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The Most Painful Snubs and Happiest Surprises of the 2019 Emmy Nominations

The Emmy voters proved, once again, that they should not be allowed to vote

Tim Surette

Each year, some of our favorites in showbiz are recognized for their craft through Emmy nominations, leading us to celebrate the hard work of said individuals. Just kidding, the Emmy nominations roll around and we spend most of our time bitching and moaning about who didn't get nominated.

Well, they did it again this morning with the nominations for the 2019 Emmy Awards. In its maligned final season, Game of Thrones broke the record for most Emmy nominations for a single season of TV with 32 nominations. Four of those went into the Outstanding Supporting Actress category, edging out several more deserving actresses.

But it wasn't all bad. The Academy managed to squeeze a few surprises in there that even we weren't prepared for. Schitt's Creek finally broke out... just in time for its final season.

See where we're going with this? Here are the snubs and surprises from the 2019 Emmy nominations.

Emmy Awards 2019: See the complete list of nominees


At least Rhea Seehorn won something
And that something is Most Outrageous Emmy Snub. Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn anchored this season of the Breaking Bad spin-off with the best performance the show has ever seen as the indomitable Kim Wexler. This was Kim's season more than any other character, and Seehorn shone. The fact that there is no Awards and Accolades section on Seehorn's Wikipedia page is a travesty. Why did she not get nominated? Game of Thrones dominated the Supporting Drama Actress category with four nominees, and yep, we'll get to that very soon. Did you watch the video above? Are you mad yet? You should be mad.

Game of Thrones Robbed Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn of an Emmy Nomination

Pamela Adlon, jack of all trades, nominee of none
The multi-multi-hyphenate of what is arguably FX's best show, Better Things, got the goose egg, though she easily could have woken up this morning to three nominations. Pamela Adlon not only stars in the comedy, but she also directed every episode and wrote two-thirds of the season. This was also the first season without co-creator Louis C.K., meaning Adlon had to do it all while also fielding questions about her former creative partner's sexual misconduct. And you know what, this might have been the show's best season yet.

Pamela Adlon, Better Things​

Pamela Adlon, Better Things


A low blow for GLOW
Netflix's ladies wrassling comedy made vast improvements from its first season to its second, as GLOW tightened its scope and focused on female friendships and complicated relationships. It also delivered two of the best episodes of the year in "Mother of All Matches" and "The Good Twin." We can't figure out which of the Best Comedy nominees to boot -- though Mrs. Maisel's not-as-good-as-Season-1 Season 2 would be first on our list to get chopped -- but GLOW should fit in there somewhere. The drama category has eight nominees, why can't the comedy category match that and throw in GLOW?

I think the Emmys should leave for snubbing I Think You Should Leave
Go ahead, try to name a better fit for the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series than Netflix's I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson. Go ahead, I will wait. *slowly turns into skeleton while waiting* This was Bart Harley Jarvis' doing, wasn't it? Stupid baby.

The scary snub of The Haunting of Hill House
Competing in the literally limited Limited Series category, Netflix's anthological horror series The Haunting of Hill Housereceived absolutely zero Emmy nominations, which is downright rude. While several actors and writers have gripes with getting shut out, the one with the biggest reason to be miffed is creator/director Mike Flanagan, who directed the series' greatest episode, "Two Storms." The installment was comprised of five uninterrupted shots, the longest of which was 17 minutes, that bounced back and forth between present day and the past thanks to some deft camera trickery. It was the TV season's most challenging episode to pull off, and the results were magical. At least give an award to the guy who pushed the camera around on a cart or something.

All the other actors who got the shaft
Jim Carrey for Kidding, Frank Langella for Kidding, Ian McShane for Deadwood: The Movie, Robin Weigert for Deadwood: The Movie, Emma Stone for Maniac, Sally Field for Maniac, Richard Madden for Bodyguard, Julia Roberts for Homecoming, Stephan James for Homecoming, Linda Cardellini for Dead to Me, Susan Kelechi Watson for This Is Us, Sissy Spacek for Castle Rock, Andrew Scott for Fleabag, Christine Baranski for The Good Fight, Connie Britton for Dirty John, Juno Temple for Dirty John, etc. etc. etc. Feel free to add to the list.


Theon Greyjoy (​Alfie Allen) in ​Game of Thrones ​Season 8, Episode 3: "The Long Night"

Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) in Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3: "The Long Night"

HBO/Helen Sloan

Honestly, were there any truly great acting performances on Game of Thrones?
According to me, maybe one or two. According to Emmy voters, there were 10. Emilia Clarke was the most deserving for taking the material she was given and doing something with it; it's scary to think what Clarke could have done with a final season that was the appropriate length and not stuck on fast-forward. Lena Headey also has been great throughout the show's run, but in Season 8, she mostly stared out a window with a glass of wine in hand as if this was her Big Little Lies season. Peter Dinklage has never not been nominated for playing Tyrion -- he's eight for eight -- so that's not surprising. Kit Harington was going to get nominated, even if all he really did was say "I don't want it" and "She is my queen" 40 different ways. All of these nominations feel like legacy nominations rewarding Game of Thrones for its entirety and not for the eligible season, which we all agree was a mess.

The real surprise here is Alfie Allen joining Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Supporting Drama Actor. Game of Thrones superfans loved Theon's redemption arc this season, but shaking like a leaf and not making eye contact isn't worthy of an award. And in the Supporting Drama Actress category, Game of Thrones received four nominations: Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Gwendoline Christie, and Headey. FOUR! Who could have made it instead of them? This Is Us' Susan Kelechi Watson, Castle Rock's Sissy Spacek, Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn, to name a few. The tenth nomination went to Carice van Houten in the Guest Actress category. I mean, it was cool when Melisandre lit up those Dothraki blades, but I'm not ready to give her a trophy for it.

Breaking Down Game of Thrones' Most (and Least) Deserved Emmy Nominations

Yes, the Game of Thrones finale was nominated for best writing
Most of the vitriol toward the series finale of Game of Thrones should have been spread out over the entire final season, but the finale really punctuated how problematic the storytelling of Season 8 had been. The series only submitted the finale, written by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, for writing consideration. This had to be entirely intentional in order to guarantee a nomination, right? They basically blocked everyone else on staff to get their own names in there.

Holy Schitt
File this under pleasant surprise. The beloved Pop comedy Schitt's Creek took five seasons to get recognition, but it broke through this year with four nominations: Best Comedy Actor for Eugene Levy, Best Comedy Actress for Catherine O'Hara, Best Comedy, and Best Contemporary Costuming. Well deserved.

Julia Roberts Had the Best Reaction to Her Emmys Snub

The reality competition category Nailed It!
One category that has been evolving in the right direction is the Reality Competition category, which used to be dominated by generic reality shows like The Amazing Race and The Voice. They're still nominated this year, but last year the prize went to RuPaul's Drag Race, and this year, Netflix's charming ode to failure, Nailed It!, earned its first nomination.

Comedy's best cast gets recognized
It was a given that Barry's Bill Hader and Henry Winkler would repeat as nominees, but the Barry Emmy nominee text thread just added three members. Stephen Root and Anthony Carrigan joined Winkler in Supporting Comedy Actor, but I'd like to focus your attention on Sarah Goldberg, who turned Sally, one of TV's most complicated characters to accurately portray, into a real character we could reach out and feel. Her ability to contain all of Sally's manic energy into a believable human being was nothing short of tremendous. Enough of my blabbering, here's all the proof you need:

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Fox.