“What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you” – Homecoming, not winning a 2019 Emmy.
Jayde Atchison, Staff Writer
Six years ago, I put on my best little black dress and strut into Rogers Arena to experience Beyoncé in concert. What I saw that night was an empowering performance in which Beyoncé was proud to showcase a predominantly female ensemble. Witnessing these talented women on stage alongside the Queen of Pop herself was inspiring to say the least, so when I heard that Beyoncé was going to be the first black woman to headline Coachella five years later, I went through a new level of FOMO that I never knew existed.
Although nothing compares to seeing the show live, I was nevertheless overjoyed to discover the performance was going to be immortalized in the documentary, Homecoming. As any member of the Beyhive can agree, this was the musical documentary we were all waiting for. The duet with Jay-Z, the dance-off with Solange and the iconic reunion of Destiny’s Child made for one of the best singalongs on Netflix (and of all time?).
Fast forward to autumn where we see the falling of leaves, change of wardrobe and the kick-off of award show season. The Emmy Awards have come and gone, but the rage of Homecoming not winning even one of the six categories it was nominated for lives on.
One small solace is that the film was a least recognized and nominated for the following categories: Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special; Outstanding Variety Special (prerecorded); Outstanding Costumes for Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Programming; Outstanding Music Direction; Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special; and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.
The competition was stacked in each category, and the winners deserved the recognition they received that night. However, the two categories where I believe Homecoming was the clear victor are Outstanding Variety Special (pre-recorded) and Outstanding Music Direction. Instead, Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool won Outstanding Variety Special, and while I love everything about Paul McCartney I think the team on Homecoming should have swept up that award.
Homecoming is compiled between two nights at Coachella, with one night in yellow costumes and the other in pink. This means in order to create seamless edits, the entire team had to hit their marks in the same moments and places two nights in a row. There is no room for error or redos.The work Beyoncé put into choosing each dancer, singer and performer to create this concert shows a level of dedication to representing African Amercian culture in a live setting that is rarely seen. It is hard to see how over 200 people keeping their performance perfectly in sync for two live shows can lose to two men harmonizing in a car. .
I have no doubt that the cast of Fosse/Ferdon (winners of Outstanding Music Direction) worked incredibly hard for their dance and musical scenes, but with a television series there are opportunities to cut, give feedback, take a break and retry. With a documentary, the audience gets an insight into the rehearsals and the talent that needs to be perfected before going on stage.
I can’t help but feel that Homecoming demonstrated a set of dancing and singing that matched Beyoncé’s original works. Beyoncé has been creating albums that advocate for women being proud of their bodies, sexuality and culture. She uses her medium to speak out on social issues and this is shown through the musical direction in the documentary.
Even though I feel Homecoming was overlooked at the Emmys, I am not surprised. Award shows have a history of skipping over women and people of colour, which is exactly who Homecoming strives to empower. Hopefully there comes a day that a performance of this caliber is properly recognized by the industry in more than just a nomination.