The 2020 Emmy nominations kicked off with a bang, and while there was plenty of conventional wisdom on display in the major categories, the world of genre was able to smuggle and superpower itself into the proceedings. That manifested as Watchmen, HBO's limited series sequel to the famed comic, led the pack with a Dr. Manhattan-sized 26 nominations, while The Mandalorian, the live-action Disney+ Star Wars series, made its mark in a slew of categories — including the coveted and often non-genre Outstanding Drama Series.
Those two contained just a few of the surprises throughout the ceremony, which also saw beloved underdog (and vampire mockumentary series) What We Do in the Shadows earn a few nominations, including Comedy's top honor. Outstanding Comedy Series is a big nomination for these bloodsucking housemates, though its entire cast was snubbed from the nominations.
Equally shocking is The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu's dystopian adaptation, which landed plenty of awards nominations but failed to see its star — Elisabeth Moss, who either won or was nominated for Best Actress during the show's first two seasons — earn a place among the acting nominees. And for that matter, where was Pedro Pascal for his (albeit masked) perfomance on The Mandalorian?
Other snubs include one of Netflix's biggest genre hits of the year, The Witcher, which failed to toss even a single coin to Geralt, and Star Trek: Picard's returning star, Sir Patrick Stewart. Alt-history The Plot Against America sat lonely with a single technical nomination, while Westworld missed out on Drama Series for the first time despite its bevy of other accolades. Stranger Things' random Best Drama nomination, in comparison, seems a bit of a surprise considering it didn't really get nominations in any of the other major categories.
Fans of Watchmen were likely over the moon with almost every single aspect of the production honored ... except for the scene-stealing Tim Blake Nelson, whose performance as Looking Glass was a harrowing and entertaining link between the show's past and present. Ah well, at least Jeremy Irons and Regina King got their well-deserved nods.
The winners will be announced at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Award ceremony on Sept. 20 by Jimmy Kimmel during an event hosted by ABC.
A full list of nominees can be found here.