There is simply so much good content out there — in fact, way too much — that picking Primetime Emmy nominees that deserve to win is a tough job indeed. If they have gotten this far, with this level of competition, then they have to be good. I have seen much of what voters have to sift through to fill out their ballots, and it becomes a Solomon’s choice in many instances, this — and every — year.
For the past couple of weeks each day I have been predicting who will win in the various major program and acting categories, but now here is who I think would be cool to see up there getting an Emmy onstage — not necessarily who I think will win. Mostly I love surprises, so am really hoping for the upset brigade to triumph, though I wouldn’t count on it.
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How can we compare the joys of watching The White Lotus, for example, against the harrowing truths of Dopesick? Both deserve Emmys for exceptional storytelling and craftsmanship in very different ways. I am thrilled HBO ordered up a second season of The White Lotus, moving to Sicily but still being driven by the brilliant Mike White, who I hope finds some love on Emmy night. The one actor from the Hawaiian-set original that will be returning with an all-new cast of characters is the inimitable Jennifer Coolidge. I can’t wait to see where she takes Tanya McQuoid in the next edition, but I certainly hope the first one takes her straight up to the Emmy stage. More than ever, shows like this one prove it might not be a bad idea for the Television Academy to add a couple of ensemble categories. It is hard to decide who should win with so many forced to compete against each other.
I am also rooting for Korean sensation Squid Game to score major Emmy love for its startlingly original television achievement. It would be so cool for that group to find their way to the winner’s circle.
My real guilty pleasure, however, is still the one that has been going this entire century and never gets old. Wouldn’t it be swell to see Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm finally win the Comedy Series Emmy that has long eluded it? It is the longest of shots, but this past season was every bit as sharp as it has always been. I can’t wait for the next batch of new shows in this series.
Just for old times sake it would be nice to see a major broadcast network (remember those?) come back and win in a major program category – Drama, Comedy, or Limited Series – but that would mean the sole broadcast nominee in any of them, ABC’s Abbott Elementary, would have to win, and I wouldn’t mind that a bit. I guarantee you it would be a very popular win to be sure.
And here is what I would really like to see, someone other than John Oliver win for VarietyTalk Series. Enough is enough after six years in row, good as Oliver’s weekly series is. Let’s give it to one of the shows that have to turn it out every night.
I do think Ben Stiller is going to take an Emmy statuette home for Severance. The industry loves the show, and he deserves it for tapping into our post-pandemic zeitgeist, even if it was incidental (the show has been in development since at least 2017). It is a show of its time, and its time has come. And let’s root for Better Call Saul’s Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk too, although if it doesn’t happen they are still eligible again next year for the last batch of episodes that aired this summer. One way or another they can not be ignored.
I know it is not exactly hip in critics circles to sing the praises of The Morning Show, although I don’t know why. It is one of the most watchable shows on the air. I can’t get enough of it, and in addition to Billy Crudup repeating his 2020 Emmy win, I would love to see Reese Witherspoon take Actress in a Drama Series. As far as Emmys go, this show is the most underrated in my view.
Wouldn’t it just make the night if somehow Steve Martin and Martin Short could tie for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series? That would be fun.
And though it didn’t make the cut for Comedy Series, I was so happy to see the wonderful musical takeoff Schmigadoon! win for Original Song for “Corn Puddin’” at last week’s Creative Arts ceremonies, one of the four categories for which it had been nominated. Next year let’s hope it will get nominated right where it belongs as Outstanding Comedy Series. I just know the sun will come out for you one day, Schmigadoon!
The very long Emmy season comes to a close tonight when the 74th Annual Emmys airs on NBC beginning at 5pm PT/8pm ET. Whatever happens all will be deserving. It has been a season full of great content, too much content, but great anyway. Good luck to all the nominees. See you at the Microsoft.
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