Emmy Awards 2017: Counting down to TV's big night, and predicting its biggest winners

Sneha Khale

Sep,17 2017 19:09 39 IST

Now that we’ve put our disappointment with the Emmys for not nominating two of our favourites — Tatiana Maslany for Best Actress - Drama (for Orphan Black) and Bojack Horseman for Best Comedy Series — behind us (it’ll be a while before we get over the Winona Ryder snub for Stranger Things), we can finally focus our TV-obsessed attention on the actual awards show.

The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards or the Emmy Awards 2017 will be telecast in India on Star World on Monday (18 September) from 5 am onwards.

Stephen Colbert will host the show this year, although (as always) we're more excited to see how our predictions and favourite shows fare, more than anything else. Well, except for the fashion, of course!

Here are the top contenders for the Emmy Awards 2017

Here are the top contenders for the Emmy Awards 2017

Let’s do a final rundown of the favourites, shall we?

Outstanding Drama Series:

Who we want to win: Stranger Things.

Who we think will win: The Handmaid’s Tale or Westworld.

No conversation about television over the past few years has been complete without a mention of Game of Thrones (GoT). Westworld is a worthy substitute for HBO, in the absence of GoT from the Emmy nominations this year (the nominations were already announced before GoT season 7 started in July). No other TV show, however, feels as relevant to life in 2017, as The Handmaid’s Tale.

Stranger Things, on the other hand, resonated with audiences in a different manner; its nostalgia-invoking ode to the ’80s, simpler times, childhood adventures and friendships, made it last summer’s biggest hit and its cultural impact has gone way beyond inspirations for Halloween costumes. For us, Stranger Things redefined television when it came out last year, or at least it redefined streaming shows. Nothing would ever be the same after those first ten minutes we spent with a group of kids in Hawkins, Indiana. It was the chocolate pudding that our aforementioned television-obsessed hearts didn’t know was needed. The question for the Emmys will be — do they award a show that has greater socio-cultural impact (The Handmaid’s Tale) or a higher pop culture impact (Stranger Things)? We’ll find out in a few hours.

Outstanding Comedy Series:

Who we want to win: Master of None.

Who we think will win: blackish or Veep.

Don’t get us wrong — we love, love, love the absurd-yet-brilliant madness of Veep; we also enjoyed the surreal trippiness of Atlanta, and the on-point satire on Silicon Valley.

But no “comedy” show brought out the utter beauty of human relationships (and food and life, in general) as gorgeously as Master of None did. The narrative, the cinematography, the brand-new way of portraying food (as something that isn’t pretentious and super exclusive, but heartfelt, whether you’re eating at home or dining in the best restaurant in the world) — if Stranger Things redefined genre shows, season 2 of Master of None redefined “sitcom” storytelling. We're feeling hungry and generous and light-hearted just thinking about the show’s latest season. Fingers crossed, but we're not holding our breath.

Outstanding Lead Actress and Actor in a Drama Series:

Who we want to win: Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale); we have no favourite among the actors.

Who we think will win: Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale); either Anthony Hopkins (Westworld) or Sterling K Brown (This is Us).

Alexis Bledel has already won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, for her inspired portrayal of Ofglen in The Handmaid’s Tale (the award was announced at the Creative Emmys earlier this week). Now it’s just a matter of a few hours before her co-star Elisabeth Moss wins an Emmy for her role of the main protagonist and narrator of the story — Offred. Moss’ portrayal of the handmaid Offred is scintillating — every twitch of her eye, flare of her nostril, turn of her mouth, catch in her voice. Honestly, it would be a shock if she doesn’t get this one.

Anthony Hopkins is a legendary Oscar winner, and the Emmys love that (hello Kevin Spacey!). But Sterling K Brown can make any role look like an effortless stroll through the park, and This is Us has gathered the right amount of momentum leading up to the Emmys. Either way, or any other way, it’ll be very well-deserved.

Outstanding Lead Actress and Actor in a Comedy Series:

Who we want to win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep); Aziz Ansari (Master of None).

Who we think will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep); Donald Glover (Atlanta).

Dayum Julia Louis-Dreyfus is funny! Not many actors can do what she does, with her character Selina Meyer — at once grating and horrible and vulnerable and downright hilarious. Not unless you’re an actor who has won an Emmy for every role (on multiple shows) that she’s been nominated for (Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and the reigning five-time Emmy winner for Veep!). Louis-Dreyfus will most likely win again, unless Pamela Adlon pulls an upset win for Better Things.

We loved the second season of Master of None so darn much that we may be a tad bit prejudiced toward Aziz Ansari for this win. But he plays Dev so endearingly, so earnestly, that we're afraid it’ll just be too harsh if he doesn’t win. Donald Glover is good (not great or terrific) in Atlanta, but we have a feeling his is the kind of artsy rawness that’ll attract more Emmy votes.

 

Outstanding Limited Series:

Who we want to win: Big Little Lies.

Who we think will win: Big Little Lies.

If you’d thought that an HBO series starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Alexander Skarsgard, and Adam Scott would be good, well, guess what? You were so right! Big Little Lies was freaking brilliant! The gorgeous actors and the even more gorgeous settings and surroundings that made you feel like you were watching real estate porn (if there is such a thing!), until you realised that there’s something more — sinister, profound, celebratory — underneath the fresh coats of makeup and paint. Everything about Big Little Lies was totally award-worthy!

Outstanding Lead Actress and Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie:

Who we want to win: Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies); We don’t have a particular favourite among the actors.

Who we think will win: Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies); Riz Ahmed (The Night Of) or Robert De Niro (The Wizard of Lies).

Ah, Nicole Kidman! Ah, Nicole Kidman as Celeste. And oh my god, Celeste’s quiet (and sometimes not-so-quiet), tortured suffering at the hands of her handsome husband! Her seething rage under her obvious physical attraction to him. A complex, nuanced character that deserved Oscar-winning pedigree. And boy, did Kidman deliver! Give her all the awards please.

And, well, umm, someone will win in the men’s category too. Next please.

Outstanding Supporting Actress and Actor in a Drama Series:

Who we want to win: Thandie Newton (Westworld); John Lithgow (The Crown) or Jeffrey Wright (Westworld).

Who we think will win: Thandie Newton (Westworld); John Lithgow (The Crown) or Jeffrey Wright (Westworld).

There hasn’t been a TV show like Westworld before now, and playing robots/androids playing human (unaware at first, and then suddenly, knowing) can be a tough ask for the most seasoned actors. Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright made this look freaking easy; so convincing were they as Maeve and Bernard, respectively, that it may be difficult to see them as anything else from now on. Maeve coming alive and exploring what her intelligence is capable of, was our most favourite part of Westworld season 1.

While Newton is the favourite in her category, Wright has stiff competition, especially in the form of five-time Emmy winner and the man who can play an alien (on 3rd Rock from the Sun), a serial killer (on Dexter), and Winston Churchill (on The Crown) with equal brilliance — John Lithgow. We also have a feeling that The Crown, Netflix’s $100 million series, is probably going to be award-snubbed in other categories, which will make an Emmy nod for Lithgow sort-of like a nod to the series overall.

Outstanding Supporting Actress and Actor in a Comedy Series:

Who we want to win: Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live); Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live) or Tony Hale (Veep).

Who we think will win: Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live); Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live).

We're huge fans of Kate McKinnon, period. But then again, who in their right mind isn’t? Whether she’s playing Hillary Clinton or talking, deadpan, about what she does these days (“singer-songwriter is the dream, party clown is the reality”, rofl), in an Australian accent no less, McKinnon cracks us up. Please just hand her that Emmy!

McKinnon, and Alec Baldwin, are clear favourites for Saturday Night Live (SNL). And as much as we enjoyed watching Baldwin on SNL, we have a soft spot for Tony Hale’s Gary on Veep — as Selina’s personal aide and loyal, devoted confidante, Gary has the unenviable job of being everything that Selina needs/wants, and Hale plays this role perfectly! I mean, just look at these —

No wonder he’s already won two Emmys for this role in this category!

Outstanding Supporting Actress and Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:

Who we want to win: Laura Dern (Big Little Lies) or Michelle Pfeiffer (The Wizard of Lies); Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies) or David Thewlis (Fargo).

Who we think will win: Regina King (American Crime); Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies) or David Thewlis (Fargo).

We only have one thing to say about this category — Alexander Skarsgard better win for his role as Nicole Kidman’s physically and emotionally abusive younger (and painfully handsome) husband on Big Little Lies. It was one thing playing a vampire (on True Blood) and a United States Marine Corps Sergeant (on Generation Kill) — both roles that he was amazing in — but this is the big league now. And Skarsgard is lit!

Outstanding Variety Talk Series:

Who we want to win: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Who we think will win: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Last Sunday, at the end of Last Week Tonight, when John Oliver said they’ll be returning only after two weeks, we let out an audible cry of disappointment. After all, they’d just gotten back from a three-week hiatus, and we need our weekly fix of John Oliver! We let this one slide because the break is for tonight’s Emmys, where the show is nominated. And will most likely win. Huzzah!

Last year on the Emmys red carpet, Priyanka Chopra was the dancing girl emoji in her lovely red Jason Wu gown; this year, many fashion experts are pointing towards long sleeves and fringe as the two biggest trends to look forward to. Doesn’t matter to us. We're more interested in specific actors and what they’ll be wearing...like Winona Ryder (fingers crossed she makes an appearance!), Millie Bobby Brown, Donald Glover, and others. Most of all though, we're looking forward to seeing what Nicole Kidman wears to the Emmys; she’s always so impeccably dressed, and she’s had such an amazing 2017 (acting-wise of course, but also fashion-wise). Just look at her!

In the end, there’s only one thing to say — “may the best dressed actors win.”