Emmy surprises include Adam Driver, Jason Bateman, new faces in lead drama actress category

July 18, 2013

The Emmy Awards usually don’t bring a lot of change to the table, and this year was no exception. “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” dominated the drama side, while “Modern Family” and “30 Rock” represented comedy. “American Horror Story” swept up the most nods (17), and “The Daily Show” will probably win for variety series for the 12th year in a row. But thanks to Netflix and some no-longer-eligible nominees, we saw a few surprising new names during Thursday’s nominations.

One nod that caught attention was a supporting actor in a comedy for Adam Driver, who plays the slightly unhinged boyfriend of Lena Dunham’s character on HBO’s “Girls.” Driver — who made news this season when he appeared in one of the most sexually explicit scenes on TV in recent history — did not seem like one of the most likely actors to make the list. And yet, there he is, in the company of the “Modern Family” guys (except Eric Stonestreet), “Saturday Night Live’s” Bill Hader and “Veep’s” Tony Hale.

Speaking of unusual categories, the one featuring the biggest overhaul was lead actress in a drama, which featured three first-timers: Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) and Vera Farmiga (A&E’s “Bates Motel”). Connie Britton joined the gang from “Nashville,” though she has, of course, been nominated twice previously for “Friday Night Lights.”

Netflix, of course, also made some waves. “Arrested Development,” generally critically adored, didn’t receive the strongest marks for its return Season 4 on Netflix; therefore, it came as a bit of a surprise that Jason Bateman grabbed the nom for lead actor in a comedy, perhaps robbing last year’s winner, “Two and a Half Men’s” Jon Cryer. (Though he could have taken the spot of Larry David, as “Curb Your Enthusiasm” missed the eligibility date.)

Meanwhile, “Game of Thrones” racked up the nominations, with 16 overall. One surprise? That Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, was one of the people out of the show’s massive cast who nab an acting nomination, for supporting actress in a drama.

Read more about the Emmys:

Complete list of the 65th Emmy Award nominees

Some of this year’s Emmy snubs

‘The Americans’ is hiding in plain sight, and other thoughts from a critic

‘House of Cards,’ ‘Veep,’ ‘Scandal’: Huge presence for D.C.-based shows for Emmys

Emmy nominations, instant reaction: Netflix, Kerry Washington and other things to know

Yes, Netflix’s “House of Cards,” “Arrested Development” are eligible for Emmy nominations

Neal Patrick Harris to host 65th Emmy Awards

Does ‘Mad Men’ deserve an Emmy nomination for outstanding drama?

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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Emily Yahr · July 18, 2013