Eleven Shows 2023 Emmy Voters Should Not Miss

By Amy Kim, Phoenix Clouden, Imran Shaikh, Jasmine Graham, Jinwei Li, Aaron Isenstein, and Jordan Stump

Every summer, Emmy pundits and bored Oscar pundits alike gather round to ponder which of their favorite shows will rack up nominations on one fateful morning. However, the fun of Emmy punditry doesn't come from seeing known juggernauts perform well.  What's exciting is when niche gems shock with Emmy success. Though most Emmy nominees are bigger shows with a fair number of well-known actors involved, some of the best shows out there aren't! But that doesn't mean they're any less worthy of awards! Here are 11 shows (and TV movies) that we Midnight Critics believe are deserving of recognition at the Emmys this year despite their low likelihood of obtaining it. 

At the moment, the top 7 in the Drama Series category seems all but tied up. It’s hard to see any of Succession, The White Lotus: Sicily, The Last of Us, Better Call Saul, The Crown, Andor, or Yellowjackets miss that main category. However, there is a clear open slot that many shows are fighting for. It could be taken by House of the Dragon, The Diplomat, The Boys, or even *shudders* Yellowstone. But I ask you this: why not Bad Sisters? This BAFTA-winning, AFI-nominated series is a glorious dramedy that’ll have you chortling one moment and bawling your eyes out the next. What could be more rewarding of a viewing experience than seeing four tight-knit sisters bond over their shared hatred (and subsequent murder attempts) of a man ruining the lives of their fifth sister and her daughter? Bad Sisters is a wild ride, but one that remains emotionally resonant and consistently hilarious throughout. Its commentary on emotional abuse in relationships is especially poignant, as it never pulls any punches in its heartbreaking depiction of it. Whether you’re looking for a solid comedy with consistent laughs, an engaging plot with twists and turns, a powerful drama with incredible emotional payoffs, or a show with fantastic performances, you’re sure to be satisfied with Bad Sisters. So if you’re an Emmy voter, please check this fantastic show out so it has a better chance at nabbing deserved nods in Writing, Supporting Actress (Anne Marie Duff), Actress (Sharon Horgan), and Series! [Amy]

Do Revenge

The TV Movie category at the Emmys is… interesting to say the least. It may have once been a shining collection of hour-long stories, but nowadays it’s a category that no one takes seriously, typically featuring one outstanding movie and 4 other nominees no one has ever heard of (like, what on earth was Reno 911!: The Hunt for QAnon that was nominated last year?). This year, though, there are several streaming exclusive movies that should be in consideration for a nomination this year. My personal favorite? The Netflix film Do Revenge, a teen comedy that follows new student Eleanor befriending popular student Drea. They decide to get revenge on people for each other, and hijinks ensue! Even if not all of the ideas within Do Revenge are original (it is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train after all), the way the film pays homage to films that came before it and were clearly inspired by only serves to make the film better. Films criticizing the high school cliques have existed for decades, but the way these critiques are executed leads to a fun, campy film that never aims to take itself that seriously. Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes have excellent chemistry and are both quite entertaining in this film. Overall, this film is a fun time, paying homage to high school movies before it whilst also putting its own spin on the genre. [Jasmine]

You might think I’m cheating for writing about Fleishman Is in Trouble, a show that is widely predicted to get into the Limited Series lineup this year. However, apart from Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and Beef, there are no limited series guaranteed to get Emmy recognition. Fleishman Is in Trouble also doesn’t have great viewership at the moment, so it could easily miss out on Emmy nominations next month. This absolutely should not happen, though, since Fleishman Is in Trouble is not only the best limited series in contention, but flatout one of the best series to come out in the past few years. Through the recently divorced Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg), his vanished ex-wife Rachel Fleishman (Claire Danes), and his languishing friend Libby Epstein (Lizzy Caplan), this show examines the midlife crises and marriage collapses with stunning direction before going one step further and discussing women’s struggles in a whole new light. It’s a powerful work of television enhanced by layered performances — Lizzy Caplan and Claire Danes in particular stand out in what should be Emmy-winning turns — and thoughtful writing that will keep you thinking long after you watch that final scene. Fleishman Is in Trouble is a must-see show that is far more than meets the eye. It’s also a quick watch, as most of its 8 episodes run shorter than 45 minutes. Do yourself a favor and check out the best limited series of the season before voting. [Amy]

Ghosts (Season 2)

The comedy category may be stacked to the skies this year, but if there’s one show that should steal a coveted spot, it’s the CBS comedy Ghosts. Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar lead this hysterical ensemble comedy about a couple who inherit a house filled with dead people that only the wife can see and hear. The show is both outrageously funny and endlessly endearing. Each ghost has a fantastical backstory that gets explored in depth, and we see what led them there, and why they can’t move on (and if we’re being honest, we really don’t want them to). The chemistry between each character is hilariously dynamic and makes for some hearty belly laughs. Utkarsh and Rose work brilliantly off each other, giving the show a punchy writing style that is easy to enjoy. Because each character is so defined, it makes each episode a compelling viewing. This is a show that could have a long life, but just in case it dies too early, it’d be nice to give it recognition while we have the chance. [Phoenix]

The Legend of Vox Machina (Season 2)

The Legend of Vox Machina was a major surprise for me. Over the years, I had heard of the people involved thanks to YouTube, but I was never really into Dungeons & Dragons. Along came this show, which hooked me right from the start. The Legend of Vox Machina is an enjoyable adventure series with a lovable cast of characters that proved to be a whole lot of fun. Season 2 upped the stakes and became bigger and better, especially in the animation department! The story is both heartwarming and emotionally devastating at times. The details could get a little fuzzy with how vast this world is, but it's refined to the point where it doesn't get confusing for a viewer unfamiliar with the game. The best part has to be the cast of characters, though. The way they grow is surprisingly well-done for a show that tracks the plot of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. This imperfect group of misfits are incredible, and you will find yourself attached to each and every one of them as they endeavor on their journey. Backed up by stellar animation and amazing music, this animated series has already proven to be one of the best in recent years. It would be a shame if it was not recognized as such in the Animated Series category. [Imran]

Mrs. Davis

After Damon Lindelof’s Emmy-winning masterpiece Watchmen, he has finally made his comeback with another fantastic limited series! Mrs. Davis, the current best new show of 2023, is wild, unique, and an absolute blast. It is anchored by none other than its lead Betty Gilpin as Sister Simone, who initially sets out to destroy an artificial intelligence that has taken over people's lives. It may initially sound generic, but it escalates to become something so much more. And trust me, it is genuinely insane what Lindelof does with this concept. There is no way to fully explain the plot of this show without sounding somewhat deranged. It’s one you just have to experience for yourself. Mrs. Davis is probably the most ridiculous and wacky show of this decade, and I couldn't be happier that it exists. The masterful storytelling coupled with social and religious commentary is handled magnificently here. This clever, unique, and downright bonkers series deserves all the views in the world. [Imran]

The Emmys exist to reward the very best in television, and at the moment, no ongoing show touches The Other Two comedically. It’s the funniest show on TV by a large margin, thanks to its incisive commentary on the entertainment industry, its bizarre escalation of every other joke it makes, and its unhinged cast that chews up every line they are given. From random musical numbers to an entire episode taking place during an AIDS play, The Other Two thrives in its absurdity and derives maximum comedy from seemingly inane premises. But what makes this show truly special is how human and authentic it is at its core. Our main characters Brooke and Cary Dubek are two flawed, messy siblings who have been unsuccessful their entire adult lives, and the lengths they will go to in attempts to change this manage to be both deeply relatable and endlessly hilarious. As the show progresses, things only get wilder for the Dubek clan, which means things only get funnier for the audience. It’s also an extremely easy binge, with each season being 10 episodes long and each episode having a 20-30 minute runtime. The Other Two may not be a well-seen show, but it’s one wholly worthy of your time. [Amy]


Reality is a tense, terrifying TV movie that I highly recommend you seek out before voting ends. I was lucky enough to catch this at Berlinale, and I had the best experience. Every Reality screening was shown late in the night to enhance its thriller/horror aspects despite taking place in one location. There are a lot of fascinating directorial choices made here, particularly with the sound, which made Reality a deeply affecting and scary film. I’m giving away as little as possible about the actual plot because I went in blind and had a joyfully anxiety-inducing time with this. What a ride it was! I also have to give a lot of credit to Sydney Sweeney, who is simply remarkable in this. She brings a lot of depth to Reality Winner and even brought me to tears by the end. She may be young, but she would absolutely deserve an Emmy for this performance. But Reality as a film shines overall thanks to how refreshing, unique, and thrilling it is. [Jinwei]

The Rehearsal (Season 1)

Television at its core is an artform. Sure, it may exist as entertainment, but a TV show should also incite thoughts and feelings in you. Otherwise, what separates watching TV from other mind-numbing actions like watching paint dry? With The Rehearsal, Nathan Fielder (whom you may know from his hit show Nathan for You) blends the line of fiction, reality, and what is and isn’t ethical. In fact, its decision to be submitted in the comedy categories can almost be seen as unethical. The Rehearsal is staged, yet unscripted. Everyone is playing themselves, even when they’re playing other people. Everyone is themselves, and if this series is anything to go by, that is a horrifying idea. And that’s what makes The Rehearsal beyond thought-provoking, horrifically entertaining, and one of the most creative shows around. If you’re looking for not only a laugh, but to rethink your entire existence, The Rehearsal is simply the way to go. The show walks on ground that Nathan for You only tip-toed upon, and the way it plays with the personal lives of real people makes you consider your own relationships. Every episode, especially the finale, feels like a revelation about the human condition. The comedy categories this year are stacked, and this show even being a comedy is very debatable. However, for the sake of the artform, don’t let this stop you from seeking out The Rehearsal, a groundbreaking show that more than deserves your vote. [Aaron]

Going into Rye Lane, I didn’t know what to expect. I saw the rave reviews out of Sundance,  but rom-coms have never been my genre of choice for movies. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening. Rye Lane is an exquisite, layered film that I was deeply invested in. Almost the entire film takes place within a single day. During said day, we follow two strangers that connect as they take apart the walls they have up between them and the world. Watching them learn about each other and talk about everything and nothing at all was so seamless and beautiful. The director’s use of colors across this world we stumble through made even the mundane features feel alive and breathing. The writing is witty, smooth, and paced to the perfect degree. The chemistry between David Jonnson and Vivian Oparah was palpable and grew with each passing moment between them. I would put this TV movie up there with some of the best rom-coms I’ve ever witnessed. Since this film won’t be in Oscar conversation, I desperately hope the Emmy voters choose to give this film the love it so desperately deserves. It’s absolutely magnificent and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to everybody I know. Watch this, you absolutely won’t regret it. [Jordan]


If there’s one show that needs to throw its hat in the race for Best Limited Series, it has to be the Donald Glover-penned serial killer satire, Swarm, starring the brilliant Dominique Fishback. Any one who saw Dominique’s breakthrough performance in the Oscar-winning film Judas and the Black Messiah already knew she was destined for stardom. Here, she finally gets the spotlight in a leading role that showcases her incredible range as a vulnerable, wide-eyed, slightly naive, and somewhat unhinged serial killer obsessed with the musical artist named Ni’Jyah (who has many parallels to a certain Queen Bee artist). The show lays out its plot slowly as we begin to see Andrea’s (Fishback) descent into madness, but her reasoning is the intriguing story. Watching it all play out is a fascinating, intense, slightly uncomfortable, and scathing look at cult-like fandoms and the people who are in them. It may be weird to call this show a fun time, but it truly is one. Let’s hope it gets some recognition for being one of the most interesting and daring new shows out there. [Phoenix]