Lots of love this year for Game of Thrones. Not so much for my picks…


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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:

The Americans
W! Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Downton Abbey
*Better Call Saul
Mr. Robot

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:

W! Veep  
*Silicon Valley
Modern Family
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:

American Crime
*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 “” 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!

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