Queen Sugar is a masterpiece. There are so many reasons why this show should be raved about and showered with praise, accolades, and what have you. One of the first things that come to mind is the STUNNING cinematography. It's the best on air, and it is breathtaking. On top of that, the cast is out of this world, the writing for this show is exceptional, and it has all female directors for every single episode. It's as diverse behind the camera as it is in front of the camera. This critically-acclaimed series has "Best Drama" all over it, and yet ... nothing.
Dawn-Lyen Gardner - Queen Sugar
In the ideal world, someone would follow Gardner around throwing Emmy's at her feet. She deserves many of them. There is so much to Charley Bordelon, and Gardner is magnetic while playing her. There is a rich dichotomy to the character, and she captures it oh so very well. As the most seemingly put-together character who masks all of her insecurities, vulnerability, and pain behind a carefully crafted, stoic facade, everything about this character is about nuance, and Gardner is exceptional. Gardner doesn't require a "Best Actress in a Drama" nomination. She has more than earned a win.
Tom Ellis - Lucifer
Tom Ellis fought right along with the rest of Lucifans when word got out that Lucifer was canceled, and fortunately, it all worked. Ellis' dedication came as no shock because that's the type of dedication he exhibits while playing Lucifer. Ellis' range is unlike anything else; it's unparalleled. Lucifer isn't just one thing. He's soft and hard. He's selfish and selfless, broken, and powerful, and so many other things. I can't envision anyone other than Tom Ellis capturing every nuance and beguiling viewers in the same way.
Sarah Michelle Gellar - Buffy
The Buffy reboot news has spread by now. It stirs up all the feelings about the original series. Unlike many others, Sarah Michelle Gellar was recognized a couple of times for her performance in the role. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough as she should have been. Buffy Summers is an icon and one of the greatest female characters ever. Not to mention she was a trailblazing female character in the supernatural genre. Gellar had many gigs before, but it was a role that put her on the map and showcased her talent. It seems that her performance in the role is appreciated more in hindsight than it was during the series at its height.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Sarah Michelle Gellar deserved credit as a leading actress, but Buffy deserved more recognition as a series. As a whole, the series was overlooked because of its genre and home network. Unfortunately, supernatural dramas aren't taking as seriously as other dramas. Buffy was a show about vampires and demons that came out well before the golden age of vampires. It was a solid drama contender, but writing, guest performances, supporting actors, makeup, and effects were all reason enough for the show to be rewarded and awarded.
Omari Hardwick - Power
Everyone loves a good antihero, and Omari Hardwick plays Jamie "Ghost" St. Patrick to perfection. You love him and hate him, but you always root for him. He's intelligent and business savvy, but he's also street smart. He has a foot in two different worlds and is the personification of code-switching as he tries to juggle both of them. Hardwick nails the conflicted nature of a man torn between his past and his future -- his roots and his dreams. He carefully differentiates his character's two different personas in a way that keeps viewers intrigued. It's skillful and something that warrants more appreciation.
Joseph Sikora - Power
What will it take for this guy to get some props? Sikora is one of those actors who you've seen in practically everything, and yet, Tommy Egan is his most notable and familiar television role to date. It's also a role one can't help but gush over because he's spectacular. He puts out the most consistent and impressive performance on the series playing this rich, complex character. Tommy is a hardened, crazed criminal, drug dealer, and murderer but he also has a loyalty, devotion, and vulnerability that is most compelling and makes him the character one roots for the most even when he screws up, which is often. It's a disgrace that he hasn't so much as been nominated for ANYTHING for this role.
Hannah John-Kamen - Killjoys
Hannah studied and trained in drama, and it actually shows because she gives a killer performance on Killjoys. There's a reason she is hailed a breakout star. It's the fourth season of Hannah dazzling viewers with her portrayal of the contradictory, multi-layered Dutch. She masters all the intricacies of the character, and if that isn't enough, she portrays Dutch's doppelganger, Aneela, too. It's a pity that Killjoys, but Hannah, in particular, is overlooked. You can once again chalk it up to sci-fi genre and the network. It's the final season of Killjoys, and while it's likely that Hannah John-Kamen won't have hardware in her hand to commemorate her work in this role, it's unacceptable.
The only thing more criminal than Code Black's cancellation and lack of buzz is the fact that it rarely received the accolades and recognition that it deserved. Medical dramas are a dime a dozen. What separated Code Black from the others, however, was that it was more medical drama than soap opera. It didn't revolve around messy relationships, nor did the series glitz and glam up the field or those practicing within it. It was grounded, real, and smartly written, Even with changes and shifts, the cast remained strong. It was the best and most underrated medical series on the air, and it deserved more acclaim.
Bob Morley - The 100
The 100 is no stranger to solid actors giving great performances, but let's take a moment to discuss Bob Morley. No one conveys emotion the way that he does. Morley shows viewers the many sides of Bellamy, beyond the tough exterior and difficult to read persona that keeps others at a distance. It takes skill to expound upon what's already written and flesh the character out into this fan-favorite, but Morley does just that. He's been acknowledged with Teen Choice awards and won E! Online awards, but why not an esteemed Emmy?
The Fosters is one of the best family dramas in existence. It's right up there with many of the classics, but it barely received the type of acclaim outside of niche awards specific to certain demographics. It should have earned so much more than that. One can't help but wonder if things would have been different had The Fosters aired on its parent network, ABC. ABC Family/Freeform is a network that isn't considered a contender of the same caliber as other premium networks, the big three, etc..
Teri Polo - The Fosters
Teri Polo gave the performance of a lifetime during the final season of The Fosters. She completely stole the season from the others, and if there was ever a time for her (and the show) to generate some Emmy or any other type of buzz it was this year. Yet, nothing. She easily could have and should have been in a "Best Actress in a Drama" category right up there with many of the others who have become staples in the category.
Shawn Hatosy - Animal Kingdom
Playing someone as creepy, complex, and unstable as Pope is no small feat, and Hatosy is outstanding in this role. Animal Kingdom is already one of those must-see summer hits that fly under the radar, but when you're sucked into standout performances like Hatosy's, it's unfathomable that he hasn't so much as been nominated for any award let alone the big ones. It would be too easy to dismiss Pope as a psychotic character, but Hatosy captures Pope's vulnerability and yearning for normalcy in such a captivating way. It's a performance worthy of accolades.
In general, iZombie is one of the best series on The CW. The writing is typically strong and the cast is phenomenal. It was destined to be another cult hit for a specific demographic much like Veronica Mars (which was severely underrated as well), and it does not get the same critical acclaim as the other zombie-themed shows. It's beyond unfortunate.
Rose McIver - iZombie
It took far too long for the supremely talented Tatiana Maslany to receive her due for Orphan Black, and Rose McIver is of a similar caliber. IZombie's unique premise has her constantly playing a female zombie channeling traits and personalities of the brains she consumed. Each episode she's challenged to simultaneously play Liv but also Liv affected by someone else entirely. Rose McIver is so criminally underrated in this role it's sickening.
Iain de Caestecker - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
There isn't a doubt in anyone's mind that Iain de Caestecker steadily gives the best performance as Leopold Fitz. Hands down, Fitz has had the best journey of all the characters, and with that journey, fans were able to fully experience the full breadth of de Caestecker's talent. He's beyond fantastic, and it makes no sense whatsoever that he has never been nominated nor won a single thing for his performance as Fitz. It's a crying shame -- a travesty!
Once again it needs to be pointed out that Good Behavior is a phenomenal show that many of you weren't watching, and if you're one of those people you missed out on an excellent series. Everything about the series was magic, from the writing to Michelle Dockery and Juan Diego Botto's performances, to the wardrobe. It hit all of the marks with ease. What else is there to say?
Ray Liotta - Shades of Blue
Liotta wasn't necessarily venturing into new territory playing a corrupt cop given his previous roles playing mobsters. That being said, Wozniak stands out on his own. He's brutal and vicious, but he's also protective and has so much heart when it comes to his family and friends. His ongoing battle to accept his own bisexuality and his horrible misdeeds over the years is must-see viewing. He's a true antihero, and Liotta is captivating. It's a shame that Liotta's role on this NBC procedural will never get the type of buzz as others.
Martin Wallström - Mr. Robot
Mr. Robot is critically acclaimed and broke a streak for USA network shows getting some proper due (though still not enough). Rami Malek kills it, and thankfully he has a few nominations and wins under his belt for the series. Christian Slater is given his props as well, but Wallström's incredible performance is completely overlooked, and frankly, it's unconscionable. Wallström is his very own force of nature portraying the maniacal Wellick, and he's long overdue to bask in the praise and prizes.
The Good Fight
This show is the epitome of bold and unapologetic, and the sophomore season took it to new heights. The Good Wife spinoff is one of the best shows around, but despite being critically acclaimed, it doesn't get the shine that it deserves perhaps because of its location on CBS All Access. It has one Emmy nomination, but it's for their title sequence. What about everything else? The Good Fight was one of the first shows to not only take on the Trump Presidency post his inauguration (after anticipating a Clinton win), but they dedicated their entire season to it, and honestly, it was inspired and some of the funniest, kookiest, most clever writing in ages.
Christine Baranski - The Good Fight
Queen Baranski is iconic, and so is her performance as Diane Lockhart. If no one is going to present her with heavy golden statues for her work on The Good Fight then at least bow down to her greatness on sight. She proved she could carry a spinoff of an amazing show and make it her own. The Diane of The Good Wife is not the same as the Diane of The Good Fight, and the show is all the better for it, in a way, so give her a nomination for her character now. Both seasons she has left viewers in awe, but the ground covered and the exploration of Diane, a staunch Democrat, trying to adjust to a Trump presidency. What follows is an amusing disillusionment and some micro-dosing. Baranski is amazing in this role.
Joseph Morgan - The Originals
Joseph Morgan has been killing it (pun intended) on our screens as Klaus Mikaelson for seven years, and it's safe to say that him being on a supernatural genre show on The CW is the only reason he has yet to receive the recognition he rightfully deserves. We sure as hell know it isn't because his performance in the role is poor. He was given an entire series of his own because of how incredible his performance was on The Vampire Diaries. Morgan is one of the most supremely talented and underrated actors on air, and there is no justification for him not getting the kudos he has earned.
Alice Braga - Queen of the South
Playing the unassuming but powerful Teresa Mendoza, Alice Braga has the difficult task of capturing Teresa's soft, gentleness with her strength and determination, but she excels at it. Teresa is a survivor, but she's not one-note and ruthless. Braga captures the depth of Mendoza with a quiet, understated performance that redefines what it means to be powerful and badass. Once again, USA Network shows barely get their due as is, and Queen of the South tends to fly under the radar, which unfortunately means Braga's work does as well.
Brendan Fraser - Trust
This is one of the most egregious snubs of the year (along with Justin Hartley, but I digress), and I'm sorry, it had to be listed. The world was missing Brendan Fraser. We didn't know how much until he made his comeback on Trust as James Fletcher Chace. It's incomprehensible that he didn't make the Emmy cut; he earned it -- he deserved it. Plus, it would have made his long-awaited comeback story all the sweeter if he got that nomination.
Doug Jones - Star Trek Discovery
What Jones was able to do for Saru's character despite being underused is incredible when you think about it. Saru's growth and development are most impressive, and that's a credit to the writers, yes, but also to the legendary Jones' talent. He stands out on a solid series where everyone gives their all, and his ability to tap into human elements despite playing an alien is beautiful.
Chyler Leigh - Supergirl
As if it wasn't bad enough that Leigh never got a nod or a nom for her role as lovable Lexie Grey on Grey's Anatomy, she hasn't received a damn thing for her role as Alex Danvers either. How is that even possible? There are times when Alex is the best part about Supergirl with her heartbreaking and heartwarming storylines and moments. Leigh handles the character with care and is dedicated to her craft, and it truly shows with how she takes on Alex's many storylines throughout Supergirl's run.
Superstore is casually out there being one of the funniest shows on the air while being largely ignored. The down-home, real feel of this diverse, realistic group of individuals working at a "heavenly" version of Wal-Mart is what makes this show so refreshing and endearing. There isn't a single character (all representative of many demographics) who isn't funny. There's nothing to dislike about this show. It's a comedy gold mine, and it is due for a "Best Comedy" nomination or something, good grief!
Crazy Ex- Girlfriend
It isn't often you'll stumble across a show that manages to tackle mental illness respectfully while still be amusing. The series is fun, quirky, but it isn't afraid to get deep and occasionally dark. Bloom is a standout on the series. It's one of the strongest and most compelling comedies out there. It's the most decorated show on this list, but with good reason. Just go ahead and throw an Emmy on top of the other awards already.
Aubrey Plaza - Legion
It's almost like there is a pattern developing, isn't there? Sci-fi, supernatural, and genre shows may have the fanfare and the critical acclaim, but that's about it. It's unfortunate. What's also unfortunate is the lack of love for Plaza playing this anti-superheroine. She's both controlled and unhinged, and the contradictions don't stop there, but Plaza does wonders embodying this intriguing character. She continues to impress as a dramatic actress despite her deep roots in comedy, and Lenny is proof of that.
One Day at a Time
This Netflix hit is the perfect family comedy and one of the best things to come from the pesky reboot fad. It tackles timely topics without losing the humor. It's wholesome but realistic. It has a fantastic cast of individuals including a living legend. What more does it need to do to be showered with sparkly baubles commemorating its excellence? I'm talking Best Comedy, here. It needed to be considered, don't you think?
Another superhero-esque sci-fi type series that generates buzz but is entitled to more praise is Krypton. The cast is stellar and worthy of more acknowledgment; namely, Georgina Campbell, Ann Ogbomo, and Wallis Day, respectively. It's a unique prequel that excels at its own stories without being hampered by the imposing Superman aspect of things. It's quirky, fun, and smart. It's already a hit among fans. Let's put in a request now that the big wigs take notice.
Gabriel Macht - Suits
Suits is one of USA Network's most successful shows, and it has every right to be considered that. The cast, writing, and sleek wardrobe are among what fans and critics rave about most. At the helm is Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter. Harvey is a multi-layered character if there ever was one, and the strongest arcs of the series revolve around Harvey and his character growth. Macht effortlessly takes on a journey via the world of the enigmatic, alluring, flawed Specter. Eight years in, and he keeps you invested.
Yael Grobglas - Jane the Virgin
Petra's character arc throughout Jane the Virgin is almost as evolved as Jane's, and with that, Grobglas has consistently put out great performances. Petra evolved from a scheming wife to a complex woman, mother, friend, and daughter. She can be cold and detached but also emotional and vulnerable. Yael also took on the role of an evil twin sister too, making two intricate characters that she added dimension to through the course of the series. Lost in the JTV discourse is Grobglas' contribution to the series.
There's a chance you never heard of Kingdom, and that's a crying shame. This Audience Network series was a unique, gritty, action-packed family drama about a former mixed martial artist trying to keep his gym afloat. It had Frank Grillo, Matt Lauria, hell, it had Nick Jonas. It went on for three fantastic seasons that had fans enthralled second by second, and yet, it tragically flew under the radar. This is the type of show that should have generated some buzz, and yes, some nominations across the board.
Halt and Catch Fire
Award shows love period pieces sometimes, so Halt and Catch Fire got a little bit of love over its four seasons, but they still didn't get as much as they should have. One of the smartest shows that aired, Halt and Catch Fire had some of everything going for it. The writing, the casting, hell, even the wardrobe department needed some love on this one.