The truth is, the Emmys, Oscars, and every other major award show, are pretty much always going to honor the more "challenging" or "artsy" material. Does it matter that perhaps less than 25-50% of the moviegoing or TV watching public have seen 12 Years a Slave or every season of Breaking Bad? No, because they are "artsy" and "challenging," compared to a fun adventure film like The Avengers or a TV show like Castle, both of which are more entertaining than the aforementioned (just saying). At the end of the day, the voting bodies for these award shows are going to always want to vote for only the things that make their "craft" look good, even if it is some of the most boring stuff you could watch on TV or film.
However, I am getting off track. This is not meant to be me on my soap box complaining about what gets nominated for these things and what doesn't. Honestly, I like a lot of the films that often get nominated for Oscars, and while I don't watch as much TV as I do movies, the little I've seen of some of the major shows nominated for Emmys are at least intriguing enough to where if I ever had two to three months with nothing else to do, I'd watch them. Simply, the real point I am trying to get at, is that the Emmys are the award show most in need of an overhaul.
Sure, I could sit here and whine about how a show like Broadchurch didn't get a single nomination, or how Nathan Fillion's well deserved Emmy still eludes him, but that is neither here nor there. The real problem with the Emmys is not what's getting nominated, it's the fact that the same stuff that was nominated last year, is nominated in almost all of the same categories this year, with only a few exceptions. This is a large part of the reason why I find the Emmys so frustrating to follow, because for a 5-10 year period, the same 7 or 8 shows get nominated for everything and then the cycle starts all over again. So, in essence, you get the same shows winning again and again for 5-10 years, and it's just draining to see the same people climb up onto a podium and thank everyone they've ever known for the five-millionth time. Now, this is not to say that one year someone may deserve the award more than who won it last year, and vice versa, but it's still essentially the same horses in the race.
Here's the thing, I firmly believe that the Emmys should rethink their rules. Nominating shows on a season-by-season basis is what creates this dilemma. I think in order for the Emmys to feel fresh and exciting, the paradigm needs to be shifted, and I have an idea on what they could do.
While we are swamped with new TV shows every year, for just as many new shows, we are saying goodbye to old ones that have finally gotten canceled or are just ending the story on their own terms. I think, rather than letting every single show that is currently airing be nominated, the only way your show could be nominated for an Emmy is if it had its Series Finale and ended within the past year. This way, you would be honoring each worthy show only once, instead of year after year.
Let's face it, we've all seen shows win Emmys and then watch them go down the tubes in subsequent seasons. For me, a show cannot be adequately judged until it has ended. While the first or second season may be the best, if it lasts for ten seasons, the entire ten season journey shapes a new opinion, and very often that opinion can be different than what you first thought or felt when the show started. By honoring the entire series, from start to finish, rather than on a season-by-season basis, it really clues viewers into what shows are actually worthy of joining the long list of classic TV shows that have won Emmys, and what shows were merely one-hit, one-season wonders.
While this is all just my hypothesizing about what I feel the Emmys need to do in order for me to care more about them, they're never going to change. The Emmys are always going to be the same, and I guess that's okay, because if you love Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory, Downton Abbey, or Modern Family, congrats on your nominations for 2015! Oh, wait, it's only 2014. Well, congrats anyways.