Why Watch the Emmys? We Found 25 Reasons

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that the “Oscars of Television” were happening Monday, January 15th (8pm ET/ 5pm PT on Fox and FXX).  That’s because they were pushed four months from their usual September date, thanks to the actors and writers strikes, and it’s been a mad scramble to hype all of the awards shows in the wake.

The Emmys 2024If you’ve cut the cord, your only option of watching it live is through Hulu+Live TV or Fubo, which are not a small price to pay, and you might be wondering…why bother watching?

We did some homework and found 25 good reasons, from a few legends whose careers date back to the 50s to cast reunions from the 80s and 90s…to the spotlights on the best shows and talents that have flown under radars. And don’t forget the perk of seeing your favorite cast of cheating, murdering, dying vacationers all chummy and alive and out of character.

The Nostalgia Dose

This year the “Oscars of TV” is taking us back, gathering teams of presenters from favorite shows of yesteryear. The ones they’ve made public:

  • A Cheers reunion with Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Kelsey Grammer, John Ratzenberger and George Wendt gathering around the bar.
  • A therapy office set Sopranos reunion with Lorraine Bracco (more recently in Rizzoli & Isles) and Michael Imperioli – who is nominated this year for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for White Lotus. 
  • The Emmys 2024Flashing back all the way back to the late 90s, expect an Ally McBeal reunion with Calista Flockhart (she was since in Supergirl), Greg Germann (Grey’s Anatomy), Peter MacNicol (Veep) and Gill Bellows (Chucky).
  • SNL Weekend Update teammates and former Emmy Awards hosts Tina Fey (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Amy Poehler–who’s nominated for Outstanding Host, Reality or Competition Program for Baking It.
  • The Emmys 2024American Horror Story alums Connie Britton (Dear Edward) and Dylan McDermott (FBI: Most Wanted)
  • Martin Lawrence and his Martin co-stars Tisha Campbell (Harley Quinn), Carl Anthony Payne II (Young Dylan) and Tichina Arnold (The Neighborhood).
  • Grey’s Anatomy’s early days stars will be joining Ellen Pompeo, including Katherine Heigl (Firefly Lane), Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., and Chandra Wilson.

Rounding up the biggest TV stars from the 80s and 90s is a feat in itself, but the Emmys honored a couple of a legends who go much further back:  Carol Burnett, who just celebrated 90 Years of Laughter + Love, and Dame Jackie Collins, who ruled Dynasty in the 80s and was just in American Horror Story.  So lure all the generations to the couch to join you, and get ready to explain who some of these people are:


The Talent Who Presented

The Emmys 2024The actors all but disappeared for six months, thanks to the dual strikes that put the kibosh on not just production from promotion, so consider the Emmy’s TV and streaming’s “welcome back” event for series.

Pedro Pascal, nominated not just for The Last of Us and narrating the documentary Patagonia, is also nominated for hosting SNL. That primed him for delivering some live comedy from the stage. If he wins for Last of Us, Pascal will be the first Latino actor to win in the Outstanding Actor for a Drama Series category.

The Emmys 2024The larger than life Color Purple star Taraji P. Henson (Empire) is a natural born presenter, and she’s also up for her Guest Appearance in Abbott Elementary — the hit sitcom that’s nominated across the categories. Ted Lasso breakout stars Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddington and the latest FThe Emmys 2024argo faces, Jon Hamm and Juno Temple, will get guaranteed stage time — as will four-decade acting vet Jason Bateman, most recently in Ozark.

Beyond the star wattage at the event, the Emmys are worth it for introducing us to lesser known series that could become our next favorite winter watch. We combed through the nominees to surface a few you might want to check out after the ceremony.


The First Time Nominees

Bad Sisters

The Emmys 2024
c. Apple TV+

A pitch dark Irish comedy-drama, the Apple TV+ series won the British BAFTA award last year, but somehow fell shy of getting an overall series nod from the Emmys. Yet it’s star, Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe), is up for Best Lead Actress in Drama as well as in the writing category, and the entire cast has made a splash — earning a Casting nominee. Set in Dublin, the four Garvey sisters despise their fifth sister Grace’s husband, as he’s an abusive monster. So when he dies, a life insurance agent suspects the siblings…as do we, as there are flashbacks of them plotting his death. The series works thanks to the Garvey sisters’s bond—they bicker and banter but also support one another.  If Horgan wins, she’ll be the first Irish actress to earn the Emmy.  Fun celebrity sighting:  Eve Hewson, star of Flora and Son (and the daughter of Bono), plays one of the sisters. Where to stream Bad Sisters: Apple TV+ 


Welcome to Chippendales

The Emmys 2024
c. Hulu

You might have missed this darkly comedic miniseries about the co-creator of Chippendales, but you’ll hear it mentioned a few times during the awards ceremony. This is the fictionalized true story about the man who helped build the all male “cabaret act” into a powerful enterprise before killing his business partner, and  it’s up for five nominations in the limited series category — including for lead actor Kumail Nanjiani and supporting actor for Murray Bartlett, who plays the business partner (and is also nominated for his guest actor performance in The Last Of Us). Magic Mike was fiction and this is about the shocking real deal, but it’s also an immigrant’s story full of sex, greed, murder.  Where to stream Welcome to Chippendales:  Hulu


Fleishman Is In Trouble  

The Emmys 2024
c. Hulu

We actually recommended this mini-series when it first debuted, but that was back in November 2022, and it got buried in the onslaught of end of year releases. Now it’s up for seven Emmy nominations, including for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. The story stars Jesse Eisenberg as the titular Fleishman, who, after his wife disappears one day after they break up, retraces the arc of their relationship and its aftermath. While Eisenberg is the star, Lizzy Caplan and Adam Brody play his scene-stealing friends trying to help him, earning Caplan a Lead Actress nod.  While Claire Danes, the missing wife, is as raw and riveting as she’s ever been — earning her a Best Supporting Actress nod.  Despite the divorce story, there is humor, light, and insight to be gleaned throughout the series. If you have recently gone through a breakup or have tried to help a friend in a splitsville crisis, you might take to this one — which ultimately tells the tale from each side.  Where to watch Fleishman is in Trouble: Hulu 


Jury Duty 

The Emmys 2024
c. Freevee

Jury Duty upends the formula for a comedy and a reality show by combining the two. It follows innocent civilian (Ronald Gladden) after he’s called for jury duty. But little does he know, the cameras are there not to capture the modern day jury duty experience, but to see how Ronald reacts when he’s dropped — unbeknownst to him — into an entirely fake trial where every other person is an actor. Jury Duty largely works thanks to Gladden himself, who handles the chaos around him in a sweet and calm manner. In one episode, after being sequestered with a particularly eccentric juror (played by David Brown), Gladden shows him A Bug’s Life — so he’ll see that it’s okay to be different. James Marsden also scored an Emmy nod for playing an over the top narcissistic version of himself, reminding everyone how famous he is, and the fun he has embracing the parody is infectious.  Where to watch it: Freevee


Nominees You May Not Have Seen

While most of the nominated shows have been talked about around the water cooler for a few years now, there are a few that have been lurking in the shadows.  Here are three that may become your next streaming obsession. 

Black Bird

The Emmys 2024
c. Apple TV+

Based on a true story, Black Bird is a gripping Apple miniseries from bestselling novelist Dennis Lehane about the football star turned drug dealer Jimmy Keene, who went undercover for the FBI while in prison to befriend Larry Hall — a former Civil War reenactor who was suspected of raping and killing dozens of girls and women. Hall is played by Paul Walter Hauser in a breakout role that his earned him an Emmy nod as well as last year’s Golden Globe in the supporting actor category, while Keene is played by Taron Egerton (best known for The Kingsman movies and playing Elton John in Rocketman), up for an Emmy for a Lead Actor in a Limited Series, and for good reason. As the Watercooler’s Tom Joliffe describes it, Egerton walks “the perfect tightrope between cocksure arrogance and vulnerability, at once calculated and slick but also naive.” Also up for a nomination is the late great Ray Liotta, for a role that pays tribute to one of his best films. Don’t google the actual story until you’ve watch this one! he way the story unravels will keep you engrossed, as doubt is cast at every turn.   Where to stream Black Bird:  Apple TV+



The Emmys 2024
c. Showtime

As it’s on Showtime, which now competes with not just HBO, Starz, and FX but Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and Hulu, wider audiences have yet to see Yellowjackets. They are missing out. The drama, which earned Emmy nods for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (yay Melanie Lynskey!), tells the story of a high school girls’ soccer team that survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, and alternates between then and now as it follows their lives 25 years later. Part mystery, part horror, and part psychological drama, Yellowjackets proves that Lord of the Flies may not have looked so different if it was girls instead of boys. 

But Yellowjackets raises bigger questions by weaving in some supernatural elements and leaves us speculating whether there are spirits from the beyond or delusions that are all in the girls’ heads.  If darker, edgier far like The Last of Us grabs you and you can handle some gruesome, get ready to experience what happens when you’re trapped in a forest – in the middle of winter—with no food.   Where to watch it: Showtime (on Paramount Plus)


Abbott Elementary

If you’ve cut the cord and don’t have Hulu, you might have missed this ABC breakout sitcom that is up for the Outstanding Comedy Emmy. As a former teacher, let me just say that Abbott Elementary is eerily accurate. From the constant The Emmys 2024struggle to pay for things to eccentric students and clueless admin staff, Abbott Elementary captures the modern day experience of teaching in America. But this is also an Emmy-winning sitcom that has helped save broadcast primetime. From Tyler James Williams’s concerned looks at the camera to Janelle James’s outrageous behavior as the principal, the jokes fly high and fast. And it’s hard not to fall in love with these teachers, who only want what’s best for these teachers.  Where to stream Abbott Elementary: Hulu.


I Think You Should Leave

The Emmys 2024
c. Netflix

Tim Robinson’s oddball sketch show finally earned him an Emmy this year for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. If you think the sketches on Saturday Night Live have become a little stale, then you might like I Think You Should Leave. No two sketches are alike, and to just give you a sense of how quirky they are, here are a few of our favorites:

  • A Johnny Carson impersonator starts hitting people because he was hired at a low, low price point. 
  • There’s a show called Coffin Flop about bodies that fly out of…you guessed it.
  • A silent, Charlie Chaplin-esque performer insists he never talks—and gives his audience money if he does. 
  • The perfect park to propose is also the perfect place for wrestlers to practice their slams.
  • A Bachelorette contestant turns out to be in it not for fame or for love, but for the zipline.

        Where to watch it: Netflix


Welcome to Wrexham

The Emmys 2024
c. FX

Consider this docuseries the real-life version of Ted Lasso, as it follows two comedic American actors, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, after they purchase a struggling Welsh football aka soccer team. Neither has any idea how to manage a sports team, but they’re determined to gin up the team and whip them into contenders. Of course, not without a stadium’s worth of tribulations.  Wrexham dominated the Creative Arts Emmys, so it’s worth checking it out for the craft that went into creating this fun and rousing underdog story.  Where to watch it: FX via Hulu.

Search for Watercooler Picks
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Filter by Section
Watercooler Picks
Community Picks

Now Percolating


Looking for something new to watch?

Our advanced search engine can help you find fresh suggestions based on mood, interest, theme, and more.


Find your people! Sign up for fresh recommendations, invites to events, and a chance to be featured on our site.

Start a watercooler conversation:

Newsletter signup

Scroll to Top