Why has “Game of Thrones” caught on at Emmys, but not “The Walking Dead”

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  • Daniel Montgomery
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    #364195

    And I’m hoping for a little more than “Because ‘The Walking Dead’ sucks.” Wink

    I personally prefer “The Walking Dead” to “Game of Thrones” most of the time. But both shows are among the biggest ratings hits on all of television. Both are on networks that typically win LOTS of awards. Both are based on hugely popular source material. Both routinely kill lots of major characters. But only one of them is an Emmy juggernaut.

    I’ve wondered before if there are only enough sci-fi/fantasy fans in the academy for one show at a time. So you get lots of nominations for “Quantum Leap.” Then lots for “The X-Files.” Then lots for “Lost.” Then lots for “Game of Thrones.” There were also blips for “Heroes” and “True Blood,” but there’s rarely much overlap where two or three sci-fi/fantasy shows get in at the same time.

    There’s also the possibility that a historical drama with dragons (like “Wolf Hall” with magic!) is more palatable to voters than a contemporary horror series with zombies. But as I think I wrote once before, “The Walking Dead” is more like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” than it is like most zombie horror.

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    Reis
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    #364197

    For me, TWD has only two good seasons, the first and the last one. Season 2, 3 and 4 are irregular in terms of quality, with a lot of flaws and just meh episodes. The biggest problem is the difficulty of making drama. TWD didn’t  explore the potential of the cast, sometimes presented lazy writing and episodes which happened literally nothing (unlike Game of Thrones that despite sometimes having a slow pace, directs you to some goal) created just to fill space.
    The first really good drama centric’s episode was “The Grove” (“Look to the flowers”) in the fourth season.
    But in season 5 there were some differences. They have developed an excellent way his characters, managed to get great performances from its competent cast, which ended up yielding the best season of the series so far.
    Season six is incredible, the series at its best. They finally found the TWD identity and are knowing how to work well with it. Maybe this year will be worth at least an nomination.

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    Riley
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    #364198

    Does anyone consider The Walking Dead a great show?  I swear that the many people who watch it do not even defend it like that.  I thought that the first season would have gotten more at the Emmys, but it had the misfortune of being AMC’s less-recent and less-academy-friendly new show by the time that the Emmys rolled around opposite The Killing.

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    slh315
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    #364200

    I love The Walking Dead, but I don’t consider it consistent enough to be Emmy worthy, however, I do think it’s better than some things that are nominated. Season 4 was deserving, in my opinion, though. Melissa McBride as Carol honestly deserves some recognition. Not just the nomination, but to take home some gold. That’s the bigger snub.

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    WaltEagle
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    #364201

    Way more people in the world consider Game of Thrones an amazing show. I wouldn’t call either that at all, but even the staunchest Walking Dead fans seem to be annoyed with it half of the time or more.

    In terms of production methods, Game of Thrones is more significant to the history of television. It has tons of all-time records when it comes to production and filming, even if TWD has some basic cable ratings records.

    It helps in some small part that Game of Thrones is much more of a dialogue/acting/writing showcase, and similar to a period drama in many ways. That can contribute to it, but wouldn’t explain everything on its own.

    I think Westworld will prompt two fantasy series being widely nominated, so it’s not that either.

    I would sooner blame The Walking Dead’s many flaws, and the specific nature of those flaws. I think Game of Thrones is a much less messy show, but I’ll ignore that for now and just try to focus on facts and dominant popular opinions. Peter Dinklage has the biggest part in an ensemble cast on GOT, and nearly everyone likes or loves his performance. Andrew Lincoln has the biggest part in an ensemble cast on TWD, and viewers seem split down the middle on whether he’s great or terrible (I vote the latter very emphatically). Many people find the show poorly written and tonally off. The Governor drove the momentum of a season and a half of the show, and he was widely hated as a storyline and character. The show had many widely despised characters and actors (Lori, Andrea, Carl), and in general a cast and writing far less frequently/universally/uniformly praised than that of Game of Thrones. And just about every reviewer has some problems with the inconsistent logic about the walkers. It also looks more bleak than sleek, which isn’t really the Emmy way.

    Game of Thrones has flaws, too, but most of them wouldn’t hurt award performance. They frequently adapt the books poorly or with unwise choices, but the bulk of award voters won’t know or care about that. The show has gotten messy and cluttered storytelling of late, but it had to break into the scene with Season 1 which was pretty excellent and airtight in terms of focus, and once you’re nominated all over the place you’re likely to stay or get more. There’s sometimes too much nudity, but there have been for most HBO players, and it’s actually less gratuitous than Boardwalk Empire’s on average. Dinklage’s accent isn’t great, but his performance is. There are a couple of weak links in the cast, but most of them die fast and it’s never close to the majority. There are pacing issues, but nothing on par with the farm or Woodbury or the other frequently maligned ones on The Walking Dead (all things considered, Game of Thrones moves at lightning pace in the back half of every season).

    Now, if I add in my own opinion, The Walking Dead has never had a season that wasn’t misguided or poorly plotted for at least half of it (but if you go by calendar year, I liked the episodes that aired in 2012). There has never been a great episode where every storyline clicked since “Clear” for me. Andrew Lincoln is frequently really bad, and Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, David Morrissey (mostly just accent problems), Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Josh McDermitt, and Danai Gurira aren’t very good either (though I like some performances such as Scott Wilson, Lennie James, Chad Coleman, Ross Marquand, Melissa McBride, and Jeffrey DeMunn). The dialogue is some of the worst on an acclaimed show ever. There are questionable gender and racial politics, to be generous. There are writing and logic problems galore.

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    Somnambulist
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    #364202

    It might not be a better explanation than “it sucks” but I do think it’s because of The Walking Dead‘s association with zombies and comic book (okay, “graphic novel”) provenance.

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #364203

    Maybe because Walking Dead focuses on zombies, and Game of Thrones doesn’t focus on anything that is supernatural or creepy. It has a medieval theme and is more relatable, because it in and of itself is a subgenre. While both shows are phenomenons, I feel that GoT is more accessible, even for the more curmudgeonly voting fellers.

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    jf123
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    #364204

    The Walking Dead was never critical darling, while Game of Thrones has been met with critical acclaim throughout mosts of it’s run. 

    But I do think the Lincoln should have gotten in for s3 and McBride for s4. 

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    Atypical
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    #364205

    I’d place season 5 of “The Walking Dead” easily as Emmy-level work for multiple nominations, at least. Melissa McBride should have been a nominee a long time ago for her stunning transformation as Carol. Lennie James should have been recognized way back in season 1. What Andrew Lincoln has accomplished with Rick from the beginning of the series until now is quite astonishing. Its technical achievements should also be recognized more often, but “The Walking Dead” will never have the level of literary prestige or HBO clout that “Game of Thrones” has. Both series have a strong readership background and populist appeal, and it’s not like “GoT” won Drama Series on its first try. Genre shows have had obstacles at the Emmys for a very long time. Things might be changing now on the fantasy end of things with the popular vote in play and “GoT” taking the big Drama Series prize, but a zombie apocalypse series is really another matter altogether. “The Walking Dead” should be happy with its immense ratings popularity and the ensemble cast becoming instant superstars in the process. Not all series get to have that, nor do all series win scores of Emmys. It’s all a tradeoff with few getting to have it all.

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    Anonymous
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    #364206

    Melissa McBride should have 2 wins out of 3 nominations by now.

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    Reis
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    #364207

    She deserved be nominated and maybe even won for “The Grove”.

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    Alienware
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    #364208

    Because the show isn’t (or at least, isn’t perceived by critcs and public) as good as Game of Thrones. It’s that simple.

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    Guest2014
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    #364209

    It’s about zombies.  Run from zombies, kill zombies, zombies get lucky and have an occasional kill of a cast member.  It’s a miracle AMC has stretched this formula out to 6 years…

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    Guest2014
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    #364210

    It’s about zombies.  Run from zombies, kill zombies, zombies get lucky and have an occasional kill of a cast member.  It’s a miracle AMC has stretched this formula out to 6 years…

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    moviefan61794
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    #364211

    The show is definitely worthy of more recognition than it has recieved from the Emmys. Best Drama Series worthy? Mmmmmaybe for a couple seasons here and there, but I’m not sure. Melissa McBride is flawless on this show, though. She should be an Emmy nominee by now. Andrew Lincoln is also pretty deserving. I binged the first three seasons, so by the time it came to include the show in my personal “awards,” the only times it has been nominated has been Andrew Lincoln in 2013 and Melissa McBride in 2014/2015.

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