What + Who To Watch At This Year’s Emmys

I am a television junkie. 

This claim isn’t just a fancy way of saying that I watch a lot of television (although I do). I read about television, research new shows, talk about my current favorites (more than my friends, family, and strangers would like), and dream up future sitcom ideas (I’m convinced that the post office is a beautiful place for a mockumentary).

I really love television.

The Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza of television is the Emmys. And guess what?! The Emmys are on September 18th! I’m so excited! Are you excited! No? Well no worries, I’m going to help you get excited. You have no choice. You’ve already started reading this article.

Behold, a list of the most popular categories, their respective nominees, and my unofficial, unqualified, and unsolicited opinions about my favorite (and the critics) favorite ones. Enjoy!

Best Drama Series

Mr. Robot  [USA]

I hate computers, I don’t understand what hacking is (is it not a gross cough?), I typically stray from dramas, and I love Mr. Robot. It is perfectly eerie and quirky and brilliant. While a win for Mr. Robot is unlikely in this particular category, it’s sure to see some love further down the line. Fingers crossed season two brings it back for a win next year.

Game of Thrones  [HBO]

Okay, admittedly, I don’t watch Game of Thrones. I know! I know! HBO is expensive! I’m sure it’s amazing and insane and all the good things. It better be pretty damn good, cause it’s flooding my Twitter feed. The public acclaim has been met with equal critical acclaim, thus this show about dragons and dungeons (an uneducated guess) is a definite possibility for the Emmy.

The Americans  [FX]

I’ve read too many “Who Was Snubbed For An Emmy Nomination” lists. I love them like Emmy voters love Modern Family. The past few years, The Americans has been at the top of these lists. All critics, everywhere, were consistently disappointed when the FX show received no nominations. Well apparently fourth times the charm because here we are. According to The Hollywood Reporter and Vanity Fair, this show deserves the win.

House of Cards  [Netflix]

Downton Abbey  [PBS]

Better Call Saul  [AMC]

Homeland  [Showtime]


Best Comedy Series

Transparent  [Amazon]

I think about Transparent multiple times a week. The first season was spectacular and vulnerable and bold and new. The second season was all that and more. Hilarious and heartbreaking all in the same breath. It handles all sorts of situations with such transparency (pun intended) and class. It’s unlike anything else on TV. That’s all there is to say.

Veep  [HBO]

Granted, I’ve only seen a few episodes of Veep (HBO is expensive!!!), but the ones I have seen were so silly and so perfect I don’t know if I would survive watching the entire series. I feel an uncomfortable thrill every time Tony Hale as Gary Walsh, the Veep’s over-protective and a lil’ obsessive personal aide is on screen. Tony’s character is just one of many making this show a success year after year. The cast of characters surrounding Vice President Selina Meyer are a discombobulated, witty, masterpiece.

Master of None  [Netflix]

Silicon Valley  [HBO]

Black-ish  [ABC]

Modern Family  [ABC]

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt  [Netflix]


Best Actor in a Drama Series

Rami Malek  [Mr. Robot]

The opening scene of Mr. Robot‘s first episode of its first season fundamentally changed who I am as a person. And it’s all in thanks to Rami. Rami plays anxiety-ridden, technological genius Elliot with such precision and determination. His eyes and deep, trembly voice don’t just ask the viewer to watch, they force the viewer to jump into the story, head first. Luckily for Rami, Emmy voters oftentimes favor first-time nominees, so don’t be surprised if he’s making his way to the stage on Sunday.

Matthew Rhys  [The Americans]

Kyle Chandler  [Bloodline, Netflix]

Bob Odenkirk  [Better Call Saul, AMC]

Liev Schreiber  [Ray Donovan, Showtime]

Kevin Spacey  [House of Cards, Netflix]


Best Actress in a Drama Series

Tatiana Maslany  [Orphan Black, BBC America]

It’s difficult to read any overview or recap of a television season without seeing the name Tatiana Maslany. She plays over five characters on this show, all with distinct and differing personalities. The first two seasons of Orphan Black, while met with the upmost critical acclaim – thanks to Tatiana’s successful wearing of many hats – didn’t garner Emmy noms. Last year, Tatiana finally received a nomination, and it appears that this year will bring her a much deserved win.

Viola Davis  [How to Get Away With Murder, ABC]

Claire Danes  [Homeland, Showtime]

Taraji P. Henson  [Empire, FOX]

Kerri Russell  [The Americans]

Robin Wright  [House of Cards]


Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Jeffery Tambor  [Transparent]

Following an incredibly emotional win last year, Jeffery waltzed into season two of Transparent with the upmost tenderness, humility, and hilarity. Jeffery plays Maura, a reserved yet eager transgender women in her seventies and parent to three wanderlust adults, with such beauty. I want Maura to be my grandma, and I want Jeffery to win.

Aziz Ansari  [Master of None]

Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang created a treat of an experience with Master of None. Honest and refreshing, I loved this show more and more as I traveled through the season, thanks in large part to Aziz’s honestly flawed yet undoubtably charming portrayal of Dev. If Aziz pulls off a win, I hope he treats himself to all that is good and great, just as Tom Haverford would.

Anthony Anderson  [Black-ish]

Thomas Middleditch  [Silicon Valley]

Will Forte  [The Last Man on Earth, FOX]

William H. Macy  [Shameless, Showtime]


Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus  [Veep]

Apologies to every human who has ever, is currently, or will ever be nominated against Julia Louis-Dreyfus because Julia Louis-Dreyfus will win this Emmy. Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins every Emmy. Julia-Louis Dreyfus is a Queen and a Badass. I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Ellie Kemper  [Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt]

Laurie Metcalf  [Getting On, HBO]

Tracee Ellis Ross  [Black-ish]

Amy Schumer  [Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central]

Lily Tomlin  [Grace and Frankie, Netflix]


Variety Talk Series

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver  [HBO]

I’m pretty sure John Oliver has a deal with Facebook where every time he airs a new episode, Facebook is required to make said episode go viral. Either that, or John Oliver is just really good at his job. It’s probably the latter because this guy is really, really good at his job. He takes important topics, topics most people don’t care about or don’t know about, and he gets the whole country to listen. He’s kind of like a comedic superhero?

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee  [Crackle] 

I really love comedians, so I’ve been watching CICGC ever since it first aired…online. I never even considered that this short talk show, hosted by Jerry Seinfeld could ever or would ever be nominated for an Emmy. But I’m so glad it was! Because it’s really good! I love when talk show hosts don’t have an agenda, and I love when guests aren’t required to promote their new show or movie or whatever. This show is literally just two funny people, sitting in fancy cars, drinking coffee. But I guess you could tell that by the title.

Jimmy Kimmel Live!  [ABC]

The Late Late Show with James Corden  [CBS]

Real Time With Bill Maher  [HBO]

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon  [NBC]

[Quick rant: There are only men on this list. Women deserve to be on this list. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee in particular deserves to be on the list. Sexism is real, it’s a thing, and it’s a problem. So watch Samantha Bee and Chelsea Handler and Nikki Glaser! Support female hosts!]


Television is in a really cool and exciting place right now. New things are happening, lots of different people are getting to share their stories, and important stuff is being tackled. So watch the Emmy’s this Sunday, get inspired, and then go climb into a bunker with wi-fi and watch all of these shows. The world will see you in a year, just in time for the 2017 Emmys!

Abby Bien

Editorial Contributor, Butler University Major: Public Relations + Advertising Her heart belongs to: McDonald's Diet Coke, John Krasinski circa "The Office" Season 4, Jenny Slate's twitter account Take her away to: a movie theater where I can butter my own popcorn, a bar that plays music through a record player, a stand-up comedy show

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