Here are the biggest winners and losers among the 2022 nominations, reflecting industry trends and, for the most part, successfully speaking for the Emmys’ continued relevance.
Winner: The Overdogs. We won’t be in for many surprises on Emmys night on Monday, September 12th. HBO (and its streaming offshoot HBO Max) was still the king of broadcasters, ruling the television world with 140 nominations, more than any other rival. And based on the cascade of nods bestowed on last year’s comedy winner “Ted Lasso” (which received an additional 20 nominations Tuesday) and 2020 drama winner “Succession” (which added 25 more nods to its proverbial mantelpiece). were Plus Breakout and HBO Heavyweight are pretty much a lockdown. (“Succession” ceded the 2021 category to The Crown because it didn’t produce a season eligible for last year’s ceremony.)
Of those two, “Ted Lasso,” which delivered a controversial second season, is the slightly weaker competitor, standing up to the likes of “Hacks” (HBO Max) and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video) alongside newcomers like ” Abbott Elementary (ABC) and Only Murders in the Building (Hulu). “Succession” should hold its own against first-time nominees “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) and “Severance” (Apple TV Plus), but there’s a 1 in 456 chance that “Squid Game” (Netflix) will cause a stir.
As always, limited or anthology series is the only category where the winner doesn’t feel predetermined, with a dead heat this year between Hulu’s Elizabeth Holmes series The Dropout, the same streamer’s opioid drama Dopesick, and HBO’s eat-the-rich satire The White Lotus.
2022 Emmy Nominations: “Succession” Deserves Most Recognition; “Squid Game” writes history
Losers: movie stars. An Oscar was no guarantee of an Emmy nomination this year, heralding the end of the industry trend in which A-listers who “slum on TV” receive a trophy for their troubles. Julia Roberts was credited for her role as tangential Watergate player Martha Mitchell in Starz’s Gaslit, as were Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway for their WeWork reboot WeCrashed (Apple). John C. Reilly was fantastic in HBO’s “Winning Time,” but the basketball series about an unstoppable team was sidelined. Michelle Pfeiffer and Viola Davis fared no better with their larger-than-life (or, depending on who you ask, backdrop-chewing) performances as Betty Ford and Michelle Obama in Showtime’s unashamedly award-winning The First Lady. Even newly crowned Oscar winner Jessica Chastain was snubbed by the TV academy; Only her Scenes From a Marriage (HBO) co-star, Oscar Isaac, proved to be an exception to the rule.
If you can’t muster much sympathy for the impossibly rich, beautiful, and famous, maybe spare some thought for the minor snubs that infuriated me: Naveen Andrews, who, as Elizabeth Holmes’ lover and business partner, was at least as great as Amanda Seyfried in “The Dropout”; Brian Tyree Henry, who served as the emotional anchor of a rootless third season of FX’s “Atlanta”; and Sarah Lancashire, who gave Julia Child her own inimitable touch in HBO Max’s “Julia.”
Winner: ’90s Nostalgia. It looks like we won’t be done re-examining quarter-century-old scandals anytime soon. Despite mixed critical response, Hulu’s revenge porn story Pam & Tommy received 10 nominations, including three for stars Lily James, Sebastian Stan and Seth Rogen. The even cooler-received Impeachment: American Crime Story, FX’s star-studded but lackluster retelling of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky’s relationship, garnered five nominations, including a surprise nomination for Sarah Paulson, who played Linda Tripp, and received critical acclaim for the increasingly controversial practice by actors donning fat suits.
Perhaps that’s why Yellowjackets’ original premise, which jumps in time between the ’90s and today, feels so refreshing. (That, or the hinted cannibalism.) The Showtime genre series earned recognition for beloved former child stars Melanie Lysnkey and Christina Ricci, who play the haunted middle-aged versions of teenage girls who survive a plane crash and are determined to live at all Costs.
Losers: “This is Us” and “Black-ish”. For most of its runs, the NBC Weepie and ABC Family sitcom kept network programming on the Emmys radar. But both shows were suspended for their farewell seasons — a notable development, especially for the nightly soap’s lively final year, which featured a fan-favorite performance by Mandy Moore. But broadcaster loyalists – if that’s a thing – need not despair. ABC’s Abbott Elementary, the first-grader mockumentary comedy set in a Philadelphia public school, has taken the baton, with (well-deserved) nominations for cast members Quinta Brunson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Janelle James and Tyler James Williams.
Winner: Hulu. Despite its uncertain future as a Disney streaming site in competition with its majority owner’s much larger player in the streaming wars (Disney Plus), Hulu had an amazing morning with multiple nominations for “Dopesick,” “Pam & Tommy,” and “Only Murders.” “. in the Building” and the Russian aristocratic comedy “The Great”. If Hulu execs want to argue with Big Mouse that it should remain an independent company, they could certainly start with Tuesday’s Emmy numbers.
Loser: second graders. Broadly speaking, Emmy voters still tend to nominate the same shows over and over again, no matter how downhill a show goes. (Case in point: the smug and hellishly chaotic second season of HBO’s “Euphoria,” which got 16 nods that round.) But the television academy took note of other shows that saw significant dips in their second year on “The Morning Show” ( Apple TV Plus), “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max), “Russian Doll” (Netflix) and “Bridgerton” (Netflix) are losing precipitously to voters.
Winner: The Expanding TV Landscape. “Adventurous” is certainly not a word to describe the Academy’s overall taste. But over the past few years, they’ve proven more and more that they can’t stay completely aloof from changes in the industry. They championed Apple TV Plus early on, for example, even if they overcompensated by drooling on “Ted Lasso” pretty much all over the place.
Academy members have continued their occasional forays beyond the nominees fed them this year’s expensive awards campaigns, nominated programs from Paramount Plus and the Roku Channel, and, to a pleasant surprise, tipped their toes into ghastly genres with “Yellowjackets.” food dipped. and “Squid Game”. The latter became the first non-English language nominee in the drama category — Acknowledging that viewers are more willing than ever to break the “one inch barrier” of subtitles, according to the memorable phrasing of “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho. But even the most homely and soothing TV shows like Abbott Elementary were loved by the Emmys this season. Television should offer many kinds of excellence, and the Emmys are finally getting closer to recognizing that.