Damon Lindelof is not going to lie and tell you he wasn’t a little bummed out about the bruising left hook Emmy voters landed on The Leftovers earlier this month when they honored the acclaimed HBO drama with a total of zero nominations in the major categories.
“I wish I could say I don’t care about that stuff,” he admitted to me over the weekend at TVLine’s Comic-Con interview lounge (watch video above). “But the Emmys are a big deal. It’s the validation of your peers. I’m voting for the shows that I love.”
That’s not to say Lindelof was blindsided by The Leftovers‘ poor showing (Ann Dowd’s guest nod was the series’ lone nomination). “The most surprising thing for me was how unsurprised I was at the result,” he confessed. “I was like, ‘Oh, we were a dark horse all along.’ And that’s what being a dark horse is — it means it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to crack through.
“We all have to basically accept that the Emmys tend to embrace out-of-the-gate spectacular things like Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Crown, This Is Us, all of which deserve to be in [the best drama series] category,” he continued. “And they also embrace the shows that have been in that category before [like House of Cards]. The Leftovers was neither of those things.”
In the end, Lindelof is choosing to focus on the positive. “Go Ann Dowd!” he exclaimed. “She’s the one Emmy nomination we have over the three years and that feels exactly right to me.”