Critics Choice Awards predictions: It’s ‘Succession’ vs. ‘Squid Game’ for Best Drama Series

Two of the hottest TV shows of 2021 — HBO’s family drama “Succession” and Netflix’s survival series “Squid Game” — are about to have their first face-off at an awards show. The Critics Choice Awards, which will take place January 9 on CW and TBS, have nominated both programs for Best Drama Series, alongside “The Good Fight,” “Pose,” “Evil,” “Yellowjackets,” “For All Mankind” and “This Is Us.” According to Gold Derby’s Critics Choice Awards predictions, “Succession” has the edge to win with leading 39/10 odds, but don’t count out “Squid Game” just yet.

“Succession” returned this fall for a third season after taking a year off due to the pandemic. It came back in fighting spirit, with the central Roy family engaged in a civil war as Kendell (Jeremy Strong) accused his father Logan (Brian Cox) of knowing about his company’s crimes. In all, “Succession” earned a series-high eight Critics Choice nominations: drama series, lead actor (Strong and Cox), supporting actor (Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfadyen) and supporting actress (J. Smith-Cameron and Sarah Snook).

The last time “Succession” was eligible at Critics Choice for its second season, it took home top prizes for drama series and Strong, with Snook earning a nomination in the lead actress category. Months later, the show was able to parlay those victories into Emmy triumphs. Since the critics starting handing out trophies for television 11 years ago, only three shows have won Best Drama Series twice: “The Americans,” “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones.” Can “Succession” add its name to that list this year?

If the Critics Choice voters are feeling a bit “been there, done that” when it comes to “Succession,” they may opt to go with “Squid Game” instead. The Korean drama was such a juggernaut that it convinced the Broadcast Television Journalists Association to add a first-ever category for Best Foreign Language Series to the Critics Choice Awards, where it contends along with “Acapulco,” “Call My Agent,” “Lupin,” “Money Heist” and “Narcos: Mexico.”

“Squid Game” boasts one acting nomination, for Lee Jung-jae. The sought-after Korean star takes on the role of main character Gi-hun, who joins the bloody competition as player #456 after he finds himself in desperate need of cash in order to help his daughter overseas and his unwell mother. Watch our recent roundtable interview with the entire “Squid Game” cast.

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