Why the Emmy 2019 Nominations Represent an Overdue and Refreshing Change of Pace (Column)

Variety | 7/18/2019 | Caroline Framke
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The 2019 Emmy nominations saw HBO surging back to the top of the pack, thanks to the final season of “Game of Thrones,” which scored a record 32 nominations. Perhaps it was to be expected that the epic drama would keep its network at the center of awards conversations, but, happily, it couldn’t dominate every category. Comedy, especially, opened up this year to welcome plenty of new faces, representing an overdue and refreshing change of pace. Here, Variety’s TV critics talk about key themes of this year’s Emmy ballot.

Daniel D’Addario: I’ll start with the heavy hitters — the signature, departed hits from nomination leader HBO, both past winners and both likely to repeat again. I share in the general consensus that the level of recognition for both “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” is no surprise. With that said, there are surprises within those nominations. I had perceived Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington as on the bubble (she for her character’s unpopular heel-turn, he for being less flashily written). Both made it in; so too did first-time nominees Alfie Allen, Gwendoline Christie and Sophie Turner, all three in the supporting categories. “Thrones,” especially, was nominated about everywhere it conceivably might have been — a startling result only given that the season was so widely pilloried by its fans online. Perhaps its ability to catalyze such strong emotion makes the case for it as a defining drama of our time. Were you as surprised by the outpouring of love as I was?

Caroline - Framke - Drama - Race - Year

Caroline Framke: To be honest, no. Given how relatively thin the drama race was this year since almost all of 2018’s nominees (save “Thrones” and “This Is Us”) were ineligible, it seemed inevitable that HBO’s landmark series would crush the competition even if the final season were a complete disaster (I...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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