Friday, September 16, 2016

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Drama Series

As I’ve done the past few years, I’m excited to present a detailed look at the Emmy race in each category with a spotlight on every sample episode submitted for consideration to voters. Click on episode titles to read reviews and offer your thoughts in the comments!

The Americans (Chloramphenicol, Travel Agents, The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears, The Day After, A Roy Rogers in Franconia, Persona Non Grata)
Better Call Saul (Gloves Off, Rebecca, Bali Ha’i, Fifi, Nailed, Klick)
Downton Abbey (Episode 6.01, Episode 6.03, Episode 6.06, Episode 6.07, Episode 6.08, Episode 6.09)
Game of Thrones (The Red Woman, Home, Oathbreaker, Book of the Stranger, Battle of the Bastards, The Winds of Winter)
Homeland (The Tradition of Hospitality, Why Is This Night Different?, All About Allison, The Litvinov Ruse, Our Man in Damascus, A False Glimmer)
House of Cards (Chapter 40, Chapter 41, Chapter 42, Chapter 43, Chapter 44, Chapter 45)
Mr. Robot (eps1.0_hellofriend.moveps1.1_ones-and-zer0es.mpegeps1.5_br4ve-trave1er.asf, eps1.7_wh1ter0se.m4veps1.8_m1rr0r1ng.qteps1.9_zer0-day.avi

We have one new show and one seasoned show in this race for the first time, joining five shows that are veterans here. This is the most of “The Americans” that I’ve ever watched, and while I know that I’m less enthusiastic about it than others, I still think that its installments don’t paint the strongest picture of the show and require too much investment in it. That’s probably true also of “Better Call Saul,” a tremendous series with only superb episodes submitted that may well be better than “Breaking Bad” (not a popular opinion, I’m sure). For its final season, “Downton Abbey,” whose quality has remained consistent throughout, is just as likely to win as it was other years, unless nostalgia kicks in, which I don’t think will happen given the show’s lone acting nomination. “Game of Thrones,” last year’s winner, submitted its first four and last two episodes. I’m surprised that “The Door” wasn’t one of them since it did receive a directing nomination, and I’d vote for the show if I saw “The Winds of Winter.” I don’t think there’s any stopping this show, which doesn’t require much context since obviously voters are regular viewers. “Homeland” shouldn’t be here after dropping in quality after its first two excellent seasons. The first two episodes submitted are okay, but the other four all earned a C+ or C from me. “House of Cards” is interesting since the latter half of its season was great, but instead of submitting the season finale or the fantastic “Chapter 49,” the first six episodes were chosen. They’re not bad but they won’t net a win for the show. And then there’s the mesmerizing “Mr. Robot,” new to this race and to television in general. Getting nominated was a major score, and with the exception of the second episode, all of the installments are great choices. I’d give this show a spoiler chance, but it’s not likely to be able to dethrone the defending champion.

What should win (based on entire season): “Better Call Saul” or “Mr. Robot”
What should win (based on individual episodes): “Better Call Saul” What will win: How could it not be Game of Thrones?

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