Netfllix seems to be moving forward in what is undoubtedly an unstoppable campaign, now weighing in at 160 Emmy nominations across all categories. In contrast, the rest of the channels and platforms are at a considerable distance: the closest is the prestigious HBO with 107, which includes the main categories and, also, several of the most important in the technical section.
Everything indicates that Netflix is the great winner of the battle for the relevance of its most important programs, and of everything related to the possibility of being elevated as the producer of the best of today’s television. Or not?
The truth is that the broadcasting giant is far from achieving HBO prestige, despite having obtained more nominations and that several of its programs have been multinominated. The reason? That HBO competes not only for quantity, but actually for quality, and that’s where the important point is that Netflix has the hardest competition.
The Emmys as a business objective
Of course, the expectations are huge. The platform managed to position most of its successful shows and series among the nominations, in addition to even achieving an improbable and debatable nomination for the highly criticized third season of Stranger Things.
However, HBO achieved a considerable victory with Watchmen (26 nominations), an atypical series that in addition to adapting one of the foundational works of today’s pop culture also has a contemporary and very powerful treatment of racism, a subject that will undoubtedly set the tone and rhythm for the future ceremony.
On the other hand, Netflix’s biggest nominee was Ozark with 18, but the series produced by Jason Bateman continues to be a reduced phenomenon that, furthermore, is far from being comparable to the public and critical success of Damon Lindelof’s brilliant proposal.
Netflix series will also have to face Succession, which with 18 nominations has become a cult series and, perhaps, the most solid and dense product in the HBO offer. Called the Game of Thrones Contemporary, the Jesse Armstrong series is a journey through power and greed that has perhaps the most impeccable screenplay on television today.
In contrast, the pessimistic gaze of Ozark on similar subjects it is pale and at times, even incomplete. While Succession manages to deepen the fear and pains of ambition with a sober, ruthless and cruel style, Ozark It bets on tension and a certain air of fearsome nuances, which makes history a careful journey through morally debatable scenarios. But in the end, the Netflix series fails to achieve the painful and devastating impact of the HBO series.
For the dean of cable channels, Succession It is a success whose strength increases season after season, which has allowed the channel to increase its impact and create a perception of a solid and quality product. For his part, Ozark has had inevitable changes in pace, tone and a recent irregular season, which was criticized for lacking a certain sense of opportunity and especially of its importance. By competing with each other, the notorious difference in quality between the two series will put HBO in the lead when it comes to drama.
The law covers your face
But perhaps HBO’s biggest success was turning the unexpected critical and audience triumph of Watchmen in its main product for the awards.
Almost by chance, the universe-based series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons became the reflection of the harsh political and social situation the United States is going through after the wave of protests that led to the death of George Floyd.
It was an unheard of confluence, which even took the revision of the series plot to a new level and included it in the critical debate on systemic violence in the country, a topic that for the premiere of Watchmen seemed uncomfortable and even artificial . But now it is essential to understand the temperature of the American discussion.
The perception encompasses a more complex picture: with the presidential elections in November and Donald Trump’s speech more heated than ever pointing to emigration and a certain supremacist idea, the connotation of the HBO series becomes a pertinent idea that undoubtedly the Emmy voters will have a very fresh memory when they vote.
As if all of the above were not enough, the series is an impeccable quality approach to a work that is part of the memory of the world of entertainment. There is no better time to Watchmen that now and the Emmy will probably want to remember that.
Of course, Netflix has a sophisticated catalog that includes The Crown (13 nominations) and Hollywood Ryan Murphy (12 nominations), but both are in times of transition.
While the series portraying the life of the British crown faced months of discussions about its continuity and Murphy’s the usual discussions about its content, form and capacity for transgression, none has the impact capacity of the HBO series. , considered in some way or another barometers of the main public discussions in the world. The Crown He had a brilliant season, but his perception of power could hardly compete with Succession.
As for Hollywood, Murphy has received some criticism about the rhythm, the plot and even the quality of some chapters, which are considered in essence of less impact than the producer’s other works.
Another of Netflix’s big wins was for the nominations it garnered. UnOrthodox, which included several of the most important headings and a significant mention of its main actress Shira Haas.
With eight nominations for a limited series, one of the most popular stories on the channel, it must also compete with programs of greater impact and especially, supporting the snub of its main actresses Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever. Which makes it clear that Emmy voters might have recognized the series’ phenomenon, but not its real impact as part of something bigger.
Netflix has become the channel with the largest original productions in the industry: according to VarietyIn 2019, the channel launched 371 new television shows and movies, more programming than the entire US television industry.
With such a number of programs, the nominations are the notorious extrapolation to a huge, numerous and increasingly varied work, but not necessarily of quality. In fact, the disparity in the channel’s form of production is so evident that while Netflix won most of the Emmy nominations, Netflix Original Production only managed a small percentage of the items.
What does that mean? Than most of the channel’s nominated programs are partnerships with third houses production companies that, in fact, could have a version very different from the quality of those created directly by the channel, a topic that has been debated for years and that is beginning to take its toll on the channel.
As Netflix’s numbers of original material increase, the quality drops in a very visible way, which could also be related to what is happening right now in the nomination balance and the possible triumph of the channel the night of the Emmy awards. .
Will Netflix walk away empty-handed from television’s biggest celebration? Surely not, but the triumph will not take home either. A dilemma that puts into perspective the recent successes of the platform giant.