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Emmy Nominations: Highlights, snubs and predictions for the 2020 awards

Emmy Nominations: Highlights, snubs and predictions for the 2020 awards

Emmy Nominations: Highlights, snubs and predictions for the 2020 awards
July 28
17:52 2020

The 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced on Tuesday, so it’s time to familiarize yourself with this year’s contenders. While this is in no way a comprehensive breakdown of every category (I skipped over writing, directing, guest acting, reality and variety talk categories), the shows listed are enough to keep you occupied until the Emmys air. I recommend you go ahead and start binge-watching now before the virtual show on Sept. 20.

Outstanding Drama Series

The Nominees: “Ozark” (Netflix), “The Crown” (Netflix), “Better Call Saul (AMC), “Killing Eve” (BBC America), “Stranger Things” (Netflix), “Succession” (HBO), “Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), “The Mandalorian” (Disney+)

Thoughts: With “Game of Thrones” out of the way, Outstanding Drama Series will see a new winner, but I think there’s a clear choice here. “The Crown” is a fan favorite and incredible production, but the third season doesn’t hold up as well as the previous two and I’d be disappointed if it wins here. “Stranger Things” wasn’t as strong this time around, either. “The Mandalorian” is the newcomer here, rightfully snagging a spot from HBO’s “Westworld” which suffered in its third season. “Better Call Saul” has been nominated for ages, but I can’t see it breaking through now. “Killing Eve” and “Handmaid’s Tale” have always been solid, but their recent seasons weren’t particularly groundbreaking. “Succession” and “Ozark” by far produced the best seasons and were some of my favorite shows in the last year, but “Succession” is the most solid and deserving of a win.

Who Should Win: “Succession”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Brian Cox (“Succession”), Jeremy Strong (“Succession”), Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Billy Porter (“Pose”), Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us”), Steve Carell (“The Morning Show”)

Thoughts: There were a few snubs for Outstanding Lead Actor, but the likely winners are all there. Sam Heughan of “Outlander” was a fan favorite left without a nomination, and Tobias Menzies absolutely deserved a nod for his role in “The Crown.” I think either of the “Succession” nominees or Porter could take this. For now, I’m assuming it’ll be Cox.

Who Should Win: Brian Cox (though I’d also like to see Billy Porter)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Olivia Colman (“The Crown”), Laura Linney (“Ozark”), Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”), Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”), Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), Zendaya (“Euphoria”)

Thoughts: There are some real powerhouses in the Outstanding Lead Actress category — Emmy newcomer Zendaya was stunning in “Euphoria,” Colman dazzled as Queen Elizabeth II despite my preference for season one and two’s Claire Foy, and Aniston already took home the SAG for “The Morning Show” earlier this year. Oh and Comer have dominated at both the Emmys and Golden Globes in the past (Comer took home last year’s Emmy), and I could easily see the win going to either of the two. If not one of the “Killing Eve” ladies, I want it to be Linney for her best work yet on “Ozark.” Caitriona Balfe was definitely snubbed here for her outstanding work in “Outlander,” and Cynthia Erivo (“The Outsider”) Reese Witherspoon (“The Morning Show”) and Elisabeth Moss (“Handmaid’s Tale”) are notable losses, too. And let’s not forget Nicole Kidman, who won for “Big Little Lies” season one. Unfortunately, there were just too many talented actresses this year, and not enough nominations.

Who Should Win: Laura Linney

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show,”) Mark Duplass (“The Morning Show,”) Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld,”) Kieran Culkin (“Succession,”) Matthew Macfadyen (“Succession,”) Nicholas Braun (“Succession,”) Bradley Whitford (“The Handmaid’s Tale,”) Giancarlo Esposito (“Better Call Saul”)

Thoughts: I don’t even have anything to say about Outstanding Supporting Actor. The biggest snub of the year, by a landslide, is Tom Pelphrey for “Ozark.” I predicted he’d easily win this in my “Ozark” review, and several experts were predicting he’d win, too. So… where’s his nomination? The fact that Wright and Braun are nominated but Pelphrey isn’t is unreal. I guess my second choice would be Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”), but he isn’t here, either. David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) is another big snub. I don’t even care who wins out of this lot. I guess Culkin for “Succession.”

Who Should Win: Kieran Culkin

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Helena Bonham Carter (“The Crown”), Julia Garner (“Ozark”), Meryl Streep (“Big Little Lies”), Laura Dern (“Big Little Lies”), Samira Wiley (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve”), Sarah Snook (“Succession”), Thandie Newton (“Westworld”)

Thoughts: I love last year’s winner Garner, but I think Dern (“Big Little Lies”) is a hot contender. I’m quite surprised her co-star Zoë Kravitz was left off the list, as she and Dern were the best part of the second season. I think she should have taken Newton’s spot. Though my money is on Dern, I’d be happy with a win for anyone nominated.

Who Should Win: Laura Dern

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Nominees: “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime), “Schitt’s Creek” (Pop), “Dead to Me” (Netflix), “Insecure” (HBO), “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix), “What We Do In the Shadows” (FX), “The Good Place” (NBC)

Thoughts: With “Fleabag” no longer eligible, it’ll be a big year for “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” “Insecure” and “Dead to Me” are pretty well-earned nominations, too. I could see the final season of “Schitt’s Creek” taking home a win to close out the show, but I feel like the Emmys will lean more toward “The Marvelous Miss Maisel.” A snub here is Hulu’s “The Great,” and Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult were denied actor/actress nominations, too. 

Who Should Win: “The Marvelous Miss Maisel”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

The Nominees: Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”), Ted Danson (“The Good Place”), Ramy Youssef (“Ramy”), Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”), Don Cheadle (“Black Monday”), Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)

Thoughts: I’m honestly not sure who will take this home. Bill Hader won for “Barry” in 2018 and 2019, but with him being ineligible this year, Youssef has taken his spot. Youssef won the 2020 Golden Globe for his role in the show, so my money is on him (though I’d love to see Cheadle or Levy win). A big snub here is Larry David for “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The show itself was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, and in a similar vein to Robert DeNiro not being nominated for “The Irishman,” it’s kinda odd to nominate the show but not the man who literally carries said show.

Who Should Win: Ramy Youssef

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

The Nominees: Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”), Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”), Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Linda Cardellini (“Dead to Me”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”)

Thoughts: Phoebe Waller-Bridge is no longer eligible, either, which could pave the way for Brosnahan to have another win (she won this category in 2018). If anyone can give her a run for her money, though, it’s O’Hara. It’ll likely be a close call between those two, and I’d honestly like to see O’Hara get the nod she deserves for how iconic she’s been in her role. Applegate for “Dead to Me” and Rae for “Insecure” would be surprising, but not unwelcome, wins instead.

Who Should Win: Catherine O’Hara

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

The Nominees: Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), William Jackson Harper (“The Good Place”), Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Daniel Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”), Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”), Sterling K. Brown (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”), Mahershala Ali (“Ramy”)

Thoughts: I could see last year’s winner Shalhoub having a repeat moment, or fan-favorite Levy earn a win. But Ali was hilarious in his “Ramy” role and tends to fare well at awards shows, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out on top.

Who Should Win: Mahershala Ali

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

The Nominees: Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), Cecily Strong (“Saturday Night Live”), Annie Murphy “Schitt’s Creek”), Marin Hinkle (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”), D’Arcy Carden “The Good Place,” Yvonne Orji (“Insecure”)

Thoughts: Borstein has won in this category for the last two years, and I don’t see that changing now. While “Fleabag” swept the comedy categories last year, I believe “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” will do the same this time around.

Who Should Win: Alex Borstein

Outstanding Limited Series

The Nominees: “Watchmen” (HBO), “Unbelievable” (Neflix), “Mrs. America” (FX), “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu), “Unorthodox” (Netflix)

Thoughts: I don’t doubt Outstanding Limited Series will go to “Watchmen,” and rightfully so. The HBO series took home the most nominations this year, with a whopping 26. “Little Fires Everywhere” is a close second, and while “Unorthodox” is also an incredibly done series and well-deserving nominee, it doesn’t have the base it needs to take home the win. FX’s “Mrs. America” and Netflix’s “Unbelievable” round out the nominations. I’ve seen some say “The Plot Against America” and “Hollywood” were snubbed here, but both were pretty flawed and uneven.

Who Should Win: “Watchmen”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

The Nominees: Hugh Jackman (“Bad Education”), Jeremy Irons (“Watchmen”), Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”), Jeremy Pope (“Hollywood”), Paul Mescal (“Normal People”)

Thoughts: It’ll be a tough call for both the Outstanding Actor and Actress award. Personally, I’d prefer Ruffalo to win for “I Know This Much is True,” as he was incredible playing not one, but two characters. But the odds may be in Jackman’s favor, considering many have said it’s his best performance to date (though I still prefer him in “Prisoners”). Given the popularity of “Watchmen,” Irons is a strong contender, too. I’m not sure who will come out on top. A huge snub here is Aaron Paul for “El Camino.” While the movie itself was disappointing, Paul’s work in this role is unparalleled. I’d list him as my predicted winner if he were nominated. 

Who Should Win: Mark Ruffalo

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”), Regina King (“Watchmen”), Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere”), Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”), Octavia Spencer (“Self Made”)

Thoughts: In a similar vein, it’s a close call for Outstanding Actress. My guess? King, Washington or Blanchett. Out of the three, I’d vote for King. I doubt it’ll go to anyone else, though I would like to give a nod to Haas’ role in “Unorthodox” and I’m thrilled she received a nomination.

Who Should Win: Regina King

Outstanding TV Movie

The Nominees: “El Camino” (Netflix), “American Son” (Netflix), “Bad Education” (HBO), “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix), “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings” (Netflix)

Thoughts: The odds are clearly in Netflix’s favor here. But “El Camino” didn’t quite live up to its hype, “American Son” has a frightening 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and the other two just aren’t good enough. “Bad Education” is the obvious choice here.

Who Should Win: “Bad Education”

Featured image: Courtesy HBO

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Haley Arnold

Haley Arnold

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