Emmy nominations 2021: 10 surprises and snubs

Pictured: (lr) Jana Schmieding as Reagan Wells, Ed Helms as Nathan Rutherford in Peacock’s “Rutherford Falls”.

Peacock | NBCUniversal | Getty Images

While “The Crown,” “The Mandalorian,” and “WandaVision” secured Emmy nominations on Tuesday, there were a few shows – and actors – that failed.

And then there were the shows and performers who no one expected would appear on the ballot.

We’ll have to wait until September to see who takes Emmys home with us in the end, but here are some of the programs that were among the most surprising nominations and that have been snubbed.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the full list of nominees for this year’s Emmys, you can do so here.

Snub: “Little Ax”

Steve McQueen’s critically acclaimed anthology “Small Ax,” which earned actor John Boyega a Golden Globe earlier this year, received little television academy recognition. The series, which consists of five films telling different stories about the life of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to 1980s, received only one nomination – Best Cinematography.

“Small Ax” is an anthology series consisting of five films that tell different stories about the life of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Amazon Prime Video

Surprise: “The Boys”

Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” is finally on the awards radar. The superhero genre show is now entering its third season and received five nominations on Tuesday, including best drama series.

The series explores what happens when people with superpowers abuse their skills. It has been well received by critics since its first season in 2019.

Antony Starr is the homelander in “The Boys” from Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime Video

Snub: “Rutherford Falls”

At first glance, “Rutherford Falls” might seem like another Michael Schur sitcom, but with a writer’s room that’s 50% local writers, the Peacock Comedy is a bit more.

The series, which started in April, follows Nathan Rutherford, a man who, in a town with people from the fictional Minishonka nation, reckons with the (white) history of his family. The series has a predominantly Native cast, led by Michael Greyeyes as Terry Thomas, manager of the local casino, and Jana Schmieding, Nathan’s best friend, Reagan.

“Rutherford Falls” was recently extended for a second season.

Michael Greyeyes as Terry Thomas in the Peacock series “Rutherford Falls”.

Peacock | NBCUniversal | Getty Images

Surprise: “Emily in Paris”

Despite lackluster reviews from critics, Netflix’s “Emily in Paris” found its way into the Golden Globe poll earlier this year and is now nominated for two Emmys, including one for best comedy.

Lily Collins plays Emily Cooper in Netflix’s “Emily in Paris”.


Snub: “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”

The chemistry of Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in the Marvel series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” was not enough to earn both actors a nomination for this year’s Emmys.

The Disney + series, which challenged what it means to be a black superhero in America, received a guest actor nomination for Don Cheadle and several technical innuendos.

Daniel Brühl, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and Emily VanCamp star in Marvel’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” on Disney +.


Surprise: “Kobra Kai”

“Cobra Kai” has received an award from the television academy in the past. It received a nomination for Outstanding Stunt Coordination in 2019, but entered the race for best comedy series on Tuesday.

With a fourth season on the way, the Netflix show has received strong reviews from critics and is one of the best-streamed shows on the service.

William Zabka and Ralph Macchio take on their roles as Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso from “Karate Kid” in “Cobra Kai”.


Snub: “Mythical Search”

Apple TV + ‘whimsical workplace comedy about the team behind a hugely popular online multiplayer video game has once again flown under the radar.

The series managed to garner nominations for Best Narrator and Best Sound Editing, but did not land on the comedy series’ ballot despite solid critical reviews.

“Mythic Quest” was also snubbed last year. The cleverly written and sharply acted comedy undermines expectations as it addresses everything from gender inequality to the struggle between the corporate and creative worlds of big tech companies.

Danny Pudi plays Brad in Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet.


Surprise: Ewan McGregor, “Halston”

Ryan Murphy’s “Halston”, a glimpse into the legendary designer’s life, has been criticized for being only style with little substance. Still, actor Ewan McGregor’s charisma in the lead seems to have been enough to earn him an Emmy nomination for best actor in a limited series.

Ewan McGregor stars in “Halston” on Netflix.


Snub: Pedro Pascal, “The Mandalorian”

The Mandalorian won the most Emmy nominations at 24, but lead actor Pedro Pascal was banned from being selected for best actors for the drama series.

Some have speculated that Pascal was not included last year because he spends most of the series wearing his iconic helmet and he was assisted by two stunt men who take turns wearing the bounty hunter’s suit. Still, there’s enough performance from Pascal, even with the chunky armor, to warrant a nod.

The Mandalorian and the Child in Disney + s “The Mandalorian”.


Surprise: “Hamilton”

There is no doubt that “Hamilton”, a Tony Award winning spectacle, is a masterpiece. However, many were confused when the filmed production caught 12 Emmys on Tuesday.

Disney +, which streamed “Hamilton,” was allowed to categorize the project as a recorded variety show special, which it did for the Emmy technical categories. However, since there is no longer a category of vaudeville performers, the television academy Disney has allowed its actors and actresses to be put under the umbrella of television films.

“Hamilton” eventually secured seven different nominations for acting in the major and minor categories.

Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Anthony Ramos star in Hamilton.


Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Peacock.

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