Do shows targeted towards teenagers and young adults tend to get the shaft when it comes to major awards? They are certainly at a disadvantage in that while children’s series tend to have their own categories, they do not. Also, the majority of Emmy voters have probably not seen an episode of “Teen Wolf” or “Pretty Little Liars.”
We bring all of this up in the wake of a super-fascinating piece that Troian Bellisario of the ABC Family series wrote to The Hollywood Reporter, in which she appeals to voters to consider the emotional impact that these shows make on their audiences as just as impactful as that a show like “Mad Men” may make on an older crowd:
“Teen shows are called silly and dumb, and maybe some of them are — maybe mine is — but if hyperfunny sitcoms, the darkest dramas — heck! even the musicals — are considered within the context of the style of their show, then why wasn’t Gossip Girl? Why isn’t The Vampire Diaries? My castmates attack their craft with curiosity and depth. My writers, directors and cinematographers have figured out how to keep their finger on the pulse of an ever-maturing audience. They might be telling stories about an omniscient cyberbullying supervillain (I know, what?!?), but they are also writing about the psychology of adolescence. Just ask your daughter.”
The entire piece is a great read, and it never comes across as though Bellisario is just trying to make a case for herself to be nominated. (She submitted as Lead Actress in a Drama Series.) She is speaking more for a type of television that is really ignored top to bottom, whether you are talking about the cast or the crew.
Do we think that this argument will change anything? Probably not, but it is nice to see the perspective out there. The other issue this year in particular is finding room for any show just on the basis of quality, as there are at least 5 or six deserving nominees left off in every ballot. Years ago we did personally campaign for “Awkward” star Ashley Rickards to get the nod, and while we would not have Troian in our top six in her category this year, we would also not be upset in the slightest if she was nominated. She gave her performance of the series in the past year, and brought so much depth and maturity to a teenager who is still trying to balance her future with a very dangerous present.
We will be looking at this subject more in the weeks ahead, but if you click here now you can see some further articles in our Emmy series. Also, be sure to sign up today to get other major updates on all we cover via our official newsletter.
Photo: ABC Family