Steph And Lindsey Discuss...The 2019 Emmy Nominations

From Left: Barry (HBO), Schitt's Creek (Pop TV), Russian Doll (Netflix)

Written by Lindsey Cook and Steph Wu

Lindsey Cook:
The 2019 Emmy nominees have finally been announced and Steph and I have some we’re discussing them! As we have mentioned, this is basically what we always do when we text one another, but now with White Rice we get to share it with YOU! You can check out the full list of nominees here.

Steph Wu: So let’s dig in, shall we? I know we’ve got a lot of thoughts and discussion points to get through. Where should we start, Linds?

LC: I guess let’s start off with general thoughts on the nominations. A few numbers: Game of Thrones led the pack with 32 (32!!!) nominations, beating the record held by NYPD Blue for the past 25 years, and HBO earned the most nominations for a network with 137 total (need to check numbers on that one), followed by Netflix.

But oh, Game of Thrones...honestly, I’m a little shocked considering the animosity viewers and critics alike had for the final season, ESPECIALLY with all the acting nominations. Alfie Allen? Kit Harrington, who’s lines consisted of “My Queen” and “I don’t want it”? Lena Heady who, though I adore, maybe had 10 lines throughout the entire season? I understand the technical nods, but acting has never been the show’s strong suit, so this was incredibly surprising to me.

Game of Thrones (HBO)

I kind of saw the acting nominations as the whole “lifetime achievement” sort of charity if that is not too harsh to say. Alfie Allen should have received a nomination seasons ago during his arc as Reek. Same with Lena Heady, who was masterful in that season 6 finale. Although I do agree it is overkill that it seems like many of them were given nods, I think overall it won’t be a concern as they will probably split the voters. Also where is justice for my mans, Iain Glen?

LC: Agreed about the “lifetime achievement” thing. Although, if that’s the case then I’m surprised about The Big Bang Theory getting shut out in major categories. I’m very much NOT a fan of that show, but it was almost a constant in the Emmys during its run, so I’m surprised it didn’t get any last season love.

But let’s jump to a more positive note. What shows and/or actors were you most excited to see nominated?

SW: This is going to be a cheat answer, but I was overjoyed to see most of the leads in Barry get acknowledged in the acting categories. Specifically Anthony Carrigan who plays the absolutely perfect NoHo Hank and Stephen Root who can seriously flip a switch at a snap of a finger as Barry’s past handler, Fuches. Both of them are first time nominees, by the way! This is truly an impressive feat and I hope this gets the show more attention.

LC: Yes, you and I are both obsessed with Barry and I’m so happy it received so much love this year. I really dug a lot of the actor-led shows this year, and by that I mean shows like Barry where the star of the show I also writing and directing; it’s like this new kind of triple threat. In that vein, I’m super happy that Russian Doll and Fleabag received nominations, as those were definitely some of my TV highlights of the year. Also, Schitt’s Creek is just the most amazing, uplifting little show and I love that it’s gotten all this recognition later on in its run (the show just wrapped filming on the final season). It definitely goes to show that audience buzz over time—even years—can drive to Academy recognition.

SW: As a new fan of Schitt’s Creek, I have to agree with you that these are really always the highlights of awards season. Everyone knows the Game of Thrones, This Is Us, Modern Family, and what have you, but it’s always the surprises that make this season fun to watch. Unfortunately though, there’s always a balance that needs to be restored. What did you think was the biggest snub?

Fleabag (Amazon)

LC: When we’re living in the era of “Peak TV” there are bound to be incredible actors that just don’t make the cut. I’m a little surprised that Richard Madden wasn’t nominated for Bodyguard even though the show itself was nominated, as he was obviously a major reason why the show was so thrilling. And with just about every actress in Fleabag getting nominated, it’s a little surprising that Andrew Scott received no love, as he was basically a co-lead alongside Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

But I think the most surprising snub was D’Arcy Carden as Janet in The Good Place. She has always been incredible in the show, but season three had a stunning Janet-centric episode (that was nominated for writing) where she took it to a whole new level, so I’m bummed she didn’t receive a nod for that. What about you?

SW: It boggles my mind that Allison Brie from GLOW was yet again shunned from recognition. The second season of the Netflix comedy was stronger than ever and a lot of that responsibility fell on Brie. But clearly the actress categories were tough enough with such an overflow of nominees!

LC: GIVE GLOW THE LOVE IT DESERVES! It also was not nominated for best comedy series, nor was another favorite of ours, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend...although, I forget if it’s the Emmys that considers any hour-long show a drama, which in that still should have been nominated!

What about the most surprising nominations? These can be good or bad surprises, but anything that either made you say “Huh…” or “Good for her!”?

SW: Two things. First, The Kominsky Method strikes again and honestly who watched this? No offense. But going back to the pleasant surprises, a huge congrats should be given to Jharrel Jerome who was nominated for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Television Movie for When They See Us. That category is stacked like no other. Jerome was terrific in Moonlight a few years back and I’m so excited to follow his career! What about for you?

When They See Us (Netflix)

LC: I definitely did a double-take when I saw Robin Wright and Michael Kelly nominated for their work in the final season of House of Cards. I’ll admit that I did not watch the last season, and good for them for carrying on with the show after a certain someone turned out to be a monster of a person, but the general consensus was that the season wasn’t great, so I kind of thought House of Cards would just quietly fade into oblivion.

SW: Real quick! Robin Wright has never won an Emmy despite being nominated every season for truly tremendous work. But I agree that despite all the off-show drama, I am surprised to see the nominations. Also, I do recommend reading the series end because it is truly wild.

LC: Oh yes, I did read the final season synopsis...I kind of can’t believe we ever convinced ourselves that House of Cards wasn’t always a campy soap opera...annnyywaaays...I was very excited to see Pose nominated, breaking into a drama comedy dominated by long standing nominees like Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones. And this is another show that is still on my to-watch list, but Christina Applegate getting a nomination for Dead To Me was a pleasant surprise! Also, Joey King was just phenomenal in The Act, but I wasn’t sure if she would break through the rest of the competition, so good for her!

SW: To wrap things up, as we will be discussing the Emmys more in the weeks to come, who would you be most excited to see win?

LC: I would absolutely love to see Catherine O’Hara take the trophy home for her work in Schitt’s Creek, not only because I would DIE for her to give a speech in character as Moira, but also because she is just next-level. But I’d honestly be happy with any one of those actresses winning, that’s how talented the field is right now.

I would also love to see Tony Hale win one final Emmy for Veep, because boy, was he equal turns hilarious and heartbreaking in that final season. Sorry, Barry supporting actors!

BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

SW: Michael Douglas for The Kominsky Method. I joke. BoJack Horseman is one of my favorite shows right now. Yes, that Netflix animated show about the horse voiced by Will Arnett. Also a first time nominee this year, the episode “Free Churro” was nominated for Outstanding Animated Program. So please give Mr. BoJack the recognition this show deserves because I don’t know anyone else delivering a full 22-minute eulogy in show business.

LC: So who will win? We’ll have to wait and see! I’m sure Steph and I will have much more to say about the Emmys as we get closer to the awards show (on September 22nd) including full ballots of who we think will win, but for now, let’s hear your thoughts!

Comment below or email us with all your Emmy thoughts. We want to know what you think!