Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

tally

Evaluating This Year’s Emmy Nominees: The Pro and Con List

Worthy nominees: (clockwise from upper left) Parks and Recreation, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, Louie

The Emmy nominees were just announced, and if this year's list isn't quite as refreshing as last year's, it's not too shabby. Sure, there were some oversights (Community! Ron Swanson!) but there were plenty of great calls as well (Friday Night Lights! Louis C.K!). This assortment of new contenders, old favorites, and Gwyneth Paltrow — Holly Holiday in the house! — makes for an interesting mix, but to assess just how interesting, and in what ways, we put the nominations to the old pro-con test, to see what they were made of. Relatively good stuff! Check it out.

Con: But somehow Ron Swanson was not! What does a man have to do: find rabbits who look like him?

Con: But somehow Ron Swanson was not! What does a man have to do: find rabbits who look like him?

Con: Look, if you're going to nominate actors for their work in The Killing, Joel Kinnaman, who plays the metaphysical, possibly nefarious homeboy Stephen Holder, is your boy, not the incessantly chewing Mirelle Enos and the incessantly crying Michelle Forbes, who both got nominations. (It doesn't look like The Killing's rapid critical descent hurt it with voters much.)

Con: Meanwhile, in the Best Supporting Comedy Actor category, Modern Family's cast got four of the six nominations. They're great, but so is Nick Offerman. And Neil Patrick Harris. And Jason Segel.

Pro: That said, it does warm our heart to see Ed O'Neill, who was snubbed last year, recognized alongside his co-stars, and without having to enter the Best Actor category to do it.

Con: Look, if you're going to nominate actors for their work in The Killing, Joel Kinnaman, who plays the metaphysical, possibly nefarious homeboy Stephen Holder, is your boy, not the incessantly chewing Mirelle Enos and the incessantly crying Michelle Forbes, who both got nominations. (It doesn't look like The Killing's rapid critical descent hurt it with voters much.)

Pro: One show that was recognized in the right category: Rubicon, for its title sequence. More riveting than the show!

Pro: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, and Christina Hendricks all got nominated for Mad Men. Also, the wonderful "The Suitcase" episode was nominated in three different categories, including Writing. And, best of all, Randee Heller was nominated for her role as the late Miss Blankenship.

Con: Frank Darabont didn't get nominated for directing the amazing pilot for The Walking Dead. Even if Martin Scorsese has this category locked up for Boardwalk Empire, Darabont was robbed.

Pro: Emmy voters wisely avoided overhonoring Dead, keeping it out of the Series, Acting, and Writing categories. There were more worthy nominees.

Pro: Justified cleaned up, with nominations for Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Margo Martindale, and Jeremy Davies.

Con: No love for Sons of Anarchy. And Katey Segal gets robbed of a Best Actress nod by Kathy Bates in ... Harry's Law.

Con: Toni Collette was not nominated for United States of Tara, even though she won an Emmy for the role in 2009 and was nominated again last year. Kyra Sedgwick wasn't nominated even though she won last year. Neil Patrick Harris wasn't nominated this year, after four years in the running for Supporting Actor. And Lea Michele, also a nominee last year, wasn't nominated this year.

Pro: Meanwhile, Matthew Morrison and January Jones, both nominated last year, were not nominated this year. (We're not dissing you, Mr. Schue, you just haven't had anything to work with!)

Con: Gabriel Byrne, Amy Ryan, and Irrfan Khan all got snubbed for In Treatment.

Pro: Friday Night Lights finally — finally! — got nominated for Outstanding Drama. And Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton were both nominated again, too!

Pro: Louis C.K.!

Pro: Downton Abbey!

Pro: Katie Holmes did not get an Emmy nomination for her performance as Jackie Kennedy in Reelz' The Kennedys

Con: Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper and Tom Wikinson were nominated. Nothing against these fine actors, but Kennedys was dreck. And yet it got ten Emmy nominations.

Pro: Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon's shows both got nominated in the late-night category, while Jay Leno was once again snubbed.

Con: For the second consecutive year, David Letterman did not get an Emmy nomination. That just seems wrong.

Pro: Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman both getting nominated for Raising Hope, with Plimpton as lead actress and Leachman as a guest star.

Con: Men of a Certain Age only got one nomination, for Andre Braugher's portrayal of Owen.

Con: And Mr. Braugher and Archie Panjabi were the only two actors of color nominated in the eight major acting categories.

Pro: Futurama returned with original episodes last year and is once again nominated.

Con: But there was no love for Bob's Burgers.

Pro: Peter Dinklage got Game of Thrones' only acting nomination, but the series was also nominated for Outstanding Casting, Costumes, Directing for a Drama, Hairstyling, Opening Title Design, Non-Prosthetic Makeup, Prosthetic Makeup, Drama Series, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Stunt Coordination, and Writing (for "Baelor").

Pro: Gwyneth Paltrow's Holly Holiday gets nominated as a Guest Actress in a Comedy for her turn on Glee. Some of you will argue this is a con, but please, go watch her belt out "Forget You,," while you block out all her recommendations for organic, expensive, homemade, bowel-cleansing Cheerios or what have you. EGOT, look out.

Con: And speaking of Oscars, the debacle that was this year's James Franco–led Academy Awards somehow got nine Emmy nominations, including one for Best Direction.

Pro: Justin Timberlake snagged three Emmy nominations for his SNL work, including Hosting, co-writing his opening monologue, and co-writing the song "3-Way."

Con: Yet another reason for him to put off recording a new album.

Pro: 18, Con: 15: Solid, Emmys.

Related: The List of Emmy Nominees
How Many More Seasons Do Your Favorite TV Shows Have to Live?

Photo: Clockwise from top left: Justin Lubin/NBC, Michael Yarish/AMC, Bill Records/NBC, FX