Emmys Snub Treme

Television watchers are trying to figure out how Treme received no Emmy nominations in 2011. At HollywoodReporter.com, Tim Goodman went on at length about the oversight of the HBO drama set in New Orleans:

And if you want to dip a toe into the milk of embarrassment, just take the Treme snub a little further: Voters didn’t see any lead or supporting actors in that bunch? Really? Because such a staggering oversight just screams “I have never seen one episode of this series.” Is it on at the same time as The Good Wife or something? Hell, you didn’t even toss Treme a bone with a music-related nomination.

Last year, the series had two nods for original music and direction (which is as many nominations as The Wire received during its five season run. Given the Emmy’s lack of David Simon love, no one expected Treme to sweep nominations, but the exclusion of Khandi Alexander, Wendell Pierce, the writers and the music department from nominations is surprising. Melissa Leo (Toni Bernette) was nominated, but for her role in Mildred Pierce.

The most surprising snub is Khandi Alexander’s. Alexander’s expert handling of a difficult character arc in Season Two appeared to make her a shoe-in for an Emmy nomination in the Supporting Actress Category. Instead, the Emmys nominated Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Michelle Forbes (The Killing), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife), Margo Martindale (Justified), and Christine Baranski (The Good Wife). Critics from entertainment sites (Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly), the tweeting public, and Alexander’s Treme costar Wendell Pierce publicly agree that the actress should have been nominated. Pierce tweeted, “How could Khandi Alexander not be nominated for an Emmy? How could our music dept. not get nominated? How could our costumes not get nominated?”

Pierce has a point.

As someone who has been background for Treme (honestly, it seems like half of New Orleans has been an extra for the show), Treme’s costume department has an insane level of commitment to detail. Treme’s crew paid meticulous attention to matching their costumes to the exact year and time that the episodes occur in. They approach the show as period piece, although the period is fairly recent. For example, in the finale, not a single beer can that the extras are holding was created post-2007. When someone in the crowd pulled out a tall blue Miller Light can, a PA spotted it immediately. However, other than the Mardi Gras Indian costumes, Treme’s costume department didn’t have the massive task that nominees Boardwalk Empire, Games of Thrones, and Mad Men tackled, so perhaps Treme’s absent costumes nomination is understandable.

Pierce’s statement about the music category is valid considering the caliber of music that Treme consistently presents. It’s amazing that Emmy’s music nominations didn’t include the HBO show that frequently shoots on-location in perhaps the most historic musical center of the United States and features original music. Saturday Night Live earned four nominations for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics; Robert Klein: Unfair and Unbalanced and Family Guy filled out the field.

Given these oversights, it seems that Treme has been royally snubbed, much like  The Wire. Tweeter MorrellRadio sums it up best: “WTF did David Simon ever do to the Emmys?”