In some instances, the Emmys are frustratingly easy to predict, as the TV Academy just continues to reward the same shows over and over, whether or not they are still deserving. Other times, they are totally unpredictable, with a new one-time winner making you go, “Where the hell did that come from?”
So for about 75% of these categories, I am supremely confident, but for the other 25% I am totally open to the possibility of shock (while standing by my logic). And just for good fun, I am also throwing my final two cents about which nominees I believe most deserve to win.
We’ll find out how it goes when the 69th Primetime Emmys air this Sunday, September 17, on CBS, with Mr. Stephen Colbert as the host.
Prediction: Two-time defending champ Veep is definitely the favorite, but I think there’s room for some new blood, and Atlanta is the buzzies of the newbies.
Preference: I’m pulling for Atlanta’s mix of surreal laughs, formal inventiveness, and singular storytelling.
Lead Actor in a Comedy
Prediction: Another defending champ (Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor) would be the easy pick here, but I think the plenty likable Donald Glover (Atlanta) has a mad decent shot whether or not his show breaks through for Comedy Series.
Preference: When Zach Galifianakis (Baskets) came up with the excuse for Chip Baskets that he’s a millennial (and didn’t even know what that means), his comedy legend status just grew and grew.
Lead Actress in a Comedy
Prediction: Until Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) loses, there is absolutely no reason to pick against her.
Preference: Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) has really grown into a role that was already a perfect fit.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Prediction: I think there’s a slight chance the Emmys go weird and give it to Louie Anderson again, but let’s be real: no SNL guest star has ever become a de facto cast member the way Alec Baldwin did this year.
Preference: In Season 1 of Baskets, Louie Anderson gave the type of performance that I thought could only blow me away the first time, but he found even more new layers in Season 2.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Prediction: Buzz dictates that this will go to one of the three SNL ladies, and the buzziest of them all remains Kate McKinnon. (Though maybe Vanessa Bayer has a shot for a final season sendoff?)
Preference: In an unavoidably political SNL season, Vanessa Bayer shined in some of the (very welcome) non-political material.
Prediction: Game of Thrones’ absence renders the Drama field wide open. I could make a case for all the nominees here, but the strongest one would be for the passionately beloved This Is Us.
Preference: Better Call Saul is a constantly engaging portrait of the fight to be good with imperfect, or too perfect, ideals.
Lead Actor in a Drama
Prediction: Some people were kind of surprised when Sterling K. Brown won last year for The People v. OJ Simpson. They won’t be surprised when he wins this year for This Is Us.
Preference: The only silver lining to defending champ Rami Malek’s baffling exclusion is that I get to throw my full enthusiasm behind Bob Odenkirk’s (Better Call Saul) now-iconic performance.
Lead Actress in a Drama
Prediction: The many-times nominated Elisabeth Moss should get her first win as the lead of the buzzy and timely Handmaid’s Tale.
Preference: Elisabeth Moss just always brings so much badass energy to her performances.
Supporting Actor in a Drama
Prediction: With John Lithgow (The Crown), the Emmys can satisfy their propensities for honoring royal British dramas and living TV legends.
Preference: Y’all remember the anguish on Jeffrey Wright’s (Westworld) face when he realized he was a robot?
Supporting Actress in a Drama
Prediction: Does 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) have the powers to defeat some big-time actresses? I think so.
Preference: Thanks to Thandie Newton (Westworld), a somewhat frustrating show always had at least one compelling storyline.
Prediction: Big Little Lies captured the TV zeitgeist far more than the rest of this year’s miniseries.
Preference: Fargo Season 3 fabulistically captured the spirit of the times.
Prediction: This category could always go to Sherlock again, or the star-studded Wizard of Lies, but I’m going to guess that voters fell in love with Black Mirror: “San Junipero.”
Preference: With “San Junipero,” Black Mirror found its hopeful, beating heart.
Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Prediction: When I watched this, I said to myself, “John Turturro (The Night Of) just won an Emmy.”
Preference: Turturro is my pick, and I would also go with his feet for Supporting if I could.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Prediction: From what I understand, Nicole Kidman stood tallest among the Big Little Lies ensemble.
Preference: You gotta love it when someone like Carrie Coon (Fargo) relentlessly hunts down the truth, don’cha.
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Prediction: I think this category favors Feud: Bette and Joan. Voters might like a touch of the Tooch, but I’m going to bet they lean to the somewhat sentimental Alfred Molina.
Preference: If viewers could stomach David Thewlis’ (Fargo) bulimia-ridden teeth, they can surely see how captivating his performance was.
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Prediction: Regina King (American Crime) might just sneak away with this again in another field of heavy-hitters.
Preference: I was really pulling for Mamacita. Thank you, Jackie Hoffman (Feud: Bette and Joan).
Variety Talk Series
Prediction: Is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver ready to commence a Daily Show-esque winning streak?
Preference: Yep, I’ve got to go with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. #Feminism?
Variety Sketch Series
Prediction: A lot of people were really thankful for Saturday Night Live this season.
Preference: I would love to see a tie here, between the never-more-important Billy on the Street and the always-doing-its-own-completely-unique-thang Documentary Now!