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September 4, 2015

Is The Wire the biggest Emmy snub of all time, forever and ever, amen?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 20th 2009 10:01AM
The Emmy nomination process is clearly more flawed than a line of Dora the Explorer lawn darts.

The system is outdated and always in need of a revamping, as technology and the proliferation of programming increases every year. Some contenders are just going to get a big, ugly, high school prom date snub.

That doesn't mean the process is without its no-brainers. I'm referring, of course, to the shows that deserve special recognition for changing the course of the medium and showing the world its possibilities and not to the people actually doing the nominating. The last season of The Wire will go down as one of the biggest no-brainers of all time.

Calling the last season of David Simon's show groundbreaking would be like calling War and Peace a little long-winded. It was everything you hope a show could be, short of a round-the-clock marathon of Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders reenacting The State's "$240 Worth of Pudding" sketch.

So why did it not earn a single nomination from this year's Emmy list? The problem lies in the process. The last season was technically eligible for a nod, but the committee that oversees such nominations had already compiled their list of the year's ten best dramas and The Wire didn't make the cut. That and smart shows that challenge conventional thinking about society make the committee's brains feel all "hurty."

The process has gone through some minor changes from year to year, but not enough to effect any real change. The whole ordeal is really subjective. The best shows aren't always going to make the cut because the people who provide input on the process are submitting their own opinions. It doesn't mean the Emmys are completely flawed as a way of recognizing hard work and talent and need to be yanked from our consciousness. It's just a popularity contest. Shows like The Wire don't need awards to know that their good. All you have to do is watch them.

However, the day that Family Guy gets a nod for Best Drama....

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Just for the record: HBO Oz is the best show of all time.
If awards didn't come, it really doesn't matter.
A great work does not need crowns.

July 30 2009 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes. Unequivocally yes. Possibly the greatest show ever broadcast on television. Cased closed. End of story.

July 21 2009 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've long since gotten used to the miscarriage of justice with The Wire not receiving any of its due credit for acting or writing. This is usually explained by the flawed process of judging where one episode is supposed to be the basis for judging an entire series. Thus, a show such as The Wire where each episode is extremely dependent on the episodes which came previously -- they all do poorly with few exceptions. The Wire is then penalized further for being "difficult" or non-accessible, with lots of heavy slang and similar-looking characters.

So that's the standard explanation. What I really don't understand is how they they can recognize Generation Kill with so many honours. Like The Wire, Generation Kill is inaccessible, with heavy usage slang to the point where the DVD set includes a pamphlet explaining some of the jargon. The characters all look the same in their uniforms, even after repeated viewings it's still difficult to place some of the less prominent characters.

So why can the Emmy's recognize the brilliance of Generation Kill but not The Wire? Is it simply because the miniseries category has less competition? Or did they finally wake up to their colossal mistake?

July 20 2009 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The series finale was nominated for best writing last year, how could they be eligable this year. The finale aired March 30, 2008. I thought the awards covered from June 2008 to May 2009.

July 20 2009 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

"Homicide: Life on the Street" was never nominated for Drama Series, and Andre Braugher was only nominated once (and won, for the "Subway" episode). As far as I recall, it was never nominated for any directing or writing Emmys, none of the other cast was ever nominated, and the only other nods it got were for Guest Actor (Vincent D'Onofrio and Lily Tomlin).

July 20 2009 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Shows like The Wire don't need awards to know that *their* good."

July 20 2009 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oooh...I think The Wire was eligible last year, not this year. It aired back in early 2008.

July 20 2009 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm just shocked that the whole show never got nominated even once...not even for the 4th season which was really the most "popular" (or hyped).

At least it got writing credits...the whole nomination process is ridiculous, where people just watch the episodes sent in and decide then what they want to nominate. you have to see one whole season to really appreciate this.

July 20 2009 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about HBO Oz?
If I am not wrong, Oz was snubbed at its time, wasn't it?

July 20 2009 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to daluc's comment

Definitely a worse showing than The Wire.

Oz was nominated for only two Emmys in its 6-year run and they were for non-major categories (casting and guest star).

July 20 2009 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

> Shows like The Wire don't need awards to know that their good.

Their good what?

July 20 2009 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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