Every year, the Television Academy skips over some TV shows we all know and love dearly to nominate "Modern Family" or "Ray Donovan" again for God knows what reason — and every year they also manage to slip in some names we never saw coming. This year, the 68th Emmy Award nominations are no different; they're full of snubs and surprises we're still reeling about hours after they were announced.
Here are just a few of the talented actors and exceptional series we're excited to see get some recognition for once, along with a few that totally got ignored:
SURPRISE: Maisie Williams for "Game of Thrones"
This is the first time Maisie Williams has been nominated for her role as Arya Stark in "Game Of Thrones," and while she's clearly a brilliant performer, it's an odd choice this year considering that her arc was the weakest of the whole season. Still, she deserves it, as does everyone on the show — but no one will be surprised if Lena Headey gets the supporting actress win over her.
SNUB: The Emmys still aren’t on board with “Fresh Off the Boat”
There was a lot of welcome diversity in the comedy categories, with "Masters of None" and "Black-ish” reaping deserved Emmys nods in the lead acting categories and for Outstanding Comedy Series. So it’s a shame that "Fresh Off the Boat" was left out of the party for the second year in a row. And with the Emmys recognizing 18 (!) non-white actors in acting categories this year, Constance Wu definitely deserved to be one of them.
SURPRISE: The Emmys finally recognize that “The Americans” exist
After four seasons as a critically beloved underdog, the FX drama finally broke through and was awarded some major Emmy love. The ‘80s Soviet spy series scored five nominations, including best drama and acting nods for stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. Considering “The Americans’” most recent season was the best one yet, it would have been a crime if Emmy voters had continued ignoring it.
SNUB: Talk shows hosted by non-white dudes
“Full Frontal Bee with Samantha Bee” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” didn’t score nominations for outstanding variety talk series (and neither did Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” either. Yikes). At least Bee’s brilliant series nabbed a writing nomination, but it honestly should have been recognized instead of Jerry Seinfeld’s “talk show in a car,” and not just because that dude doesn’t need any more Emmys.
SURPRISE: Thomas Middleditch for "Silicon Valley"
"Silicon Valley" has gotten a little bit of love at the Emmys before — they were nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series last year, too. But this is the first time a single actor has landed a nomination for their work on the show, and Thomas Middleditch totally deserves it. Richard is great, but you know... he's great. End of conversation.
SURPRISE: Tatiana Maslany for "Orphan Black"
"Orphan Black" is a scraggly science fiction underdog on the Emmys scene, but somehow Tatiana managed to land an Outstanding Actress nomination two years in a row! Well, I saw somehow like it's not patently obvious that the woman who regularly plays a whole squadron of different clones without getting confused isn't an acting genius. She won't win, of course, but the fact that they've even noticed she exists is heartening.
SURPRISE: Elle Kemper for "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Kemper's name was suspiciously absent from last year's nominations, which (rightfully) included Tituss Burgess and Jane Krakowski as supporting actors. But perhaps watching Kimmy's struggle to break free of her own chipper attitude convinced the Emmy voters that she can bring real depth to even the most happy-go-lucky girl.
SNUB: The entire CW network got hosed
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane The Virgin” have previously cleaned up at the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Television Awards, and other awards ceremonies that aren't the Emmys. And yet, for the second year in a row only narrator Anthony Mendez got nominated for “Jane The Virgin.” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” meanwhile, got some recognition for original song, choreography and insanely catchy theme song. Boo, Emmys. Boo.
SURPRISE: Constance Zimmer on "Unreal"
Quinn is one of the best anti-heroes on TV, so we were glad to see that Zimmer scored Lifetime’s first-ever acting nod for her tour de performance as “Everlasting’”s badass producer.
SURPRISE: Adele vs Beyoncé in the Emmy battle to watch
The two titans of the music industry are going head-to-head in four categories for their respective TV specials: “Adele: Live in New York” and “Lemonade.” Both could use an Emmy boost for their inevitable paths to EGOT glory, but who will walk away the winner? (f they teamed up for a special duet at the Emmys, then honestly we’d all win.)
SNUB: The Emmys are totally over "Girls"
If you had to guess which of these series would get snubbed by the Emmys this year — “The Powerpuff Girls,” “2 Broke Girls” and “Girls” — there’s no way you would have guessed that Lena Dunham’s show would be ignored. Yet that’s exactly what happened, despite arguably having its best season yet — including somehow pulling off a Marnie-centric episode that everyone loved.