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Thursday, 21 of November of 2019

Oh, yeah, the Emmys. Right.

Jaime Weinman already kind of yawned about today’s Emmy nominations. Let me extend his yawn to a full on yawp.

She's shiny and pointless

YAWP.

While Myles has done some extensive Emmy coverage and Cory did some Emmy ballots, I’ve done nothing. And I’ve had the time. Kind of (another project has cut in on some of my time for the past month or so), but I haven’t had the motivation. Because I kind don’t care about who wins at the Emmys.

It isn’t that I’m not glad to see some folks nominated (The Friday Night Lights fans can be a little less bitter now), but it’s just, well, I’m tired of seeing everyone else who was nominated get nominated (Tony Shalhoub…again!). I’m tired of knowing who and what will win before it ever happens (Congrats, AMC (it’ll be Mad Men or Breaking Bad) and Modern Family!).

There’s mildly interesting things, like Leno getting snubbed while Conan will go on to win an Emmy (TBS is thrilled) or the debate about whether Glee is a comedy (it isn’t). But, in the long run, the Emmys tell us more about the industry than anything else, and that’s ultimately all they’re good for.

Award shows, regardless of its Emmys, Golden Globes, TCAs, or the Oscars tell us more about the people who are voting that it tells us anything about the quality of the submissions received (why else would Entourage have garnered so many nominations in the past (though only receiving a nomination for Sound Mixing this year)?). The process and nominations tell us that the folks at the Emmy like to play it safe with names and talent they recognize instead of taking risks in the big categories. Indeed, like the networks, the Emmys duplicate their successes over and over again until they just have to cancel and find something new to do over and over again.

Awards also help legitimize organizations. Giving out statues help the organization be important as arbiters of taste, both inside the industry (“Kesley Grammer won a lot of Emmys. Let’s give him another sitcom.”) and, theoretically, translates into audiences finding your show (“Winner of x-number of Emmys. Mad Men on AMC. Story matters here.”). Awards tell us who is and isn’t good, who is and isn’t important, and who we should and shouldn’t be watching.

Except it really doesn’t work when NCIS, the most watched show in the country not named American Idol, didn’t get a single nomination (even Entourage got an Emmy nomination for sound mixing!), or that countless well acted and written shows go unnoticed because of genre trappings or lack of marketing power. As tastemakers, awards fail to translate into much of anything other than insidery congratulations.

But they still tell us what the industry deems worthy of awards, and that itself is a worthwhile conversation to have. Perhaps on Emmy night. As it stands right now, I just don’t care.


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