Heed the Creative Arts, yet pay them no attention. Basing predictions for the main ceremony over what transpired in the technical categories would have yielded mixed results this year.
Except for a minor shift toward “Sherlock: His Last Vow” in the Best Movie/Mini Writing category that dubiously improved its Gold Derby odds from 50/1 to 33/1, its four Creative Arts wins (Cinematography, Editing, Music, Sound Editing) did not factor into predictions.
The Creative Arts had actually been a bloodbath for favored “Fargo” and “The Normal Heart,” as they respectively claimed only Casting and Makeup from a combined 17 nominations. Despite these red flags, each maintained their frontrunner positions in just about every movie/mini category for the main ceremony, usually with the other as runner-up. However, “Sherlock: His Last Vow” again dominated with three more upsets [Benedict Cumberbatch (Actor), Martin Freeman (Supporting Actor), Writing], making it the most awarded program in any genre at the Emmys.
“Orange is the New Black” had a great night at the Creative Arts, winning the three categories in which it was nominated: Best Casting, Editing and Guest Actress for Uzo Aduba. “Modern Family” was shut out, even losing in categories in which it has historically performed well, like Art Direction and Sound Mixing, which respectively went to first-time nominee “House of Lies” and consecutive winner “Nurse Jackie.” The Creative Arts seemingly confirmed what the nominations had revealed, specifically that “Orange is the New Black” was coming in strong, as “Modern Family” was on its way out. This proved not to be the case at the main ceremony where “Modern Family” was the triple winner and “Orange is the New Black” was the one shut out.
Results in some specific races also seemed inconsistent. Emmy voters went for the “Las Vegas” farce episode of “Modern Family” in Directing, but not Editing. If the “Who Goes There” episode of “True Detective” with the long take won Best Directing after Cinematography, why did the “Buridan’s Ass” episode of “Fargo” with the snowstorm beat “Sherlock: His Last Vow” in Directing, but not Cinematography? And how did “Sherlock: His Last Vow” win just about every award that it possibly could against “The Normal Heart,” shy of the most important one: TV Movie?
Even the Creative Arts had featured internal inconsistency, as “The Square” won three of its four nominations (Cinematography, Directing and Editing) and inexplicably lost only the Documentary top prize. The victor was the “JFK” installment of “American Experience” and it had won no other Emmys.