In this golden age of television, the sheer amount of quality programming makes it impossible for the Emmys to recognize every show worthy of awards, which is both wonderful and incredibly frustrating. The following five shows are perfect examples of the how the Emmys failed to recognize brilliance.
'The Wire' (2002 - 2008)
It's often at the top of the critics' charts when it comes to the greatest television shows of all time ... so how exactly did "The Wire" only manage to garner two Emmy nominations for writing over the course of five seasons? It's one of television's greatest mysteries. While the gritty drama about the drug scene in Baltimore may have been too intense and dark to gain traction with voters, "The Wire" certainly paved the way for a show like meth-fueled "Breaking Bad" to win multiple Emmys.
'Parks and Recreation' (2009 - 2015)
On the comedy side, NBC's "Parks and Recreation" definitely takes the crown when it comes to the best shows that never won at the Emmys. While it started as a poor imitation of "The Office," "Parks" became a unicorn among the more cynical sitcoms. Amy Poehler was a perennial Best Actress nominee for her iconic portrayal of Leslie Knope, but she only took home one Golden Globe over the course of the seven-season run. The ensemble was one of the strongest on television with Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe representing the wacky citizens of Pawnee. But the biggest injustice is the fact that Nick Offerman never got a single nomination for his work as Ron Swanson, the gruff government-hating boss with a heart of gold. To quote Ron, "Awards are stupid. But they'd be less stupid if they went to the right people."
'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (1997 - 2003)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" never really had a chance with Emmy voters, given that it was a show about vampires airing on the WB. If voters had looked closer at Joss Whedon's masterpiece, they would have seen that it wasn't just about killing vampires. "Buffy" was never afraid to tackle subjects like school violence, substance abuse, and teens coming to terms with their sexuality, and it did so unflinchingly. Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy gave girls a heroine to look up to, as she proved that the blonde cheerleader was also capable of kicking demon ass.
'Community' (2009 - 2015)
Fiercely beloved by the few who watched it, Community" is a gem that the Emmys never paid much attention to. While the episode titled "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" did win an Creative Arts Emmy for animation, "Community" was mostly ignored when it came to the Primetime Emmys. It netted only one nomination in writing -- for the brilliant "Remedial Chaos Theory" -- over the course of its six seasons. "Community" was the perfect show for pop culture nerds, as it played all sorts of television tropes, from homages to "Law & Order" to spoofing clip shows and spaghetti Westerns.
'Penny Dreadful' (2014 - 2016)
The show just aired its last season, but there is still hope that awards bodies will catch on to Showtime's Gothic thriller "Penny Dreadful." Just wrapping up its third season, "Penny Dreadful" imagines a Victorian London where Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein, and Henry Jekyll team up with original characters to battle vampires, witches, and the devil himself. In a just world, Doctor Who" alum Billie Piper as a vengeful Bride of Frankenstein with a feminist agenda and '90s hunk Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler, a sharpshooter with a terrible secret. It is genuinely terrifying every week, and Emmy voters should absolutely pay attention.
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