Musings on EMMY 2021 Nominations – The Good, the Bad + the WTF

Ok, though I’ve been blogging for over a decade, I actually haven’t really blogged much at all about the Emmys. But y’know, given we’re cooped up all of last year, my hubby and I did watch quite a bit of TV, so I thought I’d post about it after its nominations were announced yesterday morning.

Streaming services continue to dominate in terms of ratings AND quality. So HBO and HBO Max is this year’s winner with a whopping 130 total nominations, with Netflix practically breathing right behind it with 129. Disney+ has only been eligible for two years and it’s already got 71 nominations. The Crown + The Mandalorian are tied with 24 noms, followed by WandaVision with 24 and The Handmaid’s Tale with 21.


  • Glad to see the racially diverse nominees across the board! Unlike the Golden Globes, the Emmys recognized the critically-acclaimed I May Destroy You and its star Michaela Coel.


  • It’s great to see that superhero-themed series are getting recognition! Does that mean we’ll see LOKI and Tom Hiddleston‘s names amongst the nominees next year? [fingers crossed]


  • Yay for Ted Lasso!!! I’m SO glad I watched this show, there are SO many things to love about it, some of them I’ve mentioned in this top 10 post. Can’t wait for season 2!!

    I know the Ted Lasso team will have a giant party as practically EVERYONE from the show was nominated, not just its lead Jason Sudekis. But hey, I adore them all so I’m happy to see them all nominated, especially the two ladies Hannah Waddingham and Juno Temple.

  • You’d think I’d be ho-hum to see The Crown getting so much love over and over, but you know what, hard to be blasé about such an outstanding series. Season 4 brought even more riveting drama with the arrival of Diana, so it’s great to see Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor (Charles) both getting noms. Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson, Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies are all phenomenal in the show.


  • Woot WandaVision!! Thrilled to see Elisabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany and Kathryn Hahn all nominated! Those trio are no doubt the standouts in the series.


  • Yay for Matthew Rhys who’s terrific in Perry Mason!! He’s such a criminally underrated actor, I’d love to see him win this year.


  • Everyone’s favorite Duke, aka Bridgerton‘s Regé-Jean Page scores his first nomination! Can’t say I’m surprised, he’s definitely the talk of the town world with his brooding, sexy portrayal.

I kind of feel a bit sorry for Phoebe Dynevor though. Yes she’s not as memorable as the Duke, but they’re all talking about the scorching chemistry between Simon and Daphne, hey it takes two to make that happen!

  • Anya Taylor-Joy is a shoo-in for The Queen’s Gambit, and rightly so! She carried that phenomenal series and was mesmerizing to watch.



  • As happy as I am that The Queens Gambit is recognized, where is Marielle Heller?? I thought she was terrific and made the character so memorable.


  • They nominated the WRONG Black actor in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier! Where is Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley? His scenes with Falcon are definitely the most emotional moments of the series that highlight the issue of racial discrimination.


  • Dynevor isn’t the only female performer getting snubbed in Bridgerton. I feel like there is room to nominate at least one or two more actors in the supporting category. How about Claudia Jessie (Eloise) or Nicola Coughlan (Penelope)? Eloise especially always makes me laugh with her non-conformist attitude.


  • One of the recent shows I absolutely enjoyed, Shadow & Bone, got no love 😦 Given how few performers of Asian-descent getting nominated this year, it would’ve been nice to see the Chinese-British actress Jessica Mei Li on the list. This beautifully-shot fantasy series also boasts some of the most stunning production design and gorgeous costumes!


  • Glad to see OSLO getting a nod, it’s quite a riveting drama about the secret negotiation of the Oslo Accords, but sad that both Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott were snubbed.


  • Lastly, in the Variety Talk series, am I the only one who appreciates Late Night With Seth Meyers? It might not be as flashy as the others being nominated, but there’s a refreshing earnest-ness about Seth and he is a great interviewer! I’ve come to enjoy watching his show over the years, much more so than his fellow SNL-alum-turned-talk-host Jimmy Fallon.



Ok I’m not going to dwell on the negatives… so it’s just these three:

  • Don Cheadle got nominated for basically a 3-minute cameo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier!! Ahah, even the actor himself is confused!! I certainly hope the voters isn’t confusing him with the more deserving nominee Anthony Mackie, I mean, come on!!

  • Emily in Paris??? Good gracious, THIS again??


  • Now, I’m thrilled The Mandalorian gets a nod in Best Drama Series, but sad that the fantastic Pedro Pascal kept getting overlooked!! Did Emmy voters think that since he wore a helmet for most of the series that he wasn’t acting?? It’s akin to mo-cap acting where the actor would still have to act with their body.


In any case, here are the full nominees:

Outstanding Drama Series

The Boys


The Crown

The Mandalorian

Lovecraft Country


The Handmaid’s Tale

This Is Us

Outstanding Comedy Series


Cobra Kai


Emily in Paris


Ted Lasso

The Flight Attendant

The Kominsky Method

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Billy Porter, Pose

Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

Josh O’Connor, The Crown

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emma Corrin, The Crown

Olivia Colman, The Crown

Uzo Aduba, In Treatment

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

Mj Rodriguez, Pose

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country

Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale

O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale

John Lithgow, Perry Mason

Tobias Menzies, The Crown

Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Gillian Anderson, The Crown

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

Emerald Fennell, The Crown

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale

Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

William H. Macy, Shameless

Kenan Thompson, Kenan

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Aidy Bryant, Shrill

Jean Smart, Hacks

Allison Janney, Mom

Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live

Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso

Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso

Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso

Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso

Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live

Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live

Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant

Hannah Einbinder, Hacks

Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Juno Temple, Ted Lasso

Outstanding Limited Series

Mare of Easttown

I May Destroy You


The Queen’s Gambit

The Underground Railroad

Outstanding Television Movie

Uncle Frank

Sylvie’s Love


Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on The Square

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Paul Bettany, WandaVision

Hugh Grant, The Undoing

Ewan McGregor, Halston

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision

Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown

Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown

Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton

Jonathan Groff, Hamilton

Anthony Ramos, Hamilton

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit

Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Courtney B. Vance, Lovecraft Country

Charles Dance, The Crown

Don Cheadle, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Timothy Olyphant, The Mandalorian

Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale

Mckenna Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale

Claire Foy, The Crown

Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us

Sophie Okonedo, Ratched

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live

Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live

Daniel Kaluuya, Saturday Night Live

Dan Levy, Saturday Night Live

Morgan Freeman, The Kominsky Method

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live

Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Issa Rae, A Black Lady Sketch Show

Jane Adams, Hacks

Bernadette Peters, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

Yvette Nicole Brown, A Black Lady Sketch Show

Outstanding Variety Talk Series


The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

So what do YOU think of EMMY noms this year?

13 thoughts on “Musings on EMMY 2021 Nominations – The Good, the Bad + the WTF

  1. I’m happy for WandaVision and Cobra Kai getting some nods but I’m not happy that Small Axe got snubbed while I’m baffled as well over Don Cheadle’s nomination. He was only in an episode for 3 minutes just to have a conversation and then left. That nod should’ve gone to Carl Lumbly.

    1. I haven’t seen Small Axe but yeah, surprising that one got snubbed as I heard so many positive reviews! I am still miffed over Cheadle’s nom over Carl Lumbly’s who’s so much more deserving!

  2. I was shocked Marielle Heller didn’t get nominated for The Queen’s Gambit. Huge miss there. Same with Carl Lumbly in FATWS.

    I really need to see Oslo. It’s been on my watch list.

  3. I don’t pay attention to the Emmy’s didn’t know there announced the nominations until I saw your post here. Lol! I totally forgot that Don Cheadle was in Falcon & The Winter Soldier, so his nomination was definitely a WTF?! Glad to see that streaming service shows gets more love this year since most people are watching them within the last couple of years. I haven’t watched any show on the major networks in like 10 years.

    1. I think most people forgot Cheadle was ever in TFAWS as it was a blink and you missed it moment, hardly an ‘acting’ role!

      I’m glad to see shows I actually watched get nominated. Btw, you like spy thrillers right? Have you seen TEHRAN? It’s SO good!!

      1. I think I put TEHRAN on my to watch list a long time ago but haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. There are so many shows I still need to catch up on, lol! The downside of so many contents to consume these days, I have to sort out which shows or movies I want to spend my time on. I’ll eventually get to it soon.

        1. Yeah I know, way too many content options, LOL! It’s actually Ivan who kept urging me to watch TEHRAN and I’m glad I did! It’s such a great spy series and I’m glad there’ll be a 2nd season!

  4. There’s certainly more right here than wrong. In recent years, the Emmys have generally been better at honoring both the widely known and underseen than something like the Oscars. So, I always have far less to complain about when their nominations come out. Still, plenty of work to be done in fine-tuning their categories and preventing category fraud. Hamilton, for example, shouldn’t have been nominated for all of those awards because it shouldn’t have qualified for any of them, not when there is another category (Best Variety Special-Previously Recorded) it clearly made way more sense for. Plus, they need to expand the number of shows that can be nominated for Best Limited Series. Comedy and Drama get 8 nominees each; so should Limited Series, which is currently limited to 5.

    As for snubs and wtfs, excellent call on Carl Lumbly for Falcon. Cheadle’s nomination clearly should have gone to him.

    My biggest beef is with not only snubbing Ethan Hawke for Good Lord Bird but ignoring the show entirely. I know Showtime shows not named “Homeland” struggle to get noticed at the Emmys, but Hawke delivered the performance of his career as well as produced and wrote for a period piece drama that at the very least should have earned some tech award nominations.

    I highly suspect Emmy voters fell victim to the same thing we’re all fighting in peak TV – not enough time to watch everything. Many of them simply didn’t watch Good Lord Bird. The same is likely also true for Shadow & Bone.

    1. Hey there Kelly, good to hear from you! I haven’t paid that much attention in recent years to EMMYs but that’s good if they’re better at honoring underseen stuff, seems like they’re also more diverse. I suppose that could be a testament to tv industry in general in terms of racial diversity.

      I actually have not seen Hamilton movie version but yeah, I was surprised to see it getting noms.

      I agree too that the voters simply can’t get to ALL of the materials, which could be what happened to The Good Lord Bird which was getting such critical acclaims. But they did watch Falcon & Winter Soldier and I’m still miffed Cheadle is nominated over Lumbly!

  5. SO confused how Don Cheadle got a nom but Lumbly, Mackie and Stan were snubbed. I thought Sebastian might be, I just loved his performance.

    I have Ted Lasso on my list to watch soon! I swear I have not yet spoken to ONE person who hasn’t loved the show, so I’m excited.

    I get that THT and The Crown are very popular but that supporting actress category makes me cringe. They couldn’t find any deserving performances from shows BEYOND those two? Meh.

    1. Sebastian was really good in TFATWS, there were some really genuinely emotional performances from him.

      Oh you have GOT to watch Ted Lasso soon, I was won over instantly and I got on board quite late. You don’t even have to be a football fan at all!.

      I hear ya about SO many supporting performers from two hugely popular shows, they could’ve spread the love more but I think most voters just didn’t bother to see the other shows :\

  6. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 7/12/21 — 7/18/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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