Why 'Better Call Saul' Never Won A Single Emmy Despite Getting 46 Nominations

The Emmy Awards 2022 snubbing 'Better Call Saul' feels personal.

Hot Take
3 min read
Why 'Better Call Saul' Never Won A Single Emmy Despite Getting 46 Nominations

Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad’s much-celebrated prequel, was nominated for seven Emmys this year. The show has had 46 nominations during its entire run spanning seven years. Despite its brilliance in terms of acting, storytelling, cinematography, casting, (you name it, and the show has nailed it), Better Call Saul went its entire run without winning a single Emmy award.


Instead, shows like Succession, Ted Lasso, and Squid Game ended up winning big, and rightly so. These shows are as brilliant as they come, and there are a number of factors that set these shows apart from Better Call Saul, which probably led to them sweeping the Emmys.


1. Popularity

There is no doubt about the fact that Better Call Saul isn’t popular; it is. But perhaps not as much as Succession or Squid Game. In fact, if compared against these shows, I’d even like to argue that BCS is in a niche category. My experience of viewing it made one thing clear: it’s not a show meant for everyone. It’s not fast-paced, it doesn’t have crazy twists and turns and even crazier characters like Roman or Hang Mi-neo that contribute to making the stories more interesting and “spicy”.

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in Succession.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

A memefest doesn’t begin everytime BCS’ new season premiers, unlike its counterparts that received awards. The show’s new episodes don’t start trending on Twitter hours after their release. This might also happen because a show like Squid Game is popular worldwide, whereas BCS doesn’t enjoy the same recognition.


2. Grounded Plotlines and Characters

BCS’ characters, just like Breaking Bad, are such that you might know them in real life too. They are normal people with unusual complexities that occur within their normal lives. However, Breaking Bad got its break after some astounding ratings (9.5 on IMDb) and also earning the accolade of “most critically acclaimed TV show of all time” from the Guinness Book of World Records. 

BCS  is very grounded in terms of its characters and situations. It doesn’t show ultra-rich siblings fighting for a piece of their father’s legacy. It doesn’t involve a dystopian setting where playing games is the only way to make it out alive and solve all your life’s problems with a huge some of money. 

Rather, Better Call Saul is a drama that demands its user’s attention. You can’t watch it passively; the show’s mystique is in the fact that you have to read between the lines. A lot. It is far from the shows that will spoon-feed plot twists to the viewer. It takes time to capture reactions of the characters, and spends even more time building their background, giving us more insight into why a character is the way it is.

If you start enjoying Better Call Saul, you might finish an entire season in a single seating. But if you don’t enjoy it, you’ll give up in the first 10 minutes itself. There is no in between.

It is possible that a plot like this can be perceived as “boring” or “slow-paced” which will affect its popularity even further.


3. The Emmys Have Become Increasingly Predictable

All the shows that won in major categories are widely popular. Everyone expected them to win, and the Emmys didn’t surprise me in any category at all. Fans of shows like Only Murders in The Building (17 nominations, 3 awards), Barry (14 nominations) and Severance (14 nominations) are also disappointed about the predictable outcome of the awards.

A still from Only Murders In The Building.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

I get that the shows that won are brilliant, but characters like Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn and Jonathan Banks’ performances were some of the best I have ever seen in television history, and snubbing them of these well-deserved honours is sad and foolish at the same time.

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Topics:  Netflix   Emmys   HBO Succession 

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