Sometimes great parts don’t add up to a great whole. It could be argued that was the case for The Morning Show, which currently enjoys five Emmy nominations for acting but was left out of the Outstanding Drama Series category. But what about the inverse? What does it mean when a series is up for the big prize but practically shut out of the acting categories? That was the case for Stranger Things and The Mandalorian, which one could argue is the Academy’s bias against genre content showing again. However, that can’t be the excuse for Better Call Saul, which is also nominated for Outstanding Drama but only received an acting nomination for supporting actor Giancarlo Esposito (who happens to also be Mandalorian’s only acting nom). Missing are Saul’s leads, Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn.
These omissions are just a bit of what The A.V. Club’s editor-in-chief Patrick Gomez, managing editor Erik Adams, and TV editor Danette Chavez discuss while debating the drama category nominations on this week’s episode of Push The Envelope. Prior to the podcast taping, Chavez had noted Seehorn as a particularly egregious snub. But while recording the episode—which also features interviews with Succession’s Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) and Saul co-creator Peter Gould—it was Adams who vocalized his frustration with the lack of recognition for the actress’ performance.
“It’s mind boggling that Rhea Seehorn hasn’t been recognized for her performance as Kim Wexler. Like, hands down, one of the best performances on television right now. You know, that’s a role that could have been incredibly thankless—especially if you look at the way that people responded to Anna Gunn in Breaking Bad. A lot of that was willful misinterpretation and bad fandom. I never thought that Skyler White was as much of a blight on that show as a lot of the worst people in its audience did. But Rhea Seehorn has done something really incredible with the Kim Wexler part and been both the conscience—or the Jimminy cricket—on Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill’s shoulder this entire time, while also having her own conflicts to work through and her own internal struggles over ethics, and where she actually wants her legal career to go in, and her relationship with Jimmy to go.
She brings such life to that performance, and also makes you really nervous for her because there is that tension at the center of this show. At a certain point it’s time, this relationship either has to go foul or something terrible happens to Kim. Or hey, who knows, maybe at the end of the show...we’ll go back to the black-and-white Cinnabon flash-forward and find out that the person that’s been making Jimmy paranoid in all of these flash-forwards is actually Kim? Maybe. Who knows? I don’t know. I’m not Peter Gould. I’m not Vince Gilligan. I just want nice things for Rhea Seehorn.”
“We could spend a whole hour talking about why people may or may not like that character,” responds Gomez. “Misogyny?” responds Adams. Okay, so maybe it doesn’t take an hour.
Push The Envelope is available wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes are released every Friday.