It’s that time of year when the Academy picks the best from their best of the best on the small screen and the verdicts are in.
* My pick. W! Winner.
WINNER Best Drama Series:
W! Game of Thrones
House of Cards
*Better Call Saul
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.
WINNER Best Comedy Series:
Master of None
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
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.
WINNER Best Actor in a Drama:
Kyle Chandler Bloodline
W! *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: Rami Malek. Ask me in an hour, and it’ll be Odenkirk. However it plays out, they’re all good picks.
WINNER Best Actress in a Drama:
Viola Davis How to Get Away with Murder
Claire Danes Homeland
Taraji P. Henson Empire
W!Tatiana Maslany Orphan Black
Keri Russell The Americans
*Robin Wright House of Cards
WINNER 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
W! 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.
WINNER Best Actress in Comedy:
Ellie Kemper Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
W! 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.
WINNER 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
W! 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.
WINNER Best Supporting Actress in Drama:
Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones
Lena Headey Game of Thrones
W! *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.
WINNER Best Supporting Actor in Comedy:
W! 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.
WINNER Best Supporting Actress in Comedy:
Anna Chlumsky Veep
Gaby Hoffmann Transparent
Allison Janney Mom
Judith Light Transparent
W! 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.
WINNER Best Limited Series:
*The Night Manager
W! The People v. O.J. Simpson
This to me is the clear winner, though Fargo has some great moments.
WINNER Best Television Movie:
A Very Murray Christmas
*All the Way
W! Sherlock: the Abominable Bride
Another easy pick.
WINNER 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
W! Courtney B. Vance The People v. OJ 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.
WINNER Best Actress in Limited Series or TV Movie:
Kirsten Dunst Fargo
Felicity Huffman American Crime
Audra McDonald Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grilll
W!*Sarah Paulson The People v. O.J. Simpson
Lili Taylor American Crime
Kerry Washington Confirmation
True confession, I didn’t see Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.
WINNER Best Supporting Actor in Limited Series or TV Movie:
W! 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
WINNER Best Supporting Actress in Limited Series or TV Movie:
Kathy Bates The People v. O.J. Simpson
Olivia Colman The Night Manager
Regina King American Crime
Melissa Leo All the Way
W! Sarah Paulson The People v. O.J. Simpson
*Jean Smart Fargo
WINNER Best Writing for Drama:
The Americans “Persona Non Grata” x by Joel Fields, Joe Weisenberg
Downtown Abbey “Episode 8” by Julian Fellowes
W! 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.
WINNER Best Writing for Comedy:
Catastrophe “Episode 1” by Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
W! 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 was interesting to see who won. The judges only agreed with three of my picks in 18 categories, giving me a mere 17% rate on predictions.
Oh, well. Better luck next year!