Who and what should win? It is always a problem at the Emmys to see so many repeat winners year after year. By now, I’ve run my handicaps for the key series and actor races, but I’m always up for shaking things up and daring to do something a little different. Here are a few wildcard picks of not necessarily what I think will win, but what would satisfy me mightily if they do.
In the DRAMA SERIES race, for instance, there are lots of good choices, and Game Of Thrones already won last year, so enough blood and guts. I might go with Better Call Saul from AMC. I can’t think of anything more difficult than following up one of the greatest television series of all time (yes, that would be Breaking Bad), and delivering something equally compelling and yet distinct. Saul earns it on degree of difficulty, and I’m a huge Vince Gilligan fan, but wouldn’t it be equally great to see The Americans steal it away? I wouldn’t mind a bit.
For COMEDY SERIES, Veep is great, and never more timely, and can’t be beat. But, going rogue, I’d love to see ABC’s Black-ish break through and make a statement. It’s a show that can be both funny and pertinent.
In the LIMITED SERIES category, I very much admired what they accomplished in The People V. O.J. Simpson, but Simpson himself is so creepy. I’m also a John le Carré fan, so when an adaptation comes along firing on as many cylinders as The Night Manager does, I have to give it props—and some Emmys.
All is right with the TELEVISION MOVIE category: All The Way deserves to win, and it will win.
Over in VARIETY TALK SERIES, though, I’m sick and tired of seeing Bill Maher lose consistently over the past few decades, beginning with Politically Incorrect. He has been brilliant this election season, so I say, after 13 years of Comedy Central rule, let’s give HBO’s Maher his Emmy.
For VARIETY SKETCH SERIES, it’s actually shocking how few times Saturday Night Live has won this thing. For sheer longevity, I say SNL.
For SPECIAL CLASS PROGRAM, the class of this field of awards shows and football half-times is actually Fox’s Grease: Live, which shows you how you do it. UPDATE: And it turns out my fellow Academy members agreed with me as Grease: Live did win this category and three others during last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmy ceremonies. However, director Thomas Kail, Tony Award-winner for Hamilton, is up for Grease: Live in the Variety Special Directing category tonight and a win would make him one of the few people ever to take a Tony and Emmy in the same year.
And in REALITY COMPETITION, my vote goes to The Bachelor. Oh wait… that guilty pleasure has never been nominated. I abstain out of protest.
This post was originally published August 25, 2016.