It’s only July but we’re already fast approaching the awards season with the annual Emmy nominations, which offered some surprises this year.
The Emmys are a curious beast. They often play it safe and the nominations whilst the awards ceremony itself is played out in a predictable manner. This year, however, there is a distinct sense of surprise.
It’s no shock that HBO’s Succession walked away with the most nominations, with 25 in total. Ted Lasso, The White Lotus and Euphoria also soared, as expected, but one show reached heights that were greater than anyone could have predicted.
Netflix’s Squid Game received a whopping total of 14 nominations, making history as the first non-English language to receive numerous Emmy nominations, including for Best Drama Series. For comparison, Euphoria, an established, well-reviewed HBO show, has 16. Yet what separates Euphoria and Squid Game isn’t quality, popularity or even acclaim, but language. The South Korean series has done something no other series not-in-the-English-language has managed to do.
Not only that, it also scored big in the acting categories. In 2020, there were some rumblings of displeasure as Parasite was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but failed to gain recognition for the actors. Non-English language films and TV shows tend to struggle with this, but perhaps Squid Game can act as an important precedent for future series.
The biggest snub, meanwhile, seems to be This Is Us. The show has been hugely popular and has just finished its sixth and final season in a very emotional manner.
It seemed a given that This Is Us would be recognised and honoured in several categories, but that just didn’t happen. The drama series has been nominated several times before and has 4 Emmys under its belt.
Mandy Moore, who stars in This Is Us as Rebecca Pearson, took to Instagram to vent her frustrations. She wrote on her IG story: “Do I wish our show was recognized in what I think was its’s [sic] finest hour? Sure. And [creator] Dan Fogelman’s brilliant writing for 6 seasons (hello THE TRAIN)? @kenolin1’s [Ken Olin] impeccable direction? Our insanely, wildly talented cast and crew? Yah.”
She also said she was “forever grateful” to be a part of the show’s legacy. This Is Us only received one nomination, for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the song ‘The Forever Now’.
The Emmy ceremony will take place on September 12 in Los Angeles. We’re still waiting for news on a potential host.