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)

  • bodled blood

    Entourage, are they kidding? that show gets an award and true blood gets snubbed. I like TB so much that I would like nothing more than to leave the channel where it is but Entourage is such a stinking fish I can not bare it. I do like Hung another good show that seemed to be neglected. I tell you though I think the emmy’s need revamping. They need more categories for the shows, more space to elect actors, they have not evolved and need to grow with television. There are so many fab actors on TB alone, they just all rock. Its a situation where I dont even know how they choose categories for a show to fall in because shows like TB are so diverse, its everything, its comedy, its drama, …..
    Time to grow up Emmy or we wont watch you anymore and you will be the award show without an award.


    Who ever is in charge of emmy voting should be drawn and quartered , are you F*&^ing serious , 30 rock ? i did not even know that damn show was still on . True blood is a work of art and should be awarded for its talent . The guys in charge of the emmys are most likley a bunch of old bastards that dont even watch tv and take there ensure and wear adult diapers , So here is a BIG F.U. too all you emmy excutives !!! Suck my MfING D8%k !!!!

    • antonio

      We sure have some strong opinions here! The emmys are pretentious like the oscars its All Schmaltz!! to coin some yiddish here! LOL
      Besides, AB and the cast have Us the fans We Love their work on the show!! What more do they need?? The Huge fan presence at Comic-Con should tell them that!!

    • Sandy

      While TB does deserve some Emmy love – we do love 30 Rock in this home. The comedy can be a bit dry at times so not everyone “gets” it, I guess.
      We also love HBO’s Eastbound and Down (just check it out from the 1st episode) and Hung. Entourages only saving grace is the part of Ari Fleischer and his ex-secretary who’s name escapes me (gay, short Asian man) has had some fantastic one liners – the rest is bland. bleh.

      Love the well written piece above regarding the snub. At least it has received something and it does excel in the artistic camera work. Indeed, there are so many great actors on the show it would be hard to point to just one – but for one of the best transitions Nelsan Ellis really inhabits his character Lafayette.


  • Morgaine

    Once again, the Emmys went beyond old-school, reaching Neanderthal-school, ignoring the more edgy productions and, therefore, ensuring they will remain irrelevant to a large portion of the television-viewing audience.

    I agree with Edmonton Sun quote in the article. Sookie is a challenging character, and Paquin nails it. Sookie could easily come off as mentally unstable and the butt of everybody’s joke, her choices in life made from a place of pathetic loneliness, instead of from the strength to take well-thought-out risks. Paquin nails Sookie’s best qualities: her steadfast loyalty, her compassion for others, and her ability to remain nonjudgmental of others.

    The Emmy and Oscar award shows find themselves with steadily decreasing numbers in the viewing audience. They attempt to correct this trend by using gimmicks and changing the format, when the reality is this: viewers are not abandoning these award shows because of the format or lack of gimmicks…they are abandoning these shows because they are simply irrelevant to the younger, more progressive viewers.

    They can expect to see decreasing numbers of veiwers as long as they cling to old-school, established, and/or noncontroversial actors and their characters, the award shows will remain irrelevant to the very consumers they so wish to attract.

    • Nia

      Here, Here, very well said!

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  • Janie Logan

    Yeah, they would definitely feel it if all of us True Blood fans stick together and boycott the Emmys! They’ve been losing so many viewers every year, I think it’s only a matter of time until they realize they’re doing something wrong and have to change–maybe bring some new people into the Academy who aren’t afraid of actually honoring something supernatural!

    • Nia

      You’re absolutely right Janie Logan, since we are up to almost 5 million viewers per True Blood episode, I think the emmys will definitely feel the pain if we all boycotted!!!

  • shanna

    this is total crap that they didnt get a nomination, this show is better than any other show that is on tv right now and they deserve a nomination. what makes this year any different from last year when anna paquin won a emmy (which was well deserved) it just bothers me because they have all of the other shows on showtime cinemax as well a hbo that get nominated in every category but since true blood deals with the supernatural and isnt a reality show or something that might happen in real life they will not recognize it for what it really is a great show that needs to get credited for being a great show. hell the ratings are probably higher than any other show on tv, i know that i watch is every week and i watch is again during the week to see if there was anything that i might have missed. i think that we all show just boycott the emmys this year and see how well there ratings do and then maybe they might change their minds about what “they” think should be nominated.

  • That is so , true..It seems like the same ones, win every year??!!That’s why, I usually don’t watch it. And yes Stephen Moyer should,get best actor in a drama..for Bill…Also, the actors who play..Lafayette and Tara!! Oh and Jason..they are all great..Anna is good in her role (just 2 things bother me…she can’t really cry..and Through the whole series 1..she never got it!! They are Vampires..they can take what they want..they don’t have to ask for you permission!!) Maybe she will wise up in season 2??(I know it’s just a show…but, it irritates me..) Other than those couple of things..Her …Sookie…ride on..”True Blood” is the best show, out there..And they deserve to be nominated!! They need to listen to the people..Maybe then I will watch it??!!

  • Well I’m not suprised– the Emmy’s usually stick to comfortable names and shows for nominations. They cant understand the genius and creativity that Mr.Ball brought to life frmo Ms. Harris’ books so they choose to ignore it based soley on that! They’re afraid to step outside of there standard comfort zone and be overwhelmed with a series that takes you to a world full of great drama mixed with fantasy, action and romance!!! TB is the best show so if the Emmy’s wanna snub TB than we will snub the Emmy’s!!!! I will ask all my TB fans to not watch the Emmy’s when it airs-and i have alot of friends that are TB fans both in my home town and via the internet!! we will ban together and strike back at the Emmy’s for trying to ignore the greatest drama/romance/fantasy/action series of all time!!

  • Trai

    The episode where Bill flashes back to the Civil War drew me to tears. Stephen’s work in that episode was incredible. I’m also very disappointed that Anna wasn’t nominated– I’m fairly sure that she won the Golden Globe solely for the episode with her crying over Gran’s pecan pie.

    I’ve read a whole lot of critics being mad that True Blood wasn’t nominated, and I remember one saying he was astounded because Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette is “pretty damn impossible to ignore.” If the show’s fanbase keeps growing, maybe we’ll see some more Emmy noms down the pike 🙂

  • Nia

    Just as the Emmys have snubbed the best entertainment on televison, so shall I, and many others, snub the Emmys! Perhaps if we voice our feelings loud enough, we shall be heard. Not only should True Blood have been nominated for best drama and Anna for best actress in a drama, but also Stephen Moyer for best actor in a drama, for his amazing portrayal of Bill Compton. As well as other nods for best supporting actors.The Emmys need to catch up with the times and recognize genre shows that are so beloved by such a large audience!

    • Janie Logan

      You are so right, Nia! Stephen does an incredible job as Bill. His acting talent should be recognized right up there with Michael C. Hall and Jon Hamm and all of those guys. And while we’re at it, it’s a crime that Nelsan Ellis would not be honored in the Best Supporting Actor category. Even Alan Ball has said that what Nelsan does transcends acting–it’s like he channels Lafayette.

      What will be interesting to me is how the Emmys handle True Blood next year when Season 2 is up for consideration. They won’t be able to ignore the way it has pervaded the culture, gaining critical acclaim AND millions of viewers.

      • Nia

        Absolutely right about Nelson Ellis. He is awesome as Lafayette. I would have defintely wanted a supporting nod for him. I was so upset when I thought they killed him off at the end of season 1. This is one reason why I am so happy that Alan Ball does not follow the books religiously.
        Oh and it was a GoldenGlobe that Anna recieved last year. Hopefully the Globes will be more generous than the Emmys.
        I will be snubbing the Emmys!