It's official: There's no shame in loving TV!
Nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards include, from left, True Detective, Game of Thrones and American Horror: Coven. (The Associated Press)
The Emmy nominations reflect a heightened quality of writing, a growing diversity in roles and a championing of women on the screen.
You know you love it. Regardless of your style (all-nighter binges vs. patiently waiting each week), and regardless of your platform (big box, smart-thingy or geeky glass), TV show quality is peaking...and piquing our interest at unprecedented levels. Here's a look at how the Emmy noms reflect this new era.
1. EVEN THE TRASHY IS CLASSY Think about it. The reality show category - a staple genre for all that is base in human nature - is uplifting in Emmy land. Every single show nominated, from Top Chef to The Voice to So You Think You Can Dance ultimately focuses on being the best one can be. Sure they have their cringy moments, but nothing like The 'salivating-over-death' Bachelorette even made it into contention.
2. NON-TRADITIONAL NETWORKS MAKE IT REIGN Move over predictable and safe network yawners. Not one broadcast network show broke into the best drama ranks. Cable shows are feeling the Emmy love, and so is content online. Last year, Netflix got 14 nominations; this year it's 31. And as cemented by the calibre within the writing categories, the future for risk-taking originality looks bright.
3. WOMEN HIT THE HIGH NOTES This year features strong female races in terms of talent and range of roles. Witness the heft when it comes to Lead Actress in a Drama. Claire Danes. Kerry Washington. Julianna Margulies. Michelle Dockery. Robin Wright. The buzz is behind Wright, but toss a coin and you can't go wrong.
4. ETHNIC DIVERSITY IS SLOWLY BUT STEADILY IMPROVING It's depressing to think that in 2014, ethnic diversity is still 100% absent in the most significant category of Drama. When it comes to the leads...Breaking Bad, white. Downton Abbey, white. Game of Thrones, white. True Detective, white. Mad Men, duh.
However, this year does see strides for Orange is the New Black (Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox - a first for a transgender woman in an acting category) and Kerry Washington's Scandal, along with acting noms for Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor for the Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or Movie category. There are several other examples and although it's no where near a real reflection of the spectrum within society, it seems that change is finally ramping up.
5. FILM STARS BOW DOWN To reference Amy Poehler's Golden Globes crack about beautiful film stars rubbing shoulders with the rat-face people of TV - at the Emmy's, now everyone is rat-faced...err..I mean beautiful. Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) are both nominees for TV projects, as is past Oscar winner Julia Roberts (this time she's up for an Emmy in the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries or A Movie category, for her work in The Normal Heart). So even the biggest A-Listers proudly eat their piece of TV pie.
6. SURPRISE! The surprises this year are related to Canadian connections. For example, who would have guessed that Fargo would have nabbed the second highest number of nominations at 18. The stellar show is shot in Calgary, and Canadians Matt Lloyd and Jackie Lind got nominations for cinematography and casting. Of course a bad surprise is the snub for Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany. The Twitter world knew she was robbed last year. And yes she got robbed again but she's having the last laugh because the show just got renewed for another season.
Overall, way to go, quality! The stigma of TV has been crushed by the swell of success.
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