Posted on Starpulse.com
As many eager television viewers may know, the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards was on Sunday evening, and despite going up against a very important football game it scored the higher ratings than the past three years. The Emmys have been declining in viewership, as have most of the major awards shows, and last year was especially dismal.
Luckily the Emmys decided to bolster their show by having a fan favorite as the host – CBS golden boy Neil Patrick Harris – and have a generally well written script for the presenters and in-between segments. This is all well and good, but for geekdom, it was a year to snarl (and sometimes cheer), because once again our beloved culture was left out in the dust.
Let’s face it, the Emmys have never been a big fan of science fiction or fantasy based programs. There are very few exceptions to this rule, such as a few nods to the “X-Files” in its glory days and more recent awards to ABC hit “Lost.” However, by the time “Lost” became true science fiction it already had a rabid enough fanbase that they couldn’t snub it, but you don’t see “Heroes” or “True Blood” getting any Emmy love this year, do you? How about “Battlestar Galactica,” which got a few pathetic pats on the head in their excellent four season run but no real notice … other than the worshipful critics and fans. Who cares about them?
And really, Emmys, you think smiling at “The Big Bang Theory” is going to make us happy? Well they didn’t win anything, did they? No, once again popular cheerleader “30 Rock” won instead of the nerd Jim Parsons, but he was nominated and that’s already an honor. Tch. Let’s not even get started on Jon Cryer winning Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. That one still stings. Every once and awhile a bone is thrown to the excitable geek culture, like when “Firefly” won an Emmy in 2003, although that was hardly enough to patch up the wound of its untimely demise on Fox. Even the categories that should be easy ones to win for sci-fi, special effects, is only a sure win if nothing else ‘mainstream’ is up against it. “Rome” won special effects in 2006 over “Battlestar Galactica” and “Lost.” Seriously. Special effects are the only chances most sci-fi have in your snobby mainstream Emmy world!
We’re tired of nominations that we know will never be won. The culture of science fiction and fantasy thrives, and there are more loyal and rabid fans of “Star Trek” then there ever will be of “Mad Men.” There are celebrated television shows showered with awards that never have as many seasons as “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” but all that revolutionary show ever got was a nom in writing. Reluctantly.
Maybe “Lost” has helped, and “Heroes” did before it got really bad, but this bias against the geek culture (outside of mainstream-friendly “The Big Bang Theory” nerds) has to end. It’s not just about space ships and smoke monsters and galaxies unknown; the beauty of fantasy is that it ties just as closely to reality – to real human emotion – as it does to alien cultures. “Battlestar Galactica” wasn’t just about robots, it was about religion, alienation, devastating loss and rebirth. “Truth Blood” isn’t just about vampires, it’s about homophobia and racism and the destructive power of love. People who brush these tales off as mere fairy tale had better learn to look closer, because they’re missing stories of great relevance and dignity.
Maybe instead of nominating “Mad Men” four times in one category you can do something shocking and throw in a surprise like “Fringe.” The world will not end. Promise. Oh, and it was clever giving us a “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” clip Emmys. You almost won. But we won’t forget, and if “Lost” doesn’t win Best Drama on its final year, there will be a reckoning. Count on it!