Depressingly Timely The Handmaid’s Tale Was the Big Winner at This Year’s TCA Awards

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This weekend, the Television Critics Association hosted their annual awards ceremony, which attempts to honor the ever-growing mountain of peak TV. With the Emmys only a few weeks away, the TCAs can serve as a predictor for what’s to come (last year, FX’s The People v. OJ Simpson dominated both nights), but also tends to give deserved awards to shows and actors that the Emmys might snub.

FX and other cable channels took the majority of awards, but Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale walked away with both “Outstanding Achievement in Drama” and “Program of the Year.” That’s not too surprising. Not only was the show brilliant and brilliantly made, but it’s also incredibly timely, a factor that tends to be of the utmost importance to critics. Even though the show was in development before the last election, before the political climate turned dystopian, its relevance, however unintentional, is no less harrowing.

https://twitter.com/RonanFarrow/status/891759034210144257

The show is so timely that the Handmaid has quickly become a symbol of the modern war on women’s reproductive rights.

As for the rest of the list, some fantastic shows walked away with awards. I love that they don’t divide the acting categories by gender (and have a pretty balanced track record), and it’s great to see Donald Glover and Atlana get their due recognition.

Amber Dowling, the TCA President said of this year’s awards, “This was one of the most diverse seasons in recent memory, offering a wide range of programming that truly had a little something for everyone. It also treated us to some incredible performances and eclectic plotlines that challenged us, moved us, and thrilled us, reinvigorating the television landscape with bold and innovative subjects that we had rarely seen before.”

Here’s the full list of nominees, with the winners in bold. (Via Vulture):

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us, NBC
Carrie Coon, The Leftovers and Fargo, HBO and FX
Claire Foy, The Crown, Netflix
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies, HBO
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan, FX
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan, FX

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
Pamela Adlon, Better Things, FX
Aziz Ansari, Master of None, Netflix
Kristen Bell, The Good Place, NBC
Donald Glover, Atlanta, FX
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO
Issa Rae, Insecure, HBO
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag, Amazon

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS AND INFORMATION
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, TBS
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, HBO
The Lead With Jake Tapper, CNN
O.J.: Made in America, ESPN
Planet Earth II, BBC America
Weiner, Showtime

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMMING
The Circus, Showtime
The Great British Baking Show, PBS
The Keepers, Netflix
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, A&E
Shark Tank, ABC
Survivor: Game Changers, CBS

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, PBS
Doc McStuffins, Disney Junior
Elena of Avalor, Disney Channel
Odd Squad, PBS
Sesame Street, HBO
Speechless, ABC

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM
Atlanta, FX
The Crown, Netflix
The Good Place, NBC
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
Stranger Things, Netflix
This Is Us, NBC

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINISERIES AND SPECIALS
Big Little Lies, HBO
Fargo, FX
Feud: Bette and Joan, FX
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Netflix
The Night Of, HBO
Wizard of Lies, HBO

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
Better Call Saul, AMC
Stranger Things, Netflix
The Americans, FX
The Crown, Netflix
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
This Is Us, NBC

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
Atlanta, FX
Black-ish, ABC
Fleabag, Amazon
Master of None, Netflix
The Good Place, NBC
Veep, HBO

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Atlanta, FX
Big Little Lies, HBO
Stranger Things, Netflix
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
The Leftovers, HBO
This Is Us, NBC

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Ken Burns

HERITAGE AWARD
Seinfeld

What do you think? Did the right shows get their due? My only complaint is that, after rewatching The Keepers this weekend, I don’t understand how that didn’t win literally every award. That, and Westworld’s inexplicable absence from this entire event.

(image: Hulu)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.