The 2014 Emmy Nominee Reaction Awards: And the Best Quote From a Sleep-Deprived Nominee Goes To …

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

And the nominations are in! This morning, Carson Daly and Mindy Kaling were nice enough to get up early and dramatically announce your 2014 Emmy nominees. The debates on who got snubbed and who got lucky and who’s so due are already raging, of course, as they should, as they will for time everlasting. But for now, let’s concern ourselves with another slice of the award season pie: Whose bleary-eyed reaction to good news carried the day? To the 2014 Emmy Nominee Reaction Awards!

Best Battle Call

Speaking with EW, perennially underrated Lead Actress in a Drama nominee Lizzy Caplan, of Masters of Sex, made sure to note that if she were the one giving the Emmys away, they’d all go to the Real Housewives dynasty. (“I don’t pick favorites. They’re like my children, I love them all equally.”) Also, she prepped for the announcements by reading horoscopes: “And they were all bad! And then I just started laughing and realized, I really need to get a life.” And then she actually got nominated, which means she’s going right into the champagne party. Simply enough: “F— sleep.”

Most Legitimately Heartwarming

Guest Actress in a Comedy nominee Laverne Cox, of Orange Is the New Black, celebrated by speaking with her brother (who played her in pre-prison flashbacks on OITNB), and said: “He’s really happy. He wasn’t shocked, he’s been on the journey with me. I’ve known him longer than anyone else because we shared a room … for many years when I was struggling as an actor and playing sex worker after sex worker after sex worker … he said you can act.” OK, that’s it: Let’s all start believing in ourselves again.

Best/Worst Pre-Loser Mentality


Lead Actress in a Miniseries nominee Sarah Paulson, of American Horror Story: Coven, will be facing off against her costar Jessica Lange, and says, “We actually went up against each other when I was nominated for ‘Game Change’ and she got her first nom for ‘Horror Story’ and I lost then, so I’m used to losing to Jessica Lange … There is no better person to lose to.” Meanwhile, old friend Blossom can barely hide her simmering rage: Mayim Bialik, nominated with the likes of Julie Bowen and Allison Janney in the Supporting Actress in a Comedy category, says: “How incredibly humbling to be nominated not only a third time but among a group of such exceptionally talented and critically acclaimed actresses. This is truly proof that among women like this, the third time will NOT be the charm for me!!!”

Best Bit of Barely Contained Sexual Energy

Kate Mulgrew, nominated in the Supporting Actress in a Comedy category for Orange Is the New Black, says her role is “like a love affair: [creator] Jenji [Kohan], [Mulgrew’s character] Red, and me — a three-way, an ideal creative three-way. I want it to go on and on.” As all the best three-ways do, of course.

Most Genuine-Seeming Display of Humility

Tie: Fargo creator Noah Hawley, who says of his show’s 18 noms: “It seems like an excessive amount of Emmys. They should really give some to someone else”; and Veep’s Armando Iannucci, who said: “Up to 9 nominations now. This is embarrassing. I feel like I’m playing for Germany.” And from the good people of Brazil, a giant TOO SOON emanates.

Most Genuine-Seeming Display of Being Glad People Aren’t Trying to Kill Him With Snakes

85th Annual Academy Awards - Show

Mark Davis/WireImage

Nominated for producing Cosmos, Seth MacFarlane says “Congratulations to Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson and the entire team for all their magnificent work. For once, the Parents’ Television Council sent me a gift basket WITHOUT a cobra at the bottom.”

Most Wasted Opportunity to Stay in Character

Lead Actor in a Drama nominee Matthew McConaughey’s inevitable nod for True Detective was responded to with platitudes: “I am honored to be nominated with such a talented field of actors. This is a tremendous category filled with some riveting performances. Thank you for this recognition.” We couldn’t have gotten even one sly allusion to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and how every second of our sentient meat lives — be they are award-laden or otherwise — are as inherently meaningless as the next?

Most Informative, Spoilery


Psyched about her Guest Actress in a Drama nod for House of Cards, Kate Mara takes the opportunity to fill us in on some things: “I watched the announcements in my trailer with Michael B. Jordan, waiting to go back to set of ‘Fantastic Four.’ I then emailed [Kevin] Spacey to congratulate him and he replied telling me I was nominated. [SPOILER ALERT!] I thanked him for throwing me in front of the train and getting me those pity votes. Gonna celebrate tonight with Reg E. Cathey who was also nominated and is ironically here playing my father in this film.” That’s just some good straight-up detail, Kate Mara. Thank you for sharing.

Best Acceptance of What Many Would Argue Was an Egregious Snub

The peppy people at the Orphan Black Twitter account, shut out of the party, and so currently busy giving us such gems as:

Better luck next year, Tatiana Maslany! And, just in case, maybe start prepping your early-morning reaction now?

Filed Under: TV, Emmys, lizzy caplan, laverne cox, fargo, Noah Hawley, Seth Macfarlane, Matthew McConaughey

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad

More from Amos Barshad

See all from Amos Barshad

More TV

See all TV

More Hollywood Prospectus

See all Hollywood Prospectus