“I think it was ‘Game of Thrones’ that kicked that door down,” said Matt Duffer when we sat down with him and his brother Ross Duffer in June for an in-depth discussion about their unlikely awards sensation “Stranger Things” (watch above). “To be able to do something in genre — something with monsters or robots and have it be taken somewhat seriously, five or ten years ago it seems impossible to imagine.”
No need to imagine anymore. “Stranger Things” is one of the most nominated series at the Emmys this year with a whopping 18 bids. It’s tied with FX’s anthology series “Feud: Bette and Joan” and behind only two shows that have 22 apiece: the late-night sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live” and the HBO drama “Westworld,” which is also a sci-fi/fantasy series telling the story of artificially intelligent robots in a futuristic theme park that recreates the wild west.
This follows two years at the Emmys when “Game of Thrones” won Best Drama Series twice in a row and collected a total of 24 awards — bringing its total to a record 38. Gone are the days when sci-fi or fantasy classics like “Star Trek,” “The X-Files” and “Battlestar Galactica” struggled to win top categories — if they could even get nominations. Now the monsters and robots are in the driver’s seat.
Three of the nominations for “Stranger Things” are for the Duffer Brothers themselves: Best Drama Series, Best Drama Writing (for “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”) and Best Drama Directing (also for “Chapter One”). Do you think they’ll sweep? Make your Emmy predictions now.