Top-level TV misses recognition at Emmys 2020

Lots of excellent TV always goes unrecognized during awards season.

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Emmys wrap-up week is coming to an end, and I think we’ve all heard enough about “Schitt’s Creek” and Zendaya winning Emmys to last us a lifetime. Although it was particularly repetitive this year, you can’t dispute that dozens of worthy creators were recognized at the awards show. However, more and more people each year wonder just what goes into the selection of winners and why one show or actor was chosen over another. We always hear about different shows that got snubbed, and this year, there were quite a few. Here are just a few of the shows that, if there were endless Emmys available, I wish had gotten some recognition.

  1. “Pose”

“Pose” wins out as my favorite show of recent years. With probably the most diverse cast in history, the show features actors like Indya Moore, Billy Porter, Mj Rodriguez, Angelica Ross and Ryan Jamaal Swain. It depicts the ballroom scene of New York City in the 1980s and 90s and is one of the first to accurately depict a space so important to the LGBTQ+ community, especially one that so many people don’t know about. Its importance in today’s society is immeasurable, and the cast and crew truly deserve recognition for the work they did.

Watch on Netflix

  1. “Modern Love”

“Modern Love” is a really interesting TV adaptation of the weekly column published in The New York Times. Big names like Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey and Dev Patel play characters, based on true people, dealing with their own love stories in different ways. Set in New York City, the show is a soft but emotional tale of true — or not so true — love. Yes, some of the Emmy winners may have been more hard hitting or even just more popular, but is that always the most important thing in a TV show? A comforting, relatable TV show might mean more to viewers depending on the time.

Watch on Prime Video

  1. “BEASTARS”

Paru Itagaki wrote and illustrated this Japanese manga series and got Chikahiro Kobayashi, Atsumi Tanezaki, Sayaka Senbongi and many others to voice its characters. The show follows different herbivorous and carnivorous characters at Cherryton Academy, at which the two groups do not trust each other. It is filled with love stories, a coming-of-age plot and action-packed sequences. Such a well-designed and skillfully-written show certainly calls attention from viewers and deserves attention from critics.

Watch on Netflix

  1. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

While “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has been critically acclaimed in the past, it didn’t win any Emmys this year. However, it's still a favorite among comedy lovers and TV-watchers in general. Rachel Brosnahan plays a housewife who discovers her talent for stand-up comedy and takes the risk of pursuing it in the 1950s and 60s, an obviously male-dominated era. The show is described as funny but also inspirational to women who can relate to Brosnahan’s character.

Watch on Prime Video

  1. “After Life”

Ricky Gervais wrote, produced, directed and starred in “After Life.” It’s a darker show with hints of humor here and there but an overarching theme of appreciating life. Gervais’ character is a very deeply depressed middle-aged man who recently lost his wife and whose goal, while it might not seem like it, is to improve his outlook on life in any way possible. His interactions with his father and a nurse are heartwarming, and his feelings about the world are quite relatable.

Watch on Netflix

  1. “What We Do in the Shadows”

TV needed a new comedy-horror show, and “What We Do in the Shadows” delivered. Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry and Natasia Demetriou, along with a few others, star in the mockumentary vampire show. It follows a group of vampires in Staten Island, New York, navigating the modern world. The show, while perhaps not the Emmy type, definitely delivers on the laughs. Watch on Prime Video or Hulu

  1. “The Mandalorian”

“The Mandalorian” is the first live-action “Star Wars” TV series. It is set five years after “Return of the Jedi” and stars Pedro Pascal as a bounty hunter. Fans of the franchise binged this series like crazy, and I can imagine that many of them are disappointed about its lack of recognition, especially with Baby Yoda in the mix (Okay, I’m sorry, “The Child”).

Watch on Disney+

  1. “Tiger King”

This year, “The Last Dance” and “Cheer” won out as docuseries, but let us not forget the obsession that was “Tiger King”: a battle between sanctuaries; a questioning of monogamy; a fall of an empire. This docuseries was so many things, but, most importantly, it brought attention to the problem of breeding exotic animals here in the U.S. It quickly became a cult favorite, but it was not worthy in the eyes of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Watch on Netflix

Award shows, while some may think are truly professional opinions, are subjective. Winning an Emmy is an immensely important opportunity in a creator’s life, but there are also tons of ways we can appreciate art beyond it. A board of people picking from a list of shows will never be a perfect science, and 2020’s Emmys definitely proved that.

Edited by George Frey | gfrey@themaneater.com

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