2013 Emmy Nominations Reaction & Analysis

The nominations for the 2013 Emmys were announced Thursday morning. You’re not going to believe this, but the We Love TV More writers have opinions! Check out our take below:

View the full list of nominations

What nominations are you particularly happy about?

Head Editor Kyle Trembley (@KyleLovesTV)
Glad to see all the love for the phenomenal Top of the Lake, though being classified as a miniseries certainly helps. Here’s hoping it takes down American Horror Story, which was really good this season, but is definitely not a “miniseries” under any definition except the one the Emmys use. Reward the real miniseries, Emmys! The House of Cards nomination for Outstanding Drama is well-earned, even in a stacked field. Adam Driver getting a Supporting Actor nom for his work in ‘Girls’ is welcome as well.

Associate Editor / Social Media Director Blaire Knight-Graves (@BlaireLovesTV)

· Louie – Outstanding Comedy
· Connie Britton – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
· Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy
· Peter Dinklage – Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama
· “And Now His Watch Is Ended” – Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series

Staff Writer Megan Haas (@meggh11)
As always during Emmy nominations time, I agree with around half of the nominees. I am thrilled to see Vera Farmiga in Bates Motel for Best Actress. Within the first 20 minutes of this series’ pilot, I knew that she was going to be one of the names called this morning. She was wonderful this past season. I am also happy to see the Downton Abbey cast pulling a few nominations. I didn’t think they would get some this year because of season 3 having less appeal than the rest. I am specifically happy to see Jim Carter in his role of Mr. Carson being nominated. Also, I like that Kerry Washington from Scandal was one of the names this morning. Cable has been dominating at the award shows so having an actress from a network drama is nice to see.

Guest Contributor Olivia Richards (@RichardsOlivia)
I am thrilled to see Amy Poehler nominated for Lead Actress In a Comedy Series. Her impeccable comedic timing, chemistry with her equally quirky cast, and bubbly energy all work together to make the audience fall in love with her Leslie Knope. Another actress I’m particularly excited to see nominated is Vera Farmiga for Lead Actress In a Drama Series. Although Bates Motel wasn’t everything I had hoped it would be, Farmiga carried the series in my mind. She layered her character’s motherly concern with just enough incest subtext to keep the audience questioning why the mother/son bonding moments just didn’t feel quite right.

Guest Contributor Shana Lieberman (@evilapprentice)
Call me a crazy Browncoat, but finally seeing Morena Baccarin get an Emmy nomination has made my day. Last season of Homeland was fantastically done (as was the first season), and the supporting cast really stepped it up. As much as I’ve never cared for the Brody children, I always found the family scenes to be interesting, and that was 100% because of Morena. Jessica and Nick’s heart to heart in the car during “In Memoriam” was absolutely gut-wrenching, not because I was inclined to care about their marriage but because both actors nailed the scene. Well done, Morena!

What snubs are you most bummed out about?

Hannibal not receiving a single nomination is disappointing but hardly surprising. With the logjam of great dramas on cable, it’s hard for a network drama to find a seat at the table, even if Hannibal could have aired unchanged on FX and fit right in. Still, if you’re telling me that Jeff Daniels (nominated for Lead Actor) is giving a better performance in the loathsome ‘Newsroom’ than Hugh Dancy is in Hannibal, then you and I are not watching the same things. Also disappointed to see ‘The Americans’ get so little attention (just Guest Actress for Margo Martindale and Theme Music) when it was a better show than Homeland this season, full stop. And of course, my beloved ‘Parks and Recreation’ was shut out of the Outstanding Comedy field, and Nick Offerman’s legendary and culturally resonant work as Ron Swanson once again goes unrewarded. He wasn’t better than ONE of the Modern Family actors? NOT ONE?!

Absolutely no Dexter nominations, specifically for Jennifer Carpenter. Did you SEE the “Argentina” episode?! Are you serious, Emmys?

I think the snubs that I am most disappointed about are from NBC’s Hannibal. This series should have at least received something for the technical side if not for Hugh Dancy. I think that show opened a new artistic level for network dramas. It wasn’t hesitant to push boundaries with gore, violence, and psychological thrill that we sometimes see with other shows. However, there isn’t a sense of hesitation with cable series. Hannibal should have pulled in something.

Tatiana Maslany has been getting a lot of huge nods recently for her portrayal of SEVEN different characters on BBC’s Orphan Black. With a crazy plotline, nail biting suspense, and an actress who can play a handful of characters supporting her own central one, you would think that she would have made it onto the Lead Actress in a Drama Series list. Additionally, I’m a bit disappointed that New Girl was snubbed this year. Zooey Deschanel brings her manic pixie dreamgirl Jess Day to life in a way that only she could. I would have loved to see her nominated again.

I could write a book about how many people deserved best actress nominations and didn’t get them. I suppose it’s a good sign that there are so many talented actresses out there, making television what it is, that there just aren’t enough nominations to go around. I’d rather be angry on behalf of my favorites and see their absence from the nominees list as a tragedy, though. Julianna Margulies was once on her way to becoming the Meryl Streep of television, but now she’s suddenly not worthy? Excuse me while I rage. What about Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter? Carpenter’s work on the season 7 finale was so good that cameras kept rolling, capturing an improvisational moment that was so wrought with emotion that it should go down in history as one of the best tv moments of all time. She’s not good enough either? Ok. whatever. Last, but absolutely never least, I am forced to once again lament the fact that nobody seems to take Stana Katic seriously — nobody filling out ballots, at least. I’ll never be able to say enough about how talented and under-appreciated she is, but I guess if you’re on a show that has it all — the crime, the romance, the comedy, the drama, the love of sci-fi, my heart…ok, I’m rambling.. — you’re not allowed to be taken seriously. According to TV Overmind’s Luciana Mangas, “They make Beckett go through every possible emotion in the span of 40 minutes and Stana Katic hit it out of the park in this episode. There is this one scene that is so tense and there is a moment that a single tear escapes her eyes at the peak of the scene, you know? It’s just heartbreaking.” And that was only the beginning of season 5. Stana, you’re in the best of company, even if none of you deserve to be here.

What nominated performer or show do you MOST want to see win?

Amy Poehler. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Lead Actress in a Comedy will come down to Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, but it continues to be a crime that Poehler has never won for bringing Leslie Knope to life as both a comedic and dramatic character. Steve Carell never won an Emmy for his portrayal of Michael Scott, and if Parks ends with Poehler shut out, it will be equally egregious.

Peter Dinklage. He’s a performer on that list who I feel truly deserves a big win. Then again, I don’t watch ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’, so I don’t have a huge point of reference for his competition! Also, I genuinely hope that Louie wins some awards, because that show is brilliant.

I would love to see Vera Farmiga win for her role as Norma Bates in Bates Motel. I think she hit the character perfectly. With little knowledge to form a base with, Farmiga took a iconic Hollywood cinema character and pushed her further. She became a contender this year within the first few moments of the pilot. Also, I love that Sarah Paulson from American Horror Story: Asylum got a nomination this morning for her role as Lana Winters. Her character arc was intense and she stayed true to Lana’s roots until the end, even though her situation was much less than ideal. I think Paulson deserves recognition for this role.

I would LOVE American Horror Story: Asylum to win an award. I tuned in each week knowing full well that I would be cringing or screaming at my TV at least once each episode. That miniseries pushed so many boundaries, took so many risks, and pushed the audience well out of our comfort zones that it most definitely deserves some recognition.

Since I already gave Morena Baccarin her recognition in item 1, I’m going to use this question as my opportunity to talk about the killer talent that is the other nominee from Homeland’s supporting cast. Oh yes, Mandy Patinkin, I’m looking at you. In season 2’s finale, “The Choice,” Mandy made me so ferklempt that I’m sitting at my desk and fighting back tears while trying to write about it. Which scene, do you ask? Well, I’d provide video, but due to Showtime being stingy with the copyright, there doesn’t seem to be anything online. Argh. After the bombing at the vice president’s memorial, Saul arrives at the scene of the crime. He has no idea where Carrie is, assumes she is dead, and is surrounded by the shrouded bodies of countless coworkers, friends, and complete strangers. Then, he starts reciting the mourner’s kaddish — quietly, as if not to disturb the dead. I remember sitting in bed, sobbing (no really, it’s pretty hard not to bawl while I’m writing this), and reciting every word right along with him. If anyone, on any show, deserves an award for any scene whatsoever, it’s Mandy Patinkin for this one. Oh, and the happiness when Carrie arrives! If you’re not watching Homeland and admiring Mandy’s talent, you are absolutely doing it wrong.

Any general thoughts about the selections? Trends? Particularly egregious choices?

Modern Family still hauled in more than its share of nominations, but is it finally losing a little steam as the Emmys juggernaut that it’s been? Here’s hoping so – it’s been a number of seasons since Modern Family was one of the very best comedies on TV, and we’re overdue for Emmy voters to spread their attention around some. No such worries for Homeland, which despite taking a step back in its second season scored a boatload of noms, including Lead Actress for Claire Danes (deserved), Lead Actor for Damian Lewis (not deserved), and Outstanding Drama (eh). And I assume that Matt LeBlanc wrote his own name into the Lead Actor field for his work on the middling Episodes and nobody noticed. That’s the only explanation.

Revolution was nominated for quite a few things, and not ‘Dexter’. Sure, season 7 wasn’t my favorite… but Jennifer Carpenter deserves as many awards as possible for her work as Debra Morgan. What has this world come to?

One nomination that surprised me was Connie Britton for Nashville. I was not a fan of the show and didn’t think it qualified as Emmy worthy. I also am not thrilled that a lot of repeats are happening year after year. It is almost as if people are only watching the same 10 cable shows. I would like to see more variety among the deserving actors and actresses. Every year it looks like there are less and less network shows being nominated. These shows have much more limitations than the cable series and have to work within their space. It is strange to see so many wonderful pieces of work being put in the same category as others. Game of Thrones is not the same as Downton Abbey just like Castle is not Homeland.

I think the nominations for this year are MUCH better than last year’s. I’m so glad that Nashville isn’t overshadowing every other show on TV anymore. The lead actress category showcases strong, driven women, some in typically male dominated professions. These characters show a strength and drive for success that doesn’t overpower their vulnerabilities and flaws that make them three-dimensional and human.

As in recent years, the trend seems to be to nominate cable shows in the drama series (with precious few exceptions), and the majority of the comedy nominations come from the networks. Cable is even creeping in there. I fear for the state of network television. If everything is becoming inundated with cheap reality shows, and the talented, hardworking folks on the big four don’t get credit when they deserve it, what’s the point? And while we’re at it, why is it that dramedies from cable can get nominations, whereas shows that don’t fit neatly in to “drama” or “comedy” boxes from the broadcast networks continuously get snubbed? Food for thought, folks.

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  1. It was very interesting to see Netflix enter the Emmy fray with House of Cards. I see it as an extension of the trend of drama excellence moving to cable networks. The shows offered in these new formats offer more realism and grit than almost anything on the mainstream networks. In my opinion the “Big 4” have mostly abandoned good thought invoking programming for the cheaper, brain rotting, “reality” television.

    A big thumbs up to Shana for the mention of Stana Katic. As a huge fan of her work it was disappointing to see her snubbed again this year. Because Castle is one of those shows that has a bit of everything, it may be hard to fit it into one main category. I am not letting the voters off the hook here. Castle deserves some recognition for its abundance of acting and writing talent. Maybe the sixth time will be a charm?

  2. Definitely agree with Shana that network TV dramas are getting the shaft. Also agree with both Blaire and Shana that Jennifer Carpenter needs some recognition. She’s been stellar lately. And can we please stop nominating Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory for all the comedy spots?

  3. Network shows ARE getting the shaft, but with all the reality shows and generally meh scripted shows they’re producing, I can’t blame them. There are the few shining stars – Castle, Parks & Rec, Hannibal to name a few – but for the most part, they just can’t keep up with the quality of the cable channels because they don’t have the money or freedom behind it.

    SEVERELY disappointed in Orphan Black/Tatiana Maslany being snubbed. I mean honestly – you’re gonna go with Nashville/Connie Britton over that? How many characters did Connie play with such nuance that you often times forget that IT’S THE SAME ACTRESS? Whatever. And as if we needed any more proof that the Emmys have been a joke the last several years, Glee’s still getting nominated for Emmys while Retta is getting snubbed for her comedic genius on Parks & Rec. (Thank god Amy got a nod though!)

    Jennifer Carpenter is freaking GENIUS and heartbreaking on Dexter, but I can almost see why she missed the boat this year – season 7 wasn’t one of Dexter’s strongest; I’ll be more disappointed if she gets the snub NEXT year. Her performance in just three episodes could easily be the top of her career for me, which is saying a lot since she’s one of my favorite characters of all time.

    • Oh and I meant to mention with the talk about the network shows – I’m going to be very disappointed if Stana Katic doesn’t get a nomination before Castle is over. The fact that she hasn’t received one yet is mind blowing; every season tops the last for her performance.

  4. Really cant believe Tatiana didn’t get nominated – Sci Fi style shows rarely get any nominations from the Emmys – look at John Nobles lack of nominations over the years for Fringe…

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