How is it possible that the highest rated cable television drama series has been snubbed by the Emmy Awards for not one, not two, but SIX years? Bear with me as I unleash my wrath about ‘The Walking Dead’ not getting a single acting nomination yet again.
The Walking Dead has once again been snubbed by the Primetime Emmy Awards, and I’ve had enough of it. After six incredible seasons, it sure seems like the prestige Television Academy refuses to acknowledge the outstanding acting, writing and directing that is only getting better with the show’s age.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m pretty upset. Most HollywoodLifers know that I’ve been covering and recapping The Walking Dead here at HollywoodLife.com for the past two years, but I’ve been a diehard fan of the series from the beginning. As not only a fan but a journalist with a heart for entertainment, it’s infuriating to see this amazing show, its incomparable actors, and of course the incredible directors, get snubbed from the Emmy Awards. Again.
You would think by now, after six years of acting, writing and directing snubs, I would be used to the anger that flowed over me after not hearing a single name from the cast and crew read during the nominations. Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, as the show gets better and better each and every season, it hurts a little more to see it snubbed over and over again. If I feel this way, I can’t even imagine how the cast, show runners, directors, and producers all feel about it.
Let’s start with the most obvious snub, which is Melissa McBride for Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Drama Series. I only say “supporting” because TWD is an ensemble cast just like Game of Thrones, and their (seemingly endless) nominations almost always fall under the “supporting” categories. But, let’s get to the point here. Melissa has been the face of our beloved Carol for six (going on seven) seasons, and her character’s arc from start to current has been completely out of this world. When we first met Carol she was a battered house wife, and after losing her abusive husband she lost her daughter Sophia, only to be forced to watch the little girl be necessarily killed by Andrew Lincoln‘s Rick Grimes in one of the show’s most shocking moments still to this day. But, that was only season two. Fast forward to season five, after Carol had been ousted from the group by Rick for murdering two sick survivors when they were still living in the prison, she made a brave and triumphant return just in time to save Rick (and everyone else’s) lives. In one of the most bad-ass episodes the show has ever seen, the once timid Carol single handedly took down the Terminus compound with explosions, gunfire, and a walker stampede. It was a powerful episode, both literally and figuratively, that changed Carol and her place in the group forever.
In the most recent and relevant season, Carol once again went through a transformation unlike any other. Although she again led an attack that helped save many of the survivors and residents of Alexandria, her strength dwindled as she realized who she had become. Reflection on all of the lives she had taken with her own bare hands weakened Carol, and we were forced to watch as she slowly broke down until deciding the only thing she could do to save her soul was run away. Melissa’s heartfelt and outstanding performance of Carol leaves us on the edge of our seat each and every episode, and, as a fan, it’s obscene that she hasn’t been recognized for that.
Now, how about Andrew Lincoln? He has been our leading man from the very beginning, and we’ve watched him transform from a husband and father fighting for his family’s survival, to a natural born leader and the show’s biggest anti-hero. In season six, Andrew brought Rick back from the brink of a nervous breakdown just in time to help save Alexandria from mass destruction not once, not twice, but three times. Some how, some way, Rick finds a way to balance his leadership out so that he is not only protecting the survivors who he now knows only as his family, but he’s also focused on keeping his two children, teenager Carl and almost-toddler Judith, safe at all times. Not to mention, at the very end of season six Rick’s entire world crumbled at his feet when he finally met his match, Negan. The final scenes of season six showed us a stripped down Rick we had never seen before, as he, the survivors, and even Carl faced death without any hope of saving themselves. It was a truly unreal performance by Andrew, who has nailed it season after season.
No, I’m not finished. How about Sonequa Martin-Green? She started off season six at the tail end of her own nervous breakdown after losing both her boyfriend and her brother, and we also got to watch one of the show’s greatest love stories unfold between her Sasha and Michael Cudlitz‘s Abraham.
Sasha is just one of the many, many characters we’ve watched struggle to find their way through a post-apocalyptic world that, yes, is filled with “zombies” that we know as walkers. But what the Emmys seem to be missing is this: that the characters are telling the story. The Walking Dead is not a show about zombies, it is a show about character growth and strength in the face of the end of the world as they know it. Sure, the Emmys have nominated TWD for it’s prosthetics, stunts, and other behind-the-scenes features which is great, but those who are telling the story — and those directing the story — deserve to be recognized, too.
Honestly, I could go on and on about this, and I could keep listing cast members with reasons why they deserve nominations (Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, etc), but I’ll spare you my tirade.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What do YOU think about The Walking Dead being snubbed by the Emmys for six straight years? Comment below with your thoughts on this massive upset.