Awards season is my favorite time of the year and this feels like the kickoff for all that is to come in the next couple of months! What makes the Emmy’s so exciting is that watching television has always been one of my favorite pastimes. The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented at 8pm, Monday, September 17th. This year’s ceremony will be broadcast on NBC and co-hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che. Whether or not you’re completely caught up with the shows in the major categories I will be guiding you through a night celebrating the best in television. I’ll be offering my thoughts on who is most likely to win and insights on my personal choice.

DRAMA SERIES

The Americans

The Crown

Game of Thrones

The Handmaid’s Tale              

Stranger Things

This Is Us

Westworld

Most likely to win: The Americans
My choice: Game of Thrones

This category is incredibly stacked! I really wouldn’t be surprised if any one of these nominees won, they are all deserving. The Americans recently ended and reportedly this was one of its strongest seasons. Sometimes awards are given once the show has ended as a way to reward the entirety of the series.  While the past season of Game of Thrones aired well over a year ago each season continues to grow bigger in fandom, scale and quality. Each episode is epic and incredibly cinematic. Nothing compares to its magnitude.

COMEDY SERIES

Atlanta

Barry

Black-ish

Curb Your Enthusiasm

GLOW

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Silicon Valley

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Most likely to win:The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or Atlanta 
My choice: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 

I first heard of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel during last year’s Golden Globes ceremony and I’m so glad I decided to watch. Set in the 1950’s a housewife decides she want to pursue a career as a stand up comedian. This series is so unique and everything about it is a pure delight. The writing is excellent and the performances are simply fantastic. Atlanta is probably a close second in this category. From what I’ve heard the second season did some interesting things and that might steer voters in their direction. Barry is also a strong contender but it would be a big surprise if it won this category. It would be more likely for Bill Hader to win the Emmy in the Lead Actor in a Comedy.

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Ed Harris, Westworld

Matthew Rhys, The Americans

Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

Most likely to win: Matthew Rhys, The Americans
My choice: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

This award is a long time coming for Matthew Rhys. Having not watched this series I can’t personally attest to his performance but I do know that as an actor he never fails to deliver. I think it might be a bit of a long shot but Sterling K. Brown continues to surprise me with his performance as Randall in This Is Us. He brings so much heart and depth to that show so I’ll be rooting for him. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Milo Ventimiglia ended up winning. He was fantastic this season.

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA

Claire Foy, The Crown

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Keri Russell, The Americans

Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

 Most likely to win: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
My choice: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

This is such a tough category where the Emmy could easily go to any of these women. I loved Claire Foy in the second season of The Crown. She continued to bring so much to her character. Evan Rachel Wood was fantastic this season and she’s one of my favorite Westworld characters. Critically the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale wasn’t received as well as the first but Elisabeth Moss continued to shine. This season she gave another noteworthy performance that was so emotionally raw and powerful. Even in this stacked category she continues to stand out. 

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm

Donald Glover, Atlanta

Bill Hader, Barry

William H. Macy, Shameless

Most likely to win: Donald Glover, Atlanta
My choice: Bill Hader, Barry

From everything I’ve heard and read about Atlanta it is unlike anything else on television. Donald Glover seems to have the Midas touch and will most likely win again this year. Bill Hader’s performance in Barry was fantastic so personally I’d like to see him win. He gave a performance that I didn’t know he was capable of and it would be really cool to watch him be awarded for it.

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY

Pamela Adlon, Better Things

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Allison Janney, Mom

Issa Rae, Insecure

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Most likely to win: Rachel Brosnaham, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
My choice: Rachel Brosnaham, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Considering that she won the Golden Globe earlier this year, I think this is Rachel Brosnaham’s to lose. She gives an excellent performance through this first season; her character, Midge, is so unique as an outspoken Jewish housewife in the 1950s. She brings so much charm and she radiates off the small screen. A part of me would love to see Issa Rae awarded for her performance in Insecure but that would be a big surprise. She brought a lot to this season and I think it would be fun to see her acknowledged.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale

David Harbour, Stranger Things

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Matt Smith, The Crown

Most likely to win: Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale
My choice: Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale or Matt Smith, The Crown 

Yet another member from the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale, Joseph Fiennes is nominated for his role as the Commander lording over Elisabeth Moss’ character. He is chilling in this role; he brings a sick sense of power and privilege that is so interesting. He makes you hate this character so much meanwhile he plays him so brilliantly that you also sort of love him. It’s so hard to choose just one winner in this category because their performances were all so great. Matt Smith brought a lot of depth to his role as Prince Philip in his final season of The Crown. Being that his character is aging in the next season and therefore his character has been recast, I’d love to see him rewarded but don’t think it’ll happen. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage continued to shine in Game of Thrones but their performances could easily be overlooked since their season aired over a year ago.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA

Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale

Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones

Vanessa Kirby, The Crown

Thandie Newton, Westworld

Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

Most likely to win: Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale
My choice: Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

Yvonne Strahovski’s character as the silenced wife to the Commander has grown from Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale. Her character arc is really starting to develop and Strahovski’s given performances that are really powerful. Just when you think you understand her, Strahovski brings something new to make you second-guess her. Ann Dowd could step in and repeat her win from last year but her role in Season 2 was fairly small. It was memorable but it should go to her costar.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY

Louie Anderson, Baskets

Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live

Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Brian Tyree Henry, Atlanta

Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Henry Winkler, Barry

Most likely to win: Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
My choice: Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Tony Shalhoub is one of the best parts of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He perfectly plays Midge’s overly concerned father. He’s so much fun to watch and even though he is a supporting character his performances are strong enough to carry multiple episodes. He’s won and been nominated multiple times in the past and it’d be exciting to see him win again. This is the first nomination for Kenan Thomson in this category. Considering that he was a part for SNL for 15 years this nomination feels way overdue. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins this category.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY

Zazie Beetz, Atlanta

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live

Betty Gilpin, GLOW

Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne

Megan Mullally, Will & Grace

Most likely to win: Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
My choice: Betty Gilpin, GLOW

I was really impressed with Betty Gilpin this season of GLOW. She brought a lot of vulnerability to her character, which brought a real softness to her character that I really enjoyed. Alex Borstein was equally as strong as Midge’s outspoken tough around the edges manager in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Her chemistry with Rachel Brosnahan is a lot of fun to watch and she brings something different to the show.

LIMITED SERIES

The Alienist

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Genius: Picasso

Godless

Patrick Melrose

Most likely to win: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
My choice: Godless

Everything I have read tells me that The Assassination is practically guaranteed to win this category. Ryan Murphy’s depiction of this crime story is led by a great cast and considering how well his other series have done at past Emmy’s this might be an easy win. Godless is also a high contender. Jeff Daniels is great as a ruthless one-armed outlaw as is the rest of the cast in this mysterious western.

LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Jessica Biel, The Sinner

Laura Dern, The Tale

Michelle Dockery, Godless

Edie Falco, Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

Regina King, Seven Seconds

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Cult

Most likely to win: Jessica Biel, The Sinner or Laura Dern, The Tale
My choice: Michelle Dockery, Godless

From all that I’ve heard about The Sinner, the biggest takeaway is Jessica Biel’s performance. I won’t be surprised to see her win, but I really think it will go to Laura Dern for The Tale. Dern is somewhat of a critic’s darling. I think it’s a slim chance but I’d love to see Michelle Dockery walk away with this award. This role really showcased her versatility. Her character in Godless was so different from most popular role as the cold and regal Lady Mary in Downton Abbey.

LEAD ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Antonio Banderas, Genius: Picasso

Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose

Jeff Daniels, The Looming Tower

John Legend, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

Jesse Plemons, U.S.S. Callister (Black Mirror)

Most likely to win: Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story 

My choice: Jesse Plemons, U.S.S. Callister (Black Mirror)

This category showcases some really strong performances from some great actors. Darren Criss seems to be the clear favorite for his creepy portrayal of Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. However I’ve been a fan of Jesse Plemons ever since his days on Friday Night Lights and he’s come long way since then. This was the first time I got to see him play a villain and he fit perfectly into this role. Considering that U.S.S. Callister was announced earlier as the winner for Outstanding Television Movie maybe his performance could be on the forefront of the voter’s minds.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Monday, September 17th at 8pm on NBC.  

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