“The biggest takeaway I had was that you really have to be a massive water cooler success event series to get in,” Gold Derby contributor Sam Eckmann says in reaction to the 2021 Emmy Award nominations, which were announced on Tuesday, July 13. I joined Eckmann and other fellow contributors Charles Bright and Kevin Jacobsen to dissect some of the biggest highlights and shockers of this year’s nominations as well as to offer some of our early bold winner predictions. Watch the video slugfest above.
The nomination leaders were Netflix’s “The Crown” and Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian,” which earned 24 bids apiece. Second in line is another Disney Plus series, “WandaVision,” whose whopping 23 citations particularly elated Eckmann, who calls the series the “TV event of the year.” Trailing “WandaVision” are NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” with 21 noms each, with the latter making a major comeback for its fourth season after scoring merely 10 bids for its third season last year. It was a “pleasant surprise,” I underline, to see previously unrecognized talent from the show — including supporting actress nominee Madeline Brewer and supporting actor nominees O-T Fagbenle and Max Minghella — finally get their due. Another show that returned with a vengeance is FX’s “Pose,” which snagged nine nominations, including one for Mj Rodriguez, who, as Jacobson points out, made history as the first trans woman to be nominated for a lead acting Emmy.
This year, all eyes are on whether Netflix — which produced a total of 129 bids — will finally be able to take home its maiden series prize. While “The Crown” remains seemingly out in front in the drama series race, Bright suggests that “it’s a real race with two other streaming services,” pointing to “The Mandalorian” and “Handmaid’s” as possible spoilers. Ironically, “Handmaid’s” beat “The Crown” in this very category in 2017 and made Hulu the first streaming service to take home a series prize at the Emmys. Meanwhile, Netflix has another good chance at achieving its objective with the 18-time nominated “The Queen’s Gambit” in limited series. I, however, urge to keep a sharp lookout for HBO’s “Mare of Easttown,” which overperformed with 16 nominations, one of which went to the arguably overdue Evan Peters for supporting actor.
“To see it shut out is very sad,” says Jacobsen about Amazon Prime Video’s “The Underground Railroad,” which despite racking up seven noms, including limited series, could not produce any citations for its actors. Other glaring exclusions we discuss include “The Queen’s Gambit’s” Bill Camp and Marielle Heller, “The Good Lord Bird’s” Ethan Hawke, and “The Mandalorian’s” Rosario Dawson.
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