Analysis: The 2022 Emmy nominees are a dizzying mix of old, new and international

This year’s Emmy nominations juggled a seemingly impossible task, trying to identify notable new series, like ‘Only Murders in the Building’ and ‘Abbott Elementary’, while acknowledging older ones, including old ones. winners and a number of shows that were or were about to enter their final seasons.
Add to that an increasingly international flavor to the TV landscape, with Netflix’s South Korean sensation “Squid Game” earning a Best Drama nomination – the first non-English-language show to achieve the feat – and you’ve got a solid prescription. for what an overwhelming task this has become.

How overwhelming? Well, for starters, the Television Academy has thrown off decades of tradition and hasn’t bothered to break down the nominations by network, in part because the advent of streaming platforms has made it possible to determine who owns those bragging rights – Netflix? A combination of HBO and HBO Max? Disney’s matching platforms with Disney+, ABC and Hulu? — too many headaches to deal with.

For what it’s worth, after a neck and neck race last year, HBO opened up a wider lead over Netflix’s second place this time around, with 140 nominations, backed by the 25 for favorite drama “Succession “, followed by “The White Lotus” (20, including eight staggering supporting offers), “Hacks” (17), “Euphoria” (16) and “Barry” (14). Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” (20) was once again the most nominated comedy. (Like CNN, HBO is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

A complicating factor became the longer-than-traditional breaks between seasons, which meant several of this year’s nominated shows weren’t in contention in 2021 — heck, FX’s “Atlanta” was out for nearly four years — while something like “The Crown” is missing after dominating the awards last year.

Another reason the Emmys have gotten so messy is the explosion of the limited series category, which has qualitatively eclipsed perhaps the highest-profile contenders for drama and comedy series. These competitions each get eight nominations, compared to five in the limited rows, which might explain why Colin Firth and Toni Collette were nominated for HBO Max’s “The Staircase,” but the program itself was not.
Notably, HBO’s Hellish Vacation “The White Lotus” (which actually premiered just over a year ago, missing the deadline for last year’s awards) stands out as the only original concept in the field of limited series. He is joined by a quartet of factual productions: Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” and a trio of Hulu productions in “Dopesick”, “The Dropout” and “Pam & Tommy”.

In terms of episodic series, the balance between nostalgia and freshness of discovery is very present, as well as the influence of streaming, which has swept the choices of limited series and accounted for half of the contenders for comedy and drama series.

"Pam & Tommy
As for traditional broadcast networks, their declining role was highlighted by the sole inclusion of ABC’s new sitcom “Abbott Elementary.” Another fledgling hit, CBS’ “Ghosts” failed to make the cut, and NBC’s “This is Us” was overlooked in its final season aside from a Best Song nomination.
Indeed, the evidence that academy voters felt sentimental about the shows that signed on or are about to sign on was decidedly mixed. While ‘Ozark’ garnered 13 nominations and ‘Better Call Saul’ picked up seven, Issa Rae’s nomination marked the only major recognition for the final season of HBO’s ‘Insecure’, joined by the stars of ‘Killing Eve” Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, a series whose last stand generated a largely negative response.
In addition to the two aforementioned comedies and “Squid Game,” the series’ new breakthroughs include a pair of mysteries in Showtime drama “Yellowjackets” and Apple TV+’s “Severance.” Apple’s “Pachinko,” another well-reviewed international drama shot mostly in Korean and Japanese, couldn’t break through, leaving “Squid Game” to try to match the milestone “Parasite” achieved at the Oscars in 2020.

Last year’s Emmys included a populist twist in the form of several Disney+ shows, which could have contributed to a ratings rebound after record numbers in 2020.

Yet after making a splash last year with “The Mandalorian” and “WandaVision,” Disney+ has returned to Earth. The service’s Marvel and “Star Wars” shows garnered a good number of nods in technical areas – including eight for “Moon Knight,” half a dozen for “Loki,” and four for “The Book of Boba Fett.” – there was no major recognition. (“Moon Knight” star Oscar Isaac was nominated for best actor in a limited series, but for HBO’s remake of “Scenes from a Wedding.”)

Whether that will impact the audience for this year’s show remains to be seen. Perhaps the best thing the Emmys have going for them is a wide assortment of tastes to tease different palates, in what has become a pretty crazy galaxy of television.

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