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The Fandomentals 2018 Emmys Primer

It is that time again my friends. The awards season is ramping back up and it’s really caught a lot of us by surprise! It sometimes feels the Emmy awards happen earlier and earlier each year. But worry not! We here at the Fandomentals have got you covered for TV’s biggest awards!

It’s been a bit of an odd year for TV, with chaotic cancellations and revivals, the loss of old friends , and announcements that have many people looking forward more than they want to look back. We’ve also seen the development in Hollywood of a new culture. It’s been one year since the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements kicked into swing and big TV stars like Jeffrey Tambor, Chris Hardwick, and Louis C.K lost their positions in the industry, however temporarily that loss may have been. We’re also officially two years into the age of Trump, and this years Emmy’s will no doubt continue to tweak the president’s nose as it did last year. Hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost are as experienced with Trump humor as last year’s host Stephen Colbert was, and nominated shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, Black-ish, and The Marvelous Ms. Maisel are easy pickings for the TV academy to flex its woke bonafides.

While not everyone deserving is necessarily up for an award (#JusticeForAndre), this year’s field is as competitive as ever. Below are the nominees for the big categories in drama and comedy TV, along with our thoughts on who should win and who probably will win in each category. Our predicted winners are bolded.

Outstanding Drama Series

 

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
 The Americans (FX)
The Crown (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
This Is Us (NBC)
Westworld (HBO)

Who Should Win: The Crown is the unsung hero of modern TV drama, an extremely well acted and beautiful soap opera that is able to do a very difficult thing: make you care about the extremely rich. Thanks to a balance of historical accuracy and necessary dramatization, the story of the Windsors and Queen Elizabeth’s early reign has unfolded with more interest than many expect from the normally rather stuffy genre of period pieces. Claire Foy and Matt Smith somehow topped their spiffing season one performances, delving deeper into Phillip’s psyche as he continues to chafe against his wife and his role as Prince. It switches actors after this season, so this is the last chance for Foy and Smith (among others) to be properly rewarded for their efforts.

Who Will Win: I hope you’re ready for a pattern this year, because there is a VERY strong chance that Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale will come dangerously close to a clean sweep. Last year’s winner has not necessarily taken the world by storm in season 2, but it’s become a centerpiece of Hulu’s marketing and identity as a “network” and as such will have a lot of push behind its campaign. The new season has doubled down on the darkness, politics, and heavy handed allegory (see above) that made it so successful in its first season and which Emmy voters still seem to eat up even as viewers may be moving on. And now they’ve been able to write around the Trump presidency, connecting the series even more directly to real life and making it that much more attractive to the academy.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Atlanta (FX)
Barry (HBO)
Black-ish (ABC)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
GLOW (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Who Should Win: Donald Glover’s Atlanta burst out of the gates as a show about the black experience that juggled comedy and drama while being willing to get a bit “out there” with its form and subject matter. Season One did very well last year, winning top honors in direction and acting at the Emmys, and the follow up has by all accounts built on the first. Not only has it built on it, its improved on it, touching on even darker topics and going to places nobody was expecting. Glover has lost none of his touch as a director, writer, or actor, and he continues to craft a truly standout comedy just in the list of nominees.

Who Will Win: Atlanta, for all the reasons above. Oh, and “Teddy Perkins.”

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Who Should Win: After a few years of foundering as its host tried to fill the shoes, or gap, left by Letterman, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has really come into its own as possibly the best of a dying breed. This entire category is becoming more and more of a relic as shows like Last Week Tonight and Full Frontal become more like extended monologues than full on variety shows. Colbert is still carrying the torch, but has adapted to the realities of modern America better than its competitors. While Trevor Noah continues to fail upwards at The Daily Show and “The Jameses”, Corden, Kimmel, and Fallon, sing in cars, pull pranks, and perform stupid human tricks, Colbert engages as deftly with politics as he can considering he’s in a form that seems to be showing its age (his only real competitor being the disappointingly snubbed Seth Myers). He’s gone past humorous platitudes and engaged with candidates and activists working to move the country forward. From DSA House candidate and Bronx native Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Beto O’Rourke challenging the Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz in Texas, The Late Show has worked to get beyond the Russia and spray-tan jokes (though they still abound) and tried to make the show mean something in a way that we haven’t seen since Jon Stewart left us for his cabin.

Who Will Win: From Koala clap to a dirty Russel Crowe jock strap, John Oliver and Last Week Tonight just can’t keep out of the news. While there’s usually a trending Fallon and Colbert clip every few days, and “Carpool Karaoke” has been a hit for The Late Late Show, the segments from Last Week Tonight are almost guaranteed to be at the top of social media for days after they release. This year they’ve used their blend of comedy and lecture to cover gross and sometimes ignored aspects of politics like crisis pregnancy centers, NRA TV, and Mike Pence. While some have noticed that Oliver has settled into a well traveled formula, his affect on the world and impact on pop culture will no doubt get he and his writers a three peat.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson on This Is Us (Episode: “Number Three”) (NBC)
Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde on Ozark (Episode: “The Toll”) (Netflix)
Ed Harris as The Man in Black / William on Westworld (Episode: “Vanishing Point”) (HBO)
Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings on The Americans (Episode: “START”) (FX)
Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson on This Is Us (Episode: “The Car”) (NBC)
Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe on Westworld (Episode: “The Passenger”) (HBO)

Who Should Win: Jason Bateman and his work in Ozark are going to be another victim of a lingering bias against Netflix that the academy seems to have. Considered by many to equal or even surpass former Emmy darling Breaking Bad, Ozark has been very successful at actually doing something fresh with the “white people get into drug dealing” genre. A lot of that can be chalked up to Bateman’s Marty Byrde, a Walter White without the megalomania, who acts as main protagonist for the show. But, like Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad, Bateman will hopefully get a look soon when he finally shakes off the “comedy actor” rep.

Who Will Win:  This Is Us is basically the only network show that the academy actually likes (it’s the only one nominated here, for instance). It isn’t unworthy of love though, far from it, and Sterling K. Brown is worth the watch alone. As the only black child in a white family, the storylines surrounding Brown’s Randall are often the most compelling and the most heartbreaking. Brown always puts in a good performance and its no wonder that his profile has been raised so high thanks to the show. He will no doubt repeat this year along with our pick for the next category…

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

 

Donald Glover as Earnest “Earn” Marks / Teddy Perkins on Atlanta (Episode: “Teddy Perkins”) (FX)
Anthony Anderson as Andre “Dre” Johnson, Sr. on Black-ish (Episode: “Advance to Go (Collect $200)”) (ABC)
Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place (Episode: “Dance Dance Resolution”) (NBC)
Larry David as Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm (Episode: “Fatwa!”) (HBO)
Bill Hader as Barry Berkman / Barry Block on Barry (Episode: “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast, and Keep Going”) (HBO)
William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher on Shameless (Episode: “Sleepwalking”) (Showtime)

Who Should Win: Ted Danson has had a mini-revival thanks to his role as Michael in The Good Place, where he balances his acting gravitas with perfect timing to help anchor the show much like the snubbed Andre Braugher (#JusticeForAndre) does for sister show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But rather than stern police captain, Danson is instead a thousand-year-old demon putting our heroes through hell (literally) before embarking on a redemption arc. The episode he’s nominated for is a standout of the second season, as Michael tries to get his “False Good Place” idea figured out while matching wits with the (admittedly fairly witless) Team Cockroach while his supervisor breathes down his neck. It’s a lot of madcap fun as the show jumps from scenario to scenario and Danson’s running dry monologue as Michael recording his reports helps keep the whole spool from unraveling into a high-concept mess. And if that doesn’t encapsulate his role on the show, I don’t know what will.

Who Will Win: This would be a lot like the Atlanta prediction thanks to Glover’s outstanding work in Atlanta, but FX’s focus on “Teddy Perkins” means they’d like a focus on his character work and acting creepiness rather than his ability to do that and be…funny. At best a pitch black satire of fame, “Teddy Perkins” was genuinely one of the most terrifying episodes of TV this year, if not all time. I won’t give too much away, but for the record, that really is Donald Glover up there underneath all that makeup. There’s not much funny about the character as Glover instead goes for creepiness and pathos. But Hollywood’s love of method acting (Glover stayed in character at all times while filming), physical transformations (that’s a LOT of prosthetic), and comedy that isn’t really that funny will probably propel Glover to a well deserved, albeit strange, repeat win.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne / Offred on The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “The Last Ceremony”) (Hulu)
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown (Episode: “Dear Mrs. Kennedy”) (Netflix)
Tatiana Maslany as Various Characters on Orphan Black (Episode: “To Right the Wrongs of Many”) (BBC America)
Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri on Killing Eve (Episode: “I Have a Thing About Bathrooms”) (BBC America)
Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings on The Americans (Episode: “The Summit”) (FX)
Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy on Westworld (Episode: “Reunion”) (HBO)

Who Should Win: This is a strong field this year and it is very hard to pick a single actress here who doesn’t deserve recognition, and a few for whom this is their last chance to win for these shows. Foy had her swan song as Queenie and did a masterful job, putting in a performance that actually surpasses the one that I wanted her to get an Emmy for last year. Keri Russell has been the core of The Americans up until the end and just seems to have had bad luck in the past. Tatiana Maslany is the ultimate winner here, I think, as her performance as multiple characters in Orphan Black has to be seen to be believed. Not only does she have to carry the show as its lead actress, she also has to carry the show as most of her supporting cast as well. The final season of Orphan Black wasn’t quite as strong as those preceding it, but her going the whole run without a win is nothing short of criminal.

Who Will Win: It’s hard for us to make a solid prediction here, but we have no doubt that the academy will not. For better or for worse, Elizabeth Moss has been at the center of Emmy discussions since the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale ended. Switching as easily from the free June Osborne and the oppressed Offred as easily as letting her hair down (whether that’s all she does to change characters is up to you), there’s no doubt that Moss is game for anything as she put up with A LOT of terrible stuff this season. And Hollywood loves to watch its actors suffer.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Allison Janney as Bonnie Plunkett on Mom (Episode: “Phone Confetti and a Wee Dingle”) (CBS)
Pamela Adlon as Sam Fox on Better Things (Episode: “Eulogy”) (FX)
Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam “Midge” Maisel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: “Thank You and Good Night”) (Amazon)
Issa Rae as Issa Dee on Insecure (Episode: “Hella Great”) (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross as Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson on Black-ish (Episode: “Elder. Scam.”) (ABC)
Lily Tomlin as Frankie Bergstein on Grace and Frankie (Episode: “The Home”) (Netflix)

Who Should Win: Call it a weakness for period pieces, but Rachel Brosnahan as the lead in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is doing fantastic work for one of Amazon’s few comedies. It takes a lot of skill to get out Amy Sherman-Palladino’s whip-smart dialogue, and Broshanan handles it with aplomb. She just never seems to get lost in the words like Graham and Bledel sometimes did in Gilmore Girls. The show is as rooted by Broshnahan as is is by Midge’s story, and she’s just genuinely funny to boot.

Who Will Win: Oh, yeah, the other network show that the academy loves is Mom, the Allison Janney vehicle perfectly constructed to guilt awards out of the academy for not giving her enough love for The West Wing. A Chuck Lorre sitcom masquerading as a Norman Lear sitcom, Mom pretty easily falls apart once Janney is removed. So her inevitable win here (threatened only by the possible apology award to Travee Ellis Ross after the Black-ish controversy) isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just a shame to see her overshadow some really great work in comedy.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones (Episode: “The Spoils of War”) (HBO)
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones (Episode: “The Dragon and the Wolf”) (HBO)
Joseph Fiennes as Commander Fred Waterford on The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “First Blood”) (Hulu)
David Harbour as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things (Episode: “Chapter Four: Will the Wise”) (Netflix)
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson on Homeland (Episode: “Species Jump”) (Showtime)
Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on The Crown (Episode: “Mystery Man”) (Netflix)

Who Should Win: It could be argued that Matt Smith’s character of Prince Phillip was the real focus of the second season of The Crown. As the spotlight moved away from Elizabeth and onto her family, particularly Margaret and Phillip, Smith really stepped up his game from the mixed reactions he got in season one. No longer as much of a petulant man-child as before, season two Phillip is an older man more weary than actively chafing. The most interesting storyline of the season belonged to him, the story of a man who has to come to grips with his, in his mind, emasculated existence. The sins of the the father bleed down through Phillip, and Smith deserves an Emmy for his last hurrah as the Prince.

Who Will Win: What’s that? Is that? BAH GAWD THAT’S THE GAME OF THRONES MUSIC! While it’s longer gaps and waning role in the zeitgeist will most likely deny Game of Thrones the dominance it once had over the Emmys, it is always a strong contender in its categories, particularly for acting. Out of all the nominees for Best Supporting, Coster-Waldau’s performance in season seven probably had one of the bigger impacts. While co-star and co-nominee Peter Dinklage spun his wheels drinking near Emilia Clarke, Coster-Waldau did a lot of the grunt work in carrying a series that seems to have devolved into talking in throne rooms between expensive battles. His work was exemplary this season as Jaime dealt with conflicting loyalties, dying love, and his own demons. The cache that Game of Thrones has, plus the fact that Coster-Waldau hasn’t won for his better work in the past on the show, means there’s a good chance he’ll get gold this time around.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford on The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “Women’s Work”) (Hulu)
Alexis Bledel as Emily / Ofsteven on The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “Unwomen”) (Hulu)
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven on Stranger Things (Episode: “Chapter Three: The Pollywog”) (Netflix)
Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia on The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “June”) (Hulu)
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones (Episode: “The Dragon and the Wolf”) (HBO)
Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret on The Crown (Episode: “Beryl”) (Netflix)
Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay on Westworld (Episode: “Akane no Mai”) (HBO)

Who Should Win: The fact that Thandie Newton is still a “supporting” level actor on Westworld is evidence enough that someone writing that show is blind. Maeve’s arcs have been perhaps the best in both seasons, and Newton’s ability to balance existential fear with cunning ambition in equal parts means any appearances she makes memorable. Even in a cast that features Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, and Ed Harris, it’s Newton who is perhaps most deserving of recognition.

Who Will Win: Three, count em’, three nominations for The Handmaid’s Tale this year. Considering the love the academy has for the show, the odds are good one of them will win over any of the non-Hulu actors up for the award. The best odds are on Yvonne Strahovski’s Serena Joy, who continues her descent from cold symbol of privileged women oppressing other women into a woobified mother who only wants the best for her child and didn’t mean to help create a theocratic fascist dictatorship, honestly. Hollywood loves “sympathetic” villains, and Serena Joy fits that to a tee.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live (Episode: “Host: Donald Glover”) (NBC)
Louie Anderson as Christine Baskets on Baskets (Episode: “Thanksgiving”) (FX)
Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Episode: “Kimmy and the Beest!”) (Netflix)
Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles on Atlanta (Episode: “Woods”) (FX)
Tony Shalhoub as Abraham “Abe” Weissman on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: “Thank You and Good Night”) (Amazon)
Kenan Thompson as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live (Episode: “Host: John Mulaney”) (NBC)
Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau on Barry (Episode: “Chapter Four: Commit … to YOU”) (HBO)

Who Should Win: GIVE KENAN THOMPSON AN ACTING EMMY YOU COWARDS! He finally got some token recognition for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and “Come Back Barack,” but he’s long overdue for recognition as the backbone of SNL’S cast. Call it bias from having grown up with him on All That and Kenan & Kel, but Thompson is nearly a household name for the millennial generation. He’s been involved in some of SNL’s best skits in recent years like Celebrity Family Feud, Black Jeopardy, and numerous musical skits like the aforementioned “Come Back Barack.” Out of all the other “not ready for primetime players,” only Kate Mckinnon comes close to Thompson’s level of consistency, and not even she can quite anchor a sketch or keep a straight face as long as he can.

Who Will Win: Yuge victory incoming folks. Look, I don’t know if it’s the fact that they’re both arrogant old white sexists with bad hair who love to yell abuse at their wives and children, or if Alex Baldwin’s time in New York helped him get the character down, but there’s something that’s made his impersonation of the big boy in the white house really stick in people’s minds. While not the best on television, or even the best on SNL (Daryl Hammond is still on staff after all), he’s definitely gotten under Trump’s skin and that alone will coast him to a repeat in this category.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Kate McKinnon as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live (Episode: “Host: Bill Hader”) (NBC)
Zazie Beetz as Vanessa “Van” Keefer on Atlanta (Episode: “Helen”) (FX)
Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: “Doink”) (Amazon)
Aidy Bryant as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live (Episode: “Host: Chadwick Boseman”) (NBC)
Betty Gilpin as Debbie “Liberty Belle” Eagan on GLOW (Episode: “Debbie Does Something”) (Netflix)
Leslie Jones as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live (Episode: “Host: Donald Glover”) (NBC)
Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris on Roseanne (Episode: “No Country for Old Women”) (ABC)
Megan Mullally as Karen Walker on Will & Grace (Episode: “Rosario’s Quinceanera”) (NBC)

Who Should Win: Alex Borstein in Ms. Maisel for elevating a character that could easily be some butch stereotype into something interesting.

Who Will Win: Kate Mckinnon, as she remains a steady hand in SNL as well as a deft impressionist when it comes to the political sketches that are the show’s bread and butter.

Why Rita Moreno Should Have Been Nominated: There’s a lot of people who should have been nominated for awards this season (#JusticeFor Andre), but it has become more and more apparent that the biggest robbery was from Rita Moreno, living national treasure, as Lydia Riera in One Day At A Time. As I detailed in the snubs article, Moreno is one of the most, if not the most, decorated and accomplished actresses working on television. She didn’t need to come back onto television, nor did she actually have to try when she did. But her performance as the vivacious and proudly Cubana matriarch of the family is filled with as much heart and soul as any other, and it’s clear she is enthusiastic in working with a new generation of Latinx talent. Her snubbing is a sin, and I hope to god the academy will learn its lesson and at least nominate Moreno next year.

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

Atlanta (Episode: “Teddy Perkins”), directed by Hiro Murai (FX)
Atlanta (Episode: “FUBU”), directed by Donald Glover (FX)
Barry (Episode: “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”), directed by Bill Hader (HBO)
The Big Bang Theory (Episode: “The Bow Tie Asymmetry”), directed by Mark Cendrowski (CBS)
GLOW (Episode: “Pilot”), directed by Jesse Peretz (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: “Pilot”), directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Amazon)
Silicon Valley (Episode: “Initial Coin Offering”), directed by Mike Judge (HBO)

Who Should Win: GLOW is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to television. The show  combines the already misunderstood medium of pro-wrestling with an 80’s aesthetic that actively tries to avoid the nostalgia that shows like Stranger Things thrive on. But it’s a balancing act to get the show to look the right way without the characters getting lost in the hairspray and neon. Sometimes better directed than actual WWE pay-per-views, the wrestling gets as much attention as the backstage drama and helps make something truly unique.

Who Will Win: It could easily go to either Murai or Glover for Atlanta, but I think the out-of-nowhere horror and strangeness of “Teddy Perkins” will get the attention of voters more than “FUBU.” Horror is a work of direction more than anything else, and the tense scenes and dark settings of “Teddy Perkins” are key to the massive effect it had on the audience. I’ll still quibble with FX for submitting that episode under comedy (or the academy for its strict categories), and if they want something lighter, “FUBU” might come out ahead. But Murai’s frequent direction has also played as much a part of Atlanta’s unique look and style as Glover’s, and a win for his overall work on the series would be well deserved

Outstanding Director for a Drama Series

The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “After”), directed by Kari Skogland (Hulu)
The Crown (Episode: “Paterfamilias”), directed by Stephen Daldry (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (Episode: “Beyond the Wall”), directed by Alan Taylor (HBO)
Game of Thrones (Episode: “The Dragon and the Wolf”), directed by Jeremy Podeswa (HBO)
Ozark (Episode: “The Toll”), directed by Jason Bateman (Netflix)
Ozark (Episode: “Tonight We Improvise”), directed by Daniel Sackheim (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Episode: “Chapter Nine: The Gate”), directed by the Duffer Brothers (Netflix)

Who Should Win: If Matt Smith’s Prince Phillip was at the center of The Crown’s strong second season, it was in “Paterfamilias” that it all came to a head. The episode still features the sumptuous and often moody aesthetics that fill its halls of English power, but also incorporates the starkly beautiful highlands of Scotland into a story about strength and survival. As we question if windswept crags are more or less unforgiving than the expectations of Gordonstoun School and of English masculinity, we begin to understand the ways that the show connects the rulers of Britain with the land and its people. It’s a beautiful episode in a season of fantastically directed episodes and should win if it were not up against stiff competition.

Who Will Win: With Game of Thrones back in the picture, The Handmaid’s Tale is certainly not as safe a bet as it was last year. The Emmys loves the big expensive battle sequences, and HBO no doubt lobbied hard for it in order to justify the  expense. But I still think The Handmaid’s Tale will eke out a victory here thanks to the nominated episode’s delicately constructed and visually striking set pieces. All biases aside, scenes like the funeral of the Handmaidens are incredibly memorable to even the most casual watcher. Visual contrasts between the Colonies, Canada, and Gilead are key to the show’s goals and are well represented here. Plus, this episode was actually directed by a woman for once.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Game of Thrones (Episode: “The Dragon and the Wolf”), written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (HBO)
The Americans (Episode: “START”), written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg (FX)
The Crown (Episode: “Mystery Man”), written by Peter Morgan (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “June”), written by Bruce Miller (Hulu)
Killing Eve (Episode: “Nice Face”), written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (BBC America)
Stranger Things (Episode: “Chapter Nine: The Gate”), written by the Duffer Brothers (Netflix)

Who Should Win:  Killing Eve is  an extreme dark horse in any of the (disappointingly few) categories that it’s nominated in, and writing is no exception. And while it probably won’t beat more obvious Emmy favorites, I still think it is the most deserving here. The first episode has to do a lot for a new show, and that goes double for complex thrillers. But one never gets confused or lost in the espionage and jargon even while the show sets all the pieces up at once. It even finds the time to get you invested in its characters (a novel concept), especially Eve and her target and opposite Villanelle. Not bad for an episode one.

Who Will Win: Just like with best direction, this will most likely come down to a fight between Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale, but the winner this time being the side with the dragons. The Handmaid’s Tale nominating the first episode of the second season was a bit odd, as it has to spend its time picking up pieces and doing recap. Meanwhile, Game of Thrones made the smart choice of nominating their twelve-car-pileup of a finale “The Dragon and the Wolf,” where the Emmy-grabbing  and audience-confusing twists and turns that have served the show so well over the past seven years seemed to almost reach their apotheosis. To writ: Jaime defects, the Wall goes down, R+L=J, the Starks reunite, Littlefinger gets got, and, finally, boat sex happened. The Emmy’s love their big moments and this episode was full of them, giving Game of Thrones the edge this year.

Those are our predictions for the Emmy’s this year! See any you agree with, any you absolutely hate?  Any thoughts about the categories we may have missed? Sound off in the comments! And be sure to tune in on Monday for the Fandomentals live blog of the awards for in the moment reactions to the awards and the program!


70th Primetime Emmy Awards hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che, will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Monday, September 17th at 8:00 pm EST/ 5:00 pm PST on NBC. Red carpet coverage will begin on E! at 6:00 pm EST/3:00 pm PST, and on NBC at 7:30 pm EST/ 4:30 PM PST

All images via the Television Academy and their respective networks.

Author

  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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