Emmys 2016 Slugfest: Best chances for surprises
Emmy voters had until today to get their ballots in, so my Gold Derby colleagues Charles Bright, Ralph Galvan and I got together via webcam (watch above) to dish the possible surprise winners we might see across almost all of the numerous categories in the comedy, drama, movie/mini, reality and variety fields.
Although there is not much we agree on, we all at least acknowledge that some categories appear to be no-brainers while some categories are completely wide open.
“If anyone can upset Julia Louis Dreyfus (‘Veep’), it is going to be an Emmy veteran, and there’s no bigger Emmy veteran than Lily Tomlin (‘Grace and Frankie’),” Charles proclaims as we open up the discussion with the Best Comedy Actress race. Ralph and I agree, noting that another veteran might be Laurie Metcalf (“Getting On”), who herself is nominated three times this year. We all agree that in Best Comedy Actor, Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”) is the safe bet, but watch out for Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”) or Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”). In Best Comedy Series, “Veep” looks like the best bet, and in the supporting categories, Allison Janney (“Mom”) looks set to win once again, while “Louie Anderson (‘Baskets’) is a possibility; he’s in a dress, everybody knows who he is,” I say, with Ralph agreeing that he “is who I want to win, and I think he’s going to win and I am willing him to win.”
In the drama categories, “Game of Thrones” looks safe, but don’t count out “House of Cards.” I am sticking with Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) for Best Drama Actor, but both Ralph and Charles don’t agree. “I know ‘Mr. Robot’ has the passion, but Kevin Spacey (‘House of Cards’) is a two-time Oscar winner and it just makes sense,” Charles says. Over in the Best Drama Actress race, we all agree this strong field is tough to pick. “If there’s one category as an Emmy voter you need to watch, it has got to be this one,” Ralph says, while I am hell bent on seeing Keri Russell win on Emmy night, noting that “Russell should have been nominated 20 years ago for ‘Felicity,’ and she is so good on ‘The Americans’.”
In the drama supporting derbies, the consensus appears to be Kit Harrington (“Game of Thrones”), but I note that his co-star Peter Dinklage “is super popular with the Academy. He won last year against Jonathan Banks (‘Better Call Saul’) who should have won.” Charles still thinks Harrington has the edge, noting that “everyone was talking about Harington last season. If you can call anything a sure thing, he is in my opinion the surest thing you could have at the moment.” We are all bracing ourselves for an absent Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”) victory, but note that any of the three women from “Game of Thrones” could win here. “Lena Headey was really good in the finale and that had a lot of buzz, Emilia Clarke is very popular, and Maisie Williams might just be the strongest actress on the show,” Ralph notes.
In the movie/mini categories, we expect to see lots of wins for “The People vs. OJ Simpson,” including for leads Courtney B. Vance and Sarah Paulson, who is in one of the toughest categories of the night against the likes of Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”) and Lili Taylor (“American Crime”). In the supporting races, we think that presumptive frontrunner Sterling K. Brown (“The People vs. OJ Simpson”) should watch out for his co-star John Travolta and also perennial Emmy bridesmaid Hugh Laurie (“The Night Manager”), while Jean Smart (“Fargo”) is likely going to win over incumbent Regina King (“American Crime”), as according to Ralph, Smart “is an Emmy magnet; she’s the lock-iest of all locks.”
We also tackle the numerous variety and reality performer and program categories, and take a closer look at the writing and directing races.