There are two certainties in life: death and The CW getting repeatedly snubbed by the Emmys.
This is not a hypothetical view. In fact back on 2012’s Emmy nomination day The CW itself tweeted: “#Emmy nomination day! Or as we call it, Thursday.”
This lack of recognition of existence isn’t just exclusive to The CW. The Academy has ignored previously, CW’s forefathers The WB and UPN. And, it is not ready to turn over a new leaf for The CW either. The bigger problem is, The CW is home to umpteen fan favorite series. Since it’s a teen centric channel, the show’s binge watchers include the heart of the TV audience: youngsters. These young viewers aren’t not only in great control of the internet, the social media and the entertainment industry, but they also campaign quite effectively to get their best-loved recognized.
It remains beyond our comprehension, why even with such fiery and zealous viewers; CW shows get no Emmy love. CW shows wouldn’t have necessarily fared well at other award shows if they hadn’t had the quality. Forums like Golden Globes and Teen Choice Awards have realized the supremacy of CW paragons like Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex Girlfriend. The aforementioned shows carry shades from classics that have won before, and make their flesh relevant for contemporary times. If these shows had aired on different channels like ABC, or even CBS; the Emmys would not have hesitated picking them up for nomination lists.
The Academy functions on what can be called ‘genre inferiority”. The Oscars do not give nods to superhero flicks irrespective of how brilliant they are. The Academy failed to recognize The Dark Knight for a best picture nomination despite its popularity and critical acclaim, at the Oscars. And, in a similar arbitrary move The spectacular first 2 seasons of CW’s ‘The Flash’ were refused Emmy nods. Perhaps, superhero fiction is still viewed as ‘disposable waiting room reads’ as they have after all evolved from pulpy children comics. However, what the Academy fails to glaze on is, TV shows based on comics are much more intelligent than their source materials.
The Flash ingeniously depicted the concept on time travelling and alternate dimensions. It did not mire its audience into a swamp of undecipherable physics and unworldly knowledge, much unlike the Emmy nominated Westworld. Rather more acutely comprehending the brain of an average audience, it used sci-fi to serve a stronger narrative purpose. Probably the only reason the Emmys showered love on Westworld and not on Flash was because, Westworld was sci-fi minus superheroes while Flash remained about science and saving the world. The Academy idolizes historical, musicals, political thrillers and adult content; and these are exactly all the genres The CW remains uninterested in.
The CW perhaps too, overdoes the same thing. It doesn’t just move out of fantasy for even a split of a second. It currently airs 9 superhero-fantasy shows including Supernatural, The Arrow and the more recently launched Black Lightning. To have the Marvel and DC universe dominate your content is indeed distinctive, but too much can make things monotonous. If the channel is about making teens watch their shows, I am sure as a teenager myself that I wouldn’t just only watch too superhero shows. At some point, I’d require super hero detox and would want to watch something wise but real. A younger version of Mad Men would just do fine. Or, The CW could also actually correctly do a show on mental health, something Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why terribly failed at.
From its current lineup, if the prejudice against superhero continues, Riverdale might actually get an Emmy nod. In the past, shows like Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars have made it to the Emmys. But, have occupied the subservient categories. For The CW to make it big at the Emmys, the Academy needs to stop treating it like its red-haired stepchild and the network needs to step up its game in terms of content diversity.