Does Having an Emmy Award Really Matter?


The Emmy nominations are less than 24 hours away. That means many happy and excited people… and even more disappointed.

The Emmys, television’s top award show, are always the source of debate. Did Show A deserve to get nominated over Show B? Why was Actor A nominated again? Why was Actor B snubbed again?

Everyone gets excited if their show gets nominated, even more if their show wins.

But what does an Emmy really mean?

First, how are nominees and ultimately winners chosen in the first place?
Some argue that the Emmys are really just one big popularity contest. And the way the nominees and winners are chosen based on a popular vote by peers certainly makes it seem that way.

Then there’s the subjectivity of such a vote. There aren’t really guidelines, or a checklist in choosing who to vote for. For Emmy voters, it’s all about who they believe is deserving of a vote. The criteria are up to them.

Plus, there’s plenty of politicking involved, especially in the Daytime Emmys.

So when a lucky nominee gets the big award, or even when they are first nominated, what does it represent?

In general, Emmys are seen to represent the best in television the past year, voted on by their peers with respect to the category.

And there lies the source of debate. Can this select group of people really be able to choose the very best year after year?

While there will never be a perfect or even more than acceptable voting procedure in deciding who goes home with an Emmy, a more important question to raise is, Does having an Emmy award really matter?

For some shows, it could mean survival (see: The Amazing Race). For others, it doesn’t make a difference (see: Arrested Development).

While a beautiful gold Emmy statuette would look great on your mantle, you don’t particularly need an Emmy for validation of the quality of your work. And while there are statistical representations of success on television like ratings, there’s also the love and support of the people.

Seems uneven comparing fan support to an award of excellence, but there are plenty of television shows, actors, writers, and directors who have done outstanding work over the history of television, but have no gold statue to show for it.

Not having an Emmy isn’t the end of the world and neither is it a statement on the quality of your work. It is nice to have and more times than not, the recipient is very deserving of that physical validation.

But when a deserving program or person doesn’t win, or is even nominated, it may be sad, but it doesn’t necessarily speak to that deserving program or person’s quality.

So with hearts ready to be broken again tomorrow morning, just remember, it’s not the end of the world. And it’s not a slap in the face. To the television programs and their casts and crews, take an Emmy snub as motivation to work even harder to maybe get them to notice you next time. Which in turn, is great for us viewers, as we get treated to high quality entertainment.

Keep doing what you’re doing! The Academy may not appreciate you, but surely, there will be plenty others that will.

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