Critics as Upset over True Blood Emmy Snub as Fans

August 22, 2009 by  

00221917dec40ad69c8a5dFor an institution that claims to award the best in television, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences sure does lose some of its credibility by notoriously overlooking anything that could be classified as a “genre” show. True Blood became another victim of this discrimination when the nominations were announced for the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards.

Year after year, television critics compile a list of “Dream Nominations” before the official announcements are made, clinging to their hope that, finally, the most deserving will be praised for the outstanding work they do. And then, after the nominees are revealed, critics and fans alike express their outrage at the talent that was snubbed and the mediocrity that was recognized.

And it tends to be the “genre” shows — those that use the extraordinary or the supernatural as a metaphor for something in regular life — that have the most passionate fans. An article in the Edmonton Sun talks about the transcendent power of shows like this:

[They] can take you to a different place, immerse you in a different world, show you something new.

That’s definitely how True Blood makes me feel. So why can’t the Emmy voters see that, too? The show was overlooked for Best Drama Series, and what’s more infuriating, Anna Paquin was ignored in the Best Actress in a Drama category.

The article from the Edmonton Sun remarks on Anna‘s tremendous skill in bringing her character to life:

We honestly can’t think of any other actress who could conjure the perfect combination of heroism, immaturity, toughness and vulnerability required for the role of Sookie.

Instead, the category she should have occupied includes Elizabeth Moss from Mad Men (I think we ought to give them that one — Moss is brilliant in Matthew Weiner’s compelling 1960’s drama); Kyra Sedgwick from The Closer; Glenn Close from Damages; Holly Hunter from Saving Grace; Mariska Hargitay from Law & Order: SVU; and Sally Field from Brothers & Sisters.

The last five are “perennial” nominations, meaning they are going to be nominated every year, without fail, because they are so revered in the entertainment community. Even when they don’t have a great season. Even when new, worthy actresses enter the race. It just seems like utter laziness to me, as though the members of the Academy don’t take the time to watch the episodes submitted for consideration and then objectively choose nominees based on merit alone.

True Blood did receive nods in a few minor categories: Outstanding Art Direction in a Single-Camera Series; Outstanding Main Title Design; and Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series.

Small victories are better than none at all but we won’t even get to see these awards handed out during the telecast on Sunday, Sept. 20. They have a separate ceremony for the Creative Arts Emmys, the results of which can be found online afterwards.

Even though the Emmy nominations have disappointed, the Golden Globes will follow in a few months. They showed last year that they weren’t afraid to honor the great work of Anna and everyone at True Blood!


(Photo credit: Google Images)