More than 24 hours have passed since the Emmy nominations, and there's one snub more egregious than the others. Before I get to it, here's where I point out my bias:
•••• "The Walking Dead' deserved its three nominations — Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup, Outstanding Visual Effects and Outstanding Sound Editing — and that's it. The idea that is was snubbed from acting (Ha!) and writing (Ha! Ha!) categories is ridiculous.
•••• I'm not a Gleek so Lea Michele's snub means nothing to me.
•••• I gave up on "True Blood" midway through last season, and its lack of nomination is just another pat-on-the-back that I made the right decision.
Back to that Snub, the one that I couldn't shake yesterday and even today. I have a fierce loyalty to the TV shows I believe in, and many of my favorites were recognized (most happy about the Louis C.K. surprise). But for "Community," the most daring 30 minutes of network television in recent years, to not earn a Comedy Series nomination is deflating and sad.
This happened last year, too. Joel McHale, the show's self-concious problem-solver, in 2010: "We're just happy to be on the air," he told Zap2It.com, a sentiment I'm sure the actors would repeat now, maybe through more tightly clenched teeth. And most importantly, McHale is right -- as a "Community" diehard, it's comforting to know NBC said yes to a third season. But as other "Community" diehards know, that's not enough.
Creator Dan Harmon and his talented writers (the rare team with many female contributors) demonstrated in Season 2 that "Community" cherished the 30-minute medium in a way that clearly separted the show from its peers. Stop-gap animation? The instant-classic Abed-Christmas episode. Bottle episode? The story of Annie's pen was strangely gripping. A Michael Bay-esque paintball sequel? The only appropriate way to end the season. Mix in a stellar, underappreciated cast that could go laugh-for-laugh with any of the other shows nominated (confession: I've never seen "Big Bang Theory" so it gets a pass here), and it seems like a real TV tragedy "Community" was snubbed. The fact that "Community" frequently challenged itself with new tropes and frustrating character turns-- what fan didn't want to kick Pierce out of the group in Season 2? -- isn't enough to warrant an automatic nomination. But to create characters and tell stories that resonate emotionally, rather than the joke-a-second whiplash of, say, "30 Rock," is a winning feat worthy of an Emmy nod.
Anyone saying "awards don't matter" is lying. Adding "Emmy-nominated" to your show's title is like wearing a fresh pair of Jordans or Christian Louboutins. It's passively decorative, but it could be enough to get you noticed by a few. And in "Community's" case, that few could be the difference between Season 3 and a greenlit Season 4, or it could earn them the elusive, looser leash of creative freedom and network trust so many shows salivate over. (Ask C.K. how he's enjoying the autonomy from FX.) "Wah waaaah. Next year. Good night," Harmon tweeted after his show was robbed. A day later, and "Wah waaah" still sums it up pretty well.
Bonus: Joel, you're a hero for this one. No one can take that away from you.