Jalal Haddad concludes his take on the 2016 Emmy races with a look at Drama and Comedy Series
Last year’s winners Game of Thrones and Veep are going to win their second consecutive Emmys for being the best drama and comedy of the year. In fact, both Emmy races will likely look almost identical to last year, and because of that I don’t feel the need to detail out my ranking choices. I was disappointed last year when both shows won their first series awards for what was both of their weakest seasons (especially Game of Thrones). Now that the shows are competing with some of their best work yet I don’t see how any other show has the momentum to beat them.
Mad Men is the only previous contender not returning, and it’s pretty safe to say that spot will be filled by Mr. Robot. USA’s hacker drama is one of the only freshman dramas to succeed when most failed over the past TV season. I was wary of the show’s Emmy chances even when it won both the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice, but after it was honored by almost every guild group it became pretty clear it was on the Television Academy’s radar. Vinyl also had a chance, but, after a laughable premiere and HBO cancelling it in the middle of the voting process, voters are likely to steer clear of the costume drama. UnReal deserves to be in the Emmy race but voters will probably stick their noses up to a show about reality television airing on Lifetime.
Downton Abbey, House of Cards, and Better Call Saul will all return although without any momentum to beat Game of Thrones. The only exception to this might be House of Cards gaining some sort of momentum because of our own crazy political year, although as the show grows more divisive it’s unlikely. Both Homeland and Orange is The New Black are in danger of Emmy voters moving on. If one of them is dropped, I suspect it will be Homeland which is becoming less relevant every season and is slowly being dropped in various categories. OITNB might be dropped after a lackluster third season but the actors’ branch will probably save the show, especially after it continues to win multiple SAG awards a year. In its final season, The Good Wife is the most likely to upset the two since voters seem to always want to give their favorite shows one last nomination hurrah.
Drama Series Contenders
- Game of Thrones
- House of Cards
- Downton Abbey
- Mr. Robot
- Better Call Saul
- Orange Is The New Black
- The Good Wife
Worth Mentioning: The Americans, Ray Donovan, Narcos, Billions
The Comedy Series Emmy race will look almost identical to last year as well with two notable exceptions: Parks and Recreation has ended, and Louie is on hiatus. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Silicon Valley, Modern Family, and Transparent will easily return even though none of them have the same amount of buzz they had the year before. Unless Emmy voters completely shake up the comedy race like they did in 2009, there won’t be too much excitement.
Two past nominees have the opportunity to return: Girls and The Big Bang Theory. Girls has the better chance of Emmy redemption with the fifth season arguably being the best so far, and it also has the campaign beast HBO to remind voters. I celebrated the omission of The Big Bang Theory, but there is not very much guild support or resurgence in popularity to hint at a comeback.
Out of all the new streaming shows, Master of None is the strongest going into the comedy race. Aziz Ansari is filling that void left by Louie’s hiatus and even though the show is overall uneven it did give us some of the best episodes of the season like “Parents.” Also, voters have always liked comedies about the industry. The other streaming possibilities like Casual, Catastrophe, or Lady Dynamite might be too small-scale to standout to voters. In its second season, black-ish has grown in popularity and in a lot of ways is the best modern representation of classic sitcoms from the 70s & 80s in terms of its portrayal of social issues and universal appeal.
Every year of going by unnoticed by Emmy voters further destroys a show’s future chances, but in the past two shows surfside everyone with first time series nominations in the third season: Parks and Recreation and Emmy favorite Louie. Finishing up its third season, Broad City fits that mold especially after receiving a surprise WGA nomination earlier this year. Shows like Broad City don’t have a long history at the Emmys, but a surprise nomination wouldn’t be the most wild choice by voters especially as the show rapidly grows in popularity.
Comedy Series Contenders
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Modern Family
- Silicon Valley
- Master of None
- Broad City
- The Big Bang Theory
Worth Mentioning: Lady Dynamite, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Casual, Catastrophe
What shows are you predicting this year to break into the Drama and Comedy Emmy races? Do you agree that Mr. Robot and Master of None are the new shows with the biggest buzz? Is Homeland as vulnerable as I am predicting? Sound off!