On Monday, MTV announced the nominees for their delayed MTV Movie & TV Awards and inaugural MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted. With television and film sharing space in categories such as Best Hero, Best Villain, Best Dou, Best Fight and Best Comedic Performance, Variety points out that the television nominees outweigh the film nominees in such categories as a result of the lackluster box office year brought on by COVID-19. Disney+’s freshman entry into Marvel Studios television division, WandaVision, led with five nominations, followed by Amazon’s The Boys and Netflix’s Emily in Paris and Bridgerton.
Who should take home Best Show at the #MTVAwards this year?!
🍿 Cobra Kai
🍿 Emily in Paris
🍿 The Boys
— MTV (@MTV) April 20, 2021
“TV has taken a front seat this year,” Variety says of the 2020 nominees for the MTV Movie & TV Awards. Formerly the MTV Movie Awards, television was introduced into the ceremony in 2017 and has slowly taken more prominence at the award show – culminating in a near-complete takeover this year.
— The Boys (@TheBoysTV) April 19, 2021
Though the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown television and film productions, television was inevitably able to move forward without the reliance on physical theaters. Eventually many films opted for digital-only or hybrid releases, however 2020 mostly left a void in “the kind of crowd-pleasing, popcorn-ready films that the MTV awards show normally celebrates” (Variety). Fortunately, television was there to fill that void.
Streaming television in particular dominated the MTV Movie & TV Awards nomination list, with network television only represented in one-off nominations. According to Variety, single-nomination network series include for Killing Eve, Schitt’s Creek, Lovecraft Country and I May Destroy You, a series the Golden Globes was criticized for overlooking.
🍿 Huge news! 🍿
— Schitt’s Creek (@SchittsCreek) April 20, 2021
The MTV Movie & TV Awards will air live Sunday, May 16, with the new MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted airing the following evening. Television dominates the second night of the awards even more so than the first, as the MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted “incidentally includes no movies at all as it celebrates reality television” (CNN). While network competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race leads in unscripted nominations, streaming series such as Netflix’s Bling Empire and Nailed It! also make up a large portion of the nomination base.
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As both the MVT Movie & TV Awards and MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted are set to be a celebration of television, it seems apropos that WandaVision leads the flagship award show’s nomination list as the series likewise paid homage to television through the ages.