With the announcement of the 2020 Emmy nominations on Tuesday, it is a good time to add nominated shows you have not watched onto your list to binge-watch over the weekend.
HBO’s Watchmen which leads the way with 26 nominations would be a good one to start off with if you haven’t watched already. Other shows that were nominated included the hilarious Insecure and What We Do In The Shadows which both earned their first Best Comedy nominations.
Actress Zendaya earned her first ever Emmy nomination, as Best Actress in a Drama, for Euphoria; and Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox are up for Best Actor in a Drama for the first time, for Succession.
Other first time Supporting Actor nominees include Succession stars Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook, as well as Nigeria’s Yvonne Orji (Insecure).
“Despite the unprecedented challenges facing the entertainment industry, it has been an extraordinary year for television,” said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma. “Television has inspired, united and comforted a global audience this season. We are honoured to be recognizing so many of the talented programs, producers, directors and craftspeople behind the remarkable storytelling that has brought us together while we remain apart.”
Here are 10 of our favourite Emmy nominated shows you should watch ASAP:
HBO’s Watchmen is the most nominated show overall at this year’s Emmys, with 26 nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series, Writing, Cinematography, Lead Actor (Jeremy Irons as Ozymandias), Lead Actress (Regina King as Sister Night), Supporting Actress (Jean Smart as Agent Laurie Blake) and three Supporting Actor nominees (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Cal Abar, Jovan Adepo as Hooded Justice and Louis Gossett Jr. as William Reeves), not to mention three Directing and three Editing nominations.
Having won Best Writing and Best Original Main Title Theme Music at last year’s Emmys, Succession is tied with Ozark as the most-nominated drama this year, with 18 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series.
Having been snubbed last year, the show’s cast dominate this year’s nominees in all the categories, including Lead Actor (both 2020 Golden Globe winner Brian Cox as Logan Roy and Jeremy Strong as his son Kendall), Supporting Actor (Nicholas Braun as Cousin Greg, Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy, and Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans), Supporting Actress (Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy), Guest Actor (James Cromwell as Ewan Roy) and Guest Actress (Harriet Walter as Lady Caroline Collingwood and Cherry Jones as Nan Pierce).
In Succession, four very rich siblings behave very badly as they try to win their father’s approval – and control of his company, a global media empire. In Season 2, the Roys meet their liberal counterparts as Logan attempts to orchestrate his biggest acquisition yet.
HBO’s AI sci-fi series Westworld, is up for 11 Emmys, including Best Supporting Actor (Jeffrey Wright as Bernard) and Supporting Actress (2018 Emmy winner Thandie Newton as Maeve)
Westworld is a futuristic playground for the well-connected, where its human guests play the hero or villain and its hosts are programmed to play along. That is, until Dolores, the park’s oldest host, starts to come unplugged.
4. The Handmaid’s (Tale season 3)
The Handmaid’s Tale is up for 10 Emmys this year, including Best Drama, Supporting Actor (Bradley Whitford as Commander Joseph Lawrence), Supporting Actress (2018 Emmy winner Samira Wiley as Moira), and Guest Actress (2017 Emmy winner Alexis Bledel as Emily). Elisabeth Moss was snubbed this year as June, a role that earned her Best Actress awards at the 2017 Emmys and 2018 Golden Globes.
Season 1 was based on Margaret Atwood’s classic novel of the same name, which won the first Arthur C. Clarke Award for its depiction of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States, which has returned to ‘traditional values,’ with women treated as property of the state.
Season 3 has a 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “The Handmaid’s Tale’s third season reigns in its horrors and inspires hope that revolution really is possible.”
5. What We Do in the Shadows (Season 2)
What We Do In The Shadows is having its best Emmys year yet, with eight nominations, including its first for Best Comedy and three Best Writing nominations.
From Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords) and 2020 Oscar winner Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok), the hit mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows is a look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of three vampires who’ve lived together in New York for over 100 years – plenty of time to get on each other’s nerves.
Season 2 is #9 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the Best TV Shows of 2020 So far, with a 100% critics rating. As the Season 1 critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes put it, What We Do In The Shadows is “delightfully absurd and ridiculously fun… A mockumentary worth sinking your teeth into.”
Season 2 of What We Do In The Shadows releases on Showmax this Saturday, 1 August 2020.
6. Insecure (Season 4)
Insecure had its best ever year at the Emmys, earning eight nominations, including first-time nods for Best Comedy and Best Supporting Actress for Nigerian comedian Yvonne Orji as Molly. Co-creator Issa Rae received her second Best Actress nomination as Issa, with the show also picking up Casting, Editing, Music Supervision and two Cinematography nominations.
Insecure centres on friends Issa and Molly in what the Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus hails as “an insightful, raunchy, and hilarious journey through the life of a twenty-something black woman that cuts through stereotypes with sharp wit and an effusive spirit.”
Insecure is the most nominated show, with Watchmen, at the 2020 Black Reel Awards and was named TV Program of the Year at the 2018 American Film Institute Awards.
7. Euphoria (Season 1)
Euphoria is up for six Emmys, including Zendaya’s first-ever Emmy nomination, for Best Actress in a Drama as 17-year-old Rue, who returns home from rehab with no plans to stay clean, and falls for the new girl in town, Jules (played by trans superstar Hunter Schafer).
Euphoria has an 8.3/10 rating on IMDb and a 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus says, “Euphoria balances its brutal honesty with an empathetic – and visually gorgeous – eye to create a uniquely challenging and illuminating series, held together by a powerfully understated performance from Zendaya.”
McMillion$ is up for five Emmys this year, including Outstanding Documentary or Non-Fiction Series, Writing, and Editing.
The six-part HBO documentary investigates the biggest scam in the history of fast food: the rigged McDonald’s Monopoly competition that offered its US customers in the ‘90s the chance to go out for a burger and come home with $1 million. The scam ran for over a decade, had links to organised crime and netted $24 million worth of illegal profits.
McMillion$ has an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Hollywood Reporter saying, “McMillion$ tells a quirky and frequently hilarious tale filled with enough twists and turns that you’ll swear it came from the keyboard of a Carl Hiaasen or Elmore Leonard.”
9. Little Fires Everywhere
Little Fires Everywhere is up for five Emmys, including Best Limited Series, Directing, and Lead Actress (Kerry Washington as Mia).
Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestselling book, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the Richardsons – a picture-perfect, privileged white American family – and enigmatic African-American mother and daughter Mia and Pearl Warren.
Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies, Walk the Line, Wild) and Teen Choice winner Joshua Jackson (The Affair, Dawson’s Creek) co-star, with Lexi Underwood earning a 2020 Black Reel nomination as Pearl.
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Anything is possible in Shaker. 🔥 Congratulations to the #LittleFiresEverywhere cast and crew on their #Emmys nomination for Outstanding Limited Series. Reese Witherspoon, Executive Producer Lauren Neustadter, Executive Producer Kerry Washington, Executive Producer Pilar Savone, Executive Producer Liz Tigelaar, Executive Producer Lynn Shelton, Executive Producer Merri Howard, Co-Executive Producer Nancy Won, Co-Executive Producer Attica Locke, Co-Executive Producer Raamla Mohamed, Co-Executive Producer Amy Talkington, Co-Executive Producer Harris Danow, Producer Rosa Handelman, Producer Shannon Houston, Producer Celeste Ng, Producer
Little Fires Everywhere has an 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Guardian calls it “moreish, searing, excellent”, while CNN says it’s “one of those rare multi-generational dramas where the arcs involving the kids are every bit as good as the adults’.”
10. A Black Lady Sketch Show (Season 1)
HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show is one of three nominees in the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series category at the Emmys, where it’s also up for Directing and Guest Actress (Angela Bassett).
Creator Robin Thede (host of BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede and head-writer for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore) executive produces, writes and stars, with Issa Rae (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for HBO’s Insecure) producing and guest starring.
The core cast includes Emmy winner Ashley Nicole Black (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee), Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure, S.W.A.T.) and Quinta Brunson (Quinta vs. Everything), while other guest stars include Emmy winners Lena Waithe, Emmy nominee Laverne Cox, Imagen Award winner Gina Torres, Nailed It! star Nicole Byer, Grammy winner Kelly Rowland and Grammy hall-of-famer Patti LaBelle.
Hollywood Reporter hailed the show as “energetic, funny and wonderfully distinctive” and PopBuzz as “sharp, entertaining and seriously overdue.”
ONE EXTRA SHOW:
Big Little Lies
HBO’s prestige drama Big Little Lies, which is up for five Emmys, including Supporting Actress (2017 Emmy winner Laura Dern as Renata Klein and three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep as Mary Louise Wright)
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz reprise their roles while Meryl Streep is added in a new season of the award-winning series. The women must face the consequences of Perry’s death.