There’s always something as well, Ellen and Portia are usually around somewhere.
The 67th Annual Emmy Awards will be presented this Sunday with “Brooklyn 99” star Andy Samberg serving as host and just as LGBT characters have become a part of mainstream television, the nominees reflect that, too. In fact, with most of the show nominations, it’s not unusual at all to see gay characters in the mix of the comedy or drama.
For example, while Outstanding Drama nominee “Orange Is The New Black” features a plethora of LGBT characters, a show like “House Of Cards” isn’t something you might think of in terms of being a pretty gay show but don’t forget Kevin Spacey’s President is bisexual even if it’s not a huge part of the overall story. And “Empire“ has more than a few gay characters in the mix and also comments on homophobia in a big way. (See? A plethora!)
Without picking through each show, we are definitely represented more than ever and the representation has gotten better over the years, too. Instead of being the crazy trans hooker or drug dealer as used to be the trope, now a show like “Transparent” makes a man’s transition to becoming a woman the central point of the entire show. It’s still not always perfect across the board but it’s definitely gotten better, wouldn’t you say.
As for what we'll see Sunday night nobody knows yet but there's a very good chance the LGBT community will be represented. Here are a few standouts from the nominee list.
Of course, the aforementioned “Transparent” made big waves by not only being one of the most intelligent, heartwarming and daring dramedies on the air but for giving TV veteran Jeffrey Tambor a chance to shine in the role of Maura. At its heart, the show is a family drama and the trans story is the way in but Tambor has never been better and shows sides I don’t feel I’ve ever seen before. (And his co-star, Bradley Whitford, won a Guest Emmy this past weekend for his role as Maura’s trans BFF). Tambor should definitely win in the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy category.
And hats off to Taraji P Henson for her Best Actress nomination for one of those buzzy TV characters that became an instant classic on “Empire.” But the saving grace with Cookie? She loves her kids even when she’s beating them with a broomstick. But, like a mother would, she feels a special affinity to her gay son, Jamal (Jussie Smollett, who I hope to see get a nod next year).
Also in the same category, though, you have powerhouse nominees like Viola Davis (“How To Get Away With Murder“), Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men“), Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) and Claire Danes (“Homeland“) but I’d love to see Tatiana Maslany finally be properly recognized for her jaw-dropping talent for playing multiple characters in “Orphan Black.” I mean, come on, nobody could make this look so convincing and effortless than Maslany, who, among the clones, plays lesbian Cosima and tran Tony. It’s been a long time coming to just get this nomination so let’s give her the trophy, too, huh?
In the Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, watch for David Oyelowo to shine for his role in HBO’s “Nightingale.” The actor dives deeper into his sociopathic gay character but with such great bravado it’s easy to forget that this character killed his own mother. The performance outweighs the overall project in this case but Emmy voters love a standout performance no matter what and this one delivers. The same can be said for Queen Latifah, who rose above the rushed story telling in HBO’s “Bessie” but showed many layers as a bisexual singer trying to take charge of her life and her career. (Latifah’s co-star Mo’Nique was also nominated in the Supporting Actress category and both “Bessie” and “Nightingale” are nominated in the Television Movie category.)
Other notable nominations include previous winner Uzo Aduba nominated again for “OITNB,” Andre Braugher is once again nominated for his role as the out police chief on “Brooklyn 99” alongside Tituss Burgess for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and out performer Kate McKinnon in the Supporting Actress comedy category for “Saturday Night Live.” Jane Lynch is nominated for Outstanding Reality or Reality Competition Host for “Hollywood Game Night” and the fabulous documentary about the fight to take down Prop 8 in California is nominated in the Documentary or Nonfiction special category.
The 67th Annual Emmy Awards will be presented at 8pm ET/5pm PT on Fox.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.