Picking the Emmy winners
The winners will be named Sunday night when the 69th Emmy Awards are presented at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
In the meantime, guesses will have to suffice. With that in mind, a pair of intrepid Associated Press television critics are going public with their picks for who will win – and who should.
Will Jeffrey Tambor make it three Best Comedy Actor wins for his performance on Transparent? They say: yes and no. Will the distaff whodunit Big Little Lies fall to the splashy Feud: Bette and Joan for Best Limited Series? They say: No and yes. Here are their forecasts: DRAMA SERIES: Lynn Elber Should win: The Handmaid’s Tale. A work of art so revelatory of our time should reign.
Will win: The Crown. It’s not just that Hollywood is filled with Anglophiles, although that’s one reason the lavish story of young Queen Elizabeth will win. Emmy voters also adore epic sweep (see previous winner Game of Thrones) and this has it. Frazier Moore Should win: This Is Us. Is this the gutsiest drama on TV? It dares to confront everyday, ordinary life – and makes it extraordinary. No wonder it touched hearts.
Will win: The Handmaid’s Tale. A classic novel from the past is transformed into a hauntingly upto-the-minute cautionary tale. No wonder it touched nerves. COMEDY SERIES: Lynn Elber Should win: Atlanta. A tour de force by creator and star Donald Glover epitomizing the small screen’s embrace of unexpected and challenging material.
Will win: Veep. Comedies keep winning streaks going, and with just two Emmys so far, it’s far behind the five top comedy trophies each that Modern Family and Frasier collected. Frazier Moore Should win: Master of None. Moving even beyond the masterful first season, Year Two was a festival of inspired short films, with emotions and ideas supplementing its wit.
Will win: Veep. Despite a field of bright, new and varied candidates, voters will default to this plentyrewarded, all-too-seasoned Emmy mainstay. ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES: Lynn Elber Should win: Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us). First among equals in an excellent cast, with a nuanced vulnerability that always keeps the heartbreak on the right side of soap opera.
Will win: Brown. His winning turn last year as determined O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden shows his versatility. Emmy voters get it. Frazier Moore Should win: Matthew Rhys (The Americans). He’s so long overdue after five seasons of high intrigue and multiple personas in his role as a Russian spy masquerading as a 1980s American suburban dad!!
Will win: Lovably shifty Bob Odenkirk after three consecutive nominations on Better Call Saul. ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES: Lynn Elber Should win: Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale). The Mad Men curse never lifted for Moss as it did for Jon Hamm, but her subtly fierce portrayal of a woman caught in hell shouldn’t be slighted.
Will win: Claire Foy (The Crown). Playing British queens on the big screen worked for Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, the latter also nabbing an Emmy for the miniseries Queen Elizabeth I. Frazier Moore Should win: Keri Russell (The Americans). She’s so long overdue after five seasons of high intrigue and multiple personas in her role as a Russian spy masquerading as a 1980s American suburban mom!!
Will win: Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), passed over as a nominee seven times for Mad Men and other great work. Voters realize it’s her turn. ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES: Lynn Elber Should win: Donald Glover (Atlanta). An auteur who has the magnetism of a star, but it can take time for voters to warm up to a new voice.
Will win: Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent). He’s brilliant, he’s won twice before and his transgender role makes a deeply affecting statement. Frazier Moore Should win: Aziz Ansari. Previously known as a clever comic presence, he went even further with this season’s Master of None.
Will win: Donald Glover (Atlanta). A breakout talent with a fresh and deeply felt comic vision – who wouldn’t want to give this star an Emmy salute? ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES: Lynn Elber Should win: Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish). Doesn’t Ross deserve respect for combining the rubber-faced charm of Lucille Ball with a modern woman’s spine of steel?
Will win: Louis-Dreyfus (Veep). She is undeniably sublime and it was announced that next season will be the political satire’s last. Frazier Moore Should win: Ellie Kemper for the gradually wisening naif she plays so irresistibly on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep). Why would voters stop with five in a row?
Aziz Ansari is nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for Master of None. The Emmy Awards ceremony airs Sunday.