2005: Desperate Housewives, “Pilot” [WRONG]
2006: Arrested Development, “Development Arrested” [WRONG]
2007: The Office, “Gay Witch Hunt” [CORRECT]
2008: 30 Rock, “Cooter” [CORRECT]
2009: 30 Rock, “Reunion” [CORRECT]
2010: Modern Family, “Pilot” [CORRECT]
2011: Modern Family, “Caught in the Act” [CORRECT]
2012: Girls, “Pilot” [WRONG]
After the guest acting categories, let’s move on to the two vital categories outside of acting: writing and directing. For this year, only one episode managed to pick up both writing and directing nominations, which probably speaks on how much the writers and directors branch avoid lazy voting among episodes. Let’s first discuss the writing one.
30 Rock has two nominations in this category, apiece for their hour long finale episode. While both Hogcock! And Last Lunch complement each other effectively, one stands out far better when viewed as a single episode than the other. And I think that’s were last Lunch has its advantage.
After some misses here, The Office gets a farewell nod for its final episode. The writers have shown lots of love for the show with a win in 2007 and even a last nod for 2011’s Goodbye Michael. The finale is the longest episode from this bunch and that can work in its favor; however, with two finale episodes here (technically, there are three), sentimentality might not work on its side.
For some reason, the writers branch really like Episodes as it always find its way in the Writing branch. So far, it’s 2/2 when it comes to nominations, but like the last time, the nomination is the show’s reward.
Lastly, there’s last year’s winner Louis CK. He submitted a far much stronger episode this year as compared to his winning one, so that gives him better odds. Louie is one of only two comedy shows nominated this year for writing and directing. It’s definitely competitive for the win.
I can see it going on two separate ways: 30 Rock winning for their finale episode or Louie winning for the second year in a row. But since Louis CK has many other categories to contend it, while Tina Fey does have a far stiffer competition in Lead Actress, I’d go with Tina getting her final Emmy for 30 Rock in this category instead.
Prediction: 30 Rock, “Last Lunch”
Runner-Up: Louie, “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 1”
1. 30 Rock, “Last Lunch”
2. Louie, “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 1”
3. The Office, “Finale”
4. 30 Rock, “Hogcock!”
5. Episodes, “Episode 209”
2005: Desperate Housewives, “Pilot” [CORRECT]
2006: My Name is Earl, “Pilot” [CORRECT]
2007: Ugly Betty, “Pilot” [CORRECT]
2008: Pushing Daisies, “Pie-lette” [CORRECT]
2009: 30 Rock, “Reunion” [WRONG]
2010: Glee, “Pilot” [CORRECT]
2011: Modern Family, “Halloween” [CORRECT]
2012: Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Palestinian Chicken” [WRONG]
Now as for the directing category, one of their favorites in this category is to reward shows for their pilot episodes. But since there’s no pilot in contention this year, let’s see how the category is stacked up. First, you have the finale of 30 Rock. While the two episodes are competing against each other in the writing category, they are combined here in the directing one. Beth McCarthy Miller is still emptyhanded here for all of her previous directed episodes, and this is her last shot to win something for the show.
At the beginning, it’s surprising how Glee suddenly ends up with a directing nod after almost two seasons of snubs from the Emmys altogether. With that said, one needs to know that the reason why Diva is nominated is that its director, Paris Barclay, is DGA’s newly anointed president. If anything, this is just a token for their branch’s new president.
For the fourth year now, a Modern Family episode is nominated in this category. For this year, Arrested is their only nominated episode here which involves Haley Dunphy being arrested at her college for her underage drinking. After winning two consecutive years now, they can easily add another to continue their streak.
Lena Dunham might have been snubbed for her writing duties this season, but her directing duties were surely noticed. For this year, her nominated episode is also one of the more critically lauded ones. In On All Fours, we see a pressured Hannah being visited by her OCD tendencies again. If people are eager to reward her this year, this can be one of the stronger venues to do so.
Lastly, we have 9x nominee Louis CK. It is wise of his team to submit only one episode for directors in contention, and he chose New Year’s Eve which involved Louie’s struggles throughout the holidays. This is their only way to reward him as a director for the show, and that is a double edged sword for him. If voters like the show enough, they’d vote for him regardless. But if not, they might throw their vote elsewhere.
I can see this going into three different scenarios: First, 30 Rock getting an overdue win in this category (after all, they’re still 0 in terms of directing wins). Second, a Louie win to join his writing one last year. But in the end, I’m leaning with the idea that they still will reward Modern Family for the third year. After all, Gail Mancuso still hasn’t won as a director and will likely follow Michael Spiller and Steven Levitan this year.
Prediction: Modern Family, “Arrested”
Runner-Up: Louie, “New Year’s Eve”
1. Modern Family, “Arrested”
2. Louie, “New Year’s Eve”
3. 30 Rock, “Hogcock!/Last Lunch”
4. Girls, “On All Fours”
5. Glee, “Diva”
To check my complete Emmy predictions, you can see them here.
And, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl