2017 Drama Directing Emmy slugfest: Lots of famous names vying for gold

“I feel like I could throw a dart, and whatever I hit has a possibility of winning,” Gold Derby contributing writer Tony Ruiz jokes in our video chat (watch above) about the competitive Best Drama Directing lineup at this year’s Emmys. Joining Ruiz to analyze this race in detail are Gold Derby senior editor Rob Licuria and contributing writers Charles Bright, Riley Chow and Zach Laws. The nominees in this category are:

Vince Gilligan, “Better Call Saul” (“Witness”)
Stephen Daldry, “The Crown” (“Hyde Park Corner”)
Reed Morano, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (“Offred”)
Kate Dennis, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (“The Bridge”)
Lesli Linka Glatter, “Homeland” (“America First”)
Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, “Stranger Things” (“Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”)
Jonathan Nolan, “Westworld” (“The Bicameral Mind”)

“Like every single category at the drama series races, we don’t have last year’s winner,” Laws notes. “Two years in a row we had ‘Game of Thrones’ triumphing here, so we’ve got to look for something different.”

While Laws and Licuria are going with “The Handmaid’s Tale” pilot episode (“Offred”), Bright is torn between two other contenders. “I’m really caught up between ‘The Crown,’ with Stephen Daldry, as they do like their British people, even though that tends to manifest itself more in the writing categories, and ‘Stranger Things,’ but I have no clue. This is very very difficult!”

“All I’m going to do is predict whatever wins Best Drama Series, which I will predict based on what wins Best Casting,” Chow says. “The reason why casting is so important is because three years ago they opened up casting so that it’s not just casting directors voting on it, but it’s also the producers branch and also the directors branch. So to win casting you need to appeal to a much broader group than would vote in other categories, and also a more diverse group.”

Ruiz is looking at this from a different angle however, noting that “oftentimes they also like to go with the most directed episode, which could tilt things in favor of ‘Westworld,’ for that very complicated, very atmospheric finale episode. It had really complicated fight scenes and shootings and you have to have the emotion on top of that so I think we underestimate ‘Westworld’ at our peril. They clearly loved that episode and it ticks a lot of the boxes for an Emmy winning directing submission.”

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UPLOADED Aug 12, 2017 4:37 pm