This Sunday is the Emmy’s, TV’s under-appreciated and unpredictable awards show that honors outstanding work in (what else?) television compared to the pageantry, anticipation, and extremely predictable Oscars telecast. Again, this year shows why TV is progressing much better than it’s other filmic counterpart: diversity is front and center as all of the major acting nominations has at least one person of color being represented. As a warm-up to calculating this year’s Oscar race, I’d thought I take a crack at that Emmy predictions list. However, I will likely end up short. Note that half of the awards were given out last weekend over a two day period, so I won’t be going into that.
Best Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Game of Thrones – Will Win
House of Cards
Mr. Robot – Should Win
The Americans – Should Win
Everyone’s favorite fantasy epic will win top prize second year in a row. Most people will be happy (except for me), but real love needs to be shown to The Americans, a beloved show by its fans. Mr. Robot became one of the most addictive summer shows last year, but summer shows are least likely to break through. I would love to see Better Caul Saul get a victory, but it has a couple more seasons to go before the really good stuff may happen; the same thing that happened to its big brother, Breaking Bad.
Best Comedy Series
black-ish – Should Win
Master of None
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Should Win
Veep – Will Win
Modern Family is one of my favorite shows, but its content hasn’t be good or as hilarious as it once was back in seasons one and two. black-ish, Transparent, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are too out there for the television academy, but they are all very good shows (giving more love to the first and last series mentioned in this sentence). Veep won last year, and considering HBO is the king of all TV, it will sweep again.
Best Limited Series
Fargo – Should Win
The Night Manager
The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – Will Win, Should Win
The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was hands-down my favorite television program of the entire season. Ryan Murphy does an un-Ryan Murphy thing in that he executive produces a show that isn’t rooted in his life nor does he have any writing credits involved. Instead, he sits behind the camera for a few episodes as he lets a talented group of non-Ryan Murphy-esque writers craft a well know event in American history, and make it feel suspenseful despite knowing the outcome. Fargo enhanced on its stellar first season, but I found some of it dragged on when it came to lengthy dialogue scenes.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot – Will Win, Should Win
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Young fresh face and the only way to honor the USA series with some possible Emmy love.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards – Should Win
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder – Will Win
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Keri Russell, The Americans
I’m a huge fan of Robin Wright and what she does on House of Cards, but the momentum is still on Viola Davis and her commanding performance on one of the hottest broadcast network shows around. Sadly, we are missing the grace of Julianna Margulies and The Good Wife, and the academy should have done justice by nominating her one final time here.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul – Should Win
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Kit Harrington, Game of Thrones – Will Win
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
How many times can we sit through another year without Jonathan Banks winning an Emmy for Mike? There has been no love so far for the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul favorite, but the academy will screw him over again for someone on Game of Thrones. My bet’s on Kit Harrington for still be around.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey – Will Win
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL – Should Win
Three’s company is going to be an issue for the ladies of Game of Thrones. My bet is that they’ll honor Maggie Smith one final time as the memorable Dowager Countess of Grantham (the thing that should have happened to Julianna Margulies of The Good Wife), but Constance Zimmer as whipper-snapper, no-holds-bars Quinn could sneak in.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
William H. Macy, Shameless
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
Will Forte, Last Man on Earth
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent – Will Win, Should Win
This one is set in stone. Nothing can top Tambor now.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish – Should Win
Laurie Metcalf, Getting On
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep – Will Win
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the queen until Veep ends, leaving little room for the love to go ‘round. So here’s a shout-out to black-ish’s standout and leading lady Tracee Ellis Ross (and yes, daughter of Diana Ross).
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Should Win
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Should Win
Tony Hale, Veep – Will Win
Matt Walsh, Veep
Tony Hale has another good year. Ty Burrell was really weak again this year. But the love needs to be shown to two great characters in comedy: Titus Andromedon of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Captain Ray Holt of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Niecy Nash, Getting On
Allison Janney, Mom – Will Win
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live – Should Win
Judith Light, Transparent
Gabby Hoffman, Transparent
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Allison Janney is still on top, but Kate McKinnon is one of the most gifted comedians out there, and her work on Saturday Night Live is always a joy to watch over and over again.
Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Idris Elba, Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – Will Win, Should Win
Cuba Gooding, Jr., The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
In what will be like a dominating night for The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Courtney B. Vance will likely win over his (much) weaker co-star and the competition. Since the Emmy is going to Johnnie Cochran, let’s add Marcia Clark to the mix.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Lili Taylor, American Crime
Kerry Washington, Confirmation
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – Will Win, Should Win
Oh look, it’s Marcia Clark! Jokes aside, this was the performance of the year, making everyone’s least favorite female attorney into one of the most sympathetic characters ever. Episode 6 will break you. Hard.
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:
Jesse Plemons, Fargo
Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo – Should Win
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
Sterling K. Brown, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – Will Win, Should Win
David Schwimmer, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
John Travolta, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Flip a coin, see where it lands. I give an edge for Sterling K. Brown due to the love of The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and the fact that he has This Is Us debuting next season.
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:
Melissa Leo, All the Way
Regina King, American Crime
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
Jean Smart, Fargo – Will Win, Should Win
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Jean Smart as a matriarch and inheritor of a family crime gang was the best part of Fargo. Every scene with her is electric, and she is one icy lady you will not want to cross.
Best TV Movie:
A Very Murray Christmas
All the Way – Should Win
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride – Will Win
This one’s a confusing mess. So let’s see what happens, but Sherlock may manage to steal another win.
Best Variety Talk Series:
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Will Win, Should Win
Real Time with Bill Maher
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
While the rest of the shows have their strengths, Last Week Tonight continues to be engaging, fresh, and funny despite all of the unnerving topics that are discussed at fifteen to twenty minutes at length. John Oliver and Samantha Bee are the new leaders in late night comedy news after John Stewart (and they both were correspondents for The Daily Show years ago), but Bee’s no where to be found on this list, so I’ll go with Oliver.
Best Variety Sketch Series:
Inside Amy Schumer – Will Win
Key & Peele – Should Win
Saturday Night Live
This is Key & Peele’s last chance to prove that it is one of the best sketch series ever created, but the wave is still on Schumer’s side.