Can Lovecraft Country‘s Many Emmy Nominations Save It From Being Cancelled? (Plus Other Important Emmy Questions)
The nominations for the 2021 Emmy Awards have been officially released, highlighting some of the TV shows that kept us going through one of the longest years ever. Most of the nominations were no surprise to anyone who’s been glued to the screen — 2021 really did deliver when it came to the small screen offerings — but the repercussions of this year’s list of nominees, good or bad, will reverberate for future cycles of TV to come. That being said, we’ve got a few important questions about the 2021 Emmy nominations that need answering.
Will HBO give Lovecraft Country another chance after cancelling it?
HBO’s terrifying original series Lovecraft Country racked up an impressive 18 nominations for this year’s Emmys, scoring big in major categories like Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor (Jonathan Majors) and Outstanding Lead Actress (Jurnee Smollett). The show delved deep into the nightmarish climate of the 1950s Jim Crow South, and the horrors of the culturally-acceptable racism were outdone only by the reveal of a hidden supernatural world made up of magic and monsters alike. Lovecraft Country, as frightening as it was, quickly became a fan favourite series at HBO, its popularity bolstered by the sobering depiction of systemic racism as the real monster that goes bump in the night.
Today’s slew of nominations for the HBO series come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever watched the show (or their social media timelines while the show was on air), but will recognition from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences be enough to save Lovecraft Country from getting the axe? Earlier this month — coincidentally just days after the deadline for Emmys voting had passed — HBO shockingly revealed that the mind-bending masterpiece would not be getting another season despite showrunner Misha Green’s lofty and truly intriguing plans for the followup chapter to the horror adaptation. (Zombies! A nation divided! Letitia using her new powers!)
A taste of the Season 2 Bible. Wish we could have brought you #LovecraftCountry: Supremacy. Thank you to everyone who watched and engaged. 🖤✊🏾 #noconfederate pic.twitter.com/BONbSfbjWg— Misha Green (@MishaGreen) July 3, 2021
“A taste of the Season 2 Bible,” Green shared on Twitter following the unfortunately announcement” Wish we could have brought you #LovecraftCountry: Supremacy. Thank you to everyone who watched and engaged. #noconfederate”
Given the overwhelmingly positive reception to the show and its clear potential to become a series that could essentially go on indefinitely, it was surprising to learn that Lovecraft Country had been yanked from HBO's roster; the dissonance between the show's success and its premature ending feels akin to that of HBO's 2020 Emmy wins with Watchmen, a project that still feels unfinished despite being written as a limited series. However, unlike Watchmen, Lovecraft Country was never destined to be a one-off, and the Emmys might be the key to unlocking its true destiny as HBO's next sprawling endeavour following Game of Thrones.
This might be wishful thinking, but it's totally possible that nabbing some of the award show's most notable wins could be just the thing to save the horror project from being pulled from the airwaves for good, especially in the age of endless reboots and remakes happening on HBO and HBO Max. If we're getting a new and improved Sex & the City that no one really asked for, we should get another season of Emmy-nominated series Lovecraft Country — I'm just saying.
The women of Hollywood are simply too good at their jobs — how is anyone going to choose?
Almost every grouping of the 2021 Emmys nominations is stacked to high heaven, and the Outstanding Drama Actress and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie lineup are among them. No joke, there's not an actress nominated in either of those categories who didn't deliver a flawless performance in their specified projects. For the first time in a long time, this group makes perfect sense, which only makes deciding between the stars that much more impossible.
The Outstanding Drama Actress category is all hits, no misses. Between Emma Corrin's charming portrayal of a young Princess Diana and Olivia Colman's ever-regal Queen Elizabeth, The Crown stands a good chance of taking it home. But Uzo Aduba's near-the-edge therapist in the revival of In Treatment is nothing to scoff at, same as Smollett in Lovecraft Country. Both Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) and MJ Rodriguez (Pose) closed out their stories with well-deserved happy endings after seasons of struggle, bringing us to tears of relief and sadness.
I May Destroy You's Michaela Coel is already a standout in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category after winning a BAFTA for her performance in June 2021, but to say the competition is stiff would be an understatement; the British actress is up against some of the stars of the cycle's most viral projects. Everyone wanted to be either a chess star (Anya Taylor-Joy in Queen's Gambit), a disgruntled detective (Kate Winslet in Mare of Eastown), or a superhero (Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision). And it takes a genius to play a genius, so Cynthia Erivo's controversial take on music legend Aretha Franklin in Genius: Aretha was just as inspired.
Will y'all finally give Ted Lasso and Apple TV a chance?
I know, I know: Apple TV is none of your business. But maybe it's time to change that, and Ted Lasso should be the catalyst. The show stars Jason Sudeikis as the eponymous Ted Lasso, a passionate American football coach who unwittingly signs on to coach a soccer team in the United Kingdom. Shenanigans ensue as Lasso tries to acclimate to a new home and a new sport, resulting in a hilariously heartwarming watch for everyone involved.
The workplace sitcom raked in an astounding 34 nominations across the Emmys' comedy brackets, securing positions in big categories like Best Comedy Series and Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (for Sudeikis). The rest of Ted Lasso's ensemble cast also made the Emmys cut; co-stars Brendan Hunt, Brett Goldstein, Nick Mohammed, Hannah Waddingham, and Juno Temple were also nominated in a number of related categories. Clearly, Ted Lasso is one of the funniest shows on TV right now, and the timing to get on the bandwagon couldn't be better because the second season is right around the corner.
Regardless of who takes home the Emmy in each category, we're all the real winners because of the pic year of television that we sat through. Still, there can only be one winner per group — find out who takes home the gold when the 73rd Emmy Awards airs on Sunday, September 19, 2021.