Archive for the ‘boardwalk empire’ Tag

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama lead actress

Prediction: Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Alternate: Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”

Full Rankings:
01. Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
02. Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
03. Robin Wright, “House of Cards
04. Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black
05. Claire Danes, “Homeland
06. Elisabeth Moss., “Mad Men

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Directing in a Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

drama directing

Prediction: Game of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy
Alternate: Homeland, “From A to B and Back Again

Full Rankings:
01. Game of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy
02. Homeland, “From A to B and Back Again
03. Boardwalk Empire, “Eldorado
04. The Knick, “Method and Madness
05. Game of Thrones, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

comedy directing

Prediction: The Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson
Alternate: Veep, “Testimony

Full Rankings:
01. The Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson
02. Veep, “Testimony
03. Transparent, “Best New Girl
04. Louie, “Sleepover
05. Silicon Valley, “Sand Hill Shuffle

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Directing in a Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

As we lead to the final six days of our Emmy analysis coverage here, we move on to the two Directing categories for this year.

Emmy Comedy Directing

For the comedy category Silicon Valley went with the pilot of the show which is always the safe bet for some sort of a recognition. That was obvious this year as it lead them to a nomination, but with almost no buzz for it, I think the nomination is the reward this time. Louis C.K continues his streak of nominations as well, and this year he chose the finale of his six part Elevator episode. I can see this being some sort of a dark horse in this category given that his direction was a standout here. I think we just have to accept from hereon that Glee will get a mention here (though we only have one season left!). To be fair, this wasn’t as random as last year since it’s one of their two event episodes of the season (the other being The Quarterback) and had Paris Barclay at the helm so this should have been given already. Episodes is the first episode that voters will check in its reel, and with this surprise nomination, I think it’s really well deserved. There’s a lot of obvious direction at play in this episode and while I don’t think it’ll win, it can be one who’ll find itself in the middle rankings a lot. I see this race as a two woman race (hurray!). On the left corner, we have current champ Gail Mancuso in Modern Family’s Las Vegas which is the most “obvious” showcase of direction here. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the season’s best episode with the direction at the forefront. It’s some sort of a homage to the classic Frasier episode The Ski Trip. But then we also have Jodie friggin Foster for Orange is the New Black’s most emotional episode of its pilot season. I mean I could already really stop with the name recognition as I think it’ll be in play here; thus I’m going with it. But really, don’t be surprised if Modern Family wins its fourth consecutive direction nod since it’ll be more deserved than its last two wins in this category.

Prediction: Orange is the New Black, “Lesbian Request Denied
Alternate: Modern Family, “Las Vegas

Full Rankings:
01. Orange is the New Black, “Lesbian Request Denied
02. Modern Family, “Las Vegas
03. Louie, “Elevator Part 6
04. Silicon Valley, “Minimum Viable Product
05. Episodes, “Episode Nine
06. Glee, “100

Emmy Drama Directing

As for the drama side, let’s begin with Downton Abbey‘s season almost two hour season opener. In the tradition of its usual one episode for season submission, the show really knows what episode it has to submit, and that’s the reason why it’s on its third nomination in this category. Sadly for them, I think they’ll have the same fate as their last two tries. Meanwhile, Boardwalk Empire continues its hold in this category by getting its fifth nomination here in a span of four seasons. This year, they’ve submitted the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. Remember when the show pulled off that upset two years ago? While I don’t see them repeating that this year, it’s really unwise to discount the show’s chances overall. Chapter 14 of House of Cards is nominated for both its writing and directing which is quite of a surprise, but between the two, directing is where its more obvious since that talked about scene in the episode is as showy as one can get. After all, they are the current champ in this category so there’s that in play. After two years of snubbing here, Game of Thrones finally gets its second directing nod for The Watchers on the Wall. While there is no denying of the show’s directorial achievement, its last two years of snubs quite indicate that they really aren’t over the moon about the show’s direction, and I think that affects its chances. And like in writing, I guess this will be between Breaking Bad and True Detective. The former is hoping for its first win here after five chances with their finale helmed by the show creator and 2x nominee in this category, Vince Gilligan. However, True Detective has the most talked about shot this year with its seven minute long tracking shot at the end of the episode. I don’t know if we can call this a lock, but I’d say that’s more than enough to declare Cary Fukunaga the victor here.

Prediction: True Detective, “Who Goes There
Alternate: Breaking Bad, “Felina

Full Rankings:
01. True Detective, “Who Goes There
02. Breaking Bad, “Felina
03. Boardwalk Empire, “Farewell Daddy Blues
04. Game of Thrones, “The Watchers on the Wall
05. House of Cards, “Chapter 14
06. Downton Abbey, “Episode One

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 4: Drama   Leave a comment

Hi there everyone! You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. For the past three days, I have been sharing to you my predictions on who I think will be up for Emmy awards for this year. So before Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce the official nominees in the Reality and Variety, TV Movie and Miniseries, and Comedy genres, let’s finish this prediction series with the most serious genre of them all: drama!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Directing

• Boardwalk Empire, Farewell Daddy Blues (Tim van Patten)
• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (David Evans)
• Masters of Sex, Pilot (John Madden)
• True Detective, Who Goes There (Cary Fukunaga)

Sixth nominee: House of Cards, Chapter 14 (Carl Franklin)

And let’s begin with Directing. Despite Boardwalk Empire falling off the Series and Lead Actor nods that they received during the show’s first two seasons, it’s safe to say that they haven’t lost their touch yet with the directors voting branch. For its past three seasons, the show has received two wins out of four nods, so we can all rely on Tim van Patten receiving his fourth consecutive nomination in here for the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. You can also count on Downton Abbey to get in here since they’re very strategic about this whole Emmy process that they submit only one episode, so if the voters want to reward the show, Episode 1 is their only option to do so. Probably the most buzzed directorial achievement this year, Cary Fukunaga’s eight minute long track shot in True Detective’s Who Goes There isn’t only a nominee sure bet, but a frontrunner for the win as well. And can we talk about how this category loves its pilots and finales? Yep that’s right. Thus, I’m predicting one a piece for the pilot of Masters of Sex directed by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, and of course, the finale of Breaking Bad by creator Vince Gilligan. Watch out for House of Cards though since it is the current champ in this category.

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Writing

• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Breaking Bad, Ozymandias (Moira Walley-Beckett)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (Julian Fellowes)
• Game of Thrones, The Children (David Benoiff, D.B. Weiss)
• True Detective, The Secret Fate of All Life (Nic Pizzolatto)

Sixth nominee: Mad Men, Waterloo (Carly Wray, Matthew Weiner)

As for the writing, it’s safe to assume that all these Downton Abbey fans in the Academy will simply check it off the Writing and Directing ballot so a nod here is expected (just like the past two years). After years of snubbing, Breaking Bad finally entered the race last year with two nominations, and I expect them to have the same fate this year — one for their finale Ozymandias and the other for their most submitted episode in the Emmy ballot, Felina. Unlike Downton Abbey though, True Detective only has one writer for the whole season; thus it can only submit one episode for consideration, so I’m expecting all its supports to push The Secret Fate of All Life to make it in here. As for the last spot, despite the show being a flashier directorial bet, it seems like the writers branch is the oen appreciative of Game of Thrones given their two nods here for the last two years. Therefore, I placed it here for their season finale episode.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actor

• Michael Bowen, “Breaking Bad
• Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
• Dan Bucatinsky, “Scandal
• Nathan Lane, “The Good Wife
• Robert Morse, “Mad Men
• Pedro Pascal, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Louis Gossett Jr., “Boardwalk Empire

Well let’s begin with curent champ Dan Bucatinsky. Without spoiling anything, I think he’s not only in for a consecutive nod, bur he’s very much in for a consecutive win as well with that very baity episode. And since there’s no Michael J. Fox in tow, it paves the way for a repeat Nathan Lane nod as he’s the torchbearer of The Good Wife in this category for this year. Robert Morse of Mad Men has been nominated here four out of the last six times he’s eligible, and with a buzzed season he had, it’s safe to assume he’ll be back in the line up again. The same buzz surrounds Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal (and that’s solely not for his shirtless photo that he posted!) and with Game of Thrones‘ haul looking to be its biggest year by far, he’ll definitely be in for the ride. Then there’s semi-favorite Beau Bridges. His lauded performance in Masters of Sex already assures him of a nod, but the fact that he’s been nominated here twice the past four years means he has more support than expected. As for that last spot, I’m giving it to Breaking Bad actor Michael Bowen since I think this will be a redux of the Mark Margolis nom two years ago. He’s in the scenes most with the leads, and that can spread the wealth to his impending nod.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actress

• Kate Burton, “Scandal
• Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
• Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
• Lisa Kudrow, “Scandal
• Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
• Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Margo Martindale, “The Americans

Aside from current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife and current frontrunenr Allison Janney of Masters of Sex, this is quite a lukewarm category as compared to its male counterpart. Sure there’s Dame Diana Rigg whose season wasn’t as sure like the last one, but I don’t see the Emmys dropping her easily this year, so I’m predicting a nod for her. Then there’s Jane Fonda who can’t even win last year with her legend status and baity tape, and with The Newsroom being less of a factor at all, I can see her missing. That said, she’s been visible lately with her tribute, so maybe another nod isn’t totally out of reach. Then for the last two spots, I’m going a bit heavy on Scandal guest actresses. First, there’s Emmy winner Lisa Kudrow. Though her guest appearance doesn’t scream “sure Emmy contender”, I think hers is one of the most buzzed guesting of the TV drama season that she can coast to a nod for it. It’s not surprising if she misses though especially since Kate Burton is also in contention. Shonda Rhimes made Kate Burton a multiple time nominee here for Grey’s Anatomy before, I easily think she can do a repeat of that, this time for her role in Scandal.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actor

• Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
• Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
• Dean Norris, “Breaking Bad
• Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan

Seventh nominee: Charles Dance, “Game of Thrones

Both previous winners Peter Dinklage and Aaron Paul are safe already methinks. And in the tradition of farewell shows getting in more nods for their cast (see Kristin Davis in Sex in the City in 2004, Matthew Fox in Lost in 2010), I expect Dean Norris to finally snatch a nomination for himself as well. I’ve been adamant about Jim Carter, but I already made the mistake of dropping him last year only to be fooled when the noms were announced. So I’m sticking for him now. With how his fate in the show shocked the whole TV crowd, I expect Josh Charles to get his second nod for The Good Wife three years after he received his first. As for that last slot, I think the Globes affirmed more than ever on how it values its movie stars, Jon Voight will get that veteran slot for his first season performance in Ray Donovan. If not him, then maybe Game of Thrones adds another acting performance via another veteran, Charles Dance.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actress

• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
• Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones
• Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
• Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
• Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey

Seventh nominee: Bellamy Young, “Scandal

Clusterfuck. That’s what this category is. Well let’s start with the regulars. Current champ Anna Gunn, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith, and perennial nominee Christine Baranski are the three safest in this line up that’s for sure. Then as for the other three, I’m going with a repeat of Emilia Clarke’s nod simply because I think Emmy has a disconnect with who owns which season when it comes to nominating actors from Game of Thrones. If she managed to get in last year with that lackluster of a season, I wouldn’t have high expectations that she will be dropped this year for doing less of that. Then there’s Michelle Monaghan, who I’m really not convinced. It seems like True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson, that they won’t even care about the others. I can see a scenario where someone who makes sense to get nominated suddenly is nowhere to be found (Nicollette Sheridan in 2005, Corey Stoll last year), though I’m counting on Monaghan’s C-list movie star status to somehow help her here. The last spot is the riskiest of them all, as I’m going with a comeback narrative for Joanne Frogatt simply because her storyline the past season is too in your face to ignore. I have Bellamy Young as a replacement just because I find it weird if Scandal gets five(!) acting nominations and it’s not even close to be a Series contender, so I think she’s the most vulnerable.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actor

• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Hamm, “Mad Men
• Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
• Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
• Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: James Spader, “The Blacklist

Talk about crowded. This category has at least 10 names in contention that makes a whole lotta sense. Let’s begin with Bryan Cranston. We actually can end it now with Cranston as well, but yeah he’s sooo getting in. Then there’s 2x Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. Sure his name didn’t exactly bring him to the podium last year, but this is a tailor made role for him that he’ll be a mainstay at these awards shows even if the show has already faltered. I think regardless of Mad Men‘s fate as a whole, Jon Hamm is another of those perennial nominees that will still get in, so I think he’s safe, albeit a bit vulnerable, for this year. And let’s go to the newbies. As for starters, we have the pair of True Detective actors here, and I predict both of them getting in. Well McConaughey is the more obvious one, and I see him contending for the win as well, but I’m going with Harrelson too since I predict that they’ll just check both of their names off. Plus this is not a priority vote ranking that will hurt the latter. That said, I won’t be surprised if he misses though since as I mentioned above, True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson. As for that last slot, I contemplated going with James Spader, and he makes sense actually since he’s in a hit show and it’s a comeback performance, and this category really loves him (I mean come on, he won over James Gandolfini for the last season of The Sopranos). Then there’s also Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville and current champ Jeff Daniels of The Newsroom, but I think we’d see the start of decline of Downton starting this year and The Newsroom is as DOA as one can get per HBO standards. Thus, I’m going with previous Emmy nominee Michael Sheen since I;m quite confident of Masters of Sex delivering on Emmy nomination day.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actress

• Claire Danes, “Homeland
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey
• Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel
• Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife
• Kerry Washington, “Scandal
• Robin Wright, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men

And here’s another crowded one. Let’s begin by saying that despite Homeland turning into some mega shit show for its third season, Claire Danes still rises above the occasion, and I don’t think she’ll be snubbed ala Margulies last year. After all, she’s still the reigning champ in here. Speaking of Margulies, I believe that last year was just a fluke and a case where everyone thought she’s safe already that’s why they’re spreading the wealth (like how Allison Janney was snubbed in 2005), and with The Good Wife‘s heavily buzzed season, she’s so coming back for another nomination. If Robin Wright managed to get in last year for a borderline supporting role, I see no problem for her getting in this year again with even a winning tape in her hands. I’m sticking with Michelle Dockery still just because I really don’t think they’d dropped anything Downton that quick, and I have Hugh Bonneville as the sacrificial lamb of the show already. Kerry Washington who can’t even win for the love of God a Golden Globe or a SAG for Scandal, has a stronger narrative last year than this year, but I think she’s still safe at least this year. As for that last spot, I keep going back and forth with Elisabeth Moss and Vera Farmiga, but I really don’t think they’ll drop the Oscar nominee instantly especially after her surprise nomination last year as opposed to Mad Men who’s on a decline with their nods. Now watch them nominate all seven of them now.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Series

• Breaking Bad (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• House of Cards (Netflix)
• Masters of Sex (Showtime)
True Detective (HBO)

Seventh nominee: Mad Men (AMC)

As if we haven’t had any headaches with the Drama categories yet, but yes, Series is tough to predict. Unless, you know, they go with seven nominees. Bu let’s assume there are only six. I think we can separate them into this: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and True Detective are safe no matter what. They’re clearly the upper tier in this one. No matter what happens to the rest of the line up, we can expect to see these three here. And then I’d go and say Downton Abbey is fourth here. Like I’m sure you’re also wondering who effin still supports Downton Abbey, the answer is: Emmy voting panel. I’d love to be wrong here, but let’s not kid ourselves. Then we have Showtime’s slot. I think Masters of Sex is being quite underrated as a whole, but this is clearly Showtime’s priority this year, and they have been doing a smooth run for its campaign. I think this will be the surprise of the contenders here. For that last spot, there’s Mad Men who is a 4x champ and has been nominated for all of its seasons by far, but really, the show’s buzz has just been absent all along. Not even at the guild precursors. It’s literally MIA as far as buzz is felt, though who knows? After all, the Emmys are the last group to react to buzz of shows. Then there’s also House of Cards. After its premiere last February, the show has been eclipsed by it’s Netflix sister Orange is the New Black. But to its favor, there’s still some clout left under its rug, and this is Netflix’ drama priority while Mad Men plays second fiddle to Breaking Bad. there’s a big chance they’d go seven nominees still (or even The Good Wife making that comeback), but for now I’d choose House of Cards by a small  margin.

Finally it’s over! Are you excited for the announcement later? Do you think Mad Men will be able to maintain its perfect Series nomination record? How much of Downton Abbey will go down in terms of nominations? And can Jeff Daniels overcome the jinx and get a chance to retain his title? Go on and share your thoughts in the comments section. 🙂

Don’t forget you ca follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series   3 comments

supp actor drama

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Terry O’Quinn, “Lost[WRONG]
2006:
Alan Alda, “The West Wing[CORRECT]
2007:
Michael Imperioli, “The Sopranos[WRONG]
2008:
Zeljko Ivanek, “Damages[CORRECT]
2009:
Christian Clemenson, “Boston Legal[WRONG]
2010:
Andre Braugher, “Men of a Certain Age[WRONG]
2011:
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones[CORRECT]
2012:
Jared Harris, “Mad Men” [WRONG]

Now off to the supporting female counterparts, let’s shift the moment on to the men’s side. Last year, Aaron Paul made history by being the first supporting actor who won a second Emmy in this category in fourteen years. This year, he can continue to beat his own record by winning a third one. Let’s see his possible competition.

Jim Carter surprisingly received another nomination for his work in Downton Abbey. Though the love for his show has somewhat cooled down, it still has fire enough in it to pull off some major wins. With that said, it is good on his part to submit he first episode of the third season which runs for almost two episodes already. But with that said, I guess the best part of his nomination this year is that he and his wife Imelda Staunton (nominated for Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries) are both nominated.

2011 winner in this category Peter Dinklage received his third straight nomination for Game of Thrones. It is luck for his part that he won on the season with no Breaking Bad, as he competed in a weaker competition that year. Otherwise, I think he might have joined the ranks of other consistent but no Emmy win nominated guys such as Mad Men’s John Slattery. While he submitted Second Sons as his episode submission, I think there are far and away more frontrunners for him to scoop a second Emmy win.

Last year, Claire Danes invented a funny catchphrase when she mentioned in her speech “MANDY.PATINKIN. Holllaaa!” The same can be said now in this category, as Mandy Patinkin finally gets an overdue nomination for Homeland. This year, he made a terrific submission by going with The Choice, which is the show’s season finale. Add the fact that he is an Emmy veteran with previous wins and is nominated for what is Emmy’s most recent drama champ, and then it’s safe to say he’s in contention this year.

Two time nominee this year is Bobby Cannvale for his work in Nurse Jackie and Boardwalk Empire. Cannavale is one of those subtle favorites of the Emmys. He won one before for his Will & Grace stint, and he continues to rake in nods years after. It is surprising to note that he is the first Boardwalk actor to get nominated in this category, so that might factor in. He only has almost ten minutes of screentime in his submission Sunday Best, but each of his scenes leaves enough impact. His is the tape that does not need enough screentime, as he owns it every time he appears. Sadly though, the Academy has quite moved on from the show, so that can affect his chances.

Lastly, we’re off to two Breaking Bad guys again. Jonathan Banks is a first time nominee here, and it is very great of him to submit Say My Name. it is his best episode of the scene, and the show is a hoot among Emmy voters this year. In fact, it makes him very competitive for the win especially if they want to spread the wealth since co-star Aaron Paul has two Emmys already but…

… it’s Aaron Paul he’s contending with. The same narrative could have propelled Giancarlo Esposito for the win last year, but they decided to give Paul a second win instead. Not that he deserves it since he has a winning tape last year, but the past season of Breaking Bad is definitely one (if not THE) weakest season of Paul in the show. It also didn’t help Banks that Paul submitted Buyout instead. Let’s see if Paul wins a third one or they reserve it for next year.

In my opinion, the consensus in this race is now between Mandy Patinkin who s a respected veteran in a competitive role vs. Aaron Paul who, as proven last year, is loved by the Emmys in his own way. Between the two, I’d give the advantage over at Patinkin. With that said, I think I’m quite going crazy but I guess I have to go with Bobby Cannavale for a surprise win. I really can’t put a solid argument why (that’s why maybe he’ll lose), but I can sense his tape will lead some votes on his way.

Prediction: Bobby Cannavale, “Boardwalk Empire
Runner-Up: Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland

Full Rankings:
1. Bobby Cannavale, “Boardwalk Empire
2. Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland
3. Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
4.Jonathan Banks, “Breaking Bad”
5. Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
6. Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey

My predictions in the other Emmy acting categories are available here.

Meanwhile, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Writing and Directing in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama writing

 

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Lost, “Pilot[WRONG]
2006:
Grey’s Anatomy, “It’s the End of the World/Life As We Know It[WRONG]
2007:
The Sopranos, “Made in America” [CORRECT]
2008:
Mad Men, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes[CORRECT]
2009:
Mad Men, “A Night to Remember[WRONG]
2010:
Mad Men, “Shut the Door, Have a Seat[CORRECT]
2011:
Mad Men, “The Suitcase[WRONG]
2012:
Downton Abbey, “Episode 7” [WRONG]

After discussing the writing and directing episodes in the comedy genre, we now move on the drama ones where the competition is really intense. To say that these categories are crazy is actually an understatement, as one can make a case for almost all the nominated episodes. Once again, let’s begin with the writing one, which is shocking as for the first time, Mad Men was snubbed in this category. I’d pay to be a fly on the wall of Matt Weiner’s office when he saw this nomination list.

Like with last year, Downton Abbey puts all their eggs in one basket by submitting only a single episode for consideration. And as predicted, it easily gets the nomination despite stiff competition from a lot of shows this year.  With that said, if last year’s Christmas episode can’t figure out a win despite being the frontrunner last year, I don’t see how this one will figure out in this year’s race.

Then we have last year’s Homeland, whose win was a bit of a surprise considering the show’s pilot was penned as a frontrunner in the directing category and ended up losing there and winning here instead. For this year, they got nominated for one of the most talked about episodes of the past TV season. I’m fairly confident that they will eat up Q&A, so it’s not wise to dismiss them this year.

Speaking of those directing/writing mash-up, it is surprising that the most buzzed episode of the past year, Game of Thrones’ Rains of Castamere ended up nominated for its writing than its showy directing. While this can easily go the route of Homeland’s pilot last year and might contend for the win here, I don’t know if the writing is the stand out aspect of the episode.

And after a string of snubs year in and year out, not only does Breaking Bad finally get nominated, but they got two episodes in this category! However, it’s fairly shocking that it’s not for their more buzzed episodes this season (like Fifty-One). While getting nommed twice ensues confidence in the show, and that this category has no problems with vote splitting, there’s not a standout between the two of them that will propel them to a win. If needed to choose though, I’d go with Say My Name.

As for the winner, I still see a scenario of Game of Thrones  winning as a reward for the episode altogether… or possibly a Breaking Bad win as a late consolation. But I guess I’ll stick with Homeland’s to win here for the second year.

Prediction: Homeland, “Q&A
Runner-Up: Game of Thrones, “Rains of Castamere

Full Rankings:
1. Homeland, “Q&A
2. Game of Thrones, “Rains of Castamere
3. Breaking Bad, “Say My Name
4. Downton Abbey, “Episode 4”
5. Breaking Bad, “Dead Freight” 

drama directing

 

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Lost, “Pilot[CORRECT]
2006:
Six Feet Under, “Everyone’s Waiting[WRONG]
2007:
The Sopranos, “Kennedy and Heidi[CORRECT]
2008:
House, “House’s Head[CORRECT]
2009:
Mad Men, “The Jet Set[WRONG]
2010:
Lost, “The End[WRONG]
2011:
Boardwalk Empire “Pilot[CORRECT]
2012:
Homeland, “Pilot” [WRONG]

Now for the directing episode, let’s begin by continuing where we ended up in the upper part of the discussion. Homeland’s Q&A is nominated for both writing and directing this year. And while it is the writing frontrunner, the same can’t be said here. After all, it is rare for episodes to sweep writing and directing episodes in the same year. Also, the show lost last year despite being the undeniable frontrunner for its pilot episode. The only way I see it wins is if they really embrace Q&A.

Aside from Homeland, Downton Abbey is also nominated here. And I think this is an even longer shot than its writing chances. However, they keep nominating the show, so maybe all it needs is a passionate batch of supporters and can pull off an upset.

During the nomination predictions, the overwhelming frontrunner here is Looper director Rian Johnson’s directed Breaking Bad episode Fifty One. Surprisingly, it’s not the BB episode nominated, and Gliding Over All made it instead. I actually think this has a chance here, and isn’t it awesome for a female director to be rewarded? With that said, the past two years has an overwhelming female directors nodded too and that didn’t work in their favor.

Last year’s surprise winner was Tim van Patten for his work in Boardwalk Empire. Now he’s back for Margate Sand, but one factor that won’t work for him this time is the overdue narrative that probably pushed him last year. Last year was his first directing Emmy win despite dozens of nominations already, and the ATAS probably think it’s time to give him one. While he can still pull a consecutive win, I don’t think it’ll be enough.

Lastly, there’s David Fincher for the pilot episode of House of Cards. When movie star directors are nominated for Emmys, they usually go on and win instantly. However, there are still instances of them losing out such as Quentin Tarantino’s buzzed episode for CSI in 2005, so it’s not as easy victory for Fincher.

With all that said, I think Fincher will still barely have the edge to pull off that win. He might not be Martin Scorsese levels of lock in 2011, but he’s a pretty respected director that is on his first Emmy nomination so I’m still confident with him winning in the end.

Prediction: House of Cards, “Episode 1
Runner-Up: Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All”

Full Rankings:
1. House of Cards, “Episode 1
2. Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All”
3. Homeland, “Q&A
4. Boardwalk Empire, “Margate Sands
5. Downton Abbey, “Episode 4

Next part of the series will now tackle the supporting categories!

To check my complete Emmy predictions, you can see them here.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Drama Series 2012   Leave a comment

While I had no doubts that Boardwalk Empire will earn a repeat nomination in this category, it’s chances are sadly slim to none. This show lost all the buzz and momentum that they had last year which could have catapulted to a regular second season series win. The only good thing on their side is that the second season was far more critically praised than the first one, but in between losing buzz and nominations, it seems like Boardwalk Empire must be content with just enjoying their nomination. Not even the name of Martin Scorsese can help it win on its freshman season, so the odds are definitely lower now.

After missing out a season of eligibility, Breaking Bad comes back and definitely with a bang. With increased nominations and more critical acclaims on its side, it is very fitting to assume that the show will definitely pick up a Series win. The only negative things about that is that I don’t see it happening this year. Slowly, we can see the whole Emmy voters warming up in terms of their reception regarding the show, and it will probably take next season or the final one (the last season is divided into two parts ala The Sopranos), for them to give this show the crown. As for now, we should just get contented with the fact that there are signs that show they really really like the show.

In my opinion, there are really two possible scenarios that Downton Abbey can end up to prior to the nomination announcement. They can be lukewarm about it, or they can go totally crazy about it. Obviously, with all the surprise nominations left and right, the Emmy voters finally have made their final say and stated how much they like this British period piece. Nominations in acting, directing, writing, and techs show the huge overall support that this show is getting. If there’s anything that can stop the lovefest that Emmy has towards Mad Men, I see the Downton Abbey train going it all the way to the podium come Emmy time.

Game of Thrones is the other HBO show nominated for the top award is on the opposite ends with Boardwalk Empire. While critics were pretty much divided this season, commercial acclaim definitely skyrocketed more than ever, now forming a cult following of their own. However, in terms of nominations, voters were pretty much lukewarm especially to their supposed big episode “Blackwater” which missed both the Directing and Writing categories. It seems like voters aren’t that excited about the show the way they were excited about it last year, but still passionately like it to nominate it. The way I see it though, there is no possibility for George RR Martin and team to be going up that stage to receive this award.

Prior to the unveiling of the nominations, Homeland seems to be the show that will unseat Mad Men in the top drama category for the first time. After all, it has superstars as leads, it’s on cable, and it’s the hot new critics favorite show of this season. While all of those factors still apply to its advantage, there’s this little show called Downton Abbey that grabbed all the momentum that should be going to this show. However, I still don’t think it’s the end for the series. If voters want some fresh blood that does not involve any Brits in it, then Homeland seems to be the clear alternate that voters are looking for. So, it is really not wise to knock their chances out yet.

Five for five hasn’t happened in the history of this category yet, but of course, there’s a large possibility that Mad Men is the show that can finally get that acclaim. Mad Men still pretty much buzzworthy in the frontrunner status delivering another winning season with wise submissions to boot. It is also not difficult to give the show an easy win especially when they still managed to nab the top award last year even with just Hairstyling as its only other award.

Just a week ago, I’m pretty certain that Mad Men will win this in a heartbeat. Remember all it needs is a Hairstyling Emmy and one can claim that odds will be perfect then. In a shocking twist of fate, Downton Abbey snatches Mad Men’s love relationship in that category. Is that an omen of what will happen once the envelop is opened? Sounds ridiculous, but I’m staying safe for now and predict Downton Abbey to stop mad Men’s historic fifth win.

Prediction: Downton Abbey

Dark Horse: Mad Men

Complete Rankings:

1. Downton Abbey
2. Mad Men
3. Homeland
4. Breaking Bad
5. Boardwalk Empire
6. Game of Thrones