'Stranger Things,' Chadwick Boseman, Selena Gomez and Dave Chappelle: 2022 Emmy nominations snubs, surprises and head-scratchers

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Stranger Things finished in a virtual tie after their head-to-head competition in the 2022 streaming wars. But when it comes to the Emmys, there’s a clear victor — and it ain’t Luke Skywalker’s future mentor. Obi-Wan Kenobi was completely shut out of this year’s Emmy nominations, while the Hawkins Hellfire Club scored 13 nods for the first half of its super-sized fourth season.

Another Netflix streaming hit made major awards waves: the South Korean sensation, Squid Game, picked up 14 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series — the first non-English language series to achieve that honor. But the love for Squid Game was most expected… unlike these snubs and surprises.

Who and what got snubbed?

  • The Force wasn’t strong with Star Wars: both Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett were left out of the major Emmy races, although Boba did get four nods in below-the-line categories like costumes and visual effects.

  • Marvel’s big 2022 Disney+ show, Moon Knight, failed to break through like WandaVision last year. While it picked up eight nominations in technical categories, stars Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke were left out of the acting races.

  • Speaking of snubbed actors, none of the 13 nods for Stranger Things were for the show’s cast, including fan favorites like Sadie Sink and Joseph Quinn. The good news is that Vol. 2 — which features major meme-able moments for both of them — is eligible for next year’s awards, so both of those actors have another shot at runnin’ up that hill to Emmy glory.

  • Despite sharing above-the-title billing — an executive producer status — with Steve Martin and Martin Short, Selena Gomez was inexcusably overlooked in the nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building. We’re starting a podcast about this crime right now.

  • Paramount is hard at work creating a Yellowstone television universe, but Emmy voters still need to be convinced to spend some time on the ranch. The hit series didn’t attract a single nomination, even with Oscar-winning director/actor Kevin Costner standing front and center.

  • Black-ish was a perennial Emmy favorite for much of its eight-year run. But the final season, which wrapped up in April, was left out in the cold along with oft-nominated stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. Season 8 only picked up two nods, for hairstyling and costuming respectively.

  • Emmy voters’s love for Squid Game came at the expense of another acclaimed South Korean-language series: Pachinko on Apple TV+. The sprawling drama only scored one nomination for Outstanding Main Title Design.

  • Where’s the love for Bridgerton? Season 2 of Netflix’s blockbuster period romance failed to woo voters, only scoring three nods including one for Julie Andrews’s voiceover performance.

  • Seth Meyers is still the sole NBC late-night personality representing the network in the Outstanding Variety Talk Series category. Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and buzzy Peacock breakout star Amber Ruffin remain no-shows.

  • The combined star wattage of Julia Roberts and Sean Penn wasn’t enough to power Starz’s Gaslit to the Emmy winners’ circle. The series only scored four technical nods.

  • Elisabeth Moss may be a regular Outstanding Actress contender for the Hulu drama The Handmaid’s Tale, but her Apple TV+ series, Shining Girls, failed to register with voters, picking up zero nominations.

  • Don’t cry for This Is Us Emmy voters — the NBC tearjerker missed out on major nods for its final season.

Who and what surprised us?

  • Abbott Elementary had a grade-A freshman season, and voters responded accordingly. The acclaimed ABC comedy scored seven nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress for star and creator,Quinta Brunson, who is also the first Black woman to receive three comedy nods.

  • From A to Y: Showtime’s hit thriller Yellowjackets had audiences buzzing and that buzz translated into seven nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actress for Hollywood’s secret weapon, Melanie Lynskey.

  • Lizzo gets one step closer to EGOT status with six nominations for her Prime Video reality series, Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.

  • It only took seven years, but voters finally remembered that they’d better nominate Rhea Seehorn for Better Call Saul. The actress scored her first Outstanding Supporting Actress nomination for the soon-to-end Breaking Bad prequel.

  • File this under “Unpleasant Surprises”: Dave Chappelle’s Netflix comedy special The Closer picked up two Emmy nominations despite intense backlash to its transphobic material.

  • Emmy voters really, really, really enjoyed their stay at The White Lotus. Mike White’s addictive HBO drama scored a whopping 20 nominations, tying with Ted Lasso for second place behind Succession‘s 25 nods.

  • Will Smith’s infamous Oscar night slap may make Emmy history: this year’s Academy Awards telecast scored multiple nominations, including Outstanding Variety Special where it’ll compete alongside the non-slap happy Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show and the 2022 Grammy Awards.

Other nods to know

  • Dearly departed Marvel superhero Chadwick Boseman picked up a posthumous nomination for voicing his alter ego, Black Panther, for the last time in the Disney+ animated series, What If…?

  • Other posthumous nominations went to Norm Macdonald for his final stand-up special, Nothing Special, and Arrested Development star Jessica Walter for her role in FX’s animated favorite Archer.

  • Former President Barack Obama is nominated for Outstanding Narrator for the Netflix series, Our Great National Parks. His rivals for the Emmy include David Attenborough, W. Kamau Bell, Lupita Nyong’o and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

  • Euphoria star Zendaya isn’t only the youngest performer to win an Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy for the first season of the HBO hit. She’s now the youngest two-time acting nominee, and also the youngest producing nominee as the show’s second season gets an Outstanding Drama Series nod.

  • Selena Gomez may have been overlooked in the acting categories, but she is only the second Latina to get a producing nod for Outstanding Comedy Series nominee, Only Murders in the Building. Salma Hayek became the first to shatter that particular barrier in 2007 for Ugly Betty.

The 2022 Emmy Awards air Monday, Sept. 12 on NBC.

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