The Emmy nominations for the 70th Annual Emmy Awards were revealed on Thursday morning, and while the excitement of witnessing Emmy announcer Samira Wiley discover on a livestream that she had been nominated for an Emmy this year, the fanfare was lacking, and the revealed nominees were unsurprising for the most part. Still, despite the general predictability of the event, there were a handful of snubs, a couple of moments with history-making potential, and the occasional pleasant surprise (which is probably the best kind in these circumstances).
Many of the Emmy nods were not necessarily shocking—the most beloved and popular series were all recognized with handfuls of nominations. The Handmaid’s Tale scored nominations for Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, and Alexis Bledel; Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story got some attention for Ricky Martin, Penélope Cruz, and Darren Criss; NBC’s This Is Us (and its male stars) received nods, and of course the Television Academy threw some bones to Game of Thrones and members of its ensemble cast.
HBO, which usually leads the nominees, falls behind Netflix this year, which earned 112 Emmy nominations to HBO’s 108. This is the first time that’s happened in nearly two decades, so that does count as a bit of a surprise, but we have known for a long time now that streaming platforms should be taken seriously in this race.
Perhaps one of the most pleasant surprises to come from the Emmy nominations this year is the announcement that John Legend, winner of an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Glory” in Selma, a Tony for best play revival, Jitney, and 10 Grammys, is one step closer to being the next performer to get a coveted EGOT now that he’s been nominated for two Emmys for starring in the titular role of Jesus Christ Superstar. Chrissy Teigen tweeted her support for her husband’s potential to make history as the 13th person to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.
Donald Glover sneaked into multiple categories for nominations for acting, directing, and hosting Saturday Night Live, and Sandra Oh made history as the first Asian woman to earn an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series thanks to her sharp performance in Killing Eve. The beloved reality television reboot, Queer Eye, grabbed a nomination for Outstanding Structured Reality Program, and at least Fab Five hair and grooming expert Jonathan van Ness grabbed an Outstanding Short Form Variety Series nomination for executive producing (and starring in) his Funny or Die parody series called Gay of Thrones. He’s already begun the celebration of his nomination with fellow Queer Eye cast mate Tan France (and maybe France will put together van Ness’s Emmys red carpet look).
Glow was recognized with nominations for Betty Gilpin and the series as a whole, but its other lead actress, Alison Brie, was sadly snubbed, as was the subversive single mom comedy SMILF, which was recognized at this year’s Golden Globes. Critically acclaimed summer shows like Pose and Sharp Objects unfortunately missed the Emmy nominations cutoff date this year, but audiences should look out for them at the Golden Globes in January 2019.
Still, there are some unsavory tidbits to come out of the nominations this year, too—Roseanne, despite its short-lived reboot (it was canceled after Roseanne Barr’s racist social media tirade) grabbed two nominations, but at least it was Laurie Metcalf (who won the Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series three times in a row for her role on Roseanne in its first iteration in the ’90s) who scored one of those.
What all of this year’s snubs, the surprises, and everything in between boil down to is this: There is way too much to watch on television, but at least we know that the 2018 Emmy Awards could make history with John Legend and Sandra Oh, Netflix could finally beat HBO at its own game, and the long list of nominated Saturday Night Live performers attending the show will likely provide some raucous entertainment during the ceremony in September.