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On the Scene 7/26: The Undeserving: A look into the consideration of Emmy Award-nominees

The Television Academy announced the 2019 Emmy Award nominees last week on Tuesday, July 16.

Series such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” led the categories, as expected, making up 52 of the total nominations.

“Game of Thrones” set a new record with its eighth and final season for total nominations for any series in one year with 32 of its own. The record was previously held by “NYPD Blue” with 26 nominations in 1994. But what is being referred to as the biggest disappointment in television history with a final season that registered the lowest ratings for the series in its decade on the small screen, the question arises that all of these nominations don’t even seem to be deserved.

Right off the bat, there are at least three nominations the series received that are not only questionable, but down right appalling. The three listed below are three nominations that seem to have been awarded based off of name recognition rather than performance based.

Kit Harrington – Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

Harrington, who is best known for his role as Jon Snow on “Game of Thrones,” received just his second Emmy Award nomination in eight seasons. Now, you can make a case that he deserves six others for the seasons that he has starred in, but for the final season where about half of his lines were the same words repeated on end, you can’t really blame me for saying that he does not deserve the nomination.

Yes, he did a great job in his role as Snow, but was it spectacular enough to be recognized by the Television Academy? I don’t believe so. We can see how emotional and meaningful the role was for Harrington, who was seen in tears during the “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch” HBO documentary that followed the cast through their final year in production, but putting personal feelings aside, Harrington was not deserving.

Honestly, I believe that Harrington will not win the award when going up against actors such as Sterling K. Brown, Milo Ventimiglia and Jason Bateman. But on the off chance he does receive the award, he should say the line he was most known for saying throughout the entirety of the final season: “I don’t want it.”

Lena Headey – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Headey, who like Harrington, received a million dollars for each of the six episodes of the final season of “Game of Thrones.” But, unlike Harrington, Headey was only in four episodes, and the final episode she “appeared” in was a shot of her dead body on the ground where we saw her for all of 30 seconds.

Did I mention this contains spoilers?

So, looking at her actual performance in the season, Headey shouldn’t even have been considered a supporting actress, but really as a guest because she was paid to do absolutely nothing. Most of the time we do see her character on screen its through a window shot where she stands pondering with a tall glass of red wine. If that’s all it takes to receive an Emmy nomination, I should have been awarded one for the last four years…

David Benioff & D.B. Weiss “The Iron Throne” – Writing for a Drama Series

In my opinion, The Television Academy awarded Weiss and Benioff with a nomination for this episode, the series finale, solely based off of the backlash from fans, because it’s truly impossible that the writing of this episode be recognized, let alone the final season as a whole. What was the lowest rated episode in the series’ decade long history made absolutely no sense whatsoever and was a complete disgrace to fans around the world.

How could the two “writers” possibly be awarded with even a recognition after changing entire character’s personalities in the matter of two episodes with entirely no build up at all? How could we forget a series long story arc such as Jon Snow being the true King of Westeros meaning absolutely nothing in the end for no apparent reason other than a lack of writing skills? Or how about Bran Stark being awarded the title of king and accepting it, after he literally just said a few episodes ago that he could never possibly take the throne – an episode which the two of them wrote!

One of the best things the two have said over the course of the final season when explaining certain plot details was how characters “just forgot” about things. Like when Daenerys goes back to fight the Iron Fleet after just being defeated by them a few weeks prior, only to get one of her dragons killed in the process.

When questioned, the “writers” responded that she “just forgot” about them. Yes, one of the strongest and most powerful of people in the fictional world, forgot that a few weeks ago she lost a battle and would just stroll into Kings Landing unscathed this time – that makes complete sense…

Needless to say, Benioff and Weiss do not deserve this nomination in any way, shape or form. For them to be recognized as actual writers is completely blasphemous and for them to ruin such a series like this takes true talent.

For my full thoughts on the series conclusion, see: “On the Scene 5/24: A Game of Disappointment.”

The 91st Emmy Awards will air on Fox on Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. Until then, catch up on all of the year’s greatest small screen favorites through On Demand and streaming services.


Ken Downey Jr. is the Managing Editor for Time OFF and Packet Media, LLC. This is a part of his series of weekly columns focusing on arts and entertainment. He can be contacted at kdowney@newspapermediagroup.com.

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