Words: Ciarán Howley
Images: HBO, Netflix, Showtime.
The absolute menace known as the Annual Primetime Emmy Awards returns to wreak havoc
On June 16, voting for the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards went underway. The Television Academy had over 171 submissions for Outstanding Drama Series, 118 for Outstanding Comedy Series and 61 for for Outstanding Limited Series – to be hacked down to categories of 8 and 5.
During the global pandemic, 2020 and 2021 saw a sizable reduction in Emmy contenders on account of Covid-19-related production delays and postponements. 2022 is undoubtedly the year telly bounced back. While 2021 was a year for newcomers, 2022 sees a stacked list of nominees with many of today’s top-rated shows.
Succession – 25 Nominations.
Taking the lead this year is Adam McKay’s comedy-drama Succession, with an outstanding 25 nominations. Among them are the industry’s most coveted prizes, in the realms of writing, directing, acting and producing.
A Shakespearean black comedy set among a bickering media dynasty, the HBO hit series are top performers at the annual award ceremony.
The third season is currently nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, three nominations for Outstanding Direction (“All the Bells Say,” “The Disruption”, “Too Much Birthday”), one nomination for Outstanding Writing (“All the Bells Say.”) Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Nicolas Braun, Sarah Snook, J.Smith Cameron, Kieran Culkin, and Matthew MacFadyn are all nominated for their performances in the series.
Stranger Things 13 Nominations.
‘Strangers’ everywhere will be delighted by yesterday’s announcement that the fourth season of Stranger Things received 13 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series. In all areas technical, the science-fiction horror finds itself highly decorated, with nods for Outstanding Visual Effects, Sound Editing and Mixing and Make-up and Hairstyling, to name a few.
However, there was dismay at the Academy’s snub for acting – namely, the entire cast. There was not one member of the Stranger Things Season 4 cast to receive an acting nomination, with many fans taking to Twitter to protest. In particular, the performances of Millie Bobby Brown, Sadie Sink and Joe Keery were singled out for praise by critics, but seemingly the Television Academy did not agree.
The White Lotus 11 Nominations.
For a show that went largely under the radar, The White Lotus has beaten all expectations and received eleven nominations, including a quartet of nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series. Jennifer Coolidge stole the show as an older heiress on the brink; proving her dramatic chops were not to be underestimated.
However, for its nominations for Outstanding Limited Series, Direction, Writing and Producing, it’s not a stretch to say there were better candidates such as Netflix’s Maid, NBC’s Gaslit and HBO’s Station Eleven.
Atlanta. Outstanding Comedy Series.
In its first two seasons, Atlanta, the brainchild of the artist-sometimes-known-as-Childish-Gambino-but-mostly-Donald-Glover, struck gold at awards season. Critics hailed the series for its blend of timely, eccentric humour with touches of Lynchian surrealism peppered throughout. Glover himself took home awards in the first season for his acting and directing for the episode “B.A.N.”
Season two would go on to amass thirteen nominations, strapping wins for Outstanding Guest Actor (Katt Williams) and Outstanding Cinematography under its belt. The Academy have received the third series with far less fanfare however, offering three nominations without an Outstanding Comedy Series nod in sight. This has been attributed to the more consolidated approach to storytelling the third season took, consisting of mostly stand-alone episodes.
Euphoria. Outstanding Supporting Actress, Hunter Schafer.
It’s by no means controversial to suggest that the second outing of HBO’s so-out-there teen drama Euphoria was not the critical darling its predecessor was. Fans and critics alike were sceptical of the series storytelling choices, lack of direction and the treatment of characters like Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and Jules (Hunter Schafer).
While Sweeney received a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama, Schafer did not, despite the consistent praise her performance received throughout. Despite the criticism that the character’s arc surrounding her gender transition was sidelined in favour of more salacious storylines, Schafer continued to excel in the role. Overall, Euphoria‘s mere three nominations pale in comparison to the first season’s success and perhaps will serve as a wake-up call to showrunner Sam Levinson and his one-man-band approach.
Yellowjackets. Outstanding Drama Series.
Largely the underdog of this year’s awards season, Showtime’s Yellowjackets has proved itself as a contender with seven major nominations; including Outstanding Drama Series. Think Heathers-meets-Lord of the Flies and what you have is a dark, meditative series on trauma, grief and addiction in the aftermath of a tragic plane crash. Also nominated are Cristina Ricci and Melanie Lynsky for their turns as two of the survivors, in Lead and Supporting roles.
As a Showtime series, Yellowjackets was never a sure fire for this year’s contenders. That said, it’s turned out to be one of the year’s most popular shows; in terms of writing, directing and acting – we’re rooting for Yellowjackets all the way.
These are just our takes. Peep the full list of nominations here.
Elsewhere on District: Call Me Mommy wins Best Short Documentary at Galway Film Fleadh