As two ladies who love television, the Emmys are our Superbowl Sunday. However, some shows got robbed and a lot of what we’re seeing nominated is pretty repetitive of past years. We both love The Good Place, which only saw one nomination (Ted Danson for Best Actor in a Comedy Series) and deserved far more. There are also not enough nominations for Black Mirror, which is, in my (Claire’s) opinion the best piece of television of our generation. “Hang The DJ,” an episode similar to “San Junipero,” which won for Outstanding Television Movie last year, got zero nominations. It’s one of my favorite tv episodes of all time. All-in-all, there aren’t many stand-out shows or performances this year. Most of the categories are total toss-ups. What I’m looking forward to most, though, is the hosting duo of Michael Che and Colin Jost. At least one of them isn’t a white man.
And now, before we begin, a note from Halftime Leisure Editor, Dajour: It is an absolute crime (no pun intended) that American Vandal received only one nomination (Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special). The show is a mockumentary of the true-crime documentary genre that perfectly satirizes the genre it is portraying. It also successfully elevates itself beyond its material. It revolves around a kid named Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro), who was expelled for spray painting 27 dicks on his teacher’s cars, and whether he actually did the crime. Tatro deserved a goddamn nomination. His surprisingly nuanced and sincere portrayal of troublemaker Dylan is seriously one of the greatest performances of 2017. I genuinely believe the only reason it didn’t get nominated more is because it’s technically a show about dicks. But, I swear, the dicks are only the punch-line. It’s about so much more than that: the education system, social media, etc. It’s hilarious, and subtly brilliant. Screw you Emmys. You suck. I’m still going to watch though. Okay, Claire and Inès, take it away.
Drama Series (both)
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Game of Thrones”
“This Is Us”
Claire: The Handmaid’s Tale is incredible, just absolutely amazing TV, but it won last year and these are all great shows. To be fair I’ve only seen Handmaid’s Tale, This Is Us, and Stranger Things, but I am aware of how good the rest of them are from the sheer amount of hype they’ve received over the years.
Inès: Let’s talk about Game of Thrones. Everyone who watches the show has talked about it extensively, and what I’ve settled on, with the help of our Halftime Editor, is that this season was trying to please the fans too much. It lost a little bit of its veneer, and while it had awesome scenes, it also ended up being predictable. So I wouldn’t bet on its winning.
Claire: I would also like to say that I’ve watched exactly one episode of The Crown with my mom and it was not my cup of tea but the acting was incredible so I could see that winning. I don’t think The Americans or Stranger Things will win, but I wouldn’t be surprised at any of the other shows taking home the Emmy here.
Inès: I’m going to disagree and say The Americans. It was an incredible season, it was their last season, and I think they could make it. It’s only the second time they’ve been nominated in this category even though they’ve always been up for a couple awards, and they could surprise us. Or Westworld will win surprising none of its viewers. Whichever.
Comedy Series (both)
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)
“Silicon Valley” (HBO)
“The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
Claire: My first question is; Why isn’t The Good Place nominated??? Also for reference, Veep won in this category last year, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who stars in it, won for Best Actress.
Inès: Silicon Valley is usually a very strong show, and they’ve pretty consistently been nominated in this category. But even though it’s an HBO show and that is like an award unto itself, it wasn’t quite as amazingly funny as it has been in its past 4 seasons, so I don’t know that it’ll be winning anything at all this year.
Claire: I watched the first episode of this season of Curb, which was good as always, but I wouldn’t put it above Mrs. Maisel, which I think is set to be a standout show for years to come. A strong, Jewish female lead, a 50s setting and vintage vibe, killer comedy with still-poignant drama make for one of my new favorite shows.
Inès: I love it. Your view on it more than the show, but the show is really different, and honestly I’m just glad it exists. That being said, I think it’s almost too much of an outsider to actually make it. I have yet to see Atlanta, but it’s really high on my to-watch list. There’s obviously Donald Glover as a character and writer etc., but I think that it’s supposed to be great. Maybe I’ll watch a few episodes by Monday and hope it wins.
Limited Series (Inès)
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Inès: OK. So. Full disclosure, I’ve only seen Godless out of all of these. BUT, I did really like it. It’s not really a show meant to be trendy: it’s set in an Old West setting in a town in which there are only women except for the Sheriff and a teenager because all the men died in a mining accident. There’s a group of outlaws, and several kick-ass female characters. It’s a gritty show, but I was really impressed by it as I was watching it. So it’s my de facto nomination, but I also just think it did what it set out to do well.
Claire: Also for the record Big Little Lies won this last year and that is one of the best shows of all time.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series (both)
Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)
Ed Harris (“Westworld”)
Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)
Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)
Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”)
Claire: I’m team Jess so I think Milo Ventimiglia deserves the W in this category. But in all seriousness he is beyond fantastic in This Is Us, and Sterling K. Brown won last year, which gives the show a good place in the polls for me. I have not seen Westworld, because I’m easily spooked, but I could also see Ed Harris getting the Emmy here just because of how often I’ve heard about how good he is in the show.
Inès: I agree about Milo Ventimiglia. I feel like I heard a ton about his performance in his final episode, and that anytime I hear or read anything about him it’s to say how awesome he is. I want to say a few words about Matthew Rhys though, because not only is this his last chance to win an Emmy for The Americans but he was amazing in this role all the way to the end. Especially in the end. I mean have you seen the series finale?
Lead Actress in a Drama Series (both):
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”)
Inès: I feel like Evan Rachel Wood is going to win. I don’t watch Westworld, I feel like it’ll be too draining so I haven’t taken the leap yet, but when looking at the list I’m getting a vibe. Sandra Oh is clearly great, but is she great enough in this role to win? I don’t think so. Claire Foy is amazing, but again, I don’t think that even in this drama show (that’s honestly still a wild concept to me given that most of the characters are alive and don’t consent to this show’s existence) she can go all the way to the top.
Claire: I think it’s a close race between all the nominees. However, Sandra Oh got a lot of publicity for being the first Asian woman to be nominated in this category, and though I haven’t seen Killing Eve, I know full well how good of an actress Oh is, and how much she deserves this win. Lastly, I’ll just say that Elisabeth Moss won last year, and though I think it’s not going to happen again, she was absolutely astounding in this season of Handmaid’s Tale. All these actresses deserve this award and I honestly can’t decide who I think will get it.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (both):
Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)
Bill Hader (“Barry”)
Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)
William H. Macy (“Shameless”)
Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)
Ted Danson (“The Good Place”)
Claire: I really have a problem with white men, sorry boys, but I do not have a problem with Donald Glover. (And Anthony Anderson but I’m not a huge fan of any of the family sitcoms from abc). And maybe it’s because of this that I think Glover will win. The rest of the nominees are repeat nominees, except for Bill Hader, but I didn’t see Barry so I can’t speak for his performance. And Donald Glover won last year, so I could see him winning again.
Inès: I haven’t seen half of these, which is unfortunate, because what comedy series am I watching then? I do really like Ted Danson in The Good Place, but I’m not sure that will put him over the top. Donald Glover has never been more popular, and Claire could very much be right. I think Anthony Anderson might have a real chance as well because he’s just always delivering a good performance (but I haven’t seen the most recent episodes of Black-ish).
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (both):
Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”)
Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”)
Allison Janney (“Mom”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”)
Issa Rae (“Insecure”)
Claire: Why isn’t Kristen Bell nominated?? Tracee Ellis Ross and Issa Rae deserve to be nominated. Also who the hell is Pamela Adlon and what the hell is Better Things? Never mind we googled it and apparently it was co-created by Louis C.K. which is PROBLEMATIC. Is it like the worse version of Stranger Things?
Inès: For all I know, Allison Janney is stellar in Mom but I don’t think I’d watch the show. I hope that Tracee Ellis Ross wins, because that would make me the happiest. She’s just really cool, a great performer, and an amazing woman off-screen. I know that’s not how the Emmys work, but that’s how I feel. Issa Rae does a fantastic job in Insecure, so that would be my next bet.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Claire)
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”)
Claire: MANDY PATINKIN!!! There’s always going to be a special place in my heart for that man. He was my first love in The Princess Bride (1987), playing Inigo Montoya, and was my favorite part of Criminal Minds (I stopped watching when he left the show). He’s a gem of a man and I love him.
Now do I think he’s going to win the Emmy? Maybe not. Is Joseph Fiennes a standout actor in The Handmaid’s Tale? Absolutely. Is every other actor nominated in this category unbelievably good at their jobs? Yep. God I am so mad that some men are talented!!
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (both)
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”)
Inès: I’m going with Lena Headey on this one. I know there’s a strong The Handmaid’s Tale presence in this category, which I wholeheartedly think they deserve, but Lena Headey is always incredible and was pretty amazing in this season of Game of Thrones. Her character development probably allowed a lot of her kick-assness on the show, but I think that as she walks the line of insane as the show goes on, Lena Headey gives us the queen we don’t want but can’t look away from in Westeros.
Claire: I’m gonna have to disagree with you here. Why am I going to have to disagree with you? Tough to say. I just don’t think Game of Thrones has the hype anymore. Ann Dowd won last year, and rightfully so, as her role in Handmaid’s Tale is so well-acted, and is so hard to watch (because it is so well acted). I think either Millie Bobby Brown or Yvonne Strahovski will win this year. Both actresses have really made their characters shine and stand out more than in the previous seasons of their respective shows, and the character development could not have happened without their incredible talents.
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Claire)
Sara Bareilles (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert”)
Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
Judith Light (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
Adina Porter (“American Horror Story: Cult”)
Merritt Wever (“Godless”)
Letitia Wright “Black Museum” (Black Mirror)
Claire: If you haven’t seen “Black Museum” yet, you’re seriously missing out. Letitia Wright, who also stars in Black Panther, is an astounding young actress, and her role as the curious, vengeful, and cool lead character in this episode of Black Mirror stands out like nothing else. Her acting is impeccable and it’s such a niche role that it can’t be overlooked.
Reality Competition (Claire)
“The Amazing Race”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
Claire: I hate to admit it but at one point or another I have watched all of these shows except for The Amazing Race, and that being said I feel like that one wins every year so that’ll probably be it again. Honestly that’s the only thing I know about it, that it’s won a bunch of awards.
Inès: I don’t watch reality tv, so this is all you. To be clear, it’s not that I’m a snob or anything, I just wasn’t raised with it and don’t really get it. So I trust your judgement, and if you want to recommend anything to me, let me know.
Claire: I recommend none of this to you, all of these shows are a waste of your valuable time on this earth.
Variety Talk Series (Both)
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah”
“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
“Late Late Show with James Corden”
“Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Claire: I cannot stand Jimmy Kimmel or James Corden. I like Trevor Noah but I don’t think The Daily Show is near as good as Last Week Tonight, and that’s because John Oliver has the perfect combination of goofy, serious, and thoughtful humor to make his talk show interesting and informative. Despite his brilliance, I think Full Frontal is going to win this year, because Samantha Bee is coming into her own and is the only female nominated, and I think her unique view on what’s happening in the world right now, especially her female-oriented perspective, makes Full Frontal the best talk show on TV right now.
Inès: I agree with you on most of this, but I don’t think that Samantha Bee is going to win despite your arguments because the world isn’t fair. I can stand Kimmel and Corden, in short doses, but going back to your initial pack leader, I think it’s going to be John Oliver. His content is always original, funny, and slightly uncomfortable, which is what you want really. Trevor Noah is great, but I think he’s still finding his stride amidst a variety of talk shows, and he’s still going to get better.
Structured Reality Program (Inès)
“Antiques Roadshow” (PBS)
“Fixer Upper” (HGTV)
“Lip Sync Battle” (Paramount)
“Queer Eye” (Netflix)
“Shark Tank” (ABC)
“Who Do You Think You Are?” (TLC)
Claire: Fun fact: me and my mom used to watch Antiques Roadshow all the time. It’s terrible.
Inès: I’ve seen clips of Lip Sync Battle, not my finest moment. In my defense I’m talking about the ones with Neil Patrick Harris and Taraji P. Henson. It won’t win, for sure. Honestly, I don’t see how anything other than Queer Eye could win. It’s gotten rave reviews, it’s really popular, and having seen a majority of the episodes, it’s not that bad in a hits-you-in-the-feels-despite-knowing-it’s-set-up-that-way kind of way.
There’s a category for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series, so at this point we’re done with our commentary.
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons