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Emmys surprises and snubs: Twin Peaks, Stranger Things, The Terror, and more

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Sep 14, 2020, 10:50 AM EDT (Updated)

While many of the shows that landed nominations at the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards were all expected, safe picks by the TV old guard, there were plenty of surprises in what genre fare made it to the highest awards body of the medium -- and what didn’t.

Of course, Game of Thrones and Westworld dominated things, while Stranger Things and The Handmaid's Tale picked up key category noms. Those are no-brainers. But some of the weirder nominations -- one’s that we’re excited about, don’t get us wrong -- go to shows all over the place.

First up: Rick and Morty. The animated juggernaut has been running the internet for three seasons, and thanks to “Pickle Rick,” it’s finally got an Outstanding Animated Program Emmy nom to back up its street cred.

Another “oh yeah, I can’t believe that hasn’t gotten Emmy recognition” moment was when The Good Place’s celestial Ted Danson got his first nomination for the afterlife-based series, landing one for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Less unprecedented, but perhaps as unexpected, was Tatiana Maslany’s nom for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. It’s an award the Orphan Black changeling has won in 2016 and been nominated for previously, but after being skipped over last year it was unclear whether the actress could stake her claim in the crowded field.

Now for the ones we’re surprised didn’t make it at all.

Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder -- who saw her full-hearted supporting performance outshone in Emmy voters' eyes by that of Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven -- brought some of her strongest recent work to the show’s second season. She’s been giving the series everything she’s got since the beginning, and it seems she’ll have to wait another year to hopefully see some Emmy recognition.

While Jesse Plemons earned a nod for his performance in Black Mirror’s Season 4 standout episode, "USS Callister," the actress actually leading the episode (and giving an equally potent performance) didn’t see the same reward. Cristin Milioti, aka  Lieutenant Cole, deserved better.

One of the saddest full-series snubs was for The Terror, one of the most inventive and gripping pieces of TV of the last year. Instead its prestige horror came up disappointingly barren, like the frozen tundra of the show's setting.

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t note that while David Lynch's Twin Peaks: The Return did garner nine noms, it missed out on the clean sweep (specifically ones for Kyle MacLachlan's multi-role performance and Outstanding Limited Series) that the critically-acclaimed revival predicted.

The 70th Annual Primetime Emmys will be held on Sept. 17 on NBC.

For a full list of this year's Emmy nominations, click HERE.

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