Michaela Coel is one of this season’s most successful multi-hyphenate talents at the Emmys, earning nominations for writing, directing, producing, and starring in the HBO limited series “I May Destroy You.” So will she follow in the footsteps of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag“) and Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek“), taking everything that’s not nailed down? Or will she miss out in all categories, as always happened to Lena Dunham (“Girls”)?
As of this writing Coel is the odds-on favorite to win Best Movie/Limited Writing for penning the entire series, and the compelling story behind “Destroy” makes her especially tough to deny. She was inspired to create the series by her own experience of sexual assault; turning her trauma into art may especially inspire the storytellers in the academy’s writers branch. And it’s always an advantage to have written every episode of the show — voters get to honor a collective writing achievement instead of having to pick one episode as “WandaVision” backers will have to do with that show’s three writing bids.
But while Coel doesn’t rank first in any of her other categories, there are multiple Experts who think she’ll win each of those too. Scott Frank (“The Queen’s Gambit”) is favored to win Best Movie/Limited Directing, but Coel and co-director Sam Miller rank second for the “Destroy” finale episode “Ego Death” with three Experts betting on it to upset. Meanwhile, Kate Winslet (“Mare of Easttown”) is favored for Best Movie/Limited Actress, but Coel is a strong third there with four Experts saying she’ll win. And then there’s Best Limited Series, where “Queen’s Gambit” is on top of our odds, but six Experts say it’ll be “Destroy,” only two fewer Experts than are forecasting “Gambit.”
Though “Destroy” aired an entire year ago, it has had impressive staying power in the minds of critics and industry professionals. It won BAFTAs for Best Actress and Best Miniseries. Coel was nominated for a SAG Award for her performance. Coel and the series were nominated for Critics Choice Awards. And the show received bids from the Producers Guild, Motion Picture Sound Editors, and Costume Designers Guild. Clearly it also struck a chord with Emmy voters, who nominated it nine times. But how will that translate to wins? Coel could come away with an armful of trophies.
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