These Are the 7 Emmy-Nominated TV Shows Everyone Will Be Talking About
It's that time of year again: Happy Emmys season, everybody! Every September, the Emmys celebrate the best in television on their glittering awards show, a real night of nights for people in the television industry. With nominees split into categories of comedy and drama, the year's biggest and most buzzworthy shows are all given their time to shine.
This year, things are a little different. (Thanks, COVID.) There won't be a physical awards show, with nominees instead dialling in from home via Skype and Zoom, reportedly operated by high tech camera crews. There is going to be a host—Jimmy Kimmel will be leading the evening, but he will be doing so at an empty stadium in Los Angeles in order to follow distancing regulations. He will be joined by a few choice presenters, but all the nominees (and winners) will be staying home, which is sure to make for a very different awards show red carpet experience.
Still, don't let that put you off celebrating some of the best television shows from the past year. The Emmys have nominated a truly stellar and diverse list of nominees, all of which are worthy of your time. All of the big guns are there—Normal People, Succession, The Crown—but there are also a bunch of interesting nominees, many of them seeing their names on Emmys ballot for the first time.
Now is your chance to catch up on these underrated Emmys-nominated gems, before the awards show kicks off on the morning of 21 September. Here are a few of our favourites:
Where can I watch it? Quibi
First things first—what is Quibi? Well, we're glad you asked. It stands for 'Quick Bites' and it's a short form streaming platform, giving you content available only on iPhones that lasts between 7-10 minutes per episode. Perfect for those moments when you have a bit of downtime basically, but can't get through a whole show. It's a bit of a strange platform, but it has some serious star power, from Chrissy Teigen (she hosts a Judge Judy-esque courtroom comedy, yes really) and Anna Kendrick, who is Emmy nominated for her starring role in Dummy, a comedy about a woman who befriends… a sex doll. It's very funny and very strange and very, very watchable. There's something in this short form, 10 minute episode thing, isn't there?
Where can I watch it? Stan
The first season of Ramy, a very, very sharp comedy about a young Egyptian American millennial trying to make it in New Jersey, was a critical darling, garnering star (and creator) Ramy Youssef a Golden Globe award. But the second season, which premiered early this year, is even better, adding the Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali to the cast roster as Sheik Ali, a guiding force for the increasingly more and more disillusioned Ramy over the course of the season. Both Ali and Youssef are deserving nominations in the acting categories at the Emmys this year—watch Ramy and we're certain you'll agree with us.
Where can I watch it? Netflix
Octavia Spencer gives an empowering performance in Self Made, chronicling the story of America's first Black self-made millionaire. Spencer is Emmy nominated for her role as Madam CJ Walker, a woman who comes from nothing to start a beauty product empire, creating hair care products for black women and changing the game for women in business forever. The series premiered on Netflix earlier in the year but if, for whatever reason, you didn't get the opportunity to watch it back in March, you're definitely going to want to watch it now.
What We Do in the Shadows
Where can I watch it? Binge
Think of this as Friends… but vampires?! That's the logline of this hilarious show about a group of undead living together in New York City, an American remake of the original New Zealand mockumentary created by Flight Of The Concord's Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. Some American remakes lose the idiosyncrasies of their original source material—American Kath & Kim, we're looking at you—but this one retains the heart and soul of What We Do In The Shadows, while giving it a little update. Nominated for eight Emmys, many of them in the writing categories, What We Do In The Shadows is one for comedy fans.
Where can I watch it? Disney+
Can a Star Wars television show really be called underrated? Perhaps not, but we still think that there are many people out there who haven't seen The Mandalorian, and there's no better time than now to try. Yes, it's a sci-fi series, but we think that even if you're not a particular fan of that genre, there's so much to love here. Tightly scripted, beautifully shot and well-acted, each 30-minute episode follows Mando—a bounty hunter charged with guarding a very, very cute little creature called Baby Yoda—on a different planet, adventure and cause. This is family friendly television of the highest order, with great performances from Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano and Amy Sedaris, among many others. With 15 Emmy nominations and second season coming in October, now is your chance to get acquainted with this galaxy far, far away.
Where can I watch it? Binge
OK, technically this isn't a television show. But this film, starring Hugh Jackman and Alison Janney, was made by HBO, which means that it never got a cinematic release here in Australia. Instead, it went straight to the Down Under home of HBO: Foxtel and Binge. If you missed it when it was first released earlier in the year, you have to catch up with it now. Based on the true story of a Long Island schools administrator and a sordid funding embezzlement scandal, it's one of Jackman's best performances ever. As Frank Tassone, he weaponises his charm and weaves a deadly web of lies around him. It's thrilling stuff—no wonder it has been nominated for Best TV Movie at the Emmys. Once you're finished watching, look up the true crime that inspired the story. It's even crazier than the film.
I Know This Much Is True
Mark Ruffalo plays not one, but two characters in this heartbreaking drama, and the performance earned him a very deserved Best Actor in a Limited Series nomination at the Emmys. Based on a bestselling novel, the story follows Dominick and Thomas Birdsey, a set of twin brothers, one of whom has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. As Dominick struggles to care for Thomas, he learns more and more about their family history and is forced to come to terms with the past.