It's Not, But It Can Be: Television and the 2014 Emmy Awards

If I’m going to write up a short-ish blog post about I’m obviously going to use a quote from The Newsroom. Obviously.

"It’s not, but it can be." 

This one small line is the inciting incident that gets the ball rolling on the Aaron Sorkin drama, and sums up everything I feel about the Emmys as of late.

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It’s just not.

Academy members are hesitant to change, and last night it was blatantly obvious. They keep voting for the same five people, or the same three shows because they have been deemed “good” or talented”. Now I’m not hating on Breaking Bad, Jim Parsons, or the cast of Modern Family by any means. Every single actor, writer, director, and show nominated deserved recognition in some capacity. However, the same winners of the past keep winning, and that’s where the frustration rolls in. With the exception of the acting categories, awards are still primarily being taken home by the same straight white men. Only two women took home awards last night for writing and directing, and the lack of diversity on that stage was staggering. This is partially feminist Lauren rambling, but it’s mostly TV watcher Lauren here…The point is…We’re just constantly being fed the same PB & J sandwich over and over, when there’s an entire world of even greater cuisine that deserves to be eaten and enjoyed. Look at that analogy! Guess foodie Lauren is here too… Anywho. Wrapping it up. Emmys. Same ‘ish, different day. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be this way anymore and it shouldn’t be this way anymore.

But it can be…

Though it’s not reflecting of the Emmys, television really is in its golden age.  TV is the best it’s ever been. The writing is sharp and intellectual, the stories are creative and engrossing,  and the acting and production values have grown exponentially in the past decade than it has in over fifty years. Casts are much more diverse and are boldly willing to tackle political and social issues shows would never dream of touching twenty years back.  Shonda Rhimes, Jenji Kohan, Michelle Ashford, are remarkable women breaking boundaries on television every single day, and still aren’t being recognized for their talents the ways that they should be. These women should be on pedestals, for Pete’s sake. No, not like Sofia Vergara last night. That’s an entirely different rant for a different day. Bottom line is that TV is amazing. It’s on a roller coaster that keeps going up, and Emmy voters need to face their fears, hop on the ride, and really enjoy it too. 

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