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The Awards Thread: The Trophy Room

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  Here's the thread to discuss all things related to Downton Abbey during Awards season, especially the Emmy nominations for Michelle Dockery, aka "Mary," Jim Carter, aka "Mr. Carson" and last, but never, ever least, Dame Maggie Smith, aka "Violet Crowley, aka 'The Dowager Countess'."

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Joanne Froggatt (Anna) was also nominated in the Supporting Actress category alongside Maggie Smith. The show itself was also nominated for Best Drama. It probably received some technical awards as well, but I haven't looked into those yet.


These nominations are for Series Four, correct? Is there any way to know what episodes the actors submitted? My guess is that MD and JC submitted Episode One, JF submitted the episode after the rape, and MS submitted whichever episode Violet had bronchitis.


When I saw Jim Carter's nomination I hoped Phyllis Logan would get one as well but I guess it wasn't meant to be.


As much as I love Maggie Smith, I wouldn't have been put out if her place had been taken by Phyllis Logan or Laura Carmichael. Both of them did fantastic work this series, it's too bad there isn't room for everybody. Or that there isn't an Emmy for best ensemble (have to wait for the SAG Awards for that one).

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According to the PBS website, these are the Emmy nominations for Downton Abbey:


DOWNTON ABBEY (A Carnival/Masterpiece Co-Production in Association with NBC Universal)

Outstanding Drama Series

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

  Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham

  Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  Jim Carter as Mr. Carson

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

  Paul Giamatti as Harold Levinson

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

  David Evans, Directed by

Outstanding Art Direction for a Period Series, Miniseries or a Movie (Single Camera)

  Donal Woods, Production Designer

  Mark Kebby, Art Director

  Gina Cromwell, Set Decorator

Outstanding Costume for a Series

  Caroline McCall, Costume Designer

  Heather Leat, Costume Supervisor

  Poli Kyriacou, Assistant Costume Designer

Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series

  Magi Vaughan, Department Head Hairstylist

  Adam James Phillips, Key Hairstylist

Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)

  John Lunn, Music by

Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour)

  Alistair Crocker, Sound Mixer

  Nigel Heath, Re-Recording Mixer

  Alex Fielding, Re-Recording Mixer

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The results were not unexpected.  IMO, the Emmys aren't really representative of the best of the best in the TV world anyway since often the most deserving shows and actors get overlooked, but when you put Downton alongside shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and True Detective, it really doesn't hold up all that well. 

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True - Battlestar Galactica was continuously shunned, as is The Walking Dead. That said, I thought season one of Downton, like Galactica, was extremely well done and deserving of nominations. Season four, like season four of Galactica, not so much ;) 

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Well I'll say that Michelle gets a prize for flattering and chic dress!  I didn't like the colors (too school uniform or tennis dress or something) but I loved the cut.


I found the BB sweep boring, as good a show as it might be.  I'm glad it won't be back next year; maybe they can mix it up a little.  But I don't think Downton will do much better next season either.  It was lucky to get so many noms this year as it is.  


It did come away with one win, for hair design.  But then GoT which had 19 noms (DA had 11 or 12) only got 4 awards and ALL for production (camera work, costumes, visual and special effects and makeup).  All of the big stuff went to BB, except directing (True Detective) and Best Actress (in which it didn't even submit anyone for a nom).


I did love the Weird Al number, which I didn't expect!  That was fun.

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Sorry, can't begrudge Breaking Bad at all. I can't. That tv show holds the title of best tv ever.


And like I said, I think only Froggat deserved a nom for season four. Downton needs to pick up its game if they want to keep getting noms (GoT as well)

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I only begrudge it because a sweep bores me.  Just like Modern Family and Jim Parsons winning again bore me.  And I think you can make the argument that both of those wins should have gone to others.  Credit where credit is due to BB, but I am glad it's over now so hopefully next year the Emmys will be a bit more exciting.


GoT had a great S4, IMO.  It was probably the most critically acclaimed thus far, and you can't say the same of Downton.  I know there were trouble spots and choices some viewers didn't like but I can't say it disappointed in any substantial way.   I love it as much as ever. YMMV.


And to be fair, GoT really does have great acting and hasn't been recognized for it.  That's not their fault.

Edited by ZulaMay
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With GoT - I just like the books better. Breaking Bad was one of those shows that just still excites me even when watching reruns. I agree it will be good to move on, but the honors for the last season were well deserved.


I also agree on Jim Parsons. I like him, but Sheldon is a strangely consistent character and there are some other names out there now.


GoT to a point suffers from the same problem Galactica and Walking Dead have - the show is too niche to get awards in droves.

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Yes, that's true.  Although I think GoT has outgrown the niche now. If not for BB it might have had a real shot at the award this year.  True Detective probably would have been second in line, but let's face it, that was really a miniseries.  I don't know why HBO pitted it against its big ratings juggernaut, GoT.  True Detective doesn't profit them nearly as much.  And who knows what next season will bring?  Like I said, it's a miniseries, not a series.


Just look at the musical number the Emmys did, with Weird Al doing the lyrics to the theme songs?  GoT got the Big Finale treatment and an Andy Samberg impersonation, complete with GRRM being presented with a typewriter.  It's still at a disadvantage for being "fantasy", but it's taken hold in the overall market too.

Edited by ZulaMay
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I watch the Emmys (and all award shows, really) with a sense of detachment...I have the people/shows I like and want to win, but if they don't I don't get too upset over it because a shiny trophy neither validates nor invalidates how I feel about said people/shows.


That being said, I wanted Joanne Froggatt to win soooo badly, though I knew she wouldn't. I didn't even watch Breaking Bad and I still knew that trophy had Anna Gunn's name on it when the night started. JF is my favorite actress on the show. She doesn't just play Anna, she becomes Anna. I've seen her in a couple other things and I think she's just fantastic. I don't think this was her last chance at an Emmy though...Anna is sure to have obstacles to overcome until the very last episode of the whole series. Maybe third time will be the charm?


I think DA has a tremendous pool of acting talent, but if the writing's not there, there's only so much even the most capable actor can do. S4 was definitely the weakest, but I'm willing to give the show a little bit of a pass, seeing as how they probably had to rework a lot of things with Matthew (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Sybil and O'Brien) out of play. But they definitely didn't deserve any of the best drama/writing/directing awards this year.


As for Maggie Smith...yes, she is a goddess. Yes, DA would be nothing without her. But...I wish Laura Carmichael or Phyllis Logan had gotten nominated in her place. LC and PL turned out truly amazing, moving performances this year, and I wish one of them had at least gotten recognition via a nomination, even if they didn't win (Anna Gunn was gonna get it no matter what, imo). There wasn't a moment this year that I felt particularly moved by MS in a dramatic sense. Yes I was all "OMG NO" when the DC got bronchitis, but to me, that didn't stack up to Edith at the abortion clinic, or Mrs. Hughes giving her various what-fors.


But Emmys or no Emmys, I'm still gonna watch S5 because I still care about these characters and how the actors portray them. Breaking Bad can win all the Emmys it wants and everyone on the internet and in real life can tell me it's the most bestest show there ever was, but I probably won't ever watch it. Back in high school, a kid did a presentation in my sociology class and used some clips from BB for it, and I just found what I saw to be too violent for me to enjoy. So this is just kind of a huge roundabout way of saying that everyone is going to like what they like and that award shows are fun and all but they aren't necessarily the final word on what's good and what's not.

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LC and PL turned out truly amazing, moving performances this year, and I wish one of them had at least gotten recognition via a nomination, even if they didn't win (Anna Gunn was gonna get it no matter what, imo).


I, too, was surprised that Phyllis Logan had not gotten a nomination. Less so about Laura Carmichael, even though she is great.


I concur with the sentiment that Breaking Bad was going to take the awards this year. It was the "gold watch" edition of the Emmys. And, one thought that has crossed my mind since Monday...Anna Bates was never gonna beat Anna Gunn this year.


Just for grins and giggles, I looked-up just how many PBS shows have won Primetime Best Drama at the Emmys, and there are only two: Elizabeth R and Upstairs, Downstairs, which won three times, according to Wikipedia. I once had a college class with someone who actually worked for PBS or a PBS station. That person said it was referred to as "egghead TV." And I think that's how audiences view it. If Downton had sharper writing this year, and had been on a commercial network (or maybe even cable), it might have stood a better chance.

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I disagree that last season was the worst.  I thought it was a very good season although I was disappointed my favorite character (Thomas) had no real storyline and I thought most of the epiodes were rather meh.  Oddly enough, as a whole, it all worked for me though.  It was never going to win an Emmy though because right now it's not the kind of show the Emmys tends to award.  


In order to be nominated for an Emmy, either your show or you have to put yourself up for a potential nomination.  I'm not sure that Phyllis Logan ever had that happen for her.  

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Laura had to put herself up last year, which annoyed me frankly.  They didn't put Allen Leech up for S3, even though he had great material then.  This year I believe they did put up Laura, but I am not 100% sure about that.  If they didn't, she submitted herself again.  Which is just wrong.  She deserves more recognition from that show than she gets.  


I don't think it's true, though, that this isn't the type of show the Emmys tend to award.  Good dramas are good dramas.  Police procedurals seem to be at a disadvantage (perhaps because there are so damned many of them), and so do fantasy genre shows.  But Mad Men won four times, despite not being an action-driven show like BB or Homeland.  It's a study of character, of a particular cultural moment and setting, much as Downton was in S1.  But Downton is no longer a character study:  it's a soap.  If it could return to the subtlety and wit of S1, it would have a better chance.  But now it has been recycling story lines, resorting to melodrama, and leaning on the DC's lines for most of its humor.


Perhaps it will have a Gold Watch send-off in its final season, or get lucky if other shows decline and no exceptional new ones rise in their place.  But right now we have GoT, which has gathered momentum in terms of critical acclaim and buzz.  There's also Masters of Sex and other shows and actors that many think were snubbed this year (See:  Tatiana Maslany).


Joanne might have her shot again too.  But I am skeptical about any other awards coming its way.

Edited by ZulaMay
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I concur with the sentiment that Breaking Bad was going to take the awards this year. It was the "gold watch" edition of the Emmys. And, one thought that has crossed my mind since Monday...Anna Bates was never gonna beat Anna Gunn this year.

For me though, BB winning all the awards didn't feel like a "gold watch" because while yes, it was the final season, it was probably some of the greatest television writing/directing/acting I've seen...ever...in my life. It really did deserve every award it won, not because the TV world felt it had to reward them. That's why there was no way that a show like Downton or Joanne Froggatt (whom I also love and think is a tremendous actor) or any other show was going to compete this year.

TBH if writing doesn't improve, it won't matter how strong the acting is, no one from Downton will be winning an Emmy because the Academy voters won't view it as any more than a soap opera masquerading as a serious drama.

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I am taking BB lovers at their word that it is as amazing as they say. Personally I am glad it's over because a sweep at any awards show just bores me.  I enjoy handicapping them, and it's no fun if the outcome seems predetermined.  


But I agree no one is winning an Emmy from this show as it stands now.  And I think it is probably too late for a return to S1 form.  He's dug himself into a soap pit and it would be hard to get out now.   Hard to re-capture lightning in a bottle.

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As for who had a chance at being nominated, etc., this page lists the various shows and actors that PBS submitted to the Academy for Emmy consideration this year (Downton's is towards the bottom). I'm a little shaky on all the rules, but I'm fairly certain that only two actors can be submitted by a single show for each category. Most of Downton's cast is considered supporting, so only four of all those supporting actors could be submitted for consideration, two men (Jim Carter and Allen Leech) and two women (Joanne Froggatt and Maggie Smith). From those, and all the other actors submitted for consideration by all the other shows, only six can be picked by the Academy for each category. Being picked as a nominee is generally an acknowledgement that said actor has given an Emmy-worthy performance in the episode they submitted, and it's up to the Academy to decide which of those performances is the best (someone please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, but I think that's the general gist of how the Emmys work).


So when a show picks which actors it wants to submit, there has to be a certain strategy to it, because a win for the actor is also a win for the show. Sometimes it's not even about who did the best work, but who is most likely to win based on the potential competition. So looking at the Supporting Actress category, Downton had a lot of people to pick from: Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Penelope Wilton, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Lily James (I realize not all of these women necessarily gave Emmy-worthy performances, but they were still eligible for the show to pick as submissions). In the end, they went with MS and JF. MS has the benefit of name recognition that many of the other actresses do not, while JF's rape arc screamed Emmy-bait from the beginning. So we can all have our opinions about who we think deserved an Emmy, or even a nom or submission, but there definitely is a strategy to which actors the show chooses to submit. And Dowton's strategy wasn't too bad, since both MS and JF ended up with nominations (as did Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter).

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Yeah, their strategy with Jim Carter worked, that's for sure.  He had been nominated before and so had JoFro, which helped as well.  Prior nominees have a leg up in many cases.  I was very surprised Carter was nominated and I don't think he should have been, or would have been had he not been on the list before.  I can think of a few supporting actors from other shows who were better than Carter.  Charles Dance from GoT, for example.  Carter is a good actor who portrays the archetypical English Butler (with a bit of a soft side) well, but I don't find his performances Emmy-worthy.

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In the end, they went with MS and JF. MS has the benefit of name recognition that many of the other actresses do not, while JF's rape arc screamed Emmy-bait from the beginning. So we can all have our opinions about who we think deserved an Emmy, or even a nom or submission, but there definitely is a strategy to which actors the show chooses to submit. And Dowton's strategy wasn't too bad, since both MS and JF ended up with nominations (as did Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter).


Jim Carter has been nominated three times. (He was a scream in Top Secret, way earlier in his career.) Same for Michelle Dockery. Dame Maggie has been nominated four times, winning twice, but one of those wins was for S1, when Downton was in the Miniseries/Movie category. Joanne Froggatt has been nominated twice. Likewise for Hugh Bonneville.


Looking toward the future, assuming there is good writing and acting, much as I dislike his character, I think Rob James-Collier deserves a nomination. I would like to see Laura Carmichael nominated, as also Phyllis Logan, Penelope Wilton (it would be great if she won and they said, "Yes, we know who you are."), and Sophie McShera. Bates grates on people, so I wonder if Brendan Coyle will get another nomination.

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Honestly, there are so many great dramas right now, that something like Downton (Lord knows I love it, but it's a cheesy soap) doesn't really have a chance. Maggie Smith won because the Emmys always throw an award to the movie star who deigns to slum it on TV, but even that's not enough any more.

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RJC was submitted by the show for S3, along with Carter.  I think Rob was brilliant in that season and deserved the nod.  But again, Carter had gotten it before and people think Thomas is a jerk.  That put him at a disadvantage.  


Rob Lowe seriously did that for Parks and Recreation?  I don't blame them for being irritated.  He was NOT a lead actor nor the funniest or most award-worthy actor on the show.   I mean, I like Lowe but come on.

Edited by ZulaMay
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Sorry, can't begrudge Breaking Bad at all. I can't. That tv show hold the title of best tv show ever.


  I disagree.  Why? One reason, two words: The Wire.


  On-topic, while I heart Dame Maggie and the Dowager Countess, IMO, if anyone should have won from the show, it should've been Joanne Froggatt.  Her storyline and her performance were the moments that moved me the most from last season.

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Congrats to Joanne Frogatt!  Finally she gets some awards recognition.  Well deserved for her performances during the "Anna's rape" storyline last season.  When watching the Jonas Armstrong "Robin Hood", I never would have thought that one day that irritatingly shrill and poorly acted Kate would have ever won a major acting award.  Kudos.

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Downton Abbey won the "Best Drama" award at the National Television Awards this past Wednesday.  It's a bit ironic considering that it's an award based on fan voting and the show had its lowest viewership during this season.

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Downton Abbey won the SAG award

Yeah, and at the risk of offending, I have to say I'm surprised.  I like this show, a lot, but I do NOT think it's a better ensemble than Game of Thrones.  Or House of Cards, for that matter.  Totally my own opinion, of course, but I just don't get this one.

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I think it's interesting the two years Downton has gone for more serious/dramatic storylines, they've won the SAG. Season 2 was the war/Matthew's injury/William's death, Vera's death/Bates' trial, Lavinia's death, while season 4 was Anna's rape, Mary's grief, Rose's interracial romance and Edith's unexpected pregnancy. Season 3, outside of the "shocking" deaths, had a mostly lighter tone to it.


If it's not a content-based reason, I feel like the answer is simpler: everybody watches it. It's not polarizing (outside of the Hollywood Reporter), it's well-acted and consistent. In a year with no standout drama series (unlike "Breaking Bad" last year), it clearly was the logical choice for many voters.

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I think if there's one award that is truly deserved, it is the ensemble cast award. The actors are all very good, the casting is flawless.

For single acting awards they all have not enough screentime IMO. It's a true ensemble piece.

And it's magic what they're doing with these crappy scripts lately.

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Yay!!! Downton won the SAG again! Two years in a row.


Tom Cullen and Julian Ovenden may not have been victors in the Mary sweepstakes, but they do walk away with SAG Awards. Not a bad two years work.


Though season 5 wasn't my personal favorite, I'm thrilled for this absolutely talented cast!!! And I hope the Hollywood Reporter guy (Tim Goodman)'s head is still exploding. Hollywood loves Downton, even though it's not one of those snobby, dark, streaming dramas. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it, Tim Goodman!

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Again the most deserved award for them! Congratulations to the actors, because they're magical and manage to turn Julian Fellows' crap writing into something worth watching!


Allen Leech looked yummy yesterday. What in heaven did they do to him in season 6 on Downton??? It probably was all frust eating because of the crappy storyline he had to play. 

Edited by Andorra
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