It’s safe to declare that Netflix absolutely dominated the Emmy nominations for 2020. It beat out all of its rivals in the streaming and non-streaming space, garnering a massive 160 Emmy nominations in total. For the second time ever, Netflix was the most nominated platform, easily besting HBO.
In a sign of the diverse array of content, Netflix was nominated in 10 of the 11 major categories. The best-performing programs for the streamer include Ozark, The Crown, Hollywood, Stranger Things, and Unorthodox. While the dramas ruled, standup comedy specials like Tiffany Haddish‘s Black Mitzvah and documentary features like Don’t F*ck with Cats also had a good showing. The Mamas Uncut team decided to compile our favorite Emmy-nominated content from Netflix this year. We think these shows, specials, and movies are some of the best of the best. If you’re looking for quarantine boredom relief, check out these awesome nominees from Netflix.
Don’t F*ck with Cats
If you’re after a truly bizarre and wild true-crime series, check out Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. The series follows the hunt for one of Canada’s most infamous murderers. It explores both the good and bad sides of the internet as amateur sleuths try to catch a killer. Believe it or not, social media can be used for good.
If you haven’t seen Tiger King yet, you’re probably purposefully avoiding it. The true-crime series has some colorful, larger-than-life characters if you somehow missed it. The show was a viral sensation at the beginning of the pandemic and continues captivating the imaginations of audiences today. We wish the people in Tiger King would have heeded Don’t F*ck with Cats warning.
Netflix’s gritty crime drama, Ozark was its most-nominated show, including a nom for Outstanding Drama Series. Come for the great performances from Jason Bateman and Laura Linney and stay for Julia Garner.
So, The Politician isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s a very Ryan Murphy show for better or worse. The series follows a group of power-hungry students vying to become president of their high school. It’s very funny and at times touching.
The End of the F***ing World 2
While season 2 of this black comedy lacked the freshness of the first, it was still a blast to watch. Its star, Jessica Barden, fizzles with hilarious angst. The second season did see the introduction of a few new characters that we thoroughly enjoyed. In particular, Bonnie played by Naomi Ackie.
Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin continued to slay the game in season three of this show. Gilpin is nominated for her performance this year. The wrestling dramedy soared to new heights this season and highlighted the storylines of some of the supporting cast beautifully.
Queer Eye got into a groove after its first season and continued to touch and charm in its latest. The makeover show is nominated for a whopping nine Emmys this year.
Dead to Me
Dead to Me is so unapologetically melodramatic and soapy. We loved the latest season! How can you go wrong with a vehicle starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini?
Abstract: Art of Design
The second season of Abstract, a doc series about designers and artists was exceptional. If you don’t want to watch every episode (you should), we recommend two that blew our minds. The third episode follows costume designer Ruth Carter, who is iconic. Next, in episode four, you’re introduced to a toy designer or play designer, Cas Holman who is revolutionizing the way kids interact with objects and each other.
Grace and Frankie
Lily Tomlin proves for 1,000th time that she deserves everything. She and Jane Fonda are wonderful in every single one of this show’s 78 episodes. The latest season sees their characters making some bold new life choices so if you’re not caught up, go ahead and dig in.
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas
While Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas didn’t gut us the way Nanette did, it still is an enlightening and funny special. This time, the comedian is performing after receiving tons of critical acclaim and with it, fame. Gadsby’s meditation on the way it has changed her is whipsmart.
Hollywood, another Ryan Murphy-produced drama, reimagines a more equitable filmmaking industry where women were producers of some of the finest films of the golden age. It’s delightfully campy. Patti Lupone and Holland Taylor do a lot of the heavy lifting the latter half of the season, so be prepared to end up loving each episode more than the last.
Many people don’t know the story of America’s first female, self-made, millionaire. Fortunately, Netflix released the limited series all about Madam C.J. Walker starring Octavia Spencer in the title role! The four-episode series is a modest 3 hours and easily digestible. Spencer’s performance is electric and earned her a nomination for Best Actress in a Limited Series.
We love adventure in all of its forms and adventurous eating is the best part! Chef David Chang seems to be filling the void that Anthony Bourdain left in this space (we’d argue that Padma Lakshmi‘s Taste the Nation is already on that level). Chang is so personable and easy to watch in this series and we want to devour it all over again!
Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah
You might think you’ve seen Tiffany Haddish “unfiltered” but if you haven’t seen Black Mitzvah, you have not seen anything yet. On her 40th birthday, Haddish gets candid about her journey to womanhood. It’s hilarious because Haddish isn’t afraid to make fun of any and all aspects of herself.
Circus of Books
Circus of Books is a delightful doc about Karen and Barry Mason a straight, seemingly conservative couple, who end up fully emersed in the LGBT community. How did that happen? It’s all thanks to their bookstore which evolved into an LA mainstay for gay men. The documentary, by way of the Masons, explores queer history from the 1970s to the present. It’s fantastic!
Former first lady Michelle Obama gives an inside look into her 2019 book tour for Becoming. Watching her connect with her readers and fans is so inspiring. But, what’s going to be more interesting to viewers (if you haven’t yet read her memoir) are the details of her life story from childhood to the White House.
Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything
Patton Oswalt is nominated for outstanding writing for I Love Everything. This heartfelt, hilarious, and humanist standup special is what makes Oswalt such a genuine talent. Unlike many other male comics, the comedian always finds commonality with his audience in the most compelling ways.
The Emmys are good to the Obamas this year. The doc, American Factory is the couple’s first foray into producing with their production company Higher Ground Productions. The film chronicles the rise of robotics and the fall of manual labor all while globalization continues to change how business is done around the world. It’s enthralling.
If you’re after some spunky reality TV, you’re going to love Cheer. The series follows cheerleaders from Navarro College as they prepare for the biggest competition of their lives. It’s like a real-life Bring It On! It’s truly amazing how much the sport can change lives. If you liked Last Chance U, you’ll love this show.
There are very few food competition series we can get behind and Nailed It! is one of them. The host of the series, Nicole Byer is to blame as she’s the only redeemable thing about this show and the only reason to watch it. She’s charming, hilarious, bold, and warm. The host takes reliability to the next level in this silly cooking series. She’s nominated for an Emmy and she rightfully deserves the win!
Love is Blind
If you’re looking for something to passively watch, Love is Blind is pretty background music. This dating show is breaking any new ground but it does deal with the struggles people face while dating. Somehow, this reality series is nominated for three Emmys.
While The Crown is generally loved by TV critics many viewers found the first seasons a bit dry. If you tried this show but didn’t feel moved by it, give it a second chance. The show does pick up the pace and Claire Foy’s turn as Queen Elizabeth II is truly remarkable. In its third installment, Olivia Colman’s wonderfully colorful interpretation is also a joy to watch. She’s nominated for an Emmy for her daring portrayal of The Queen. Altogether, the show is Netflix’s second most-nominated show.
The Black Godfather
The Black Godfather is a documentary about Clarence Avant, a music executive who influenced legends such as Bill Withers, Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron, Presidents Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton. His story is told by the people who worked with him and knew him best in this exceptional doc.
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Our favorite thing Netflix has put out recently, Unorthodox quietly premiered on the streaming platform in March. Shira Haas stars as Etsy, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who flees her arranged marriage and community to attend music school in Germany. Hass is nominated for her performance (and we think she’s got a good chance at winning) and the show itself is also nominated in the Limited Series category. At only four episodes long, this is an easy one to get through. We highly recommend this excellent drama.
There you go! 25 Emmy-nominated shows from Netflix that we think you should try. Netflix puts out all sorts of content so there’s something for everyone on this list!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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