Part 3: Limited Series/TV Movie
And now, to wrap up, the Limited Series/TV Movie. Admittedly, its a little harder for me to work up enthusiasm this time out. With Fargo ineligible and Twin Peaks inexplicably ignored, I have a lot fewer dogs in the hunt than I have the last three. That said, there are still some good candidate, and I think I’ll carry on for completeness’ sake. (Besides, given HBO and Showtime’s llineup for next season, that is likely to be far more exciting.)
BEST LIMITED SERIES
Patrick Melrose was extremely good, and Godless deserves more respect than it got. But really, this is an easy choice. The Best Limited Series over the period (save for Twin Peaks, of course) was The Assassination of Gianni Versace. The second installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story wasn’t as good as it’s first, but considering the world that existed then and now, it is no less relevant. And it accomplished what, for all its great achievements, The People Vs. O.J. Simpson did not do — put us inside the heads of both the killer and his victims. Look for another big night for Ryan Murphy.
Should Win/Will Win: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES
Even without Kyle MacLachlan being present, there are still some extremely strong candidates in the mix. My personal inclination would be to reward Benedict Cumberbatch for his multi-faceted performance in the title role of Patrick Melrose, mainly because it was a complete reverse from what we’ve seen of him in the past. But the winner is most likely, and deserves to go to, Darren Criss for his work as Andrew Cunanan in Gianni Versace. With the reverse chronology of the series, we got to see the true origin story of a psychopath and a liar who could never tell the truth, even to himself. Criss did something I wouldn’t have thought possible — he made us feel sympathy for a serial killer. That’s an achievement on its own.
Should Win: Cumberbatch.
Will Win: Criss.
BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES
Unlike the last couple of years, this category, despite having several strong candidates, doesn’t have the prestige that it has had recently. Therefore, I think that its likely the award will come down to one of two candidates: Jessica Biel for her outstanding world as the self-confessed murderer in The Sinner, and Laura Dern, as the adult version of a victim of systemic abuse in HBO’s TV movie The Tale. Considering that The Tale was one of the least pretentious and most horrifying TV experiences I’ve seen in the last couple of years, and that it was ridiculously under-nominated by the Academy (a rarity for an HBO project) I think that it is likely Dern will receive the prize. Her work was so incredible that she is the rare candidate from last year that deserves to repeat.
Should Win/Will Win: Dern
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES
There are some good candidates here, as there have been for several season, but I think it comes down to picking which nominee from Gianni Versace will prevail. All of them are good candidates — Ramirez as the flawed title designer who turned his life around, Ricky Martin as his lover and husband, and Finn Wittrock as the true love of Cunanan’s life. My personal preference is for Martin, who was subject to both affection and abuse during Versace’s life and in the immediate aftermath of his death. I think there’s more of a chance it’ll go to Ramirez, though, mainly because he had more scope than almost any of the other characters within the series.
Should Win: Martin.
Will Win: Ramirez.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRES IN A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES
Though part of me really wants to see Merritt Wever win for Godless, if only to see if she can think of anything more to say this time out, again this seems to be a choice between two Versace nominees. Judith Light made a huge impact as the widow of one of Cunanan’s victims, who comes to learn that her husband is gay because of his murder, and Penelope Cruz managed to create a whole new vision of Donatella Versace from those whose only glimpse of her came through old SNL parodies. I give the barest of edges to Cruz. (And for those voters who somehow decided that Laura Dern’s work on Twin Peaks wasn’t worthy of even a nomination, I can only say “F — — you, Academy!”)
Should Win: Cruz.
Will Win: Light/Cruz.
I look forward to seeing you all on Monday.