Changing landscape of the Emmys
The Television Academy of Arts & Sciences traditionally has been fair in its approach to how the Emmy Awards are selected. That’s been a tradition that served it well in the decades when television consisted of 25 channels with episodic shows, some lasting decades. The problem in the past 10 years has been that television is changing, including how we view television. The advent of Netflix, Hulu and Crackle, along with the demise of long running programs, has led to an inability of the Academy to keep up with what shows even exist, much less what is worth watching. The voting, as a result, should be overhauled to include a wider range of viewership voting. After all, an Emmy shouldn’t be a pat on the back from someone who used to have your job. It should be an across-the-board way of the industry and the fans saying, “This show is the best of its genre.”
Proof of this is the repeat choices in the past few years. Premium channels, because of who votes, garner a larger than average share of the votes. Taking nothing away from the writing and talent behind those programs, an oversight is being made in terms of the amazing talent on shows with a dedicated fanbase and incredible writing. The presence of shows such as Gotham, with a storyline that includes a cast of young teens and adults, has to circumvent the issue of finding commonality in the story arc of how a 15 year old girl deals with the exact same situation as a 50 year old man. The writing of such a story has lead to an enormous online fanbase, dedicated to live tweeting on a weekly basis, with a demand for more characters added from a comic book dating back to 1939. The ambiguous timeline, with vehicles from the 1980s, architecture from the 1940s, phones from the 1960s and clothing from current day, has left open the interpretation of when the story is even set. Yet the Academy chooses to ignore the powerful scripts and the exceptional portrayals for shows that have been consistently nominated, despite a tired story with an overblown budget spent on period piece costume design that costs more than the entire expense sheet of shows twice as good. Episodic comedy is no exception. Black-ish and The Goldbergs set the bar for comedy this year, without exception. ABC’s Wednesday nights are not comparable by any other standard.
These two shows have superior writing to any other comedy that has been nominated, since Arrested Development was in the mix. Troy Gentile (Barry Goldberg) will be a superstar in the coming years. His comic-timing and ability to land a line shows genius beyond his years. If the Academy fails to see that, then what good is an Emmy won against p
eers that are not on the level of greatness claimed?
In the same regard, Anthony Anderson of Black-ish, while extremely brilliant, is also smart enough to realize he is in an ensemble cast, sharing the stage with four children with character building skill that no amount of money could buy. Marsai Martin (Diane Johnson) deserves an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.
In order to stay relevant, The Emmys must change. If not, viewership will continue its decline. It doesn’t take long for fans to figure out that their not welcome to a clubhouse without any doors