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November 26, 2014

No Emmy, No Problem

by Stephanie Earp, posted Sep 25th 2009 4:12PM
So here it is, another season of Emmy fever has come and gone. Did you notice? Or were you busy looking at pictures of TIFF parties? Catching up on all the new shows debuting? Enjoying the last few beautiful days of the year? Yeah, me too. The Emmys are many things - well-timed is not one of them.

But that's not the only reason I can't get too worked up about TVs big show. Often, my favourite shows just aren't nominated.

So I decided to have a look at some of my favourite shows that never won Emmys - or at least I thought they never won Emmys. but once I started doing my research, it turned out the Academy totally saw me coming and headed me off at the pass. Most of my favourite shows have won Emmys. For hairstyling.

Check out our list of snubbed shows, after the jump!So here it is, another season of Emmy fever has come and gone. Did you notice? Or were you busy looking at pictures of TIFF parties? Catching up on all the new shows debuting? Enjoying the last few beautiful days of the year? Yeah, me too. The Emmys are many things - well-timed is not one of them.

But that's not the only reason I can't get too worked up about TVs big show. Often, my favourite shows just aren't nominated.

So I decided to have a look at some of my favourite shows that never won Emmys - or at least I thought they never won Emmys. but once I started doing my research, it turned out the Academy totally saw me coming and headed me off at the pass. Most of my favourite shows have won Emmys. For hairstyling.


Weeds

I'm starting with a show that has never won an Emmy, but has been nominated so many times, I bet most people think it has won. Mary Louise Parker has been up for Best Actress three times, and Elizabeth Perkins for Supporting Actress three times as well. And apparently, the sound mixing on this show is really remarkable - although not remarkable enough to win in that category.

The thing about 'Weeds' though, is it seems more important than it really is. It's about Death and Poverty and the Racial Divide - or back in the first two seasons it was. But let's be honest, these days it's about a lady who has an illegitimate baby by a Mexican drug lord - and while that's not a bad plot idea, it's not exactly Emmy material. Daytime Emmys, maybe. Parker and Perkins are both excellent actresses who do a great job with the material. But they've been better in other roles.

Emmy Overlook: Mildly Upsetting


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

One of the great myths of the Buffy-verse is that the show never won an Emmy. Not so, my friends. It's won two - best make-up and best music, way back in season two. 'Buffy' fans, I ask you to think back to the make-up of season two - the totally non-scary monsters, the plastic-faced vamps and Willow's awful hair. Is this Emmy a cover-up or what? Because what we 'Buffy' fans know is that the music, the make-up, the wardrobe, the budget and frequently the acting on this show was less than adequate. But the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

And there's the rub. What Emmy do you give this show? Maybe Alison Hannigan deserves a statue for her role as Willow, but in all other respects the show was as weak as it was strong.

Despite that, Emmy's miss on this incredible little show will always look like egg on their faces.

Emmy Overlook: Insomnia Inducing

Firefly

While we're on the subject of Joss Whedon, may as well take on the 'Firefly' juggernaut. This Western-in-space aired 11 episodes before being unceremoniously cancelled. There was an outcry, there was a save-our-show campaign and there was a movie. There was also an Emmy - for visual effects, back in 2003.

A show doesn't have to have big ratings or a long run to win Emmys, but it helps. If 'Firefly' had lasted, Emmy might have come around, especially to series leads Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres. Or not. 'Firefly' had a lot of the same issues as 'Buffy' - some fairly weak acting saved only by good scripts, and some fairly weak scripts, saved only by good acting.

Emmy Overlook: Mildly Upsetting

Battlestar Galactica

'Battlestar' won Emmys two years running for visual effects. But not one of the series actors was nominated during the show's run. Not Katee Sackhoff for creating Starbuck, probably the most electrifying female character on TV. Not Mary McDonnell for playing a morally-dubious president with questionable rights to the title, during the Bush administration no less. Not Tricia Helfer, for playing multiple roles, and bringing a different mix of man and machine to each one.

And nothing for the writers for conceived of these characters and this world.

They say Emmy has an issue with genre shows, especially science-fiction. Gee, ya think?

Emmy Overlook: Travesty

The Wire

Usually, Emmy can smell what HBO is cooking, but for some reason 'The Wire' slipped under the Academy's radar. The truth is, 'The Wire' is a tough show. It's the television equivalent of crack cocaine. When I lend the first season on DVD to a potential new convert, I warn them. It's hard stuff, I say. It might make you feel sick and confused at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back to the regular stuff.

'The Wire' was nominated twice for writing, but never won. No acting nominations, no casting nominations, not even cinematography. I would hate to think the same group of critics who awarded HBO for 'The Sopranos', 'Six Feet Under' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' so frequently has a problem recognizing the genius of a show about morally-ambiguous people and institutions because these ones are primarily poor and black, but I do.

Emmy Overlook: Travesty

Veronica Mars

In the grand scheme of things, I don't think anyone is going to remember 'Veronica Mars' in five years. Kristen Bell will make a name for herself as the smartest bimbo in buddy comedies, and her three-season turn as the most heartbreaking little cynic will be forgotten. 'Veronica Mars' has a lot of strikes against it, Emmy-wise. It was a teen show. It was a genre show. But Kristen Bell's performance as an angry, grieving, reformed popular girl was better than anything Allison Janney laid down in 'The West Wing'.

Emmy Overlook: Insomnia Inducing

Project Runway

For five years, 'Project Runway' has been nominated for best competitive reality show, and it has lost each time, beaten back by shows like 'Survivor' and 'The Amazing Race'. Which are good shows - they bring together a group of interesting but average people and get them to play a game on film. I suppose some people - like Emmy voters - think 'Project Runway' does the same thing, but I beg to differ.

'Project Runway' is in fact a show that brings together a group of people with advanced skills and asks them to demonstrate those skills at the highest level, on film. And consistently, these skilled folks are humbler, kinder and harder-working than other reality TV contestants.

Emmy Overlook: Mildly Upsetting

Rome

I didn't think I would like 'Rome' when I first heard about it - I thought it would be a poncy, fake-sexy period piece. Basically, I thought it would be 'The Tudors'. Of course 'Rome' won Emmys. For art direction, cinematography and hair styling. All deserved - even the hairstyling - don't forget Cleopatra's wigs. But the series didn't get a single nod for acting or writing. Not even Polly Walker as Atia, a role that seems tailored for an Emmy nomination - you know, an actress of a certain age as a blunt and somewhat unpleasant person who shows her boobs a lot.

Emmy Overlook: Insomnia Inducing

Friday Night Lights

Look out, it's a teen show! Or that's what Emmy must think. Because the fact that this show hasn't won more than a casting award is totally mind-boggling. I guess if it's not the teen show trap, it's the football show trap that keeps people away from this small-town drama. The writing is so good they actually got away with a stupid murder plot in the second season, and there are so many great performances to choose from, I don't really get why the show hasn't swept all the categories, with statues for Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton and Scott Porter to start.

Emmy Overlook: Extremely Worrisome

Dexter

Can you believe the only Emmy on the 'Dexter' shelf is title design? Michael C. Hall has been nominated for the lead role a couple of times, but hasn't won. Though it's not Hall's lack of hardware that bugs me - he's good, but he was better in the much harder role of David Fisher on 'Six Feet Under' and he didn't win for that either. No, it's Julie Benz as quietly-suffering Rita that I think really deserves a little recognition. I feel for Julie Benz - she's kind of a rare creature. She looks a bit like a typical bimbo and she's got the resume to prove it - lots of guest roles, sequels and sci-fi. Thanks to 'Dexter' we finally get to see that she's actually a very fine actress - and what a role! Rita might be steeliest magnolia of them all.

Emmy Overlook: Insomnia Inducing

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