It's been almost a week since the 2012 Emmy Nominations came out, and while there are plenty of nominees we're thrilled about, there's still one thing we're stewing over: The complete lack of respect shown for network dramas. The Outstanding Drama Series category is filled entirely — entirely — with cable shows, and The Good Wife is the only network drama to get any notable love in the acting categories. And you know what? We're getting sick of the bias.
We have nothing against the shows that did get nominated. In fact, we love many of them quite dearly. There's no question that, for example, Mad Men and Breaking Bad are masterfully crafted, slow-burning stories that unfold their characters with an astounding level of detail and subtlety. But is that the only standard for good TV?
Take Grey's Anatomy, with its weekly episodic plots and big broad emotional stories. It's obviously not trying to achieve the same thing as Mad Men (or Game of Thrones or Homeland, etc.) It's funnier, it's soapier, its big emotional moments are more in-your-face, but it does what it wants to do well, and the Academy used to be able to acknowledge that. It's a shame that the recent move towards only noticing a certain type of slow-moving cable drama means Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) never really stood a chance of getting nominated this year, even after turning in her best performance in ages.
And Grey's is hardly the only show to suffer. Castle has always been ignored, despite being one of the most charming procedurals on TV. Revenge's twists and turns were masterfully crafted and well-acted during its freshman season, but you'd never know if from the nominee ballot. Robert Carlyle (Once Upon a Time) and John Noble (Fringe) both turned in awe-inspiring duel performances, but they're on network genre dramas, which is a negative double-whammy — we're not entirely sure the academy even knows these shows exist.
We could go on and on. Obviously, there's limited space on the ballot, and not every actor and every show that deserves a nomination will get one. But it would be nice to feel like network dramas are even in the running.
Do you think the Academy is too biased in favor of cable dramas? Let us know in the comments below.
Miss Grey’s? Us too. Luckily the show will return to Thursdays at 9 p.m. with all-new episodes in the fall on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
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