What about Twin Peaks? The 2018 Emmys' bizarre snubs

While Game of Thrones takes the lead, Twin Peaks: The Return was stuck with just technical recognition and Mindhunter was nowhere to be seen

The Emmy absence of Twin Peaks: The Return shocked many last year, until it was revealed that it had missed the nomination window and was therefore ineligible for inclusion. This year was when that should have been put right. That hasn’t happened.

Sure, Twin Peaks: The Return has been nominated for Emmys this year. Nine, in fact; for writing, sound mixing, editing, cinematography and directing among others. But the show itself, as a body of work, is nowhere to be seen. Patrick Melrose was nominated, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace, and both are fine shows. But Godless was also nominated. Remember Godless? It was that nothingy Netflix cowboy show that squeaked out towards the end of last year, buoyed by a Next Big Thing buzz that couldn’t sustain itself once everyone realised what a colossal snooze it was.

To nominate Godless over Twin Peaks is beyond bizarre. It’s such a monumental lack of judgement that it barely even qualifies as an insult. It’s little short of a tragedy. Go back and rewatch Twin Peaks – especially episode eight, which tore and mauled the entire medium of television into a shape nobody even thought possible – and ask yourself how it got overlooked in favour of a mumbling woman on a horse. It is ridiculous. It stinks. I’m not even going to start on Kyle MacLachlan’s lack of recognition, either, because there’s a good chance it’ll make me cry tears of blood.

The Emmy nominations threw up a few other niggles along the way. Hugh Grant’s omission for his career-redefining work on A Very English Scandal can be put down to a simple scheduling snafu – like Twin Peaks last year it missed the nomination window – but the dismal lack of nominations for any regular female actor on The Good Place can only be explained by pure human error.

Kristen Bell and Jameela Jamil in The Good Place.
Kristen Bell and Jameela Jamil in The Good Place. Photograph: NBC/Getty Images

Jameela Jamil’s Tahani is a classic enough oblivious dipstick, but Kristen Bell’s role – as a central character even more flawed than her supporting cast – is little short of a masterpiece. She holds the entire series together so effortlessly that you barely even notice, so it makes no sense for her not to be included. And D’Arcy Carden’s Janet is hands-down the funniest thing on all of television. Why hasn’t she been nominated? Why hasn’t she had to construct some sort of ramshackle barricade to hide from all the awards that people keep throwing at her? Aren’t people watching? What’s going on?

Similarly, it seems odd to nominate most of the This Is Us cast but not Mandy Moore. The heavy lifting Moore does on that show – playing endless variations on the same character from twentysomething sexpot to regret-filled matriarch – is phenomenal. Next year, maybe.

And, as good as it is to see Sandra Oh nominated for Killing Eve and a token writing nod, its inability to get nominated for anything else seems misguided. Just this May the press was falling over itself to laud the show’s 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, praising every imaginable aspect of its production, but that all seems to have been forgotten. The show has already been renewed for a second season, so there’s a good chance Emmy voters will overcompensate next time around. Perhaps the same will go for Mindhunter, which was similarly praised and abandoned.

In happier news – especially for the hundreds of thousands of commenters who snarled up the Emmy Facebook feed with breathless cries of “DARREN!!!”, The Assassination of Gianni Versace has finally received the recognition it couldn’t achieve through viewing figures alone. As I wrote back in April, Darren Criss’ role as serial killer Andrew Cunanan was a star-making turn on a level I haven’t seen in years. It was a performance of such sheer bruised charisma that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all year. Criss is up against Benedict Cumberbatch, who delivered a lifetime’s worth of acting in the first episode of Patrick Melrose alone, but only a fool would think of betting against him.

Three years ago, the lack of any nominations at all for Modern Family – then an unstoppable Emmy-gobbler – would have been unthinkable. One year ago, the lack of nominations for House of Cards would have done the same. Go back a couple of months and you would have bet the house on Roseanne getting nominated. And yet, here and now, their omissions (for late-stage laziness, accusations of sexual impropriety and outright racism respectively) aren’t going to bother anyone.


Stuart Heritage

The GuardianTramp

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