From Rhea Seehorn (yay!) to Reservation Dogs (noo!), EW's TV critics explore the highs and lows of the TV awards race.

The 2022 Emmy nominations were announced on Tuesday morning. As usual, the sheer scope of shows and categories was overwhelming. There were 21 shows nominated in the Outstanding Drama/Comedy/Limited Series categories, while a few headline programs (SuccessionTed LassoHacks) packed the categories in the acting categories. Your favorite Disney shows competed for below-the-line prizes, and the TV Academy ultimately decided This is Us was not for them.

And still, there is so much to complain about! (No Hamish Linklater for Midnight Mass? No Jon Bernthal for We Own This City? Booooo!) But TV critics Kristen Baldwin and Darren Franich are also pleasantly surprised at some of the choices, even if the latest (and last?) year of Peak TV also left some masterpieces with zero nominations. Here's a rundown of the best shocks and worst snubs. 

Happy Surprises

Rhea Seehorn on 'Better Call Saul'
Rhea Seehorn on 'Better Call Saul'
| Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul
Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma began the nominations presentation this morning by proclaiming, "When we make our announcement in a few short minutes, it will reflect only a fraction of the incredible television being made right now" — and you better believe I growled back, "It better represent Rhea Seehorn or you folks are gonna be in trouble." It's supremely annoying that voters waited until the final season, but at least they've finally wised up to the fact that Seehorn's performance as Better Call Saul's brilliant (and broken?) attorney Kim Wexler is an absolute wonder. Please, universe, protect Kim Wexler at all costs — and make sure Seehorn is standing at the podium come Sept. 12. — KB

Tyler James Williams, Quinta Brunson, Chris Perfetti, Lisa Ann Walter, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Janelle James, and William Stanford Davis on ABC's 'Abbott Elementary.'
| Credit: Temma Hankin/ABC

Outstanding Comedy Series (and six more nominations): Abbott Elementary
The surprise here isn't that Quinta Brunson's hit ABC comedy Abbott Elementary earned a comedy series nomination — it's had growing goodwill and momentum since premiering in December last year. While I hoped that the Emmys would reward the series with at least an acting nod or two, it was a wonderful shock to see four noms for the incredible ensemble cast — Brunson in Lead Actress, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Janelle James in Supporting Actress, and Tyler James Williams in Supporting Actor — as well as a writing nomination for the practically perfect pilot. Victory lap! —KB

Must Catch New Dramas
Christina Ricci as Misty in 'Yellowjackets.'
| Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

Outstanding Drama Series: Yellowjackets
The writers know. While Succession and Severance crowded the field in other categories, the only multiple nominee in Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series was Showtime's riotous rookie freakout about a crashed soccer team and the very messy women they grow up to be. Cheers to co-creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson for their two writing nods — and to Melanie Lynskey and Christina Ricci, nominated for playing two distinct variations of traumatized complexity. (Relatable and gleefully psychotic, respectively.) —DF

The White Lotus
Murray Bartlett, Jolene Purdy, Natasha Rothwell, and Lukas Gage in 'The White Lotus' season 1.
| Credit: Mario Perez/HBO

Outstanding Comedy Series (and so many acting nominations): The White Lotus
Mike White's systemic-oppression-on-vacation satire was a big hit last summer. But it was a big hit last summer, and I was worried the onslaught of star-powered true-life docu-crud would block this scathing (but gorgeous!) comedy from an Emmy nomination. Happy to be entirely wrong, especially since the TV Academy also gave the great Natasha Rothwell her first acting nomination for her quietly devastating turn as a generous spa manager with doomed dreams.—DF

Station Eleven
Himesh Patel on 'Station Eleven'
| Credit: Ian Watson/HBO Max

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie: Himesh Patel, Station Eleven
I didn't like all of HBO Max's pandemic dramedy, which veered wildly from sensitive breakdown-of-civilization adventure to post-apocalyptic quirk. But I loved Himesh Patel as Jeevan, an endearingly regular guy who has to suddenly take care of a brassy 8-year-old while the world ends around him. Most of the performers in the Limited Series category were doing impressions, bringing familiar scandal icons to life. Patel did something much harder: He showed you what it looks like when an actor becomes a star. —DF

Katie Flood on 'Below Deck Mediterranean'
| Credit: Laurent Basset/Bravo via Getty Images

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program: Below Deck Mediterranean
Holy wow, Below Deck got nominated! I've been waiting years for Bravo's seafaring upstairs-downstairs docu-comedy to get recognized by the Academy! Wait. They nominated the Med season with the chef who kept quitting and the stew who was mean to the deckhands? Huh. Not the amazing just-completed Sailing Yacht season where everyone slept with Gary and the anchor dragged? Huh. Well, look, Med Chief Stew Katie was cool. Anyhow, this is good news! —DF

Annoying and Painful Snubs

Youn Yuh-Jung in 'Pachinko'
| Credit: Media Res/Blue Marble Pictures/Apple TV+

Pachinko (Apple TV+)
While this beautiful and absorbing multi-generational drama based on Min Jin Lee's book of the same name didn't get completely snubbed — the series received one nomination, for Outstanding Main Title Design — it deserved so many more. Had enough voters actually watched, Oscar-winner Youn Yuh-jung would be celebrating her first Emmy nomination this morning at the very least. —KB

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross on 'black-ish'
| Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

black-ish (ABC)
This is, perhaps, the most puzzling snub of the year. Emmy voters love black-ish; it's been nominated 27 times over the course of its eight-season run. And yet for its final season — which featured the same high-quality writing and performances by its leads, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson — the Television Academy just… ghosted them? Even so, black-ish will remain a new classic. And congrats to the costume and hairstyling department on their two nominations this year… but voters, you should be down on your knees begging forgiveness from Black Jesus. —KB

Reservation Dogs
Paulina Alexis, Lane Factor, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, and Devery Jacobs on 'Reservation Dogs'
| Credit: Shane Brown/FX

Reservation Dogs (FX)
Somebody call the Deer Lady, because Emmy voters failed to listen to her advice: "Be good and fight evil." Okay, sure, it might be a bit much to say that it's "evil" to give the past-their-prime Mrs. Maisel and Curb more knee-jerk nominations over Dogs. Ignoring this magically weird, wonderfully funny, and profoundly moving comedy about indigenous teens may not be evil… but it's definitely not "good." —KB

Dr. Death
Joshua Jackson on 'Dr. Death'
| Credit: Scott McDermott/Peacock

Dr. Death (Peacock)
I'm sorry, what? Three nominations for Inventing Anna — Netflix's bloated and clumsily written drama that couldn't decide whether its con-artist subject was a hero or a victim — and yet nothing for this gripping blend of body horror and true-crime thriller, featuring a career-best performance by Joshua Jackson? Man, Peacock cannot catch a break. (But hey, congrats on those three costume and makeup nominations for Angelyne.) —KB

Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine on 'Pen15'
| Credit: Hulu

Pen15 (Hulu)
After Hulu's dreamily brilliant throwback teen sitcom made it in the Outstanding Comedy category last year, I thought it might squeak a few more big nods for its sweetly devastating final batch of episodes. Instead, it got zilch, while life-support seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel crowd out the Comedy lineup. I'm very sad that the spectacular performances of co-creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine will never be recognized by the Academy. Let's please discuss this in an AOL chat room.  —DF

Barry season 3, episode 4
Sarah Goldberg as Sally Reed in 'Barry'
| Credit: Merrick Morton/HBO

Sarah Goldberg, Barry (HBO)
Tough to complain about all the Barry love, and I know the Comedy Supporting Actress race is stacked with talent. Still, I was shocked Goldberg didn't earn a repeat nomination for her stunning work in season 3. In the span of just a few episodes, once-struggling Sally soars to the peak of streaming Hollywood success ("We got a 98 on Rotten Tomatoes!") to an acidic downward spiral. Goldberg somehow finds a way in every scene to play the farce and the tragedy, finding notes of cringe comedy and noir-ish fatality in Sally's rise and fall. —DF

The Emmy Awards will air Monday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC, and will be available to stream live and on demand on Peacock.

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