If there’s a downside to living in a golden age of television, it’s that not every show can make it into the Emmy race. Still, there were several shows this past year that easily should’ve been frontrunners in various categories, but for some reason accumulated little to no recognition. Since the Creative Arts Emmy ceremonies were this past weekend and the Primetime Emmys are this upcoming Sunday, now seems as good a time as any to look over five shows that deserved a lot more love from the Television Academy.
- Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life
Throughout its initial run, Gilmore Girls stood out as one of the wittiest comedies on television. Over the course of seven seasons, though, it only received a single Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic). When it was announced that the series would return for a reunion run on Netflix, fans thought the Emmys might finally embrace the Gilmores in Outstanding Limited Series. Alas, A Year In The Life didn’t score any nominations whatsoever. Amy Sherman-Palladino didn’t even nab a writing nom for her endlessly clever dialog. Interestingly enough, several cast members were recognized this year for their work on different shows. Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Melissa McCarthy (Saturday Night Live) both won guest acting Emmys while Milo Ventimiglia was nominated for This Is Us. Meanwhile, Lorelai Gilmore herself, Lauren Graham, is still 0 for 0.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events
This masterful adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s darkly humorous books was perhaps the year’s most inventive comedy series. Yet, Barry Sonnenfeld’s stunning direction and Neil Patrick Harris’ pitch perfect performance as the villainous Count Olaf went overlooked. Given the show’s incredible production values, you’d think that A Series of Unfortunate Events would’ve at least cleaned up in the tech categories. While James Newton Howard’s fanciful musical score got a deserved nomination, the show’s gothic production design, costumes, makeup, and visual effects all went unnoticed. How unfortunate.
- Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street
Whenever I bring up Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, people always ask the same question: “What’s that?” Seeing how the show flew under the radar, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Emmy voters never recognized this hidden gem. That being said, creator David Anaxagoras truly delivered a tour de force of children’s programing, mixing elements of Eerie, Indiana, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and the immortal works of Roald Dahl. Behind all the whimsical setups and quirky humor, this was a surprisingly deep coming-of-age story, dealing with divorce, death, and growing up without ever talking down to kids. It might be too late to give Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street an Emmy, but you can still check it out on Amazon Video.
- BoJack Horseman
The Outstanding Animated Program category is in a rut right now. For the past few years, Emmy voters have lazily marked off the same four shows (Archer, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, South Park), leaving room for only one other series to break through. This year, the fifth spot went to Elena and the Secret of Avalor. Of course none of these nominees even came close to reaching the heights of BoJack Horseman. Season 3 was the funniest and most touching year yet for everyone’s favorite horse of a man/man of the horse. The creators delivered their magnum opus with the practically silent episode, Fish Out of Water, which seemed like a lock for an Emmy nomination. While Kristen Schaal was at least recognized for her voiceover performance as Sarah Lynn, the show itself continues to go unrecognized. On one hand, perhaps this is kind of fitting. After all, BoJack has realized over the years that award recognition can’t fill that empty void inside. On the other hand, the Emmys need to stop horsing around and nominate BoJack already!
- The Leftovers
Throughout the past three years, few shows have garnered as much acclaim as The Leftovers. The final season in particular was the top rated show of 2017, scoring a whopping 98 on Metacritic. Although it had been shut out completely the last two years, fans thought the final season might receive some overdue recognition from the Television Academy. While Ann Dowd was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, that’s it. The Leftovers only has one nomination to show for its poignant, fascinating, and meaningful run. Granted, the Outstanding Drama Series race was especially packed this year, but where’s Carrie Coon for Outstanding Actress? Where’s Justin Theroux for Outstanding Actor? Where’s The Book of Nora for Outstanding Writing and Directing? The fact that The Leftovers was never able to garner major Emmy love will forever be a mystery. Of course if this series taught us anything, it’s that sometimes we should just let the mystery be.