Amazon Prime’s big wins for Fleabag and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel announce the slept-on streaming service is an awards contender.
There wasn’t any question Netflix walked into the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards looking to snag some golden statues.
For the behemoth streaming service, a good night at the Emmy Awards would have confirmed to the rest of the streaming world that their new approach to content was working. Alas, that wasn’t what happened on Emmy night, by far.
What we witnessed outside of Game of Thrones underperforming and Veep remarkably getting shut out, was the rise of a service that can throw down with the best of what Netflix can offer — Amazon.
On a night that was billed as a heavyweight fight between HBO and Netflix, Amazon had a breakthrough of momentous proportions. The streaming service took home the first four awards of the night, and walked away with seven golden statues in total, three more than Netflix.
Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the latter of which pulled out its surprise success in last year’s Emmys, carried the mantel for Amazon, and it left us with a burning question that we didn’t think we would have had to ask anytime soon — is Netflix losing its golden touch for original content?
It’s too early to tell, and you certainly can’t base the ebb-and-flow of Netflix on one unexpected Emmy night. Keep in mind that Netflix had a pretty solid night, with Ozark, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and When They See Us walking away with wins. However, Netflix has a certified award-winning new foe in the streaming world. Before Emmy night, one could reasonably say that Hulu was the closest Netflix had to a contender, especially with The Handmaid’s Tale being gold for Hulu.
After Emmy night, one can’t be faulted for replacing Hulu with Amazon, and there are indeed some warning signs ahead for Netflix. Take When They See Us for example. The exceptional dramatic series that focused on the exonerated “Central Park Five” got 16 Emmy nominations and only walked away with two awards. Netflix was counting on When They See Us as a way to end one of the streamer’s dubious streaks at the Emmy.
Netflix still has a donut in the main three categories — Best Drama, Best Comedy, or Best Series — and looking at their upcoming releases, it’s hard to see the streaming service breaking that streak next year. Not that they won’t have a breakout hit, they certainly can. However, it’s just not on the horizon with the titles that are being released.
Some are saying that this year was Netflix’s last shot at finally breaking through in the main categories, especially since Apple (Apple TV+) and Disney (Disney+) will be entering the streaming arena next year and providing their original content, making Netflix’s road to Emmy glory that much harder.
The door isn’t closed for Netflix, but Amazon’s dominance over the legacy streamer on Emmy night does show a troubling sign that Netflix can crack when they are matched up with an equal foe, which doesn’t bode well for its Emmy future. Amazon didn’t deliver the knockout punch, but it dealt Netflix a blow, and only time will tell if they can get up from the mat.