My Predictions For This Year’s Emmys, Part 1: The Dramas
It’s debatable whether the Golden Age of Television is still going or has started to migrate more and more to streaming. What is clear is that, after the last few years, the Emmys have finally, wonderfully, started to catch up. The Emmys continue to break new ground this decade in a level of diversity that, frankly, the Oscars will still need a decade to fully be on track.
But there’s genuine excitement in this year’s predictions. For once, Netflix has broken HBO’s two decade long stranglehold on most nominated network. (HBO will still probably take home the most trophies, but that may be more due to technical awards than anything else. The race for Best Drama has real possibilities for Drama, and the Best Comedy awards will have to recognize its first new series in nearly a decade. And a Best Actress award will be given that can’t go to Julia-Louis Dreyfus!
Will broadcast TV get in on the action? Can FX run the table? And will new faces, old faces, or familiar faces dominate? Here’s what I hope happens.
I’ll be honest. The series that deserves to win, without any question, is The Americans. It had a final season and a final episode that rivaled Breaking Bad’s. The Emmy really owe it. And the TV Critics certainly think so. If enough people watching the final episode, maybe…
Of course, so far this year, Stranger Things and This is Us have also won major awards. And you can’t rule out what will happen in a Game of Thrones-Handmaid’s Tale showdown. So, I hope that there’s enough of a split for The Americans to slip through, but if they don’t, my second choice is This is Us.
Should Win: The Americans.
Will Win: This is Us.
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
This is the rare field with no bad choices. Given the fact that Sterling Brown has won every single award between here and last year’s Emmys, you’d think he’d have a clean shot at becoming the first actor to repeat (or technically, for three straight years) since Bryan Cranston. But I really would like to see Matthew Rhys, who has been criminally undersold for his work on The Americans, to win. And you never know, maybe Milo Ventigmilia will prevail for his final (?) act on This is Us.
Still, this seems like one of the few categories that’s relatively safe to bet on.
Should Win: Rhys.
Will Win: Brown.
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
An even tougher category to handicap. I think the only one who is definitely out of the running is Evan Rachel Wood for Westworld. This is Maslany’s, Foy’s and Russell’s last shot at an Emmy. Foy took the SAG award in January, Russell took the TV Critics award for Best Dramatic Performance… period. And Maslany has been criminally underrecognized.
One can make a good argument for Sandra Oh and Elisabeth Moss, but I really think it’s going to be one of the departing faces, considering we haven’t had anyone win consecutive Best Actress prizes since Claire Danes. I really want it to go to Russell, and I think she has the best chance, but considering her rise to fame, I think it might just as easily go to Foy.
Should Win: Russell.
Will Win: Russell/Foy.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
I’d kind of like to see Mandy Patinkin prevail for his superb work in Homeland, but considering that there has been a trend towards honoring Netflix in this category the last couple of years, I wouldn’t mind if they did so this year as well. Matt Smith has done a superb job as Prince Philip, and since like Foy, he departs The Crown this season, I wouldn’t mind him winning. But my personal preference remains David Harbour for his awesome work as Sheriff Harper, the only one who keeps his head while all around are losing theirs on Stranger Things. He took the Critic’s Choice prize last year, and I’d love to hear him give a speech. If it’s anything like the one he gave at the SAGs, it’ll be an Emmys highlight.
Should Win/Will Win: Harbour.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
This is a tough one to fathom. Just like last season, I think the best candidate is still the unsinkable Millie Bobby Brown for her unbelievable work as Eleven on Stranger Things. The odds are, though, that they’re going to recognize one of the multi-talented actresses from The Handmaid’s Tale. If they have to, I wish they’d pick Alexis Bleidel. Yes, she won last year, but she’s still one of the greatest talents in TV history. And honestly, the Emmys have a lot of restitution to make up for for all those years they shafted her on Gilmore Girls. (Stay tuned to the Comedy awards to find out why this would be appropriate this year.)
Should Win: Brown.
Will Win: Bleidel.