The Emmys, Outlander, & Life: Maybe being snubbed is a good thing

The Emmy nominations were announced last week and as much as I love TV, I’ve never really paid any mind to the nominations. I would be happy to hear that Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey received a few nods, but otherwise, it didn’t really seem to matter much to me. Not even the awards show itself.

But this year has been different. I’ve made it no secret that I love Outlander–the books and the TV series–and I’ve never seen acting that was so moving before. Never. So this year, I’ve been a supporter of the #EmmysForOutlander campaign, especially for Sam and Caitriona, but also costuming, set design, and many other categories that I would’ve thought were no brainers because they were just so good, so intricate, and completely on point with the story and the time period.

Then the nominations were read and Outlander was very nearly snubbed in all categories with the exception of Bear McCreary for Outstanding Music Composition, which was absolutely well deserved! I didn’t have high hopes for a brand new genre series to be nominated no matter how great, but I also couldn’t understand how at least Sam or Caitriona didn’t get recognized, particularly after the last two episodes of Season 1. But alas, it didn’t happen.

There was a lot of uproar from fans and actually quite a bit of uproar in the media as well, including from George R. R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones book series, and whose TV adaptation received the most nominations of any show this year. I, too, felt robbed as a fan for not seeing Outlander recognized, but the more I thought about it, the more accepting I was of the snub. And the more thankful I was for it. Not because they cast and crew didn’t deserve it after their hard work, but because it isn’t needed to define great television.

We’ve all been snubbed, haven’t we? Done something we were so proud of, that we loved doing. Everyone else loved it too, complimented you on it. And then the “powers that be” gave the “official” recognition to someone or something else. But that didn’t mean what we did wasn’t great or even good enough for the recognition. It just…was.

I like to see this as an opportunity for the cast and crew of Outlander to just keep doing what they do best. There’s no added pressure because they were nominated or won an Emmy so early. Sometimes awards bring a mainstream spotlight that can dilute the things that made the series special. What I loved about the TV adaptation of Outlander at the beginning was that it was a great story being told by actors I had never seen or heard of before. They weren’t mainstream, major award-winning A-listers who could distract from the story. No, they were the right people for the right parts, and because of that, they have embodied the characters that fans have been in love with for 20-plus years. That’s what defines great television.

And you know what else defines it? Being one of the only shows that tells a story from the female perspective in a true and genuine way. A series that strives not to be gratuitous, but doesn’t shy away from disturbing content when it is an integral piece to the original story moves things forward. An adaptation that gets a lot of praise from the creator of the original source material. And the things that happen behind the scenes: What seems to be a really great relationship between the author and the cast and crew–which shines through in the way the TV series is portrayed and handled. [Side note: I CANNOT wait to see the episode that author Diana Gabaldon is currently writing for Season 2. CAN. NOT.]

Bottom line is that this year’s snub is actually a good thing. Outlander will get it’s recognition. It already is in all of the non-official ways. And in the meantime, we can all just enjoy the ride–and try to survive Droughtlander.

Pour me a dram and let’s celebrate being snubbed this year. Our time is coming.

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