“You’re the Worst” & Aya Cash
The story remains the same for FXX’s adored comedy: Not enough people are watching. The low-rated cable comedy has had critics on its side all along, but Stephen Falk’s hysterical series needs more eyes on the A-grade product. Its FYC event wasn’t exactly packed, and the episodes chosen (“LCD Soundsystem” and the Season 2 finale) weren’t designed to get people hooked. They were meant to make “You’re the Worst” stand out. FX is playing the long game with this one, and “You’re the Worst” made strides in the right direction this season. Hopefully awareness will again be higher next year. (RIP #Cash4Gold — we’ll bring it back next year.)
Hulu pushed this one as hard as they could — Emmys event, a delayed premiere to coincide with voting, big FYC campaign — but their best shot at a nod couldn’t compete with the top seven from other networks. Despite excellent performances and a big name director (Jason Reitman, who did not snag a directing nod), “Casual” never drew a big enough discussion to make it necessary viewing for voters.
“Mozart in the Jungle”
Some thought this Amazon original series had enough momentum after its dual Globes wins, but that voting body and the TV Academy’s are very different groups. And “Mozart” never really caught on in the zeitgeist or crossed over into the “must see” realm of streaming comedies, making it a hard sell for busy voters.
Amanda Peet, “Togetherness”
If anyone was going to represent the cancelled HBO comedy, it was going to be Peet. A favorite in a cast of favorites, Peet is a known and liked face in the industry who flexed her comedic chops in the heartfelt Duplass brothers’ series. She excelled in little moments, building her character from specific moments, and perhaps the nuanced take was simply too subtle to grab the attention of voters. HBO did support the series, but no FYC events or noticeable campaign helped Peet, who was also snubbed for Season 1. The whole cast deserved nods, but just one would’ve been a nice gesture for the axed entry.
Rob Lowe, “The Grinder”
Considering it was cancelled (and perhaps because of it), “The Grinder” still saw quite the show of support from within the industry. Because of it, many people expected to see the Fox comedy’s star land a nomination. But Lowe has never earned the same favor with Emmy as he has with the Globes (only one nomination for “The West Wing,” compared to six nods from the HFPA), so perhaps the lack of network backing was just enough to keep him off the books again. Quite the shame, given the astounding, complex and lengthy arc he took Dean Sanderson on in just one season.
Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
The Golden Globe winner from earlier this year had a lot going for her at the Emmys, and not just the second most prestigious TV trophy sitting on her mantle. Bloom is a driving force behind “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” and the TV Academy has been known to recognize creators in acting categories (Tina Fey, for example). Plus, the hour-long program features singing, dancing, drama and comedy, all of which combine to make quite the appealing reel for Ms. Bloom. Yet the hot hand of last TV season somehow cooled before Emmys voting. That, or the same percentage of Academy members watched “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” as active TV households.
“Show Me a Hero”
Turns out a complicated small town urban housing drama isn’t quite as appealing as, say, a spy thriller, a historically significant remake, a haunting story of teen homosexuality, mob warfare in the Midwest or O.J. Simpson. But the HBO brand and rave reviews seemed like they would be enough to push David Simon’s superb limited series (starring Oscar Isaac!) into the race. Alas, t’was not the case. This snub marks the first time since 2007 HBO hasn’t landed a nod in the Limited Series/Miniseries category.
Hulu went zero for three with its first legitimate shot at prestige TV, as “The Path,” “Casual” and “11.22.63” all went unrewarded at their first Emmys. Okay, so “11.22.63” did snag a Creative Arts nod for visual effects, but that’s a disappointment considering who was behind it. Hulu’s limited series couldn’t have had bigger names working in its favor, with producer J.J. Abrams, writer Stephen King and star James Franco all on the trail supporting the well-received limited series. Sci-fi just doesn’t read as well next to competitors as lofty as what was nominated, so “11.22.63” may have been edged out simply on genre.
Outstanding Animated Series is a tough category to crack, but the Netflix comedy has received such an immense amount of critical adulation it felt like a fairly safe bet in Season 2. The fact that Raphael Bob-Waksberg takes a dark but authentic look at Hollywood itself should help with voters, too, and its all-star cast — including Academy favorites like Aaron Paul and Character Actress Margo Martindale — should help rally support, as well. Here’s hoping next year is the year.
“Black Sails” and “Outlander” repped the premium network in the technical categories, but its best bet, “The Dresser” — and first original TV movie — came up empty. How could the Academy say no to Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen? It’s a good question, and one we’ll be pondering for quite some time. “Ash v. Evil Dead” mounted a fun little campaign, but was never a serious contender (even if we wanted it to be) and “Outlander” still isn’t taken seriously as a prestige drama. Starz, which dipped in nominations from five to four year-to-year, has a tough future ahead, as it needs to establish itself as a destination for great TV. Otherwise, even its legitimate entries may keep getting ignored.