It’s well known that award shows tend to recognize the same people and themes year after year. With the 2017 Emmys airing on Sunday, Sept. 17, we’ll see some new faces, but mostly a lot of the same. Is anyone else a little tired of this?
While these series may have deserved accolades in the past, it’s time to stop rewarding them and give the newcomers a chance. After all, it is the golden age of TV, and there are only so many open slots for freshman offerings. Let’s take a look at the shows that have already received their praise and should cease receiving nominations.
Featuring a likable ensemble cast, the lighthearted comedy Modern Family has won a total of 22 Emmys from 80 nominations. This talking head sitcom has been on the air for eight years and has already been renewed through Season 10.
As programming heads in a more genre-bending direction, full-on comedic series with this kind of easy-to-follow premise are fewer than ever before, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Shouldn’t the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) pivot to honoring more groundbreaking ideas?
Saturday Night Live
Considering how long it has been on the air, Saturday Night Live hasn’t won that many Emmys. Still, 50 out of 221 nominations is a lot — and probably more than the inconsistent variety sketch show should have.
A lot of SNL’s nominations are in the technical and creative categories, which are arguably well-deserved. But despite a landmark past two seasons (mostly due to great guest stars and the current political climate), it’s hard to deny that the show isn’t nearly as funny as it once was. Let’s try awarding another sketch show once in a while, and leave this dinosaur off the table.
Another long-running comedy, The Simpsons, has dominated the animated programming category for years. It’s familiar, funny, and everyone watches it. The Simpsons is the easy choice.
But the amazing TV of today extends into the animated world, and a lot of it is being ignored. The poignant Archer has only won once, and miraculously, groundbreaking offerings like BoJack Horseman and Rick and Morty are completely ignored. It’s time to drop The Simpsons doing the same old thing and embrace the new.
House of Cards
The U.S. has a tendency to take British shows, remake them for American audiences, and then make them go on way longer than the source material. Based on the U.K. series of the same name, House of Cards has done just that. And while the early seasons offered an exciting and dramatic take on the government, it’s all getting a bit repetitive at this point.
Now, that’s not to say that the acting isn’t great: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Michael Kelly have deserved the consistent nominations, for which they sadly have yet to win. But the Outstanding Drama Series nod has got to go — it’s just not a top contender amongst the many amazing series out there.
Chances are the Academy will continue to nominate House of Cards as long as it’s on air, perhaps finally giving it its due diligence for its final season.
While we’re on the political front, let’s switch genres for a minute. Veep is a hilarious political satire and has been rightfully noticed over the last few years. But things are different now.
Isn’t everyone just a little bit sick of politics these days? We get it with SNL, of course, but it seems like everyone is clamoring to weigh in with their hilarious takes on the administration. At this point, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss has won for her lead role four times in a row, and the series itself has won for Outstanding Comedy twice.
With so many previously ignored yet amazing actors and shows in the running, maybe one of them deserves the crown this time around.
Thrilling drama series Homeland was once the new kid on the block and raked in quite a few awards. But as the years go on, it’s starting to feel like we’re rewarding the same things over and over while ignoring what’s groundbreaking.
And to a degree, the ATAS acknowledges this. The nominations for Homeland have waned in the last couple of years, and it was bumped from the Outstanding Drama Series category in 2017. Maybe if Mandy Patinkin is finally awarded for his supporting role this year, we can let the final two seasons come and go without acknowledgment.
The Big Bang Theory
For a straightforward sitcom, The Big Bang Theory can be a divisive show. You either love it for its lightheartedness and whimsical characters, or you hate it because it’s yet another relic of the“turn off your mind” TV era that the industry is moving away from. Also, misogyny.
But for once, it seems like the ATAS is actually ahead of the game. In 2017, for the first time in almost 10 years, TBBT hasn’t been nominated in a single major Emmys category. Hopefully, they repeat this pattern again next year.
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