Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Emmy Wishlists: Drama Categories

Before you read about my personal picks for the drama categories, check out my comedy picks here. As for drama, Peak TV means there's WAY TOO MUCH TV out there and most of them are good, so this was really tough.

Like the comedies, I've picked 10 shows and performers per category. In a few categories, I could've easily listed another 10 (or 20) names. Onwards...

The Americans
Better Call Saul
The Exorcist
The Leftovers
Orange is the New Black
Queen Sugar
Stranger Things

Apparently while all the best comedies are on network TV, all the best dramas are not. With the exception of The Exorcist, one of the more pleasant surprises of the past TV season for me, all my picks are off network. I am saddened that 3 of my picks (Sense8, Underground, The Leftovers) are ending or were cancelled, but you should still check them out. Shout out to the audacious shows I respected more than love like Legion, Mr. Robot, Westworld, Into the Badlands, and Preacher plus the much improved Doctor Who and Agents of SHIELD.

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Dominic Cooper, Preacher
Alfonso Herrera, The Exorcist
Aldis Hodge, Underground
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Dan Stevens, Legion
Justin Theroux, The Leftovers
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

As I was making my shortlist, I definitely noticed all the names of guys I may or may not have a crush on. I'd like to think I chose impartially based on acting alone, but who knows? That said, I sincerely think all of these men did a stupendous job this past TV year with special FYC on Sterling K. Brown and Justin Theroux. Shout out to two hotties that missed my shortlist, Aidan Turner and Daniel Wu. Consolation hug?

Carrie Coon, The Leftovers
Geena Davis, The Exorcist
Rose McIver, iZombie
Ruth Negga, Preacher
Keri Russell, The Americans
Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Underground
Rutina Wesley, Queen Sugar
Eleanor Tomlinson, Poldark
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Carrie Coon was in two award-worthy shows doing award-worthy acting in both of them this year so I hope she gets nominated for both (the other for Fargo). With Game of Thrones out of commission this season, I hope the Academy doesn't forget to look at genre shows specifically the shows starring Geena Davis, Rose McIver, and Ruth Negga. Shout out to Ellen Barkin, Viola Davis, and Taraji P. Henson giving performances that outsizes their respective shows as well as Kylie Bunbury who was a promising talent in a too-soon cancelled show.

Mahershala Ali, Luke Cage
Ben Daniels, The Exorcist
Joseph Gilgun, Preacher
Alex Høgh Andersen, Vikings
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
John Lithgow, The Crown
Gaten Matarazzo, Stranger Things
Michael McKean, Better Call Saul
Alano Miller, Underground
Miguel Angel Silvestre, Sense8

The general theme of this category seems to be villains or at least not so good guys and you know what I LOVE that. They're definitely the flashier kinds of roles and it's a special kind of actor that can chew just the right amount of scenery without it feeling too much. But I have some sweet characters on the list as well and perhaps my FYC picks in Ron Cephas Jones and Miguel Angel Silvestre. The latter especially stands out in an uniformly excellent ensemble. Shout out to some of the men in Better Call Saul, Westworld, and Sense8 that almost made my list.

Doona Bae, Sense8
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Aisha Hinds, Underground
Mallory Jansen, Agents of SHIELD
Hannah Kasulka, The Exorcist
Pearl Mackie, Doctor Who
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Aubrey Plaza, Legion
Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul
Samira Wiley, Orange is the New Black

Fun Fact: Only one person here is a repeat personal nominee from last year (Rhea Seehorn). It just shows you how deep the talent pool is, especially with the women. It's also the category I can't find myself singling out just 1-2 names because ALL OF THEM did such excellent jobs this past season. With that said, Aisha Hinds was in probably the best episode of TV last season so she might have a slight leg up. Suffice to say, I could've named A LOT more Orange is the New Black and Sense8 ladies. Tough category!

Colman Domingo, Timeless
Nelsan Ellis, Elementary
Ron Cephas Jones, The Get Down
Hamish Linklater, Legion
Mark Margolis, Better Call Saul
Gerald McRaney, This Is Us
Jermel Makia, This Is Us
Denis O'Hare, This Is Us
Clive Standen, Vikings
BD Wong, Mr. Robot

So apparently This Is Us has some good guest spots, huh? Other than that, not much to really say about this category. And I think if the Academy buys in This Is Us, I think Gerald McRaney might just win. RIP Nelsan Ellis.

Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Anne Dowd, The Leftovers
Calista Flockhart, Supergirl
Nia Long, Empire
Carrie-Anne Moss, Iron Fist
Sharon Gless, The Exorcist
Shannon Purser, Stranger Things
Phylicia Rashad, Empire
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
Alison Wright, The Americans

Justice for Barb? Perhaps or not. I think my FYC favorites here would be Phylicia Rashad who was just as fierce as I expected and Alison Wright whose brief presence this season was a true highlight. Sharon Gless' character appearance though was such a game changer for her show so I don't know!

You can check out my Comedy post here and my Movie/Miniseries post a bit later.

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