How Has 'Better Call Saul' Still Never Won an Emmy?
Category: EntertainmentVia: revillug • last year • 53 comments
By: Allegra Frank (The Daily Beast)
as the Emmys continue to exist, it will continue to be outrageous that Better Call Saul doesn’t have any. To the general public, an award count telegraphs quality—or at least some semblance of a recommendation. Whether this is wrong-headed or not (it is!), it’s hard to shake these ingrained ideas about the significance of awards . Nothing can undo the impact Better Call Saul had on those of us who loved it. It will stand the test of time in ways that I question whether Emmy-winning shows like Ted Lasso will. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould can sleep easy at night, knowing they have two back-to-back television masterworks in the bag.
That said: If Better Call Saul doesn’t clean up at next year’s Emmys for its swan song, I’m gonna throw hands.
The Emmy Awards purport to reward the best of television. Why, then, has it still never given a major trophy to "Better Call Saul"? Get your act together, TV Academy.
Deputy Entertainment Editor
Updated Sep. 13, 2022 3:45PM ET / Published Sep. 13, 2022 3:08PM ET
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Better Call Saul wrapped its impeccable run last month—just in time for award season excitement to start ramping up. Thanks to AMC's system-gaming release schedule (It's one season, but in two halves! More Emmy awards, please!), Better Call Saul's sixth and final season not only qualified for Monday's Emmy Award show, but it will also compete at the 2023 ceremony.
But if the Television Academy's voting patterns hold, the drama series will again walk home empty-handed next year. Better Call Saul has received 46 Primetime Emmy nominations since it premiered in 2015. Wins thus far: Two, for little-seen "short-form" content.
It's a baffling track record and a searing reminder of how out-of-step Emmy voters often are. A spinoff of one of the most highly regarded series of the century, Better Call Saul has garnered high praise throughout its run. Its two-part sixth season, the first half of which received nominations for this year's award show, received nearly universal praise. Yet none of the critical love (and viewership numbers!) has translated into recognition from TV's self-styled barometer of good taste.
The Television Academy has rarely ever actually been a tastemaker, of course, especially in this bloated content hell. But Better Call Saul is the rare show whose pedigree, consistency, and popularity should naturally translate to winning some hardware. Combined with the sheen that comes with a beloved series reaching its conclusion, the show should have walked away with a few trophies Monday night.
Nope! Better Call Saul lost in each category it was nominated for at this year's ceremony. Squid Game and Succession yucked its yum—the former being an exciting usurper, at least. Netflix's propulsive, incredibly well-crafted, Korean-language hit made history with its wins. But while Succession's win isn't unsurprising, it sure is boring; the HBO dramedy had a stellar third season, by many accounts (I don't watch it and don't want to, leave me alone about it!), but it won Outstanding Drama Series last year too.
How many times has Better Call Saul been nominated for that award? Five. How many times has it won? You guessed it! Zip. Bob Odenkirk, a man who literally suffered a heart attack while filming the first half of Season 6, has also received a grand total of zero Emmys. Odenkirk nearly died working on the show, yet voters still shrugged their shoulders at him. Same goes for Rhea Seehorn, who somehow only received her first nomination for her entrancing performance.
In contrast, Breaking Bad was nominated 58 times over its five seasons, winning 16 awards. Both parts of its final season won Outstanding Drama Series awards, while Bryan Cranston won four Lead Actor trophies. Supporting stars Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn also won three and two times, respectively, and Breaking Bad picked up craft and writing wins too. All of these were well-deserved; frankly, the show went undersung in the writing and directing categories. But with many fans hailing the more methodical Better Call Saul as even better than its high-octane old man, its 16 fewer wins looks even more shocking.
It's not that something as thrilling, visually dynamic, and emotionally arresting as Better Call Saul needs external validation. It's misguided to think that a voting body with opaque deliberation processes and a thirst for For Your Consideration campaigns can define what is good or what is not good.
Yet as long as the Emmys continue to exist, it will continue to be outrageous that Better Call Saul doesn't have any. To the general public, an award count telegraphs quality—or at least some semblance of a recommendation. Whether this is wrong-headed or not (it is!), it's hard to shake these ingrained ideas about the significance of awards. Nothing can undo the impact Better Call Saul had on those of us who loved it. It will stand the test of time in ways that I question whether Emmy-winning shows like Ted Lassowill. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould can sleep easy at night, knowing they have two back-to-back television masterworks in the bag.
That said: If Better Call Saul doesn't clean up at next year's Emmys for its swan song, I'm gonna throw hands.
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