On the Scene 8/16: The Snubbed

With only about a month until the Emmy Awards air on Fox, the television academy has once again provided too little time for audiences to watch everything being considered for awards. With favorites nominated like Sterling K. Brown, Rachel Brosnahan and Peter Dinklage, the television academy continues to put up the same stars year after year for their incredible talent. These three, of course, deserve their nominations, but there were a few names left off the ballot this year in several categories.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series – James Roday, “A Million Little Things”

Roday starred in ABC’s biggest drama of last year as Gary Mendez, a survivor of breast cancer and stereotypical bachelor who changes his view on life after his best friend jumps from the top of the Boston skyline and leaves his group of friends, wife and two children to pick up the pieces.

Regularly attending breast cancer support groups, Mendez uses the groups as a way to pick up women, until one day he meets Maggie (Allison Miller) who is a survivor as well. When Maggie’s cancer eventually returns, she decides not to go for treatment and let the disease kill her.

Now Mendez must try to convince the person he has fallen for to continue to fight for her life because he doesn’t want to let her die.

Of course, this comes across as a cheesy, tear-jerking story, and I honestly can’t say that it isn’t, but what I can say is that Roday gives such a tremendous performance that even though you have only known his character for a short while because it’s the series’ first season, you will immediately care for him.

You can see the vulnerability in Roday’s character; you can see the fear his character has over losing the woman whom he loves; you can see how the character’s maturity progresses with the story throughout the season; and you can feel for his character, which is the ultimate goal for the writer of anything.

Roday would have been up against some pretty big names in a category that he would not have a chance at winning, but the prestige of a nomination would say a lot for a performance so deserving.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Susan Kelechi Watson, “This Is Us”

Watson has starred in the Emmy Award-winning NBC series “This Is Us” for the past three seasons and will continue her role into the series’ fourth this fall. Her character Beth Pearson is the typical working mother of today. She and her husband Randall (Sterling K. Brown) take care of their three children, while both working full-time jobs and having lives of their own.

But season three brings some unexpected twists for her character after she loses a job that she has spent her entire career working at. Now with her husband’s plan to run for Philadelphia’s City Council in its 12th District, Beth must go back to being a housewife and mother full-time rather than pursuing her own dreams.

In a season that brought out more anger than tears for some characters, Watson put on a performance that should have garnered her the same recognition as her fictional husband’s character did for Brown.

Like Roday, Watson would be anything but a favorite in a category with four righteous women from “Game of Thrones,” but maybe she should have followed in the footsteps of one of them and submitted her own name like Gwendoline Christie.

Writing for a Comedy Series – Dan Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Masiel” – “Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy”

Leading the nominations for comedy, Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” brought in 20 nominations this year after sweeping last year’s awards. But, in my honest opinion, it should have been 21.

After winning the Emmy for Writing in a Comedy Series last year with Amy Sherman-Palladino’s “Pilot” episode of the series, she and her husband/writing partner weren’t even considered this year.

As a fan of the power couple for many years, I can always tell the difference in the writing styles when watching anything the two create. I usually am biased in this regard and take preference with Amy’s writing over Dan’s, but I was shocked to see Dan’s name come across my scree after watching what was my favorite episode of the entire Amazon comedy.

For those of you who do not know what the series is about (I am sure there are not many because it’s the biggest show across any streaming network), the series follows Midge Maisel, your stereotypical 1950s Jewish housewife. But after her husband leaves her in the first episode to pursue a career in standup comedy, she takes it upon herself to follow his dream and do the same.

The episode deserving of an Emmy nomination has Midge booking her first gig on television after landing a spot on television during an arthritis awareness telethon. In what was the season’s funniest episode, we see further character development, plot advancements and brilliant writing from Dan, who usually ruins every single one of his episodes with an original song.

I have never been an activist for the writing of Dan Palladino, but he really deserved some recognition here.

 

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.