Pat Clark

Highs and lows from the Emmy nominations

Let’s play good news, bad news.

Good news first: Modesto native Robert Ulrich snagged yet another Emmy nomination last week for his work casting the FX hit “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”

This is by no means Ulrich’s first Emmy nod – in fact, he’s a 2011 Emmy winner for casting the Fox megahit “Glee.” He received nominations in 2005 for “Nip/Tuck,” and then every year beginning in 2010 up to now for either “Glee” or the various “American Horror Story” anthology seasons.

Ulrich shares the nomination with his partners Eric Dawson and Meagan Lewis for the show, which falls under the “limited series, movie or special” category.

Interestingly, the Modesto native’s nod comes up against casting directors for the Modesto-set anthology series, “American Crime.”

Now for the bad news: “Justified” was robbed again, and for what will be final time by those same Emmys this year.

Wish I could say I was surprised by the snubbery of Modesto-bred Timothy Olyphant and his outstanding drama. But the show has gotten precious little love from Emmy Award Central – despite it being a critical favorite – since 2011, when Olyphant and fellow actors Walton Goggins, Jeremy Davies and Margo Martindale (who won for guest actor) were nominated (Davies was nominated again and won in 2012, also for guest actor).

But the show itself never was recognized.

Lack of surprise or not, I held out a glimmer of hope – given that the series finished its sixth and final season in April – that at least the show would garner a best-drama nomination. I hoped a similar nod would have been visited upon Olyphant, too.

Both certainly deserved it – as did Goggins. But, alas, it was not to be. Apparently, there were just too many great actors and too much great television to choose from last season.

No beef with a couple of the nods in the best-drama category – “Mad Men” and “Orange Is the New Black” both deserve the honor. Since I don’t watch “Game of Thrones” (and, no, I don’t want to, putting me in a bit of a cheese-stands-alone spot), “Homeland,” “Better Call Saul” (more on that in a bit) or “House of Cards,” I’m in no position to argue with the merit of those nominations.

But, look, I love me some “Downton Abbey,” really I do. Still, was it a better show last season than “Justified”? This might get me banished from Buckingham Palace, but, no, of course it wasn’t.

I know, I know. Sorry, sorry, sorry. But it just wasn’t on the same level. “Downton Abbey” is terrific, and I wouldn’t miss a second of it, but let’s face it, people, it’s pretty much soapy froth. There’s nothing wrong with soapy froth, especially when it’s done as well as “Downton” does it. And – trust me – if “Justified” had stolen one of those spots from the nominated shows that I don’t watch, I’d be shouting a little whoo-hoo toward the Emmy powers that be right now for including “Downton” in the mix.

“Justified” was just a better show.

This isn’t without some thought, because I’ve been a big “Downton” booster since jumping late onto that British bandwagon. Here was the deciding factor: If “Downton Abbey” hadn’t been nominated – with or without “Justified” – would I have been up in arms over its omission?

Sorry, Lord Grantham, but no. Not really.

There were plenty of other shows that could have been nominated, as well. Many critics are just as shocked that the final “Sons of Anarchy” season failed to garner a nod. And, frankly, I’m bitter that neither “The Americans” nor “Outlander” were deemed worthy, either.

Even with seven shows on the best-drama list, there are simply too many others that are just as worthy. It’s time to expand that category.

But in the end, that’s good news for TV fans; it means there’s an abundance of quality television to watch. But the thing about the “Justified” snub is that there’s no do-over or maybe-next-season for that wrong to be righted. And that’s just messed up.

‘Better Call Saul’

So, yeah, I changed my mind.

I’d planned to jump right off of “Breaking Bad” into its TV spinoff “Better Call Saul,” I truly did.

My husband did, indeed, watch the fledgling “Saul” season and was immediately hooked.

Me, I was just too exhausted to take on another violent, multifaceted drama – see above abundance-of-quality-television-to-watch notation.

Maybe this is a mistake, but, happily, streaming services give us all a chance to right our viewing wrongs whenever we like – if and when that ever happens, of course.

The Emmys lost its chance to do the same, however, with “Justified.”

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