Who will (and should) win on TV’s biggest day Lead actor, drama series
Will the Emmys be dominated by white walkers or handmaids?
❚ That’s the biggest question on TV fans’ minds heading into the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards Monday (NBC, 8 EDT/PDT). Michael Che and Colin Jost will step out from behind their “Weekend Update” desk on “Saturday Night Live” to host the ceremony. And HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and FX’s “The Americans” compete for the best-drama award, while FX’s “Atlanta” and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” will vie for the outstanding-comedy prize.
❚ Before the trophies are handed out, we’ve made our best predictions about who will win in major categories and who should be standing onstage instead.
❚ “The Americans” (FX)
❚ “The Crown” (Netflix)
❚ “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
❚ “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu) ❚ “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
❚ “This Is Us” (NBC)
❚ “Westworld” (HBO)
Should win: “The Americans”
Will win: “The Handmaid’s Tale”
The best drama race is, unfortunately, a fight between mediocre seasons from two previous winners. The seventh season of “Game of Thrones,” while full of battles and incest, was all over the place in quality and aired more than a year ago, which means it’s a distant, fire-and-ice-filled memory. “The Handmaid’s Tale” won last year, but its second season was maligned by many critics. Still, its continued buzz and political relevance mean “Handmaid’s” will likely eke out a win, but it’s a shame for the most deserving nominee, “The Americans.” FX’s Soviet spy drama finally managed to worm its way into this category for a pitch-perfect final season, and it’s one of the best shows in recent memory.
❚ “Atlanta” (FX)
❚ “Barry” (HBO)
❚ “Black-ish” (ABC)
❚ “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
❚ “GLOW” (Netflix)
❚ “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)
❚ “Silicon Valley” (HBO)
❚ “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
Should win: “Atlanta”
Will win: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Few shows on TV are as daring as “Atlanta,” Donald Glover’s auteur dramedy that’s seemingly in a genre of its own, experimenting with form and offering some of the smartest, sleekest episodes on the air. Although the series is likely to triumph in some categories, the broader and more fun “Mrs. Maisel” is likely to walk away with this prize.
Lead actress, drama series
❚ Claire Foy, “The Crown” (Netflix)
❚ Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
❚ Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
❚ Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve” (BBC America)
❚ Keri Russell, “The Americans” (FX)
❚ Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld” (HBO)
Should win: Keri Russell
Will win: Elisabeth Moss
Four women could easily have walked away with this trophy in a less competitive year (Moss, Russell, Oh and Foy), but thanks to her continually raw performance, this is Moss’ category to lose, despite her series’ decline in quality. More importantly, Russell’s performance as Soviet spy Elizabeth Jennings is blisteringly good, barely holding it together as Elizabeth’s world starts to crumble in the show’s final season. That she’s likely never going to nab an Emmy for this show is as big a crime as Moss never getting one for “Mad Men.”
❚ Jason Bateman, “Ozark” (Netflix)
❚ Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” (NBC) ❚ Ed Harris, “Westworld” (HBO)
❚ Matthew Rhys, “The Americans” (FX) ❚ Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us” (NBC) ❚ Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld” (HBO)
Should win/will win: Matthew Rhys Brown has a very good chance at picking up another Emmy for his showanchoring performance as Randall on “This Is Us,” but, in a wildly optimistic prediction, I’m going with Rhys to collect the send-off award for his heartbreaking work on the final season of “The Americans,” as Jon Hamm did for “Mad Men.” Rhys’ partner Russell might have been able to do this, too, if her category wasn’t so much more competitive.
Lead actress, comedy series
❚ Pamela Adlon, “Better Things” (FX)
❚ Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)
❚ Allison Janney, “Mom” (CBS)
❚ Issa Rae, “Insecure” (HBO)
❚ Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish” (ABC)
❚ Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie” (Netflix)
Should win/will win: Rachel Brosnahan Since “Maisel” debuted, Brosnahan has mopped up awards for her performance, for good reason. The actress, previously seen in supporting roles on “House of Cards” and “The Blacklist,” breaks out in a monumental way on the period drama, bringing to life Midge Maisel, the 1950s housewife who finds her true calling in stand-up comedy.
Lead actor, comedy series
❚ Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish” (ABC)
❚ Ted Danson, “The Good Place” (NBC)
❚ Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
❚ Donald Glover, “Atlanta” (FX)
❚ Bill Hader, “Barry” (HBO)
❚ William H. Macy, “Shameless” (Showtime)
Should win: Bill Hader
Will win: Donald Glover
Hader has reinvented himself on HBO’s “Barry,” a dark yet whimsical series about a hitman who dreams of becoming an actor. The show was a surprisingly satisfying treat last spring thanks to Hader’s performance, which swings between deep despair and hope. But it’s unlikely he’ll topple returning champion Glover, who deservedly received wild acclaim for the second season of “Atlanta.”
Elisabeth Moss in “Handmaid’s.”
Donald Glover as Earn in “Atlanta” on FX. CURTIS BAKER/FX