The Best and Worst of the 2012 Emmy Nominations

The 2012 Emmy nominations were announced this morning, and a few surprises were in the mix along with veteran nominees like 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Mad Men. One of the good things about the Emmys is that there are a billion categories (I see you, Outstanding Reality Show Host) so unlike, say, the Oscars, Emmy nominations are pretty evenly divided among men and women. Before you break out that feminist champagne though, note how few people of color were nominated for anything. Also note that the awards show will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel (better save that bubbly for next year).

Jimmy Kimmel and Kerry Washington announcing the emmy nominations this morning.
At least they asked Kerry Washington to announce the nominations?

Vulture has a complete list up of nominees in all categories. Here are the best and worst of the bunch, according to our subjective (but TV-lovin'!) opinion:

The Best

Girls for Outstanding Comedy Series
It had a controversial first season, but Girls is a groundbreaking show in a lot of ways, and it sparked a lot of great debate about women's experiences. Plus, it's funny. Fingers crossed!

Downton Abbey for Outstanding Drama Series
Who would've thought a British show on PBS would sweep the TV-watching world? Sure, it's kinda class porn, but it's still refreshing to see a slow-paced, old-time-y Masterpiece get the nod.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
She could use a new wardrobe consultant, but Lous-Dreyfus kills it on Veep.

Max Greenfield for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
When New Girl premiered, the show was clearly banking on Zooey Deschanel's charms. Then Max Greenfield stole the series as Schmidt. His character is so popular he's transcended the small screen and is blurring the line between truth and fiction on Gwyneth Paltrow's bougie website, among other places. Zooey Deschawho?

Jared Harris for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Sigh. We love you, Lane Pryce. That Pete Campbell fight scene alone gets you an Emmy in our book, not to mention your heartbreaking performance on Mad Men this season.

Margaret Cho for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy
Am I the only one who seriously did not recognize Margaret Cho on 30 Rock as dictators Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un? Acting, people. Acting.

Speaking of that Mad Men fight... Remember this?

The Worst

No Parks and Recreation!
Are you KIDDING, Emmys?! Everyone knows Parks and Recreation is the best show on television. By everyone I mean me, but STILL. And no nomination for Nick Offerman? Outrageous!

Modern Family is Hogging the Supporting Actors Categories
Okay, so Modern Family is an ensemble show, but couldn't the Emmy-choosers have figured out another way to honor the cast than by clogging up the Supporting Actor/ress categories with them? They make up 50% of the pool!

Maggie Smith and Archie Panjabi Can't Both Win
It's like Sophie's Choice 2: Emmys Boogaloo.

Where's Community/Parenthood/Louie/That Show You Like?
The whole point of an awards show is to honor certain shows and not others, but where are all of the other shows we like? Couldn't So You Think You Can Dance? scooch over a little to make room for Community or something?

Peter Dinklage is Going to Beat Jared Harris and We Will All Cheer But Then Cry
Fact: Peter Dinklage is a national treasure. He deserves this award and all of the others he's sure to win as long as Game of Thrones is on the air. Can't the Emmys just give him his own category so that Lane Pryce can have ONE GOOD THING HAPPEN IN HIS LIFE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE?!

What's your take on the nominations?

by Kelsey Wallace
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10 Comments Have Been Posted


Peter Dinklage is the best thing about Game of Thrones (and his character is among the best in the books, too). I am happy for him to win again.

My problem was that there was no Timothy Olyphant. I don't care at all about Dexter. Or Boardwalk Empire (but, at least, that's a bit newer). I realize that I watched only the first few episodes of Season 3 of Justified (we are now behind there as well as with Mad Men), but I saw no reason to think he was anything but great as in the previous two seasons.

I think Claire Danes should win. She is excellent.

I don't think Downton Abbey was as good this year; I'm not sure it actually deserved the nomination, but I love the idea of it having a nomination.

Good picks!

I hear you on <em>Downton Abbey</em>—I'm more psyched about the idea of a British period drama from PBS sweeping the Emmys than I am about it actually happening (though I like the show).

I'm with you on Claire Danes, too! She is so good on <em>Homeland</em>.

No Parks and Rec?

It's great that Amy Poehler got nominated, but that whole show is great and deserves recognition. Nick Offerman is consistently great, as is the rest of the cast. And Paul Rudd should have gotten a best guest actor nod for his role as Bobby Newport. He was perfect in that part.


Paul Rudd was so funny as Bobby Newport. The whole cast of <em>Parks and Rec</em> should be nominated for everything!

I'm disappointed to see that

I'm disappointed to see that Supernatural once again didn't get a nod. No Once Upon A Time? That show is gold.

I learned in high school that what deserves to win rarely does. I was a part of a program where kids in their school's theatre programs would go around and view the other school's plays, critique them, and at the end of the year we would vote on the best "comedienne" and "set." While opinion is subjective, none of the things I voted on/deserved to win, won. I was one of the few students who saw all of the plays and I voted accordingly and fairly. However, just as my director warned me, other students voted for schools they were closest too, their friends etc. So I try to remind myself that with award shows, it is a popularity contest amongst industry elites and voting and procedure are just as screwed up as my little high school gig. The same thing happened during the Oscars and will continue into forever. I remember reading an Academy member being quoted as saying that we pleebs have the People's Choice awards, so we shouldn't complain. Except for the fact that too many people enjoy Twilight and Jersey Shore, so nothing I like ever gets nominated. Ah well...


I completely agree with you about <i>Once Upon a Time</i>. I also think <i> Revenge</i> deserved a nod as well, at least for Emily VanCamp's performance in the show.

I have to say, however, that <i>Supernatural</i> would have deserved the nod three to four years ago, but not now. It's lost a lot of the appeal and the whole dynamic of the show has been compromised since Dean became the hero and Sam became the Anti-Hero.

I'm bummed that the Legend of

I'm bummed that the Legend of Korra wasn't nominated for ANYTHING. It's an amazing, beautifully-animated cartoon with powerful female characters. I expected some sort of nod, especially since it's the sequel to the Emmy-winning Avatar: The Last Airbender series.

Spot on about Peter Dinklage

Spot on about Peter Dinklage and Lane Pryce. Still—DINKLAGE!

Some sobering Emmy facts

Note to Supernatural and other CW show fans: The people who vote for the Emmys, primarily television industry peers, are not fans of the CW. That's why you don't ever hear of any CW shows being nominated for many awards.

Chances are, we will see mostly the same people and shows winning this year as last year, except for, perhaps, Peter Dinklage, and either <i>Mad Men</i> or <i>Downton Abbey</i> for Best Drama Series.

Melissa McCarthy will probably win again ... not just for <i>Mike and Molly</i>, which I am not much of a fan of as a program ... but at least for her absolutely awesome hosting of <i>SNL</i> last season.

I absolutely cannot stand Jimmy Kimmel, so I'm not watching the Emmys this year even if I am forced to ...

Wow! I like the show Girls

Wow! I like the show Girls and all, but for it to take a spot as Outstanding Comedy Series over Parks and Recreation is just blasphemy! Parks and Rec needs to get a new PR rep or marketing team or something because it continues to be so underrated. I hadn’t even really heard much about it till I got my Hopper DVR. It has this awesome little feature, called PrimeTime Any Time, that automatically records all the major networks during primetime hours so, just out of boredom one day, I decided to check the show out. I honestly have not missed an episode since, and I’m always left laughing! Aziz Azari is the most hilarious guy on the show, and that’s saying a lot because Nick Offerman is pretty dang funny! And Leslie Knope is awesome. She is exactly like my boss at Dish that it’s almost unnerving! At least I have seen a lot of people speaking up for the show, so the cast will know that their fans are behind them no matter what some award show says!

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