Emmy Nominations 2015: The Year’s Biggest Snubs and Surprises

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One of the most fun yearly traditions for television fans is loudly, incessantly discussing the Emmy nominations (followed, of course, by discussing the winners), whether it’s to praise or complain. 2015 is no different — though list of nominees is certainly better, and more diverse, than last year’s. Here is Flavorwire’s look at the biggest snubs and surprises.

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul Downton Abbey Game of Thrones Homeland House of Cards Mad Men Orange Is the New Black

There isn’t anything surprising here, especially since Downton, Thrones, Mad Men, and House of Cards were all nominated in this category last year, Orange is just moving over from the comedy section, and Better Call Saul is basically taking the place of Breaking Bad. Once again, the most-talked about snub is FX’s The Americans, which is continuing to churn out great season after great season without any best drama nominations. But the two biggest snubs? No Empire and no Rectify.

The thing about the drama nominees this year is that they just aren’t that interesting. It’s a pretty snore-worthy category with nothing that is terrible but plenty that could be swapped in for a number of other series: Being Mary Jane, Justified, How to Get Away with Murder, or Orphan Black, to name a few. I’d even take Daredevil or Parenthood to shake things up. And until we get the Outstanding Teen Drama category we deserve — let’s recognize Switched at Birth here.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Louie Modern Family Parks and Recreation Silicon Valley Transparent Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Veep

There’s not much to complain about here, because all of the nominees, except perhaps the stale Modern Family, are very deserving — especially Transparent and Parks and Recreation, which bounced back and had a stellar final season. And look: no Big Bang Theory! Progress! But, same as last year, we’re mourning the exclusion of Broad City (my guess is that voters will catch on to its brilliance after it ends), and I would certainly swap Modern Family for Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

When it comes to new comedies, Jane the Virgin‘s snub is unjustifiable, even if the Emmys completely ignore The CW over and over. But it was also such a crowded field that I would’ve accepted any nominations for Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, and You’re The Worst. At least Last Man on Earth scored one for writing.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul Kyle Chandler, Bloodline Kevin Spacey, House of Cards Jon Hamm, Mad Men Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

With True Detective‘s guys out of the way, we have room for Kyle Chandler to return (he was nominated twice for Friday Night Lights and won once), and for Liev Schreiber to pop up, despite the fact that I have never met a single person who has watched Ray Donovan. Odenkirk takes Bryan Cranston’s spot; Jon Hamm continues to keep hoping (while I’m hoping he’ll finally get his Emmy by winning his other nomination: guest actor in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). Once again, proving how repetitive this category can be, my complaints are the same as last year: less Jeff Daniels, more Matthew Rhys and Timothy Olyphant.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Taraji P. Henson, Empire Claire Danes, Homeland Robin Wright, House of Cards Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Here’s a great category! And it’s also where Empire‘s nomination ended up, which makes sense because Taraji P. Henson as Cookie is, without a doubt, the best thing about an already-great show. Viola Davis is also a very welcome nominee, as is — finally — Tatiana Maslany, who, per the Emmys site, is nominated for her roles as “Alison/ Cosima/ Helena/ Rachel and Krystal/ Sarah.” Maslany’s nomination is the biggest surprise — not because she doesn’t deserve it (she has, from the very beginning), but because it was starting to feel like the voters would never catch on.

Outstanding Supporting Actor/Actress in a Drama

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline Jim Carter, Downton Abbey Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Alan Cumming, The Good Wife Michael Kelly, House of Cards

Joanne Froggatt, Downtown Abbey Lena Headey, Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones Christine Baranski, The Good Wife Christina Hendricks, Mad Men Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black

There are some wonderful gems here — most notably Uzo Aduba, one of the announcers this morning, who had the best reaction to learning of her nomination, and Jonathan Banks, who has been fantastic in Better Call Saul — and not many surprises. Though I would have loved if longshot Vincent D’Onofrio got nominated for his terrifying but sympathetic portrayal of Walter Fisk or Walton Goggins for being the best actor on Justified (which is no easy task considering the talent that filled that series). While Aduba is amazing, this category could have been stacked with plenty of OITNB women: Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Taryn Manning (maybe next year for her; these nominations are based on Season 2), Lorraine Toussaint, and Samira Wiley.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish Louis C.K., Louie Don Cheadle, House of Lies Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth Matt LeBlanc, Episodes William H. Macy, Shameless Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

The Emmys clearly love Louis C.K., and Jeffrey Tambor was a shoe-in, but both are always good to see. William H. Macy has been consistently great on Shameless. But the biggest — and best — surprises here are Anthony Anderson for Black-ish (though, let’s be real, I would have accepted any other family member on that show above him) and Will Forte for The Last Man on Earth.

Lead Actor in a Comedy isn’t a very strong category (in terms of the actual picks and potential nominees), but I can confidently say that I think Nick Kroll was snubbed for his roles as, well, nearly everyone on Kroll Show. Chris Geere from You’re The Worst would’ve been nice, too, but honestly it’s hard to complain about this category when it did right by not nominating Jim Parsons again.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Here is another great category! The women of television are really killing it this year: Lisa Kudrow and Amy Schumer are especially exciting. But the biggest surprise (or, rather, the biggest expected surprise) is how white this category is — again. Where is Tracee Ellis Ross, who acted circles around her nominated TV husband? Or Constance Wu, possibly the funniest woman in a network sitcom this year? Or Gina Rodriguez, the heart of Jane the Virgin?

And if the Emmys are going to stick with white women, at least throw some statues at Aya Cash from You’re The Worst and the Broad City girls.

Supporting Actor/Actress in a Comedy

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Adam Driver, Girls Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele Ty Burrell, Modern Family Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tony Hale, Veep

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory Niecy Nash, Getting On Julie Bowen, Modern Family Allison Janney, Mom Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Both of these categories have some great surprises: Keegan-Michael Key and Tituss Burgess, Niecy Nash (an underrated talent) and Gaby Hoffmann. Along with Andre Braugher (a great nomination, though not terribly surprising) and Kate McKinnon, the supporting actor/actress in a comedy series became my favorite category this year.