Never before has a foreign series been nominated for an Emmy, the most important American prize for a TV production, in the category of best drama series. Until yesterday, when the South Korean hit series Squid Game that honor fell.
‘s triumphal march Squid Game, about a deadly game played by people hoping to make a lot of money quickly, continues in the US. The series has already won three SAG Awards and a Golden Globe and now has fourteen Emmy nominations.
The prize for best drama series is the Emmy that everyone wants to win, says film and series critic Thijs Schrik. “That’s always been a very American affair, but you can do it.” Squid Game going to change. The series remains a sensation, the nomination is no surprise in that regard. It says something about how international series really catch on.”
Better Call Saul could win a lot of Emmys. It often happens that when a series ends, a kind of lap of honor follows for the makers.
Although Netflix scores with Squid Game and also with Better Call Saul, the streaming service lost out to HBO in the total number of Emmy nominations. HBO got 140, compared to 105 for Netflix.
“HBO has long dominated the Emmys and actually still makes the best series,” says Schrik. “Quality still trumps quantity there. succession, which is also nominated for best drama series, is also simply the best series, I think. And that The White Lotus received a lot of nominations is also completely deserved.”
It therefore seems to be an HBO year, but Netflix remains a major player with series such as Stranger Things and Ozark (both 13 nominations), says Schrik. “It’s always a little bit like that. Better Call Saul could win a lot of Emmys. It often happens that when a series ends, a kind of lap of honor follows for the makers. Although Netflix cannot fully claim that success, because it is made by the cable channel AMC.”
Shocking, but also a good story
Apple’s series is also doing better, with twenty nominations for the feel-goodseries Ted Lasso and the dystopian Severance, which received fourteen nominations. “Making series is of course not a core business for Apple, but they really do have their own plan. Severance is very good, one of the best this year so far. You see that the makers get a lot of freedom to make what they want.”
And that’s how the most beautiful things are made, says Schrik. “The HBO Series Euphoria is a perfect example of that. A very controversial series about high school students who struggle with drugs, sex and violence. It’s very nicely filmed, with flashy images, but it’s not for everyone. At the same time, it’s not just shocking, everything is supported by a good story.”
Leading actor Zendaya earned a nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series. “She definitely deserves the nomination,” says Schrik. “Despite the fact that her character is not immediately sympathetic, she still knows how to keep the attention.”
Holding your attention is getting harder and harder. “More and more series are being made. I also have the idea that the judges of the Emmys also suffer from this. One of my favorites is, station 11, not nominated at all.”
Perhaps a ceiling has been reached as far as supply is concerned, Schrik thinks. “But it remains a luxury problem, beautiful things are being made. The offer is also becoming more diverse and international, such as Squid Game and also La Casa de Papel† The view widens. Although the Emmys themselves are of course very American. But an Emmy remains a standard of quality.”