Friday, September 11, 2020

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Limited Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by show. Beware of minor spoilers for listed series.

Little Fires Everywhere aired eight episodes between March and April 2020 on Hulu. The adaptation of Celeste Ng’s novel is a powerful exploration of the racial divide between two families in a suburban Ohio neighborhood. It earned four additional nominations, for directing, music competition, music and lyrics, and star Kerry Washington’s performance.

Mrs. America aired eight episodes between April and May 2020 on Hulu as a production of FX. This original series charts opposing camps working to advocate for and against the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s with an entertaining approach and a terrific ensemble. It earned nine additional nominations, for casting, costumes, music composition, and picture editing, as well as acting bids for stars Cate Blanchett, Uzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, and Tracey Ullman.

Unbelievable premiered eight episodes in September 2019 on Netflix. This harrowing series is based on an article by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong and features a young woman convinced by authorities that the rape she endured is a fiction of her imagination and two female detectives tracking a series of sexual assaults. It earned three additional nominations, for writing, casting, and star Toni Collette (though Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever also should have been recognized).

Unorthodox premiered four episodes in March 2020 on Netflix. Based on Deborah Feldman’s book “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots,” this series, which is primarily in Yiddish, follows a woman who escapes her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn to discover herself in Berlin. It earned seven additional nominations, for casting, costumes, music composition, main title theme music, writing, directing, and star Shira Haas.

Watchmen aired nine episodes between October and December 2019 on HBO. Based on the comic book, this drama series, which was later redefined as a limited series, is set in an alternate present where police officers in Oklahoma must wear masks to protect themselves against a violent white supremacist group. It is the overall nominations leader at the Emmys this year, with twenty-six total bids, including for six of its actors and three nominations in directing.

HBO has won this award ten times since 1998, including five of the last eight years. FX has won every other year since 2014 for a total of three wins. Netflix is a relative newcomer to this category, earning its third nomination, and Hulu is here for the first time. In 2017, the first season of “Big Little Lies” defeated “Feud: Bette and Joan,” which had more nominations.

What should win: This is really a terrific list. “Unorthodox” would be my choice, but “Watchmen” is excellent too. It’s hard to argue that the other three aren’t just as deserving.
What will win: There could be a swell of support for “Unorthodox,” but I don’t see anything but Watchmen winning this.

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