The Emmy Awards are like that friend who gets into something five months after everyone else is done with it.
That explains today's nomination of Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black, a nod that people have been hoping and wishing on for so long that it's among the most boring announcements (sorry Brit). Overall, though, the Emmys went for broad appeal, including plenty of old hats but lots of new surprises, too.
Game of Thrones got the most nominations with 24 nods, American Horror Story: Freak Show with 19, and Olive Kitteridge with 13. And with best actress nominations for Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis, it's possible an African-American actress could win the prestigious award, something that has never happened before.
The Times' TV obsessed writers, Brittany Volk and Michelle Stark, take on the nominations, announced Thursday morning.
Brittany: I don't really have a voice this morning (Shania Twain concert + cold) but I screamed when they read Tatiana Maslany's name. I think I (orphan)-blacked out. I hope this gets more people watching BBC America's Orphan Black. But I have severe rage in the lack of Outlander and Rectify nominations. Even Tobias Menzies couldn't get a nod in the Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category. But, I'm both happy and sad about my most of predictions panning out. Downton Abbey, really? Homeland, gawd. JEFF DANIELS??? But Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (squee! Tituss Burgess got a Supporting Comedy Actor nod!!! PEEEEEENOOOOO NOOOOOIRRRRRR!!!!) and Amy Schumer totally deserve these surprise nominations.
Michelle: The Emmys seem to have taken a "We can't choose so let's include everyone" philosophy this year, nominating seven shows in the best drama and comedy categories for the first time ever. This means that continually inexplicable contenders like down Downton Abbey continue to make the cut, and the Emmys get to look cool by rewarding Netflix shows that aren't House of Cards. I'm glad to see Orange is the New Black make it in the drama category, given that it was forced to submit as a drama this year instead of a comedy like it was last year because of new Emmy rules. (Also, OITNB season 2 was everything.)
Amy Schumer's inclusion is thrilling, too. She's been here before but never in the lead actress category. Just another sign that she's having a freaking great year.
The nomination for Better Call Saul in the drama category proves that the Emmys love people they've already honored before — in this case the crew behind Breaking Bad. (This also applies to Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, one of the year's funniest and most-talked about gems.) But while Saul's first season could be great at times, its nom (and especially Bob Odenkirk's) is proof this year's crop of shows isn't quite as strong as some years past.
Brittany: How adorable were Uzo Aduba and Cat Deeley when their shows were nominated (and then themselves)? They're so cute. But let's talk about this year's diversity. At least 18 people of color were nominated. I'm happily surprised by Anthony Anderson's (black-ish) nomination, but disappointed not seeing Constance Wu's (Fresh Off The Boat) and Gina Rodriguez's (Jane The Virgin) names up there in Best Comedy Actress.
But this really makes me sad:
Number of Nick Offerman nominations for playing Ron Swanson = 0.
My other disappointments: Broad City, man (not really that surprising.) And where did The Good Wife nominations go? (Props to Alan Cumming, though.)
But what really made me squee with glee was the lack of The Big Bang Theory nominations. Finally, you guys.
Michelle: I have to say, in general, the amount of love Parks and Recreation got is surprising, in a great way. What's perhaps most encouraging to me out of today's noms is the fact that ALL of the nominees in the Outstanding Actress Drama category are different from last year, a real testament to how many rockstar roles there are for women on TV right now. And I am heartened by the Mad Men noms, particularly the acting ones for Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm, both of whom seem most deserving of a win in their respective categories to me. Actually, there are so many names up here it's hard to be too upset about anything. Let's save that for when the winners are announced. Way to go, Emmys. It's almost like you're cool or something.