As we have some fun speculating on what shows, actors and writers are going to be nominated for Emmys this year, let’s take a second to remember some shows that, for one reason or another, never got the love they deserved from the academy voters.
These are shows that have been widely, even universally, praised by critics and have loyal, almost slavish followings, but never made a dent in any of the major Emmy categories.
There are some surprises on this list, one of which is actually an Emmy nominee and winner many times over … but still feels like it’s gotten no love.
“The Wire”: To many critics and fans, the HBO classic is considered one of the best dramas of all time. The gritty portrayal of the life of both cops and drug culture in Baltimore gathered up so much praise in its five seasons that you’d think it would have a boatload of Emmys. Their haul, however, was more like something that could fit in an overnight bag: two nominations, both for David Simon‘s writing, and no wins. Was the material just too grim for the academy to appreciate? If that’s the case, then why did “The Sopranos” take home so many statuettes?
“Gilmore Girls”: There weren’t many other shows like it on TV: a hip mom, her teenage daughter/buddy, and a Connecticut town full of characters, all shooting off Amy Sherman-Palladino‘s rapid-fire, pop reference-laden dialogue. At some point, you would have thought that Sherman-Palladino, star Lauren Graham, who handled the dialogue and emotions like a pro, or supporting star Kelly Bishop would have at least gotten a nomination. But the show got nominated for only one Emmy in its seven-year run, for makeup. The show did at least get a win for its one and only nod; let’s hope the makeup department lets Graham and Sherman-Palladino come and visit the Emmy every so often.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”: Perhaps this show suffered from the same problem that “Gilmore Girls” did: It had “WB-itis,” which is a condition where your show airs on an obscure broadcast network that’s never taken seriously. But aside from one writing nomination for Joss Whedon, the funny and always surprising classic only got nods for its music, makeup, visual effects and other technical awards.
“Battlestar Galactica”: Science fiction never really gets much attention from any academy, much less the folks that give out Emmys. If any show is the poster child for this, it’s “Galactica.” Even though the series was more of a morality play and an examination of interpersonal relationships in the midst of war than anything else, the backdrop of space seems to render these well-drawn stories meaningless when it comes to awards. It’s gotten a bunch of technical awards and nominations, but only one writing nod and nothing for any of the show’s fine actors. Not even Mary McDonnell could manage a nod for playing the stoic and strong Laura Roslin.
“The Simpsons”: What’s that you say? “The Simpsons” has won more Emmys than it knows what to do with? You’re right; it gets nominated or wins every year … in the animated series categories. But let’s face it, Matt Groening‘s record-breaking animated classic is more suited to be judged along with its fellow comedy series. Yet it’s never gotten a nomination in the comedy series categories, either for the show itself or for its writing. For its entire 22-year existence, it’s been stuck in the animation backwater, never to be given a chance to play with the A-team. Is the academy afraid it would win every year if it competed head-to-head with live-action comedies? This could also be said about “South Park,” but we can only take on one case at a time; besides, Matt Stone and Trey Parker will be too busy shining their Tonys for “The Book of Mormon” to even care.