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Why hasn\'t The Walking Dead been recognized at the Emmys? Photo: AMC
Why \'The Walking Dead\' Deserves A Seat At The Emmys
‘The Walking Dead’ is a popular series that deals with human emotion, psychological conflict, and complex relationships. So why is there no respect for the ‘Dead’ at the Emmys?
In 2013 I waited for the Emmy announcements with bated breath. Ok, ok, I do that every year, but this year was special.
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Actor Lennie James made a guest appearance on
that year. Not only was the return of his character Morgan Jones a shock to all fans of
, but it was also a master class in acting. Morgan’s tragic speech about the loss of his son was delivered with gravitas, passion, and the utmost respect for the character. In my mind, Lennie James’s nomination for Guest Actor in a Drama Series was all but a sure thing.
I stared, dumbfounded at my computer screen? How could such an omission occur?
It’s not that the home of the show, AMC, has historically been shut out of the awards. Certainly not. Their flagship original series
has been nominated a staggering 65 times at the Primetime Emmys, and has won 7 trophies. Critical darling
racked up 16 Emmys before signing off the air in 2013, and now the first season of
is more than deserving of nominations. Andrew Lincoln has been doing consistent, emotionally devastating work, the writers have been producing thought provoking storylines, and the directing has been tugging at viewers heartstrings for the entirety of the series. This year, fans finally thought that Melissa McBride would get a nomination for her stellar work as constantly transforming Carol Peletier, but she too was snubbed.
Lennie James as Morgan Jones on The Walking Dead. Photo: AMC
actually took home winged statuettes in both 2011 and 2012 for Best Makeup (a belated congrats, Greg Nicotero!), and has been nominated for awards such as Sound Editing, Visual Effects, and Stunt Coordination. All of these things are crucial to the success of the show visually, but what about the heart? Why has the show been locked out of all the elite acting categories, as well as Best Directing and Best Drama?
is a show with a ton of gratuitous gore. Argument denied.
traffics in gratuitous and disgusting gore on a constant basis. They even have zombies! I’ll bet they use more gallons of fake blood than
Others still might say that it’s a popular show. Traditionally at awards shows such as the Oscars and the Emmys, voters will shun popular popcorn fare for heavier, indie programming. Again, I scoff at that argument.
ask deep, difficult questions about humanity and the keys to survival. Think of it this way – any one of the plot lines from
would be at home in a thinkpiece indie film or limited TV series about a small group of people just scrambling to survive.
consistently asks similar questions about power and survival as
does, and now with the addition of politics into the mix, it’s even encroaching on
Secondly, popular shows are actually consistently honored at the Emmys. Ever heard of a little show called
? Yeah, it’s won Best Comedy Series at the Emmys for five years running. It’s probably time for
to lose the crown, but that’s a moot point. Popular, highly rated shows are certainly not off the Academy’s radar.
Melissa McBride as Carol – The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Gallery – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
? When Peter Jackson’s fantasy trilogy was released in theaters over a three year period, the Academy didn’t really show it any love. Until the final year. The final film in the series was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and won. Certainly fans of
don’t want to wait until the show is over to finally get some love and recognition.
The last, most cogent argument involves the history of the show itself. It could definitely be the case of the Academy punishing AMC for appearing so disorganized. Unlike both
, shows that had a consistent vision and showrunner throughout the series,
has had several shakeups over creative control, eschewing the vision of Frank Darabont after Season One for a different (and presumably cheaper) vision from Glen Mazzara, and then Scott Gimple. Gimple has shown staying power, and it’s clear that the show is his now, but can the damage be reversed?
sees no love from the biggest of TV awards shows. As an avid fan of the show myself, I might be a bit biased, but for such a complex and relatable show to be consistently shut out of the major awards for the entirety of it’s run is unconscionable.
This past year, I wasn’t holding my breath. Even though Melissa McBride arguably delivered one of the most layered, intricate performances on the small screen this year, I knew that she was doomed to be forgotten by the Emmys. Thankfully the EWwy’s didn’t forget, and neither did we.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns to AMC on Sunday, October 11th.
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