Emmy so boring by Phumuzile Mabasha

This year’s Emmy nominations are out and boy are they boring. We live in a time of Peak TV and there are over 400 shows currently on air. Obviously I did not expect every show to be nominated but a surprise or 2 would have been much appreciated.

2016 saw an amazing group of new television shows with people of color. This growth of diversity in TV was encouraging especially since the audience was introduced to new talent, on and off screen.  We welcomed the Greenleafs and Bordeleons on OWN’s Greenleaf and Queen Sugar respectively. We journeyed to Atlanta with Earn, Paper Boi and Darius (my favorite character in the show). We travelled to the West Coast at meet Issa Dee and all her drama.

2017 continued with the diversity with the second season of Netflix’s Master of None which gave us the critically acclaimed episode about Lena Waithe’s character coming out and explored more of the world of Azizi Ansari’s character.  Netflix continued this by bringing 2014 film Dear White People to screen, which tackled many issues experienced by Black people. Even with the loss of important characters, Jane the Virgin and How to Get Away with Murder were still in top form.  Underground came back for a second season but sadly was cancelled. Another notable turn was Sterling K. Brown take as Randall Pearson on NBC’s juggernaut This Is Us.  Tracee Ellis Ross came into herself as Rainbow Johnson in this past season of Black-ish. Oprah, who in my opinion is such a stellar actress gave an award worthy performance in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Hacks.

I must admit that I am quite disappointed with Thursday’s nominations as they seem extremely predictable, with nothing ground-breaking or exciting. I expected these nominations especially in the women’s categories. Do not get me wrong I thoroughly enjoyed Big Little Lies, The Feud and The Handmaid’s Tale. I will not knock Saturday Night Live hustle because they were hilarious this season.  As I said there was so much amazing TV and amazing stories across the board that I do wish the newcomers such as Queen Sugar, Greenleaf, 13 Reasons Why could have been shown some love. Even shows that ended this year such as the stellar Leftovers and HBO’s Girls could have received some love.

This year there were many people of color nominated. Not as historic as the previous years but representation was definitely there. I’m thrilled by this but these nominees were to be honest the usual suspects. I expect Viola Davis to be nominated because she is brilliant in How to Get Away with Murder but it would have been nice to see other leads from other shows be included such as Dawn-Lyen Gardner of Queen Sugar. I also would have loved to see Insecure get some love. There are some shows that are constantly overlooked and time and time again have stellar performances such as CW’s Jane the Virgin and Starz Power to name a few. 

The question I asked myself after yesterday’s nominations is am I asking too much from the Academy? Is it fair to want surprises and have other favorite shows and performance nominated if there are over 400 shows on TV.  I mean I can barely keep with what is on at the moment. I have my main shows and then if I hear buzz about the show I may watch it. It is crazy because most of the shows that I fell in love with I binged watch off season. Now that it hard because off season has some decent shows and there are so many shows on right now that I need to do a catch up. I also wondered to myself is the voters of the Academy exposed to the shows that have people of color in them not the usual suspects of Black-ish , How to Get Away with Murder, Orange is the New Black etc.

Even though the nominees are predictable, I will watch the Emmys because I want to see if Big Little Lies sweeps and if This Is Us takes the gold home because it such a beautiful show. I do wish that some fresh shows would have gotten some Emmy love but maybe next year. There are some amazing and groundbreaking shows on television and I’m enjoying what I’m seeing, but maybe it was naïve of me to think that Emmys will take notice.