L. Warner on Emmys 2016

In the Age of Peak TV, does it get any better than this?

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                                                                     EMMYS – 2016

It’s that time of year when the Television Academy picks the best from their best of the best on the small screen.

No predictions from me; I’m known to not get a true or false question right until the third try, so I’m sure I wouldn’t know.

This is just my wish list.

Best Drama Series:

The Americans         FX
Game of Thrones     HBO
House of Cards         Netflix
Downton Abbey       PBS
*Better Call Saul      AMC
Mr. Robot                   USA
Homeland                  Showtime

Any of these would be good picks, but I’d choose Better Call Saul for its tight writing, good casting, great character arcs, and overall story.

Best Comedy Series:

Veep (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon)
*Silicon Valley (HBO)
Modern Family  (ABC)
Master of None (Netflix)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Black-ish (ABC)

I have to admit I have not seen Transparent, but of the others, Silicon Valley is far and away the easy choice here, for it’s tight but wonderfully funny writing, great characters, and farcical look at the tech industry.

Best Actor in a Drama:

Kyle Chandler           Bloodline
*Rami Malek             Mr. Robot
*Bob Odenkirk         Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys          The Americans
Liev Schreiber           Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey             House of Cards

This is another of the categories where any of the nominees is well-deserving.  Rami Malek is captivating as a mentally disturbed hacker in Mr. Robot, but Bob Odenkirk delivers dialog so well as a morally challenged lawyer in Better Call Saul.  This is purely a mood pick. Ask me again in an hour. However it plays out, they’re all good picks.

Best Actress in a Drama:

Viola Davis                How to Get Away with Murder
Claire Danes             Homeland
Taraji P. Henson      Empire
Tatiana Maslany      Orphan Black
Keri Russell               The Americans
*Robin Wright         House of Cards

Best Actor in a Comedy:

Anthony Anderson         Black-ish
Aziz Ansari                        Master of None
Will Forte                           The Last Man on Earth
William H. Macy              Shameless
*Thomas Middleditch    Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor                 Transparent

Heads up favorite here, Thomas Middleditch, even though I haven’t seen Transparent.  He nails his role as Richard in Silicon Valley.

Best Actress in Comedy:

Ellie Kemper                      Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus         Veep
*Laurie Metcalf                 Getting On
Tracee Ellis Ross               Black-ish
Amy Schumer                    Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin                         Grace and Frankie

I can’t honestly say any of these are my favorite shows, so I’d just go with Laurie Metcalf here.

Best Supporting Actor in Drama:

*Jonathan Banks         Better Call Saul
Peter Dinklage             Game of Thrones
Kit Harington               Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly                House of Cards
Ben Mendelsohn         Bloodline
Jon Voight                      Ray Donovan

This is an easy pick.  Jonathan Banks was excellent in Breaking Bad, but even better in Better Call Saul.  His contribution to the show has been underrated, I think.

Best Supporting Actress in Drama:

Emilia Clarke              Game of Thrones
Lena Headey               Game of Thrones
*Maggie Smith           Downton Abbey
Maura Tierney            The Affair
Maisie Williams         Game of Thrones
Constance Zimmer   UnREAL

What can I say? She nailed the role way back.

Best Supporting Actor in Comedy:

Louie Anderson              Baskets
Andre Braugher             Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Ty Burrell                         Modern Family
Tituss Burgess                Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale                         Veep
Keegan-Michael Key    Key and Peele
*Matt Walsh                   Veep

Here, I have to confess to have never seen Baskets.

Best Supporting Actress in Comedy:

Anna Chlumsky         Veep
Gaby Hoffmann         Transparent
Allison Janney            Mom
Judith Light                 Transparent
Kate McKinnon          Saturday Night Live
Niecy Nash                  Getting On

To be fair, I should see Transparent before deciding, and I really want to, given all the nods, especially in this category.  For that reason, I haven’t picked.

Best Limited Series:

American Crime  (ABC)
Fargo (FX)
*The Night Manager (AMC)
The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
Roots (History)

This to me is the clear winner, though Fargo has some great moments.

Best Television Movie:

A Very Murray Christmas (Netflix)
*All the Way (HBO)
Confirmation  (HBO)
Luther (BBC One)
Sherlock: the Abominable Bride (PBS)

Another easy pick.

Best Actor in Limited Series or TV Movie:

*Bryan Cranston         All the Way
Benedict
Cumberbatch            Sherlock: the Abominable Bride
Idris Elba                        Luther
Cuba Gooding Jr.         The People v. O.J. Simpson
Tom Hiddleston           The Night Manager
Coutney B. Vance        The People v. O.J. Simpson

Even though I think Bryan Cranston has gotten too much love in recent years, I have to admit he was masterful in this role.

Best Actress in Limited Series or TV Movie:

Kirsten Dunst             Fargo
Felicity Huffman       American Crime
Audra McDonald        Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grilll
*Sarah Paulson          The People v. OJ Simpson
Lili Taylor                     American Crime
Kerry Washington     Confirmation

True confession, I didn’t see Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

Best Supporting Actor in Limited Series or TV Movie:

Sterling K. Brown         The People v. O.J. Simpson
*Hugh Laurie                 The Night Manager
Jesse Plemons                Fargo
David Schwimmer        The People v. O.J. Simpson
John Travolta                  The People v. O.J. Simpson
Bokeem Woodbine        Fargo

Best Supporting Actress in Limited Series or TV Movie:

Kathy Bates                     American Horror Story: Hotel
Olivia Colman                The Night Manager
Regina King                    American Crime
Melissa Leo                     All the Way
Sarah Paulson                American Horror Story: Hotel
*Jean Smart                    Fargo

Best Writing for Drama:

The Americans “Persona Non Grata” by Joel Fields, Joe Weisenberg
Downtown Abbey “Episode 8” by Julian Fellowes
Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards” by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
The Good Wife “End” by Robert King, Michelle King
*Mr.  Robot “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov” by Sam Esmail
UnREAL “Return” by Marti Noxon, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

Mr. Robot was perhaps among the most intriguing pilots (which have their own set of challenges to write) which has ever aired, making this an extremely clear pick for me.

Best Writing for Comedy:

Catastrophe “Episode 1” by Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
Master of None “Parents” by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang
Silicon Valley “Founder Friendly” by Dan O’Keefe
*Silicon Valley “The Uptick” by Alec Berg
Veep “Morning After” by Alec Berg
Veep “Mother” by Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck

The scripts in Silicon Valley are exceptional. With two episodes for the same series, this could be tough, but “The Uptick” advanced the story more in a more interesting way. It’s my pick and I’m sticking to it.

It will be interesting to see who wins.

Author: Annie Moss

Political junkie and writer.

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