Hello all, I am new to the Emmys this year. That being said I have a big question. I know how and which criteria to predict winners in acting and series races but the writing and directing races seem a bit harder to judge. What criteria should i judge the writing and directing by? I want to get a good score predicting my first Emmys so please help me out!
just pick which one you like the most
Yeah that’s a hard one. They’re difficult to predict. Sometimes the choices seem to be pretty obvious when there’s a lot of buzz about an episode with a particularly great scene in the Writing categories (like So Did the Fat Lady, Louie this year), sometimes you can predict an episode when there’s a known person involved (like the Jodie Foster directed OitNB episode Lesbian Request Denied). Sometimes I feel like they’re just show-checking, which means that they look at what won the year before and vote for the show again (like Boardwalk Empire or Modern Family last year). So just go with your intuition…
I hate to be ‘that guy’ but goldderby always does an excellent job of analyzing the Emmys. Look at the top 24 predictions, the experts and of course the editors. Most of the time the consensus among them is a good choice. The time to use your intuition is more in the really close races, like Comedy Series this year. Trying to gauge what is getting attention is difficult, but that’s exactly what the experts try to do. I’ll end by saying that you’re in the right place!
There are a few trends that you should know.
The directors’ branch loves pilots. People like to group writing and directing together and say that they both do, but being a pilot in a directing field is much easier. The writers’ branch tends to stick to what they like, nominating four episodes of Mad Men or 30 Rock in a single year, whereas the directors will nominate pilots of anything, even if they do not get corresponding writing nominations or really any other nominations at all, like with The Borgias, New Girl, Treme or Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In the last decade, ten comedy or drama pilots have won directing and only five for writing. The only pilot nominated this year is Silicon Valley, so watch out for that one.
In the drama directing category, you cannot trust Gold Derby because we are nearly always wrong. The consensus predicted Mad Men over House in 2008, Mad Men over ER in 2009, Lost over Dexter in 2010 and Homeland over Boardwalk Empire in 2012.
The only times that we have gotten drama directing right was when there was a big name involved, when Martin Scorsese directed Boardwalk Empire for 2011 or David Fincher for House of Cards in 2013. With this in mind, watch out for Jodie Foster with Orange is the New Black.
The writers are generally more on the pulse and more in line with the critics. They are the ones who recognized Community or The Wire when no other branches did or have been snubbing Modern Family for the last three years. Their winners are more predictable. There is no way that Breaking Bad loses for its final season; you just have to decide what episode. Comedy is trickier because there are a few more variables, specifically how Orange is the New Black being so dramatic will affect things. The only dramedy to win in recent years is Louie, which is still eligible. Then there is Silicon Valley and in keeping with the trend of the writers being more aware and also the trend of the directors going out of their way to recognize pilots, the directors nominated the pilot, but the writers nominated the finale, which is a lot funnier.