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22 Emmy Nominees Worth Considering One More Time Before Voting Ends

On the last day of Emmy voting, why not give these worthy contenders one more glance?

Maya Rudolph, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Jodie Comer Emmys 2019

Maya Rudolph, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Jodie Comer

NBC/Amazon/BBC America


The marathon is almost over. What started in February with the first official FYC screenings is about to wrap up on the final day of Emmy voting. All the advocacy from publicists, networks, critics, friends, and colleagues will either add up to an Emmy win or not, and the mourning cycle will last, at most, one month — before the end-of-year awards races start up in earnest.

So today, on the last day of voting, IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers and TV Awards Editor Libby Hill have a few last-second pleas for everyone to consider. Sure, it would be nice if someone clicked on this article and then clicked over to their ballot, convinced of a nominee’s merit. But it’s just as important that we all remember the impressive efforts of these creators. Whether they win or not, the work demands to be seen, and the long Emmy race offers so many chances to share great television with the masses.

But seriously: Vote for these folks.

Tod Campbell, “Homecoming”
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series

Campbell has been working with Sam Esmail since “Mr. Robot’s” first season, for which he earned his first Emmy nomination in 2015, and it would be easy to point to his vertical “iPhone” framing in “Homecoming” as a great reason to vote for him now. But the Amazon original is absolutely packed with homages to Hitchcock and De Palma, creating a gorgeous throwback thriller all its own — within widescreen and narrow framings alike. “Homecoming” is a detailed, intricate, and visually arresting drama and Campbell deserves a lot of the credit for crafting it. — BT

[For more on “Homecoming,” read our interview with Campbell.]

Outstanding Comedy Series

What’s left to say about Amazon Prime’s “Fleabag”? One of the finest seasons of television in the past decade, if not more, the second edition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s series was simultaneously riotously funny and excruciatingly heartbreaking. The breadth and purity of emotions the show captured were unrivaled this year. And it doesn’t seem out of place to remind voters that they missed their window to award the show’s first season. If they don’t do it now, the opportunity will likely never return. Never be afraid to express your love, voters. Especially when it comes to “Fleabag.” — LH

[For more on “Fleabag,” read our interview with Phoebe Waller-Bridge.]

“BoJack Horseman”
Outstanding Animated Program

Much has been made of the TV Academy snubbing “BoJack Horseman,” Netflix’s elite animated comedy, for its first four seasons. But let’s twist off the haterade spigot and look at what’s so good about Season 5, in particular. Raphael Bob-Waksberg turns his focus inward, asking whether a satire of toxic Hollywood culture feeds into similar indulgent, masculine tendencies, and the new episodes take square aim at BoJack’s dangerous behavioral patterns. Sure, it’s dark. Yes, it’s still funny. But it’s also unflinching in its self-assessment, which may be what the Emmys are ready to reward. — BT

[For more on “BoJack Horseman,” read our analysis of its Emmy chances.]

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

If there’s a problem with Odenkirk’s performance of Saul Goodman neé Jimmy McGill on “Better Call Saul,” is that it’s too subtle. It’s easy to overlook the character’s slow transformation into his serpentine alter-ego because what precipitates it is so relatable: Unlike Walter White in “Breaking Bad,” McGill doesn’t relish being the bad guy. It’s just the only thing he’s truly gifted at. Odenkirk plays – has played for a decade – every note in one man’s tragic narrative with pathos, but never pity. That has to be worth something. — LH

[For more on “Better Call Saul,” read our interview with Bob Odenkirk.]

Anna Chlumsky in "Veep" Season 7 Episode 6

Anna Chlumsky in “Veep

Colleen Hayes/HBO

Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Chlumsky is the most routinely nominated “Veep” performer not named Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and yet while her lead colleague wins year after year, the supporting star has yet to take home a trophy. The way Chlumsky can take Amy from serene to spitting at the drop of the hat is an oft-utilized comedic talent, but how she stealthily transitioned Selina’s hate-filled yet rational No. 2 into a baseless, go-for-broke Jonah stooge is a more than Emmy-worthy effort for the final season. — BT

Stephen Root, “Barry”
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

It’s strange and unfortunate that this is Root’s first ever Emmy nomination, what with his 30-year career in television as a consummate character actor, in addition to giving one of the finest sitcom performances in TV history as station owner Jimmy James on NBC’s critically-acclaimed “NewsRadio.” But while Root’s work on “Barry” leans more towards pitch black humor, it’s the undercurrent of menace and manipulation the actor infuses into every word that sets his performance apart. — LH

[For more on “Barry,” watch our Emmys video discussing its acting merits.]

Alexa L. Fogel, “Ozark” and “Pose”
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series

Fogel is nothing short of a legend. She’s won three Emmys — two for casting “NYPD Blue” and the other for “True Detective” Season 1 — and has been nominated 12 times. But looking over her career, a trajectory becomes clear: From “Oz,” to “Treme,” to “Atlanta,” to “Pose,” Fogel thrives on discovering unique talents for specific parts. In a nutshell, that’s what all casting directors do, but Fogel’s challenges shift and intensify with each new project, as the characters’ cultures, backgrounds, or history becomes integral to the casting process. These shows are progressive, inclusive, and filled with fan-favorite performers, so why not honor the year’s dual-nominee in drama for a crowning achievement in “Pose”? — BT

[For more on “Ozark” and “Pose,” read our interview with Fogel.]

Outstanding Television Movie

One of the most profound disappointments of Emmy nomination morning was the distinct lack of broad based support for the long-awaited “Deadwood” movie, some 13 years in the making. Specifically, the lack of recognition for legendary television scribe David Milch in Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special. But the TV Academy still has an opportunity to honor Milch – as well as the stars of the series, Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant, who served as executive producers on the project – by crowning the film Outstanding Television Movie. Which should be easy, considering that unlike its main competition “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” “Deadwood” is actually, you know, a TV movie. — LH

[For more on “Deadwood,” read our interview with star Timothy Olyphant.]

Maya Rudolph, “The Good Place”
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Arguably, Maya Rudolph is the only person with the unflappable authority and comedic flexibility to play an all-powerful judge over heaven The Good Place and hell The Bad Place. The ever-surprising performer can deliver stake-setting monologues that scare the pants off of our heroes and still immediately pivot to a joke based in an extended fart sound. Rudolph should be appreciated for her versatility more often, and this seems like a great place to start. — BT

Springsteen on Broadway Bruce Springsteen Netflix

Bruce Springsteen in “Springsteen on Broadway”

Kevin Mazur / Netflix

“Springsteen on Broadway”
Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

Deeply personal, intimately paced, and featuring a magnetic performance that captures the humility and grace of a rock n’ roll legend, “Springsteen on Broadway” isn’t a concert documentary — it’s a live musical. Directed by Thom Zimny and written by The Boss himself, this Tony-winning event resonates beyond its private New York theatre and connects with Netflix viewers at home, thanks in part to Springsteen’s willingness to chronicle his life’s highs and lows with the accompaniment of those stellar songs. There’s as much performance through dialogue as guitar strumming, which helps make this variety special a moving spectacle of the heart. — BT

[For more on “Springsteen on Broadway” see our coverage of the FYC event with Martin Scorsese.]

“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”
Outstanding Variety Series (Talk)

“Full Frontal” looks and feels different than any other show on the Variety Talk landscape. Sure, a big part of that is due to Bee and her writing team, but more specifically, what makes the series sing is the righteous anger that fuels every word. The crew at “Full Frontal” is tireless in their efforts to not get bogged down in an endless series of demoralizing news cycles, keeping their eyes on the prize, their foot on the gas, and their disbelief piqued, all in hopes of less apocalyptic days ahead. This is the Variety Talk series that America needs in these trying times. — LH

[For more on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” see our coverage of the FYC event.]

Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

I mean, this was her season, wasn’t it? While Sandra Oh wowed audiences with her eponymous detective’s surprising obsessions in Season 1, Comer got more screen time, more oddball moments, and more stunning couture in the BBC America’s second go-round. More importantly, she was a magnetic presence, giving a precise, hilarious, and moving performance. Plus, Comer inspired people to beg her to kill them? That seems… significant. — BT

[For more on “Killing Eve,” read our interview with Comer.]

Jesse Armstrong, “Succession” (Season 1, Episode 10, “Nobody Is Ever Missing”)
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

As unacceptable as it is that HBO’s “Succession” wasn’t better recognized by the TV Academy, specifically in the acting categories, it is a relief that the sterling Season 1 finale, written by its creator, Armstrong, was nominated for its script. The episode is a perfect representation of the series as a whole, with tension growing throughout, building to an unforeseeable climax and an absolutely heartbreaking denouement. It’s a more than worthy choice to win. — LH

“A Series of Unfortunate Events”
Outstanding Children’s Program

Now a six-time Emmy nominee, Barry Sonnenfeld’s lavish adaptation of Daniel Handler’s popular kids’ books has been recognized for its production design, costumes, and music (in 2017), but has yet to take home a single trophy. In its final season, make sure to honor a series that’s inventive from top to bottom — and made with all the love the Baudelaire children have for each other. — BT

Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us”
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie

As soon as “Moonlight” hit, people wanted to see Jerome in an expanded role, but it’s hard to imagine even his most enamored supporters believing he could do something like this. His raw, transformative part in “When They See Us” drives home the messages of Ava DuVernay’s Netflix limited series, both in his heartbreaking loss and inspirational courage. Jerome is the only actor to play his character in both timelines, pre-prison and post, and the dedication shown to convince us he lived through such unimaginable pain is as astounding as seeing the same kid come out from behind bars as the one who entered. — BT

[For more on “When They See Us,” read our interview with Jerome.]

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

Looking past the embarrassment that “Late Night” was again inexplicably overlooked for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, it would really be ideal for voters to award the series this richly deserved honor. Seth Meyers and “Late Night” routinely put up the most entertaining, enlightening, and informative late night talk show and its brilliance begins and ends with the writing. — LH

[For more on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” read our interview with the host.]

Sharp Objects - Cherry, Episode 6 Amy Adams 2

Amy Adams in “Sharp Objects”

Anne Marie Fox/HBO

Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

I don’t really know how many more ways I can say, “Amy Adams gave the best performance of her outstanding career in ‘Sharp Objects,’ so the TV Academy better give her an Emmy or risk looking as stupid as the Film Academy, which has yet to give her a single Oscar in six chances” [deep breath], but I’ll say it again as a reminder: Vote for Amy Adams. Her work is filled with heartbreaking specificity, incredible range, and she overcomes more than a few make-or-break obstacles. (Her character is covered in scars that spell words, for Pete’s sake.) Be better, TV Academy. Be better. — BT

Debra Hanson and Darci Cheyne, “Schitt’s Creek”
Outstanding Contemporary Costumes

For all the brilliance contained in Pop TV’s fan favorite “Schitt’s Creek,” one of the single most remarkable elements is the show’s use of contemporary costumes. For Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara), within moments of meeting the character the audience understands precisely who she is, based wholly on her wardrobe. And it carries throughout the series. So spot-on are the seemingly straightforward costumes on the series, that you could watch it on mute and still have a pretty good idea of the personalities of each character. It’s storytelling support at its finest. — LH

“An Emmy for Megan”
Outstanding Short Form Comedy Series

While Megan Amram’s dedication to her comedic premise remains awe-inspiring, there’s really only one reason you need to hear in order to vote for this meta, hysterical, and independently financed short: She rented (bought?) a plane. Now that’s commitment. — BT

[For more on “An Emmy for Megan,” read our interview with Megan Amram.]

Adam Taylor, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)

Similar to the way costumes are used on “Schitt’s Creek,” Taylor’s music does so much subterranean heavy-lifting on “The Handmaid’s Tale” that it’s easy to overlook. The artist’s blend of strings and synth are Gilead, ominous and unforgiving, the soul of a sad and sadistic story always searching for salvation. — LH

Peter MacNicol, “Veep”
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Remember when Peter MacNicol was nominated in this category back in 2016, and then disqualified for appearing in too many episodes? Well, imagine a vengeful Uncle Jeff returning for one last shot at the trophy — that’s what we got in the final season of “Veep”; a full-on, blood-curdling, insult-spewing, walking atrocity of a human being, played with addictive glee by the great MacNicol. Uncle Jeff was going to come back bigger and badder no matter what for his final stint on the HBO comedy, but the offscreen narrative is too fitting to ignore. Imagining the actor carrying a chip on his shoulder just makes each scene that much more vicious. — BT

Nicholas Britell, “Succession”
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music

This song bangs. It should have been nominated for Best Song at the GRAMMYs. At least one player on every MLB team should use it as their walk-up music. It should join the pantheon of great — if unconventional — stadium songs. Plus, this is only the seventh overall nomination in this category for HBO, which, given the network’s legendary theme songs, just seems wrong. In fact, the only HBO show that won the category is “Six Feet Under.” Not nominated: “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Big Love,” “Sex and the City,” and a little show called, ahem, “Game of Thrones.” — LH

Final-round Emmy voting is open from Thursday, Aug. 15 through Thursday, Aug. 29 at 10 p.m. PT. Winners for the 71st Primetime Emmys Creative Arts Awards will be announced the weekend of Sept. 14 and 15, with the Primetime Emmys ceremony broadcast live on Fox on Sunday, Sept. 22.

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