Are you feeling lucky, Mr. Mandalorian? What about you, Duke of Hastings?
The Emmys tend to field an eclectic group of contenders, and more and more as new platforms have broadened the reach and sophistication of television.
Versions of sci-fi and comic book epics have moved from the big screen to the small, resulting in showdowns such as the space adventure “The Mandalorian” and the British era “Bridgerton”. Marvel’s “WandaVision” competes with the sexual assault drama “I Will Destroy You”.
Sophomore “The Mandalorian” has tied “The Crown” for most nominations, 24 each, and the TV Academy is increasingly respecting the genre’s fare. But the “Game of Thrones” record can be predictive: it didn’t kill its best drama rivals until season five.
Speaking of predictions, AP Television writer Lynn Elber and AP Entertainment writer Mark Kennedy are hereby offering theirs for the top prizes at the 73rd Annual Emmy Awards, which airs September 19 on CBS.
Nominees: “The boys”; “Bridgerton”; “The crown”; “The Handmaid’s Tale”; “Land of love”; “The Mandalorian; »” Pose “; “It’s us.”
Should win: “This is us.” It’s been 15 years since there was a network winner (Fox “24” in 2006), and the NBC series has been the only broadcast nominee in recent years. His nuanced narration of race, class, and sexuality in everyday life shouldn’t be uncommon, but it is.
Will win: “The Crown”. As the saga of the British royal family entered Charles-Diana’s modern era, his imaginary keyhole gaze became even more cheeky and captivating. Plus, Gillian Anderson is a not-so-iron lady.
Should Win: “Lovecraft Country” took pop culture by storm in August and helped advance the social conversation sparked by George Floyd’s murder with a unique blend of horror, fictional drama, real historical figures , fantasy, science fiction and social commentary.
Will win: “The Crown” is much safer. Very royal, very English, very grandiose. I don’t want to rock the boat here. Do not be angry. Ignore America and get ready to celebrate the sordid misfortune of the very wealthy and isolated Britons.
Nominees: “blackish”; “Cobra Kai”; “Émilie in Paris”; “Hacks”; “The stewardess”; “The Kominsky Method”; “Stylo15”; “Ted Lasso.”
Should win: “Ted Lasso. A sick, weary, and cynical world needed a break, and Coach Lasso and his cheerful optimism showed enough wit – and a little rude humor – to avoid giving us all a sugar rush.
Win: “Ted Lasso. Because we can’t take more disappointment.
Should Win: “Hacks” is written so vividly, satirically and brilliantly examines the generational divide. In addition, it features one of our great actors at the height of his powers (Jean Smart).
Win: “Ted Lasso. From dormant success to world-conquering series, this story of an American disruptor in England has a soft heart and dollops of empathy. It’s like those little cookies Ted brings his boss every morning. England may win the best drama, but the crown of comedy is all of America, baby.
Nominees: Uzo Aduba, “In Process”; Olivia Colman, “The Crown”; Emma Corrin, “The Crown”; Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Story”; Mj Rodriguez, “Pose”; Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country”.
Should win: Aduba. Ever since Dr. Melfi persuaded Tony Soprano to spill his emotional guts, we didn’t want a therapist act. Aduba won two Emmy Awards as a Crazy Eyes inmate and a third portraying the legendary Shirley Chisholm. One more, please.
Defeat: Corwin. Defying the Princess Di fairy tale set in the public imagination, Corwin skillfully creates a charming but changeable young woman whom we accept on the terms of the drama. And the memory of the late Diana remains strong.
Should win: Colman. Hail to all the queen! She didn’t win an Emmy last year as the incredibly tangy Queen Elizabeth II – a most unfortunate oversight, I dare say – but must this year. I say, must.
Defeat: Corrin, taking advantage of the explosion of new media interest in Princess Diana, will defeat his co-star, the Queen (appropriate revenge). Corrin won a Golden Globe against Colman this year and that trend is expected to continue.
ACTOR, DRAMATIC SERIES
Nominees: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”; Jonathan Majors, “Land of Lovecraft”; Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”; Régé-Jean Page, “Bridgerton”; Billy Porter (“Pose”).
Should win: Majors. His open vulnerability and muscular intensity lived up to the visceral portrayal of racism and other horrors on the show. (A moment here to honor the late Michael K. Williams, Major’s co-star and named supporting actor.)
Winner: O’Connor. That the thoughtless, self-centered, titled (we’ll stop now) version of Prince Charles’ O’Connor be true to life, it has a magnetic honesty. His anguished pas de deux with Diana de Corwin seals the deal.
Should win: Brown. He once got an Emmy as Randall Pearson in “This Is Us,” but he deserves more. His perpetually uncertain brother-father-son on the show is a portrayal that is both lovingly comedic and dramatically empathetic.
Winner: O’Connor. His slightly puzzled, morose and appallingly shy approach, his hands deep in the prince’s pockets is astonishing. The real Prince Charles should shock the telecast by handing him the Emmy.
ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
Nominees: Aidy Bryant, “Shrill”; Kaley Cuoco, “The Stewardess”; Allison Janney, “Mom”; Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”; Jean Smart, “Hacks”.
Should win: Smart. She has already been a 10-time Emmy Bridesmaid as a supporting actor or guest and has won three trophies. Put her in a lead role in a dramatic comedy and guess what? She kills.
Will win: Smart, no contest. Her victory, following that of 2020 winner Catherine O’Hara for “Schitt’s Creek,” shows that it’s easy to gain respect from an industry that despises older actresses – be brilliant.
Should Win: It’s smart what you said there, Lynn. Very clever.
Will Win: Hopefully Emmy voters caught the summer’s strong love for Smart, who last won an Emmy in 2008 after back-to-back wins in 2000 and 2001. “Hacks” is done for her – whip intelligent and abrasive but vulnerable. In addition, she has just turned 70. Let’s give him a birthday present.
ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Nominees: Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”; Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”; William H. Macy, “Shameless”; Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”; Kenan Thompson, “Kenan”.
Should win: Macy. His role as the tragicomic mess of an impoverished patriarch in the now-over series was just one of the character actor’s indelible creations. Not heroic enough, academy? Or maybe it makes it seem like it’s too easy.
Winner: Sudeikis. Yes, there is a cast of thugs and schemers backing him up. But the show’s vanity depends on whether Sudeikis gives the character honesty and charm without malice, and he does.
Should win: you know what else is honest and charming? Anderson in “black”. Do you know what else is true? He never won Emmy for being the adorable and slightly crazy “black-ish” father. Six times he was nominated for his consistently fresh and highly recognizable character, but no wins. It is high time.
Will win: in a year where gentleness and compassion are rewarded, Sudeikis is the beneficiary. Season 2 of “Ted Lasso” moves away from its anchor role, but the first season is entirely made up of Sudeikis, a charming fish out of water. Give this man an Emmy and let’s hope he dresses up for the occasion this time.
Nominees: “I can destroy you”; “Easttown Mare”; “The Queen’s Gambit”; “The Underground Railroad”; “WandaVision.”
Should win: “I can destroy you.” A Young Black Woman’s Fateful Evening in London unfolds a provocative, unconventional drama that has been decked out with accolades and made star designer Michaela Cole a generational voice.
Will win: “The Queen’s Gambit”. Sleek production, the intriguing setting of the championship chess world, and star Anya Taylor-Joy’s dazzling performance combine to give the coming-of-age narrative a dominant strategy.
Should Win: “I May Destroy You,” exploring the issue of sexual consent in contemporary life. Powerful, unpredictable, provocative and captivating, it was the best thing on TV this year, hands down.
Will Win: “Easttown Mare. The Safer Pick, a ho-hum crime drama with lots of method actors, awkward outfits, and accent work. Also worthy of the sleek “The Queen’s Gambit” but star Kate Winslet as Mare elevates her lackluster detective character to victory. Hip Hip Hooray?