When the Emmy Award nominations were revealed, Marvel fans were delighted to discover that WandaVision had been nominated for no less than 23 awards, including nods in the Limited Series acting categories, but they were less pleased to discover that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier hadn't fared quite so well. While the show did gain a few nominations on the technical side and Don Cheadle's 95 second cameo role, the Marvel faithful have been making a lot of noise over Anthony Mackie not being given a nomination in the Lead Actor category.
While Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie both had lead roles in the series, it was Mackie's Falcon who had a deep, racially sensitive storyline in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to deal with as part of his family backstory, and seemed to be well on the way to securing a nod from the TV Academy, leading to so much more disappointment by those backing him.
Many couldn't work out how Cheadle managed to snag himself a nomination when Mackie failed, although they notably chose to ignore the fact that Cheadle's nod was in the Guest Actor category. There are only so many nominations available, after all, and no one can deny the quality of those who did get a mention in the Lead Actor category. The reactions ranged from the outraged to those who thought they would perhaps offer some tips on how Mackie can manage to win something for his upcoming Captain America 4 role.
While there were plenty of conspiracy theories and 'almost' Marvel Comics storyline worthy ideas as to why Anthony Mackie didn't walk away with his name among the nominations, everyone just had a genuinely disappointed reactions to the news. Mackie gave a great performance in the second addition to Marvel's Disney+ roster, and in any other year, who knows, he may well have landed himself a place on the list.
There has always been something of a snobbish turn of the nose against superhero movies at the Oscars, and with many studios now taking their big screen heroes to the small screen in a number of projects both now and in the future, this was perhaps a chance for the Emmys to prove that this was not the case with the TV equivalent of the Academy Awards. If Mackie has struggled to make the list here, it seems like a long haul for him to have any chance after playing Captain America in a few years' time.
However, the huge nomination haul by WandaVision, which saw both leads, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, gaining nods, along with Kathryn Hahn picking up a Best Supporting Actress nomination to boot, seems to suggest that Mackie missing out could simply be down to a case of bad luck and there being just too many equally good performances in the category. It would have been interesting if Loki had been eligible for this year's awards, with both Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson gaining high praise for their performances.
What we are seeing now more than ever though, is an almost Oscar-like list of names emerging each year as the biggest actors in the world find themselves appearing more often on the small screen than in the big cinema blockbusters we are used to seeing them in. Streaming has changed many things, with money being thrown at TV projects like never before, and if anything that is just going to lead to the decisions made on the Emmy nominations becoming even harder in future.