settles into procedural fare across the board, This Is Us was likely the last drama that would draw acclaim. But I guess the lack of it from the Academy for its final season is telling in itself.

Michelle King and Robert King know television, but you’d never know it from the Television Academy’s voting. They recognized the Good Wife consistently during its run, but The Good Fight only had two nominations — for original music and title song.

Evil flips genre television on its head, showing the struggle between good and evil in our everyday lives. The writing is smart and prophetic, daring to discuss things you won’t see elsewhere.

Katja Herbers is riveting as a mother of five girls, working as an assessor for the Catholic Church to investigate possible religious phenomena like angels and demons. I can only guess this is part of the Paramount+ problem. The Academy doesn’t seem to know they exist.

All of this brings us to Yellowstone. Hands down, it’s the biggest scripted series on TV. It’s a sweeping family saga focusing on the changing landscape of the West.

The elites of the Academy probably ignore it for daring to take place in “flyover” country, but Taylor Sheridan provides an abundance of dramatic excitement, proving it shouldn’t be overlooked.

It should surely be nominated for Best Drama, and Kelly Reilly should be tapped for Best Actress for her performance as Beth Dutton. Any of its actors — Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Wes Bentley, and Cole Hauser — could be recognized in their respective categories, as well.

Like the Oscars, the Emmys have hit a rut. There is more good entertainment than ever available for and worthy of acknowledgment, but their respective academies seem unable or unwilling to find the time to consider it.

In the meantime, other awards programs will continue doing the work they don’t want to do, making the Oscars and Emmys less valuable overall. Given this year’s thoughtless nominations, that’s what they deserve.

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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