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Emmys: Who Will Win, Who Should Win, and Who Got Snubbed

on September 16, 2018, 7:00am
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Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series

Elisabeth Moss, Keri Russell, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishe

Claire Foy, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Keri Russell, The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Who should win: Keri Russell, The Americans
Who will win: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Elisabeth Moss is terrific in The Handmaid’s Tale. She’s an amazing actress with a long career of excellent work behind her. She also already has an Emmy. Keri Russell is not only incredibly deserving (the vein on her forehead that comes out when Elizabeth is tense, but hiding it, deserves an Emmy of its own), but she’s overdue. This is the Emmys’ last chance to recognize an all-time great TV character in a season that gave Russell loads to do and spotlit her range. It may be a long shot, but Emmy Awards, you know what you should do.

If we voted: Emmy voters may have forgotten about it, but Halt and Catch Fire’s final season was eligible this year, which means the powerful, complicated performances of its leads, Kerry Bishé and Mackenzie Davis, were as well. Also great and overlooked: Jodie Comer of Killing Eve and Mandy Moore of This Is Us. —Kate Kulzick


Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama Series

Sterling K. Brown, Matthew Rhys, Jonathan Groff

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Ed Harris, Westworld
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

Who should win: Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Who will win: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Sterling K. Brown took home this award last year, and there’s a good chance he’ll do so again this year (the Emmys love consistency). But while Brown is no doubt one of the best actors working today, the second season of This Is Us wasn’t as strong of a showcase for him as the first (plus he has a good chance of winning in another category for his guest turn on Brooklyn Nine-Nine). Instead, we’d love to see Emmy voters finally reward Matthew Rhys for his six seasons of phenomenal work as Philip Jennings on The Americans. Though it’s racked up nominations over the years, The Americans has only ever won two Emmys — both for Margo Martindale. This is Emmy voters’ last chance to spread the love and salute the series for its excellent final season. Rhys’ work in the finale, in particular, is well deserving of recognition.

If we voted:There are no hugely egregious snubs in this category, but we wouldn’t have minded seeing Jason Bateman’s slot go to Mindhunter’s Jonathan Groff, Halt and Catch Fire’s Lee Pace, or even The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal instead. —Caroline Siede

Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama Series

Thandie Newton, Melora Hardin

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Thandie Newton, Westworld

Who should win: Thandie Newton, Westworld
Who will win: Thandie Newton, Westworld

It’s fair to say that we have our qualms with HBO’s Westworld, a series that looks like a million bucks and tells its story like a drunk guy sitting by a campfire, trying to remember that one urban legend he heard that one time. But any quibbles we might have do not extend to Newton, whose deeply thoughtful performance as Maeve ensures that everything she touches, from mourning to mind control, makes perfect emotional sense. When she wins, we’ll cheer.

If we voted: Over on Freeform, Melora Hardin is giving one of TV’s best supporting performances as dream boss Jacqueline Carlyle on The Bold Type, and the lack of recognition for her work in season one closer “Carry the Weight” is a real shame. Also: Holly Taylor and Margo Martindale, The Americans; Susan Kelechi Watson, This Is Us; Tina Lifford, Queen Sugar; Aubrey Plaza, Legion. — Allison Shoemaker


Outstanding Supporting Actor – Drama Series

Noah Emmerich, Peter Dinklage, Tobias Menzies

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

Who will win: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage is great, even when he’s got dick to do, and there are some worthy nominees in this category. But there’s also a pick or two I’d call head-scratchers, if I weren’t so filled with rage. Where in the hell is Noah Emmerich in this list? For six incredible seasons, he gave one of TV’s best performances as The Americans’ Stan Beeman, an FBI agent with a knack for loving the wrong people. His big scene in the finale, a tour de force in a parking garage, is a goddamn masterpiece. But sure. Joseph Fiennes. Whatever.

If we voted: Outlander’s Tobias Menzies does more great acting with the muscles in his jawline than most people do with their entire bodies. Also: Brendan Fraser, Trust; Toby Huss, Halt and Catch Fire; Zahn McClarnon, Westworld. — Allison Shoemaker


Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series

Diana Rigg, Pam Grier, Rinko Kikuchi

Viola Davis, Scandal
Kelly Jenrette, The Handmaid’s Tale
Cherry Jones, The Handmaid’s Tale
Diana Rigg, Game Of Thrones
Cicely Tyson, How To Get Away With Murder
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

What should win: Diana Rigg, Game Of Thrones
What will win: Diana Rigg, Game Of Thrones

This is Diana Rigg’s fourth nomination for her role as Olenna Tyrell, and given that it’s also the Emmy voters’ last chance to award her for this particular performance, we’re betting they’re going to take it. (Outside of Game Of Thrones, Rigg has five more Emmy nominations and a win under her belt). It helps that season seven was a standout one for Olenna. “Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me” was not only a great meme, but also an all-time great final line for an all-time great supporting character.

If we voted: There’s a wealth of well-deserved nominations in this category, but we would’ve loved to see Emmy voters celebrate the fiercely maternal turns from both Pam Grier in This is Us and Rinko Kikuchi in Westworld. —Caroline Siede

Outstanding Guest Actor – Drama Series

Jimmi Simpson, Cameron Britton, David Strathairn

F. Murray Abraham, Homeland
Cameron Britton, Mindhunter
Matthew Goode, The Crown
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
Gerald McRaney, This Is Us
Jimmi Simpson, Westworld

Who should win: Cameron Britton, Mindhunter
Who will win: Jimmi Simpson, Westworld

Sure, Jimmi Simpson is appropriately creepy as baby Ed Harris on Westworld, but due attention must be paid to Cameron Britton’s mustachioed Ed Kemper of David Fincher’s Mindhunter. Just watch footage of the real Kemper and Britton’s spooky, dead-eyed re-creation next to each other; it’s an uncanny re-enactment, but one that doesn’t lose its dramatic weight for the sake of impersonation. It’d be great to see such a stunning, scary breakout performance rewarded.

If we voted: Syfy’s (now Amazon’s) The Expanse remains the best science fiction show no one’s watching, but it would have been nice to see David Strathairn get a nod for his arch yet deceptively complex space pirate. —Clint Worthington

Outstanding Limited Series

Darren Criss, Twin Peaks

The Alienist
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Genius: Picasso
Patrick Melrose

What should win: The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (or, really, Twin Peaks: The Return)
What will win: The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is easily the most high-profile show among these nominees, and almost certainly the winner as well. It’s a well-deserving choice, even if it’s frustrating that this category is lacking in stiff competition. The biggest snub here is definitely Twin Peaks: The Return, which might have proved just a little too out-there for Emmy voters. Still, it’s bizarre to see that high-profile series ignored over less-discussed shows like Godless, The Alienist, Patrick Melrose, and Genius: Picasso. But we’ll try not to hold that against Versace when it takes home the award.

If we voted: An even bigger mystery than “who drew the dicks?” is “why did American Vandal get so little love from Emmy voters?” We would’ve loved to see that wonderfully original series nominated along with The Terror, Alias Grace, and of course, Twin Peaks: The Return.  —Caroline Siede

Outstanding Television Movie

Black Mirror, Notes From The Field, The Tale

Fahrenheit 451 (HBO)
Flint (Lifetime)
Paterno (HBO)
The Tale (HBO)
USS Callister (Black Mirror) (Netflix)

What should win: The Tale
What will win: USS Callister (Black Mirror)

Obviously, The Tale is the best thing on this list, a deeply haunting story of memory and pain with an unbeatable cast (Laura Dern, anyone?!), but it’s a little too heavy for a good spread of Emmy voters to have seen. We think they’ll go with USS Callister — yet another story of how male-dominated worldviews and systems harm women, but coated in a thick sheen of charming Star Trek nostalgia.

If we voted: We would have loved to see some attention paid to Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field, the latest in her series of sprawling, heartfelt one-woman shows, this one concerning the school-to-prison pipeline. —Clint Worthington

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