My Predictions For This Years Emmys
Part 1: Drama
Over the last few years, it has been getting more and more enjoyable to pick the winners for the Emmys. Part of it is because of the generally high level of talent that has been gathering for each successive year. Part of it is because the Emmys seems to be determined to be more and more diverse. (And I’m not just talking racially, although certainly no one’s going to be putting up the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite given the last three years.)
But this seasons seems particularly refreshing . For the first time in I don’t know how long, the Emmys are going to have to honor completely new winners in every category in the Best Dramas. (Thanks for waiting til summer, Game of Thrones.) And with all of the diverse possibilities, particularly in Drama and Limited Series, the Emmy races haven’t been this wide open in at least five years. It’s possible there will be some backsliding, but it’s not likely. And broadcast TV has a chance to get in on the love for the first time in six years.
So, here are my prediction, though I’ll be honest this time: there’s really a good chance I’ll be happy even if I’m wrong.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear frontrunner here. The Crown took the Golden Globe in January. Stranger Things took the SAG award. The Handmaid’s Tale did well at the TV Critics. Even MTV got in on the act and made some good choices picking Stranger Things and This is Us.
Westworld might be able to be prevail, if they go into the fantasy market. This is Us is the first broadcast drama in nearly five years, and it is a great one. The Crown would’ve been a shoo-in had the Emmys taken place a few months earlier. Handmaid’s Tale seems more relevant then ever.
It’s a really tough call, so I’m going to go with my gut: I think Stranger Things has the slimmest of edges. It was a phenomena in a way that even the best Netflix series are. There is a chance that Westworld or This is Us could upset it, but I think the buzz is just enough to push it over the edge.
Should Win: Stranger Things.
Will Win: This is Us/ Stranger Things but they’re all good choices
BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
With the exception of Liev Schrieber, who I’ve ranted about being picked earlier, this is basically a great category. And given that whoever wins will be the seventh different actor in as many years, for once the past doesn’t help.
Kevin Spacey should’ve gotten one before, but I think his moment has past. Anthony Hopkins wasn’t the biggest thing for Westworld. I desperately want Matthew Rhys to win something, anything for The Americans, but I just don’t think he has the momentum.
Bob Odenkirk was his usual level of brilliance on Better Call Saul, and the Broadcast Critics and Breaking Bad love might be enough, but I have to say the odds are looking good for Sterling Brown for his superb work on This is Us. It’s not just that it’s been a very long time since an African-American won in this category, it’s that his work was generally impressive among a great cast. Yes, he won last year, but I’m not going to hold that against him.
Should Win: Odenkirk/Rhys
Will Win: Brown.
BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
This is a tougher group to pin down then Best Actor. Evan Rachel Wood took the Critics Choice for Westworld. Claire Foy triumphed at the Globes and the SAG awards for The Crown. Elisabeth Moss prevailed for the Handmaid’s Tale at the Broadcast Critics.
Like Rhys, I would like to see Keri Russell prevail for The Americans, but I think its going to come down to one of those three. Foy has a slight edge as the Emmys have a habit of reward actors who play powerful people. But Moss is due. Really due. She has a record that is even worse than her former Mad Men co-star Jon Hamm, and at least he finally got one. I may not be wild about it, but come on, its time.
Should Win: Foy
Will Win: Moss (but again, no bad choices)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
Comparatively, the Supporting category is a bit easier. The competition should be tougher, and part of me would like to see either Jonathan Banks for Breaking Bad or Ron Cephas Jones for This is Us win. But it many ways, this is a no-brainer.
John Lithgow’s work as the past-his-prime Winston Churchill on The Crown was a master class of acting. He’s already won the SAG Award and the Critics Choice. And considering that the Emmys has been very kind both to him, and other actors who have played Churchill, I think he all but has a lock. It’s very hard to argue against him.
Should Win/Will Win: Lithgow.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
This, theoretically, could be a wide open category. There’s no Games of Thrones, no Maggie Smith, no Anna Gunn. With the exception of Uzo Aduba, there’s no previous nominees either. And there are a lot of good possibilities — I could see Chrissy Metz from This is Us or Critic’s Choice winner Thandie Newton taking the grand prize. But this one is, if anything easier, than Supporting Actor.
Millie Bobby Brown’s work on Stranger Things was a master class of acting, particularly when you consider how little dialogue she was given. She’s one of the most gifted performers I’ve seen in awhile, and she’s not even a teenager yet (!) It’s been a long time an African-American lead has one; its been longer still since a teenager won anything at the Emmys. To use a quote I’m sure every journalist will be using, this one goes to Eleven.
Should Win/Will Win: Brown.