2018 Emmy Predictions: The Handmaid's & Westeros Face Off

 by Darius Gordon

by Darius Gordon

It's that time of the year again friends and I couldn't be thirstier: it's award SZN! The 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards is tonight, and I'm coming at with that same energy we had for this year's Oscars. Last year, one of the best dramas to ever touch the small screen, The Handmaid's Tale, came through and dominated the Emmy’s, becoming the first streaming series to win Best Drama. If you aren't watching, get in tune.

Donald Glover also became the first African-American to win Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series when he took home the award for Atlanta, while Chicago's own Lena Waithe became the first African-American woman to win Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series alongside Aziz Ansari for Master of None and Issa Rae gave us the iconic quote that stands true to this day…

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Both Atlanta and Handmaid's Tale have notched an impressive eight nominations, as did Saturday Night Live, but the biggest threat this year is the returning Game of Thrones and FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, both leading all shows with nine nominations. Netflix leads the networks with an impressive 36 nominations, HBO with 35, and FX with 24.

A quick shout out to some winners from the Creative Arts Emmys this past week: Samira Wiley for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama series (Handmaid's Tale), Katt Williams for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (Atlanta), and Tiffany Haddish for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (SNL).

Anyway, let's get to my predictions the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards.

(winners in bold)

Outstanding Drama Series

  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

  • Game of Thrones (HBO)

  • This Is Us (NBC)

  • The Crown (Netflix)

  • The Americans (FX)

  • Stranger Things (Netflix)

  • Westworld (HBO)

The big face-off this year is between The Handmaid's Tale and Game of Thrones. Thrones usually dominates the Emmy's with 38 wins to date, last year’s break gave The Handmaid's Tale a pretty easy path to the finish line. While the seventh season of Game of Thrones was by far some of the best television I've ever seen, Handmaid's Tale was that much better.

 via FX

via FX

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • Atlanta (FX)

  • Barry (HBO)

  • Black-ish (ABC)

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

  • GLOW (Netflix)

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

  • Silicon Valley (HBO)

  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Outstanding Limited Series

  • The Alienist (TNT)

  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)

  • Genius: Picasso (Nat Geo)

  • Godless (Netflix)

  • Patrick Melrose (Showtime)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  • Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)

  • Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)

  • Ed Harris (“Westworld”)

  • Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)

  • Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)

  • Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”)

This category will be a tight one. Naturally, I'm rooting for Jeffrey Wright and Sterling K. Brown, but out of the two, Wright delivered such a compelling performance in this year's season of Westworld. However, Jason Bateman was spectacular and calculated in every scene of Ozark. There's a good chance that Brown could go for back-to-back wins after snagging his second Emmy win in last year.

 via Hulu

via Hulu

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Claire Foy (“The Crown”)

  • Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”)

  • Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  • Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)

  • Keri Russell (“The Americans”)

  • Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”)

Sandra Oh is the first Asian woman nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She’s locked in a battle with the favorite and last year's winner, Elisabeth Moss. As happy as I am for Oh, Moss really commanded every single scene she had in season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (they won this and best directing last yr)

  • Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)

  • Bill Hader (“Barry”)

  • Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)

  • William H. Macy (“Shameless”)

  • Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)

  • Ted Danson (“The Good Place”)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”)

  • Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

  • Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”)

  • Allison Janney (“Mom”)

  • Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”)

  • Issa Rae (“Insecure”)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”)

  • Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”)

  • Jeff Daniels (“The Looming Tower”)

  • John Legend (“Jesus Christ Superstar”)

  • Jesse Plemons (“USS Callister”/Black Mirror)

 via Netflix

via Netflix

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Laura Dern (“The Tale”)

  • Jessica Biel (“The Sinner”)

  • Michelle Dockery (“Godless”)

  • Edie Falco (“The Menendez Murders”)

  • Regina King (“Seven Seconds”)

  • Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Cult”)

I might be a Sarah Paulson stan, and her work in American Horror Story: Cult was incredible (the arc of her character was unlike anything we've seen from her), but miss Regina King had me damn near crying, screaming and cursing the TV out with her performance in Netflix's Seven Seconds.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”)

  • Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”)

  • Joseph Fiennes (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  • David Harbour (“Stranger Things”)

  • Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”)

  • Matt Smith (“The Crown”)

 via Hulu

via Hulu

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • Alexis Bledel (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  • Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”)

  • Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  • Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”)

  • Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”)

  • Thandie Newton (“Westworld”)

  • Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

This is probably the tightest race in any category this year. Thandie is by far my favorite actress on this list and her role in Westworld's second season was phenomenal, but in terms of performance, Yvonne Strahovski went crazy in this season of The Handmaid's Tale. She'll be going against last year's winner, Ann Dowd, and the biggest threat on this list in Lena Headey. It's a close one, but Strahovski's performance was compelling in every single scene.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Louie Anderson (“Baskets”)

  • Alec Baldwin (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)

  • Brian Tyree Henry (“Atlanta”)

  • Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

  • Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Henry Winkler (“Barry”)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”)

  • Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

  • Aidy Bryant (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”)

  • Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”)

  • Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”)

 via FX

via FX

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Jeff Daniels (“Godless”)

  • Brandon Victor Dixon (“Jesus Christ Superstar”)

  • John Leguizamo (“Waco”)

  • Ricky Martin (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Edgar Ramirez (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Michael Stuhlbarg (“The Looming Tower”)

  • Finn Wittrock (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Sara Bareilles (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert”)

  • Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Judith Light (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Adina Porter (“American Horror Story: Cult”)

  • Merritt Wever (“Godless”)

  • Letitia Wright (“Black Museum” (Black Mirror))

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

  • F. Murray Abraham (“Homeland”)

  • Cameron Britton (“Mindhunter”)

  • Matthew Goode (“The Crown”)

  • Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”)

  • Gerald McRaney (“This Is Us”)

  • Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld”)

Outstanding Reality Competition Program

  • “The Amazing Race” (CBS)

  • “American Ninja Warrior” (NBC)

  • “Project Runway” (Lifetime)

  • “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)

  • “Top Chef” (Bravo)

  • “The Voice” (NBC)

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

  • At Home with Amy Sedaris (truTV)

  • Drunk History (Comedy Central)

  • I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman (Hulu)

  • Portlandia (IFC)

  • Saturday Night Live (NBC)

  • Tracey Ullman's Show (HBO)

Outstanding Variety Talk Show Series

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)

  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

  • The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

  • Atlanta (Episode: "FUBU"), directed by Donald Glover (FX)

  • Atlanta (Episode: "Teddy Perkins"), directed by Hiro Murai (FX)

  • Barry (Episode: "Chapter One: Make Your Mark"), directed by Bill Hader (HBO)

  • The Big Bang Theory (Episode: "The Bow Tie Asymmetry"), directed by Mark Cendrowski (CBS)

  • GLOW (Episode: "Pilot"), directed by Jesse Peretz (Netflix)

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "Pilot"), directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Amazon)

  • Silicon Valley (Episode: "Initial Coin Offering"), directed by Mike Judge(HBO)

While "FUBU" was an incredible episode of Atlanta, "Teddy Perkins" delivered on all fronts; the acting, score, cinematography, and overall tone of the episode was on point.

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Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

  • The Crown (Episode: "Paterfamilias"), directed by Stephen Daldry (Netflix)

  • Game of Thrones (Episode: "Beyond the Wall"), directed by Alan Taylor(HBO)

  • Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf"), directed by Jeremy Podeswa (HBO)

  • The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "After"), directed by Kari Skogland(Hulu)

  • Ozark (Episode: "The Toll"), directed by Jason Bateman (Netflix)

  • Ozark (Episode: "Tonight We Improvise"), directed by Daniel Sackheim(Netflix)

  • Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Nine: The Gate"), directed by the Duffer Brothers (Netflix)

Here Game of Thrones finally bests The Handmaid's Tale. "The Dragon and the Wolf" was the season finale and man oh man, the moment that ice dragon melted the wall is when the Emmy win was secured here. The episode kept you on the edge of your seat the entire time; Podeswa's work does not go unnoticed here.

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (Episode: "The Man Who Would Be Vogue"), directed by Ryan Murphy (FX)

  • Godless, directed by Scott Frank (Netflix)

  • Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, directed by David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski (NBC)

  • The Looming Tower (Episode: "9/11"), directed by Craig Zisk (Hulu)

  • Paterno, directed by Barry Levinson (HBO)

  • Patrick Melrose, directed by Edward Berger (Showtime)

  • Twin Peaks, directed by David Lynch (Showtime)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

  • Atlanta (Episode: "Alligator Man"), written by Donald Glover (FX)

  • Atlanta (Episode: "Barbershop"), written by Stefani Robinson (FX)

  • Barry (Episode: "Chapter One: Make Your Mark"), written by Alec Bergand Bill Hader (HBO)

  • Barry (Episode: "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going"), written by Liz Sarnoff (HBO)

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "Pilot"), written by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Amazon)

  • Silicon Valley (Episode: "Fifty-One Percent"), written by Alec Berg (HBO)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

  • The Americans (Episode: "START"), written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg (FX)

  • The Crown (Episode: "Mystery Man"), written by Peter Morgan (Netflix)

  • Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf"), written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (HBO)

  • The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "June"), written by Bruce Miller (Hulu)

  • Killing Eve (Episode: "Nice Face"), written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge(BBC America)

  • Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Nine: The Gate"), written by the Duffer Brothers (Netflix)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

  • American Vandal (Episode: "Clean Up"), written by Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus (Netflix)

  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (Episode: "House by the Lake"), written by Tom Rob Smith (FX)

  • Black Mirror: USS Callister, written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker (Netflix)

  • Godless, written by Scott Frank (Netflix)

  • Patrick Melrose, written by David Nicholls (Showtime)

  • Twin Peaks, written by Mark Frost and David Lynch (Showtime)

Tune into the Emmys on Monday, September 17th and join me for a recap.  Check out more of my work here & shoutout to the homie, Darius Gordon, yet again for the dope thumbnail.