We’re still reeling a little bit when it comes to all of the Emmy nominations earlier, and admittedly some will take a longer stretch of time to get over than others. Some of the snubs when it comes to Outlander specifically are pretty high up on the list. We’re thrilled for the costuming team, who did an outstanding making clothes from multiple eras during season 3, but also sad that the actors, the series itself, and the remainder of the crew didn’t get more love. We’re shocked especially that the score and the brilliant set design were overlooked, equally as much as we are the cast.
(Heck, the bad luck for Outlander seemed to bleed over to The Terror with Tobias Menzies — the Emmys completely ignoring it is one of the biggest surprises of the entire show.)
So what caused the Emmys to ignore this show again, and can anything change moving into the future?
As we explain in the video below (subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for more), we do think that one of the problems the show continually faces is that of perception. This is a series with a romantic component, and in some ways there is an heir of optimism to it. After all, Jamie and Claire making their way back to each other is one of the highlights of the story. If you look at many of the shows that are nominated this year, whether it be Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale, or This Is Us, there are a number of shows that deal more within the realm of sadness where many of the talking-points are tragedies. While we don’t want to say verbatim that the Emmys are obsessed with death, there does seem to be a gravitation towards darker subject matter.
Also, there is probably the perception that Outlander is strictly a romance that also hurts it on some level — one that is very much unfair, we should add. We don’t blame Starz solely for this, given that they have shown in promos than a love story, and they have also hosted Q&A sessions with Emmy voters. We actually put it more on the larger media covering the show in some ways, given that so many of the headlines sell the show as something that is for romance fans first and hype up the physical appearance and sex appeal of the cast. Once you inject one opinion in the mind of a potential voter, it can be hard to take that perception away. Outlander is a multifaceted show about history, about survival, and about determination. Romance is a wonderful part of it, but saying it is strictly just that loses much of the story’s death. True Outlander fans and some Emmy voters know that. Unfortunately, there are others who do not and may see more in the way of superficial headlines.
Do we think that Emmy voters still aren’t finding enough of Starz in particular? Sure, and that probably is another factor given that Outlander, Counterpart, and Power (three very good series on Starz) all found themselves absent a nomination — and you could have made a case for any of them.
What can be done?
Moving into season 4, the series has a challenge to change the minds of any Emmy voter who doesn’t watch the show and know how great it is. The best thing to do may just be a grassroots movement, one that constantly praises the performances, the sets, the story, and so much more. Promotion can help, but it often doesn’t change minds that are already made up.
Regardless of what happens next year, though, the truth of the matter is that Outlander doesn’t need more Emmy nominations for the cast and crew to be fulfilled. They have one of the most loyal followings on television and receive countless praise from many critics and fans. Knowing that the cast and crew are putting out a stellar product is really validation in itself.
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