Sunday, September 20, 2015

2015 Emmy Predictions

Here are my 2015 Emmy predictions. My original plan was for each major category I would list why each actual nominee will win, and why they'll lose, who I want to win, and who I think will win. But Blogspot failed to save a bunch after I wrote them, so now I have that for the series categories, and brief, general thoughts and picks on each series acting category, and picks of who will win the other categories:

Outstanding Comedy Series
Why It Will Win- Over the past 7 Emmys, only three shows have won comedy writing Emmys- Modern Family (twice), 30 Rock (thrice), and Louie (twice). In that same period of time, the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy has only gone to winners of that award- 30 Rock twice, and Modern Family five times. So Louie fits right in.
Why It Will Lose- Louie is in its fifth season and has already lost to Modern Family in this category twice. You need to go back to Everybody Loves Raymond in 2003 to find a show that won its first Comedy Series Emmy later than its 2nd season. If it was going to happen for Louie, it probably would have happened. Also, while cable dominates in drama, a cable comedy has only won the Comedy Series Emmy once, Sex and the City in 2001.

Modern Family:
Why It Will Win- It has literally never lost. Modern Family has won this award in each of its five seasons, even as its other nominations and wins have dropped.
Why It Will Lose- No series has ever won six series Emmys before, comedy or drama, consecutive or not. Only Frasier had won five, prior to Modern Family. Do Emmy voters really want to anoint Modern Family the winningest television series of all time?

Parks and Recreation:
Why It Will Win- The Emmys like final seasons. In the past decade, series Emmys have gone to the final seasons of Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and Everybody Loves Raymond. This is a chance to send off a beloved series with a trophy.
Why It Will Lose- Unlike Breaking Bad*, The Sopranos, and Everybody Loves Raymond, Parks and Recreation has never won a series Emmy before. In fact, it's never won ANY Emmy before. It's only been nominated in this category once before, for the great third season. Bringing it back into the category is the send off that Parks is getting.

*Okay, technically Breaking Bad never won a series Emmy before its final season, thanks to the split fifth season. Still, Breaking Bad won prior to the award honoring its conclusion.

Silicon Valley:
Why It Will Win- Last year's surprise nominee comes off a buzzier second season, now armed with Director's and Writer's Guild nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, and a Critic's Choice win. And HBO is the only cable channel to win in this category.
Why It Will Lose- Even with the buzz and the other awards support, Silicon Valley actually has two fewer nominations this year than it had last year. The last show to win the Comedy Series Emmy without an acting nominee was The Wonder Years in 1988.

Why It Will Win- It won the Golden Globe for Comedy Series and leads all comedy series in nominations. It also won the Satellite and Director's Guild Awards. It's about a buzzy topic, and three of the past five series to win the Comedy Series Emmy won it in their first season.
Why It Will Lose- The Television Academy is not necessarily the most progressive group in the world, and for Transparent that can be a factor not only in subject matter, but in medium as well. No streaming show has won a series Emmy, and Amazon Studio's only Emmy win was a Daytime Emmy for preschool series Tumble Leaf earlier this year. And is it a comedy?

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:
Why It Will Win- Tina Fey and Robert Carlock's last collaboration yielded Emmy wins in Comedy Series for its first three seasons. It's also flashy and new- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt debuted in March, 2015, 13 months after the pilot of fellow rookie nominee Transparent first became available.
Why It Will Lose- 30 Rock won three series Emmys, but they were all before Modern Family. It has the same streaming issue as Transparent, and does not have the advantage of voters feeling like they're making a statement by picking it. And while the series picked up several nominations, lead Ellie Kemper was passed over in favor of the lead of a different, non-nominated Netflix series.

Why It Will Win- Veep has been building every year. The series and star Julia Louis-Dreyfus were nominated from season one, adding supporting players Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky for season two, writing for season three, and directing this year. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won for Lead Actress every season so far.
Why It Will Lose- Like Louie, Veep has had several chances to dethrone Modern Family, to no avail. In fact, just re-read the Louie section with minor alterations- Veep is only in its fourth season, but it has already been nominated in this category three times before this year.

Who Should Win- Parks and Recreation. A fantastic final season of a great show deserves the send off.

Who Will Win- Modern Family. It's probably going to lose either this year or next year, but I'll say it gets the record. There's no other obvious pick.

Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul:
Why It Will Win- It's sort of the incumbent. The Breaking Bad spinoff takes the slot of the two time defending champion, and features largely the same creative team and a handful of the same actors. 
Why It Will Lose- Lou Grant was the last spinoff series to win the Emmy for Drama Series, in 1980, and even that was not a spinoff of a drama. Star Trek: The Next Generation and Boston Legal were both nominated, but never won. Better Call Saul is not Breaking Bad, and voters will likely not treat it as season 6.

Downton Abbey:
Why It Will Win- It still has some awards buzz. Downton Abbey surprisingly took the drama ensemble SAG award this year, and while that is by no means a precursor, it has agreed with the Emmy Drama Series winner four of the past seven years.
Why It Will Lose- Nobody cares about Downton Abbey anymore. Most of the buzz the show got this past year was about Maggie Smith saying she was leaving, the producers saying Maggie Smith wasn't leaving, and then the announcement that the show was ending. It hasn't won in its three years in this category, and Maggie Smith isn't even nominated this year.

Game of Thrones:
Why It Will Win- It has the most nominations, by a good margin, with 24. It has more acting nominations than it ever has before, with Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, and Diana Rigg. It has high ratings, critical buzz, HBO prestige, and it's the nominated series to air most closely to the voting period.
Why It Will Lose- It's been here every season and not only has it never won, it has lost to three different series, including two nominated this year. Additionally, no fantasy show has ever won in this category before. 

Why It Will Win- It also has a claim as a sort of incumbent, as the most recent series to win that's in this category. Homeland was the first show to beat Mad Men, and topped Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones in 2012 as well. It also got some critical praise for a rebound season.
Why It Will Lose- Homeland may have won in 2012, but it was not even nominated in 2014. The seven nominees in this category have combined for 27 seasons, and 24 of those seasons have been nominated in this category; the three seasons that were not nominated were Downton Abbey season 1 (nominated as a miniseries), Orange is the New Black season 1 (nominated as a comedy), and Homeland season 4 (not nominated at all.

House of Cards:
Why It Will Win- It has never lost to anything except Breaking Bad, and Breaking Bad is gone. Since its debut, there has been a large sense that House of Cards is the kind of prestige show made for Emmy wins, and with the Drama Series (and lead actor) spot open, now is its shot.
Why It Will Lose- It has yet to win much of anything. For its first two seasons, the awards haul for House of Cards has been Emmys for Directing, Casting, Cinematography, and Sound Mixing, a Writers Guild Award for New Series, Golden Globes for Best Actor and Actress, a Satellite Award for Best Actress, and a SAG Award for Best Actor. It's never won a Best Series award in any award show.

Mad Men:
Why It Will Win- Like Parks and Recreation, a beloved series in its final season, and this one has won the series Emmy four times before. It's back as a double nominee in the Writing category again after failing to get nominated either of the two previous seasons.
Why It Will Lose- Mad Men won the series Emmy for its first four seasons. Since then, it has failed to win an Emmy in any category, with decreasing nominations every year. And no drama series has ever won five series Emmys before.

Orange is the New Black:
Why It Will Win- It has momentum. It has had new episodes more recently than any of the other nominees. The fact that those episodes are not the ones that are nominated has little effect; people were talking about Orange while voting took place.
Why It Will Lose- It has been a long time since the nominated episodes of Orange did air. And it could not win against a weaker comedy field last year, this year's drama is a much tougher competition. And like Transparent, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and House of Cards, it needs to break the streaming ceiling.

Who Should Win- Mad Men. I actually preferred this season of Orange is the New Black to Mad Men, but it feels like Mad Men should win this.

Who Will Win- Mad Men. I have no confidence in this, and I wouldn't be surprised if its the show's only win of the night.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
The Contenders:
Louis C.K., Louie
Will Forte, Last Man on Earth
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
The Dark Horse:
William H. Macy, Shameless
The Long Shots:
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

C.K., Cheadle, and LeBlanc are frequent also-rans in this category behind the not-nominated Jim Parsons, but the extent of Louie nominations over those for the Showtime shows make him seem closer. Anderson was a bit of a surprise nominee, so it feels like the other two newbies join frequent Emmy winner C.K. as the favorites.

Who Should Win- Jeffrey Tambor. Transparent, almost all of which I watched last night, was not my favorite series, but Tambor's performance was exceptional.

Who Will Win- Jeffrey Tambor. One of several acting categories with no incumbent gets saved with a great performance joining the class.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
The Contenders:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
The Dark Horse:
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
The Long Shots:
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback

The Emmys love both Louis-Dreyfus and Tomlin, but much of the talk of this year has been the Amys, with Poehler's Parks finale and Schumer's explosion in the culture. Could Schumer ride Trainwreck to an Emmy in this category the way that Melissa McCarthy rode Bridesmaids a few years ago? 

Who Should Win- Amy Poehler. The always deserving SNL alum finally got some recognition for her role as Leslie Knope at the 2014 Golden Globes, but she deserves an Emmy for this show.

Who Will Win- Julia Louis-Dreyfus. There's no reason to believe she will not win this award.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

The Contenders:
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
The Dark Horse:
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
The Long Shots:
Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Three men could claim incumbency to this award- Odenkirk has the followup role to Bryan Cranston's 2014 winner, Daniels was the most recent of these nominees to win, in 2013, and Chandler is the only nominee to win this award in his most recent nomination, although for a different role on a different show back in 2011. Hamm has been waiting for his time, losing Cranston (x4), Chandler, Daniels, and Damian Lewis over the run of Mad Men. And hey, Liev Schreiber is here!

Who Should Win- Jon Hamm. It's time.

Who Will Win- Kevin Spacey. It feels like he's just been biding time for Cranston to go away so he can win his Emmy and let House of Cards end.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

The Contenders:
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
The Dark Horse:
Claire Danes, Homeland
The Long Shots:
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Robin Wright, House of Cards

After years of critics calling her a snub, Maslany's nomination is her win. This looked like Davis' to lose through the winter, but Empire could be inescapable. And never count out Emmy favorite Danes.

Who Should Win- Elisabeth Moss. This maybe wasn't Moss' best season, but it was the season of this.

Who Will Win- Viola Davis. The one thing that, to me, gives Davis the edge is the success of Shonda actresses in the early days of Grey's Anatomy.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

The Contenders:
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
The Dark Horse:
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The Long Shots:
Adam Driver, Girls
Keegan-Michael Key, Key and Peele

Braugher is an Emmy favorite on a show starring this year's Emmy host, but the show's lack of support elsewhere makes him weak, even as a contender. This is probably Burrell vs. Hale, unless the voting block goes all in on Kimmy Schmidt.

Who Should Win- Andre Braugher. There's a pretty good reason Braugher is an Emmy favorite.

Who Will Win- Ty Burrell. Modern Family isn't going to disappear entirely.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
The Contenders:
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Allison Janney, Mom
The Dark Horse:
Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
The Long Shots:
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Gaby Hoffman, Transparent
Niecy Nash, Getting On

This probably comes down to Bowen and Janney, two Emmy favorites. But if Veep has a big night, Chlumsky could grab this, and same with Krakowski for Kimmy Schmidt. And if there's a desire to honor SNL's big 40th season, McKinnon could sneak in.

Who Should Win- Kate McKinnon. McKinnon does not dominate SNL the same way that Kristen Wiig did, but she does so many things exceptionally well.

Who Will Win- Allison Janney. Perhaps her loss in the guest acting category is a sign of things to come, but I'm not sure there is any other reason to bet against her.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
The Contenders:
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
The Dark Horse:
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
The Long Shots:
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

Banks has the episode to submit, and should have won two years ago when he was beaten by Bobby Cannavale. If Breaking Bad's Emmy success is going to continue through to Better Call Saul, this will be the place. But Mendehlson got rave reviews, and if this is House of Cards's year Kelly could take it.

Who Should Win- Jonathan Banks. Seriously, did you see "Five-O"?

Who Will Win- Jonathan Banks. Better Call Saul is not Breaking Bad, but this is the one spot where the success will continue.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
The Contenders:
Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
The Dark Horse:
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
The Long Shots:
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey

To call Emmy favorite Baranski and defending Golden Globe winner Froggatt long shots is probably foolish. Aduba won last year, but that was as a guest star in a comedy, albeit the same role in the same show. Headey and Clarke both failed to win when they were nominated separately each of the past two years, how will two nominees from the show affect this category?

Who Should Win- Uzo Aduba. Aduba's Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" is one of the most fascinating performances on television, comedic or dramatic.

Who Will Win- Uzo Aduba. Another category where I have no confidence, let's go with the woman with the Emmy statuette for her role before.

Who Will Win The Other Awards
Outstanding Variety Talk Series: 
Who Will Win- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: 
Who Will Win- Inside Amy Schumer.
Outstanding Limited Series: 
Who Will Win- Olive Kitteridge.
Outstanding Reality-Competition Series: 
Who Will Win- The Amazing Race.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: 
Who Will Win- Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: 
Who Will Win- Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: 
Who Will Win- Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: 
Who Will Win- Mo'Nique, Bessie.
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: 
Who Will Win- The Last Man on Earth.
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: 
Who Will Win- The Knick.
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series: 
Who Will Win- The Colbert Report.
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special: 
Who Will Win- Olive Kitteridge.
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: 
Who Will Win- Transparent.
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: 
Who Will Win- Mad Men ("Person to Person").
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series: 
Who Will Win- The Colbert Report.
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special: 
Who Will Win- American Crime.