Best Limited Series/TV Movie Awards
Now, as an added bonus, my predictions for Best Limited Series. I haven’t really dealt with this category in the past, but considering that one of the nominees was my best series of last season, and two are almost certainly going to be in the Top Ten of this year, I think its in my interest to consider the possible winners. Considering the high caliber of most of the performers and writers, there are no real losers here, but it’s worth seeing who the Academy will pick.
BEST LIMITED SERIES
Oh boy. If this had been strictly a calendar year basis, this would’ve gone to ‘Fargo’, no question. Considering its sweeping triumphs at Critics Choice, it would’ve been a rout. But now four other brilliant series have aired in the interim, and we have to choose between them. I don’t envy the Academy.
My personal preference would be for either ‘Fargo’ or ‘American Crime’, both of which completely rejected any idea of a sophomore slump. But given the level of talent and work involved, it seems more likely that the victor will be ‘The People V. O.J. Simpson’. And honestly, I can’t really fault the choice. Who can argue with such a great study of something we knew the outcome of before the first episode aired?
Should Win: ‘Fargo’/ ‘American Crime’
Will Win: ‘The People V. O.J. Simpson’.
BEST ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE
Another category with so many good choices, they’d have to work to screw it up. Hell, Timothy Hutton and Patrick Wilson couldn’t even crack the list.
Had this met a few months earlier, I would’ve figured this category would belong to Idris Elba for his work in ‘Luther’. Considering he won the SAG award and the Broadcast Critics’, it seemed a done deal. Some might think that Bryan Cranston’s masterful portrayal of LBJ would get him another Emmy, but really that’s probably one too many, even though his performance was masterful.
I think the most likely winner is going to be Courtney B. Vance for his stirring portrayal of Johnnie Cochran in ‘People V. O.J. Simpson’. He did a masterful job of making a character who had been reduced to caricature over the past twenty years, and giving him a depth that I wouldn’t have suspected he had. Add to this the fact that Vance is one of the great character actor of our time, and has mostly gone unrewarded for his stellar work on stage and TV, and I think he more than deserves this one.
Should Win/Will Win: Vance.
BEST ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE
Another tough category to muddle through. Kirsten Dunst is the only nominee who has a win in her corner, having prevailed for ‘Fargo’ at the Critics Choice. Both Lili Taylor and Felicity Huffman were extraordinary in their work on ‘American Crime’, and I have been an admirer of Taylor’s work for decades. Even Kerry Washington wouldn’t be the worst choice given her fine work in the more than relevant ‘Confirmation’. Thank god Lady Gaga wasn’t nominated.
But I suspect the Emmy will go to Sarah Paulson for her fine portrayal as Marcia Clark in ‘People V. O.J. Simpson. I’ve never really thought much of Paulson’s work on ‘American Horror Story’ or anywhere else on TV, but her work as the beleaguered prosecutor who somehow believes the facts will convict the defendant was a revelation to me. All of the other actresses were great, but she was superb.
Should Win: Taylor.
Will Win: Paulson (and I really don’t mind).
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE
And now, I have a category where all the choices are good ones. This one really will give the Academy trouble.
Jesse Plemmons got a Supporting Actor trophy from the Critics Choice, but really the most stirring actor in that series was Bokeem Woodbine, whose Mike Milligan was the greatest creation of ‘Fargo’. Sterling Brown was remarkable as Christopher Darden in ‘People V. O.J. Simpson’, but no doubt the presence of fellow co-stars John Travolta and David Schwimmer, will diminish any chance of winning.
The most likely winner by process of elimination is Hugh Laurie for ‘The Night Manager’, and really, he’s not a bad choice. Richard Roper was one of the most cunning villains in all of the 2015–2016 season, seeming more like a businessman than a merchant of death. Add to this the fact that he went winless somehow for his work on ‘House’, and his most recent comeback, and I think he has the best chance of prevailing.
Should Win: Woodbine/Brown.
Will Win: Laurie (but there are no bad choices here.)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE
The inevitable appearances of American Horror Story aside, this is a pretty good collection as well, including four actresses whose work I really admire in general. I think one will prevail, so let’s muddle through.
Melissa Leo’s work as Lady Bird Johnson in All the Way was a master class of subtlety, but she’s never had much luck at the Emmys. Olivia Colman’s work as the superb spy handler as a force of good in a world of so much gray was great, but wasn’t as flashy as the work of Hiddleston or Laurie.
I wouldn’t object that much if the Emmys recognized a past winner, and honored Regina King for her fine work in ‘American Crime’; after all, she did create a completely different and equally fascinating character. But ultimately, this will probably be ‘Fargo’s best chance to triumph in Jean Smart’s superb performance as the tough mob mother in a doomed gangster family. She’s already won a critics choice, and she deserves an Emmy for her work her.
Should Win/Will Win: Smart.
See you Sunday.