The Biggest Emmys Snubs and Surprises: 'Modern Family,' McConaughey, and More

Alright, alright, alright: Matthew McConaughey wasn't the only actor whose Emmy night didn't end as planned. Here's a look at the biggest shockers from Monday night's kudofest.


Who won at this year's Emmys? We'll save you some time: pretty much everybody who won last year. While not entirely true—hi, Allison Janney!—this year's winners retraced the same steps to the stage they made last year. So while the big surprises and egregious snubs were a little fewer and farther between than we'd like in a major awards show, here's our round-up of the biggest.

Ty Burrell - SURPRISE

Can you still be shocked if something is boring and predictable? I suppose you can if you were dumb and delusional enough to think that the Emmy voters might liven things up a little bit. Let's be fair: Ty Burrell is incredible on Modern Family. Each episode of his could be a viable submission tape. But he's won before, and there were so many other people who would've been so much more fun to see win instead (among them his co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, though Andre Braugher would have been more deserving).

Louis C.K. - SNUB

Louis C.K. won for writing the brilliant Louie episode "And So Did the Fat Lady," but what's it going to take for him to win an acting trophy for his work on the show? Jim Parsons, who won his fourth Best Actor award Monday night, can now answer the question, what does $1 million an episode buy you? Apparently, Emmy teflon.

Jodie Foster - SNUB

That any voter saw Jodie Foster's wild Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech at the Golden Globes two years ago and did not vote for her for Outstanding Comedy Directing (Foster was nominated for her work on Orange Is the New Black), thus blessing us all with another batshit J. Fost speech, is inexcusable.

Amy Poehler - SNUB

Is it really a snub when Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the one winning the award? God no. But it does seem borderline egregious that Amy Poehler has yet to win an Emmy for Parks and Recreation. We're Team Amy and Team Julia, but perhaps cheering a little bit louder for Team Amy now that Louis-Dreyfus has collected her third straight trophy for Veep. Spread the wealth, Jules.

The Amazing Race - SURPRISE

This is a little joke, y'all. The only things certain in life are death, taxes, and this goddamned show winning another Emmy.

Kathy Bates - SURPRISE

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Kathy Bates was really good on American Horror Story: Coven. Obviously. She's Kathy Bates. But so many pundits ruled Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie a two-way race between Julia Roberts, the mega-movie star slumming it on TV, and Allison Tolman, the season's Hollywood Cinderella story. Especially after the Emmy producers made such a big freaking to-do over Julia Roberts even being present, it looked like Bates didn't stand a chance.

Matt Bomer - SNUB

Four The Normal Heart stars were nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie and Matt Bomer was considered such a lock to win that he'd have been excused to instinctively walk up and grab the trophy anyway because there was so much buzz in his favor. Yet Martin Freeman won for Sherlock instead. Was it a classic case of vote splitting between the four actors or ARE THE EMMYS HOMOPHOBIC??? There's really no way of knowing. (Of course the Emmys aren't homophobic…but it is still shocking that Bomer lost this one.)

Benedict Cumberbatch - SURPRISE

Benedict Cumberbatch triumphed over the critically worshipped performance of Billy Bob Thornton in Fargo and the Emmy baiting work of Mark Ruffalo in Scenery Chewing: The Movie, er, The Normal Heart. Voters really liked Sherlock this year. Who knew!?

Jessica Lange - SURPRISE

Your favorite Supreme and mine, Jessica Lange, triumphed over a not pleased Cicely Tyson in Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie. Tyson is a legend, like legend who is more legendary than Jessica Lange kind of legend. And her work in Trip to Bountiful was widely hailed as an Emmy sure thing. But Lange really deserved her American Horror Story trophy, and is always fun to watch at awards shows. Doesn't Jessica Lange always seems like she's a little bit drunk, but in the best way?

Julianna Margulies - SURPRISE

Sorry, Robin Wright! Sorry, Robin Wright's fabulous haircut!

Matthew McConaughey - SNUB

Are you telling me Matthew McConaughey put on all that fake tanner for NO GOOD REASON? It was a nail biter of a race between McConaughey's spectacular work on True Detective and Bryan Cranston's transcendent Breaking Bad swan song, and Cranston won. This is the kind of situation where either winner would've been deserved. And either loser would've been a snub.

Modern Family - SURPRISE

Modern Family now holds the record for most consecutive wins in Outstanding Comedy Series, winning five trophies in a row. It's a hard pill to swallow not because the show isn't good. It certainly is good and it has been brilliant. It's just that Veep was so tight and smart, Orange Is the New Black so interesting and bold, and The Big Bang Theory so broadly appealing this year. There was some thought, and maybe even some hope, that one of those series would prevail this year instead.