EVERY Better Call Saul Emmy Snub

Better Caul Saul has only recently come to an end, and what a journey it was. Against all odds, it managed to come out of Breaking Bad’s shadow to forge a path of its own. With such critical acclaim, and with Season 6 being arguably the best yet, it must have won a butt-load of Emmys. Surely?

Well, no. After 46 nominations across its six seasons, Better Call Saul managed to rake in zero trophies. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I don’t know what the television academy are smoking, but it can’t be anything good.

Through sheer spite and anger, I’m going to list out all 46 nominations and give my thoughts on whether they should have won or not. Will the second half of Season 6 win any Emmys at the 2023 ceremony? Possibly, but I wanted to vent my frustration now while it’s still piping hot.

Before this torrent of rage, you can check out some of my related blog posts below:

Lead Actor

Bob Odenkirk was nominated five times for his excellent work as Jimmy McGill / Saul Goodman:

  • Season 1 (2015)
  • Season 2 (2016)
  • Season 3 (2017)
  • Season 4 (2019)
  • Season 6 (2022)

Immediately, you’ll notice that his work in Season 5 wasn’t even nominated – a huge snub, but not even the worst offender on the list.

I reckon he should’ve won it for Season 4, although I’m told Billy Porter in Pose was also a deserved winner. The one that really sucks in the most recent one, Season 6 – Lee Jung-jae won it instead for Squid Game, a limited series that was more of a quick cultural phenomenon than a drama masterpiece that stretched six seasons.

All in all, Odenkirk’s performance might be the best leading role in a drama series to never win the trophy.

Supporting Actor / Actress

Three of the Better Call Saul cast were nominated for their supporting roles, across all of the six seasons:

  • Jonathan Banks (Mike) – Season 1
  • Jonathan Banks – Season 2
  • Jonathan Banks – Season 3
  • Jonathan Banks – Season 4
  • Giancarlo Esposito (Gus) – Season 4
  • Giancarlo Esposito – Season 5
  • Rhea Seahorn (Kim) – Season 6

The two that stand out the most to me are Jonathan Banks in Season 1 and Rhea Seahorn for Season 6.

Starting with Banks – the episode “Five-O” should’ve been a guaranteed Emmy. He ended up losing to Peter Dinklage for Season 5 of Game of Thrones, but Tyrion ended up winning 4 trophies total so he could have shared one!

I can’t believe Rhea Seahorn has only been nominated once for Kim Wexler, but her one nomination should’ve been the one success. She is absolutely electric across all of Season 6, and her breakdown in “Waterworks” was heart-breaking (although I don’t think that episode was eligible for this year’s Emmys, so she’d better win the trophy next year!). Yet again, serial winner Julia Garner for Ozark should’ve spared one for the best female performance in a drama TV show ever.

As a side note, why was Michael Mando (Nacho) not nominated for Season 6? Or Michael McKean (Chuck) for Season 3? I’ll never understand the academy’s thought process.

Writing

It’s no surprise that the Better Call Saul writing team got recognised with nominations, sometimes twice in the same year, but I’m astounded they never won.

  • Five-O (Gordon Smith)
  • Chicanery (Gordon Smith)
  • Winner (Peter Gould / Thomas Schnauz)
  • Bad Choice Road (Thomas Schnauz)
  • Bagman (Gordon Smith)
  • Plan and Execution (Thomas Schnauz)

Well done to Gordon Smith and Thomas Schnauz for getting nominated three times!

The first serious snub is Chicanery from Season 3, one of the best-written episodes of TV I’ve ever seen. It lost to “Offred” from The Handmaid’s Tale, so that must’ve been a bloody good episode to beat it.

Next up we have “Winner”, the fantastic Season 4 finale filled to the brim with great character moments. Unfortunately, it had the displeasure of coming up against Succession’s “Nobody Is Ever Missing”, and any writer would have a tough time coming up against that show.

Succession’s “All the Bells Say” once again spoiled the party for Season 6’s “Plan and Execution” … but since that mid-season finale is my favourite BCS episode of them all, I think it deserved a win.

I’m sure there are a dozen other episodes worthy of nomination, but to be fair I think the academy picked the right ones to showcase. They instead fumbled at the final hurdle by not picking any as the winner.

Sound Mixing

Better Caul Saul surprisingly got quite a few Sound Mixing nominatons:

  • Marco (Season 1)
  • Klick (Season 2)
  • Witness (Season 3)
  • Talk (Season 4)
  • Bagman (Season 5)
  • Carrot and Stick (Season 6)

I’m no expert in this category, but I thought Bagman’s sound was half of the reason why it was so intense. It lost to The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel’s “A Jewish Girl Walks Into the Apollo” … okay then, I guess?

Sound Editing

A similar sort of story to the mixing, except with less nominations:

  • Talk (Season 4)
  • Bagman (Season 5)
  • Carrot and Stick (Season 6)

Again, I would’ve liked Bagman to win, but it ended up losing to the Stranger Things episode “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt” which I’m not too mad about.

Editing

I’ve always thought Better Call Saul’s editing was top notch, but the lack of trophies makes me think the academy doesn’t see it that way. The nominations were:

  • Five-O (Season 1)
  • Marco (Season 1)
  • Rebecca (Season 2)
  • Nailed (Season 2)
  • Chicanery (Season 3)
  • Witness (Season 3)

They forgot the show existed after Season 3, I guess.

I really liked how they edited Chuck’s illness in “Nailed”, but it did come up against Game of Thrones’s “Battle of the Bastards” that year. That’s a lost cause if I’ve ever seen one.

Music Supervision

I didn’t realise this was even a category, but Thomas Golubic ended up getting nominated four separate times. Good for him!

  • Sunk Costs (Season 3)
  • Something Stupid (Season 4)
  • The Guy for This (Season 5)
  • Black and Blue (Season 6)

I don’t really have an opinion on this one – all of the song choices were great, but I have no idea how they compared to the other shows nominated in the same category.

Miscellaneous

There were a few categories where Better Caul Saul only got nominated once and never again:

  • Guest Actor – Michael McKean for “Winner” (Season 4)
  • Visual Effects – “Fifi” (Season 2)
  • Direction – Vince Gilligan for “Witness” (Season 3)

Again, I don’t know if any of these should’ve won their respective category, but I certainly noticed a few glaring omissions.

Why is there only one Direction nomination? So many episodes, like “Bagman” and “Plan and Execution”, work so well because the direction is some of TV’s very best.

I don’t think the second half of Season 6 was eligible for this year’s Emmys, so hopefully Bryan Cranston’s return as Walter White in the finale “Saul Gone” will win the Guest Actor accolade in 2023.

Drama Series

And now we hit the big one – Outstanding Drama Series. Better Call Saul was actually nominated for every season, so instead of listing them out I’ll give my thoughts as to whether each season should have won.

SEASON 1 – A solid start, but I’m not surprised it didn’t take the award home. Breaking Bad was still fresh in people’s minds, so it would have to take a few years to carve its own path.

SEASON 2 – The weakest season of the show, so no Emmy for this one.

SEASON 3 – This is where Better Call Saul started to come into its own, and to be honest I reckon it could have beaten Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s a close one, though, so I’ll give it a pass.

SEASON 4 – This season isn’t necessarily the strongest, but it came runner-up to Season 8 of Game of Thrones. So yeah, I’m pissed this season didn’t come out victorious.

SEASON 5 – A really amazing season of television, but when you come up against Succession Season 2 you’re bound to lose. I still think it should have won, though.

SEASON 6 – Once again losing to Succession Season 3, but I think Season 6 was good enough to bring home the bacon. Damn you Succession and your perfect writing!

So in summary: Seasons 3 and 5 could have maybe won, Season 6 probably should have won, and it’s scandalous that Season 4 didn’t win.

All in all, the academy should be ashamed of themselves. I think I read somewhere that the second half of Season 6 will be eligible for the 2023 ceremony, so I sincerely hope they rectify their mistakes. That being said, it’s very likely they’ll just forget about / snub the show again one final time.

Aaaaand I’ve vented to completion. You can check out some of my more positive blog posts below:

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