The only two places where being nominated for something is close enough to winning something are Hollywood and the Democrat Party. With that said the 2019 Emmy nominations came out in strong defense of the final season of Game of Thrones which was the most poorly received season in the show’s run. Despite the petitions and the negative press the final season received, it went on to receive a whopping 32 Emmy nominations, beginning with Outstanding Drama Series.
The first nomination that is strikingly unmerited was Kit Harrington for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, despite an awful performance as Jon Snow. He was best known for recycling the following three lines: “she is my queen.”, “I don’t want it”, and “You are my queen.” There was no noteworthy performance on his part and quite honestly, Kit Harrington should be sent down to the minor leagues of acting to rehabilitate after that performance. Emilia Clarke, despite unprofessionalism of leaving coffee cup on set, narrowly deserves a nomination for the female equivalent for her recitation of Josef Stalin in the show’s final episode.
Game of Thrones has a total of seven nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in between the male and female categories. Deserving are Peter Dinklage for his performance in “The Bells” and perhaps Maisie Williams while she was running through the library of Winterfell in the Battle of Winterfell if we are to judge the best male and female. Lena Headley, despite acting prowess and mastery of the Cersei character, was practically footnote in the final season, hardly having any lines which is a real waste of her talent. The pretentious Sophie Turner received nomination despite having neither performed well nor capturing Sansa Stark as a character. During the course of the season she portrayed at least two different versions of the same character. Gwnedoline Christie was someone else who doesn’t really deserve to be on the list, having the third best performance of the four female nominees.
Carice van Houten was nominated for Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series raising concerns as to what the rules actually are. Her character is rooted enough in the plot to question whether she was really a guest. Guest actor/ actress in a drama should be like the patient in House, or the criminal in NCIS, right? I think being in 29 total episodes far exceeds what constitutes a guest appearance.
Bad Writing Nominated
The most egregious nomination was by far Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the final episode, “The Iron Throne.” While the episode was perhaps the most well-written in the final two seasons, it contained glaring writing errors caused by the set up. Quite honestly, the episode was swallowable only because it wasn’t the worst it could have been, ie a Republic ending. And by the final episode people already assumed it would be bad. So, why was it nominated again?
Bad Directing Nominated
Three episodes were nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. “The Iron Throne” is the most deserving of the three. “The Last Stark” was a dog turd of an episode where a dragon got shot down from the sky by a ballista that was behind a rock island but still able to land two bolts in the neck. This episode was poorly written but also poorly shot as shown in the aforementioned example. “The Long Knight” was an abomination from a tactical military perspective, which falls on the Director who spent fifty-five nights shooting something people couldn’t see.
After running through all these nominations, the more technical nominations withstanding, most of the ones listed and ranted about are undeserved. When these categories are stacked with multiple nominations, it’s worth wondering how many shows got snubbed, how many actresses overlooked so four Game of Thrones actresses can get nominated based on name ID. The eight season of Game of Thrones was objectively bad and has been set up to be bad for a long time coming but it’s worth wondering whether TV as a whole is so bad the final season still ranks on top. Is compelling and gritty story telling becoming so lost an art? Or is popularity supreme? While being the most watch television phenomenon in an era with so much competition, the series was poorly received in its final seas, most notably for the writing and directing decisions. Yet the poorly written and directed episodes received nomination. This isn’t even a popularity contest. It’s a middle finger to the fans who saw the final (two) season as the garbage that it was for well articulated reasons. They think they know what’s good and we don’t. It’s Hollywood’s latest rejection of meritocracy, rewarding mediocrity for reasons that ultimately culminate into elitism.
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